Brand: Upper Deck
Insert set: 10th Anniversary Preview
Card number: 43
For my money, baseball cards in the late 90s are often super confusing. Take, for instance, this seemingly simple card. It's from 1998 Upper Deck and it clearly states on the front of the card that it is a "10th Anniversary Preview." Seems simple enough - sort of an advertisement for what the 1999 Upper Deck set will look like (and fitting enough for a special anniversary such as the tenth anniversary).
You'd think it was that simple. But you'd be wrong.
First, the card was supposed to be some sort of preview for a special set...but Upper Deck cancelled that set before it was ever released. And second, this card is a sort of parallel of the actual insert set. In fact, according to baseballcardpedia (a great resource for me when writing about obscure Larkin cards), this card was...well, let me just quote baseballcardpedia instead:
Randomly inserted in Series One packs, this 60-card set features a design similar to the inaugural 1989 Upper Deck series. The backs carry a photo of a previous Upper Deck card of that player. A 10th Anniversary Ballot was inserted into every fourth Series One pack which allowed the collector to vote for the players they wanted to see in a proposed 1999 Upper Deck tenth anniversary set. The set was canceled, and instead became an insert in 1999 Upper Deck Series One.
Upper Deck also released a "Preview Edition" factory set to selected retail outlets. The Preview Edition contained a complete set of all 60 10th Anniversary cards, as well as 200 randomly selected 1997 Collector's Choice base cards and sold for $19.99. The difference between the two sets are the words "PREVIEW EDITION" printed on the side of each card.That's right. There's nothing simple about what should have been a simple little card. And that's why the late 90s were so confusing...and probably a big reason why so many companies went out of business and how we eventually ended up with a single company monopoly for sports cards.