1989 Upper Deck

Total Cards: 800

Rating: 8.1 (77 votes)
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  • This was the first set ever released by Upper Deck.
  • This was the first set to feature the use of holograms.
  • The first cards to be sold in tamper-proof foil packs.
  • At $0.89 a pack, carried, by far, the highest suggested retail price of its time.
  • Upon its release, there was speculation that collectors wouldn't pay that much for a pack of cards and that the market couldn't support a sixth card maker.
  • Eighteen year old Upper Deck employee Tom Geideman is credited for wanting to make Ken Griffey Jr. the #1 card in the set.
  • Ken Griffey Jr. was actually not wearing a Mariners cap when the picture was taken. He was wearing his minor league San Bernardino Spirit cap and the picture was edited to look like a Mariners cap.
  • The picture was so convincing that Griffey himself, supposedly, asked an Upper Deck photographer a year later when the picture was taken because he didn't remember posing with a Mariners cap.
  • The set arrived 3 months later than planned because of production problems.
  • Card #117 of Gary Pettis shows him holding and looking at the very card he's on.
  • The #1 Ken Griffey Jr. card was featured on the cover of the May 1991 issue of Sports Card Trader magazine.
  • Some of the other players considered for the #1 card were Gregg Jefferies, Sandy Alomar Jr., and Gary Sheffield.

User Comments

Jan. 22, 2016 - 8:18AM

The color backs were nothing new, as Score had a color photo on the back of it's card, although the action shots on the back of the 1989 UD were new as was the hologram...Overall, a great set and a great choice for their number 1 card..."The Kid" was the best choice but UD missed on the rest of their run...They never got it right with their number 1 choice again...Far be for me to believe that there are certain numbers that should contain iconic or SS players on them...Number 1 being one of them...

Nov. 5, 2015 - 11:47AM

In 1989, Upper Deck "tricked" the baseball card industry into investing $1.00 for packs of supposedly higher-class cards (when other companies had only inflated from $0.25 to $0.45 over the previous 10 years). This set turned out to be a poor investment, just like all of the other mass-produced card sets of the era. Card #1 of this set was the only card of significance this company ever produced during its entire existence. The design looks stale and rigid, which UD continued to replicate year after year. I wouldn't touch this set with a 10-foot pole. Glad I stuck with "The Real One".

Edited on: Sep. 26, 2016 - 3:21PM

Jun. 14, 2015 - 12:59PM

While I also hunted for these cards in 1989, it really did usher in laziness of baseball card designing, that I still feel the industry has never recovered from.


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SubjectRepliesLast Post
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by beano56
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by HowlingFury
1989 Upper Deck R and TM Variations6Aug 22, 2014 6:47 PM
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