IT’S TIME TO GIVE JUNK WAX FOOTBALL CARDS THEIR DUE.
Sorry, I don’t usually begin off my posts by screaming at folks on-line, however because the pandemic has as soon as once more made card amassing “cool” (at the least as cool as card amassing can presumably be), a lot of the eye has been on baseball playing cards. And sure, baseball playing cards had been my old flame, too.
However it’s time we cease ignoring the traditional soccer playing cards as effectively, kiddos.
On the peak of our world communal shutdown in the course of the pandemic final 12 months, we had been remoted, bored, and determined to seek out alternative ways to entertain ourselves. For these of us who had been card collectors as a child, we abruptly discovered ourselves pulling out outdated binders and containers of playing cards that stopped being priceless 20 years in the past.
And you already know what? With out the fear of how a lot the playing cards had been price and making an attempt to commerce for rookie playing cards and freaking out if considered one of our 35 Frank Thomas playing cards had a small nick within the nook, we had been in a position to sit again and benefit from the recollections of what it was prefer to dump all of our allowance right into a field of playing cards and spend a day ripping open pack after pack.
After all, like with all good issues, collectors have taken issues to the acute as soon as once more. Card amassing has develop into a scorching pastime, with “flippers” flocking to Goal shops and vintage malls to purchase as many packs as they will and promote them on Ebay. Nevertheless, there are numerous of us on the market who nonetheless take pleasure in amassing these outdated packs and ripping them open only for the enjoyable and nostalgia of it.
It could sound silly, however it’s like just a little mini Christmas each time you do.
Card amassing acquired out of hand within the late Nineteen Eighties, with Topps, Donruss, Rating, Higher Deck, Fleer and others mass producing playing cards to the purpose it turned inconceivable to maintain up. The market turned flooded with billions of playing cards that had been, primarily, not definitely worth the cardboard upon which they had been printed. At the moment, these playing cards are referred to as “junk wax” as a result of they continue to be plentiful and are nonetheless principally junk.
However that doesn’t imply it’s not enjoyable to open these outdated packs or flip by binders that haven’t been touched in 25 years. It’s supremely enjoyable, and it’s time the “junk period” soccer playing cards acquired some love.
For soccer, the junk period began in 1987. Topps started to mass produce their soccer playing cards to the purpose that none of them are actually all that priceless immediately. The playing cards launched only one 12 months earlier, the ‘86 set, are extraordinarily priceless as a result of that they had a extra restricted run. So, for the needs of this put up, we’ll persist with NFL playing cards from 1987-94, and have a look again at a few of my very favourite playing cards that includes Eagles gamers from that period.
1987 Topps Randall Cunningham
I imply, simply take a look at this Randall Cunningham rookie card. Take a look at the flowing locks. Take a look at that kelly inexperienced No. 12. Take a look at all these wristbands! Randall’s profession was only a sparkle in his eye, his whole future specified by entrance of him. Cunningham would go on to develop into The Final Weapon in the course of the late ‘80s-early ‘90s Eagles groups that thrilled within the common season however in the end pissed off within the postseason.
1988-89 Topps Jerome Brown
This isn’t a priceless card by any stretch, however it’s enjoyable to look again at Jerome, the soulful, far-off look in his eyes as he imagined devouring one other quarterback beneath his huge body. It’s much like his Topps card the next 12 months…
…solely this far-off gaze isn’t as soulful. There’s an anger emanating from his aura. One can solely assume when Brown returned to the sport the quarterback he was pursuing died from the concern of inescapable doom.
1989 Rating Reggie White Predator
1989 was when the soccer card business went full junk, with Rating and Professional Set releasing playing cards that 12 months as effectively. The Rating playing cards, particularly, weren’t junk as a result of their print run was extra restricted than Topps’ and Professional Set’s, and the Rating playing cards are actually sharp-looking, higher than any baseball card they ever produced.
The very fact they made a Reggie White card and splashed a “Predator” tag over it’s simply every kind of superior and enjoyable. Lawrence Taylor and others additionally had “Predator” playing cards hooked up as effectively.
1989 Rating Randall and Keith Jackson
That is one other super-fun card. Not a priceless merchandise, however this landscape-sized card that includes Randall about to sling a ball to the most effective tight finish in soccer on the time, Keith Jackson, brings again so many recollections.
1989 Professional Set Eric Allen Rookie
Much more than the ‘89 Topps playing cards, the ‘89 Professional Set outlined “junk.” These playing cards had been in all places. Card shops, drug shops, ice cream outlets, auto physique restore outlets, physician’s workplaces, church, you might discover these playing cards in all places.
Generally when a card labels a participant as a “prospect,” they wildly miss the mark. Not so with Eric Allen, one of many biggest cornerbacks of his technology and the most effective nook in Eagles historical past.
1990 Professional Set Chris Carter
Issues actually began to get out of hand in 1990. Topps, Fleer, Higher Deck, Professional Set and Rating all launched soccer playing cards this 12 months, and none of them are price something.
One 12 months after a fairly blah version, Professional Set featured the best-looking playing cards of that 12 months, and everybody who was alive in the course of the Buddy Ryan period remembers the precise recreation from which this Chris Carter catch emanated. In actual fact, considered one of my BGN Reminiscences podcasts particularly targeted on this 1989 traditional between Washington and the Eagles at RFK stadium, an episode it’s best to hearken to as quickly as you’re accomplished studying this story. Whoever the photographer was that snapped this picture for Professional Set, you’ve earned your cash, sir or madam.
1991 Fleer Randall Cunningham
Sorry, time to incorporate one other Randall card, and a few of the inventive rendering playing cards of this period are merely superior. I’m unsure the place these different footballs are coming from, maybe Randall threw them earlier within the recreation and he tossed them so exhausting they traveled all over the world and returned again to him. He was THAT GOOD.
1992 Higher Deck Herschel Walker
Herschel was a greater participant with the Eagles than folks keep in mind. When he got here to the workforce in ‘92, he lastly gave Cunningham and Wealthy Kotite’s offense an actual menace to run the soccer, mixed with a hard-charging Heath Sherman on the finish of the season. Walker went on to play two extra seasons in Philly and though he didn’t have one other 1,000 yard season, he did develop into the primary participant in NFL historical past to have a 90+ yard dashing TD, receiving TD and kickoff return TD.
1994 Skybox Eagles
Such a smooth design that’s so mid-Nineteen Nineties it’s exhausting to consider Simply superior stuff, even the Mark Bavaro one. I need all of them.
Fortunately, in case you’ve acquired $5, you’ll be able to possible have any of those you need.