Wednesday, December 12, 2007

1995 Zenith

When you are away from card collecting for over a decade, you miss a lot of releases. In some respects, I am still catching up with sets between 1994 and 2006. Keep in mind that I'm still figuring out 1900 to 1993 as well and you begin to see what I put myself up against.

I knew quite a bit collecting between 1983 and 1993. Being a kid through that period meant that I missed out on a lot of sets. Some sets from that period are completely foreign to me. Some of the sets between 1994 and 2006 come off as completely bizarre.

When I think of Zenith, I think of televisions sets that are produced just outside of Chicago. I don't think of baseball cards. I suppose that the word zenith isn't just a made up word for electronics, but it might as well be. When have you heard it in a conversation that wasn't related to the product? Exactly.

The design of this card looks like a poor man's yellow brick road was placed underneath the player. The back looks like a cross between an old pinball machine and early Stadium Club backs. I'm not sure what to think of this one. I don't have any of the cards in hand, but the pictures look blah. It looks like there is possible foil on the card. Foil is one trend of the 90's that got out of hand. Its ramifications are still being felt today.

The set itself consists of 150 cards. 6 of which are White Sox cards. That's about average for each team. Although the Dodgers manage to have 9 cards. Here's the 6 Sox cards.
  • 2 - Alex Fernandez
  • 33 - Frank Thomas
  • 90 - Robin Ventura
  • 119 - Ray Durham
  • 121 - Scott Ruffcorn
  • 123 - James Baldwin

The veterans dominate this set. Fernandez is a stud at this point in his career. Frank will always be Frank and he was his most dangerous around this period. Ventura is always welcome. He was always underestimated and undervalued.

The rookies are another story. Ray Durham isn't my idea of a good time. He's not bad and occasionally can reach star potential, but it's just potential, nothing more. The less said about Scott Ruffcorn, the better. At least he's not in a prom tux. James Baldwin would have to be the good rookie here. He turned out to be the ace of the team half a decade later. It was a slow build up and a steady decline, but he was great for a couple of years in the middle.

This isn't a bad set, but it's a typical mid-90's release. Nothing is surprising. Nothing is special. Sometimes that can be a good thing too.

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