My Score: Select Collection (Updated December 26th, 2021)
1993 Score Select: “Bruce Matthews” #10
1995 Score Select Certified: “Terance Mathis” #34
1995 Score Select Certified: “Steve McNair” Certified Gold Team #10
In 1993 the hobby got its first taste of Score's spin-off called "Score: Select"; the Select title was supposed to be Score's attempt at a "Super Premium" brand. I thought the cards were awesome, they had a very nice appeal to them and the layout was very cool, (See the 1993 Score Select: "Bruce Matthews" #10 left). But for some reason, the hobby just turned the other way. The "Select" franchise just struggled to keep up the whole time, in my opinion. The initial "Select" release was a 200-card set with a measly one insert set, (I should point out that in the early 90s many releases didn't include a butt-load of insert sets like today's titles do.). The first release of "Score: Select" is the cheapest of the "Super Premium" titles that can be had today. At a mere $20 bucks, as I write this, one of the more solid "Super Premium" titles from the 90s can be yours.
In 1994, Score continued with their 2nd release of the "Score: Select" title. This release was a 225-card set with the same type of excellent photography that was evident in the '93 release, (See the 1993 Score Select: "Randall McDaniel" #3 right). The "Select" series definitely did not disappoint with their selection of photography. Sometimes you see the same pictures in the same sets, (For example, Fleer might use the same picture in their Tradition title, their Genuine title, and their Focus title because they bought pictures from the same photographer and used them across all their brands). The pictures in the "Score: Select" title were pretty unique which really made it stand out against the many titles out at that time. The '94 release also included 2 insert sets, up from one the previous year. At this stage, I thought this title was here to stay.
In 1995, Score discontinued the "Score: Select" title. Well kind of. In its place Score released the initial release of "Score Select Certified". The Select Certified release brought a kind of "Super Super Premium" card into circulation. And this title was not alone either; there was Upper Deck's SPx brand and Topps' Stadium Club Chrome too. Again, I liked the photography. Crisp, new photography was the staple of the "Score Select" and "Select Certified" titles, (See the 1995 Score Select Certified: "Terance Mathis" #34 left). The horrible thing about this release, the worthless 135-card set size. Why bother? I mean, 135 cards get you 4 players per team. If, and that's a big if, they evenly distribute the cards per team. And that doesn't happen. But the real gem from this set was the insert sets.
1994 Score Select: “Randall McDaniel” #3
1995 Score Select Certified: “Curtis Martin” Certified Future #10
The insert sets from this release were some of my favorite inserts from the mid-90s. I just liked the look of both of these sets, (See the 1995 Score Select Certified: "Steve McNair" Certified Gold Team #10 above left). The look of the "Gold Team" set was just really unique and I can't think of any set that looks
anything close to it. The other set I really liked was the Certified Future set, (See the 1995 Score Select Certified: "Curtis Martin" Certified Future #10 above right). The Certified Future set was nothing more than a rookie set just done really well. Both of these sets were really a bright spot in crowded 90s hobby landscape.
In '95 Score decided to forego the "Select" title and replaced it with "Select Certified". In '96, the "Score: Select" title was back. Score didn't increase the card set at all when it came back but did stay the course with superb photography, (See the 1996 Score Select: "Orlando Thomas" #23 right). The small inset picture on the card front was big enough to allow a really good close-up of the player. The layout on the card front was again really thought out and looked really cool. This release also came with 3 insert sets, the gem of those being the "Prime Cuts" set. The "Prime Cuts" set was an 18-card die-cut gem that remains high priced all these years later.
1996 Score Select: “Orlando Thomas” #23
In closing, the "Score: Select" brand released some very cool sets. Whether it was called "Score: Select" or "Score: Select Certified" you could sure that you were getting a set with very unique photography in every set. I was always satisfied with each set, the set size notwithstanding. And when you looked at a couple of the insert sets, they were some of the best insert sets available in the mid-90s. I think if a collector was looking for a mid 90s series to buy, they would be more than pleased with what the "Score: Select" series had to offer.
I have complete sets:
Score Select Series:
1) 1993 Select Set
A) Gridiron Skills Insert
2) 1994 Select Set
A) Canton Bound Insert
B) Future Force Insert
3) 1995 Select Set - Does Not Exist
4) 1996 Select Set
A) Building Blocks Insert
B) Four-Midable Insert
C) Prime Cuts Insert
Score Select Certified Series:
1) 1995 Select Certified Set
A) Checklist Insert
B) Gold Team Insert
C) Select Few Insert
D) Future Force Insert
2) 1996 Select Certified Premium Stock Set
A) Gold Team Insert
B) Thumbs Up Insert