A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

1992 Score

I grew up in the early 90s (born in '84), so I have an affinity for "junk wax" sets that not many others do.  I kind of bristle at the term "junk wax", just because, well, I don't think it's junk.  If you were to limit that term to cards in the late 80's, I'd be okay with it, but there are some early 90s sets that are too beautiful to be junk wax (in my eyes).

My favorite sets of the early 90s are gems like '93 Upper Deck and '94 Stadium Club, which had some killer photography, '91 Fleer and '92 Topps, which hold a lot of sentimental value, and '92 Pinnacle, which was flat out awesome.  But there's one set that I think I overlook sometimes in my collection, and it's '92 Score.

Score's previous sets stuck out to be because the cards had different colored borders, but the '92 edition added a few more tweaks to the design.  Along with using different colors for the nameplate/position area and the side panel with the team logo, they used the same idea as '92 Pinnacle and had the player photo pop out onto the border.  It looks pretty cool here with this Benito Santiago card, complete with floating face mask.

I also love the colors in the set.  SO 90's.  How many other card sets have bright green and blue in the border?  The answer is "certainly not enough".  This could only be done in the 90's (though the '75 Topps set was bright in it's own right, in a far groovier time - and I guess there's some interesting color choices in '72 Topps as well).  

As far as "eras" go, this was the first year of the "blue-and-orange era" for the Padres.  After having brown being a main color (highlighted by yellow, then orange and yellow, and then just orange), they dropped it completely and went with blue instead.  I don't really have any baseball memories prior to the color change, so this is definitely the Padre uniform of my childhood, though I would welcome a change to brown ASAP (side note, most likely not going to happen anytime soon, as the Padres unveiled the 2016 All-Star Game logo, which is blue and YELLOW, hinting at yet ANOTHER color change for the Padres).  I will forever be team #BringBackTheBrown, and have not worn a blue Padres hat since Little League.

The other thing they nailed in the 90s was the photography.  Back when there was competition (seriously SO many card companies, especially compared to the Topps-domination of today), you had to make your brand stand out, and the photography was a good way to do that.  Not saying that there's not good photography now, but I'm not convinced that it's better than it was in the 90's.  Topps is lazy, and Panini doesn't have a license, so it's been rough.

Remember pictures on the backs of cards?  '92 Score was pretty tame compared to a few other sets, in that it only had one picture on the back (compared to Fleer Ultra, among others).  That is a pretty foreign concept now.  I understand that lots of collectors don't like the vertical format for card backs, but I don't mind.  My eyes worked well enough as a kid to read them, and I didn't need a bunch of fancy stats, just the basics.  Don't really need WAR, and I didn't even know how to calculate Slugging Percentage until a few years ago (and I already forgot).

While it's far from a "memorable" set from the early 90s for many, it's still worth taking a look at for me.


  1. I used to hate this set, but it's moved up to "average" for me as of late. Not one of my favorites, but still a decent offering by the people at score. (And I agree about the "junk wax" term.)

  2. I bought a few packs of this in my youth. It was never a favorite, but the way many of the pictures seemed to burst out of the frame was a nice touch.

  3. Ever since I split the purchase of a box of 1991 Score with a friend, I've always loved Score. 1992 was a nice change of direction from 1990 and 1991 and to this day I still like it. Oddly enough though I never included any of it in my past Affordable Group Breaks. Hmm....