Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Gems of Junk Wax, Pt. 2: 1994 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes

It's hard to say exactly when the "junk wax" era of baseball cards ended, but I'll put it at 1994 because I really want to show off this set.

The design of this set is my personal favorite from the junk wax era. The Johnny Vander Meer card shown above is from the "Off the Wire" subset. This card commemorates Vander Meer's second consecutive no-hitter (which was also the first night game played at Ebbets Field), and is one of the best panoramic photos to ever be displayed on a baseball card.

As with the Conlon Collection series, All-Time Heroes also has some big names from the past. Unlike Conlon Collection, it includes many subjects from beyond the 1940's, including Hank Aaron (as shown above).

The photography in this set is one of its best features. Also, how many cards have Rico Carty and Manny Sanguillen had in the past twenty-five years?

The "Diamond Legends" cards shown above are another of the subsets that compose the 225-card base set. The action shots shown side-by-side with the portraits make them stand out.

The two cards shown above are two of my personal favorites from the set. It sometimes gets lost to history that Ted Williams did once make a pitching appearance in his career in 1940. Hack Wilson is a blast-from-the-past player who I'd like to see more cards of. In-action photos from the past are always neat, and the Wilson is no exception.

I enjoy many of these sets such as Conlon Collection and All-Time Heroes because they feature many players from the past who are somewhat forgotten in today's world. Topps does include many past greats in their current sets, but they're almost always guys like Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, etc.

And while I love seeing cards of those guys, I'd like to see more cards of players like Hack Wilson, Johnny Vander Meer, and even Rico Carty. Please, Topps?


moremonkeys138 said...

I'm with you on this subject. I'm big into sets like these, the Conlon Collection, the couple of sets Upper Deck did devoted to retired players in the early 2000s. I haven't picked up this set yet but I really want to at some point soon. The Ted Williams set was another good example of retired and sometimes more obscure players.

Nick said...

Yep, 100% agree. I've actually been planning on doing a post like this of the Ted Williams cards in the near future.