Saturday, February 21, 2009

1994 Studio

I'm a big fan of the Studio "franchise." I get what they were trying to do and more often than not they were a nice issue. But this is one of those "not" times, and not because these are bad looking cards. It's more to do with the way they went about it once they came up with the concept. 

I like the "locker room" concept. It's a fresh idea. But it was all down hill from there. The first glaring mistake is the jersey hanging on the wall. Any half-assed fan can tell that those aren't Tigers jerseys hanging up there. There's no name on the back for one. Second, the numbers on the jerseys are huge, and in no way resemble the numbers on the real jerseys. I could live with that though, if it wasn't for the other glaring noticeable mistake.

They used the same locker for every picture. Every card shows a picture of a locker in the corner of the room. It's easy to identify by the shadows on the right side of the card. A closer look at the left of the card shows that there is no locker on that side either. But when you really look at the card close, it looks like the "locker" is actually one of those cheap pieces of Sauder furniture, that any bachelor can easily identify. You know what I'm talking about. The thing that comes unassembled in a box, with four pieces of wood and eight screws, yet takes three hours and several expletives to assemble, and there is always one screw left over. Yeah, those.....

The 1994 Studio Detroit Tigers:
189 Eric Davis
190 Cecil Fielder
191 Travis Fryman
192 Tony Phillips
193 Mickey Tettleton
194 Alan Trammell
195 Lou Whitaker

1994 Leaf Limited

If I was in the mood for bitching, this is one of those sets I would bitch about. Five Tigers cards in the whole set, foil printing ON TOP of more foil, and just a putrid design. These look like something I'd get from the Bellagio. These are awful. 

Did I mention that they FOIL PRINTED ON TOP OF FOIL? I had to blast the shit out of this scan to even show any sort of contrast. The dark area is all silver foil. The white area is some sort of silverish rainbow foil. The first time I scanned this card all you could see was Trammell, that's how much foil is on here.

The 1994 Leaf Limited Detroit Tigers:
31 Cecil Fielder
32 Travis Fryman
33 Mickey Tettleton
34 Alan Trammell
35 Lou Whitaker

There was also a Leaf Limited Rookies set, but I can't recall if they were insert cards, or their own set. I'm not really all that curious about it though. 

12R Danny Bautista
35R Chris Gomez

1994 Leaf

The folks at Donruss/Leaf mailed it in with these. The marble background was played out by '94. There is not much more going on with these than there was the year before. You know the drill, if I'm not convinced they put much effort into something, neither will I...

The 1994 Leaf Detroit Tigers:
5 Chad Kreuter
39 David Wells
50 Cecil Fielder
80 Lou Whitaker
120 Alan Trammell
147 Bill Gullickson
160 Tony Phillips
183 Mike Henneman
197 Mike Moore
202 Scott Livingstone
232 Tim Belcher
256 Eric Davis
279 Mickey Tettleton
342 Kirk Gibson
371 John Doherty
405 Travis Fryman

There were also your typical handful of Cecil Fielder inserts, with a Danny Bautista thrown in for giggles.

Clean Up Crew
5 Cecil Fielder

Gold Rookies
7 Danny Bautista

MVP Contenders
A6 Cecil Fielder

Power Brokers
7 Cecil Fielder

1994 Triple Play

Another year of Triple Play, another nicely done set. It's funny that I didn't care much for these cheap issues back when, but now I would love to see a cheap set like this that was given its own great looking design instead of the refurbished look of Topps Opening Day and Upper Deck First Edition year after year.

The gigantic player name, use of the team logo, and prominent use of team colors all score high marks from me. That's also a cool masking effect with the player name. As someone who has spent a career in desktop publishing/printing, it's fun to notice something like that being done for the first time. But as I've noticed, Triple Play was always about fun.

The 1994 Donruss Triple Play Detroit Tigers:
241 Eric Davis
242 John Doherty
243 Cecil Fielder
244 Travis Fryman
245 Bill Gullickson
246 Mike Henneman
247 Tony Phillips
248 Mickey Tettleton
249 Alan Trammell
250 Lou Whitaker


Bomb Squad
2 Cecil Fielder

1 Mickey Tettleton
5 Lou Whitaker
7 Alan Trammell
9 Travis Fryman

1 Cecil Fielder

1994 Donruss

For reasons unknown to me, I have been stuck for over two weeks now trying to come up with something to say about these, but I am at a loss. This is a great looking set. There is nothing about the design that I have any major qualms with. I have nothing to work with here. About the only thing I noticed is that the team logo changes from the old circle logo in Series 1 to the current tiger jumping through the D logo in Series 2. 

In the spring of '94 one of my friends and I would take our morning break at work by walking across the street to Mapco to get a fountain drink and a pack of cards. I would get a pack of Fleer and he would get a pack of these. I'd give him any Cardinals I got, and he returned the favor with Tigers. 

That's pretty much all I've got. 

The 1994 Donruss Detroit Tigers:
27 Cecil Fielder
44 Mickey Tettleton
78 John Doherty 
108 Kirk Gibson
138 Dan Gladden
167 Greg Gohr
195 Bill Gullickson
224 Chad Kreuter
252 Bill Krueger
280 Alan Trammell
307 David Wells
360 Lou Whitaker
378 Travis Fryman
415 Bob MacDonald
442 Danny Bautista
445 Tony Phillips
475 Milt Cuyler
496 Mike Henneman
554 Mike Moore
597 Scott Livingstone
618 Eric Davis
628 Chris Gomez
637 Buddy Groom
645 Rich Rowland

There was a lousy parallel/insert set called Special Edition that looked like the regular cards, except every element other than the photo was covered up with some sort of foil stamping. Not surprisingly, I don't own one of these.

27 Cecil Fielder
44 Mickey Tettleton
80 Lou Whitaker
98 Travis Fryman

Other inserts included:

Diamond Kings
22 Cecil Fielder

1 Cecil Fielder

Long Ball Leaders
1 Cecil Fielder

20 Cecil Fielder

It's a shame there were so few Cecil Fielder insert cards in this set.....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

1994 Fleer Flair

The readers have spoken and they liked the Ultra format so much that they have asked me to come up for a similar concept so that they don't have to hear me bag on Flair also. So I put the iTunes on random, and from now on you'll get the three songs that it takes me to do a Flair entry.

The Replacements - Shooting Dirty Pool
The Men - Church Of Logic Sin and Love
Heart - All Eyes

The 1994 Fleer Flair Detroit Tigers:
46 Eric Davis
47 John Doherty
48 Junior Felix
49 Cecil Fielder
50 Kirk Gibson
51 Mike Moore
52 Tony Phillips
53 Alan Trammell
291 Danny Bautista
292 Travis Fryman
293 Greg Gohr
294 Chris Gomez
295 Mickey Tettleton
296 Lou Whitaker

There were no inserts of Tigers. But that won't stop me from the bonus song.

Prefab Sprout - Jesse James Symphony

Thanks readers, I really love this format......but I'm going to need a lot more suggestions for formats once I get to Score cards......perhaps a review of the last movie I've seen, or maybe what I had for lunch that day. I'm wide open, and I've still got a few Donruss sets to go until I get there......

1994 Fleer Ultra

It's such a shame that Fleer followed up an all-time great set with this crap. In fact, Ultra would never again come close to the great looking sets they issued in '92 & '93. So in the Stadium Club tradition, and so I don't have to bag on these for the next 10+ years, I will start a new Fleer Ultra format and instead list the 5 best songs I heard today, in no particular order....

World Party - Take It Up
10,000 Maniacs - Cherry Tree
Bob Dylan - Buckets of Rain
Camera Obscura - Dory Previn
The Rolling Stones - Far Away Eyes

The 1994 Fleer Ultra Detroit Tigers:
51 John Doherty
52 Cecil Fielder
53 Travis Fryman
54 Chris Gomez
55 Mike Henneman
56 Chad Kreuter
57 Bob MacDonald
58 Mike Moore
59 Tony Phillips
60 Lou Whitaker
352 Danny Bautista
353 Tim Belcher
354 Eric Davis
355 Rick Greene
356 Mickey Tettleton
357 Alan Trammell
358 David Wells

A bonus song since there are insert cards.

The Church - Reptile

Rising Stars
5 Travis Fryman

RBI Kings
5 Cecil Fielder

I love the new format myself......

1994 Fleer

Drum roll please......

This is undoubtedly my favorite card set of the 90's. With the exception of the foil lettering, these are almost perfect. White borders, full frame pictures, nice unobtrusive team logo, and even the lettering style looks great wrapped around the logo. The beauty really is in the simplicity. 

I remember collecting this set like a mad man in 1994. Back when inserts were still in vogue, this was the first major set that gave you a real insert in each pack. (By my rough count, there were 217 total. Far too many, but nowhere near as bloated as a current Topps base issue...) 

I was something like 5 cards short of a base set when a couple of years later I found a card store selling unopened wax boxes of these for $6. I bought all three of them, finished my set, and probably have close to three quarters of the inserts.

And in all honesty this was probably the last set I collected that I enjoyed doing so. Hard to believe it's been 15 years now.  

The 1994 Fleer Detroit Tigers:
124 Skeeter Barnes
125 Milt Cuyler
126 Eric Davis
127 John Doherty
128 Cecil Fielder
129 Travis Fryman
130 Kirk Gibson
131 Dan Gladden
132 Greg Gohr
133 Chris Gomez
134 Bill Gullickson
135 Mike Henneman
136 Kurt Knudsen
137 Chad Kreuter
138 Bill Krueger
139 Scott Livingstone
140 Bob MacDonald
141 Mike Moore
142 Tony Phillips
143 Mickey Tettleton
144 Alan Trammell
145 David Wells
146 Lou Whitaker
709 Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker Super Star Special

For a set that had 217 insert cards, they sure didn't bother much with the Tigers. I only count 4, but they are great looking as well. Fleer really knocked it out of the park with the inserts too.

All Stars
7 Cecil Fielder
8 Travis Fryman

Major League Prospects
5 Danny Bautista

Team Leaders
6 Cecil Fielder

There is even something special about the Update set, which used the new logo that is still in use today. (I know a lot of Tigers fans who don't care for it, but I don't mind it so much.) I never noticed before now though that Danny Bautista had an insert card in the base set, but no base card, and then a card in the Update set. Interesting.

39U Danny Bautista
40U Tim Belcher
41U Joe Boever
42U Storm Davis
43U Junior Felix
44U Mike Gardiner
45U Buddy Groom
46U Juan Samuel

Whew, is that one tough list to look at. Not hard at all to see how the Tigers would have a losing record for the first of the next twelve seasons to come.....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Like a Virgin..... for the very first time.  I received the cards from my first ever internet trade tonight and boy I can't wait to do it again! I was a little hesitant at first, but I was told that it wouldn't hurt and that I didn't have to do anything I didn't want to. And just like that it was over before I knew it and I was ready to do it again!

Seriously though, kudos to Adam over at Thought And Sox. (another Red Sox fan...I know....but apparently one of the cool ones......)

He sent me a nice collection of Tigers from 1997-2008, with my two favorites posted here. My Tigers collection is pretty sketchy from 1999-2005, and a good 80% of what I received fell in those years, so I will be able to fill in a lot of holes. 

I've never even seen those Bowman Heritage cards before (fantastic card) and I love the RC of Deivi Cruz, affectionately know as Pork Chop over at the Tigers Forum.