Some collectors believe that 1988 was the height of production numbers per set, while others believe it would increase into the early 1990s. While all of that can be argued without much concrete support from the companies, the introduction of Score to the trading card market certainly indicated that the demand had reached a peak not previously realized up to then.
In 1988, Topps was still the granddaddy of baseball cards, while Donruss and Fleer had worked out the kinks from their early ‘80s releases to settle in as nice, attractive sets of their own in the industry. The companies had enjoyed a stretch that saw interest in their products grow year after year. Then, in 1988, a new player entered the market - Score.
The inaugural release of Score introduced a different looking set from the other three major manufacturers. And Score certainly grabbed our attention from a visual standpoint. The set was 660 cards in size and would be broken up into 110 card segments of different color borders; including purple, blue, red, green, yellow and a rookie class that was somewhere between the orange and a gold color.
While the colors grabbed initial attention, Score brought a few more differences in their design from their counterparts. Though the colors differed throughout the set, the design was consistent. The photo was 90% of the card with the color border around the edges and there was a thin white inset border line on the photo. There was a shaded triangle at the bottom of the card with the player name and position centered. The Score logo was in the bottom right and 3 Gold Stars (for base cards) were in the bottom left. I still don’t know the significance of those stars within the design other than just for looks. The set advertised high quality photos that had a bit of a glossy look compared to other sets from that year.
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