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Five Worst Baseball Card Products EVER

Five Worst Baseball Card Products EVER


There are many reasons why collectors love
certain baseball card products— the design, the price point, the hits. There are equally as many reasons why collectors
absolutely detest certain baseball card products— the design, the price point, the hits. At the end of the day, though, what’s good
and what’s not usually boils down to opinion. We recently trolled and polled the internet
asking for YOUR opinions. You’re watching Crackin’ Wax, and here’s what
YOU chose as the Five Worst Baseball Card Products EVER. This is the first set to which we at Crackin’
Wax felt abhorrence so complete, that it rivals a factory set of Topps flagship. This strangely structured set confused and
confounded further and further with each pack. The 2008 version that we personally ripped
was the second and, thankfully, final release of the product. Its checklist contained 189 subjects, each
with a variation mirroring a specific moment or milestone—(because: Moments. And Milestones.) For example, Card #1 is of Alex Rodriguez,
for whom, at the time, the set celebrated his 518 home runs. That card was then broken down into 518 variations—one for each home run, but still with the same card number. Then each card is broken down further into
parallels. The base cards alone were numbered to 150. That meant that Topps produced 150 copies
of each of the 518 variations of the base card of card of Card #1. Oh, but we’re not done. There were also black parallels of each variation
numbered to 25, blue parallels numbered to 10, and one-of-one red parallels OHMYGODHOWDOESANYONECOLLECTHIS? If you included each variation of each base
card, the checklist ACTUALLY has nearly 13,000 unique base cards all numbered to 150, all
with black, blue, and red parallels. It’s as if Upper Deck sat around a big boring
table in a big boring office and said “I know! Let’s do what Topps did with Moments & Milestones,
except let’s make it worse and way more boring!” While not as gargantuan in size as the nearly
13,000 card set that makes up the aforementioned product, Documentary is still bloated as hell
with just a shade under 5,000 cards. Just think about that for a second. A complete set of Documentary would fit in
a Super Monster storage box. Upper Deck gave themselves the task of documenting
every game played in 2008. The strategy used was to produce one card
of each team depicting each game of the season. Not only did you end up with a set chock full
of uninteresting cards, but Upper Deck failed to use photographs unique to each game. The results? Some cards feature players who didn’t even
play on the card’s documented day. Making the set even less tolerable was that
it came off as a blatant sticker dump for the autograph hits. Topps would revisit this theme in the future
with the MUCH more successful on-demand set, ToppsNOW. The early 90s were smack dab in the middle
of the overproduced junk wax era which nearly killed the hobby. Guilty of attempted hobby murder in the second
degree is the dry-heave inducing eye sore, 1991 Fleer. Unlovingly dubbed the Yellow Monster, this
jaundiced jumble of junk wax juxtaposes nonsensical design with a weak rookie card class. The bizarre insert set features artistic renderings
depicting players with spirits exiting their bats, or lightning striking their bats, or
atoms orbiting their bats… basically just a lot of weird stuff happening with bats. Making things even worse, this was the largest
Fleer set to date, and each card was printed approximately three million times! Upper Deck lost its MLB license in late 2009. They retained their MLBPA license, however,
and chose to continue producing baseball cards without logos and team names. Doing so greatly affected the popularity of
their product, likely because team collectors like Crackin’ Wax prefer to see big giant
TC’s on Twins players’ caps instead of big blue airbrushed blobs. High end collectors prefer certain things
for their dollars. Logos, of course. Team names, sure. Pictures, naturally. Which, of course, is what Upper Deck opted
not to use in their high-end sticker-dump. The only difference between sending blank
index cards out for TTM autos and 2012 Upper Deck SP Signature Edition is the price. And because your blank index cards probably
won’t come back with sticker autos on them. When this product was first announced, collectors
everywhere were intrigued by what Topps had up its sleeve. A decent checklist with plenty of different
card types to chase, this was a mid-to-high-end player collector’s dream set—or so it would
seem. Each hobby box promised 24 packs and at least
1 autograph and 2 relics. Not bad. However what makes this set so unbearable
is its design. Everything is so… freaking… BLACK. The dreadfully dark border cuts into so much
of the design that it leaves the photos feeling claustrophobic. The tiny, vertical text is difficult to read
as-is, but they decided to make part of the text dark red—AGAINST A BLACK BACKGROUND! A black background or border is fine if done
well. This is not an example of a black background
or border done well. The draw to Topps Unique is the plethora of
unique 1/1’s to be had. The better hits are nicer in design, but the
more common hits, such as the Solo Shot bat slivers and sticker autos, are uninspired. Someone rushed to get these cards done by
dumping a large image of a baseball in the background, and in the foreground, a masked
image of a player with Photoshop’s default Drop Shadow setting. Add the team logo in any available space and
a red bar at the bottom and you’re set! A poorly designed product clogged with hits
comparable to what you’d find in Opening Day paired with a $100+ price tag per box makes
for a very bad time. And those were your picks for Worst Baseball
Card Products Ever. Did we miss any? Tell us in the comments! Be sure to subscribe for more videos like
this, and check out these suggested videos. And as always, KEEP CRACKIN’ THAT WAX!

86 comments

Hobby Question: Does a 1991 Fleer look worse than (for example) a green Precious Metals Gem? Does production size bias our evaluation of design?  I believe the answer to this last question is yes.

Well, guilty. I designed Topps Unique. At least the base card and a few of the the inserts. I'll agree that in hindsight the design wasn't very successful. On the hit with the baseball, I can't say for certain if I did that one, though it might of been me. If it was me, that wasn't the default photoshop drop shadow effect, but not visually much different. We weren't given much time to do Unique, hence why the product looks so terrible. Topps was late and in a hurry. If given that product now, I would crush the design.

https://www.behance.net/SamRobertsDesign

I know who owns that Babe Ruth SP #rd 5/13 Burbank Sports Cards has the complete set and that Ruth is one of them. Asking price on the set, $850K now if I had that kind of money I would buy it, but how many of you would?

1994 is about the only year of Fleer that I think looks sharp. I my opinion fleer 1995 is the worst baseball card base set design ever, and '88, '89, '91, '92, '93 are all also pretty bad.

Overall Donruss is nothing special. I think 1985 was okay and '87 decent. 1990 sucked (so much red). I think it was lazy of Donruss to use the same design for the back of the cards from 1985 to 1991.

I think Topps was better overall. Some years were poor like 1987 and 1990. Some years weren't necessarily bad, just plain (like 1988). But I'll take the plain Topps '88s over the ugly Fleer '88s. My favorite Topps years are 1979 and 1976.

Upper deck was good overall. Of the early white boarder years ('89-'93) I like '92 the best. 1993 SP is one of my favorite sets of the era.

Score is mostly crap.
Pacific is all crap.
I never liked Pinnacle.
Bowman is okay here and there. The oversized '89s are dumb.

I like Topps Stadium Club. The designs were usually pretty good, and the print quality was outstanding. The photos ranged from awesome to awful (Example, compare the '92 Eckersley to the Maddux).

1991 Donruss was and is the worst. It was an ugly two part set that came first in series 1 blue and then series 2 green cards with a combined set of about 800 cards that were all overproduced garbage. You had to open endless packs just to make a set from both series that had no good rookies. Luis Gonzalez who was the most expensive card in the set which even at the time was worth about 50 cents which was the price of a single pack at the time. The fact that the Donruss Elite series started this year made it worse because you had to open endless junk to try to get one of those super rare elite cards that made it the closest thing to gambling in the card collecting industry, since all the base cards were practically throw aways.

We all know design is subjective. Is there one card collector in the entire universe who doesn't find the 1988 Donruss border a "two-bagger"?

Before this list

YES 91 FLEER

other 4 as far as design no particular order

1988 score 😝
1988 topps
1991 topps
1990 donruss

1991 was just a really bad year in baseball cards. No good rookies, no amazing players, nothing. The 1991 fleer pro visions were awesome tho.

I'll add the 1990 Fleer & ALL the white boarder & waist to head shoots of the Topps cards they put out , now ! Sorry I'LL stay in the vintage cards for now on .I too just hate the silver stickers they had them sign & then put that onto the cards !

I just came across your page and this video. Awesome work, I guess I overlooked and did not notice the Team names missing on 2012 Upper Deck. I do remember those crappy autographs though and thought What is this? when I saw them. I just hit subscribe to get you 1 closer to 600. I hope you continue to grow your channel and look forward to watching more of your future content and some of your older videos. Thanks for posting this and Happy Collecting!

1991 fleer is the worst ever. I saw that on this video listing picture and got sick. There were so many of them nd were just ugly! I liked the 1990 score

what about 1990 donruss. so mass produced, uninspired, bland, poor quality cards drove me nuts as a child.

As a kid I loved the yellow cards in Fleer 91'. I hold them in high regard via nostalgic feelings, but I get why they are on this list.

I agree full heartedly that the moments and milestones set is ridiculous to figure out and documentary is dumb because the front photo has nothing to do with the moment

I loved Fleer but that 91 fleer set was horrid! Those inserts were the only reason to buy those cards though.. I miss fleer cause they made things affordable.. what I like is a set that is 100-200 cards base and 4-5 different insert sets..no parallels cause parallels are overrated.. just go back to basics.. I also like 1 per pack rookies, not 2-8 rookies per pack..

Also.. nominate this for Hockey: 15/16 Upper Deck Contours.. for a die cut set, I love die cuts, it was pretty bland.. also keep in mind, upper deck was trying to copy crown royale here with 4 packs per box and a hit per pack.. contours was just horrid with a price of 200-250 while crown was usually sold 80-125.. now you can find contours for 50 or less (it's also your cheapest shot at a Connor McDavid rookie auto)..

what would you put Thompson there I love Topps baseball cards have like Aaron Jorge Luis Severino Gary Sanchez all my favorite guys why would you put tops in there that is just complete stupid so why did you do that if it was any easier I would say that it's still the best but the only company I don't like Fleer because

I'll nominate a recent release, 2018 Topps Archives Snapshots. It's a small set, not worth collecting and they didn't number the cards they were lettered. It doesn't include Soto. I don't know how you produce a set this late in the year that doesn't include Soto and the autograph subjects aren't to good but all that together is not the worst of it, the cards have massive amounts of chipping on the back.

88 Donruss was one of the worst.Mass produced and totally worthless.There was a time that the Greg Jeffries Rookie was supposed to be one of the best rookie cards of the 80's.That was a total scam to drive up the price of a guy who proved nothing up to that point.

I liked the design of 1991 Fleer. The yellow card border stood out and looked very unique and looked better than other 1991 baseball card sets released in the same year (except 1991 Leaf). Unfortunately, 1991 didn't bring any great valuable rookie cards. The worst 1998 card design had to be 1991 Donruss series 1 and 2.

I could care less what it looks like… all I give a crap about is the quality! And Fleer, imo, is by far the gold standard. 91 Fleer dominates the GARBAGE put out by Donruss/Leaf, & some Score editions during late 80's early 90's…88-89 total chit for instance!

Everyone of those designers should be FIRED!! They are aweful. When baseball card manufacturer companies change there card stock in 1991 and stop putting gum in the wax packs….. the rest is history.

Agree with the list. But you simply can’t disparage Fleer Pro Vision. 91 Fleer was terrible. But Pro Vision was born out of that set and remains one of my favorite subsets of all time!

1991 Fleer just in my opinion wasn't that bad. Most people only judge the front of a card, which I'll admit, was pretty bad. But the backs of the 1991 Fleer cards weren't that bad. Easy to read font and stats which an additional photo on the back, aka like Score.

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