Thursday, January 24, 2008

1991 Topps Box Bottom - Robin Yount

I can remember a time, not that long ago, when packs of cards were in grocery stores. I used to walk up to the local Dominick's and pick up as many packs as I could with my allowance. It was a simpler time and I really miss those days.

Then, in late 1990, I discovered something by accident. I had gotten down to the last few packs and noticed writing on the bottom of the box. I lifted the box up and there were secret cards on the bottom. I thought I had just discovered Atlantis or Amelia Earhart.

The rest of that year and the next, I conned my way into getting as many free empty card boxes as I could. Some employees thought I was a nutty kid. Others gave me a wink and a nod. Nudge, nudge. Say no more! Say... no... more!

In 1992, I didn't notice any cards to my recollection. If I did, I didn't think much of them. My collection seems to have started in 1990 and ended in 1991. I have a couple of professionally cut box bottom cards from earlier years. I have a 1986 Carlton Fisk in my collection. The ones from 1990 and 1991 will always hold a special place in my heart because I feel like I earned them. I even remember thinking that Donruss was cheap because they didn't offer cards on the bottom of their boxes.

These pop up in my boxes of cards from time to time. Some are cut better than others. Some I have several of. They always intrigued me though. I guess it was because they looked like the regular cards but were slightly different. Some of the Fleer cards from 1990 fool me to this day until I look at the back and see the gritty brown cardboard. Maybe kids would be more into cards if they found cards on the bottom of the boxes. Hey, it worked for me.


dayf said...

Topps put cards on the bottom of the box back in 2004 or 2005. Problem was, it was hobby boxes only and dealers were pretty stingy in giving up their empty boxes. If you wanted the complete set you had to buy 4 boxes.

I always thought that if someone printed up a panel of two cards on the side of a blaster they'd get tons of sales. People would be more likely to buy if they knew what the cards looked like and there'd be people who would would buy boxes until they got all the panels.

White Sox Cards said...

Great idea with the blasters! I'd buy more, if that's even possible.

I had no idea that Topps did that again. Too bad it was only hobby boxes though.

Kevin said...

For some fool reason, I ended up tossing out an empty box of 1987 Topps a few years ago. It was the one with Winfield, Sutton, and a couple others on the bottom.

I like to think I never make the same mistake twice. I've got a box of 1988 Topps that I broke open last summer, and though I haven't cut the cards out, the box is waiting safely in my closet. It's got Tony Gwynn, John Kruk, Marvell Wynne (three Padres!)...can't remember the fourth. Maybe a Cardinal?

White Sox Cards said...

Looks like Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice on the 1987 box bottom and Darrell Evans, a Tiger, as the missing one for the 1988.

Very cool!

Fleerfan said...

Donruss actually started the practice back in 1985. The first year they did this there was only 1 panel with 4 cards - Ron Kittle, Dwight Gooden, Ryne Sandberg, and a card sized reproduction of the Lou Gehrig Puzzle that was inserted in packs that year (with the instructions "Hey Kids! Cut carefully along the lines to form your special Lou Gehrig puzzle").

Fleer & Topps joined in the next year. Donruss only did their box bottom cards through 1987, while Fleer & Topps went through 1991. OPC also included the Topps cards on their boxes.

Fleer actually got box bottom happy and put different cards on the bottom of cello boxes (with 6 card panels instead of 4), as well as their Star Stickers boxes and even did box bottom cards on a couple of their box sets (those 44 card sets that proliferated in the late '80s).

On each Fleer panel, one of the cards (or 2 in the case of the 6 panel cellos) was a team logo, so you can count on some of these showing up on The Fleer Sticker Project eventually!

White Sox Cards said...

I've got a bunch of the Fleer box bottoms, poorly cut out, from 1990 and 1991.

I didn't even realize that Donruss ever had box bottom cards. Looks like I'll have to track down that 85 Kittle.

Thanks for the info!