Friday, April 5, 2013

1992 Padres Police D.A.R.E. safety set

One of the many packages that arrived in my mailbox lately included a rather interesting card set, and one many people feel they could do without – a 1992 Padres Police D.A.R.E. safety set. Love them or hate them, safety card sets have a definitive place within the sports card hobby.

Personally, I happen to like them.
When we lived in Denver, our local 7-11 offered one 1988-89 Denver Nuggets Police/Pepsi Team card with each slushy you got. Once the offer expired, I persuaded the store managers to let me take them off their hands, rather than throwing them away. I hit up three different 7-11's, collecting a total of six boxes of cards. One of the boxes, I actually traded for a Scottie Pippen rookie card (long since traded).

This Padres safety set follows the pattern of most police and fire sets – all 30 cards are printed on a very thin card stock and they’re unnumbered .  There are minimal stats on the back – Birthdate, birthplace, bats/throws, height and weight. What sets the safety card sets apart, are the cute little safety tips, such as “Don’t tie your shoelaces together when going on a long trip.”

Since these cards are part of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, the safety tips deal with their, “Just say NO!” campaign.  For example, on Fred McGriff’s card, the tip reads, “Your family believes in you – they count on you to do your best. You hurt them if you’re on drugs or alcohol. Always D.A.R.E. to do your best and say “NO” to drugs.”

The photos themselves aren’t bad, albeit a little small. You have to dig that photo of Benito in full catcher gear, with those funky shades.
As far as I can tell, one of the first baseball card safety sets was the 25-card, 1980 Charlotte O’s. The highlight of the set was Cal Ripken, Jr., who would go on to Baltimore the following year. Police officers in Charlotte, N.C. would give presentations to local schools, and then give out a few of these orange baseball cards to educate children about proper safety. Needless to say, it made for a very hard set to collect.

You have to admit, though, it’s a great way to get your message out. What’s more popular than baseball cards among the young’uns? They get a card of one of their favorite hometown players, with a little safety message, to boot. For the fire/police departments, it’s a win/win situation.
In the meantime, there’s a 1984 San Diego Padres Fire Safety I have my eye on...

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, I'm jealous! I remember getting Kurt Stillwell's card (i think) in school and trying to trade for a McGriff. Couldn't find any takers. Saw this set as a Buy It Now on eBay while back and waited too long. Still following my DARE pledge.