Monday, May 7, 2018

Recent Acquisition: 1990 Score Rookie & Traded Set

I've had the 1988, 1989, and 1990 Score sets and the 1988, 1989, and 1991 Score Rookie & Traded sets in my collection for many years, more or less since they were released (I got the 1989 base set around 1991 or 1992 or so, but otherwise picked them up when they were brand new).  There's an odd mismatch there, though -- while I have both for 1988 and 1989, somehow I missed the 1990 update set, and I never went for the 1991 base set.  I've decided to fill in the gap, especially since these junk-era sets don't cost anything.  I picked up the 1991 update set for about $5 shipped from eBay a few days ago.

I bought this still factory sealed, and part of me wanted to keep it that way.  The set has existed for close to 30 years without anyone unwrapping it, and in a way it's a shame to disturb it.  But, especially since the set isn't really worth anything, I decided to go ahead and unwrap it, and enjoy the cards themselves.  Of the 110 cards in the set, I picked out 10 to feature below.
Matt Nokes.
Eric Lindros?!
Matt Nokes had a lot of promise around 1988, but his rookie year with the Tigers was his best of his career.  After just a couple of years, he was off to the Yankees.  I was rather surprised to see this Eric Lindros card with the Blue Jays.  I remember it being a huge deal when Lindros joined the Flyers, and didn't remember him being in baseball at all.  According to Wikipedia, this card exists because Score had a deal with Lindros and was promoting him; he only took batting practice with the Jays once.  I'm surprised they couldn't even manage a more flattering photo.
Dave Parker.
Dave Winfield.
Then we have two of my favorites, Dave Parker and Dave Winfield.  After winning his second World Series, Parker left the A's and went briefly to the Brewers.  He didn't stay long, and had brief stints with Toronto and California afterwards.  Winfield and Parker both debuted in 1973 (I'm glad to have both of their 1974 Topps rookie cards), but Winfield had a few more years left in him at this point.  This card marks Winfield's move from the Yankees to the Angels, and he still had Toronto, Cleveland, and Minnesota ahead of him, before retiring in 1995.
Tony Pena.
Cecil Fielder.
Tony Pena is another favorite; it's a shame the Pirates traded him, their All-Star catcher, but it did work great for the Bucs, as they gained several pieces of their 1990-1992 NL East champion teams in the deal.  Pena was with the Cards a few years before this move to Boston, and he then played with the Indians, White Sox, and Astros before retiring in 1997.

Cecil Fielder took me a bit by surprise, back in the day.  I was at my cousin's house one day, and he asked me if I had any Cecil Fielder cards.  He showed me at least one he had, I think in a screw-down case.  I hadn't even heard of Fielder.  I said I probably did -- I had bought a few wax boxes of the current year cards for a few years in a row, so I probably had a card of anyone.  I guess I hadn't been paying attention for a few weeks or something, and Fielder had returned from Japan and started hitting home runs.
Frank Thomas.
John Candelaria.
This Frank Thomas is considered a rookie card (or a rookie-year card, perhaps), and is often advertised on eBay as a reason to buy the set.  I like Thomas well enough, but he wasn't much of a factor in my time watching baseball in the 80s and 90s (playing in the AL for a team which wasn't local and which didn't make the playoffs).  John Candelaria is basically my favorite player, and he wasn't what he once was at this point, but he had some good years here and there.  This card marks his move from Minnesota to Toronto, in a sense -- he actually wasn't included in the base set, so perhaps the card actually marks his move from the Yankees to the Twins to the Blue Jays (he was shown with the Yankees in 1989 Score).  He did well with Minnesota, going 7-3 with a 3.39 ERA, but not so well with Toronto, being 0-3 with a 5.48 ERA.  He then spent two good years with the Dodgers as a solid middle reliever, before ending where he started, with the Pirates, in 1993.
Willie Randolph.
Juan Samuel.
I'll close this out with two sentimental favorites, Willie Randolph and Juan Samuel.  I'm glad to have acquired and posted Willie Randolph's 1976 Topps Traded card, which again, is a rookie-year card.  Randolph was traded from the Dodgers to the A's in May of 1990, bolstering the A's lineup as they sought to repeat as champions.  He batted .375 in the ALCS and .267 in the World Series as the A's got swept by the Reds.  Juan Samuel was one of the staples of the Phillies from my youth, after the end of their 1976-1983 postseason run had ended.  Those mid-to-late 80s Phillies teams weren't great, but Samuel's play was solid, as he made two All-Star teams and won a Silver Slugger in his years in Philly.  Then he moved to the Mets and then to the Dodgers, and then a succession of other teams.  His career ended after the 1998 season with 1,578 hits and 161 home runs.

Thanks for reading!

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