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).
- 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.
Both 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.
Topps issued a pre-production set of 3 of the regular cards.
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.
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)
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)
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)
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.
The retail factory set was packaged in blue background and like the hobby version had just the base set.
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.
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.
There were also boxed sets available for each of the 2 series:
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.
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.