Tuesday, February 17, 2009

#1: Star Rookie Checklist

After injecting a jolt of pure adrenaline into the card industry four years previous, Upper Deck released a set in 1992 that showed that it had grown up. The mix of photography ranged from goofy to sublime and included everything in between. This blog has been designed as a chronicle of a largely forgotten set. My intent is to capture the essence of each card in this set (low numbers only, as this was the only portion of the set I collected as a youth), one card at a time. Updates will be daily (as time allows), but will never be rushed. Commentary will aim to be poignant, yet hilarious. Walk with me as I spend the next two year (or more) explaining 1992 Upper Deck.

#1 Star Rookie Checklist (Featuring Ryan Klesko and Jim Thome)

Upper Deck was all over this from the word "Go." Their first correct decision came when they swapped out the old Star Rookie logo as the front of card #1 for an actual photo.
Secondly, they absolutely nailed the selection of poster boys for young, raw talent. Arguably the more successful of the two, Thome has been chosen as an All-Star for three different teams. Klesko, while trailing Thome in individual accolades, played an integral part for the 1995 World Series Champion Atlanta Braves.

Other prospects were more heralded by the hobby (read Beckett) at the time of this set's release, but UD stuck to their guns and instead of going to prom with the prettiest girl (Todd Van Poppel), they mustered up the courage to ask out the girl voted Most Likely to Succeed, the hot one who played soccer, understood the poetry of John Donne, and could hold her own in a conversation with the history teacher about the Algerian independence movement. Nice work, gentlemen.


  1. Oh God, my eyes, my eyes!!!

    You're right those, this is definitely 1992 Upper Deck colors. It just looks way too much like Mets and Gators colors to me. Blech!

    I'll look through my stash and try to complete this set for you.

  2. The color has burned into my monitor... No check that. It is burnt into my retinas.

    This should be fun.

  3. perhaps the first time Jim Thome and John Donne werein the same conversation

  4. I need another blog to read like I need another box of 2008 Upper Deck Documentary. Nonetheless I've always liked '92 Upper Deck and am interested in what you've got to say about it. Although I haven't been actively trying to complete the set it looks like I'm within about 25 cards of having the whole set. Plus I've got a bunch of duplicates, including 8 (!) Roger Clemens cards.I'll try to look over your want list soon and send you any duplicates I have that you need.