Sunday, July 29, 2018

Recent Acquisition: 1988 Chef Boyardee Set

I have a couple of Chef Boyardee cards from their 1988 set, and I posted them before; I'm not sure where I ever got them.  I also don't remember the Chef Boyardee set being offered at the time; I don't think I ate much of it as a kid, since we instead tended to buy the competing Franco-American products, i.e., Spaghetti-O's.  Based on what I can find online, it seems that the set was offered as an uncut, perforated sheet.

When I decided to buy a few of these sets recently, like the 1987 M&M's set I posted the other day, the 1988 Chef Boyardee set was on my list.  I ordered quite a few such things, which will all be posted in the next week or so.  When I get these, I struggle with the question of whether to keep them as-is or not.  For example, when I ordered the 1990 Score Rookie & Traded set a couple of months ago, I strongly considered keeping it sealed.  When I received this Chef Boyardee set as an intact sheet, I thought about not separating the cards.  These cards have made it for the past 30 years in the same condition they left the factory in, and it seems a shame to disturb them now.  But, I did unwrap that 1990 Score update set because I wanted to see the cards, and I did separate the Chef Boyardee set because an uncut sheet is a really awkward size.  So they made it intact for 30 years, but that's the end of the line.
Boggs, Clemens, Valenzuela.
The uncut sheet was set up as an array of 6 cards across, 4 cards down.  To scan them all, I first separated them into strips of 3.  After scanning, I then continued separating them, and they're now all individual cards, with the set stored in a team bag.
Mattingly, Murphy, Dawson.
The 24-card set features all the usual players.  Since I own a number of the ubiquitous late-80s retailer-sponsored box sets, the cast of characters here is pretty familiar.
Ripken, Worrell, Parrish.
One of the less obvious inclusions in the set is Rangers DH Larry Parrish.  Parrish played in the majors 1974-1988, then a couple of seasons in Japan.  He hit 256 homers in his career, and was a two-time All-Star, in 1979 and 1987.  While he wasn't always in these sets, he was sometimes, such as in the 1988 Fleer Kay-Bee Team Leaders set I once featured.
Carter, Sandberg, Hernandez.
There were 26 teams back then, and it's a 24-card set, so clearly not every team gets represented.  That's even more true since some teams have multiple players, like Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez here, of the Mets.  We saw Wade Boggs and Roger Clemens above, and joining them in the next picture is fellow Boston player Jim Rice.  These multiply represented teams were of course recent winners at the time, with the Red Sox and Mets having just recently faced each other in the 1986 World Series.  The Twins and Cardinals have multiple players as well, and of course they faced each other in the 1987 World Series.  My Pirates, sadly, are shut out, but the Pirates weren't yet so great back then.
Scott, Henderson, Rice.
The uncut sheet came in decent condition, but one corner was dinged.  You can see that in the bottom left corner of Mike Scott's card here.  Only a couple of my player collection guys are represented in this set, Rickey Henderson and Mike Schmidt.
Puckett, Schmidt, Viola.
I think I prefer the Mike Schmidt approach here -- better to be hatless than to have your team logo airbrushed off your cap.  He's the only one in the whole set without a blank cap.
Bell, Smith, Gwynn.
George Bell had recently won the 1987 AL MVP.  Tony Gwynn was in the middle of racking up batting championships.  Ozzie Smith was in the middle of his long run of Gold Glove wins and All-Star appearances.
McGwire, Davis, Morris.
Finally, our last three include Mark McGwire, who still had so much promise and hadn't yet disgraced himself and come to personify an entire era of tainted play.  Eric Davis was amazing at his best, but his production went downhill after 1990 or so, dealing with a number of injuries and a bout with cancer.  And it seems fitting to end with Jack Morris, who was just inducted today into the Hall of Fame.

Thanks for reading!  It's good to be back to the blog.

Edit: I meant to include a picture of the whole sheet, before separating it.

The uncut sheet.

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