Anyway, as I was flipping through my couple monster boxes of baseball complete sets to work on said list, I started looking at some of the insert sets I compiled during my collecting days. One I hadn't seen in quite a while (since it sits in a large plastic case in a monster box that's usually piled under other boxes in my card closet) was the 1996 Upper Deck V.J. Lovero Showcase insert.
Lovero was a very talented photographer whose work graced the cover of SI, among other places. Sadly, he passed away due to cancer a few years after this set was produced, but his legacy and skill live on in this wonderful set that features both his expert photography and some interesting (and even sometimes funny or insightful) comments about the players and their photo shoots.
As with many sets I collected way back then, I don't quite remember the genesis of my collecting this set (possibly a hobby box or two) or even completing it, but I do know I have each of the 19 cards. Because the photos themselves say so much, and the backs provide an interesting look inside the process of an amazing artist, I'll refrain from commentary below and let you enjoy the cards as they are (blown up to make reading the backs easier). But here I'll state my obvious love for this forgotten set, featuring many of my favorite players (Jim Abbott!), some photos that make me laugh at player antics and feel wistful for the 90s (backwards-hat Griffey, anyone?) and a gorgeous full-bleed photo design AS GOD INTENDED. That and the Buhner is simply one of the greatest baseball cards you'll ever see, not to mention one that captures his essence perfectly.
So whether you're an aspiring photographer, someone more advanced (holla at Derek), or just like looking at pretty pictures, please share my joy in rediscovering this set and take in the perfection of the 1996 Upper Deck V.J. Lovero Showcase!