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My Favorite Sets

My Top 10 List + 2 (Updated December 31st, 2018)

This page list my favorite sets.  Some collector's are more concerned about individual cards or maybe individual players, but as I said on my opening page, I'm a throwback to the collector's of old; I love completing sets. 

Back in the early 90s I was caught in a rough spot as far as collecting goes.  While growing up in St. Louis, I had a very hard time locating many cards.  St. Louis was, is and will always be a Baseball town and Football didn't have a place in the heart of collectors in St. Louis.  Most sports card shops didn't carry much older football because they weren't fast movers.  I'm sure the Rams have helped turn that around for a while, but in the early 90s when St. Louis didn't have a football team football card collectors were left out in the cold.

Now with the internet, locating other traders, online auctions or online card shops it has made it so easy to locate missing cards to complete sets.  Thank God for the internet.

So, the reader might be asking, “What is with the large # of sets from the 90s listed here?” “Weren’t the 90s a terrible time for football cards?” Well, yes and no. Yes, the 90s were a terrible time to collect anything that would hold any value. This was due to the over-production between years 1990 and 1995 that rendered most sets worthless. And no, over-production doesn’t make the set any less attractive in terms of layout, photography, stats, player selection and set size.

The sets listed below are my favorite Base Sets; (Excluding Memorabilia and Autograph cards):

1) 1997 Topps Gallery - Just Plain Stunning. It still holds my top spot all these years later.

Topps: Gallery

1997 Topps Gallery: “Corey Dillon” RC #24

2) 1997 Topps Stadium Club - I love this set!!  Crisp colors, creative design and a nice, (340), number of cards!!!

Anchor 1

1997 Topps Stadium Club: “Kenny Holmes” RC #32

3) 1996 Skybox Premium - Perfect action photo with an awesome flow of team colors. It still remains one of my favorites.

1996 Skybox Premium

1996 Skybox Premium: “Scottie Graham” #97

4) 1996 Upper Deck SP - I really loved the design of the base cards, but I didn't like the design of the RCs.  If they would've been better, this set would be higher.

1996 Upper Deck SP

1996 Upper Deck SP: “Orlando Thomas” #116

5) 1999 Topps Gold Label - What the 1997 Fleer Flair was, the 1999 Topps Gold Label was times 2. Although I still give Flair props for coming up with the great design. Topps just follwed them.

1999 Topps Gold Label: “Keenan McCardell” Class 1 #48

6) 1998 Topps Stadium Club - Excellent front-side layout.  The Rookie Cards were really sharp.

1998 Topps Stadium Club

1998 Topps Stadium Club: “Brian Simmons” RC #169

7) 1996 Donruss - Perfect borderless design for both Base cards and RCs.

1996 Donruss

1996 Donruss: “Tony Brackens” RC #232

8) 1991 Upper Deck - A very superb entry into the hobby. Although it may not be worth much today; this release set the bar extremely high for all in-coming titles into the hobby.

1991 Upper Deck

1991 Upper Deck: “Joey Browner” #52

1991 Pro-Line Portraits Vinnie Clark.jpg

9) 1991 Proline Portraits - One of the most innovative and breathing-taking sets of all time. If Upper Deck had done this set, the prices would be in the stratosphere.

1991 Proline Portraits

1991 Proline Profiles: “Vinnie Clark” RC #18

10) 1995 Upper Deck SP - Upper Deck really has a gem with its SP brand!!  They did everything right!!

1995 Upper Deck SP

1995 Upper Deck SP: “Sean Gilbert” #61

I like to hold a couple spots for sets that recently fell off the "Top 10" list or sets that just couldn't crack the "Top 10", but should still have a word said about them. So without wasting any more time here are my 2 "Honorable Mentions".

11) 1997 Upper Deck Legends - I just couldn’t find a place in the top ten, but couldn’t leave it off the list. This is the set that redefined the industry. Upper Deck realized that there was an untapped market of 100s of former players that they could still make cards for and, more importantly, that the hobby would still collect. But here is the key, they did it right. These cards are amazing!!

1997 Upper Deck Legends: “Ozzie Newsome” #154

12) 1977 Topps - Why is this set on the list?  This was my very first card set. I started collecting when I was 7 and have never stopped.  I still have a majority of my original cards, although I wouldn’t get much for them.  Can you say, rounded corners? And the Neil Clabo card just happened to be my favorite card.

1977 Topps: “Neil Clabo” #477

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