1990 Swell Baseball Greats

Set Type: Primary
Card dimensions: 2½” x 3½”
Additional Information/14,000 Phillies Commentary: Set was produced in conjunction with Collectors Marketing Corp. Technically, the cards to do not carry a team designation, so the Phillies team set consists of those individuals wearing a Phillies uniform in their photos. I was always amused by the Skinner card because he only appeared in a Phillies uniform as a manager, but because the card only deals with his time as a player, there’s absolutely no mention of his connection to Phillies anywhere on the card.

Back when Swell released it, this was one of the last sets I attempted to complete before deciding to focus solely on a collection of Phillies cards — rather than trying to collect everything I could get my hands on. The set featured solely retired players, and although the picture quality was horribly uneven, I actually thought the all-white cardboard stock and the comparatively simpler borders made the set much more attractive than the Topps offering that year.

Grover Cleveland Alexander
Deron Johnson
Frank Torre
Tommy Hutton
Bill Robinson
Bob Skinner

2 responses to “1990 Swell Baseball Greats

  1. The Philadelphia Gum factory, where I presume these cards were made–or at least designed, because there was a huge Swell logo on the building as well–was in Havertown, PA, only a few miles from my house. The Philadelphia Gum Co. was the only maker of NFL cards from 1964-67 as Topps had lost its license, and those cards were made there too.

    Unfortunately, the company was sold and earlier this year the factory was torn down to make way for a new YMCA. When they were tearing it down, for some time some of the offices were visible with the facing ripped away, and I could see some notebooks on a self in there as I drove by. I’m sure they were completely uninteresting, but I was imagining that they were the Philadelphia Gum Company’s archives, full of 1960s football cards, Swell cards, etc.

    • I don’t know if these particular Swell cards (or the ones from the previous or following year) were made at the Swell factory. The “©1990 CMC” tag on the back suggests to me that Swell outsourced that entire thing to Collectors Marketing Corp. Either that or CMC paid Swell royalties to use their logo on the cards.

      Given Swell’s previous involvement with Sports cards, I wonder if this was some sort of half-hearted attempt to get back into the hobby.

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