Thursday, October 13, 2016

1996 Fleer Ultra

1996 Fleer Ultra #514

Ultra started out as a set boasting multiple pictures of the player, then went on to introduce UV coating and gold foil stamping. Finally in 1996 it lost some of the gaudy "look at me" design in favor for a borderless look with full bleed photos and toned back the goil foil. I personally like the design, though Fleer also used this design for their minor league set, Excel.

1996 Fleer Ultra Gold Medallion #514

The Gold Medallion parallels just didn't do much for me in 1996 or even today. There is just a thing as too much foil and this is a prime example. Like others, these cards are notorious for showing finger prints so beware when handling. I should also mention that the player image is embossed similar to the Circa Boss inserts from the same year.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

1996 Fleer Flair

1996 Fleer Flair Gold #325

Back when the Flair brand was new, I was absolutely in love. From the fancy cardboard packs to the thick card stock, I loved everything about Flair. While the brand would evolve over the years, it always was a fun pack to open. Recently while I was organizing my cards and updating my master list, I discovered the 1996 set came with both gold foil and silver foil on the front. I'm missing the silver foil parallel at this time, but thankfully it isn't a hard card to find.

1996 Fleer Flair Wave of the Future #18

While I love lenticular cards, they just don't scan well. This insert set would continue to improve it's look over the years to come, but this is where the set got it's start.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

1996 Fleer Circa

1996 Fleer Circa #161

Fleer introduced Circa as a new set in 1996 and it was seemingly welcomed by collectors as it went on to last a few years before it was retired. Although I find the card fronts to be a little busy, I seem to remember buying a lot of this product. It seemed as if this was the first year that Rey was being compared against other notable short stops. This card's back mentions him as the successor to Ozzie Smith, the "Wizard" himself!

1996 Fleer Circa Access #24

The Access insert was one of the first folding baseball cards that I can remember. I'd previously seen this done with basketball cards (Collect-A-Books), but not in baseball. The card opens up like a trifold wallet, with the middle picture above being the first image you see when you open up the card. Interesting concept with some cool trivia info inside.

1996 Fleer Circa Boss #42

The Boss inserts feature the player on the fronts embossed. Not a new technology, but something that just makes the cards stand out a little more (no pun intended).

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

1996 Fleer Update

 1996 Fleer Update #U160

1996 Fleer was a nice change of pace for baseball cards. Gone was the slick UV coating on the cards and in its place was a matte finish. The cards still included gold foil stamping for the logo as well as the player's name, team and position. The matte finish made these cards perfect for autographs and while I never was able to get any autographed, this set still holds up as one of my favorites.

 1996 Fleer Update #U248

The Checklist cards were numbered as part of the set and surprise, surprise, Rey was given the real estate on the front of one of the checklists.

 1996 Fleer #U160 Tiffany parallel

If memory serves me correctly, the popular Tiffany parallels were found one per box, so if you were trying to put a whole set together of these I would imagine one would have their hands full.

 1996 Fleer #U248 Tiffany parallel

 1996 Fleer New Horizons #19

These New Horizons cards look better in person than the scan makes them look...but just a little. The write up on the back mentions Ozzie Smith, a fellow short stop that Rey was often compared to in the mid to late 90's.

1996 Fleer Smooth Leather #8

The Smooth Leather insert features a rather plain look, but Rey makes for a good inclusion in a set based on fielding skill.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

1996 Leaf Studio

1996 Leaf Studio #14

When the Studio brand first launched in the early 90's the cards contained black and white portraits of the players. There posed images, almost like a family photo versus the traditional action photos. The brand would eventually change over the next few years as you can see with this 1996 card. For starters I like the full bleed photo and I like how the design retains that portrait like image. The back of the card cleverly uses the O in Studio for the obligatory head shot of the player. While the back lacks stats, at least there is a little bio write up of the player.

1996 Leaf Studio #14 Gold Press Proof

As with most of the card releases in the 90's, Studio also has it's fair share of parallels. The parallel set was called Press Proofs. This is the gold parallel, limited to just 500 copies. This was before serial numbering caught on so while limited, it's not numbered. 

There is also a Bronze and Silver Press Proof parallel that I currently lack...or is it sitting in my pile at Check Out My Cards?

Monday, July 4, 2016

1996 Scoreboard All Sport PPF

1996 Scoreboard All Sport PPF #60

I don't know much about the Score Board's history as a trading card company, but this unlicensed set hit on the heals of Classic's 5 Sport set in the mid-90's. The base cards don't feature any UV coating or foil stamping, which was a nice change at the time. However this set never appealed to me that much so I only picked up singles of Ordonez and a few other Hall of Fame players and moved on.

1996 Scoreboard All Sport PPF #197

Surprisingly enough, Ordonez received not one, but two cards in the base set! I prefer the picture on the back over the picture on the front. After all, Rey was never really known for his offensive stats.

1996 Scoreboard All Sport PPF Gold #197

A gold foil original. Turns out I'm missing this parallel for card #60. How could I have overlooked that?

1996 Scoreboard All Sport PPF Retro #R10

Retro, one of the few inserts sets to chase done. All of the ornate design you see is gold foil stamping. Not much else to say about this card or this set. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

1996 Bowman's Best

1996 Bowman's Best #17

If this card looks familiar it should. It's basically identical to the Preview card that was randomly packaged in 1996 Bowman, with the exception of a new card number on the back. Never was a fan of Bowman's Best and this year's design sure didn't help. There is just way too much "border" on these cards and not enough of the background photo for my taste.

1996 Bowman's Best Refractor #17

There are two parallels to chase, just like with the Preview card...Atomic Refractor and Refractor. Surprisingly I don't have the Atomic Refractor version yet. I guess I never paid too much attention to what version of the card I had before.

* I think there is an Atomic Refractor version, but I'm not 100%. If anyone reading this can confirm the existence of the parallel please let me know.