Sunday, May 10, 2009

1995 Leaf

This is a sweet looking set. The rainbow foil comes off the card really well. This might well be the best looking Leaf set to date. I can't say anything good about the foil stamped player name at the bottom, so I won't.

The 1995 Leaf Detroit Tigers:
9 John Doherty
35 Chris Gomez
63 Cecil Fielder
78 Kirk Gibson
113 Jose Lima
139 Greg Gohr
178 Lou Whitaker
207 Travis Fryman
224 Alan Trammell
248 Danny Bautista
254 Sean Bergman
278 Mike Moore
297 Chad Curtis

I only have one insert and it's fabulous. The best part is that the scan is about a million times better looking than the actual card. In real life, the border is a silverish looking color. But the scanned version actually makes it look like a 3D rainbow orange tiger skinish sort of thing, which totally rocks! Seriously, the card I'm holding in my hand looks nothing like the one pictured.

2 Fryman/Fielder

1995 Studio

One cool thing about Studio is that they were always trying to do something not seen on cards before. These are no exception. Yeah, they're a little bit schlocky, but as a one-time issue I like 'em. The credit card motif works and lends itself well to the info on the front of the card like the debut year and birthday. 

The 1995 Studio Detroit Tigers:
27 Travis Fryman
45 Cecil Fielder
53 Chris Gomez
70 Chad Curtis
80 Lou Whitaker
98 Alan Trammell
191 John Doherty

This is one of the few cases where the parallels turned out better than base set. Technically, they are not parallels, since they didn't do this for every player, but trust me, they're parallels.
The Gold and Platinum series were a no-brainer for something credit card related. I like the rounded corners and the gold foil hologram pops a lot more than the silver base set cards. Personally I would have like to seen an insert set along the lines of Past Due or Credit Declined, but that's just me speaking from personal experience.....

27 Travis Fryman
45 Cecil Fielder

As Platinum cards typically designate something exclusive and hard to get, it should come as no shock that there were no Tigers in the Platinum set. (FTR is looks like about half the teams didn't land a single player in the Platinum set.)

1995 Donruss

I would be tempted to rank this as one of the best looking sets Donruss ever made. It could be right up there with '83, '84, and '93. It's got the great looking picture-in-picture similar to '83 Topps, except with an outstanding home plate frame bordered in team colors. But I can't do it, and regular readers will know exactly why. 

The silver foil absolutely ruins these cards. Making it even worse, the debossing of the team and player names makes them virtually unreadable. It's not hard to imagine how much better these cards would look if the ribbon was dark blue, with the team and player names reversed out in orange. Or vice versa. Instead it's all to easy to see how they add nothing to a fantastic design. What a shame.

The 1995 Donruss Detroit Tigers:
45 Lou Whitaker
82 Travis Fryman
109 Cecil Fielder
137 Jose Lima
154 Mike Moore
172 Chris Gomez
219 Chad Kreuter
249 Danny Bautista
257 Kirk Gibson
274 Milt Cuyler
309 Junior Felix
312 John Doherty
339 Tim Belcher
362 Joe Boever
407 Tony Phillips
434 Bill Gullickson
465 David Wells
502 Alan Trammell
506 Juan Samuel
537 Mickey Tettleton

Donruss issued a parallel called Press Proof, that looked just like the regular cards, except they were gold foil instead of silver, and had the words PRESS PROOF written across the top of the card. They did not look any better. 

1995 Fleer Emotion

One of the unsung joys I have received from blogging about Tigers cards is getting to see cards and sets that I completely forgot existed. For me, collecting from the mid-90's to the mid-00's usually meant going to a card store or two (when they were still around...) and sorting through common bins for an hour or two. I'd get home; crack open a beer; sort them all into the appropriate year, make, and model; file them away in plastic pages; and promptly forget about them.

This is one of those sets. I don't remember anything about these. Being a mid-90's set of course the front is all cluttered up with unreadable foil stamping, but the ghosted orange background really adds a nice original look to the set. I admit that the big lettered "emotion" printed makes checking them all out pretty good for a laugh. I've listed each "emotion" with the corresponding card. Enjoy. 

The 1995 Fleer Emotion Detroit Tigers:
41 Chad Curtis - MOVING
42 Cecil Fielder - MIGHTY
43 Travis Fryman - COMPOSED
44 Kirk Gibson - DELIGHTED
45 Bob Higginson - LEARNING
46 Alan Trammell - STEADY
47 Lou Whitaker - SAFE

See? Though ARE funny! And funny is an emotion! Get it?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

1995 Fleer Flair

Not much going on here that's different from the other Flair issues, except they turned them on their sides. Here goes.

The Beatles - Here Comes The Sun
Van Halen - I'll Wait
Prefab Sprout - Cruel

The 1995 Fleer Flair Detroit Tigers:
37 John Doherty
38 Cecil Fielder
39 Travis Fryman
40 Chris Gomez
41 Tony Phillips
42 Lou Whitaker
255 Chad Curtis
256 Kirk Gibson
257 Mike Henneman
258 Bob Higginson
259 Felipe Lira
260 Rudy Pemberton
261 Alan Trammell

1995 Fleer Ultra

Quite possibly the least amount of effort ever put into a card design. 

You know what that means around here. Unfortunately I didn't listen to five songs today. Not much effort on my part either.

The 1995 Fleer Ultra Detroit Tigers:
44 Danny Bautista
45 Junior Felix
46 Cecil Fielder
47 Chris Gomez
48 Chad Kreuter
49 Mike Moore
50 Tony Phillips
51 Alan Trammell
52 David Wells
284 John Doherty
285 Travis Fryman
286 Kirk Gibson
287 Lou Whitaker

I only have one insert and it's a doozy. Nothing says cutting edge like a close up of a cleat or a batting glove. The background of this card reminds me of those little puzzles you could get at Stuckey's when I was a kid. You know, the one with 15 squares and one empty hole and you had to slide them around to end up making a picture of a map of the U.S. or some sort of wild animal? Yeah, those....

2 Chris Gomez

1995 Fleer

One year after issuing one of the best looking sets of all time, Fleer gave the world this mess. This was the year they gave all the teams in each division a similar design. The funniest part about this is that the design of the A.L. East teams was probably the best of the bunch. (Yeah, we were once in that division...)

The 1995 Fleer Detroit Tigers:
44 Danny Bautista
45 Joe Boever
46 Milt Cuyler
47 Storm Davis
48 John Doherty
49 Junior Felix
50 Cecil Fielder
51 Travis Fryman
52 Mike Gardiner
53 Kirk Gibson
54 Chris Gomez
55 Buddy Groom
56 Mike Henneman
57 Chad Kreuter
58 Mike Moore
59 Tony Phillips
60 Juan Samuel
61 Mickey Tettleton
62 Alan Trammell
63 David Wells
64 Lou Whitaker

I've only got one insert card, and it's not bad looking. I like cards that incorporate newspaper themes. But would it have been that much trouble to maybe throw a Tigers headline or box score back there, instead of a Braves-Giants box?

9 Cecil Fielder

The Tigers were well represented in the Update set. Unfortunately they were well represented by mediocre to poor players. (Bob Higginson notwithstanding)

17 Sean Bergman
18 Chad Curtis
19 John Flaherty
20 Bob Higginson
21 Felipe Lira
22 Shannon Penn
23 Todd Steverson
24 Sean Whiteside

Monday, May 4, 2009

1995 Bowman's Best

I have a hard time believing that anybody's "Best" set of cards could contain a card of Pat Ahearne. I actually have two of these, and if a certain high school baseball coach shows up for the Tigers series in Pittsburgh next month, the other one is his.

The 1995 Bowman's Best Detroit Tigers:
B20 Tony Clark
B30 Pat Ahearne
B49 Juan Encarnacion
R28 Cecil Fielder
R64 Chad Curtis
R70 Travis Fryman

1995 Bowman

Ah, I love the Bowman. I can totally overlook the piss poor design of any Bowman issue just to be reminded of the piss poor Tigers' prospects who graced these cards. And don't kid yourself, both were piss poor.....

The 1995 Bowman Detroit Tigers:
68 Justin Thompson
78 Cade Gaspar
127 Bob Higginson
167 Sean Whiteside
195 Matt Brunson
253 Tony Clark
302 Travis Fryman
340 Chad Curtis
375 Chris Gomez
416 Cecil Fielder
427 Jose Lima

Who was Sean Whiteside? Anybody?

1995 Topps Bazooka

I never realized until now that Topps issued the Bazooka cards this far back. This looks to be Topps first entry into really cheap cards for kids, but I don't remember enough about these to make that claim officially. Packs of Bazooka cards were always pretty cheap, but at 132 cards for an entire set, I'm guessing here that Topps sort of undershot the mark. What did it take, like $8 to build a whole set? I'm not complaining mind you, but why would anybody release a set of cheap cards with this few cards in the set.

The 1995 Topps Bazooka Detroit Tigers:
12 Cecil Fielder
59 Travis Fryman
101 Mickey Tettleton

1995 Topps D3

Another one I'd like to see in my ideal Topps Mystery set, this is yet another Topps gimmick set that I like. Nothing really innovative here, these are pretty much the same as the Topps Kelloggs 3D cards of the 70's. What separates these from those though are the great action shots, instead of a close up of a guy with a washed out background. Another one year wonder that Topps would never produce again, but a good one still the same. The scan doesn't do these justice. 

The 1995 Topps D3 Detroit Tigers:
30 Lou Whitaker
51 Travis Fryman
59 Chris Gomez

1995 Topps MB

As I sit here and ponder how to say what it is that I like about this set, and I do like it, I'm suddenly pondering something else, and I'll get to it shortly. But let me start with this set first.

I dig these a lot. For anybody who may not know, the "MB" is slang for embossed in the printing world. For anybody who may not know what embossed means, check this out:

This gives the card a true three-dimensional feel and it makes for one very top shelf looking card. This is the Woodford Reserve of printing right here. Over the years Topps threw so many gimmicky cards at us, that a lot of the original ones fell into obscurity pretty quick. Such is the case with these. A great concept and a great design that Topps would never issue again.

Which brings me back to what I was pondering. Why doesn't Topps combine say six of these innovative type sets into one big set called Topps Mystery? Some other issues I would suggest would be things like the D3 cards, Gallery, Turkey Red, Finest, and maybe some other issue like Archives. They could issue 90 cards of each style (3 players per team) and make a modest 540 card set. Each pack would contain 9 or 12 cards of one design and each team would have 18 cards total. Then they could showcase all of their interesting designs in one easy to collect set. That way instead of issuing the same handful of players in all these small sets, they could incorporate a lot of cool stuff as well as a full team's worth of player into one nice set. And you'd never know which style of cards you were going to get in any one pack.

Oh well, something to think about.

The 1995 Topps MB Detroit Tigers:
42 Chris Gomez
50 Travis Fryman
76 Cecil Fielder
79 Tony Phillips
97 Lou Whitaker
121 Mickey Tettleton

Saturday, May 2, 2009

1995 Topps Finest

Again, I take issue with a set called Finest that contains someone as horribly bad as Sean Bergman, but I'm willing to let it go. I'm not really sure why Topps decided to add the protective laminate. Did anybody ever peel it off knowing that they were decreasing the value of valueless cards? Can you even decrease the value of a Sean Bergman card? Maybe if you unpeeled it and it became a Mike Moore card.......

The 1995 Topps Finest Detroit Tigers:
3 Chris Gomez
42 Travis Fryman
107 Mickey Tettleton
124 Cecil Fielder
153 Mike Henneman
203 Alan Trammell
212 Tony Phillips
220 Lou Whitaker
257 Bobby Higginson
263 Chad Curtis
306 Sean Bergman
329 Felipe Lira

1995 Stadium Club

Stadium Club. I don't like writing about them anymore than you like reading about them. Let's cut to the chase.

The 1995 Topps Stadium Club Detroit Tigers:
6 Travis Fryman
34 Mickey Tettleton
78 Danny Bautista
105 Cade Gaspar
154 Junior Felix
182 David Wells
208 Tony Phillips
250 Bill Gullickson
298 Alan Trammell
309 Cecil Fielder
329 Mike Henneman
383 Chris Gomez
460 John Doherty
481 Lou Whitaker
515 Cecil Fielder Extreme Corps
547 Chad Curtis
585 Felipe Lira
611 Bobby Higginson

There was some sort of parallel where they have World Series logos gold foil stamped on the front of the cards. Your guess is as good as mine. Someone feel free to explain.

Ok, so I have this one insert card of Cecil Fielder. I'm too lazy to look it up, or even if there are any other inserts, but if anybody wants to fill in the blanks then please go ahead.

1995 Topps

Oh, where should I begin? This is not a bad looking set. But it's ruined for me by the horrible font used for the player name, coupled with the name being in an unreadable gold foil. I still have to tilt these cards back and forth like a Sportflics card and hope to catch the light at the right angle to read these names. 

One thing I'd like to say, I'm a sucker for the multi-player rookie/prospects cards, and this one looks great, as long as I don't consider who is on it. I wish Topps, or Upper Deck for that matter, would do more of these, but with the bizarre rookie card rule that I still haven't figured out (mainly how Bowman gets away with printing cards of minor leaguers, but yet no one else can...) it looks like these have gone the way of packs actually being made out of wax. It's a shame, and I wish somebody would explain that rule to me. 

The 1995 Topps Detroit Tigers:
15 Lou Whitaker
40 Travis Fryman
68 Junior Felix
97 Mike Gardiner
125 John Doherty
153 Tony Clark
182 Milt Cuyler
209 Tim Belcher
220 Cecil Fielder
249 Bill Gullickson
277 Chris Gomez
307 Mike Henneman
334 John Flaherty
362 Chad Kreuter
434 David Wells
457 Joe Boever
474 Alan Trammell
492 Cade Gaspar
519 Kirk Gibson
541 Tony Phillips
557 Danny Bautista
576 Mike Moore
612 Mickey Tettleton
636 Sean Bergman/Shannon Penn On Deck

These even had a pretty cool quasi-parallel set. An all foil design (I know I've bitched about it, but these are ok) called Cyberstats. They look just like the base cards, but the backs have the '94 stats extrapolated as to what they would've done had the '94 season not been cancelled. I thought there were only a handful of these, since I only have a handful of these, but my research has found that there were a lot of these. My research also shows that Big Daddy was on pace for 133 RBI, which would have tied his career high. Mike Moore was on pace to suck even more than he did. Go figure.....

13 Lou Whitaker
32 Travis Fryman
123 Tim Belcher
124 Cecil Fielder
135 Junior Felix
136 Bill Gullickson
150 Chris Gomez
165 Mike Henneman
231 David Wells
242 Danny Bautista
252 Joe Boever
267 Alan Trammell
306 Kirk Gibson
322 Tony Phillips
350 Mike Moore
380 Mickey Tettleton

The Traded Set was issued in packs for the first time since '75. I remember buying a ton of these packs and still not getting the Nomo or Chipper cards. I do have all the Tigers though so I guess I should be happy.

16T Brian Maxcy
21T Chad Curtis
31T Todd Steverson
35T Bob Higginson
68T Felipe Lira
88T Pat Ahearne
107T Rob Gable (ok, I lied. I don't have this one. Who the hell was Rob Gable?)