Roger Clemens was the Cy Young winner 3 times during the 90's and wound up with 7 overall during the span of his career. If that isn't crazy, I don't know what is. Most pitchers will never achieve just one Cy Young, let alone three in one decade.
On cardboard, Clemens would be wearing a Red Sox uniform for the first half of the decade. After that he would be sporting either a Blue Jays blue and white or the classic Yankee pinstripes.
I admit that I wasn't a huge Clemens collector and still only have very few to this day. This is not due to anything other than the fact that I rarely came across his cards growing up and was simply the "luck of the draw."
I remember the Diamond Kings to be a refreshing subset, although the borders still have that abstract "trapper keeper" feel to it. The clash between the artsy set and confusing designs entering the 90's was...well let's just say it was a little crazy.
For more information, please visit The Diamond King !
We also had something called Collector's Choice-- the always thin and inexpensive sets made a good choice for the younger collectors. "Traditional Threads" was a decent subset-- one which I had hoped to collect entirely but never happened for whatever reason. It could easily be done now as these cards sell for pennies on sites like Check Out My Cards and Ebay.
Seeing Clemens in a Blue Jays uniform for the first time was a little strange. I was semi Jays fan growing up as they were basically the only team I could watch because our good ol' antenna only captured about 4 channels -- 3 of which were Canadian!
I also played "minor league" for the Blue Jays. I put that in quotations because I don't mean a real Minor League farm team but merely the stage before one hits Little League. That meant I was a fan of guys like John Olerud, Paul Molitor, Roberto Almar, Jose Cruz Jr., Carlos Delgado and to a lesser extent --Roger Clemens
When I think about cardboard of the 90's, one of the first brands that comes to mind is Fleer Ultra and was certainly a brand that I highly sought after. That was time where a simple base card of Roger Clemens could be valued in the $5 dollar range.
Of course, when I was picking up anything Ultra, I was mainly hunting for inserts. Now that I am older and wiser I can really take the time to truly admire some of the cards that were more simplistic and a little less crazy.
And then again, craziness was pretty hard to ignore being a pre-teen. When you had cards that weren't really cards at all or cards that were actually a bunch of stickers -- many of them might have ended up on your wall, or in my case....My trapper keeper.
The story of Clemens on cardboard is far greater than anything contained in my little post here but I can assure you that his cards are a big part of my overall collecting story. My binders would surely have a void and if you were a collector in the 90's who did not come across a Clemens card or two.....
Well, that is just crazy!