Does Your Baby Got Back?

When I tell folks that I am obsessed with collecting, I really mean it. For proof just check out my YouTube account which shows that I’ve watched over 6,000 videos. From that insane number, the one constant I see no matter what type of product is being busted, is the lack of base card appreciation.

Of course, who can blame collectors when boxes of trading cards are now hitting the $500-$600 dollar range. I can certainly understand why so many collectors toss base cards to the side when bustin’ products like Triple Threads and Exquisite but it’s also happening to lower-end releases as well.

I believe the fault lies with the card companies who today seem to just toss in an extra photo or portrait shot on the back of the card and call it a day. It certainly appears that not one company has used that prime piece of real estate for anything more than stats and a boring photo for a long time.

In fact, in my twenty years of collecting I can only think of two examples when the back of a card was as interesting as the front and both come from Topps Company. The first being 1991 Stadium Club which had a photo of the player’s Topps rookie card on the back.

The second example and my all-time favorite comes from 1999 Bowman. Despite being a product catered for prospectors, that year they made the veteran cards really fun by including a ‘Now & Then’ portrait. Going through my 1,000-card Jose Canseco collection, it’s one of the few cards I actually flip over and still enjoy.

Unopened boxes of 1999 Bowman can be found for around $35 dollars on eBay.

Scan courtesy of ’90’s Box Breaks’



  1. my favorite back would be from pinnacle certified.. I think 97, the one with the half-wheel

  2. and I did bust a box of Bowman 99 a while ago, I did like the design of that too.. if youre looking for a then-and-now of Griffey or Ripken you can have it

  3. Cue in Sir Mix-A-Lot!

    Seriously though, I like the design of this and the 1991 Stadium Club back. It’s a shame there isn’t attention to detail anymore from the card companies.

  4. yeah, Im so sick of “congrats, you got an authentic blah blah blah”

    maybe if they were 1 per case, but the backs of some GU are still saying that crap with them being guaranteed per pack.

  5. Hey- saw that you collect Canseco cards.
    If not, then the fact that 1,000+ Canseco cards have gravitated your way is statistically astounding.

    Anyway- I have a Playoff Prime Patches Jose Canseco auto/Jersey (powder blue) #/5.
    I would be willing to trade such. Shoot me an email if you’re interested. I have rapidly become a fan of this site. Great, prescient commentary.

  6. You’re right in blaming the companies for discouraging base card love. They don’t even show the base cards in half of the sell sheets and advertising, even for mid-level products. They just show the high end hits that almost no one gets, or the rookies at the end of the set….

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