Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Gems of Junk Wax, Pt. 39: 1989 Score #277 Graig Nettles

I've only witnessed four major brands during my time in this hobby.

Topps, Upper Deck, Fleer, and Donruss.

Score left the hobby just before I entered it. If they could've lasted a couple more years, I think I would've rather liked their sets as a kid.

I've always been a fan of inexpensive sets with large base checklists, like Topps Total. Score's final offering in '98 had 517-card base set. Although I'm not sure what the SRP of the packs were, I can't imagine they were that much.

I believe a cheap, large base set like Score's is the main thing that's missing from today's hobby. Sure, it's not something that everyone would buy, especially considering the recent "book value" craze. But I think there's enough collectors like myself out there who would really enjoy a set like that.

A set that actually features middle relievers and bench players who get ignored most of the time.

Topps flaghip is a set that I have always and will always love, but there are still some major gaps in terms of the players that are represented within the checklist.

Best to my knowledge, there weren't many "filler" base cards in a Score set. Most players only had one, maybe two cards within each one. Unlike the dozen cards that Derek Jeter seems to be featured on in today's industry.

Because of this, Score was able to free up some checklist space for a few under-the-radar players. Graig Nettles is a good example.

Much like Steve Garvey, Score was the only company who produced a card of his during his final year in the bigs.

In 1988, Nettles hit just .172 in 80 games during his lone season with the Expos, a team that wasn't even around when he started his career all the way back in 1967 as a Minnesota Twin.

Yet despite his underwhelming numbers, Nettles still had a card produced of him as an Expo.

For that, my collection is a proud supporter of Score or any brand like it.


hiflew said...

1988 was probably the peak of my interest in cards as a kid, so I think a lot more of Score than most collectors. I absolutely loved Score. 1989 wasn't my favorite set, but compared to the rest of the 1989 offering (including UD I'm not a fan) it's pretty good.

Mark Kaz said...

Great, great post sir! I completely agree that there enough set collectors out there to throw their support behind a 700+ card base set with minimal filler (does Topps really need to make an additional card for a player who has the Rookie Cup?? I mean, the backs of both cards are exactly the same for goodness sakes!). Not sure why Topps did away with their Total product -- it appealed to set collectors as well as the younger crowd that has less to spend per pack.

Mark Kaz said...

And, by the way, the '89 Score set rocks!