Card of the Day: Tim Flannery 1988 Fleer #582

Card of the Day: Shane Conlan 1988 Topps #232

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1988 Salt Lake City Trappers Team Issue

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Minor League Baseball sets issued by teams today don’t carry much weight when it comes to the collecting world.  They’re drastically overproduced, and the players most likely already have cards in more in-demand products such as BowmanBowman ChromeBowman Draft, Bowman’s BestPro Debut, and Heritage MiLB.  I’m not saying there isn’t a market for them.  Today’s collectors just have more options.

During the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s is where you’ll find some of the more popular team issued sets.  Guys like Ryne Sandberg, Cal Ripken, Jr., and even John Elway pictured in an Oneonta Yankees uniform all received Minor League Baseball cards predating their nationally issued rookies.  Depending on rarity and condition, these can be extremely valuable.

Baseball Cards Etc issued a team set in 1988 for the Salt Lake City Trappers.  Now they’re known as the Ogden Raptors.  At the time, actor Bill Murray owned five percent of the team.  It makes perfect sense that he received his own card.  His brother Brian is also featured on another card in the same set as well.  These two cards are literally the only reason why this set is continued to be talked about today.  None of the other players went on to have historic careers.

If you watched any of the World Series last year, you’d know what a huge baseball fan Bill Murray is.  He was rocking that t-shirt that said “I AIN’T AFRAID OF NO GOAT.”  The 1988 Salt Lake City Trappers team set is the first time Bill Murray was featured on cardboard.  It wouldn’t be his last though.  Over the years, other teams he’s been involved with have included him in their sets.  Here is a rundown of all the Bill Murray baseball cards you could add to your collection.

  • Bill Murray/Brian Murray 1988 Salt Lake City Trappers Team Issue #2
  • Bill Murray 1988 Salt Lake City Trappers Team Issue #29
  • Bill Murray 1989 Salt Lake City Trappers Team Issue #29
  • Bill Murray 1996 Butte Copper Kings Best #2
  • Bill Murray 1998 Charleston RiverDogs Grandstand #19
  • Bill Murray 2004 Brockton Rox #28
  • Bill Murray 2008 St. Paul Saints Team Issue #15
  • Bill Murray/Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Mayor 2012 Charleston RiverDogs Grandstand #36

Mr. Murray does have a handful of other cards from various entertainment products.  Leaf even made a cut signature of him in 2012 numbered to only (1).  Most collectors treat the card of him pictured alone from 1988 as his “rookie” card.  Three copies recently sold for $75 each.

I know one of these years we’re going to see Bill Murray show up in Allen & Ginter or Goodwin Champions.

Card of the Day: Kenny Easley 1988 Topps #145

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Card of the Day: Brian Bosworth 1988 Kenner Starting Lineup

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Card of the Day: Roberto Alomar 1988 Score Traded Glossy #105T

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1988 Burger King Florida Gators

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In honer of Burger King coming out with their Extra Long Buttery Cheeseburger, lets take a look at one of their most popular regionally issued handouts.  Just like many other fast food restaurants, Burger King has had it’s share of sports giveaways.  Not many of them can compare to the 1988 Florida Gators set.

Produced in 1988 by McDag Productions, this 16-card set was given out at six different Burger King locations in Florida.  Not only did it give the Gators exposure, but it was an effort to alert the public about the dangers of drugs and alcohol too.  The most notable card within the set is Emmitt Smith #2.  It predates any of his other rookie cards by two years, and has quite the demand on the secondary market.  Examples that are in exceptional condition can easily go for more than any rookie featuring him in a Cowboys uniform.

You need to be very careful when purchasing an Emmitt Smith card from this set.  There are a ton of counterfeit versions floating around.  Some fakes have even been graded by well respected grading companies.  The most obvious counterfeit versions are the ones that are completely missing the Burger King logo.  How a counterfeiter could forget to put that in is beyond me.  But its just not that simple.  I’ve heard that there are authentic versions that don’t contain the Burger King logo.  They could’ve been made as a mock-up before going into production, and somehow they found their way out.  Other fakes include all the correct logos, but lack any of the registered trademark symbols.  Thin font on the Burger King logo on the card’s back is a dead giveaway as well.  Its a total guessing game when you’re buying one of these.  The easiest way to know if the card you have is real is if you visited one of those Burger King restaurants in 1988 and got one.

Outside of Emmitt Smith, none of the other cards are worth talking about.  If Emmitt Smith wouldn’t have become such a great player, this set would’ve been long forgotten.

Card of the Day: Dave Henderson 1988 Donruss Diamond Kings #20

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Card of the Day: Ron Rivera 1988 Topps RC #81

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1988 Topps Dinosaurs Attack!

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(Not a good day for the Falcons)

Yup.  That’s a dinosaur ripping through a baseball team like a Dallas Cowboys linebacker at an Old Country Buffet.  Instead of having aliens like Topps had with their 1962 Mars Attacks set, this time we had dinosaurs.  Just like Mars Attacks, the 1988 Dinosaurs Attack! set was a nod to all those B-movies of the 1950s.

The story is quite simple.  A scientific experiment goes terribly wrong and transports dinosaurs to the present time.  Havoc breaks out all over the world.  In the end, the head scientist, Elias Thorne, sacrifices himself so his wife can send the dinosaurs back to their own time.  This ultimately destroys the creatures in the process.

This story may lack originality, but it surely makes up for it with the artwork.  Its filled with some of the most bloody, gory, violence ever printed on cardboard.  I’d have to say that its right up there with a lot of those war sets issued decades earlier.  If you’re looking for scientific accuracy, this certainly isn’t the place.  A lot of the dinosaurs that are shown eating people weren’t meat eaters.

Dinosaurs Attack! never met the commercial success that Topps had hoped.  Perhaps it was too similar to Mars Attacks.  Plus it was 1988 which was a time when every card product was being overproduced.  The full set is made up of 55 cards and 11 stickers.  Director Tim Burton was planning to make a movie based on Dinosaurs Attack!, but passed when he heard that Jurassic Park was being made.  He settled to make a Mars Attacks movie instead.  Sealed boxes are widely available and can be purchased for $10.00 to $20.00.  In some cases you can get them even cheaper.  Original artwork probably carries the most weight when it pops-up for sale.