Score

My Score Collection (Updated December 26th, 2021)

1989 Score: “Ronnie Lippett” #72

1991 Score: “Pat Swilling” #13

In 1989, Score took the hobby by storm. The first Score set was very well received by the hobby and due to an excellent rookie class and a very small print run, (Hear that Pro-Set?), this set the stage for one of the hobby's most historic sets, (See the 1989 Score: "Ronnie Lippett" #72 left). This set only commands a crisp and clean "Ben Franklin" now, but believe me, when this set came out in '89 and for many years after nothing commanded more attention. This set didn't have any insert sets, but it did have a 110-card supplemental set. And in addition to that, this set did have an assortment of error cards that allowed the collector something to chase after.

Score returned In 1990 with an offering that didn't quite live up to its predecessor, (The Rookie class had more to do with that than anything else), but Score also increased production this time around which didn't help either. But what I really liked about the 1990 Score set was the card stock. Probably the best card stock that's ever been used; Strong, durable, and perfect for autographs, (See the 1990 Score: "Dennis Smith" #2 right). The other thing I liked was the photography of players in their college uniforms. While Score wasn't the first to do this, (Pro-Set in '89 was), they still liked very cool.  What I did like about this set was the huge 660 number of cards, but Score included within this set many silly subsets that didn't go over well with the hobby and as a result, it's reflected in the $15 price tag for the complete set.

By 1991, Score had slipped into the hobby class of "Everything else". They weren't a "Super Premium" set, the "Score: Select" brand was released for that, but the Score title just didn't offer anything special, well they did, but we'll get to that in a moment. The '91 set was a whopping 686-card goliath. A very impressive set, (See the 1991 Score: "Pat Swilling" #13 above left).  The 1991 release also included the 3rd and final installment of the "Supplemental Set". What Score tried to do and didn't accomplish very well, was a "Dream Team Autographs" set. Normally a set like this would be a very sought after, but what Score did very poorly was they included

1990 Score: “Dennis Smith” #2

1992 Score: “Eugene Robinson” #24

within the 686-card  basic set was a "Facsimile Autograph" set that mirrored the "Real Autograph" set.  Collectors couldn't tell the difference. That is one reason why I've stayed away from collecting the "Real" autographs because sellers on eBay were selling the "Facsimile" autos as the real ones. Poorly done, Score.

1993 Score: “Albert Lewis” #37

In 1992, I continued to feel as if Score fell further into the hobby abyss. The green heading at top of the page reminded me of the "Pacific: Flash Cards" that were released back in 1991, (See the 1991 Pacific Flash Cards: "Joey Browner"

#23 below right). I just didn't care for the front card design of the 1993 set, (See the 1992 Score: "Eugene Robinson" #24 above right). Although the '92 set dropped in the # of cards, it was still a huge set at 550 cards.  The '92 set also included 2 insert set, which seemed to be a standard # of insert sets for the early Score releases. The '92 release was also the initial release of Score's "Dream Team" insert set. The "Dream Team" insert set would continue for 5 seasons after it's initial debut in '92. This made it Score's longest-running insert set until "The Franchise" insert set debuted in '93.

 

1995 Score: “Sterling Sharpe” #18

The card design of the 1993 set was better, in my opinion. Action photography was again the staple of the Score set as it was with many of the 90s sets, (See the 1993 Score: "Albert Lewis" #37 above left). I actually like action photography more than any other form of card design, however with that being said, if it's done right, like the rookie cards from the 1997 and 1998 Upper Deck sets, then those are the exceptions. The 1993 Score continued the downward trend of cards, as it had 440-cards this time around. Two insert sets were also included in the '93 release. This marked the only time in Score's long-running history that both long-tenured insert sets would be included together; both the "Dream Team" and "Franchise" insert sets were included together for the first and only time. 

 

The 1994 Score set seemed to bring back the "Pacific: Flash Cards" look, (Again, see the 1991 Pacific Flash Cards: "Joey Browner" #23 right). I have no idea why Score liked that "Pre-School Color Wheel" look, (See the 1994 Score: "Steve Jordan" #33 below left). I actually liked the set, but that color wheel just looked bad, in my opinion. The '94 Score set also continued a bad trend, it decreased in size again. This set was 330 cards, now down 300+ cards since 1991. On a good note, Score added one insert set in '94 for a total of three. Overall, this was a solid set for Score, even if it did look like the Pacific: Flash Cards.

The '95 release was another solid, if not remarkable set, (See the 1995 Score: "Sterling Sharpe" #18 right). Another decline in the # of cards in the set was an indicator to me that Score hadn't developed the following in the hobby that it hoped. The set again dropped, this time to 275-cards. Along with dropping in set size, Score increased the # of insert sets again. In '95, there were 4 insert sets. The "Dream Team" insert set was making it's 4th appearance in '95, (See the 1995 Score: "Marshall Faulk" Dream Team #DT8 below left).

I didn't like the '96 release. I'm not a fan of huge borders and, in my opinion, the '96 set had an encroaching border design, (See the 1996 Score: "Adrian Murrell" #27 right). What I did like, the ever-decreasing set size actually stopped. It stopped at 275. But the insert sets increased; this time to 5 sets. And although there are some earlier insert sets that retained a high book value, the sets in the '96 release are still extremely high. Take, for example, the "Settle the Score" insert set which still has a $400 price tag. 

1994 Score: “Steve Jordan” #33

1991 Pacific Flash Cards: “Joey Browner” #23

1995 Score: “Marshall Faulk” Dream Team #DT8

1997 Score Hobby Reserve: “Alonzo Spellman” #16

1998 Score: “Keith Brooking” RC #239

1996 Score: “Adrian Murrell” #27

For some reason, the "Regular" issue of the 1997 set is very elusive. I've only just recently been able to find it. The Hobby Reserve set is what you mostly see all these years later, (See the 1997 Score Hobby Reserve: "Alonzo Spellman" #16 left). I actually liked the design, but I still thought the border encroached on the front picture too much, and could they make that "Hobby Reserve" emblem any bigger? The '97 set also held firm at 275 cards. Again, "The Franchise" was one of the included insert sets, but this one has always been my favorite and oddly enough, it's got the largest border you'll ever see, but it's cool nonetheless, (See the 1997 Score: "Eddie George" The Franchise #10 below right).

 

1997 Score: “Eddie George” The Franchise #10

The 1998 set took a page from the 1997 Upper Deck set, which was; "Let's have fun with this!", (See the 1998 Score: "Keith Brooking" #239 left). When the '98 set was released there were rumors about Score's financial situation and, in turn, there were thoughts that this set was going to be really scarce. Well, it didn't turn out that way for the Score '98 set, but there were several "Pinnacle" sets that never made it

into packs and, as a result, found their way onto the secondary market after Pinnacle's bankruptcy, (See the Pinnacle page for some of these cards). Although the '98 Score set didn't have the same following that other '98 sets had, they did have a very remarkable "Rookie Autograph" insert set, (See the 1998 Score "TeBucky Jones" Rookie Autograph #19 right). That auto-set did have a very elusive rookie included in early Beckett price guides; Robert Ellis. Actually, the Robert Ellis card never existed. It was an error by  Beckett. The Autograph set did include a Peyton Manning Promo card that is very rare. Good luck finding that one.

Although Pinnacle filed for bankruptcy in September of '98, The Score brand was sold to Donruss / Playoff who continued to release the Score brand in 1999. The '99 set was released in two parts; a 275 card initial release and then later a 110-card Supplemental set. Score hadn't released a Supplemental set since 1991,

1998 Score: “TeBucky Jones” Rookie Autograph #19

1999 Score: “Andre Wadsworth” #58

2000 Score: “Ty Law” #120

2001 Score: “La'Roi Glover” #129

but then again, there hasn't been a player come out of anywhere as Kurt Warner did in 1999 either. Every card company was scrambling to get Kurt into their card sets in 1999. The '99 set was also Score's 10th anniversary since their historic '89 release. The '99 set was cool, but in no shape or form was it going to leave the same impression on the hobby that it did in '89 set did, (See the 1999 Score: "Andre Wadsworth" #58 left). The '99 release continued the "Rookie Autograph" insert set, this one was 35-cards, (See the 1999 Score: "Cecil Collins" Rookie Preview Autograph #9 right), and the Supplemental set added another auto set, this one was the "Inscriptions Autograph" set; a 30-card set, as well. You can't beat 2 30-card auto sets in one set. That'll keep you busy for a long while. 

 

The 2000 Score set was another crisp, clean, in-action card set that the hobby had become accustomed to, (See the 2000 Score: "Ty Law" #120 left). The 2000 Score set was a 330-card set that included a whopping 11 insert sets to keep the collector busy. The Franchise made their 4th appearance in 2000 while the Rookie Preview Autographs made their 3rd. What made the "Rookie Preview Autographs" set so interesting in 2000 was that there were several cards that were never released nor signed, (See the 2000 Score: "Brian Urlacher" #Rookie Preview Autograph #SR-13 right). There are actually about 5 of these non-auto cards that I'm still looking for. No idea why they were never signed, but they are very rare, nonetheless.

1999 Score: Cecil Collins” Rookie Preview Autographs #9

2000 Score: “Brian Urlacher” Rookie Preview Autograph #SR-13 (In-signed and Unlisted)

design much more than some of the previous sets, (See the 2001 Score: "La'Roi Glover" #129 left). Unfortunately, I don't have this set yet, but I have started putting together Score's first memorabilia set called "Franchise Fabrics", (See the 2001 Score: "Wesley Walls" Franchise Fabrics #FF-23 below right). I liked this jersey set. Score also included an autograph version of the set, but without a good place for the player to sign the autographs are just too hard to see, I just didn't like the autograph version. It's sad, but Score didn't need to look any further than the "Franchise Fabrics" set to see why they failed in the hobby. In 1996,

Upper Deck and Collector's Edge released the hobby's first "Game-Used memorabilia" sets. A full 5 years later, Score, (under the leadership of a new company), had it's first.

The 2002 Score set was another 330-set that had more new, crisp, clean, in-action photography, (See the 2002 Score Kwamie Lassiter #5 below right). It's funny, but a 330-card set allows the collector to get about 7-8 cards per team, which in the modern era is excellent, but thinking back to the 70s and 80s most teams had 12-14. Pathetic. The '02 release had about 8 

2001 Score: “Wesley Walls” Franchise Fabrics #FF-23

Score continued the in-action photography again in 2001 with another 330-card release. The border may have been a little big, but I liked this border 

2002 Score: “Kwamie Lassiter” #5

In closing, the "Score" brand was just an awesome title, regardless of who ownership is. If a collector wanted to know what set they could collect through the 90s that wouldn't break the bank, I'd have to say the Score title just might be that set. The Score title never dropped below 270 cards in a set, which gave the collector a really good feel for the players in the league for that given year. Unlike some of the Pinnacle sets which settled in at 50 cards.

insert sets with "The Franchise" insert set being present for its 6th year.

I have complete sets:
 

Score Series:

1) 1989 Score Set

    A) Score Supplemental Update

2) 1990 Score Set

    A) Score Supplemental Update

    B) Young Superstars Set

    C) Hot Cards Insert

3) 1991 Score Set

    A) Score Supplemental Update

    B) Young Superstars Set

    C) National 10 Set

    D) Hot Rookies Insert

4) 1992 Score Set

    A) Young Superstars Set

    B) Gridiron Stars Insert

5) 1993 Score Set

    A) Dream Team Insert

    B) Score Franchise Insert

6) 1994 Score Set

    A) Sophomore Showcase Insert

7) 1995 Score Set

    A) Pass Time Insert

    B) Offense Inc. Insert

    C) Dream Team Insert

    D) Reflexions Insert

8) 1996 Score Set

    A) Footsteps Insert

    B) Dream Team Insert

    C) Numbers Game Insert

9A) 1997 Score Set

9B) 1997 Score Set  (Hobby Reserve)

    A) The Franchise Insert

    B) New Breed Insert

10) 1998 Score Set

    A) Complete Players Insert

    B) Star Salute Insert

    C) Hobby Epix - Incomplete ( 22 / 24 )

    D) Rookie Autographs - Incomplete (33 / 35)

11A) 1999 Score Set

    A) Complete Players Insert

    B) Franchise Insert

    C) Numbers Game Insert 

    D) Future Franchise Insert

    E) Rookie Preview Autographs Insert

    F) Scoring Core Insert

11B) 1999 Score Supplemental Set

    A) Quantum Leaf Previews Insert 

12) 2000 Score Set - Incomplete ( 329 / 330 )

    A) Rookie Preview Autographs Set - Incomplete (46 / 54)*

    B) Air Mail Insert

    C) Building Blocks Insert

    D) Complete Players Insert

    E) Franchise Insert

13) 2001 Score Set

    A) Franchise Fabrics

14) 2002 Score Set

15) 2003 Score Set - Incomplete ( 324 / 327 )

16) 2004 Score Set - Do Not Have

17) 2005 Score Set - Do Not Have

18) 2006 Score Set

19) 2007 Score Set - Do Not Have

20) 2008 Score Set - Do Not Have

21) 2009 Score Set - Do Not Have

22) 2010 Score Set - Do Not Have

23) 2011 Score Set - Do Not Have

    A) Complete Players Insert

    B) In the Zone Insert

    C) Millenium Men Insert 

24) 2012 Score Set - Do Not Have

25) 2013 Score Set

 

 *Note: Beckett lists this set at 54 cards, but does not list who card #’s SR#1, SR46, SR48, and SR49 are. If you know who these cards are, I would love to know.