Monday, July 11, 2016

The Great Reorganization: Step 19: To Collect or Not (1989 Edition)

Welcome back to yet another blog detailing my drastic efforts in terms of reorganizing my entire baseball card collection.  This is the 19th step in the process (though I have no idea how many steps I'll need to complete the entire process...or even if I ever will complete the entire project)!

No matter, today we turn the clock back to 1989 where I'll try to decide what to collect (and what to give up on) from the year 1989.

We begin with one of the two iconic sets from 1989:  Topps (the other iconic set being Upper Deck of course).

In terms of 1989 Topps, I actually already have the full set in a binder.  Couple that fact with the notion that I actually like the design of 1989 Topps and the first set is an easy choice:  Collect it!

Now, one thing I wasn't expecting was just how many extra 1989 Topps cards I have.  If you happen to be looking to complete your set - or if you'd like a nice sized "starter set" to get you going - I have the following pile available for trade, including a couple of the All-Star inserts (that I'm not collecting).

Next up for consideration:  Bowman.

Now, I've never been a big Bowman guy...and I think a big part of my disdain for the brand can be traced back to my childhood and this 1989 set!  You see, it's an "over sized" set in that the base cards are just a hair bigger than your regular baseball card.  That drove me nuts then and it still drives me nuts.  This choice is just as easy as the last one, but we go in the other direction.  Ignore it!

While we are discussing over sized cards, let's take a quick look at Topps Big.

You can probably guess from my disdain for Bowman's sized cards that I'd be equally dismissive of the Topps Big set since they are the same size.  I will say that I actually like the Topps Big set a fair bit, but certainly not enough for me to collect it (also I only own four or five cards from the set and I have no intentions of ever buying the stuff)!  Ignore it!

The Topps Big set was certainly colorful, but it wasn't as colorful as our next set to consider:   Donruss.

I don't think many people like late 80s, early 90s Donruss.  Unfortunately, I'm one of the suckers for the stuff...even if it is pretty much garbage (I actually willingly traded for a long time in an effort to complete my 1991 Donruss set for instance).  All that said, even I can't do the 1989 set.   There are a few gems in there, but for the most part it's crap.  Ignore it!

While the Donruss choice wasn't as clear cut for me as it would be for most people, the next set up for consideration is any choice.  This is Sportflics.

And that Sabo is my only card from the set - so yeah, it's an easy decision indeed.  Ignore it!

Moving right along, next up is a set that I have a decent sized stack of:  Score.

If I'm being honest, the 1989 Score set isn't bad - and in fact, if I hadn't already decided to collect the 1989 Topps set I might have considered building this set instead.  All that said, I simply like the Topps' design more, even if Score has better card backs in 1989.  Sorry Score, so close, yet so far.  Ignore it!

Next, a smattering of sets that I barely own any of...

...and you can guess that I'll be ignoring all of those sets (though some of the above cards may find their way into my Frankenset that I hope to build once my Great Reorganization is complete)!


At this point, I'm impressed if you are still reading.  Heck, I've taken two breaks up to now while writing and scanning for the post!  Who knew there were so many different sets from 1989?!  Alas, my work is not quite done, there are still more sets to consider.

Next up, Fleer.

The 1989 Fleer set is quite ugly...but I happen to already have the entire set so I'm going to collect it regardless!  If I'm being honest though, the 1989 Fleer set is probably one of the first complete sets to go if I ever need more space on my bookshelf!

I did have to show off my favorite card from the '89 Fleer set, a card celebrating Tom Browning's perfect game against the Dodgers.  The front of the card is perfectly acceptable, but it's the write-up on the back that makes the card great.  If you read it, you basically feel like you are at the game - I love how Fleer gave a lot of information about the game rather than a single blurb that we get on most of today's baseball cards.

To recap so far, I've decided to keep my 1989 Topps and 1989 Fleer sets (both of which are already complete) and everything has else has been a no go.  There are still quite a few sets remaining from 1989 to look at, but most of them are easy choices.  For example, here's another batch where what you see is every card I own from that particular set.

All easy choices:  Ignore 'em!

We aren't quite done with the easy ones, here's another batch.

Once again, I'll ignore 'em since I own so little of each set (and honestly, none of those sets are very good).  The 1989 Fleer looking card is actually a different set - it's old-timey cardboard and the number starts with a C.  I don't really care to look up what set it is since the Danny Jackson card is the only one I own...though I will say that that card does have a chance to end up in my Reds' Frankenset that I'll eventually get around to creating!

Phew, it felt good to knock out a bunch of sets from consideration in a single swoop!  At this point, I'm down to four more sets to look at.  Let's get to it beginning with the Topps Stickers from 1989.

I was always a huge fan of the team logo stickers that used to come in packs of Fleer cards (and also sometimes Upper Deck cards).  Those were awesome.  On the other hand, for whatever reason I was never a fan of players on stickers.  If this set were just team logos I'd collect, but it's not...and so I'm going to ignore it instead.

Next, Pacific Legends of Baseball:

This set is, in a word, AWESOME.  It's basically a who's who of MLB Legends, much as the name suggests.  I love this set - and I'm proud to say that I have it complete and it's the easiest choice of the year:  Collect it! 

Two sets left, and you can probably guess that I'm saving the toughest choice for last...which means this choice shouldn't be so difficult.  The set is the mini 1989 Topps set...

Unlike Allen & Ginter minis, the '89 minis have no particular value to me...and the over sized white borders ruin what little chance these cards had in my eyes.  A no brainer for me, ignore it.

That leaves us with one last set to consider:  Upper Deck.

This is a tough, tough call for me.  On the one hand, the '89 Upper Deck set is probably the one true "baseball card history" set from my lifetime.  Upper Deck, for better or worse, definitely changed the card collecting world with its inaugural set.  The set is probably best known for the Ken Griffey, Jr. card...but that leads me to the other hand...  I don't own that Ken Griffey, Jr. card...and without it, the set is pretty boring!  Furthermore, I actually own an almost embarrassingly low number of 1989 Upper Deck cards, probably less than 100 cards total.  Couple that with the lack of the Griffey and I guess the choice wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be heading into this post...  Ignore it!

And that does it for 1989.  What do you think of my choices?  In the end, I'm going to keep three sets (all of which I have already completed):

  • 1989 Topps
  • 1989 Fleer
  • 1989 Pacific Legends of Baseball

I won't be going after any other sets from the year - though many of the 1989 cards from "ignored" sets will have a chance to make it into my Frankensets (one Reds, one non-Reds) that I plan to complete someday.  The rest of the cards will make their way into various team trade boxes...except for that huge stack of 1989 Topps - I'll hold that out for a day or two just in case someone has interest in the huge stack.

That's it for this post - and what a huge step this was to complete!  I had been dreading doing 1989 because of how large my stack of cards was to sort...and I can't express to you how good it feels to have this year completed!  And, better yet, my want list didn't grow any this time around!


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