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1989 Pro Set Football Cards

By Patrick Mondout

Pro Set was affiliated directly with the NFL and had access to its photographers. Thus the '89 Pro Set has some of best consistent action photography of any football card set to that point in history. When the final tally of cards came in, it was also the largest in history too (if you don't count the McDonalds set of 1986). Pro Set borrowed a trick from Score's Baseball set and included full-color backs with a head shot of the player.

Pro Set produced a 100 card "series II" set as well and a 20 card "Final Update" set as well. They cards just kept coming and coming... Pro Set's Series II cards were introduced in "updated" wax packs averaging 11 Series I cards and 4 Series II cards per pack. These cards not only featured first round picks like Score, but later round picks as well ("Pro Set Prospects").

There were a number of subsets, including ones that had never been tried anywhere else. For example, there was a 30 card subset of broadcasters! This included not only former players Joe Namath, Dick Butkus, Joe Theismann, Terry Bradshaw, Ken Stabler, O.J. Simpson, Frank Gifford and former coach John Madden, but Dick Enberg too! There were also Super Bowl insert cards for each game that had been played.

They may have gone slightly too far with the inclusion of a coach card for Santa Claus! A Santa was released each year (though it was a dealer premium in 1989 and not in packs) and always included Pro Set founder Lud Denny somewhere in the card. For the sake of parity (or perhaps parody), there was also a card for NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle.

It was easily the most overproduced set of cards in history as well. That is too bad. Had it been limited, it might be viewed today as a classic. In fact, collectors grew tired of Pro Sets chronic overproduction and the company finally gave up in 1993.

1989 Pro Set at a Glance
Back Testeverde Montana
Broadcasters Ho-Ho-Ho! Coaches



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Year: 1989

Manufacturer: Pro Set

# of Cards: 561

Value/Price: Check eBay (see links below)

Size: 2 x 3

Image courtesy of Pro Set

'89 Pro Set Sets!
'89 Pro Set Singles!
'89 Pro Set Unopened Packs!
'89 Pro Set Lots!
'89 Pro Set Cases!

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