Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Post That's Completely Out of Place

So here we are, in the middle of baseball season 2018.  My Cubs are coming alive and finding themselves neck and neck with those pesky upstart Brewers.  So I'm thinking that now is a good time to post a football set from 1999. 

One of my favorite things to buy on Sportlots is the complete sets that people post.  They usually go for pretty reasonable prices.  A while back, I picked up an almost complete set of 1999 Upper Deck HoloGrFx base set and 24/7 insert set.  It was missing just a few cards of each, and for the price, I thought I could easily add the missing cards and still pick up a very shiny set and its insert companion for a reasonable price.  I was 17 back when this set released, and my collecting days were coming to a close.  I didn't buy many cards at that time, but I do recall opening one single pack of this product.  I never would have dreamed I would own the complete set.

As I examined the cards, I noticed something about the players in the base set.  There were Hall of Fame players aplenty, but I divided them into two categories.  The first category was players who were nearing the end of their storied careers.  In fact, this is a sunset card for Barry Sanders.  Steve Young would retire at the end of 1999, and Marino and Aikman would both follow within the next two years.

It was a time of a changing of the guard of sorts.  Manning, Gonzalez, and Moss were still in their NFL infancy.  Owens was about to take over for Rice as San Francisco's go-to receiver.  Faulk was a star at this point, but this year marked his first year in St. Louis, when his game really reached another level. 

The 1999 rookie class was pretty good.  I remember there being a few big draft busts at quarterback, such as Tim Couch, Akili Smith, and Cade McNown.  Some QBs drafted later made up for the high-pick busts, though.  Shaun King and Aaron Brooks never became superstars, but they were solid quarterbacks.  Donovan McNabb and Daunte Culpepper were big-time quarterbacks, though McNabb far outlasted Culpepper.  A trio of rookies would go on to the All-Decade team for the 2000s: Edgerrin James, Torry Holt, and Champ Bailey.  But the star of the 1999 NFL Draft was Ricky Williams.  Saints coach Mike Ditka mortgaged his entire draft, trading eight picks to move up 7 spots and select the Heisman winner from Texas.  It didn't work; Ditka was fired after Williams' rookie season.

In addition to the base set, I received 75% of the NFL 24/7 insert set.  This set would really be great if the HoloGrFx base set wasn't so shiny to begin with.  Instead, it's hard to even spot the difference between the two.

I have since picked up the missing cards, so the 100-card base set and 15-card NFL 24/7 set are complete in my collection.  Every once in a while I'll put on my sunglasses and enjoy them in the binder.  But maybe not in the middle of baseball season.


  1. I was really big into the 1999 HoloGrFx basketball set when it came out, and in the last couple of years I've grown to appreciate the baseball and football sets as well. And speaking of Sportlots, I even bought a Peyton AuSome (parallel) rookie off the site about five years ago for a buck.