Way back in 1992, expansion was a fairly rare thing in professional sports not involving hoops. During the 90s, it seemed to happen all of the time with the Rockies, Marlins, Diamondbacks, Devil Rays, Panthers, Jaguars, (new) Ravens, Texans (2002), Raptors, Grizzlies, Sharks, Senators, Lightning, Mighty Ducks, Panthers, Predators, Thrashers, Blue Jackets (2000) and Wild (2000) all joining their respective leagues. There were also four NBA teams added right at the end of the 80s.
Since expansion was still a big deal with the Rockies and Marlins were added to the ranks of Major League Baseball teams, there were a lot of cards produced to commemorate the event. Some of the tougher ones to acquire were the 1992 Topps factory sets that were only sold in Florida and Colorado respectively. These sets are reportedly limited to 5,000 copies and contain what may be Derek Jeter’s rarest rookie card. There are 5,000 sets embossed with a Rockies Inaugural logo on each and every card and 5,000 sets with a Marlins logo. Due to the fact that these sets were tough to acquire initially and contain a very desirable rookie card, set prices have never really come down like most everything else produced around that time.
I got caught up in the expansion hype and started collecting anything and everything that I could get my hands on related to the two new baseball teams. Once I get all of my stuff out of storage, which I feel like I’ve been saying forever, I really want to document this collection and hop onto SportsLots to try and grab the last few cards that I need. I think that this may require a video post since it would require far too many scans and I’ve got stuff that won’t scan such as Coke bottles and Starting Lineups.
Until now, the cards from the expansion factory sets have eluded me. It looks like a lot of people have been breaking the sets lately because a lot of singles have been showing up on eBay. The majority of the singles can be acquired very cheaply and these team sets are no exception. I picked up the Rockies with their logo and the Marlins with the Rockies logo as well. Now I just need to pick up both teams with the Marlins logos on them. One day, I’d like to acquire the factory sets themselves, but they aren’t as high on my priority list. The cards themselves look a lot cooler than a couple of sealed boxes.