Tuesday, December 22, 2020

A Junk-Era Set I'm Gonna Collect

I was at Walgreen's the other day and sauntered by the "toy" aisle. Happened to see one of those 80-card repack things I blogged about here. I had $5.99 burning a hole in my pocket, and figured I'd give it another go. Turns out this was my favorite yet - I mean, I got a bunch of dumb 2019 Topps Series 1 nobodies and some Donruss and Score cards from the 90s, but I got four cards from a series I only vaguely knew about: 1991 Swell Baseball Greats.

I'm digging these. I was psyched to pull Matty Alou first, and what's more, there are 150 cards in all - so maybe having 146 left to grab of a very inexpensive set will make for a pretty fun chase...? Of those 150, there are about half hall of famers, and half guys you know for something else. Then there are guys like one of the 4 I pulled - Ken Reitz - and you're like, hunh? Reitz, a .260 lifetime hitter over 11 seasons, won a single Gold Glove, and was thought of as an excellent fielder in general. That's kind of it for Reitz. I mean - that's better than anything I've done in the major leagues, let me tell ya, but is it enough to be a "Baseball Great"? I think it is!

There are two series of Swell Baseball Greats before this, too, in 1989 and 1990 respectively. Cards were flooding out in great biblical waves at this time, and generally, it's an era I totally avoid because I don't like most of the designs and - well - it's not like I'll have any problem tracking these down if I change my mind, right? I do really like these, though. So I'm going to see what I can do about cobbling together this 1991 set and see what other oddballs like Reitz come up. Here are my other three from the repack:


  1. Well, he played in the NL during the Schmidt era. Not a lot of Gold Gloves left to be won.

  2. I picked up a Walgreens repack a couple weeks back, but didn't get any Swell singles. Is Ken Reitz a baseball "great"? Should I have heard of him? I've heard of the other three for sure.

  3. Yup, all the Swell sets are great. I'm casually grabbing all I can.

    I grew up in the "Ken Reitz Era". He was one of my favorites.

  4. You shouldn't have too much trouble completing this one, as I know that more than a few bloggers have unwanted duplicates sitting around collecting dust.

  5. I'm a big fan of Swell cards in general. Bright colors. Simple design. And solid checklists. Now that I'm done building the Pacific Legends sets... maybe I'll shift my focus to Swell.

    By the way... I opened a box of cards (1993 UD All-Time Greats) yesterday that contained two of these guys. They're modeled after the T-202 Hassan Triple Folders. Anyways if these are something you'd be interested in having, I can send some your way. I'll be writing a post on my box break tomorrow if you want to get a closer look at the cards.


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