Saturday, May 2, 2020

Bizarro Classic Nolan Ryan

On a classic Classic design of the 90's, Classic Games released a 10-card set of Limited Edition Nolan Ryan cards in 1991 through American Collectibles for the Shop At Home TV campaign. I don't now how much they originally went for, or if they came in a box or shrink wrap, but it's for sure a great little set in probably one of my most favorite Classic designs.

Here are the cards in more detail:

The first four cards depict Ryan on the different teams in his career, and the backs display his statistics for each year with that team (he would pitch 3 more years with the Rangers).

He reached his 5000th strikeout while with the Rangers, and the back shows the box score for that game. Nine innings 13K but they lost 2-0.

Card 6 commemorates Ryan's 6th no-hitter (he would pitch one more in his career in May 1991).
Again, nice touch showing the box score on the back.

Card 7 is an overview of Ryan's "early years" with the Mets and Angels, but Classic decided to use the same banner on the front as they did on his earlier Angels card. Kinda confusing, because the front banner doesn't mention the Mets, but the back does. I think they should have just put "The Early Years '66-'79".

Same here, they used the same front banner as the Houston card.

And again here.
So, Classic could have improved on this great design even more by just changing a few words on cards 7-9.
Card 10 highlights Ryan's 300th win, but unfortunately we don't get the box score for the game. Instead Classic used it as a "Certificate of Authenticity" of sorts and decided not to number it. It explains what the set is. I don't know what they're referring to by " be included in this premier baseball edition collection." I vaguely recall home shopping shows having baseball themed packages of collectibles: maybe a signed ball, a vintage card, some baseball postcards, and such, presented to the audience as a baseball package to bid on.

I won these on Listia recently, and actually had never seen them before I found them there.


  1. that border is so 90s! I've never seen these!

  2. I had never seen these either. Definitely peak '90s.

  3. Never seen them either. Looks like someone made two different designers compromise.

  4. Never seen these before, but they're cool. Looks like you called it. According to Beckett these were a HSN exclusive.

  5. There is no year those could have been from except 1991...and I love it! What a great time.

  6. Yet another in the list of Ryan sets/subsets from late in his career. Good find!

  7. The early 90's Classic cards are like little time capsules of "90s" design and these are the epitome of all of that, let's count it down:

    Neon streaks - check

    Bright Colors - check

    Nolan Ryan, Bo Jackson, or Ken Griffey Jr. featured - check

    sold on Shop at Home TV - check

    Teal. Teal everywhere - check

    All that said, I now NEED to get that Mets #1 card since I have never seen these before. Great set!