Friday, July 19, 2019

The "Best" Set


Literally the Best. 

One of my quests this summer has been to buy at least one minor league team set every paycheck or so. Of course, I'm hitting all of the low-hanging fruit right now, searching for low priced deals on stuff that has probably been sitting around in someone's old dusty basement for a spell. (That's where I used to keep my cards.) One of my latest acquisitions was the 1987 Best Springfield Cardinals set. It is glorious, but for all the wrong reasons I suppose.


Minor league sets, especially early ones, are especially known for awkward amateur photography as much as they're known for not-quite-seen-everyday cards of future major leaguers. This is expected with a set like this, but these cards are hilariously awful in different way. Best, which would go on to be the preeminent minor league card manufacturer of the '90s (for whatever that is worth), made a pretty sad effort at some of their earlier releases. These cards are almost magazine thin. They're somehow much flimsier than the '86 Donruss release that they ripped off in the first place.


Ballboy or real ball player?


My scanner is less than great, but this does do well to show the great variance in color shades used on these cards. I can imagine someone constantly messing with the toner tray at the Best factory when these were rolling off the presses.


Here are some of the guys that you've heard of. Bernard Gilkey (not sure why some of these names were so formally written) would go on to become a staple of the '90s Cardinals teams.


Mike Perez became of the better St. Louis relievers and appeared on that sorta but not quite iconic 1993 Upper Deck card.


Todd Zeile, of course, played the game at a high level and lasted for sixteen seasons. He somehow didn't make an All-Star team in all of those years, which probably puts him into a weird category.

If for some reason you have any old minor league team sets (or single cards, I'm not picky!) of Cardinals affiliates or Portland Beavers, let me know. There's a good chance I'm interested.

1 comment:

Fuji said...

Wow. Totally didn't see the 86D design until you pointed it out. But you're absolutely right. I went through a minor league team set phase myself. My latest pick up is the 1979 Ogden A's.