2000 Topps series 2 hobby box break

21 10 2014

2000 Topps s2 hobby box

As with series 1, I got a hobby box for 2000 Topps series 2.  I purchased this box online from the Baseball Card Exchange for 25 bucks just under 2 years ago (January 2013).  I guess that’s how long ago I planned this out, but I hope to lessen the amount of time it’s taking me to move forward with this Topps project over the next year.

I got the full set in this box.  For me – that’s the most important thing!  I also hope to get good inserts since I’m collecting the inserts – but the set itself is the primary goal for this blog!

Just like any mid-late 90’s years – is anyone collecting the 2000 set?  I CAN HELP!!!!!!  And if you’ve got any inserts for trade – check out my wantlist at the top of this blog!

Here’s a look at what I got.  I got the standard oversize card that comes as a box topper here.  For this series, I got my favorite player of all time – Griffey Jr.  And showcased in his first Topps card with my favorite team, so I was pretty excited about that after getting Jeter in series 1.  This is a great card.

2000 Topps Oversize s2 box Griffey

I got all 5 variations.  Griffey’s card, though not with the Redlegs, stands out as particularly awesome in this group.

2000 Topps Magic Moments s2 box

For inserts, I did much better with the Hank Aaron reprints than the first box.  I got 3 of the regular inserts, which is beating the odds and 1 more than I pulled in series 1.

2000 Topps Aaron reprints s2 box

And I got a Chrome insert, which isn’t guaranteed as the odds are basically 1 in 2 boxes.

2000 Topps Aaron Chrome s2 box

I didn’t get any autographs or the numbered “Century Best” cards – but I did get a very tough pull.  Vinny Castilla MVP promotion parallel.  This is 1:382 packs – super hard to get, not worth all that much these days!  It’s not even a winner, so I can’t bitch about Topps not accepting their 15 year-old contest redemption!

2000 Topps MVP parallel s2 box Castilla

I got 3 Own the Game cards – 2 of Pedro Martinez.  Like the All-Matrix cards from a year ago, there are different subsets within this insert set.  Stat Stars and Titans of the Game – but I haven’t done enough research to know if that’s it or not.  I will in the near future.  I do know that 3 per box is the expected odds here.

2000 Topps Own the Game s2 box

Like “Own The Game”, the All-Topps team is an insert set featured across both series.  Series 2 has the AL All-Topps Team.  If you haven’t noticed – I’m getting Jeter cards left and right in my 2000 Topps packs!  Appropriate since I waited until right after his career was done to open these boxes!

2000 Topps All Topps Team AL s2 box

I got one Topps All-Star Rookie team card.  These are pretty cool, though it would be much better if they featured these guys on the team they played for in the rookie year.  Or do a then and now type thing.  Canseco isn’t the best pull, but I still like the idea of this set.

2000 Topps All Star Rookie Team s2 box

Finally, here’s my Topps Combo card.  I was hoping for the Pedro / Big Unit card, but the Indians card is an interesting pull.  Lofton looks really bored in this picture, and Alomar looks like he’s wary of Man-Ram over there.

2000 Topps Combos s2 box

Stats for the box:

36 packs per box * 11 cards per pack +1 jumbo = 397 cards

123 doubles

21 triples

239 of the 239 card set. (100% set completion)

1 Topps MVP Promotion

3 Aaron Reprints

1 Aaron Chrome

3 Own the Game

3 All-Topps Team

1 Topps Combos

1 Topps All-Star Rookie Team

1 Oversize

Including the first box:

473 / 478 of the base cards (99%)





2000 Topps series 1 hobby box break

19 10 2014

2000 Topps s1 hobby box

I stuck with buying hobby boxes to work on my collection for 2000 Topps.  There aren’t any retail or hobby-specific inserts, so hobby seemed just as good.  I could have gone for the HTA jumbo boxes, which offer the chance to pull the autographed stadium relics – but those were more expensive than I thought they were worth.

I bought this in early 2013, and didn’t get around to opening it until now (series 2 was even worse – I bought that in late 2012)!

The box collation was good, but not perfect – I got all but 5 cards in the series.  That gave me just under 150 doubles and triples, so while getting 97% of the series is good, I wish a few doubles could have been swapped to get me to finish the series.  I wonder when it will start getting to perfect collation – which is what I know you get at some point.

2000 Topps Magic Moments variations s1 box

For the oversized box topper, I got the recently retired Derek Jeter.  Quite appropriate.

2000 Topps Oversize s1 box Jeter

Now on to the regular-size inserts.

Hank Aaron followed Mantle (’96), Mays (’97) Clemente (’98) and Ryan (’99) as the “throwback” inserts in 2000.  Both series 1 and 2 and include reprints and Chrome reprints.  Odd numbers in series 1 and even numbers in series 2.  It was Finest (instead of Chrome) in previous years, though I don’t think I can tell the difference.  I got card #1 and #13 – his rookie card and 1964 Topps.  I didn’t pull a Chrome insert – they come 1 every 2 boxes.

2000 Topps Aaron reprints s1 box

There is also a McGwire reprint – but only of his rookie card, not his full run of Topps cards.  You get one of those per box.

2000 Topps McGwire reprint s1 box

The most common insert set is called Power Players.  This has the typical shininess that Topps was employing at that time.  On the back are various “power” statistics – OBP, SLG, 2B, HR, HR/AB and 2B/AB.

2000 Topps Power Players inserts s1 box

There are 3 cards per box of a not-so-shiny insert.  This is the All Topps Team.  Basically this is a team Topps selected as the best active players.  It’s kind of like the Hall of Fame insert from the year before in terms of design.

2000 Topps All Topps Team NL inserts s1 box

I got 2 Hands of Gold inserts – which was a 7-card insert.  Unlike the Power Players insert – this was for the best fielders, and it had some pretty cool effects – embossed and die cut.

2000 Topps Hands of Gold inserts s1 box

There rest of the inserts came 2 per box for me, though the Own the Game inserts were supposed to be 3 per box.  All of them are shiny.  I’ll have another post later that gets into more detail on all of the inserts.

2000 Topps Own the Game inserts s1 box

Perennial All-Stars.  The thing about these shiny inserts – they actually look better in the scans than when you’re holding them because of the way the light hits them.

2000 Topps Perennial All Stars inserts s1 box

21st Century Topps – again, very cool with the way the scan happens.

2000 Topps 21st Century inserts s1 box

I didn’t pull any of the MVP promotion parallel cards – these are very tough pulls.  But we’ll have to see what happens with the series 2 box in my next post!

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Stats for the box:

36 packs per box * 11 cards per pack + 1 jumbo = 397 cards

137 doubles and 7 triples

234 of the 239 card series. (95% set completion)

2 Aaron Reprints

1 McGwire Reprint

4 Power Players

3 All-Topps Team

2 Hands of Gold

2 Own the Game

2 Perennial All-Stars

2 21st Century Topps

1 Oversize





2000 Topps Overview

17 10 2014

478 cards in the set – 239 in each series.  Card #7 was still retired at this point in honor of Mickey Mantle (this was the 4th year Topps retired Mantle’s number).

2000 Topps packs Griffey

  • Subsets: Season Highlights (#217-221, 456-460), Post-season Highlights (222-228), 20th Century’s Best (229-235, 468-474), Magic Moments (236-240, 475-479), League Leaders (461-467), Draft Picks (#209-216, 449-455), Prospects (#202-208, 441-448), and Hank Aaron tribute (#44).  After Hank Aaron started the idea of Topps tribute cards in the base set in 1994, he got one in 2000 as well.  The Draft Pick cards are 2-players, while the Prospects are 3-player cards.  The Magic Moments cards have 5 different variations with a different moment for each player.
  • Set Design: The card fronts feature a large glossy player photo with a silver border – the fourth straight year Topps didn’t have a white border.  The player name and position are in the bottom in gold foil as part of a team-colored, faux-wood nameplate.  A small team logo is just above that and the Topps logo is in gold foil in one of the top corners.  Another player photo is along the top, with the player name and biographical information overset against the left side of the photo.  Below that are seasonal and career statistics and a write-up if there’s room left at the very bottom.
  • Packs: Topps stayed the same with 11 cards per retail and hobby packs (36 per box).  Topps no longer listed MSRP on the packs or the boxes themselves, but I believe it was the same $1.29 from the previous few years.  Packs from both series feature a different photo of Mark McGwire on the front, with the “Topps 2000″ logo at the top, the series and a list of what’s randomly inserted.  The jumbo packs were HTA (hobby) exclusive and contained 12 packs per box, 40 cards per box.  I’ve also seen 2 types of blaster boxes, both with 8 cards per pack.  The first has 15 packs (14 + 1 “bonus”) for $13.99, while the second has 22 packs (20 + 2 “bonus”) for $19.99.
  • Rookies: This is another unimpressive crop of rookies, this time due to the fact that Topps Traded was back the year before.  Ben Sheets and Barry Zito, both on the same draft pick card, are the most notable rookies.
  • Hall of Fame: 10 Hall of Famers in this set, the same number as the year before.  Aaron replaced Nolan Ryan as a tribute card, but all the current HOF players were back from the 1999 set.
  • Variations: There are 5 variations of each of the Magic Moments cards – showing off various highlights from the careers of Mark McGwire, Hank Aaron, Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

2000 Topps s1 hobby box2000 Topps s2 hobby boxBoth boxes feature pictures of Topps spokesmen Mark McGwire and Hank Aaron on the front.  At the time this came out – these were the home run kings of baseball, as Bonds hadn’t broken either McGwire’s single-season record or Aaron’s career record.

Series 2 has a blue background, with McGwire shown in a batting stance.  Aaron is in a follow-through pose that is also the photo on the back of his tribute card in the base set.  Series 1 has a green background; McGwire is shown watching a ball he pulled down the left field line while Aaron is shown in the same batting stance from the front of his tribute card.  The “2000 Topps” is large at the top, and the write-up tells you the box has Major League Baseball Cards Series 1/2.  Advertisements on the box promote inserts for Aaron & McGwire reprints, All-Star autographs, the All-Topps team and the MVP promotion that Topps ran in conjunction with this set.

The odds below are for hobby packs unless noted.

Promo Cards

Topps issued a pre-production set of 3 of the regular cards.

Update Sets

After no update sets from 1996-1998, Topps issued a factory Traded set for the 2nd straight year.  This set was 135 cards, featured traded players and rookies, and also featured an insert of one of 80 rookie autographs.  Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, Adam Wainwright and Carlos Zambrano have rookie cards in the Traded set.

Parallel Sets

There are 2 partial parallel sets inserted into packs was the 2nd year of the MVP promotion.  The cards contained a Topps MVP stamp.  If the player depicted was selected as one of the 25 Topps MVPs of the week in 2000, you could send that card in for a set of cards with each of the winners.  This was a 399-card partial parallel – basically all of the regular (not subset) cards in series 1, and cards #241-440 in series 2.  Hank Aaron doesn’t have a card in the set, unlike last year when Topps created an MVP card of Nolan Ryan even though it was impossible for him to win.  There were 100 of the cards made, so the winner cards are pretty hard to find since most were sent in.  The other inserted partial parallel is of the 14 20th Century Best cards, which are printed with gold foil and numbered to the statistic that’s presented.

Additionally, there are 2 types of full parallels from the factory set.  Limited Edition factory sets were made in the idea of the old Tiffany sets, with only 4,000 sets produced.  The only difference for these cards is that they are stamped with the words “Limited Edition”.  Hobby factory sets have something similar – they are stamped with a “Home Team Advantage” logo.  The full-bleed subsets in the HTA factory sets didn’t have the logo stamp, so those 28 cards aren’t any different.

  • MVP Promotion – 399 cards (1:510 s1, 1:378 s2 – hobby only)
  • 20th Century Best Sequential – 14 cards (1:839 series 1, 1:362 series 2; #/117-3,316)
  • Home Team Advantage – 450 cards (in HTA factory sets)
  • Limited – 478 cards (in Limited Edition factory sets)

Insert sets

Hank Aaron followed Mantle, Mays, Clemente and Ryan as the tribute player, with reprints and Chrome (not Finest like the previous years) versions of all 23 of his Topps base cards from 1954 to 1976.  The 11 odd-numbered years were inserted into series 1, the 12 even-numbered cards into series 2.

After having some sort of Finest-themed insert from 1994-1999, Topps didn’t have any Finest inserts this year.  Many of the inserts have the shiny background Topps had been, and the overriding theme was the turn of the century.

  • Hank Aaron Reprints – 23 cards (1:18)
  • Hank Aaron Chrome Reprints – 23 cards (1:72)
  • Mark McGwire Rookie Reprint – 1 card (1:36 series 1)
  • Power Players – 20 cards (1:8 series 1)
  • 21st Century Topps – 10 cards (1:18 series 1)
  • Perennial All-Stars – 10 cards (1:18 series 1)
  • Hands of Gold – 7 cards (1:18 series 1)
  • All-Topps Team – 20 cards (1:12)
  • Own the Game – 30 cards (1:12)
  • Combos – 10 cards (1:18 series 2)
  • Active Topps All-Star Rookie Team – 10 cards (1:36 series 2)
  • MVP Redemption – 25 cards (send-in)

They also had “insert parallels” again.  In packs, this was refractors of the Hank Aaron Chrome inserts.  However, the Limited Edition factory sets also had each of the insert sets included with the Limited Edition stamp.

  • Hank Aaron Chrome Refractors – 23 cards (1:288)
  • Limited Edition inserts – 141 cards (in Limited Edition factory set: Hank Aaron Reprints, Mark McGwire Rookie Reprint, Power Players, 21st Century Topps, Perennial All-Stars, Hands of Gold, All-Topps Team, Own the Game, Combos, Active Topps All-Star Rookie Team)

Box Topper

Each hobby box or HTA jumbo box contained a 3.5″ x 5″ jumbo card as a box topper.  There were 8 different cards in each series – the 16 cards are exact replicas of the player’s base cards, except for the size and numbering.

  • Oversize – 16 cards (1 per hobby or HTA box)

Autographs & Memorabilia

Each of the 23 Hank Aaron reprints were autographed by Aaron and inserted into packs.  The series 1 cards were actually redemptions with a pretty early expiration date (May 2000), but the series 2 cards did make it into packs.  Topps also followed up with its second year of autographed cards of current players.  This was a stellar checklist, though they are very hard to pull!  Additionally, the first relic cards were included as exclusives to HTA jumbo packs.  These were relics from a baseball stadium with a retired player’s autograph from the stadium’s home team.

  • Hank Aaron Reprint Autographs – 23 cards (1:4,631 s1 / 1:3,672 s2)
  • Autographs – 30 cards (various tiered odds)
  • Stadium Autograph Relics – 10 cards (1:165 s1 / 1:135 s2 – HTA Jumbo only)

Factory Set

There were a number of different Topps factory set options in 2000.  McGwire and Aaron are depicted on most of the packaging.

First, hobby factory sets were packaged with a kind of grainy background.

2000 Topps Factory set Hobby

The retail factory set was packaged in blue background and like the hobby version had just the base set.

2000 Topps Factory set Retail

There is also a Home Team Advantage factory set, which includes the base set and 1 Hank Aaron Chrome reprint as an insert card.  The base cards in this set were stamped with the HTA logo.

2000 Topps Factory set HTA

The Limited Edition factory set has 619 total cards (478 base cards and 141 inserts), all with the Limited Edition stamp on them.  The packaging doesn’t have the players on it.  It’s reminiscent of the Tiffany sets.

2000 Topps Factory set Limited Edition

There were also boxed sets available for each of the 2 series:

2000 Topps factory series 1

2000 Topps factory series 2

Promotions

The MVP redemption promotion as described above.

Other releases associated with the Topps flagship set

#1 – Topps again issued the “Topps Chrome” product – it’s 5th year – which is a full reproduction of the base set.

#2 – Topps issued its fourth “Opening Day” set in 2000.  Again, the 165 card set was retail only, and features the same photos from the base set.  The border is silver instead of gold, and there is an Opening Day logo instead of the Topps logo.

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2000 was when I officially became a non-collector of cards.  I was in college at this point, and had no clue what Topps or even Upper Deck was doing.  Autographs and game-used cards were becoming the true rage by now, and Topps Gallery had an insert set called Heritage which was in its second year and about to jumpstart the retro craze.  I still collected Jalen Rose cards the whole time, but 1999 SP was my last baseball card purchase for 8 or so years.  From what I know, Pinnacle had bought Donruss and then gone out of business shortly thereafter.  So Topps, Upper Deck, Fleer and Pacific were the only companies with licenses at that point, though Playoff would buy the Donruss brand a little later.





2000 Topps Pre-Production

15 10 2014

Topps again came out with a set to promote and preview their 1999 design.  The cards are again numbered with a “PP” prefix.  They again don’t have the 1999 statistics – that line has “Topps Pre-production” wording.  After a few years of 6 card promo sets, this set has only 3 cards.  I bought these 3 cards on the “Check Out My Cards” site a while ago.

Unlike previous years, Topps didn’t pick any particularly great photos or particularly great players to use as “preview cards”.  Jason Kendall is actually in his second straight set.  I do think Ryan Klesko’s photo is pretty cool, definitely the best of the three.  The photos for Brady Anderson and Kendall aren’t bad either – just not the kind that blow you away, that’s all.

2000 Topps Pre-Production_2

Most notably, Topps created these cards with a gold border, whereas the actual set has a silver border.  Everything else is the same – the photos are the exact same photos Topps uses throughout.

For all three of these pre-production cards, the photo is the same as the player’s photo from the base set.

  • PP1 – Brady Anderson
  • PP2 – Jason Kendall
  • PP3 – Ryan Klesko




Back to the Basics!

13 10 2014

So I’ve caught up with almost all of my completed set posts – which took quite a while!  I can’t believe it, but the last time I did a post for the Lifetime Topps project was December of last year.  Part of that was, like every year, the fact hat I was collecting some retro sets.  But more of it was that I took something of a hiatus this summer and am just now getting back into the swing of things.

Well, all of that stops with my next post – I plan to pretty much only do Topps posts for the foreseeable future, with the occasional completed set and “Saturday Suds” posts thrown in the mix.  But I won’t do anything other than Topps sets for a while.

So 2000 Topps is up next.  If I’m really disciplined, I’ll just go on to do all my Topps posts all the way to 2009 to get there on my project.  I kind of doubt it, because it would be hard for me to ignore Heritage next year, but at the very least, that will be my focus going forward.

Next post will kick off 2000 Topps!





Saturdays Suds (Baseball & Beer) #54 – Busch (fka Busch Bavarian)

11 10 2014

Saturday Suds – where I post about a beer that has something to do with baseball (or at least I’ll try to figure out some way to correlate it with baseball)!  For my next “Saturday Suds”, I’m going with a beer that’s far from the local brews that I’ve done on most of these posts.  Anheuser-Busch is now owned by InBev, and is not only the largest brewer in America, but the largest in the world.  At one point, it used to be a local brew for St. Louis.  And since it’s so closely tied to the Cardinals – who unfortunately are still in the playoffs – this seems like a good time to do a post.

20141010_192831

Brewery: (Originally) Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. in St. Louis, MO

Beer:  Busch Beer (fka “Busch Bavarian Beer”)

Description:  Here’s what the website has to describe it:

“Inspired by the Bavarian Alps and enjoyed under open skies and neon lights all across the country, Busch Beer is crafted to deliver the rewarding finish we’ve all come to know and love. A blend of premium hops, malt, select grains and water as clean and crisp as a cold mountain stream make Busch Beer an original worth earning.”

Busch Bavarian Beer was the first beer introduced by Anheuser-Busch after prohibition.  This pale lager was first brewed as an economy brand in 1955. I’ll be honest – it’s an economy beer, so you can take that for what it’s worth.  It’s got the standard corn/rice tasted that any American Lager has.  It’s not awful or anything – I’ll certainly drink it if there’s nothing else available.  I’d probably rather have a Busch than a Bud Light, but I’d rather have a Miller High Life than either of those – but it’s also not my favorite beer out there.

Medium:  I bought a 6-pack of 12 ounce cans, but of course there are numerous ways you can find this beer.

How it’s related to baseball:  In so many ways.  The biggest thing is that Busch is one of the three beers with a Major League Ballpark bearing the name – Busch Stadium in St. Louis.  Not only that, but the Busch brand was basically created because of the Cardinals baseball team.

In 1953, Anheuser-Busch purchased the St. Louis Cardinals.  The Cardinals were actually renting Sportsman’s Park from the Browns owner, Bill Veeck – but Veeck had decided to move the Browns to Baltimore once the Cardinals were sold to a corporation with far more resources than he had.  A-B bought Sportsman’s Park and wanted to rename the ballpark Budweiser Stadium.  But Commissioner Ford Frick strongly disagreed with this due to public relations issues with naming the park after a brand of beer; seems kind of silly these days – and frankly it probably seemed silly back then.  The solution was that A-B president August Busch, Jr. named the park after himself.  Thus it became Busch Stadium.  Less than two years later, A-B introduced the Busch Bavarian beer for the first time.  After that, the Cardinals’ stadium became a permanent advertisement for the company’s brand.  This all drew national attention – not just from a sports perspective.  August made the front of Time Magazine in 1955; notice the merging of baseball and beer!  It’s like they knew I would be writing this blog 60 years later!

Time Magazine 1955 Busch

Interestingly, Griesedieck beer was actually the sponsor for the team, but that sponsorship deal ran out after the 1954 season.  The Cardinals retained Harry Caray and Joe Garagiola, despite the fact they had called games for Griesedieck.  Teaming up with Jack Buck, they made quite the historic tandem.  Busch Bavarian was advertised on a billboard outside of the park but viewable from within.

Busch Stadium

At some point, they decided to put Caray’s photo on the billboard – you can see it in the background below hawking Busch Bavarian in the 1964 World Series.  The huge Anheuser-Busch logo would “flap its wings” whenever a Cardinal player hit a home run.

Busch Stadium 1964

Eventually, the Cardinals moved out of the old Sportsman’s Park into Busch Memorial Stadium (i.e. “Busch Stadium II”).   Busch II stood for 40 seasons – 1966 to 2005.  The scoreboard there was done in the logo of Busch Beer.

Busch Stadium 2 scoreboard

The old scoreboard has made its way over to the newest incarnation of Busch Stadium (“Busch Stadium III”) and can be seen from a concourse under the stands.  Unfortunately, it shows the last game played in Busch II – which was a Cardinals’ win over my Reds!

Busch Stadium old scoreboard

As a Reds fan who absolutely hates the Cardinals, I’m not afraid to admit that the newest Busch Stadium is one of the best new ballparks out there.  Another permanent advertisement for the brand.

DSC00818

Of course there’s all sorts of brewmania that you can find with Busch and baseball.  You can find all sorts of pocket schedules with Busch as the advertiser, and not just the Cardinals; just about any team you can think of has them.

Busch 1982 Orioles schedule

And I’ve seen quite a few posters sponsored by Busch with some of baseball’s greatest players.

Busch poster Musial

And back in the 50’s, when Busch Bavarian first came out, they came out with a Cardinals guide every year.

Busch 1957 baseball guide





Completed set – 1999 Topps

9 10 2014

Hello, I hope you’re all figuring out what to do with two days in a row without baseball!  Seriously, why did MLB work the schedule work this way?

I finished up a base Topps set earlier this year.  I’ve kind of skipped over finishing a few sets – 1994, 1995 and 1998 Topps are still pending, but I can cross 1999 Topps off my list!

Like most of the others, I haven’t finished off the “Master Set” yet for this season.  This is just the “complete set” post for now.

Info about my set:

How I put the set together:

  • 229 cards from the series 1 retail box
  • 217 cards from the series 2 retail box
  • 16 cards from trades

Card that completed my set: #352 – Miguel Tejada (received in a trade from Cardboard Examiner)

1999 Topps Tejada

Set composition: 462 cards (379 individual ML player cards*, 21 Prospects, 14 Draft Picks, 4 Checklists, 5 Season Highlights, 12 League Leaders, 8 World Series, 5 Strikeout Kings, 11 All-Topps Team, 3 Tribute)

*The 379 individual player cards include 10 All-Star Rookies

Representation of ’98 MLB season: 

Out of the 379 player cards, Alan Benes sat out of the 1998 season with an arm injury, and Roger Clemens had 2 base cards in the set.  That leaves 377 players.  On the other side, 22 other guys from the Prospects subset played in the Big Leagues in 1998 (not including Ricky Ledee, who was in the prospect subset and had a regular card).  The 399 players represent 33.6% out of the ~1,187 players who played in MLB in 1998.

Last active player from this set: Too many to mention; basically any sets after 1996 or 1997 aren’t worth getting into for this items as the list is probably over 25 players.

Earliest active player from this set: #34 – Nolan Ryan, #277 – Rickey Henderson (active players)

1999 Topps Rickey Henderson

1999 Topps Nolan Ryan

There’s two answers to this – Henderson is the earliest active player (meaning they were still playing in 1999 or had just retired in 1998).  But Ryan is the earliest (and only) retired player – debuting back in 1967.  Henderson is actually the only player in this set (other than Ryan of course) who played in the 1970’s.  Rickey made his debut by playing both games of a doubleheader on June 24, 1979 – naturally he stole a base in his first game.

There were a few guys eligible for cards who debuted in the 70’s – Tim Raines, Jesse Orosco, and Mike Morgan were all still playing in 1999, so they clearly just didn’t make the cut for Topps that year.  Orosco debuted earlier in 1979 and Mike Morgan first pitched in 1978 – so either of them would have unseated Raines if chose.  There were also a number of guys who played their last game in 1998 and in theory could have had “final cards” in 1999, but didn’t (P. Molitor, D. Eckersley, D. Martinez, D. Stieb, D. Darwin).

Player with the most cards in the set: Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa both have 6 cards.

Clemens has 2 base cards, one with the Blue Jays and a series 2 card with the Yankees, as well as being in the Strikeout King, League Leader, All-Topps and Highlights subset.  Sosa has 2 League Leader cards, a Highlight card, an All-Topps card, a Home Run Tribute as well as his base card.

Clemens – #1, #334, # 203 (Season Highlights), #232 (League Leaders), #445 (Strikeout Kings), #460 (All-Topps)

1999 Topps most cards Clemens

Sosa – #66, #202 (Season Highlights), #225 & #229 (League Leaders), #454 (All-Topps), #461 (Home Run)

1999 Topps most cards Sosa

First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – Roger Clemens, #100 – Ken Griffey Jr., #200 – David Wells HL, #300 – Alex Rodriguez, #400 – Moises Alou

1999 Topps first and the hundreds

Highest book value: #220 – Mark McGwire HR, #442 – Matt Holliday RC / Jeff Winchester RC

1999 Topps McGwire HR 70

There are 2 answers to this one as well.  This was the first year Topps included cards with intentional variations, so any of the McGwire variation cards are the most valuable (since he’s considered more valuable than Sosa).  I guess the card #70 has the highest book value – but regardless of which version you pick it does.  But if you only count the regular cards, the Matt Holliday rookie card is the most valuable.

1999 Topps Holliday RC

Most notable card: #220 – Mark McGwire HR

1999 Topps McGwire HR 70

The card for McGwire breaking the Home Run record – pretty easily the most notable card.  Since this card was one of many variations, it also was the source of quite a bit of controversy.  A lot of people thought Topps was ruining their base set.

Best card (my opinion): #100 – Ken Griffey Jr.

1999 Topps Griffey best card

Hard to beat this card – Junior in his last Topps card with the Mariners (until he went back 10 years later) in a great shot that accents his swing.

Second best card (also my opinion): #422 – Orlando Hernandez

1999 Topps El Duque

Another card I’ll pick because it fits the player.  Just like the first card highlights Griffey Jr’s notable swing – this one highlights that unmistakable El Duque delivery.

Best subset card: #452 – Jeter / Rodriguez / Garciaparra All-Topps

1999 Topps All-Topps Jeter A-Rod Nomar

These guys all looked like they’d turn in to the best 3 shortstops of all-time at the time this set came out, and this card was pretty bad-ass.

Favorite action photo: #353 – Travis Fryman

1999 Topps Travis Fryman

Fryman is tagging out the Twins’ Ron Coomer after he slides past 3rd base!   I wrote this in an earlier post, but I think this happened on an outfield assist from Mark Whiten in the 7th inning of a 11-6 Twins blowout, on July 12th, 1998.  See – that is cool!

Favorite non-action photo: #52 – Todd Helton

1999 Topps Helton

Honestly, a part of me wanted to make this card the top card in the whole set.  It’s unusual for Topps to capture an interesting moment that’s just a part of the 162 game season.  That looks like Riverfront Stadium in the background – I think this was a game from May 24, 1998 when the Reds beat the Rockies in a rain-shortened game that went through 2 delays.

My Favorite Reds card: #114 – Dmitri Young

1999 Topps Dmitri Young

Not a ton of good Reds cards, but this one sticks out to me in a major way.

Topps Reprints and others:

  • 2001 Through the Years – Mark McGwire
  • 2005 Rookie Cup Reprints – Mark Kotsay, Magglio Ordonez, Kerry Wood, Miguel Cairo
  • 2010 CMT – Ivan Rodriguez, Alex Rodriguez, Jeter/A-Rod/Nomar AT
  • 2011 60YOT – Rodriguez/Piazza/Kendall AT, Roy Halladay

No duplicate reprints that I know of

Other Notable Cards: That card of Clements in his Yankee uniform was probably a pretty big deal.  First, it’s one of the earliest cards where Topps had guys in their new uniforms in series 2 (whereas in most years that happened in the Update set).  Second, it’s Clemens with the Yankees.

Also – an interesting goof I noticed; Gabe Kapler appears on two Prospects cards, one in each series.








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