Thursday, May 22, 2014

Complete: 1991 Upper Deck Final

My earliest Upper Deck memories are collecting the 1991 set.  I realize the 1989 set was *the* Upper Deck set to collect, and in due time it did get put on a pedestal by the entire neighbourhood.  But for a while in 1991, it was all about the 1991 set.  I actually abandoned a 1991 Donruss set pursuit for 1991 Upper Deck.  Everything about the set was awesome.

Fast-forward 23 years, and here I am still chasing parts of it.  Or at least I was until recently.  Even in the 90's I knew about Upper Deck Final Edition.  I knew about it because of the all-star card commemorating Roberto Alomar's participation in the mid-summer classic held right in Toronto.  But what I didn't know until just a few months ago was that there are other Blue Jays cards featured in Final Edition.  Since I am still quite fond of this set, it could go without saying that I was thrilled with this discovery.  But that would almost be an understatement.  Why?  Because of WHO is representing the Blue Jays in this set.  For starters, Candido has a 1991 card with the Blue Jays!  That's awesome.  This guy was one of my favourites growing up.  To the point that I have considered many times doing a Candy Maldonado player collection.  And while the pose of his card is a bit unorthodox for a baseball card, that's kinda why it's awesome.  And again, it's a 1991 Upper Deck card of Candy Maldonado with the Blue Jays!

And speaking of awesome, how about this Ed Sprague?  I think this guy instantly went from complete unknown to every kid's favourite player with one swing of the bat in 1992 (despite appearing in 61 games in 1991).  You know the one...9th inning, down by a run to the Braves and facing a 2-0 deficit in the series.  That eventual game winner, was rated the 32nd greatest home run of all-time by ESPN.  So I didn't actually check, but I'm guessing this has to be one of Sprague's earliest cards with the Blue Jays (ie. not including all the minor league issues).  And now to state the other obvious reason this card is awesome:  The fact that it actually shows Sprague catching.  He appeared in all of 2 games as a catcher in 1991 (according to baseball-reference.com).  Oh, and while I'm talking up awesomeness and Ed Sprague, according to wikipedia, he's the only baseball player to win Olympic Gold, the College World Series and the MLB World Series.  Pretty
good work if you can get it ;)

And though I think I've exceeded my quota for use of the word 'awesome' in this post, I think honourable mentions should go to Tom Candiotti and Derek Bell who also make appearances in this set along with the aforementioned Alomar All-Star card.  What a great set.


Thanks for reading!

Richard.




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2 comments:

  1. I remember all the hoopla about this set, but being from the Boston area, it was all about Frankie Rodriguez.

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    1. Just looked him up and found this on wikipedia... "Rodriguez was drafted as a shortstop by the Boston Red Sox in the second round of the 1990 amateur draft. An agreement was reached a few weeks into the 1991 season, after which he was assigned to the Class A short season Elmira Pioneers. When his new teammates greeted him at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport, the Brooklyn native was wearing clothes that bore the New York Yankees logo."

      Ha.

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