My first baseball cards I collected as a kid were 1987 Topps.
Cutch's rookie season was 2009. He made his debut early June of that year and according to the Trading Card Database he had 123 cards produced that year by Topps, Bowman, Tristar, Upper Deck, and Choice (minor league team sets). I have 64 cards from that debut season and am missing only cards /50 or less. At the time of Cutch's call up he was a top 15 prospect in baseball.
The consensus top prospect in baseball heading into this season is Vladamir Guerrero Jr. He has had 579 cards produced PRIOR to the year of his debut according to TCDB. So far in 2019, his rookie year MLB debut, he has had 1,495 cards produced. With a month left in the year, it is very possible to see that number grow more as it has tripled since June thanks to the release of more Topps Now, Heritage High Number, Topps Update, Bowman Draft and Prospects, and many more high end sets produced. With the hype surrounding Vlad Jr prior to the season, it is no surprise to see card numbers like that produced. Is anyone else alarmed by this?
Let's look at another rookie who has made their MLB debut this year. Since Cutch wasn't a top 10 prospect and didn't win Rookie of Year in his debut season, let's look at a similar resume player. Pete Alonso is the NL Rookie of Year winner so I am going to look at Austin Riley, outfielder/3rd baseman for the Atlanta Braves. Similar to Vlad Jr he will have another few cards released since appearing in Update, Heritage, BDP, and Now cards prior to year's end. He currently already has 483 cards produced for this year.
The most popular shortstop of 1987 when I began collecting was Cal Ripken Jr. He had 60 cards produced that year with brands Topps, Fleer, Donruss, Classic, Sportflics, and many local/food releases providing those quantities.
A rookie shortstop who would go on to have a Hall of Fame career, Barry Larkin, had only 16 cards produced that year.
Kevin Newman, a Pirates rookie shortstop, was having a great year at the plate but would hardly be considered the best at his position in the game despite finishing in the top 10 for the NL batting title. He already has had 492 cards produced this year. That doesn't even include the buyback autos for this year's Archives Signature Series Active Player collection.
With all of the parallels being produced in each new release, it feels like we are entering a new Junk Wax Era. The presses aren't working overtime like they were in the 80s and 90s just pumping out more and more base cards, but for our small niche hobby we collect there are more cards to collect of a player than ever before.
Here are some of my favorite late 80s and early 90s junk wax era themed cards.
1991 Topps Desert Shield was featured as a parallel in 2016 Topps Archives. The originals of these cards actually still hold value to this day.
What are some of your favorite designs from the junk wax era?