Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

Want Lists are located here. NPB Baseball Want List is located here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

1994 Fleer Pro-Visions: A TCIC Feature Post

I'm a walking oxymoron. I love art cards in baseball form, but I generally don't collect non-sport art cards. However, I've seen my fair share of fantasy art in cardboard and full size from browsing dealers and artists at DragonCon. Looking at the awesomeness that is this Tony Gwynn card I'm reminded of those sets, full of crazy multi-mooned nightscapes, exotic locations, and mythical creatures in the foreground. These usually take the shape of bizarre animals or scantily clad women, but there are other subjects.

The Pro-Visions set inserted into 1994 Fleer packs was full of crazy fantasy art. Gwynn, as a man of the cloth (get it? Padres? Ha ha!) is reading from the Baseball Bible, I suppose. I'm not sure what the random dot on the book means, if anything. Tony must have knocked himself in the head with his bat or the book, as he has baseballs flying around his head. The background reminds me of a combination of a Northern California bay full of mountains and sailboats, and the San Diego waterfront, with the palm trees. But it's not the bottom of the background that's really bizarre.

Draw your attention to the top half of the card (as if it wasn't there already). Bizarrely strong sun rays hint that Gwynn is pointed northwest, as that's a beautiful California sunset in the background. Somehow a rainbow is either coming out of the book or going into the book, headed off in the same direction as the sun. Above the rainbow, a brick-like pattern was created by something - was it star ships fighting for control of earth? Was there a Blue Angels airshow where the planes leave those smoke trail patterns? Is it part of the ladder to heaven?

The card makes more sense when placed in the proper order with the rest of the cards in the set. The rainbow and sun rays lead to one card, while the brick path heads off to another. Overall, it is one highly creative work of art, where each player can be enjoyed alone, but the combined group is greater than the sum of its parts.
(Image from Chewing liquorice, which hasn't been updated since June 2011)

The set is a creative masterpiece. It's the kind of set you want to put up on the wall and admire occasionally, and remember those good old 1990s when cardboard wars were about the creative designs, not the serial numbers, pieces of used goods, and autographs.


  1. Never seen these. Cool cards! Do you know if they were tough pulls?

  2. I have that Gwynn, but knew absolutely nothing of the rest of the cards. Thanx for showing it to me in context.

  3. They are like 2 or 3 per box. I got the Olerud in a Colbey group break earlier this year and I had no clue that it was part of a bigger picture. I just figured it was like previous ProVision sets, but I guess I will have to track down the rest of this set, because that looks cool as a whole.