Thursday, June 1, 2017

Brighter than the sun

Some of you won't see this post for awhile because you're watching Game 1 of the NBA Finals. I don't watch the NBA unless I have to (i.e.: work), so I have the luxury of being able to blog while abnormally tall people drop a basketball into a hoop.

Because I'm somewhat unaware of the NBA, it slipped past me that both finalists enjoy wearing yellow in their uniforms. It was brought to my attention by UniWatch's Paul Lukas, who wrote a column for ESPN earlier today on how much yellow there is in the finals of both the NBA and the NHL.

I happened to notice it while watching Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday. "Wow!" I thought, half cringing. "That's really too much yellow."

Yellow just doesn't work for me. I like it in certain situations. Women in sun dresses, as a fast-food beacon, helping me find the mustard bottle, stuff like that. Heck, even my favorite baseball card of all-time is significantly yellow. But the color is best used as an accent or one of many color choices, not as an overwhelming and overbearing entity unto itself.

Because, let's face it, yellow is too damn bright.

That's why you don't see it as the focus of a card set very often. You do see it a lot as an accent, stuff like 1990 Score or 1982 Donruss. And you see it a lot on food-issues, because there are studies out there that say yellow appeals to people who are hungry.

But as the No. 1 color for a set? It doesn't happen much. For reasons. Good reasons.

However, I was able to track down 10 of the most yellow card sets ever made and I'm going to count them down in honor of the sunshine party going on in the NBA and NHL.

I'm sure everyone knows what set will be at the No. 1 position. But in this case it's good to have a little advance knowledge. It will give you time to find your sunglasses.

Start squinting:

10. 2004 Donruss Diamond Kings

Some wouldn't call this "yellow." But I'm not sure what it is if it's not yellow. Tan, perhaps? It looks more yellowish than it does greenish or blueish. So, yellow it is. The most unassuming, nonthreatening kind of yellow.

9. 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes

I've always found this set unappealing. It elicits warm fuzzies in those who remember the Upper Deck Heroes cards from the early '90s, but all I see is yellow paper that's been crinkled up and then flattened again. There's a reason that there are color parallels with this set and they're all more appealing than this.

8. 2002 Topps

In Paul Lukas' column he mentions that "gold" is just a more macho version of "yellow." I've never thought about it that way. But if the Boston Bruins' uniforms are "yellow," then 2002 Topps is yellow. Personally, when I stare at a bunch of 2002 Topps like this, I want a butterscotch sundae. And that's not a bad thing.

7. 1990 Classic, Series 3

I'm cheating a little bit because this is only one-third of the set. The first two series are blue and pink, respectively. But, come on, there wasn't a lot out there. And look how yellow that is! Gracious. This would set off one of those airport scanners.

6. 1958 Topps

Yeah, yeah, I know. The 1958 Topps set is many different colors, not just yellow. TRY TELLING THAT TO A DODGER FAN! EVERY DAMN CARD! EVERY. DAMN. CARD.

5. 1981 Fleer

Fleer was my first introduction to a large card set that wasn't Topps. I'm pretty sure my first reaction to the cards was "what's with all the yellow?" Even the backs are yellow-themed. It's a little unfair that I chose a Brewers page because not all the team borders are yellow.

4. 1991 Swell

I give food issue sets a pass on yellow just because of what they're selling. But, my goodness, I think this is abusing your pass privileges, young man.

3. 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes

This is easily my favorite yellow set. I haven't fully figured why the yellow doesn't bother me. Perhaps because it's muted a bit with the other bright colors on the cards? Just don't show me this set with a different colored background because I will then instantly wish Hometown Heroes was that color.

2. 1981 Kellogg's

In 1978, Kellogg's 3-D cards went big on yellow with yellow banners. But the cards were smaller and the color wasn't all over the card. Then, in 1981, for Kellogg's first full-size cards since 1973, they decided to announce it REALLY, REALLY LOUDLY IN YELLOW! I adore Kellogg's cards, but I do wish '81 took it down a notch.

1. 1991 Fleer

If you are not on Twitter, you would be stunned by how often 1991 Fleer comes up. It's almost a daily conversation. Mostly because people need an inanimate object to abuse and '91 Fleer is an easy target. I will never understand what made Fleer decide to make every card border bright yellow. It baffles me more than what Fleer did in 1995.

You may now remove your sunglasses.

Unless you're watching the NBA or NHL finals, of course.

I can only imagine what will happen if the A's play the Pirates in the World Series.


  1. Ahh 1991 Fleer.. How I enjoy your mustard colour.

  2. It's funny, when I was younger, I didn't care about yellow at all. It's a color that was just "there". Now, though, it's my second favorite color, after green. No idea what caused the change, either, it just kind of happened.

  3. Hmmm... Topps was based out of Brooklyn in the 1950's. What other organization was based in Brooklyn until just before those ceaselessly yellow Dodgers cards were issued?


  4. There's no explaining the '58 yellow Dodgers thing. Shlabotnik may have a point. But in any case it's just darn odd that only one team got that 'one color' treatment.

    I'm not watching the NBA Finals either but I did try to watch a Nashville hockey game. Those yellow sweaters would look a whole lot better if they didn't pair them with yellow helmets. Really unwatchable for me and I love hockey.

  5. Ihave no issue with yellow, and generous amounts of it. I like it in the background on the 58 Topps and the Hometown Heroes in particular. Then again, my main thing these days is getting autographed cards and I'm biased there because blue sharpie against a yellow background pops nicely. I much prefer that to a card with an all-dark background as a result (I'm thinking 1975 George Mitterwald dark). Of course, some people consider an autograph on a card to be a defacing element. To each our own!

  6. I love everything about the 1991 Fleer set and consider it a classic. I have no understanding of the scorn it receives. From the ASG combo cards, to the Pro-Visions debut, on down to the stickers, what's not to love? I guess some people really love Flair and Studio, and others love classic non-gloss sets with iconic designs.

    Paul Lukas is the only person to ever block me on twitter, after I gripped that an article he linked to on the Houston Chronicle required a subscription. As someone who subscribes to 3 daily news papers and a half-dozen magazines, I'm doing my part to keep print alive and feel I have license to complain (not a point I was able to make as I was blocked after one rather innocuous. Mr. Lukas (who I like) disagreed apparently. Which stinks, because I love uni-watch.

  7. Knew instantly that 1991 Fleer would be #1. I don't think it's that bad, really. I'll probably build a set of it in the next few years. Will probably take me less than a week.

    2002 Topps is rust orange caramel, not yellow. There are some teams in 1990 Fleer (Royals, Astros, etc.) that are framed in yellow (thought darker than I expected.) The Heroes yellows are only one of about 342 colors those come in....

    Predators are definitely distinctive, but I like them much better than "the Black Team"

    1. I've been working on 1991 Fleer off and on for the better part of a decade.. lol

  8. I don't mind all they yellow. GCA said I knew 1991 Fleer would be Numero Uno. All this yellow talk reminds me of Taxi cabs and this:

  9. i want a hot dog with mustard, and a banana. thanks. i don't think they mix well. The Swell sets are some of my favorites. They are just what they claim to be - SWELL!

  10. 1991 Fleer and 1990 Donruss are the worst 2 sets from the 1981-1991 (Multi Company - pre high end card stock) era. It is interesting that you selected the Zane Smith card as it was not representative of the player photo. Most players were full bodied and looked very small. If the photos were all like Smith - this would have been a much better looking set.