I did mention that Carlton Fisk had a killer 1989 season. He wasn’t an All-Star, but look at those stats. Wait. What? The back clearly says “1990 All-Star Set.” Yeah, that’s a lie. His most recent All-Star appearances were 1985 and 1991. Because of course. I suppose this is a “this player has been an All-Star” in order to get big names into sets. Misleading, but not entirely false. (COME ON, IT SAYS 1990 ALL-STAR SET RIGHT THERE!!!)
So, reading into the fact that this card exists, it’s notable that this was part of a run of Topps cards which were released every year without a redesign. Fisk didn’t have a great seasons each year (usually due to injury), in the 1980s, so it makes sense that the 1990 is his first in the “Glossy Send-Ins” sets since 1986. Of course, it’s a boring design, but it’s a great action shot (though smells like pre-game warmups), and the red border matches with the red highlights of the 1989 away White Sox uniforms. The picture makes the card (is my feeling this week), so this card makes the cut.
Given the craziness of the late-80s and early 90s, there’s something quaint about the consistency of this mail-away design throughout the decade (really, only the border color and name location are the only changes). Heck, even the backs are just minor typeface changes and some shenanigans with the red, blue, and white usage. Check out the TERRIBLE white balance inconsistency below.
I certainly didn’t like the 80s-issued cards, but that consistency has definitely changed my mind about it. (also, they didn’t use that terrible yellow or green-yellow border…. yeesh).
This was the last year of the “Glossy Send-Ins” product. The fact it never changed its clothes throughout the junk wax era is one of the more surprising takeaways of this project.