1990 Upper Deck: a turning point.

Delino DeShields, Marquis Grissom and Larry Walker doing their best impression of twelve-year-olds as they rock the Expos unis. 1990 Topps baseball cards were nice looking, with bright white cardstock, good photography, and four sharp corners. They followed the 1989 Upper Deck innovation of pricey, higher end cards. In 2009, what's not to like about 1990 Upper Deck?

The company employed someone who kept a wary eye on the design department, as the back had a completely different, and sometimes better, photo than the front.

Here's a completely unremarkable front...
...backed by Mr. Lankford as Hamlet.

If you didn't like 1990 Upper Deck, you could always pick up a few extra packs of 1990 Topps.
Is Mr. Hernandez flailing unsuccessfully in batting practice? He's likely freaking out because he's in an Indians uniform.

But Mr. Hernandez is hard at work in this shot, and the crowd reaction is excellent. Do you ever wonder, where are those people today?
The thing about Nolan Ryan is you never knew when he might come off the mound and kill you. This is a great shot of that scary no-prisoners expression.

Again, you could also have sprung for the 1990 Topps Nolan:although it wouldn't have been encased in plastic. If it had been, you'd have found some dynamite.
There are several shots in this '90 set of players doing anything but playing ball. That is,
unless you flipped the card over for that back-of-the-card trusty second chance.

This box of 1990 UD high numbers came in one of those repack boxes. We picked it up a while back but didn't have a chance to go through the cards until today. You can return to The Worst Fairfield Repack in the World for details.

Fanofreds did a swell post on the set's running man Barry Larkin card. And Traded Sets did a 1990 Upper Deck post today, and talked about Rookie Threats last month. The wikipedia entry for Upper Deck, which seems to have been written by someone VERY FOND of the company, notes that the 1990 set included the card industry's first randomly inserted personally autographed and numbered cards of sports superstars. Wax Heaven posted about that.

Was 1990 Upper Deck thus the end of baseball card civilization as we knew it?

The front of Jim Presley's card is nothing to write home about, but that disembodied head over Mr. P's shoulder on the card back may at least rate a postcard.


White Sox Cards said...

Did you know that the "Rookie Threats" card almost didn't exist at all? The original #702 was Mike Witt on the Yankees. It was canceled early on, but some cards (of course) leaked out with a huge black ink box over some of the back.

Great post! It takes me back to saving up my money to go to the card shop to purchase the more expensive Upper Deck.

capewood said...

You've had this box of 1990 Upper Deck since last November and just opened it now? Such restraint.

Hugo H. Ottolenghi said...

Nolan's killer look reminds me of Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry look -- squint/stare out of the corners of the eyes.

Andrew said...

I remember buying a pack of each at the drug store when I was a wee one. I remember opening UD first and being happy and then opening the Topps and saying, "wtf is this?"