Thursday, August 12, 2010

Guilty card pleasures

There are so many guilty pleasures in the card-collecting hobby that I couldn't possibly name or even think of them all.

My favorite set of all-time, 1975 Topps, could be considered a guilty pleasure. Some people think it's the most ghastly set ever (we don't take those people seriously).

Chrome cards could be considered a guilty pleasure. When you tell others that you collect a card that looks exactly like another card -- except that it's shiny -- all they can hear is: "I just flushed a whole bunch of cash down the crapper. We're broke and I'm an idiot."

Collecting a Topps base set could be considered a guilty pleasure. I've received condescending smiles from mojo collectors and dealers when they found out all I'm looking for are base cards. There's nothing quite like getting the vibe that someone thinks he's better than you even though he owns only one pair of underwear.

When you come right down to it, the whole hobby is a guilty pleasure. But that's only because there are so many people out there with no sense of fun, no sense of humor, no sense of spirit and no sense of history. (Get the sense that I don't feel so guilty? You catch on quickly).

But my personal guilty card pleasure is one I only recently discovered. Like two weeks ago.

It's 1989 Donruss.

Now, before you have to put your eyeballs back in your head, let me say this: I AM NOT COLLECTING THE SET!!!!!!

All right?

It was just that when I received that big box of junk recently, there were a bunch of '89 Donruss cards in there and suddenly I looked at them in a "hey, these aren't so bad" kind of way for the very first time.

I used to laugh at '89 Donruss. Hell, I laughed at Donruss from about 1986 to 1992. But I remember specifically looking at few '89 Donruss cards (I never bought a  pack of '89 Donruss either) and thinking that there were unfortunate people that actually bought and collected those cards and liked them. The cards seemed cheap and childish. Inferior.

I'm a different person now. I kind of like cheap and childish and inferior -- when it comes to cards.

The thing that I like about '89 Donruss is that the design and look of the card is so much better than the Donruss sets that immediately precede and follow '89 Donruss. 1988 and 1990 are abominations that look acceptable only when you stack it against 1991 Donruss.

I like the splashes of color against the dark black borders on the left and right. The rainbow effect, going from red to orange to yellow here, is very cool.

Sometimes they don't work so well with the colors in the photo. Green and yellow with bright orange? Bleah.

Who is this guy? I have no idea.

So while I am in a naming sets mood, maybe I'll call this one "the rainbow set," unless other people have a better idea.

It's not a bad little set.

Just don't send me any cards from it.


  1. If this would have said 2010 Topps at the bottom of the card it would have blown away what Topps and Upper Deck put out this year

  2. I agree with your take on this set - easily the best of the 1988-1991 Donruss.

    That said, had you not said don't, I would have sent you all of mine minus my Gary Sheffield rookie lol.

  3. Jeez, I was ready to send off that Junior RC I have sitting in my dupes box...

    BTW, that comment about the condescending dealer make me laugh out loud. I've been looked down upon a few times because I'm a non-condition conscious (and cheap spending) SOB.

  4. how bout the "hypercolor" set? like those shirts that changed color that were wildly popular at the time.

  5. You can't name this set without mentioning that it is the birthplace of the parallel. Don't beleive me? Get a stack of the same card and see how many colored border varations you have.

    So parallel birth set is my vote or maybe pandora's box is a better name...

  6. I believe you Adam:

  7. I just read that post and...Crud. I thought there were only 4 color varations. Now I have to start looking for one more Greenwell when I thought I had them all. (and 3 burks)

    OCD is such a pain in the ass...

  8. I just threw out a whole monster box of these that was sitting in my basement. I kept the Griffeys, Randy Johnson, Sheffield. Glavine and other stars as well as Blue Jays and Expos. Thank God I got rid of them, taking up too much space.

  9. the border design isn't too bad. I hate the photos in that set (and 1988 Donruss, too). They mostly seem not so sharp and maybe slighly out of focus or fuzzy.

    Probably is the printing technology and inferior card stock, tho. It's not like they were printed as nice as today's cards.