Friday, June 24, 2011
1987 Astros Police
Front Design: The oversized (2-5/8" x 4-1/8") cards feature a color photo surrounded by an orange border and the Astros logo, player name and position, in dark blue with a dark blue border.
Back Design: The card makes use of its larger-than-standard size by including a full "nuclear" team logo and card number at the top, player name, position, and bat/throw direction, followed by a full paragraph summary of the player's prior year. The bottom of the card has a "Tips From The Dugout" service message and an advertisement for set sponsor Deer Park Hospital.
Parallels and Similars: The 1986 and 1988 Astros Police issues feature similar designs, with border color variations.
Distribution: The first 12 cards were given away to kids at the stadium on Jul 14, 1987, while the rest of the set was distributed through the hospital.
Thoughts: I'm not sure how I ended up with this particular card, but it is the key card of the set and the only one with a premium value over the others. Most likely, I found it in a discount box, a great place to find oddballs like this. Mike Scott and Yogi Berra (as a coach) also appear in the set. The police issues are great examples of how cards can be produced and distributed inexpensively. The designs are fairly basic, but the detailed history on the back is a welcome change to a simple one or two sentence summary or basic stats.
Additional Links: The checklist is available at Old Baseball.