Product Highlight: 1996 Best Harrisburg Senators Team Set

Today I was planning to watch the Harrisburg Senators take on the Bowie Baysox on City Island in Harrisburg, PA.  I guess we all know that’s not going to happen due to COVID-19.  This was going to be my first bobblehead giveaway of the year too.  Fans were going to receive a bobblehead of Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner.

In early March I purchased three sets of tickets for some minor league games.  Two in Harrisburg, and one in Lancaster.  With MLB looking to play half of a season starting in July with no fans in attendance, I highly doubt MiLB would be much different.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they don’t play at all.  I’d like to get my money back for these tickets, but all I can do right now is exchange them for other tickets to a 2020 game.  This makes no sense because even if they do play fans most likely won’t be allowed in to watch.  I think they’re just holding out for as long as possible on giving refunds.  Its possible they’re holding on to the tiniest bit of hope that perhaps a certain percentage of fans might be allowed to attend.  You can’t blame them for doing so.  Tons of money has been lost already.  The last thing they want to do is dish out refunds.

In 1997 I attended my first professional baseball game on City Island.  The game was between the Harrisburg Senators and New Haven Ravens.  While sitting in my seat, a Ravens player walked by and gave me a broken bat.  To this very day I do not know who that player was.  I like to think it was Todd Helton as he was part of the Rockies minor league system at the time.

Heading in to the game, I remember stopping at a souvenir booth.  Team sets for the 1997 roster hadn’t been released yet, so I bought one leftover from the 1996 season.  The two most recognizable names on the 29-card checklist are Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Vidro.  Both players already had cards in nationally distributed sets prior to this team set release.

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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.

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