How NOT to run a card company

In the early-90’s, Pro-Set wanted badly to get into the baseball market and compete with the “big boys” of The Hobby like Upper Deck, Topps, Donruss, & Fleer. In 1992, someone in the company had the bright idea of creating a parody product for collectors.

Flopps was set to be a 66-card set making innocent fun of the game’s most well-known players and teams. As a preview of their product, they produced a 5-card promo set featuring such players as Barry Bones (pictured), Wade Bugs, Ken Groovy Jr., Stickey Henderson and the best one of all, Lance Parishable.

Before Pro-Set began production, the Players Union threw a Beckett-style fit and the product was shelved before it even hit the printing press. Not surprisingly, Pro-Set’s application to produce licensed Major League Baseball cards was also denied. Just imagine what could have been…

Anyway, you can find the full 5-card promo set on eBay for around $5 dollars. It is believed that other players were printed and possibly released through the “back door” but I could not find any information to confirm that rumor. The cards believed to be in existence are: Craig Piggio, Cal Ripped One, and George Bratt.

Talk about a missed opportunity for collectors!


10 thoughts on “How NOT to run a card company

  1. I’m pretty sure they were trying to cash in on the success of Garbage Pail Kids rather than put together a blueprint for an MLB set.

  2. Which is going to make it very interesting to see what happens when Upper Deck tries to make an end run around MLB…

  3. As much you want to give Pro Set trying to introduce new and old collectors to football and hockey cards to the masses they had to go. They live the words, “Everything is bigger in Texas” as in overprints, error cards, and blank backs. You gotta give them credit to for spawning “series 2” that become a normal along with football draft pick cards.

  4. Mario-

    On the subject of ripoff sets (and related to the non-sports theme of your posts as of late), did you ever see or remember collecting Fleer’s version of Garbage Pail Kids? They were called “Grossville High” and were only around very briefly in 1987, I think.
    (click above link for additional info and photos of the set)

    At the time, my 7 year old brain thought they were BETTER than GPK (of course, I also thought at that time that $100 was the largest amount of money in the world and that “Airwolf” was the greatest TV program ever made).

    In retrospect, however, the cards weren’t anywhere near as well thought out, the drawings much more amateur, and it just looks like Fleer was trying to make a quick buck on Topps’s coattails.

    Still, if you’re in to oddball sets, it’s kind of a neat item to own and complete sets can be had on Ebay for less than $10.

  5. BTW- On the subject of Pro Set, did anyone else lust after the super-rare Vince Lombardi Trophy hologram that came in Football sets around 1990?

    I remember busting pack after pack of this junk wax just for a sight of this elusive card, but to no avail. I just looked on Ebay to see what they’re going for and, considering how wildy overproduced early 90s Pro Set cards were, the Lombardi trophy hologram has surprisingly retained its value.

    One uncompleted auction with 3 days left already has 10 bids and is over the $50 mark. Buy it now prices range from $150-350!!! Wow!

    That’s pretty incredible for an unnumbered hologram in an otherwise pretty unspectacular, junkwax set!

  6. I believe the other hot cards from that first Pro Set issue were the Santa Claus and Payne Stewart cards, right?

  7. SteveTX, I pulled a Lombardi Trophy Hologram from a pack back in 90. It is still the only 1 I have seen in person and I still own it. You are mistaken about it. Each is individually numbered out of 10M. Odd how ProSet used the Roman Numeral M for 1000 instead of just printing 10k or 10,000. The numbering was apply during production so it looks very organic on the card back, unlike later handwritten or stamped numbers. It is the first mainstream individually serial numbered card that I …

  8. that I know of and is EXTREMELY condition sensitive. The back is like black foil paint on a metallic surface and chips if you breathe on it. lol

  9. jamoke- Thanks for the info. I had no idea about the numbering as I’ve only seen a couple in my life and they were both under an inch of lucite!

  10. They’ve probably bonded to the lucite by now. If they get graded, they’d probably have to include the case too.

    As for the Bones card in the post, the best bit is the John Waters mustache on the skull.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s