Friday, June 10, 2022

Catching up with the Classics: 1989 Pink/Blue

My previous post took a look at a Classic set from 1990, and now I'm going back another year, opening a box from 1989.

Comes in a full board game style box. I scored a good deal on this at just $19.99 shipped. Poor seller went with UPS and probably lost money on shipping, but I won't feel too bad for him because the schmuck also used new USPS Priority Mail padded envelopes to cut up for packing material, which I'm pretty sure constitutes a federal crime. But it arrived safe, so that's good. It was still sealed, though I removed the wrap before snapping the above photo.

Despite their "junky" reputation, I don't think I've already got any of these cards, so there should be plenty of keepers for my collection. Classic releases can be confusing, what with various "travel editions" and whatnot, but as for 1989, it's one 200-card set spread over 3 products. Looking it up now, COMC and Sportlots got it wrong (calling everything "travel edition"), but TCDB has it figured out:

Cards 1-100 were part of the Board Game, cards 101-150 were part of the Travel Game I, and cards 151-200 were part of the Travel Game II.

The 3 chunks of the checklist share a similar design but with different colors...
1-100 "flagship" (pink/blue)
101-150 "update 1" (orange/purple)
151-200 "update 2" (grey/purple)

Opening it up, here's what you get. This board doesn't look as nice as the Classic board from 1991 that I turned into a wall display, but I might end up doing something creative with this one, too. (Nothing in mind yet.)

If you feel like skimming through the rules, here ya go:

As the little note in the spine indicates, the real star of the show here are the baseball cards, wrapped in two packs of 50 cards each.

Cover boys look good this time, without noticeable wear to complain about.

A few random highlights.
Bo has effectively called dibs on that stretch-tastic Luis Salazar. Plenty of other commons up for trade, too, so let me know if you wanna swing a swap for any needs of yours.
Something seems off with that Ron Gant photo/uniform, yeah?

No Griffey within these 100 cards, but a couple HOF rookies in Biggio and Big Unit. (I think the only card from 1989 Classic I already had is the Junior rookie from the orange/purple update portion of the set, scored long ago in a childhood trade. One of these days I should do a post with the few "good Griffeys" that were a crown jewel of my collection back in the early 90s.)

The backs seem to have been inspired by the perennial Donruss backs of the era, but notably with a section for trivia questions. No cartoon on the back, but to provide you a laugh, Classic pulled a funny joke implying that kids would get that card's featured player to sign his name in a little box at the bottom of the card back. Heck, I'll bet it's even actually happened once or twice over the years!

No but seriously, I bet it'd be fun to play a round of the game with a friendly group of likeminded baseball nerds. Find out who really knows their baseball history. Questions regarding all-time/single-season records may be outdated for the most part, but I suppose folks could simply add the phrase "As of 1989" as needed if you'd actually try to play the game today.

Oh, and I love the 1988 stat line for Pete Rose, who took his final MLB hacks on August 17, 1986, and was not long for the dugout by this time.

Alright, that's about all I've got to say about this Classic set, and not sure if I'll be "catching up" with any more after this, but maybe someday. As far as older Classic baseball card sets, the original board game from 1987 (dark green borders) sells for around $100+ these days thanks in part to a cool Bo Jackson card featuring a bat-barrel pose whilst dressed up in his Auburn football duds. Then there was a yellow "travel" update that year, including a Barry Bonds rookie and "outlaw" cards such as the Andre Dawson getting plunked and Joe Niekro getting busted for doctoring the ball. Classic put out more cards in 1988: a couple "travel edition" updates to the main 1987 board game, utilizing that same design, but changing the border color to blue for one update set and red for the other. That explains why the box at the top of the post refers to itself as "New Second Edition".. it's the 5th release of Classic baseball cards, but just the 2nd release of the full-sized game. Then there's 1990 and 1991 that I've already blogged about. By the 90s, Classic (Classic/Best) was getting more into draft picks and minor league cards that didn't bother asking questions on the back, but they still also released versions of the baseball trivia game in '92 and '93.

Sometimes I randomly throw a cute Ruby pic on the end of my posts, and this is another such time.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I remember having so many of those little game pieces around, but it was mores from the dark green Classic travel set/game. I think it was 1987.

  2. Thanks for reviewing the contents of this board game. I picked up one back in 2011 at the flea market (one of my original flea market finds posts), but never opened it. Now I can just leave it sealed in my closet where it quietly sleeps in perpetual darkness. I'd love to one day add the 1987 board game to the closet, but triple digits is a little steep.

    1. I think one of these trips up to Portland, you, me, Rod, and whoever else in the area who wants in should try to play a Classic trivia game!

    2. I'm down for sure. Won't make it up to Portland this summer, but I will be in Ashland. Hoping to hit Portland either at Christmas or one of the weeklong breaks in 2023.

  3. I never knew anyone who had one of these games when I was a kid, but in retrospect I kind of wish that I would've. It looks fun.

  4. Thanks! I'll check your wantlist soon and see what I might have for you.

  5. Tell Ruby "Arrroof, Rowwr, Rowf!"

  6. That's a great Luis Salazar card! And Ruby can appear on as many posts as you see fit!