Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Front Row

Here's another odd-ball from the early '90's

Front Row put out "limited" sets of cards of baseball's all-time greats. The plan was to release 100 different players, but they only made it up to 39. There were five cards in each set, and the print run was 25,000. Each set came with a certificate that numbered the set.

Only one Cubs player had a set produced, Ernie Banks. I saw it on ebay and it was only a couple bucks. I guess just because something is limited doesn't guarantee that anyone wants it because several of these are always on sale.

Take a look at the first card and you can see why.

I'm assuming that Front Row didn't have an MLB license, because any Cubs logos have been removed. They didn't have the gall (or maybe the arogance) of Upper Deck to try and see what MLB would do. It's a nice enough looking picture of Ernie, all smiley and happy. But you are still left with a lousy airbrushed card, times five.

This one, with the Cubs logo gone, looks weird.

All they had to do on this one was get rid of the C on his helmet. But on closer examination, it looks like the flipped the negative on this one. The 14 on his back looks backwards. And the pose looks like the follow-through of a left-handed batter. Ernie was a righty.

This is what is should have looked like.

The C on the hat is gone, but we still see just a hint of the "Chicago" on his uniform.

What's worse, airbrushing or black and white pictures?

And here is my certificate of authenticity. Wow, aren't you jealous of me!


  1. I barely remember these - how were they sold - through dealer adds? - How were they packaged?

  2. I'm not sure how they were sold, but mine came in a sealed clear plastic wrapper.

  3. I remember them. I vaguely recall the company selling "subscriptions" to the sets, but I could be imagining it.

    For team/player collectors, I think they're an interesting oddball item.

  4. The first card looked familiar. It's an airbrushed version of a photo Ernie used as a promotional postcard when he worked for New World Van Lines,