Monday, June 20, 2016

Complete sets: 1992 Denny's

A bit more than a year ago while I was at a show I made one of those fun oddball purchases you sometimes find yourself making at shows:  I grabbed a 1992 Denny's Holograms complete set, which even came with the little collectible binder, for less than a buck.

Here's a look inside at the four-card pages:
Like the original 1991 versions, this 26-card set highlighted grand-slam hitters in hologram form on cards produced by Upper Deck, and you had to get them by purchasing (but not necessarily consuming, I suppose) disgusting "food" at Denny's.  A number of the players are holdovers from the previous year's set and the player selection hasn't exactly aged well almost 25 years later, but that's fine because there's still plenty of fan favorites.

In terms of design, the fronts are 100% hologram, and to my surprise they actually scanned pretty nicely.  All photos show each player in some sort of hitting-related action, though Ripken appears to be running out a fly or foul ball and Daniels looks like he just walked.  The backgrounds represent the players' cities in some fashion.  Besides the Upper Deck and Denny's Grand Slam logos, plus the player and team names in tiny lettering, they have a horizontal "Limited Edition" banner and "Collector Series" running vertically down the right.  The former has always been funny to collectors who know how plentiful these could get, and the latter has always seemed pretty much redundant to me--of course people know you can collect these!

The backs are much more subdued as they start with the player and team names again in a horizontal blue bar that also includes the card number--and the total number of cards in the set, a feature I tend to like in my sets, though it's so rarely used.  The main focus here is grand slams so we're told in BOLD CAPS how many that player's hit, then given a write-up on him and why he's in the set.  This is all contained on a bright white back in between a couple red bars, making this a set Hulk Hogan and other Real Americans could be proud of.

Here's a look at the full set--fronts and backs!--plus I'll mention how many slams each player ended up with in his career--some of these guys hit a bunch more after they appeared in this set.
Marquis Grissom:  4
Ken Caminiti:  6
Fred McGriff:  9
Felix Jose:  2
Jack Clark:  9
Albert Belle:  13
Sid Bream:  3
Robin Ventura:  18  (Tied with Willie McCovey for fifth all-time!)
Cal Ripken Jr.:  8
Ryne Sandberg:  5
Paul O'Neill:  5
Luis Polonia:  1
Cecil Fielder:  11
Kal Daniels:  5
Brian McRae:  5
Howard Johnson:  7
Greg Vaughn:  6
Dale Murphy:  5
Kent Hrbek:  8
Barry Bonds:  11
Matt Nokes:  6
Jose Canseco:  6
Jay Buhner:  10
Will Clark:  5
Ruben Sierra:  9
Joe Carter:  10

Of this group, only three players never hit another grand slam after appearing in the set:
  • Jack Clark, whose final season was 1992, in which he hit just 5 HR
  • Luis Polonia, who hit 36 career HR and rarely came up to bat with ducks on the pond, meaning his lone slam was a happy fluke
  • Dale Murphy, who hit 2 HR in 1992 and none in '93 before retiring
Meanwhile, a few of these guys bumped up their numbers nicely:
  • Ventura:  +16
  • Belle:  +12
  • Bonds:  +10
  • Buhner, Fielder, and Sierra:  +8
Ventura just went full beast mode, and it's no coincidence that he became the first player to hit a slam in each game of a double-header on the way to his spot at #5 overall on the career record board.

The most notable card in the set for me--and there aren't many since Fielder is the only Tiger, though Nokes is another former Detroit favorite--is Cal Ripken Jr. as it adds another card to his PC.

What other complete (and possibly oddball) sets will I be showing off in the future?  Who knows?


  1. Julie sent one to me (that she had hand collated herself !) a few months ago. I love that set ! Good idea to research the actual Grand slam numbers for their careers

    1. Cool! I bet that took a bit of work to track down all of them so I bet you're happy to just get them all in one go. Thanks!

  2. Great set! I had a couple of these that I cherished back in the day. Would definitely grab the set for a buck.

    1. Thanks, Gavin! I'll keep an eye out at the show for them in case more turn up for that cheap since I'd be happy to throw them in with trade packages.