Here’s the next 4 cards in the countdown of the top cards in the decade. Remember, this is my opinion on the best cards from the 90’s. Not just the best photo, the best card design, the best player or the most notable card. Really, I consider all of those factors and make a personal list, made up of the cards I think are the best.
5) 1996 Topps #297 – Marquis Grissom
There’s a lot of cool things going on with this card. It looks like Grissom just went through a desert just to get to second base. Unfortunately, it took him too long and he was not successful. The disappointment of the failure, presumably after days without food water, is evident on his face.
This is the only card in the top 10 from the latter half of the decade. That wasn’t intentional, but it says something about where Topps went in my opinion later in the 90’s.
4) 1991 Topps #450 – Wade Boggs
This card got runner-up in my posed photo countdown. As I said, this set and photos like this represented a huge change for Topps in 1991 and this is the first one that I genuinely considered as an option for the best card of the decade. Essentially, any of these top 4 are very close to me.
3) 1993 Topps #52 – Bobby Bonilla
This card was my top posed photo. I can’t say it any better than I did last week:
“This card resonates with me. It doesn’t feature a pose in an actual baseball environment. But I’m someone who has an affinity for Manhattan, which is strange for someone from the Midwest. But Bonilla – and Bonds a year later – were such a big free agent signings. Those 2 felt like the first really huge free agent moves in baseball history.
Anyways, like him or not and question his tenure in New York, I think this card captures a bit of baseball history in a unique way. And it makes me thing wistfully of my 2+ years living in New Jersey.”
2) 1990 Topps #414 – Frank Thomas FDP RC
I was surprised that Thomas’s rookie card didn’t make it into the top 60 cards when Topps did the vote a few years ago. This card is notable in and of itself because it’s a true rookie card for a future first ballot Hall of Fame player. Second, it’s probably one of the 2 or 3 most notable cards of the 1990 year that was during a time of incredible change in baseball cards. Due to the famous error variation (No Name on the Front), this card is famous. It’s not just notable, but to me it’s a great card. It’s the rookie card of an all-time great player, in his Auburn uniform. You can tell how big he is here, too – just look at the runner, Thomas is almost as tall as him while kneeling!
There’s one card that has too much mojo going for it to get beat out by any other card…
And you’ll have to read on Sunday to see which one that is!