This set is not listed on Beckett, but the back of the pack gives a nice description of the set.
“Collectors Marketing is proud to present the premier edition of Professional Baseball Pre-Rookie Cards. This 880 card set consists of the players on all 26 AAA clubs affiliated with Major League Baseball Teams, plus selected superstars on AA and A teams. Many of these fine young pros are sure to become the Major League Stars of the future. This 1990 set has been produced in strictly limited quantities and promises to become a highly collectible card set.”
$0.88 on eBay (part of a lot of 17 random packs on eBay)
This pack looks cheap from the get-go. The thin plastic wrapper of the pack hides nothing. There might as well be a window over the top card. Mark Whiten of the Syracuse Chiefs is right on top.
A couple features of this pack stand out. First, this is the Premier Edition for the Pre-Rookie line. While looking at this pack, I feel like I’m entering an investment deal on the ground floor. The upside is huge. Second, the bottom of the pack indicates that the set is complete at 880 cards. 880!! I remember in the early 80s when Topps bumped its base set from 726 to 792. A full 792 cards of major leaguers seemed massive. In 1990 Topps was still holding its base set at 792. Along comes Pre-Rookie with 880 cards of minor leaguers. Sometimes less is more. This is one of those times. I would like to continue taking pot shots at this product, but the manufacturer, Collectors Marketing Corporation, does deserve some credit. These cards were issued in 1990. Two decades later, people are still writing and reading about it.
117 – Bien Figueroa – 1992 Cardinals – 12 games – .182 BA
602 – Kevin Ward – 1991-1992 Padres – 125 games – .217 BA
673 – John Young – no MLB experience
749 – Doug Simons – 1991-1992 Mets/Expos – 49 games – 6.68 ERA
(non-AAA players have a woodtone border)
195 – Thad Reece – no MLB experience
496 – Gary DiSarcina – 1989-2000 Angels – 1086 games – .258 BA
393 – Scott Livingstone – 1991-1998 with 4 teams – 673 games – .281 BA
642 – Ramon Sambo – no MLB experience
122 – Tim Sherrill – 1990-1991 Cardinals – 18 games – 7.71 ERA
551 – Duane Espy – no MLB experience
462 – Jeff Kaiser – 1985-1993 with 5 teams – 50 games – 9.17 ERA
350 – Mark Whiten – 1990-2000 with 9 teams – 939 games – .259 BA
Players in a AAA league have their league (American Association, International League, or Pacific Coast League) at the top of the back along with an inset picture and stats. Players in lower leagues just have stats.
I probably could not have dreamed up a more lame pack to kick off the pack side of my blog. I would not open a box of this stuff, but just one pack seems a bit more tolerable. The real reason this pack is here is because it was included in a mess of packs that I picked up off eBay. In my defense, a couple other blogs, A Pack to Be Named Later and Bad Wax, have both posted rips of one of these packs.
What I like most about minor league cards is the variety of different uniforms and team logos. Major league cards get stale in that department. The downside of minor league sets is that the players are virtually all unknowns. I don’t need every card to be A-Rod, but it’s nice to recognize a couple names. Also, because early interest in minor league cards was weak, card makers didn’t sink much time into designing cool cards. These are just portraits or the standard posed batting shots. No subsets or inserts. More recent efforts on minor league cards have been better, but these are still niche products.
Overall, this pack was a dud, although I can’t say I expected more from it. DiSarcina is the best card I pulled. That’s not good enough to make want to open more of this product. On the bright side, next week’s pack can only be better.
An after-post addition: I don’t know how I missed this, but there is actually a blog dedicated to looking at the cards of the 1990 Pre-Rookie set. The blog is The Greatest 21 Days: 1990 CMC. June 30, 2010