Barry Larkin Collection 210: 1991 Leaf - #168

Barry Larkin
Year:  1991
Brand:  Leaf
Card number:  168

When I was a kid, Leaf was a mysterious brand.  I never actually saw a pack of the stuff anywhere I bought cards (or, to be more precise, anywhere my father bought cards for me which was mostly the supermarket).  In addition, I don't think I even had a single Leaf card in my possession until I made a trade at school some time in the mid-90s.

To be fair, I don't believe that I missed out on all that much.  The 1991 Leaf set is a drab monstrosity full of questionable design choices.  On the front, there's way too much gray - and the black design on the corners makes the card feel a bit like a Greek ruin.  I also hate the fact that there is no indication of the team on the front.

The back is even more gray - though at least you do get the team logo.  I hate the location of the card number - almost impossible to sort a stack of Leaf quickly.  On the other hand, the writers at Leaf did do a nice job with the description so that's good!  I think Leaf was a bit ahead of the game in terms of giving useful information (compare this card to Topps' offering from 1991 for example).

In the end, 1991 Leaf is a set that I can safely say I'll probably never try to complete.  I am pleased to have the Larkin card from the set however!  That's the beauty of a player collection, whether a set is good or bad, you still want the player's card.