You remember 1990, right? When the Cincinnati Reds were running wire-to-wire toward a World Series championship, and when Yankees now-legend Bernie Williams was a rookie?
Oh, right … Williams wasn’t actually a rookie — didn’t even make his Major League debut until 1991.
But he was right there in our baseball card packs all summer long even though he would spend the entire season with the Double-A Albany-Colonie Yankees. This was the age of the rookie card boom, after all, and every player was a prospect worthy of pre-rookie cards.
And so we got 1990 Topps, Donruss, Score, and Bowman cards of Bernie Williams. Classic and O-Pee-Chee and Star Company, too.
All before he ever set foot in Yankee Stadium (well, in an I’m-in-the-lineup sort of way, anyway).
Find this card on eBay (affiliate link)
Find this card on Amazon (affiliate link)
But maybe the most “1990” of all 1990 Bernie Williams baseball cards was his Topps TV issue.
Say you’ve never heard of Topps TV?
Me either, before now, but it turns out the cardboard behemoth issued six “TV” sets that year — one each for the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Cubs, and Mets, plus an All-Star set.
Each of the six sets had 66 cards (read into the 6×66 thing what you will), which means there were a total of 396 Topps TV cards available — and they were different from the 1990 base set, too!
Even the design was different, with white card stock, the team name in block letters down the left-hand side, and a watermark-y sort of player photo on card backs. It was kind of a precursor to the more premium cards that would flood the market over the next few years.
But the thing that made the 1990 Topps TV cards so “1990” was this …
You had to order them on TV.
I mean, this was the era of the Home Shopping Network and mega infomercials, so it makes perfect sense that Topps would tap into that market, too, and in the biggest markets there were — New York, Chicago, Boston … uh … St. Louis.
Well, it’s a darn good baseball town … darn it! And L.A. folks can just order the
All-Star set — so there.
Unlike most 1990 cards, there don’t seem to be a ton of these Topps TV things out on the market, though you can find them if you’re looking.
And, if you’re a fan of 1990 or the Yankees or Bernie Williams, maybe you should be looking.
Because what’s more “1990” from a hobby perspective than a premium-ish rookie card of a non-rookie that you could only get by dialing this special phone number right now before it vanishes forever because supplies are limited?
Yeah, right. Not much.
If you want ALL the Bombers in the 1990 Topps TV Yankees issue, check out this sealed team set available on eBay right here (affiliate link).