baseball, baseball cards

1993 Fleer: a simple, but inconsistent set


1993 Fleer featured a nice, clean design. Gray border. Readable font. Standard photography, as seen on Joe Oliver‘s card above. It was also Fleer’s first two-series set. And series two is where we run into problems.

Roster changes.

You see, Scott Bankhead was a free agent after the 1992 season, and decided to leave the Reds for Boston. Ok, no problem…just add a notation like O-Pee-Chee often did:


Reds photo, Reds team designation on the card, but a little note in the bottom left corner. Simple enough, right? Let’s do the same with Darnell Coles, who went north of the border for the 1993 season:


Now, what about the guys who came to Cincinnati? Like the 1989 National League MVP, Kevin Mitchell, who was traded from the Mariners for Norm Charlton?


Mariners photo, Reds team designation, and a little note in the bottom left corner. Not entirely consistent. Let’s turn to Roberto Kelly, who the Yankees traded to the Reds for Paul O’Neill:


Yanks photos, Reds team designation, and a little note with the wrong information in the corner. Kelly wasn’t signed by the Reds as a free agent. He was traded from the Yankees.

I’m scratching my head over the inconsistency.

Then there was the expansion draft. 1993 was the first year for the Rockies and Marlins, and their rosters were made up of players from all over the majors. It’s understandable that Fleer couldn’t get proper photos in the new uniforms in time for printing (after all, it was the 1990s). But instead of any notation on the card whatsoever, they simply went with old uniform, new team designation. Freddie Benavides will serve as our example:


This would have driven me crazy if I was collecting in 1993. My interest in the hobby waned in 1992 and was non-existent in 1993. Does anyone remember if Fleer received any flack over these inconsistencies?

baseball, baseball cards

A one in a million trader

I don’t post the cards I receive in the mail very often anymore on here. I usually post them to Twitter then put them in the stack to be sorted. I think I will change that, because this blog needs some lovin’. So here is a trade recently completely with Beau of the One Million Cubs Project, who I met via Twitter (@onemillioncubs). I sent him a handful of Cubbies recently, and he loaded me up with Reds and Reggies.

Reggie Jackson is one of the non-Reds players that I collect, and Beau hit a few holes in my collection here. I don’t have an official wantlist, but I believe there are at least four cards in this lot that I didn’t previously have.


Then there were the Reds. From Eric Davis to Tucker Barnhart to Pete Rose to Mario Soto, Beau scattered the selections throughout several eras of Cincinnati baseball.


And he sent over a few 2014 Allen & Ginters, which I don’t even have on my wantlists yet! I need to change that soon. I got a Joe Morgan, Frank Robinson, and a mini Billy Hamilton rooooooookie card…


And it’s always cool to get an autograph, even if you’ve never heard of the guy. Tanner Rainey was a second round draft pick in 2015 and split last year between Dayton and Pensacola, so he’s not a washout yet. Hope this guy can get to the bigs and help out the Reds…they sure need it on the mound.


Eric Davis is another guy I collect everything of, whether Reds or not. It’s hard to find a Reds card of Davis I don’t have (though there are a handful), but when you send me Dodgers and Tigers and Orioles and Cardinals cards…there’s a good chance I don’t have it yet. Like Reggie, I don’t have a wantlist up yet, but maybe I’ll be able to change that this summer? (HAHA yeah right)


But what is this? Yes, it IS a Reds card of #44 I didn’t already have! From Baseball Cards Magazine…


Beau posted this and several more Reds from Baseball Cards Magazine, and I knew I had to ask if they could be included in the trade. Fortunately no one else had spoken up yet. If you need any of the non-Reds from the panels, let me know and they are yours (except for Darryl Strawberry, he’s already spoken for). The other Reds besides Davis were Barry Larkin, Randy Myers, Scott Scudder, Rosario Rodriguez, and Joe Oliver (sharing a card with John Wetteland of the Dodgers)…





All of those came on uncut panels with other players, but they will be freed and bindered at some point.

Thanks Beau for an awesome trade!

baseball, baseball cards

TTM Success: Joe Oliver

Oliver 1991 Kahn's Reds team set

With a 43-day turnaround, I added two autographed Joe Oliver cards to my collection through the mail. The former Red autographed both cards I sent to him (1991 Kahn’s and 1993 Upper Deck) with a fantastic looking signature.

Oliver was a second-round draft pick for the Cincinnati Reds in 1983 and made his big-league debut in July 1989. He was the catcher for the 1990 World Championship team and spent eight of his 13 seasons with the Reds. The remainder of his major league service was split between Milwaukee, Detroit, Seattle, Pittsburgh, the Yankees and Boston, and also spent time in the Tampa Bay organization. His career came to an end in 2001 after amassing 102 home runs and 476 runs batted in and a .247 batting average in 1076 games.

An interesting note: Oliver’s most similar player was the catcher he replaced in Cincinnati, the late Bo Diaz.

1993 Upper Deck Oliver