Saturday, May 27, 2023

Comparing the Main Brands - 1989

 Year - 1989

Main Brands -  Topps, Donruss, Fleer, Score, Upper Deck

Number of Players Included Among All the Sets: 38

Players Included in Every Set: 20

A fifth brand was added in 1989, Upper Deck.  I should note that I am just doing each company's main brand.  Topps added Bowman in 1989, but I am not including it.  I'm sticking to just the flagship brands.  You won't see Stadium Club, Flair, Ultra, or any of the other releases that the companies issued.   Also, at this point I'm not doing O-Pee-Chee or Leaf since their sets are just duplicates of Topps and Donruss.

I am also just doing what I consider to be the set's base cards.  Traded sets are not included since not all of the brands have traded sets.  For that reason, with Upper Deck I'm doing the first 700 cards in their set.  The final 100 were released much later and I see them more as a traded set than the base set.

As the number of brands increases, so too does the number of players included among the sets.  The 38 different Cubs players in these five brands is the most number of Cubs yet.  The number in every set is remaining pretty constant, somewhere close to 20.


  1. No love for Joe Girardi card for getting it twice I see

  2. Looks like Donruss and Fleer got sold the same photo shoot with Sutcliffe.

    1. It is also a good demonstration of the benefits of a fill light in outdoor photography.

  3. Your description at the beginning of the post of what sets to include - obviously begin to show that collecting baseball cards were going from simply times to in a few year incomprehensible times (100s of sets).

    When you present this as a panel - The Upper Deck cards really don't stand out (it was always the alleged better card stock).

    This is very difficult to say who is the best. In remember in 1989 thinking it was Fleer - then in the 2000s I started to think it was Donruss - but your above point how Fleer lighting is so much better than Donruss. But it is the Donruss Border (that 1990 Topps failed to replicate) gives them the slight edge over Fleer - then Topps, Upper Deck and Score. Still this year was not the best of designs.

    Alot of mediocre looking cards. I think Donruss Grace card is the best - he looks so young. (Grace easy had the best looking cards.) Fleer Grace, Topps Varsho (a 1960s feel), Topps Grace (rookie cup helps)