Monday, August 26, 2013

INSIDE THE ALBUM: 1990 LEAF


THE FIRST PAGE: HI HO SILVER!




THE LEAF LOWDOWN.



You can flip through this 528-card set 528 times a day and it never gets stale. Following Upper Deck's lead in 1989, the Leaf brand returned and offered a sweet high-end collection of cards. It didn't get quite the same buzz but card for card it surpassed Upper Deck. Leaf didn't offer a lot of bells and whistles -- no inserts other than Yogi Berra puzzle pieces nor any subsets. It was all about the metallic-spider-web design, one of the cleanest in the history of cardboard. The backs, too, were a home run. It was released in two 264-card series, with the first card being the unnumbered "The Leaf Set'' that many collectors threw away. Taking a cue from Topps' '60s checklists, Leaf dressed its with mug shots. Card No. 265 is tribute to Nolan Ryan (No Hit King) after he threw his sixth on June 11 against the Athletics. The crown jewel remains the No. 300 Frank Thomas rookie card. Other top rookies are No. 297 David Justice, No. 237 John Olerud, No. 220 Sammy Sosa and No. 325 Larry Walker. Perhaps to remedy its lack of inserts/parallels, Leaf Memories Baseball was released last year in which cards were reacquired and re-issued with limited edition foil stamping. Others were autographed and numbered to the player's jersey number.


THUMBING THROUGH THE SET



GREAT SHOT OF FERNANDO.





TUCKED INTO PAGES, THE BACKS HAVE A GEOMETRIC THING GOING ON.




BILLBOARD'S No. 1 SONG

  • Hold on, Wilson Phillips


HOW ABOUT RICKEY LEADING OFF, GWYNN SECOND AND SHEFF THIRD?



SONG I MOST IDENTIFY WITH THIS SET

  • Cradle of Love, Billy Idol

NEWS FLASH

  • The Communist Party in the Soviet Union relinquishes power on Feb. 7.


THAT WAS SOME HITCH DAVIS HAD IN HIS SWING.



NEWS FLASH

  • South Africa releases Nelson Mandela, who was in prison for 27 1/2 years, on Feb. 11.

NEWS FLASH

  • The Cold War officially ends on July 6 as the Western Alliance proposes joint action with the Soviets and Eastern Europe.


BARFIELD'S ABOUT TO RUN INTO THE SPIDER WEB.



NEWS FLASH

  • Iraq invades Kuwait on Aug. 2, which will lead to the Persian Gulf War starting in 1991.

NEWS FLASH

  • East and West Germany come together as one on Aug. 31.


LEAF WAS ABLE TO SALUTE RYAN IN THE SAME YEAR HE THREW NO. 6.




AND HE ADORNS THE No. 264 CHECKLIST.



NEWS FLASH

  • Margaret Thatcher resigns as British Prime Minister on Nov. 22 and John Major succeeds her six days later.

NEWS FLASH

  • Oliver North's Iran-Contra conviction is overturned by the U.S. Appeals Court on July 20.


BIG HURT ROOKIE IS AS FETCHING AS THE DAY IT HIT SERIES 2 PACKS.



ENTERTAINMENT FLASH

  • The Simpsons debuts on Fox and becomes one of the season's biggest hits.

ENTERTAINMENT FLASH

  • Dance band Milli Vanilli admits to lip-synching "hits'' and has its Grammy Award taken away. Obviously, auto-tune hadn't yet been invented.


I BARELY REMEMBER NEON DEON PLAYED BASEBALL.



ENTERTAINMENT FLASH

  • Driving Miss Daisy wins Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

ENTERTAINMENT FLASH

  • GoodFellas, about a mobster's rise and fall, is released Sept. 19 and becomes one of the most talked about -- and quoted -- Mafia movies of all time. "Funny? ... Funny how? ... I mean, funny like I'm a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh? I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny? Funny how? How am I funny? ... What the fuck is so funny about me?! Tell me, tell me what's funny!''



BALBONI LOOKING A BIT LIKE THE STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN.


SPORTS FLASH

  • The Cincinnati Reds shock the defending champion Oakland Athletics by completing a four-game sweep in the World Series on Oct. 20.

SPORTS FLASH

  • The San Francisco 49ers win their fourth title by blowing out the Denver Broncos 55-10 in Super Bowl XXIV in New Orleans on Jan. 28.


THE COMPOSITION OF THAT BIG UNIT CARD IS AWESOME.



SPORTS FLASH

  • The Detroit Pistons defeat the Portland Trail Blazers in five games on June 14 to defend their NBA crown. 

SPORTS FLASH

  • The Edmonton Oilers take their fifth Stanley Cup in seven years and first without Wayne Gretzky by defeating the Boston Bruins in five games on May 24.

SPORTS FLASH

  • Colorado (11-1-1) and Georgia Tech (11-0-1) share the collegiate national football championship.


SPEAKING OF AWESOME ...




GOT THIS OFF eBAY FOR UNDER $50.

5 comments:

  1. I love love love the backs of these cards.

    And the inclusion of a title card - very fancy. Like putting "The" in front of your college's name.

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  2. I've never given '90 Leaf much thought, so it's pretty neat to see a few snapshots of the set. Not necessarily my cup of tea, but you've made a compelling case for it -- as only a true set collector could. As usual, a high quality and beautifully composed post!

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  3. I remember back in the late 90's there was a card show I used to go to and there was a guy there OBSESSED with the 1990 Leaf set. He would buy any amount of doubles and commons, etc. I always wonder how many sets he made and whatever happened to him, if he is living under an overpass with a cachet of 1990 Leaf Sets in a waterproof box that he sleeps on...

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    Replies
    1. They taste as good as they look. At least the commons do.

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