Friday, April 27, 2018

Joy of a team set, chapter 13

I mentioned once before that 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the 1993 Upper Deck set, what I consider UD's crowning achievement.

I think there should be several online tributes to this set this year but so far I seem to be the only one. Sometimes the hobby doesn't do a great job of recognizing the past even when it's all about the past. It probably doesn't help that Upper Deck can't do anything about its baseball anniversaries because it screwed itself out of a license a decade or so ago.

But that doesn't diminish what UD did in 1993, which was issue a mammoth 840-card set filled with captivating photography and fun-filled inserts, most of which were contained within one of the best designs UD ever produced.

I thought it would be appropriate to recognize that set again (it probably won't be the last tribute to '93 UD I do this year) with a Joy of a Team Set post.

And what better way to remember the set than to display all of the Blue Jays cards from that set?

As you no doubt remember, the Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993 to claim back-to-back championships. The guys north of the border were well-known to all baseball fans at the time. It was kind of an unusual scenario as Toronto is often an afterthought to U.S. fans most years.

Let see what the Jays were all about in '93:

Favorite card runners-up: 5. Randy Knorr; 4. Roberto Alomar (base); 3: Kelly Gruber; 2: Dave Stewart

Favorite element on the back:

Well, if it's Upper Deck, it's gotta be about the picture. Roberto Alomar was rather odd, and nothing underlined that quite like his obsession with socks doubling as headbands.

Famous error card: Upper Deck wasn't Fleer. It managed to breeze through the 1993 set with very few mistakes.

Team's claim to fame: The Blue Jays of 1992-93 were the first back-to-back World Series champions since the 1977-78 Yankees. The '93 Jays were also the last World Series champions until October of 1995.

Players I've talked to: zip.

Most interesting card:

I could choose several because that's what Upper Deck did -- made photos interesting -- but this Kelly Gruber card has always fascinated me. What is Gruber doing there between Borders and Morris? Is he signifying the outs? Is he telling the ump "one more minute?" Is he about to kick someone's ass? Whatever is happening, his teammates are quite interested.

Former or future Dodgers: Dick Schofield, Dave Stewart and Devon White. Juan Guzman started in the Dodgers organization but was traded while in Class A ball back in 1987 for Mike Sharperson.

A card that isn't really a Blue Jays card that is a Blue Jays card:

This checklist card for the Teammates subset weirdly features two players on different teams. But one of them is a Blue Jay so I'm assuming most Blue Jays team collectors would add this to their collection.

Favorite card in the set:

#346 - Devon White

My gosh, I love this card. How often do you know when a photo was taken down to the exact minute?

Plus I'm thrilled that decal day is July 1st while also being repelled by the idea of being given Yankees decals. I also enjoy the player strolling the outfield in the distance, the old-school MSG logo, the days when Maxell cassettes were relevant and the hidden Marlboro ad.

Thanks for joining me in Joy of a Team Set!


  1. Nice look!
    I'd collect that Carter/McGwire.
    I think one of my favourite Jays photos here is Manny Lee.

  2. I was just 9 when the Jays won their second World Series title - it was Blue Jays crazy up here in Canada. The Montreal Canadiens also won the Stanley Cup that year so we were kind of livin' it up in Canada. I guess it sparked some bad mojo because a Canadian team has won neither championship since!

    '93 was the last year that I was half-ass into baseball; because of the huge success of the Jays between 91-93, it was fun to follow and twas something of school yard banter. I still know most of the players who won those World Series titles and I could never forget watching Joe Carter hitting that walk-off home run to win it all.

  3. Saw the Blue Jays card on my timeline, thought that it would be a precursor to something Dodger related from '93 Upper Deck. Keep reading, rubbing my eyes to make sure that the post was all Blue Jays, and it was!

    Personally, the Carlos Delgado multi-bat/bat rack card is my favorite. One of his early cards that doesn't feature him in catcher's gear.

    1. Yeah, really something like this would be more common on blogs like yours or mine lol

  4. This set is ouch to me. The Jays won the WS in 1992 against my Braves. Yuck Phooey. LOL.

  5. -Devon White one of the best....You can still find some 1993 UD wax boxes, but if they have gotten hot over the years the cards stick together....same with Stadium Club boxes of the same era.....

  6. There are so many great looking cards in this team set alone. Derek Bell. John Olerud. David Cone. Manuel Lee. Joe Carter. Pat Borders. Definitely says something about this iconic set.

  7. This is a fantastic set, the design and photography are top-notch. I've been looking for 1993 UD baseball and football boxes at a decent price, but haven't gotten around to grabbing one (and the Jeter RC bumps up the price)

    More posts like this please! I wouldn't mind reading one for every MLB team.