Friday, December 27, 2013

1989 Cleveland Indians Team Issue


The Indians issued a 28-card team set during the 1989 season. A bit larger than the standard card size, these measure approx. 2 3/4 by 4 1/2 inches. Fronts feature color photos, with the player's uniform number, name and position across the bottom. A large "Tribe" logo is found at the top left of each card. Backs have the Cleveland Indians name printed in red, with the player's minor/major league statistics and facsimile autograph printed in blue. The cards are not numbered. We are guessing that the cards were given away at a home game sometime during the 1989 season.

The most interesting thing (in my opinion) about the set is the large number of players playing their first year with the Indians. After a mediocre 1988 season where the club won 78 games and lost 84, a major overhaul was undertaken to make the '89 team more competitive. The new roster was unsuccessful, however, as the Indians took a step backwards and finished the 1989 season with just 73 wins versus 89 losses. 

The "big five" card companies would not picture these new players with Cleveland until the release of their update sets later in the year (if at all). We counted a whopping ten players in this team-issued set that were playing their first season with the Tribe.

This obscure issue isn't for everyone. There are no superstars to be found, with outfielder Joe Carter being the biggest star in the bunch, and the larger card size isn't a plus for some collectors. On the positive side, most of the photos are quite nice and the look of the set is simple and appealing. Sets of this nature tend to include at least a couple of obscure players, and this is no exception. Serious collectors will be happy to add a card of unknown infielder Pat Keedy, who played just nine games with the Indians in 1989. Young pitcher Joe Skalski tossed just 6.2 innings in 1989, enduring two losses in the process, and never pitched in the Majors again.

A bit of searching will uncover a set, which usually sells in the $4 to $6 range.

Click here to find Indians Team Issues on eBay

(6) Andy Allanson, C
(9) Pete O'Brien, 1B (from the Rangers)
(11) Doug Jones, RHP 
(13) Joel Skinner, C (from the Yankees)
(14) Jerry Browne, 2B (from the Rangers)
(16) Felix Fermin, SS (from the Pirates)
(20) Oddibe McDowell, OF (from the Rangers)
(21) Greg Swindell, LHP 
(22) Brad Havens, LHP
(23) Luis Aguayo, IF (from the Yankees)
(25) Dave Clark, OF
(26) Brook Jacoby, 3B
(27) Joe Skalski, RHP
(28) Cory Snyder, OF
(29) Luis Medina, OF
(30) Joe Carter, OF
(32) Doc Edwards, MGR
(33) Pat Keedy, IF (from the Astros)
(38) Keith Atherton, RHP (from the Twins)
(40) Bud Black, LHP 
(42) Rich Yett, RHP 
(43) Scott Bailes, LHP
(45) Brad Komminsk, OF (from the Brewers)
(47) Jesse Orosco, LHP (from the Dodgers)
(49) Tom Candiotti, RHP
(52) John Farrell, RHP
(54) Rod Nichols, RHP 
1989 Tribe Coaches

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