Skip to main content

Masters of the single-card subset


I have the results for the "biggest improvement" and "biggest bust" in Score's baseball card history. But I didn't want to simply list the poll statistics and then leave for the day.

So I tried to come up with something that relates to Score, something I haven't addressed before ... and, boy, was that difficult because I think it's all been addressed. Once you get past a few key Score attributes, there's not much left. It was a simplistic card company.

But I did find something, which was somewhat interesting to me. I don't know about you. We'll see.

But first the poll results.

Here are the stats for the biggest bust:

1994-95: 13 votes
1988-89: 8 votes
1996-97: 4 votes
1990-91: 3 votes
1991-92: 3 votes


Congrats, 1995 Score, you offend the senses the most.

Here are the stats for the biggest improvement:

1992-93: 9 votes
1995-96: 9 votes
1989-90: 7 votes
1990-91: 5 votes
1994-95: 2 votes

A lot closer than the "biggest bust" voting. In fact, there is a tie.

In events of ties, I am the deciding vote. Those are the benefits of running your own blog.


I think you knew what I was going to choose. There's no doubt anything that follows '92 Score is a vast improvement.


I will add these results to the sidebar with all of the other card brands. I'm not sure if I'll do the same thing for brands like Pacific and Pinnacle.

As for the other thing I wanted to mention about Score, it has to do with their quirkiness.

Score, in my view, is the set that came closer than any other to the spirit of this card:


You all know it. It's from the 1976 Topps set. It's one of the greatest cards of all-time. It will be in my countdown of the greatest 1970s cards of all-time, if I ever get to that.

But what makes it great, other than its subject matter and the fantastic playoff brackets on the back, is that it was so unexpected. The card arrived unannounced in the middle of the set (#564) and didn't relate to anything else in that set. It was unattached. It wasn't a player card or team card, it didn't correspond with any other subset -- record breakers, league leaders, postseason cards. It was its own entity. It was a single-card subset.

That's what made it cool. Besides the giant bubble, of course.

I know there are other examples of single-card subsets in Fleer and Upper Deck and others. But the place where I noticed it the most often was in Score sets.


The single-card remembrance of the 1989 World Series earthquake subset.



The single-card salute to those involved in Operation Desert Storm subset.



The single-card tribute to Bo Jackson's ability to break bats over his knee subset.

I'm not sure how Score decided when and why to throw in a single card that captured an event, but I'm glad they did.

Score also did a pretty good job with their more traditional subsets. Some of my most favorite subsets of all-time appeared in Score and I've already addressed the No-Hit Club subset from 1991 Score and the Reggie Jackson subset from 1988 Score.


But it's an excuse to show one of the few easily accessible cards showing Jackson in an Orioles uniform.

There are many other great subset cards from Score, from Master Blasters to No. 1 Draft Picks to Dream Teams:


And I guess if there's a reason to miss Score, besides the affordable packs, it's the subsets.

Whether it's your traditional 5-to-7-to-12-card subset or your single-card subset.

Thank goodness they didn't super-short-print them.

Comments

In wish I had that Bevacqua card.
capewood said…
Of course there is the Bo card where he is shirtless wearing football pads and holding a bat
Fuji said…
The Bevacqua will always be one of my personal favorites... single card subset or not. Riding out the same quake that shook Candlestick, the Lights Out card is also pretty special.
Ryan G said…
From year to year, base Score sets were consistently uninteresting. As you mention, the subsets of the early 1990s were quite amazing. I think Score perfected the art of a subset - unique photography, unique subjects, and unique designs from the base cards. Today's Topps sets don't have much along the lines of subsets. Checklists and All-Star cards use the same design except for some small notations. And what were once subsets are now insert cards...

Popular posts from this blog

The pop culture tax

This isn't really a complaint, just something interesting that I've been noticing.

I'm working on wrapping up a couple of '70s-centric sets right now, getting down to those last 10-20-30 cards, and the usual candidates are being evasive.

I wish I could pick up all the stars early in my set-building quests so the end of the build isn't quite so painful but it never ends up that way. The best of the best usually take the most effort. But I expect that.

What always surprises me is some of the other players that end up being the final few.

Take, for instance, the 1977 Kellogg's set that I'm now trying to complete. I picked up three more cards from that set from Sportlots. The Jose "Cheo" Cruz card was one of them.



The other two were Dodgers, already in my Dodger binders but that doesn't help me complete the set now, does it?

I would've liked to add more with this most recent order but most of the other wants simply weren't available. Here…

Binder, top loader or box?

I want to address two different card package arrivals that don't have much in common other than that one thing that every arriving card package has in common, which is:

How will I store these?

It comes down to three ways: binder, top loader or box.

These means of packaging, storing and presenting are not the same. Ideally, every last card in my collection would be living in a binder. That's my favorite storage method. They're accessible. The cards are presented nicely within. They're very good for categorizing and we card collectors sure do love to categorize. They look good visually when entering the room and when opening the binder.

But I don't have the room for a binder for every card. I can't even process what they would look like. Some edition of "Hoarders," I'm sure.

So the cards that are not deemed "worthy" of a binder -- and, yes, I hate that we're prioritizing like this -- go in a box.

Boxes are for sets that I'm not co…

Yaz, Doc and that other guy

I am not a dedicated player collector because it doesn't fit into how I view baseball and how my collection reflects the history of baseball. Set collecting and team collecting, I believe, do a better job of telling you what's going on in the sport in any given year. And that's important to me.

During my less kind moments, I consider player collecting "stalker-ish," but I do see the value in gathering cards of specific players. I do it myself, but it's a low-key pursuit. There is no drive behind it and no real goals.

The fact is, I do admire certain players instinctively or subconsciously, players who never played for my favorite team.

So, when Jeff of Wax Pack Wonders offered one of his latest giveaways, presented in a very player-collector friendly format, I actually took part, and I didn't pick exclusively Dodgers either.

(Confession time: I didn't pick exclusively Dodgers because my Dodgers collection is a bit, shall we say, "advanced" a…