|1990 Phillies Team Issue #31|
Since the 1970s, the Phillies have created their own baseball card sets, postcard-sized (or bigger), and typically sold in complete set form at the ballpark or given away as a promotional item at a game. For a few years in the late 1980s and then again beginning in the 2010s, the sets would be updated throughout the year for new player additions.
The dealer I bought the 1990 Phillies set from told me that the 1990 cards were given away four to five at a time in shrink-wrapped packages handed out before select 1990 home games. He told me the cards were never sold in complete set form, and that he had hand collated the 1990 set I was about to buy. I'm not sure if this story is accurate or not, but it would explain why the 1990 team set has been so hard to find. That being said, I definitely went to a handful of games in 1990 and I never received any of these "packs" of cards as I entered the Vet. (As an aside, before last weekend, the only 1990 Phillies Team Issue card I had seen is in my wife's collection and it will one day pay for our sons' college tuition. I jest.)
Which brings me to this Vatcher card. The checklist for the set in an older edition of the Standard Catalog lists 36 cards, with no Vatcher card. The Beckett database incorrectly lists the set as "1990 Phillies Tastykake" even though Tastykake's name is no where to be found on the set. Their checklist also only includes 36 cards. So who knows where this card came from? Does anyone else have this card in their Phillies collections?
Along with finishing up my Missing Links and Topps Phillies series of posts, I'd also like to start a series on the various Phillies team issued sets since 1983. (If and when I obtain any of the older sets, which are also extremely hard to track down, I'll go back and cover those as well.) My hope is to chronicle each year's set, the updates (if any) and catalog the known rarities and variations to be found within these sets.
Given that I have a full-time job and two small children at home, I should be able to get through this project by at least 2027.
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