1991 Topps ML Debut ’90

27 10 2011

In 1991, Topps issued the second year of a set in factory form called “Major League Debut”.  This 171-card set has every player who made his ML debut during the previous season – 169 players and 2 checklists.  The front of the card is basically the same design as the 1991 base set, with slightly different color schemes and 2 other differences.  The Topps 40th logo is not displayed, and the team name is replaced with a flag showing the date of the player’s debut.  The back has a newspaper-like blurb about the debut, and contains full 1990 player stats from the minors and majors.  Like the Topps Traded sets, these cards are printed on white cardboard.  This set was released earlier in 1991, though I haven’t figured out how early they were issued.  I think it was done before the base set.

As I mentioned in a couple earlier posts – Alex Fernandez was featured on a card distributed at the banquet for the Golden Spikes Award that he won.  This card basically served as a promo for this set – it’s the exact same card front.

JayBee’s Topps blog has done a great look at these sets in comparison with the Debut class from 20 years later.  This set was much better than the one I bought the previous year – both this and the 1991 set seem like they were packaged better.  There’s an appropriate amount of space in the packaging.

There are no players in this set from the 1990 Reds World Series team – none of their postseason roster actually made their debut in 1990 (3 had done so and were in the set the year before).

There are no baseball Hall of Famers in the set (yet), and this set is in fact not as impressive as the one the year before.  Frank Thomas highlights the set and is the only HOF caliber player. While Tino Martinez and Luis Gonzalez aren’t future Hall of Famers, they were very good players.  Moises Alou, Carlos Baerga and Travis Fryman also had very good careers with multiple All-Star appearances.

After that is the next tier of guys – some good players with a few All-Star appearances and decent careers.  I’m always excited to see Hard Hittin’ Mark Whitten!

Finally, in addition to Alou, there were 3 other guys with familial ties to MLB in this set.

Also, just for housekeeping purposes – I bought this set from the Baseball Card Exchange.


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