Card of the Day: 1991 Score Dann Bilardello

Today’s Card of the Day comes from the 1991 Score set. It features Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Dann Bilardello, who was a member of the 1990 National League East winning team. He joined the Pirates for the first time on this date in 1987, though he didn’t play for them until rejoining them as a free agent prior to the 1989 season. This is his first appearance in our Card of the Day series. This particular set has only been featured here once before. That was back in July of 2021, when we looked at the All-Star card of Doug Drabek. That card isn’t the same as Drabek’s regular card from the set, featuring a different look than the other card. So this Bilardello card is the first look at a regular player card from the 1991 Score set.

Here’s the front of the card:

I just read a note about this set that I didn’t know before, because print runs of cards usually weren’t released. First I’ll note that 1991 was the middle of the baseball card boom and everyone collected. If you were a kid in 1991, you had baseball cards. Card companies mass produced their cards so everyone could buy as many packs as they wanted. Supposedly, according to the number I read, they made four million of each card in the 1991 Score set.

Now you know that because they printed that many, that means 32 years later a lot of those cards don’t exist. Once these cards were about 15-20 years older and had no value, a lot of people threw them out because they were just taking up space. I’m sure plenty have been lost over the years to normal attrition issues as well (flooding, fire, etc). That being said, there are still way too many of these cards in existence. That’s good if you want one now and didn’t invest in them earlier. You would need a lot more people to throw away cards for the 1991 Score set to have real value.

Since these cards don’t have real value, then I’d suggest buying ones you like at low prices. Why would you not want this great action shot? I get it that Bilardello was one of the most minor players during that 1990 playoff team, but that doesn’t take away from the photo here. If you think the photo is great, but the set design isn’t, well then I agree. It has a bit of an art deco look to it because that’s what a lot of the early 90s looks like. Not all of the cards in the set had this same color combo though. There are some that have black borders and a red frame around the photo, which I really like. I’m a fan of the Barry Bonds card in this set, which uses that color combo.

Here’s the back of the card:

The backs of the cards have an extra photo of each player, along with their big league stats and a large bio section. Score wrote about Bilardello’s 1990 season at the end of the first paragraph, then quoted stats that clearly don’t match his stats for the season, which are correct. I’m not exactly sure of the thinking behind it, but it makes little sense without more info. Bilardello was called up four times during the season, the fourth coming in September. Those stats you see written out (1-for-32 in 13 games) were his stats before he rejoined the team in September. Another thing that deserves some explain is the final line, which quotes minor league stats for his “best seasons”. This card is sometimes listed as an error card because of the different 1990 stats. It was not corrected, so there’s no added value.

If you want this card, it’s extremely easy to find on Ebay and there’s is no reason to pay more than $2 delivered, including the tax. Okay, there would be reasons, such as one graded a PSA 10, or an autographed card, but not just a regular common card. There were two sales of this card in the last month, and for some reason, some paid 99 cents, plus a $3.50 shipping charge. Don’t be that person.