32 Times Fashion Choices Went Terribly Wrong in 1992 Bowman Baseball

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When we buy our clothes, we don’t often think how ridiculous some of our choices are going to look in the future. I remember proclaiming that standard blue jeans were a thing of the past when I got my first pair of acid wash back in the 1980s. Boy, was I wrong.

1992 Bowman 104 Braulio Castillo

Walking down the hallways of a high school can be surreal. Looking back at the old photos and yearbook-style portraits is like a trip back in time. Oddly, I often find that the further back you go, hairstyles and fashion choices make people look older. Even though the Class of 1974 and Class of 1996 are captured at roughly the same age, they don’t look it.

You’d think that it would be the same thing with baseball cards. They’re frozen moments from a specific period. And yet, other than printing technology and facial hair, it can often be tough to pinpoint what era a lot of cards come from based on just the photo. That’s because sports cards usually show players in their uniforms. You don’t get much fashion sense outside of the painter-style caps the Pirates wore for a short time or the Magnum P.I.-inspired mustaches of the 1980s.

1992 Bowman Baseball offers a rare hobby glimpse at how we dressed back in the day. For the most part, the results are horrendous and cringe-worthy. The scary thing is that those weaved belts, bright colors and rolled jeans were considered cool at the time.

The set is viewed by many as one of the decade’s best because of it’s increased quality, limited quantities (by 1992 standards) and a stacked rookie card lineup that includes Mariano Rivera, Mike Piazza and many more. But maybe it deserves to be a warning to young adults from the present day that what clothes are hot now are likely to be mocked by your children.

One of the most iconic 1992 Bowman Baseball cards belongs to Chipper Jones. It’s not his rookie card, but it’s held in higher regard than most of his even more plentiful 1991 cards. Yes, it’s an early gem from a generational great, which is probably why it’s remembered. Or is it because it shows a future star standing on the edge of a cactus patch wearing a ball cap, a long-sleeve buttoned shirt, khaki shorts and a pair of Nike high tops? And let’s not forget that brown weaved belt.

Just a little dated.

Most of the other fashion faux pas come from young players who didn’t amount to much. They come from photo shoots, some of which are delightfully odd and definitely not typical of a traditional baseball card set. Seeing as how images were available of veterans in their regular on-field gear, they take the traditional route.

So behold, the fashion warnings that 1992 Bowman Baseball gave us. And in case you want to add some of these to your collection, the Beckett Marketplace has plenty of them.

1992 Bowman Baseball’s Cringe-Worthy Fashion Showcase

28 Chipper Jones

1992 Bowman Chipper Jones

34 Napoleon Robinson

Thank shirt is almost like camouflage with that building in the background.

38 Eric Christenson

Yes, that hair was “in” back in the day.

42 Tracy Sanders

72 Jeff Jackson

When abstract art and gold chains collide.

79 Ryan Long

Every yearbook has one.

104 Braulio Castillo

Yes, he’s leaning up against a trunk.

1992 Bowman 104 Braulio Castillo

130 Domingo Jean

It’s like the junior version of the Kid haircut.

138 Ryan Hawblitzel

155 Kevin Young

202 Todd Jones

211 Joe Sondrini

Sondrini might have missed the bus but that’s one pair of sweet kicks.

224 Damon Buford

“Nice suit,” says 1992 Damon Buford.

“Shirt’s a little short around the belly,” says everyone else.

1992 Bowman 224 Damon Buford

246 Joe Perona

I wonder if the shirt was made to look faded or it was a personal favorite that got worn many times. Either way, if you squint, the blobs kind of look like Angry Birds.

251 Greg Blosser

Mullet + Goatee Fuzz + Jean Shirt = Awesome.

261 Ugueth Urbina

302 Mariano Rivera

1992 Bowman 302 Mariano Rivera

331 Eddie Williams

In case you were wondering, the gold chain says “Eddie.” The serene fountain in the background is a nice touch.

332 Donald Harris

Those suspenders!

349 Paul Byrd

With that background, it needs more lasers.

Much better!

387 Alan Embree

389 Bobby Jones

What’s cooler, the shirt or the camera?

391 Dan Smith

There’s a whole lot of geometry happening with that hair.

393 Jon Farrell

417 Clemente Nunez

443 Vince Moore

508 Robbie Beckett

Jeans, suit jacket and wild ties have always made interesting combinations.

548 Elston Hansen

1992 Bowman 548 Elston Hansen

581 Howard House

This card has a sense of familiarity to it.


614 Scott Cepicky

Proof that acid wash made it to the 1990s.

654 Greg Pirkl

679 Duane Singleton

I don’t know, but that shirt looks like it might have inspired the Power Rangers uniforms a couple of years later.

1992 Bowman 679 Duane Singleton

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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  1. Charlie DiPietro 10 September, 2015 at 18:48

    Mariano is looking smooooth. Chipper, on the other hand, looks like a kid who was away from home for the first time and didn’t have his mother around to tell him how to dress.

  2. Mike 10 September, 2015 at 21:06

    I was just thinking about the high fashion in this set last week.

    Just so you know, that’s not Robbie Beckett, it’s Brandon Walsh from 90210

  3. Ben 11 September, 2015 at 12:01

    It’s a little goofy in hindsight, sure, but I like it so much better than getting ‘shopped MLB unis on guys who will never even suit-up in a real MLB uniform.

    I’m sure it’s a lot easier and cheaper for Topps to just cut ‘n paste some logos rather than send a photographer to Florida for a week though. At least Topps passes the savings onto the consum…oh, wait, no they don’t.

  4. Joe 11 September, 2015 at 16:06

    This may be the all time best article on this website! ROTFLMAO! Every kid in High School should be forced to read this article before posing for a yearbook pic! ( Actually lets NOT show them this article so 20+ years later we can laugh at them!)

  5. Zeprock 13 September, 2015 at 08:11

    Most of those guys could pass for members of the late 80s boy bands. Takes me back to the day when we all had “extra” money and we’d buy anything that appealed to us in the moment. Miss those days.

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