1998 Collector's Choice StarQuest Greg Maddux
And you though Upper Deck just pulled their new StarQuest insets out of their rear, didn't you. Nope, this insert set has a long and storied history of, um, well, no. They were one a pack tiered inserts in their low-end set and only lasted for a few sets. This design here is in my opinion the most boring of the lot. It's not the strangest by any means though, the all texured colored foil set from '99 UD Choice probably takes the cake on that. StarQuest was an early adopter of the rainbow system of parallels. The first two incarnations in 1998 Collector's Choice had a 90 card set where the first 45 were easy to get then the next 45 were increasingly tough. The '99 version was more like today's set, 30 cards with varying rarity depending on the color of the foil. The '98 Series two SQ set was simple with rarity split up into singles, doubles, triples and homers. This set had some kind of theme going on, commons like this Maddux were "Special Delivery", uncommon (1:21) were "Student of the Game", rare (1:71) were "Super Powers", and really rare (1:145) were "Super Star Domain". Or just make it easy on yourself and count the stars at the bottom. Makes all the Super Rares and Ultra Rares and Retail Jumbo Purples from the '09 set sound easy, right?
1998 vs 1999 Topps
Two cards from Topps' colored border period. Just throwing these two out for comparison. Night Owl likes the '99 version better than the '98 edition but I disagree. We disagree a lot apparently. it's kind of like the olden days when I despised the Dodgers with a hatred I reserve for certain NL teams in New York and Chicago today. The Braves were in the NL west remember, and the Dodgers thwarted us on many occasions. Here is my reasoning behind liking the '98 set:
The mid-'90s were sort of blah for Topps. Sort of blah for base cards in general actually as manufacturers put all their effort into the inserts. Topps base cards got more gloosy and foiley, but the actual designs were somewhat forgettable in my opinion. Quick - describe a Topps design from '95 to '97. Hard, isn't it? They were all sort of underwhelming, even when Topps got weird with the UV coating in '97. In 198 though they threw out GOLD freaking borders! With the frame effect around the photo! And gold foil names and teams on top of a strip of team logos! This stuff looked classy. Then in '99 they recycled the gold border. Yeah the cards were nice, the phot was much larger and the design is more clean and open. It's a very attractive set by any standard, but the gold border seemed like a knock off to me. Then in 2000 we had pewter borders, green in 2001, then orange, and I was completely sick of colored borders on Topps. I jumped up and down for joy when Topps finally went back to a good 'ol white border in 2004. So now I associate 1998 with originality and class, and 1999 with cheap bootleg knock offs. It's not you, 1999 Topps, it's me.
1990 Topps Franscisco Cabrera
The most famous third string catcher in Atlanta Braves history. The man who came out of nowhere to utterly demolish an entire franchise with one swing of his bat. The man who only had twelve other at bats total in 1992. And Topps airbrushed that monstrocity upon his poor noggin. But Dayf, it was 1990, how could they have known? Ok, that's a fair point, but he didn't even get a Topps card in 1992. Such poor treatment of a Braves legend.
Thanks Chris, I'll try not to forget who you are next time!