Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Borders on Black Friday

I do not believe in going out and blowing money on material things the day after we celebrate family and being thankful for what we have in our lives; also, since I work for a school district, I have the day off as well - yay for long weekends!  As such, I have nothing better to do today than blog and since it's Black Friday and I have no intention of going out into the retail hellscape, no matter how good the deals are, why not celebrate by showing off my favorite black-bordered cards?

Now, that I can get behind!

First off, here's a couple of early 90's oddballs which came with magazines.  That perforated Dave Smith came from the official Cubs periodical, Vineline, and was part of a larger set which came with one of the monthly editions in 1991.  Whichever one that was, I have no idea.  I can't find a lot of info on this regional set and I only found the one in my LCS several years ago.

Meanwhile, Donovan Osborne is represented in my CATRC binder by this Investor's Journal. Like the Vineline set, this was part of a recurring set issued in panels within the magazine.  Is there anything more 90's than a card of a hot rookie contained within a magazine which touted baseball cards as investments?  Methinks not.

Next up, we have a pair of cards which shine the spotlight on players of yore.

The Ned Williamson black bordered beauty hails from the 2012 edition of UD's Goodwin Champions.  It's not too often that stars from pre-20th century baseball show up in modern products; thus, any time that they do I can't help but do a little happy dance.  Personally, I'd say it's an era that deserves a retrospective set of it's own - I'd buy that.

Also, we have Hy Cohen - short-term Cubs hurler of the 50's - courtesy of the Jewish Major Leaguers set, which was released in installments since 2003 (this one is from the first).  The concept behind this set is pretty obvious and was put onto the market through a partnership with Fleer.

Throughout it's long history in the baseball card market, Topps has had a thing for white borders, minus a couple of exceptions.

While black borders make for a sleek set which truly makes the colors of the picture pop, they are quite prone to chipping, as you can see with this 1971 Topps single of Bob Miller.  It's for this reason that I'd wager that Topps generally shies away from dark-colored borders.  Nevertheless, '71 is still one of my favorite vintage sets.

In modern times, Topps went "back in black" once, this time with their 2007 Flagship set, as modeled by "he was a Cub?" Craig Monroe.  While the Cubs were winning the NL Central, I was chasing these beauties down.  The only thing that bugs me about these cards is the foil text - with dark borders, these become nearly impossible to read.

In an attempt to be different and set themselves apart from the industry leader, other baseball card manufacturers have opted for black borders as well.

Here we have a couple examples of this phenomena from 1985 Donruss and 1993 Pinnacle.  In all honesty, I don't have too much to say about these particular releases.  Although, especially with the latter set, I will say again that the black borders make for a sleek design.

More modern oddballs featuring players from days long gone by - battery mates from the days of the last Cubs World Series Champions.

I've made it abundantly clear that Conlon Collection has been, hands down, the most helpful set when simply-designed beauts featuring the imagery of Charles Conlon which populate my binder.  Without this set, it would have been drastically more difficult to get as far with this collection as I have. Thus, I will always consider this product one of my favorites of all-time.

Next to Archer, we have a "Origins of Baseball" single from a highly under-appreciated 1994 set produced by American Archives Publishing.  This is my most preferred card of ol' "Three-Finger" since the inset photo shows off exactly why Mordecai was slapped with that moniker.  A very nice touch!

We're almost done here, but what would a discussion about black-bordered cards be without a Bowman dump?

So many Bowman sets, so little time.  Suffice it to say that pre-rookies from Bowman and it's product-defining black borders from 1997 through 2011 have proven to be most helpful in keeping up with obscure, roster jenga players the Cubs have employed over the years.  I mean, does anyone but me remember Brad Snyder or Jose Ascanio played on the Northside?

With that, I've exhausted my black baseball card supply, at least in terms of my CATRC binder.  You might say that I have none more black.

I hope you enjoyed this little color-coded exercise in honor of Black Friday.  After all, it's a much safer way of spending this retail holiday - no shoppers foaming at the mouth, no around the block lines, no NASCAR parking lot mayhem, and much less bloodshed.

Sounds good to me!


  1. Weren't there some Score cards with black borders?

  2. I had a black bordered post as well in celebration of Black Friday... but I missed a lot of the sets from your post. I purposely left out the Bowmans, since I'm not a huge fan of them. However... I can't believe I forgot about the Conlon and 2012 Goodwin Champions sets.