Monday, June 6, 2011

1996 Ultra Call To The Hall

The nineties are full of small insert sets. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of insert sets. So many, in fact, that to this day, I have no clue as to all the insert sets there are out there. I keep running across new inserts from the nineties all the time. Case in point, this beauty.

This is a dangerous way to make a card set. There needs to be a balance of talent, charisma and luck. Very few players fit that bill. I thought Bo Jackson would have made a strong case for enshrinement, during his playing days. Afterwards, his accomplishments didn't seem to add up to what I remembered them being. He dominated two sports for years, but injuries while at his second job hindered the performance of his first job.

From all the hype placed upon them, players like Brien Taylor and Todd Van Poppel should have had an automatic ticket to Cooperstown. Van Poppel had an average lengthy career. Taylor never pitched in the majors. The same hype surrounds Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. Strasburg has already had Tommy John surgery. Only time will tell if he becomes anywhere close to where he was expected to be. The same expectations fall on Harper. Time will tell.

The White Sox have one card in this insert set.

10 - Frank Thomas

Since this is only a ten card set, let's go over how good Fleer's selection of Hall of Fame contenders was back in 1996.

1 - Barry Bonds
The jury is still out on Barry.

2 - Ken Griffey Jr.
I'd say he's a first ballot lock.

3 - Tony Gwynn
You betcha!

4 - Rickey Henderson
Rickey will tell you that Rickey is already in.

5 - Greg Maddux
I would be shocked if Mad Dog didn't make it on the first ballot.

6 - Eddie Murray
Mr. Bad-ass is in.

7 - Cal Ripken Jr.
Iron Man streaked his way in.

8 - Ryne Sandberg
Despite what Joe Morgan may think, Ryno is in!

9 - Ozzie Smith
The Wizard is in!

10 - Frank Thomas
The Big Hurt should be a first ballot lock.

All those picks are pretty spot on. I would even argue that Barry Bonds should be Hall of Fame worthy, for the things that he accomplished before his massive home run production.

I love insert sets like this. There's a point and the selections are top notch. Nowhere in this insert set do you see the flavors of the month or rookie phenoms. Most current insert sets throw all that out the window.

This doesn't look like a typical Ultra card either. I like that. It's a simplistic design that works for the set. It stands apart from the base set and is pleasing to the eye. Nice job, Fleer!


Twitch said...

Mentos: The Freshmaker.

Dick Allen Hall of Fame said...

I will be shocked if Barry Bonds gets the nod. Based on the Mark McGwire example, I can't help but believe the voters are going to punish him (and others) for being the poster child of PED era.

Steve Gierman said...

McGwire was a one dimensional player. It would have been tough for him to get in even if his name wasn't mixed up in the PED era. Bonds was a legitimate five tool player for many years. I still don't think that he'll get in, but he should get a longer look than McGwire.

capewood said...

I have a couple of cards from this set. Except for Bonds they did a pretty good job. I do not expect Bonds to get in but back in 1996 he would have been considered a lock, There was also a Gold Medallion version. I have the Bonds gold version.

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