Monday, November 30, 2015

Junk Wax Banter

Lucky me!Privileged to have grown up in the junk wax/steroid era.I was 12 In 1989 ,and by that time I was a full blown baseball card collector.I had some Fleer and Donruss,but mostly Topps and Score.In 1989 ,Topps could be found just about anywhere ,and with my favorite player, Canseco,adorning the retail boxes,spotting them In the wild was a cinch. I think the chase card from that set at the time was card number 648, Future Star  Sandy Alomar. Packs of 89 Topps were cheap.Less than 50 cents a pack,45 cents to be exact.A kid my age could swing that easily.Between lawn cutting and sofa change,I had more than enough money to come away with most of that set.Fleer and Donruss were  easy pickings as well,just not so high on my want list.Then the world of baseball card collecting would be introduced to two new brands of cardboard- An incredibly sexy and hologrammed out Upper Deck and the homey ,over sized,facsimile autographed Bowman.Both dared to be different.Upper Deck's counterfeit proof holograms were too cool,reminiscent of those old 80's Transformers faction stickers.It was almost like you were getting two cards in one because the backs of them had an equally stunning hi-res action photo  of the player portrayed. Upper Deck taught me how to carefully hold a baseball card.

 Bowman was equally beautiful In It's own,vintage way.The players stood out on the elongated card fronts with a facsimile auto across the lower half.The card backs had an interesting design as well,sporting players individual stats against each American or National League team. Because of that,every time the A's played Texas,I wasn't going out on a limb by telling my buddies that Canseco would rake In that series, thanks to the all informative  Bowman card backs.

These two new card brands were great,but pricey.I think that's when pack buying slowed down for me .Upper Deck was pushing a buck a pack and I'm pretty sure Bowman was more expensive ,too.I never accumulated many 89 Upper Deck cards,In fact the three you see above are what's left from my childhood collection.That Bowman Canseco Is the same one I had more than 15 years ago.Look closely and you can see a nice crease running down the middle :) So,yeah,my era might have been the Junk Wax Era,but It was still MY era.And I loved every minute of It!


  1. I was in my early 20's at the time... I thought Upper Deck was WAAAAAAAYYYY overpriced and refused to buy any. I liked that Bowman was something different and I bought a hand-collated set at a show. My stance on UD has, of course, softened over the years... but like the introduction of glossy paper in comic books, I view 1989 UD as "that moment when it all went wrong". :-D

  2. As kids we loved the design but yeah,the price of a pack was a huge turn off.If you look at It ,they kind of were the first to usher in the dollar + pricing per pack .

  3. A kid my age could swing that easily, i think so.

    I played baseball growing up and throughout school. There is no doubt that the ball comes a little “hotter” off of an aluminum bat vs. a wood bat.All and all moving to wood bats is probably a good idea. I’ve seen people take some good shots from balls coming off bats, and it’s never pretty.Visit my web sites