Card of the Day: 1992 Upper Deck Neal Heaton

Today’s Card of the Day comes from the 1992 Upper Deck set. That’s a sentence you’ve never read here before today. We started this almost daily series back in March of 2020. Three years later, and this is the first time for the 1992 Upper Deck set. That was not intentional. I actually like the look of this set, and I think you will too. Neal Heaton is somewhere celebrating his 63rd birthday today, secretly hoping to be the subject of our Card of the Day series I’m sure. Don’t worry, Mr Heaton, I got you.

Heaton played for the 1989-1991 Pittsburgh Pirates, putting in three very different seasons for the team. He split between starting and relief work in 1989. He moved into a starter role in 1990. Then pitched out of the bullpen all season in 1991. He had a solid 12-year career in the majors, which included one All-Star season (1990). He was a pitch-to-contact guy, who gave up his share of hits and homers, but his run in Pittsburgh was the best of his career. This is his third appearance in the Card of the Day series, as we look at card #417 from the 1992 Upper Deck set.

Here’s the front of the card:

I am a big fan of the front design here. They made it look like the picture is above the borders by using a shadow effect. It has the feel of a card with no border, but there’s actually a fairly big border on the card. You get a nice action shot of Heaton here (I like seeing the grip on the ball like you have here), along with the great quality of card that Upper Deck was putting out yearly. I like the baseball part of the design here in the top left. This has something I really like that is a bit unique. Instead of using the team logo from that era on the front, they wrote out Pirates like you can find it on the front of jerseys. That is a nice addition that you don’t see many places on cards. This is good stuff all around.

Here’s the back of the card:

Upper Deck had a plan that they stuck to with the backs in their early years. I’m not a huge fan of how they decided to present the stats, but they make up for it by adding another great quality photo on the back. They only went with five years of stats, regardless of how long the player has been around. With Heaton, you can see the “10” under the years, which stands for how many years¬† he had played up to that point.

Two things to mention here, and one goes with the pricing section below. Upper Deck used to put holograms on cards to prevent counterfeiting. You can see that in the left, just above the stats. That was a good idea back in the day, because that was a problem. However, it was a problem with valuable cards, but they put it on all of their cards.

The other quick mention is the logo that Upper Deck had for this set in the bottom middle. I really like the look of it. However, I think they wasted a cool idea on a one-year logo. If you can find a wax box of these cards, that logo is much bigger on that box lid.

This card is a common card with numerous (50+) options on Ebay right now, and only one sold copy in the last three months. If you have one of these cards, don’t bother trying to sell it right now unless you put it with some other cards. The supply far outweighs the demand. You can get this for under $2 delivered from multiple sellers on Ebay. The only auction of note is the one autographed copy, which is going for $15, though it has a best offer option.

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