February 21, 2008

1990 - 1994 Countdown: #25. 1993 Studio

While the countless other brands fought tooth and nail for a foothold in the hobby, GlamorShots, excuse me, Studio was the only set with a truly unique position: showcase the players as well-rounded individuals. And do so on great-looking cards. Instead of re-inventing the wheel each and every year, all they had to do was pull down a different backdrop: 1991 saw the classic charcoal, 1992 had a close up on a craquelure newspaper photo and 1993 gave us jersey detail. All that was missing was the hand-on-chin pose in front of the bookcase and soft-focus lighting on stars in the night sky.

For Studio, baseball was just window-dressing. The real focus was the emotional side of each player. From Curt Schilling: Hobbies are golf, war gaming and military history… Might have been a history teacher if he hadn’t been an athlete. And from Robin Yount: Hobbies are golf, motorcycles, cars and fishing… Might have been in professional racing if he hadn’t been a baseball player.

The key to this set was that players had lives off the field (who knew Curt Schilling liked to play Risk?), and were somewhat normal human beings with normal, everyday dreams. Robin Yount wanted to be the next Richard Petty? Me too. It’s the ‘me too’ aspect that takes down the wall between player and fan and endears them to us (damn you, psychological window dressing!).

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