Sunday, July 10, 2016

C.A.: 1990 Kmart Superstars Jeff Ballard

(There are only about eight or so Cardboard Appreciations until we start voting for a new entrant into the Cardboard Appreciation Hall of Fame. It's been three years since any card has been voted in! You may see a few more C.A.'s so we can get to voting. Time for another one. This is the 242nd in a series):

Have you ever attempted to complete a set through only repack purchases?

Neither have I. But I'll bet it can be done.

I think so because I'm just a few cards off from completing the 1990 Kmart Superstars set, even though I have never purchased, traded for, nor been gifted, a card from the set, outside of the lone Dodger, Jay Howell, of which I've received many times.

Every card I own from that set has come from a repack. And that makes me suspect that the boxed set issued in Kmart stores with a piece of gum in 1990 might be the most ubiquitous boxed set ever made.

How else do you explain this?

That is 26 cards from the 33-card set.

The only cards I'm missing are:

Will Clark
Ryne Sandberg
Tony Gywnn
Kevin Mitchell
Sid Fernandez
Jose Canseco
Fred McGriff

I've actually come even closer to completing the set because I know I've traded away the Canseco, Gwynn and Sandberg (there are about 700 collectors of each player who have a blog). And I know I've traded away the Will Clark because I attempt to trade away every Will Clark card that is not part of a set completion task.

But how was I to know I was completing the 1990 Kmart set? It was never an established goal. The repack gods made it a goal without my knowledge.

The set is OK for what it is. Glossy cards. Semi-attractive design. The photos aren't great, and it's not my favorite era of baseball players.

Also, the set suffers from the same problem as a more desirable oddball set from an earlier time, the Kellogg's 3-D cards. Like the Kmart issue, Kellogg's plastered "Superstar" on each card. But not every player in the set is a "Superstar." Kellogg had Mario Guerrero and Dan Meyer. Kmart had Jeff Ballard.

But Ballard enjoyed that one standout season in 1989 when he went 18-8 and because of it, he's forever immortalized in what might be the only set I'll ever complete through repack purchases.

It's going to have to be that way because I'm not interested enough to go online and buy the entire set for $1.50.


  1. Look at Mark McGwire -- his head is still human sized there!

  2. If someone ever comes up with repacks that consisted exclusively of 1970s Topps and Oddball Baseball Cards, you'd be trouble.

  3. I've completed a couple of the 1980's "Rack Pack" All-Star glossy sets through repacks... Granted, I had a head start through 1980's era rack packs, but I wouldn't be surprised if I got extras of those cards as well.

  4. I like how Pedro Guerrero and Glenn Davis are listed as DH/PH.