Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things I missed; 1995 Flair

I quit collecting cards back in 1994, right at the dawn of the most spectacular evolution of the hobby. Sure, there was a sea change back in 1989 when Upper Deck raised the quality bar a country mile, but things were about to get really wacky.

When I came across some boxes (not packs, these are packaged in little card-sized boxes) at my local dust store, a store that has box after box of 1990s cello gathering dust, I picked up a couple packs. When I saw them, I knew they must have blown more than a few minds raised on 1986 Topps.

The pack is 660 cards, in two series. Pretty huge for a "high-end" product that comes in little boxes, although if I remember correctly, the boxes held a dozen cards. The backgrounds are super shiny, speckly, dazzling even. The stock is thick, about a card and a half thick. They are radiant. The name, team and Flair '95 are all embossed. They don't scan worth a damn.

Jon Smoltz's rear, for lack of a better way to put it. Decent stat line, well done photo.

A Frank Thomas insert. These must have been one of the earliest die-cuts out there- I can't remember anything else out there before 1995. The earlier Flair products (it dates back to at least 1993, although I never saw any) might have die-cuts- but certainly, this was an early one. Very simple, compared to some of the Pacific adventures that were in the future.

Frank's rear. Frank Thomas was a bad-ass.

The positioning of the action photo and the posed/face shot is a bit awkward on this card, but good use of fill flash, at least. Frank Rodriquez holds a special place in my heart because I got his autograph when he was at AA Lynchburg back in 1993 or 4.

I still need the Pedro Martinez from 1995, but I don't honestly see myself ripping any more of this stuff to try and find it. It is a pretty spectacular demonstration of where the hobby was headed- completely over the top. But ripping a pack of 1995 Flair is a lot more fun than ripping a pack of 2010 Topps, that's for sure.

Damn I wish there was still competition in baseball cards.


  1. Mid 90's Flair products are awesome! Great design... nice card stock... and cool inserts... add them up and you get a quality product.

    I hope you find that Martinez sooner than later.

  2. I was just thinking the other day as I was looking through some random Fleer cards on how much I missed them. Competition is always good as it makes everyone stay on their toes and makes each company be one step ahead of each other. Now we're faced with dealing with whatever Topps decides to throw at us. I like Topps - don't get me wrong - but I miss some of those inventive die-cut Pacific designs and the basic Fleer Tradition sets.