Under The Tree: 1997 Best Heroes Of The Gridiron Action Figures

Best was the go-to manufacturer in the 90’s and early 2000’s when it came to MiLB licensed cards.  They were based out of Austell, Georgia, and issued some nice stuff.  In my mind they never rose to the level of importance like some of the other manufacturers.  Today they are no longer around.

Its normal for card companies to try out different ideas.  In 1997, Best took a shot at officially licensed college football action figures.  Each figure measures 6.5″ tall, and comes with a removable helmet.  The checklist for the 1997 set consists of (12) players:

  • Herschel Walker – Georgia
  • Errict Rhett – Florida
  • Reggie White – Tennessee
  • Derrick Thomas – Florida State
  • Brett Favre – Southern Miss
  • Ki Jana Carter – Penn State
  • Dan Marino – Pittsburgh
  • Rod Woodson – Purdue
  • Marshall Faulk – San Diego State
  • Herman Moore – Virginia
  • Desmond Howard – Michigan
  • Deion Sanders – Florida State

At the time of their release, Stating Lineup was still the king of sports figures.  Best’s Heroes Of The Gridiron were a little easier to play with though because of their full articulation.  Best released another set of figures in 1998 under the same name.  That set has (18) figures in it.

The line of figures released by Best never really took off like Starting Lineup did.  All of the figures made by Best can easily be found for $5 to $10.  I’m sure there were some football fans who had these waiting under the Christmas tree for them back in ’97 and ’98.

Card of the Day: Joey Hamilton 1997 Fleer Ultra #284

Card of the Day: Joe Girardi 1997 Topps #291

Card of the Day: Kris Benson 1997 Bowman Chrome Refractor #167

Card of the Day: Tedy Bruschi 1997 Topps #264

Card of the Day: Iheanyi Uwaezuoke 1997 Skybox Premium #167

Product Highlight: 1997 Upper Deck Shimano

When you think of professional fishing, trading cards certainly aren’t the first thing that come to mind.  Sure, we’ll find cards pertaining to fishing popup in sets like Allen & Ginter, Goodwin Champions, and Sportkings.  Even in the early 90’s we had some Pro League Bass sets make an appearance.  Nothing of major importance though.

In the sports card industry, fishing cards are kind of odd.  One very small set that you don’t see often is made by Upper Deck.  In 1997, Upper Deck partnered with Shimano.  For those not familiar with Shimano, they are a large manufacturer of fishing, bicycling, and rowing equipment.  This “Special Edition” set only consists of five cards.  Two of the names I’m sure you’ll recognize.

  • Bob Izumi #1
  • Jimmy Houston #2
  • Jose Wejebe #3
  • Larry Dahlberg #4
  • Jay Buhner #5
  • Tony Gwynn #6

I had no clue that Jay Buhner and Tony Gwynn were such big fishermen.  According to the cards, Jay Buhner’s favorite Shimano reel to fish with is the Chronarch 100A, and enjoys fishing with Ken Griffey, Jr. and Norm Charlton.  Tony Gwynn likes to fish for bass, while his favorite places to fish are Lake Poway and the Pacific Ocean.

Obviously Shimano issued this set as a promotion.  Its a neat little unique piece.  Not a whole lot of value.