Card of the Day: 1993 Upper Deck Then and Now Mickey Mantle

Some 15 years ago, I was addicted to hologram cards like many of the other collectors. They were the thing to have, and pretty neat if I don’t say so for myself. In 1989 Upper Deck started using holograms to make their cards counterfeit proof, and then they took it to another level in subsequent years when they created hologram team logo stickers, which they placed into packs, and then player insert cards. First it was the Heroes of Baseball set, then there was the 1991 Hank Aaron and 1992 Ted Williams hologram inserts. But in 1993, Upper Deck created a set called Then and Now, as pictured to the left. I loved this set. The cards were seeded 1 in every 27 packs, or about one per box, and displayed older and newer images of select players, primarily hall of famers. I busted a ton of 1993 Upper Deck (don’t ask why) and each time I opened a pack and saw a hologram peaking out at me I gasped.

Over the years I traded away those inserts for rookie cards (smart move), but a few years ago I went out of my way to acquire the one card from the set that eluded me — the Mickey Mantle. I think I paid about $10 for it, mainly because I was feeling nostalgic, but look at this card and tell me it does not make you think.

First off it’s a cool-looking card. An older picture of mantle resting on top of a hologram depicting Mantle as an older gentleman.

But it is this image of the elder Mickey that is a bit creepy for me. It could be because the image is on the hologram, but he almost looks like a ghost. Secondly, look at the jersey Mantle is wearing on the hologram — it’s the Upper Deck jersey. This catches my attention because when Mantle died just two years later, his likeness was plastered on Topps products, not Upper Deck. Mantle signed cards for Upper Deck (one of the coolest being a dual signature with Ken Griffey, jr., which was seeded in 1994 Upper Deck packs) but never anything for Topps. Kind of an interesting factoid considering that Topps still abuses Mantle’s likeness by making his inserts by the boatloads, while Upper Deck seemingly has scaled back dramatically. Both companies, however, still produce Mantle cut signature cards.

4 Responses to “Card of the Day: 1993 Upper Deck Then and Now Mickey Mantle”

  1. Wow, this card is kinda creepy, no?

  2. Hell yeah it is. Should have saved this one for Halloween. Ha.

  3. […] rookie/prospect cards looked awesome. But this set was all about the inserts; my favorite were the “Then and Now” and “Triple Crown Contenders” sets. And in 1993, the hobby was insert crazy, so this […]

  4. Vonda Parsons Says:

    I have this card encased in hard plastic case Mint Condition do you know how much its worth? Im trying to sell mine

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