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Worst set ever?

SoxPatsFanSoxPatsFan Posts: 196 ✭✭✭✭
edited October 31, 2023 10:51AM in Trading Cards & Memorabilia Forum

I'm referring to mainstream sets, issued at retail in packs (and possibly complete sets).
My vote goes to 1991 Fleer Baseball. Fleer missed out on RC's of Chipper Jones, Ivan Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell & Mike Mussina among others. There are no inserts of any significance & not even any desirable 2nd year cards. If someone offered me unopened boxes of 1991 Fleer for free I wouldn't even take them. A truly worthless Junk Wax issue.

1991 Donruss is almost as bad of a base set but has the extremely popular & valuable Elite Series serial numbered inserts.

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    miwlvrnmiwlvrn Posts: 4,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2, 2023 10:56AM

    I really don't care for 1993 PowerPlay hockey (made by Fleer). Not good cards, too thin of stock for their size, and their tallboy size dimensions were annoying to store in boxes or binders. Boring design too.

    Edit to add: Here is an example in case you've been lucky enough not have seen these before:

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    CakesCakes Posts: 3,465 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 31, 2023 11:07AM

    1990 Score Football, worst second year follow up ever.

    Successful coin BST transactions with Gerard and segoja.

    Successful card BST transactions with cbcnow, brogurt, gstarling, Bravesfan 007, and rajah 424.
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    GrooGroo Posts: 82 ✭✭
    edited October 31, 2023 1:57PM

    81 Topps not my cup of tea. From my Child days - 1988 Donruss Baseball and 1990 Score Football and 1992 Fleer Baseball

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    Loyalty32Loyalty32 Posts: 497 ✭✭✭

    1990 Topps Traded. Released in packs and set form.

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    olb31olb31 Posts: 2,938 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Nathaniel1960 said:
    1973 Topps baseball.

    do what?

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
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    NGS428NGS428 Posts: 2,266 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1991 fleer has my vote too. While I don’t hate the yellow as much as most. It does, as you noted, have several issues!!

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    rbsalezmanrbsalezman Posts: 83 ✭✭✭

    My top five worst baseball sets in no particular order.

    1991 Fleer - glow in the dark yellow borders

    1995 Fleer - image and information overload

    1990 Donruss - ugly, ugly red borders

    1988-1990 Topps Big - Oversized disasters that attempted to revive the 1955-56 Topps designs.

    1997 Upper Deck - the base set included the introduction of manufactured short prints (cards # 415-424) that are so common (and despised) in modern sets today as well as the horrible decision to have a thirty card update set (cards # 521-550) only available via a wrapper redemption.

    1991 Bowman (Honorable Mention) - It actually is a decently designed set, it's just that it led to all 1990's non-Bowman branded baseball base sets (including Topps sets like Flagship, Finest, Chrome and Stadium Club) being worthless unless a first round draft pick turned into a winning lottery pick (Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Chipper Jones, Manny Ramirez) because it was devoid of any other rookie cards.

    This was because this set started the standard for Bowman to have their checklists include rookie cards of highly regarded minor leaguers who were nowhere near the majors yet. Future MLB standouts included in the 1991 set included Jim Thome, Eric Karros, Raul Mondesi, Kenny Lofton, Ivan Bagwell, Javy Lopez, Reggie Sanders and Ryan Klesko. It took over a decade before MLB stepped in and fixed this issue.

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    mintonlyplsmintonlypls Posts: 1,744 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 31, 2023 9:40PM

    By decade...

    1950s---1959 Topps Baseball
    1960s---1968 Topps Baseball
    1970s---1972 Topps Baseball
    1980s---1988 Donruss Baseball

    mint_only_pls
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    RonSportscardsRonSportscards Posts: 801 ✭✭✭✭

    @SoxPatsFan said:

    My vote goes to 1991 Fleer Baseball. Fleer missed out on RC's of Chipper Jones, Ivan Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell & Mike Mussina among others. There are no inserts of any significance & not even any desirable 2nd year cards. If someone offered me unopened boxes of 1991 Fleer for free I wouldn't even take them. A truly worthless Junk Wax issue.

    Even if Fleer included those players, so what.
    Would be just another 3 million more HOF RCs worth a dollar that nobody wants.

    The 'Second Generation' base card #710 with Griffey Jr and Bonds is a cool idea for a card and selling for $100 in PSA10.
    Same price as a 91 Topps Chipper in a PSA10.

    As for inserts, the 1st year Pro Visions were pretty cool at the time, and still are, especially the black bordered ones.
    Same can be said for the black bordered All Star inserts. Pretty low POP in high grade.

    Seems people put down 91 Fleer only because it's popular to do so and it's an easy target.
    It's junk wax filled with roided players, same as the other brands.
    How good could it really be?

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    pab1969pab1969 Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1991 Fleer. Puke yellow.

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    jraytayjraytay Posts: 120 ✭✭✭

    @mintonlypls said:
    By decade...

    1950s---1959 Topps Baseball
    1960s---1968 Topps Baseball
    1970s---1972 Topps Baseball
    1980s---1988 Donruss Baseball

    1959 Theme: Tunnel Vision
    1968 Theme: Kmart Placemat
    1972 Theme: Bad LSD Trip
    1988 Theme: The Circus is in Town

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    I actually like 1991 Fleer. Bright florescent colors were the colors of the early 90s, so to me it's fit for its times. And I think the big capital lettering is classy, it reminds me of 2004 Bowman football, another set I like.

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    handymanhandyman Posts: 5,244 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 1, 2023 9:13AM

    1939 play ball

    But the baby it had with 1941 I like.
    1940

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    olb31olb31 Posts: 2,938 ✭✭✭✭✭

    when i first looked at the thread I thought it said - Worst Sex Ever. Thought I was on another site, LOL!!!

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
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    handymanhandyman Posts: 5,244 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 1, 2023 10:50AM

    But it made my 1940 play ball set!
    It was not that bad was it?

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    waxman2745waxman2745 Posts: 725 ✭✭✭
    edited November 1, 2023 10:56AM

    @rbsalezman said:
    1990 Donruss - ugly, ugly red borders

    And the white cursive on top of a combination of paint splatter and solid black lines makes it hard to read the player names.

    Adam
    buying O-Pee-Chee (OPC) baseball
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    olb31olb31 Posts: 2,938 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1990 donruss certainly qualifies.

    Work hard and you will succeed!!
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    RonSportscardsRonSportscards Posts: 801 ✭✭✭✭

    @pab1969 said:
    1991 Fleer. Puke yellow.

    Add some of this...

    ...and you get 2x worse, right? EWWWWWW!!!!

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    CakesCakes Posts: 3,465 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 1, 2023 1:04PM

    @waxman2745 said:

    @rbsalezman said:

    @rbsalezman said:
    1990 Donruss - ugly, ugly red borders

    And the white cursive on top of a combination of paint splatter and solid black lines makes it hard to read the player names.

    I bet it was the same project team that did the 1988 design! They stink!

    Successful coin BST transactions with Gerard and segoja.

    Successful card BST transactions with cbcnow, brogurt, gstarling, Bravesfan 007, and rajah 424.
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    SoxPatsFanSoxPatsFan Posts: 196 ✭✭✭✭

    Lots of interesting opinions here. Some dislike a set due to design (I personally think 1990 Donruss is hideous), while others consider the players included.

    There's certainly no shortage of bad sets out there, that's for sure.

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    GroceryRackPackGroceryRackPack Posts: 2,480 ✭✭✭✭✭

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    BBBrkrrBBBrkrr Posts: 955 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I feel like that Ripken photo must have been used on every off-brand set made in the 80s.

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    GDM67GDM67 Posts: 2,523 ✭✭✭✭

    Really surprised no one has chimed in with 1981 Donruss.

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    addicted2ebayaddicted2ebay Posts: 2,092 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 1, 2023 3:49PM

    @Cakes said:
    1990 Score Football, worst second year follow up ever.

    The thunder & lightning ground force cards were cool. Imagine if sore did /100 print run of them. Omg

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    BBBrkrrBBBrkrr Posts: 955 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @GDM67 said:
    Really surprised no one has chimed in with 1981 Donruss.

    What are you talking about? I always loved opening a pack and getting 3 Dwight Evans and 3 Jerry Remy cards. >:)

    I have a sentimental fondness for the 81 D set even though it was total trash. Bad, out of focus photos, terrible colors, horrible graphic design and never two cards cut the same or to the correct size. What's not to love?

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    PorkinsPorkins Posts: 605 ✭✭✭

    Not sure if this is relatable to many, but as a kid/teenager of the junk wax era, I loved all of them (including ‘90 donruss and ‘91 fleer), but the one exception, then and now, is ‘92 Triple Play.

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    mrmoparmrmopar Posts: 1,032 ✭✭✭✭

    Off the top of my head, there is no worse looking base set than 1995 Fleer. Absolute garbage.


    I snicker every time I see this topic come up, because I know 1991 Fleer always gets mentioned. The set is actually one of the better looking designs of that era from the big 3 in my opinion. Clean, unique and great photos. Topps had some good images from their 91 offering, but Donruss is plain ugly. In 88-90, all of the sets were terrible, much worse than this, again in my opinion.

    The 91F photographs are nice, lots of action shots. The yellow gets exaggerated for this set too. It's not a color that was used often for borders, but no other set that uses yellow gets bashed like this one does. Stahl Meyer, Drakes, SLU, Topps Stand Ups, McDonalds Quarterbacks, etc.






    I collect Steve Garvey, Dodgers and signed cards. Collector since 1978.
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    GDM67GDM67 Posts: 2,523 ✭✭✭✭

    @BBBrkrr said:

    @GDM67 said:
    Really surprised no one has chimed in with 1981 Donruss.

    What are you talking about? I always loved opening a pack and getting 3 Dwight Evans and 3 Jerry Remy cards. >:)

    I have a sentimental fondness for the 81 D set even though it was total trash. Bad, out of focus photos, terrible colors, horrible graphic design and never two cards cut the same or to the correct size. What's not to love?

    I sort of feel the same way about it.

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    GroceryRackPackGroceryRackPack Posts: 2,480 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cool looking snake... B)

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    EstilEstil Posts: 6,922 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 1, 2023 9:44PM

    Going only by design I agree with the OP regarding 1991 Fleer...though at least the back is in full color (first time since 1982) and is color coded but boy is the front design a total snooze. A close second would be 1988 Donruss. I do have to disagree with the OP though regarding 1991 Donruss...I do in fact like its design, both the blue Series 1 and green Series 2. And is it just me, or does the 1990 Donruss have some really good photography compared to the other sets of that time?

    I also did in fact like the 1995 Fleer designs...nice change of pace from their normally conservative regular Fleer designs of the mid-90s...speaking of which 1996 Ultra was really a step down compared to the previous years.

    WISHLIST
    Dimes: 54S, 53P, 50P, 49S, 45D+S, 44S, 43D, 41S, 40D+S, 39D+S, 38D+S, 37D+S, 36S, 35D+S, all 16-34's
    Quarters: 52S, 47S, 46S, 40S, 39S, 38S, 37D+S, 36D+S, 35D, 34D, 32D+S
    74 Topps: 37,38,46,47,48,138,151,193,210,214,223,241,256,264,268,277,289,316,435,552,570,577,592,602,610,654,655
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
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    FirstBeardFirstBeard Posts: 467 ✭✭✭

    1991 Fleer has full color backs and the pro-vision inserts. It is an ugly terrible set, but not as bad as 1981 Topps. I know the 1981 Topps brigade will come for me, but someone had to say it.

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    1961 Topps.
    Perhaps the least inspired of the 1960s sets is this one. The design is really bland and unappealing. The color scheme looks like a cheap variety of banana and strawberry ice cream recalled because it caused food poisoning. And the print for team names was basically unreadable.
    :neutral:

    Rebirth. Renewal. Transformation.

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    Chicago1976Chicago1976 Posts: 460 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Aside from some of the hideous junk wax designs mentioned here, I've never been a fan of "wood paneling" cards like 1962 Topps or the 1955 Bowman "Color TV" set. Something drab and depressing about them. And '62 seemed to have alot of players not wearing caps. Not a fan.

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    pdoidoipdoidoi Posts: 494 ✭✭✭

    I like the 1962 Topps and the 1955 Bowman TV cards. The antique and historical looks of the cards I find make them very attractive to collectors. I remember I had a 1955 Bowman Hank Aaron and I think that is a great looking card.

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    Chicago1976Chicago1976 Posts: 460 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pdoidoi said:
    I like the 1962 Topps and the 1955 Bowman TV cards. The antique and historical looks of the cards I find make them very attractive to collectors. I remember I had a 1955 Bowman Hank Aaron and I think that is a great looking card.

    I have to agree, it does give it a classic look. The 55 Bowman's are growing on me as I add some to my collection, understanding the historical significance of the TV. Maybe it's my frustration in finding copies that aren't chipped along those brown edges...lol.

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    RidethelightningRidethelightning Posts: 390 ✭✭✭
    edited November 3, 2023 2:29PM

    @Groo said:
    81 Topps not my cup of tea. From my Child days - 1988 Donruss Baseball and 1990 Score Football and 1992 Fleer Baseball

    1981 Topps, 1991 Bowman, any Allen & Ginter, and others can actually make one physically ill while opening.

    Great thread.

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    mrmoparmrmopar Posts: 1,032 ✭✭✭✭

    @Chicago1976 said:
    Aside from some of the hideous junk wax designs mentioned here, I've never been a fan of "wood paneling" cards like 1962 Topps or the 1955 Bowman "Color TV" set. Something drab and depressing about them. And '62 seemed to have alot of players not wearing caps. Not a fan.

    Those big head shots sucked no matter who the player was, even a 64 Yogi Berra was hard to look at.

    Cards like the 62 Billy Williams or the odd Jake Gibbs were easier on the eyes (that trophy always helps with me too).

    I collect Steve Garvey, Dodgers and signed cards. Collector since 1978.
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    EstilEstil Posts: 6,922 ✭✭✭✭

    I do in fact love the 1955 Bowman cards (aren't they to commemorate the first ever color broadcast, which I think was the 1954-55 Rose Bowl/Parade or something) and they have some creative/clever write ups on the backs (look up the Virgil Trucks one) but the 1962 design is a real snooze.

    WISHLIST
    Dimes: 54S, 53P, 50P, 49S, 45D+S, 44S, 43D, 41S, 40D+S, 39D+S, 38D+S, 37D+S, 36S, 35D+S, all 16-34's
    Quarters: 52S, 47S, 46S, 40S, 39S, 38S, 37D+S, 36D+S, 35D, 34D, 32D+S
    74 Topps: 37,38,46,47,48,138,151,193,210,214,223,241,256,264,268,277,289,316,435,552,570,577,592,602,610,654,655
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
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    EstilEstil Posts: 6,922 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 3, 2023 9:32PM

    @FirstBeard said:
    1991 Fleer has full color backs and the pro-vision inserts. It is an ugly terrible set, but not as bad as 1981 Topps. I know the 1981 Topps brigade will come for me, but someone had to say it.

    What's wrong with 1981? Colorful fronts, nice clean backs with cartoons (for the second to last year) plus bonus Topps Traded and Coke sets for those who can't get enough and want an encore!

    Oh yeah, and the last time for the old smiley Topps logo...with the new and still current one already on the cover of the packs. Maybe to show they were NOT happy about losing their monopoly!

    WISHLIST
    Dimes: 54S, 53P, 50P, 49S, 45D+S, 44S, 43D, 41S, 40D+S, 39D+S, 38D+S, 37D+S, 36S, 35D+S, all 16-34's
    Quarters: 52S, 47S, 46S, 40S, 39S, 38S, 37D+S, 36D+S, 35D, 34D, 32D+S
    74 Topps: 37,38,46,47,48,138,151,193,210,214,223,241,256,264,268,277,289,316,435,552,570,577,592,602,610,654,655
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
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    EstilEstil Posts: 6,922 ✭✭✭✭

    @RonSportscards said:
    And bread insert cards?
    Someone actually graded one. You've got to be kidding.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp2JKXBhP6M

    WISHLIST
    Dimes: 54S, 53P, 50P, 49S, 45D+S, 44S, 43D, 41S, 40D+S, 39D+S, 38D+S, 37D+S, 36S, 35D+S, all 16-34's
    Quarters: 52S, 47S, 46S, 40S, 39S, 38S, 37D+S, 36D+S, 35D, 34D, 32D+S
    74 Topps: 37,38,46,47,48,138,151,193,210,214,223,241,256,264,268,277,289,316,435,552,570,577,592,602,610,654,655
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
  • Options
    addicted2ebayaddicted2ebay Posts: 2,092 ✭✭✭✭

    @Estil said:
    I do in fact love the 1955 Bowman cards (aren't they to commemorate the first ever color broadcast, which I think was the 1954-55 Rose Bowl/Parade or something) and they have some creative/clever write ups on the backs (look up the Virgil Trucks one) but the 1962 design is a real snooze.

    55’ bowman are awesome. Same time as color tv was coming out. Perfect classic Americana era on a card.

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    BBBrkrrBBBrkrr Posts: 955 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Estil said:

    @FirstBeard said:
    1991 Fleer has full color backs and the pro-vision inserts. It is an ugly terrible set, but not as bad as 1981 Topps. I know the 1981 Topps brigade will come for me, but someone had to say it.

    What's wrong with 1981? Colorful fronts, nice clean backs with cartoons (for the second to last year) plus bonus Topps Traded and Coke sets for those who can't get enough and want an encore!

    I agree. Love the 81 set. Always thought it was cool and minimal. Some of the photos are pretty terrible but one of my favorites.

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    ArtVandelayArtVandelay Posts: 647 ✭✭✭✭

    Topps Studio

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    dan89dan89 Posts: 484 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When 1981 Topps hit the shelves the whole neighborhood was saying this is crap. I stopped buying cards it was so bad. Can I appreciate Nolan Ryan and Yaz from this set, maybe, however overall it felt cheap.

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    balco758balco758 Posts: 1,314 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 4, 2023 4:13AM

    I always felt something regal about the 81 Traded. Maybe just because there hadnt been a Traded set in many years.

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    EstilEstil Posts: 6,922 ✭✭✭✭

    @ArtVandelay said:
    Topps Studio

    That's Donruss Studio. And I really liked how the first three years of that set showed us what the person was like behind the athlete. And that was really cute (and ironic!) what Cal Ripken, Jr said was his pet peeve (now called microaggressions) in his 1993 Studio card. :blush:

    I also always thought Cal's 1991 Studio card looked like Garth Brooks, and if you cover up Don's lower face on his 1992 Studio card he kinda looked like then local car dealer guy Don Moore!! Oh, and my 9th grade Algebra 1 teacher looked just like Roger Clemens 1988 Donruss card! Forgive me, I do go off on tangents sometimes...

    WISHLIST
    Dimes: 54S, 53P, 50P, 49S, 45D+S, 44S, 43D, 41S, 40D+S, 39D+S, 38D+S, 37D+S, 36S, 35D+S, all 16-34's
    Quarters: 52S, 47S, 46S, 40S, 39S, 38S, 37D+S, 36D+S, 35D, 34D, 32D+S
    74 Topps: 37,38,46,47,48,138,151,193,210,214,223,241,256,264,268,277,289,316,435,552,570,577,592,602,610,654,655
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
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