When I was reading the recent article on Joe DiMaggio posted on this site, I started thinking of the old adage that everything old is new again. Way back in 1935, Pebble Beach Clothiers used seven different PCL players to promote their store. They got all seven players to sign trading cards and thus one can consider this the first ever “autograph” set. I still remember when I was at Beckett and heard about these cards and was so stoked to hear about such a concept in play decades earlier.
Needless to say, these cards are all very scarce, but just think, nearly 60 years before the first big autograph set, a fully signed card set was already extant.
Then I started thinking about another set concept which has disappeared in the past 20 years. During the 1990-94 time frame, several teams including the Los Angeles Dodgers (their 1990 Target-sponsored set that featured players from 1890-1990 was epic), Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers among others created baseball card stadium giveaways over the course of several different games in a season. These sets featured every player who ever played for that respective team. Here is an example of the 1990 Target Dodgers set. What else is interesting is many master team collectors will pay significant premiums for these cards if there are no other cards of said player.
I would really like to see this type of set re-appear. A set like this is truly a way for baseball to honor its past but also keep in touch with the present. In addition, just the thought of cataloguing and pricing sets like this always brought a smile to my face.
And of course, I hope to see more “heritage” or “archives” type sets created in the next year as well, especially in other sports. How cool would it be for a basketball set to be centered around autographs of players such as Horace Grant and A.C. Green the way 1980’s baseball is celebrated in the Archives set.
What are some of the sets you would like to see created or reappear in 2014? Please send responses to me at [email protected].