Tuesday, November 17, 2015

1988 Cardinals Smokey Bear Set

Yesterday's mail produced 3 bubble mailers and 1 flat rate box of cards.  The box contained a huge stack of Cardinals from Nacho's group break, which I will cover in another post.  One bubble mailer contained cards from a trade, while the other 2 were EBAY purchases.  One of my EBAY purchases was a 1988 Cardinals Smokey Bear set. 

From 1987-1991 the Cardinals gave away a team set featuring Smokey the Bear at certain promotional games each year.  1988 was the nicest of the five sets because it featured a full bleed photo on the front rather than a white border. 
The backs featured  player info along with a Smokey cartoon with a fire safety tip.  The 1988 set was numbered 1-25.  The 1990 set was the largest, containing 28 cards.

The Smokey cards are quite a bit larger than the standard card.  The 1989 set is 4x6, while the other 4 sets measure 3x5.  Maybe this is where Fleer got the idea for the 1994 Extra Bases set. 
One thing I love about these stadium give away sets is the selection of players.  Tom Lawless and Bob Horner do not have many Cardinals cards other than Topps base cards from the mid to late 1980s.  Jose Batista may have the most famous bat flip in recent years, but in the 1987 World Series Lawless had a memorable one.

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