The biggest hobby controversies of the 80s/90s...anyone remember these?
Now I've been a collector since I was 13 years old (when I first started buying packs regularly) though it wasn't until I entered college at the dawn of the millenium (fall 1999) that I feel like I started to seriously collect (in the sense I could get complete sets and put in binders instead of just a random assortment of cards from the packs). That being said I was able to read Becketts and sometimes some other hobby publications from the 90s and sometimes late 80s. And like anything else in this world, there were some controversies in the hobby back then. Anyone recall these?
1. 1989 Fleer Bill Ripken -- Need I say more? Say does the Bill Ripken guy still come around here anymore?
2. Complaints about too many sets each year - Believe it or not this started as far back as the early 90s (check out the jump of the number of sets from 1990 to 1991 and then to 1992 and you'll see what I mean) and one common theme was people complaining that say, they routinely bought the "big three" (Donruss/Fleer/Topps) and now they feel overwhelmed by all these other sets and feel like they "have" to do those as well. My view on that is, why not just continue to get the sets you always have and just ignore those "other sets"?
3. "Killing the messenger", eh Price Guide - There were often many letters in the Readers Write (what the letters to Beckett section was called at the time) complaining that "you" (Beckett) made my favorite player's cards worthless!! This is the equivalent of calling your local meteorologist and complaining that they ruined your weekend Bar-B-Q with a bad storm. Beckett doesn't make the prices, they report them.
4. Garbage Pail Kids cards - This is sort of a forgotten one but did you know that there were some players (such as Glenn Davis) who were so opposed to Garbage Pail Kids cards, they refused to sign Topps cards but will sign other ones? I mean I get that the GPK cards are not for everyone but can't people then and now find better things to be morally outraged about? Incidentally I remember in Baseball Cards Magazine someone writing in about how much GPK's are worth and the reply was the name says it all, garbage. Yeah, how is that "garbage" holding up now?
5. Cutting up Babe Ruth's bat for game used insert cards - Okay you guys remember how in in the late 90s we started having the first ever cards that had a piece of game used sports memorabilia on it? Well a couple of years or so afterwards it was announced that a game used Babe Ruth bat was bought at auction...to cut up into little squares and make insert cards out of. Needless to say there were many people who thought this was the equivalent of sacrilege...cutting up a priceless Babe Ruth bat for some gimmick.
6. Mickey Mantle organ donor cards - In 1995 when and right before Mickey Mantle passed away there was a special organ donor card made with a message from Mickey himself.
Well there was a bit of controversy with these because people were concerned that people wouldn't use these as intended but rather "save them in case they're worth something someday". Not to mention on a related note someone was applauded at the price increases of Mantle cards right after his death as it appeared like dealers were "taking advantage of a bad situation". Personally I think doing the organ donor thing at your local DMV with your state license/ID marking you as a donor is far more effective but I digress.
7. Clear plastic peel "protection" on Finest and other "chrome" cards (starting in 1995) - While adding the clear plastic peel off film (starting in 1995) certainly seemed like the perfect idea on paper (after all it helps from keeping the chrome/finest surface from getting scratched, especially before the pack is even opened) there was considerable controversy about whether one should peel them. In fact I even asked this question myself a few years back explaining the situation. At the time it was like you risked ruining the card's value if you peeled it...but the cards do look much better and gorgeous peeled and shiny so as you guys suggested since I'm not going to sell them anyway...
8. Michael Jordan so-called "college rookies!!!"...that were issued several years after the fact - This is more an early 2000s thing but that was not cool that they sold Michael Jordan cards from the 1989 North Carolina Collegiate Collection set as "college rookies"...even though they came out several years after Jordan played at UNC!! Unless the cards came out while Jordan was at Carolina and the cards were meant to be about the then current team, then it doesn't count. And on a more partisan note, I think it's grossly unfair that because of Jordan there are billions of those North Carolina Collegiate Collection sets on ebay...but it took me many years just to find one 1989 Kentucky Collegiate Collection set...and I still can't find a 1988 one. They are very nice sets BTW.
Any others you can think of?
1974 Topps set : 38, 46, 48, 78, 79, 102, 138, 143, 148, 151, 156, 193, 201, 210, 214, 223, 241, 243, 256, 264, 266, 268, 277, 289, 290, 316, 349, 367, 379, 391, 392, 398, 404, 405, 429, 435, 460, 466, 492, 504, 535, 552, 570, 577, 592, 603, 610, 614, 616, 633, 654, 655, 660
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