Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mini Sets: It's All About Balance

Throughout the 80's, 90's, and to a degree the 2000's companies like Fleer, Donruss, and even department stores and food companies got in on the baseball card craze by making their own mini sets. These have now been replaced by what is commonly known as inserts in modern collecting, but for a while, mini sets were an interesting and fun way to collect cards.

For example, this 1989 Fleer For The Record mini set includes Hall of Famers like Maddux and Boggs.

Near greats like Kirk Gibson and Andres Galarraga.

As well as players who came just short of making the Hall of Fame like Don Mattingly.

And players like Roger Clemens who because of steroids (accusations at least) may never make the Hall of Fame.

What I like about such a small set like this one is that with only 6 cards you can really appreciate each and every card. It allows you to pay attention to each card as well as the player. You start to like the card, the player, and the set more and more.

Like I said before there were unlicensed mini sets and this Cap'n Crunch is no exception. This set like the Fleer set also features near greats. Players who had a few years that they were amazing, but for one reason or another they weren't able to keep up that performance for their entire career.

But one thing I don't understand is how this set is manufactured by Topps, but they aren't licensed. Topps has maintained their licensing with MLB since 1951, so why doesn't a mini set made by Topps have those same rules apply to them?

However, despite not having licensing rights this set has some amazing cards. Finding cards of Eddie Murray on the Dodgers can be difficult, so between that and the great photo, I know that there are at least a few great cards.

Speaking of food-related sets.

This one is perhaps the most bizarre of them all. 

In 2003 Donruss teamed up with French's (yes French's mustard) to make this 6 card Yankees only mini set. My dad purchased this set for a slightly pricey $5 at a card shop in Illinois, and I truly believe it was worth the price he paid. 

It includes a balanced mix of players I've never heard of before like Jeff Weaver and Steve Karsay as well as some semi-stars like Jose Contreras and Soriano.

It also features Yankees stars like Jorge Posada. 

Posada was a star catcher for the Yankees for 17 years. He's not a favorite of mine, for he always seemed to do well against the Red Sox. I may not like him that much, but I most definitely respect him.

But you can't really have a Yankees set during his illustrious 20-year career for New York including the captain himself Derek Jeter.

This Jeter card instantly makes the set worth it. As I've noted before Yankees cards are known for being expensive which is why I will always jump at opportunities to get Yankees cards for the right price.

This is why I love mini sets the variety is unlike anything else in the card collecting world. You can get stuff in mini sets that you may not have ever known existed, and that's why I love them.

1 comment:

  1. That's a great question about the logos in that Cap'n Crunch set. The only thing I can think of is that maybe MLB had an exclusive deal for use of the logos with another cereal.