The Bad Choice of a New Generation

As an aficionado of “odd ball” sets, I’ve accumulated many over the years. Amongst the quality commemoratives, reprints and regional sets lurk some real “clunkers” that make me question why I collected them in the first place. The “Pepsi Griffeys” is a prime example of a real “stinker.”

Mother's cookies

91 Star

90 Star Aqua

The unique aspect of a father and son playing together coupled with Ken Griffey Jr.’s emergence as a super-star resulted in at least four sets featuring dad and son. Mother’s Cookies produced a nice four card set with regional distribution in ‘91. The cards were imbedded in bags of cookies. The Star card company made two sets (aqua in ’90; red in ‘91) each with 11 cards.

Pepsi Jr.    Senior Pepsi    Pepsi Jr & Sr

The ’91 Pepsi sponsored set contains eight cards, which were included in 12 packs of Diet and regular Pepsi and distributed in the Northwest. Each set depicts the Griffeys singularly and together.

Outfitting the Griffeys in Pepsi themed uniforms creates a terrible aesthetic. The uniforms are devoid of lettering with only a number on the front. A Pepsi script or “Griffey” would have looked more natural. The sleeves and caps feature a Pepsi logo patch. The caps would be right at home on the head of a delivery truck driver.

Pepsi Back    Pepsi Jr. #3

The card design is basic with only the names appearing on the front. The backs are white with black lettering and contain various statistical information and highlights. The tight shots and blurred backgrounds make it impossible to determine the location of photo shoot with the possible exception of card #3 which could be the Kingdome center field wall. Incidentally, the 12 pack boxes had a 6”x7” picture of Jr. identical to card #3.

Many advertisers have issued sets with logos and scripts eliminated to get around paying royalties to MLB. This creates a bad look, but it is definitely better than product placement uniforms.

Are there other sets out there featuring players in product themed uniforms? Please comment or tweet.

Author: Tim Jenkins

Sports memorablilia collector with Seattle teams emphasis. HOF autographs, baseball cards and much more. Teacher for over 30 years. Attended games at 35 different MLB parks.

8 thoughts on “The Bad Choice of a New Generation”

  1. Yikes. As bad as those Pepsi cards are the Star ones are kind of disastrous too in how they take the standard Star template and just rotate the images instead of reworking things to look like a proper horizontal card.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You will notice that there are much fewer of these disastrous fake-uniform cards for baseball than there are for other sports. I believe that MLB Properties has been much better about licensing their names and uniforms. In the early 1970s even Topps could not show NFL or NBA unis, and it got worse when you looked at the cards you got in bread, etc.


  3. The first thing that came to mind was the Ultra-Pro cards in the 1990s. Most of the ones I remember had the player in non-playing dress (like Bobby Bonilla in a tuxedo), but apparently there are some shots where the players are posed in an “Ultra-Pro” jersey. This link should be to a 1992 Canseco:

    You can scroll through to see other cards in the set. Scott Erickson also has a card with an Ultra-Pro jersey.

    There are also a couple of 1994 Piazza cards with the Ultra-Pro jersey:

    Liked by 1 person

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