Thursday, December 11, 2008

Box Break - 1991 Upper Deck, Part 1

Box breaks are not something I plan on doing very often here on Green Monster, mostly because I don't buy a lot of boxes. My card collecting budget just can't handle the price of most wax boxes. But, one of my goals when I returned to collecting this past year, was to finish up a lot of the sets that i had collected in my younger days. So when I stumbled upon a deal for a box of 1991 Upper Deck (one of those aforementioned unfinished sets) for $10, I couldn't pass it up. I'm going to approach this a little differently than most typical box breaks though. Rather than bore everyone with a card by card rundown of every pack, most of which are full of players who nobody remembers, I just selected a few highlights to scan and provide commentary for. I split the break into two parts just to keep it from getting too unwieldy.

First up are a pair of cards from two of the most dominant pitchers of the 1990's. Between them they won nine Cy Young awards. Both are sure fire Hall of Famers.

A couple more pitchers photographed doing things other than pitching. I love the photo of Jim Abbot. Everyone has seen how Abbot handled pitching and the transition to fielding. I hadn't ever seen a photo of him batting before.

Of course I scanned my favorite player's card. Its a pretty good action photo too. Blauser's in mid-leap after a line drive. This is the kind of photography that set Upper Deck apart from all the other card companies right out of the gate.

Speaking of photography that set Upper Deck apart, Fernando-mania meets patented UD triple exposure. I also appreciate Upper Decks creativity when it comes to checklist cards. This one would fit right in over at Night Owl Cards.

Rookie extravaganza. Not a bad pair of rookie cards to pull from a box. Both have an excellent chance of being Hall of Famers.

When I pulled the Chipper, I thought I had pulled the best card out of the box. I had forgotten about the Michael Jordan insert card. This card was the shit when it first came out. I remember going to card shows and seeing this card selling for obscene amounts of money. Topps isn't the only company to indulge in a little hero worship.

Not only was Upper Deck one of the first companies to put full color photos on the back of their cards, they put good photos on the back. In fact, I think some of the rear photos are better than the ones they put on the front.

More good photos from the backs of cards. Nice visualization of the knuckleball grip. Somehow I think Mr. Parrish is done for the day (and not happy about it)!

Thought I'd finish up part one with a couple of oddball photos. My memories of Dave Stewart of of this ultra-intense guy with the death ray stare. Seeing the lighter side of him is just... odd. And I'm not sure, but I think Fisk and Ventura are reinacting a scene from Field of Dreams... "if you build it..."


night owl said...

That Lance Parrish shot is great. I wonder what he thought about that when he saw the card?

White Sox Cards said...

The best thing about the 1991 cards? Seeing all those shots from the first Turn Back The Clock game with the older White Sox uniforms.

Fisk and Ventura went over to the new park the day of that game in 1990 and took a bunch of publicity shots.

Those are some nice pulls. I would have been very happy with that box back in 1991.

Dave said...

I'll second night owl on the Lance Parrish card. Nice find.

Jim Abbott just looks awesome in a baseball uniform. It's highly ironic that he was born without a right hand, because other than that he looks like he was built to play baseball. The tussled hair, tall build, uniform, looks, everything -- he's like the everyman you'd see on generic baseball blankets and wallpaper in the 1980s.

capewood said...

You had a lot of great pulls from that box. The Thomas, the Chipper and the Jordan are great pulls now just like they were in 1991. Boxes of this are going for peretty low prices on eBay right now. I'm seriously tempted.