Card of the Day: 1993 Upper Deck Blas Minor

I feel like I’m repeating yesterday’s article. This is another player who has been here before, but it’s a first time for the set. Blas Minor was a pitcher for the 1992-94 Pittsburgh Pirates. I mentioned yesterday that Jose Castillo felt like he was around longer than he actually was with the Pirates. That same thought happened today.

I would have taken the over if someone asked if Castillo was around more than four years. I had that same exact thought with Blas Minor a few years ago when I first started expanding player bios on this site (they are being updated/extended each day in the daily history article in case you didn’t know). I was surprised to see that he was only around for three seasons, and just barely three years at that. His 1992 season consisted of one game.

I was probably the youngest subscriber ever for Baseball America, so I knew who Minor was before he made the majors. I was also collecting minor league cards at that same time, while everyone else was buying Topps, Donruss, Upper Deck, etc., I was drawn to much older cards and minor league cards at the same time. That might contribute to me thinking he was around longer. The guy only played one full season with the Pirates. That blew my mind when I read that.

This is his second appearance here, this one marking his 57th birthday today. His first appearance was from a card I definitely had (still have) because I was immediately a huge fan of the 1993 Fleer Ultra set. That’s despite me just telling you I went to vintage cards and minor league cards at a very early age. That set had a vintage feel, so I get half credit there. Today’s card is from the 1993 Upper Deck set, which somehow went three full years without a mention here. I did not collect this set, though I’m sure I have some of them in a box I haven’t looked at since I was a wee lad.

Here’s the front of the card:

This Upper Deck set really has a boring design, which is probably why I’ve ignored it. Most of my choices come from scrolling Ebay until I see something that catches my eye. You want to see interesting cards I assume, though that’s not possible for some players who only appear in 1-2 sets. Minor had plenty of options, but I went here to look at a first-time set. I do like two things here. The first is how they wrote out the player’s name. They did use team colors sort of in the name area, with some teams looking more like their team colors than others. I also like the photo choice here. It’s not a typical angle. Definitely wasn’t a photographer at field level.

With the white border and plain Upper Deck writing across the top, this set look doesn’t do much for me. I do like this particular card though.  Maybe the back is more interesting…

Here’s the back of the card:

I do like the look of the back with the big picture. It especially works here as you get a completely different angle of Minor, with a field level shot from the other direction. It allows for an interesting shot of his pitching grip. You also get a different uniform. Truth be told, I like the gray road jerseys better from that time. This card is missing the team logos front and back, but the angle of this shot gives you a look at that great logo from 1992 on his sleeve.

My complaints would be the lack of a logo first. The legal mumbo jumbo at the bottom takes up a lot of the space left after using a big photo. Also, one interesting choice probably nobody else even noticed. Why is the box for the position green? Wouldn’t that have been a good spot to continue the subtle use of team colors? It’s just green for no reason.

If you want this card, it’s a typical common that you get for $2 delivered off of Ebay. There’s one slight variation that doesn’t really add value. Some cards have a gold foil for that hologram in the bottom left corner. They are tougher to find than the regular cards, but there’s enough out there that no one is paying extra for common players.