I don't care what people say about Collector's Choice, I loved these cards back in the 1990s. They were cheap retail cards that were often seen as a kid-friendly product. I was in high school and college when Upper Deck was cranking out these sets. I liked that the Collector's Choice sets were large and featured a lot of different players from the different teams. There were quite a few 1990s Cardinals players who managed to make the checklist of Collector's Choice but never appeared in the Topps base set.
Loved those mail-in home run cards too.
I picked out the 1998 Collector's Choice card for today's Random Ray post but will get around to the others in time. Players who reached the All-Star Game were given cards with gray borders and a little logo in the top corner of the card. Ray Lankford only made the All-Star Game once in his career in 1997, which meant that the 1998 Collector's Choice card got the special treatment.
"St. Louis' Ray Lankford made an extraordinary catch at knee level. Helton tagged at third while Castilla blew past second base. Helton slowed on his path to home and hollered for Castilla to return. The ball, meanwhile, was relayed to first base to get Castilla, but not until after Helton had scored.
Even though the inning was over on the double play, the score should have been 12-10. The Rockies scored a run in the eighth and another in the ninth, and the Cards and the Rox still could have been playing this morning to break a 12-12 tie.
But the Rockies didn't receive credit for Helton's run.........
I saw the entire sequence perfectly with my own two surgically improved eyes from the press box.
Following Lankford's catch, I looked down and watched a rather lackadaisical Helton cross the plate, then instantly shifted attention to first just as the ball arrived.
There is absolutely no doubt Helton touched home for the run before St. Louis' Mark McGwire touched first for the inning's last out. I've never been so certain. I'll take a lie detector, or a drug, test."
Upper Deck seemed to reuse a lot of facts about players. I am almost certain that Ray Lankford hitting two upper-deck home runs in Riverfront Stadium and his Texas League MVP are mentioned on at least five other Upper Deck cards. I guess it's what happens when one company makes 15 different card sets.