Completed insert set – 2011 Topps Lineage Giants

21 08 2014

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago – I’m almost done with the 2011 Topps Lineage “Master set”.  I’ve completed every standard insert set, and now I’ve finished up the last box topper set that was made in the design of the 1964 Topps Giants card set.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Featuring 20 of today’s stars, these cards mimic the original 1964 Topps Giants design and postcard size.”  Like all of the Lineage inserts, this is a tribute to a past oddball set.  The 1964 Giant cards were issued as a 60-card set in their own packs in 1964, and are actually still fairly affordable options given how old they are.  Here’s my previous post comparing the current set with the old set. he jumbo card set measures 3-1/8″ x 5-1/4″.  The set features a color portrait with a baseball in one of the bottom corners containing the player name, team and position.  The backs of the cards feature a black and white photo of the player with a newspaper style write-up.

Set composition:  20 cards, 1 per hobby box

Hall of Famers: None – only current players.

How I put the set together:

2 cards from my two hobby boxes

8 cards from and eBay lot

10 cards from Sportlots/COMC

Thoughts on the set:  I love this set.  I liked the idea of the Lineage set back in 2011, except some of the execution wasn’t great.  This was a set where Topps got it right.  Unlike the Heritage version of this set that came out a couple of years later, this set is reasonably attainable.  You get 1 per box, so it’s been a tough set to complete, especially since it’s jumbo cards.  But the cards can be found for a couple of bucks, and even the Jeter I found for less than $10.

Card that completed my set:  TG-8 Ichiro

I got Ichiro’s card from Sportlots about a month ago.  For whatever reason, I got renewed focus this year to finish the Lineage sets and have been buying cards up where I could find a reasonable price.  This was the last of a few purchases in 2014 that made this set complete!

Highest book value:  TG-5 Derek Jeter

Jeter is generally the most valuable of any current player.

Best card (my opinion):  TG-9 Miguel Cabrera

To me this one is hands down the best picture, and the back was pretty neat.  The newspaper style write-up described how Cabrera came back from a couple of days off for the birth of his daughter to hit 3 homers in one game for the Tigers.  Jason Heyward’s write-up was about the home run he hit in his first major league at bat.  That was pretty memorable, but the picture for Cabrera’s card is way better.

My Favorite Reds card:  TG-7 Joey Votto

He’s the only Red in the set.  I miss three years ago when he was close to being the best player in baseball and the Reds seemed very capable of making a World Series run.

Other tidbits: Ultra-pro makes 4 card sheets that fit these fairly well.  As you can see – not perfectly, because they will move around in the sheet a bit.  But it means I don’t need to take them out of the sheets to scan them in!

2011 Lineage Giants

2011 Lineage Giants_0001

2011 Lineage Giants_0002

2011 Lineage Giants_0003

2011 Lineage Giants_0004



Completed insert set – 2012 Gypsy Queen Future Stars

19 08 2014

I finished two different 2012 Gypsy Queen insert sets last November – my how time flies!  The one I haven’t showed off yet is the Future Stars insert.

Info about the set:

Set description: There isn’t a write-up on the Topps promotional material for this set since it’s retail only.  However – there was a Future Stars set in 2011 packed out to every type, which was described as 15 “Promising up and comers”.  This set features guys who were rookies in 2010 or 2011.  The front has a blue border while the back has a player write-up.  They also compare each player to a former all-star.

Set composition: 15 cards, 1:4 odds (retail only)

Hall of Famers: None.

How I put the set together:

1 card from a jumbo pack

5 cards from trades

1 card from the 2013 National

3 cards from Sportlots

(negative-1) card from my son getting into my baseball cards

6 cards from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  I like the set, I like continuity between the years.  I like the design for the previous year’s set a little better.  2012 was the year Topps started using “card letters” instead of “card numbers” to denote the card.  That’s a negative in my eyes.  Still, not a bad set at all.  They do a good job with the all-star comparison – for example, Freddie Freeman is compared to Tino Martinez.  That’s better than something outlandish, like saying he’s the next Lou Gehrig or Jimmie Foxx.

Card that completed my set: #FS-MM – Matt Moore

I got this back in November for COMC’s black Friday.  Actually, Moore was one of 4 cards, but I’ll consider him the final since his card was the one my kid got a hold of!

Highest book value: #FS-MS – Mike Stanton

Obviously, a set like this can fluctuate – but as of now, Stanton is the hottest out of this group.  Even if he did change his name up since this card came out!

Best card (my opinion): #FS-CK – Craig Kimbrel

The Kimbrel card shows a cool looking shot of him following through on a pitch.

My Favorite Reds card: There are none.

Any other tidbits: Starlin Castro’s card has an error on the back – saying that he led the league in hits in 2001 (should be 2011).  Also, 4 guys were in this set and the 2011 set – Stanton, Castro, Freddie Freeman, and Desmond Jennings.

2012 Gypsy Queen Future Heroes 2012 Gypsy Queen Future Heroes_0001 2012 Gypsy Queen Future Heroes_0002


Here are the comparisons made on the back of the card:

FS-BB: Brandon Beachy (Mike Scott)

FS-CK: Craig Kimbrel (Eric Gagne)

FS-DH: Derek Holland (Al Leiter)

FS-DJ: Desmond Jennings (Cesar Cedeno)

FS-EH: Eric Hosmer (Will Clark)

FS-FF: Freddie Freeman (Tino Martinez)

FS-JH: Jeremy Hellickson (Robin Roberts)

FS-JM: Jesus Montero (Ted Simmons)

FS-JU: Justin Upton (Eric Davis)

FS-MM: Matt Moore (Frank Tanana)

FS-MP: Michael Pineda (J.R. Richard)

FS-MS: Mike Stanton (Dave Winfield) – Stanton/Winfield is the only comparison that was the same year-over-year

FS-MT: Mark Trumbo (Lee May)

FS-PG: Paul Goldschmidt (Frank Thomas)

FS-SC: Starlin Castro (Julio Franco)

Saturdays Suds (Baseball & Beer) #51 – Knickerbocker Beer

16 08 2014

Knickerbocker beerSaturday 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)!  My next “Saturday Suds” is a defunct beer, but it’s got a definite connection to baseball!

Brewery: The Jacob Ruppert Brewery in Manhattan, New York, NY (now defunct)

Beer:  Knickerbocker Beer

Description:  An American lager that was the flagship brew of Colonel Jacob Ruppert’s brewery in East Harlem.  Ruppert was the grandson of a German immigrant brewer, and the brewing legacy passed down the family.  His father, Jacob Sr., started a small brewery and Junior eventually inherited it after a successful military and political career.

Medium:  It was old in bottles, kegs and cans.  The beer was sold to Rheingold in 1965, and it’s been out of production since the early 1970’s.

How it’s related to baseball: There’s actually quite a lot here.  First – Ruppert wasn’t just a successful brewmaster.  He’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  His success made him wealthy enough to purchase the New York Yankees. Of course, Ruppert is best known for bringing Babe Ruth to the Bronx when he bought the Bambino from the Red Sox.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame last year.

Knickerbocker Yankees

And of course, the Knickerbockers were the first organized team in baseball history, back in the 1850’s.  I can’t find it for sure – but I’d imagine this is why Ruppert and his dad named their lager “Knickerbocker”.

Knickerbockers 1845

Third, after Ruppert died, the beer became the beer sponsor of the New York Giants around the 1950’s.  It was sold at the Polo Grounds and advertised in center field.  Russ Hodges, the Giants’ play-by-play man, would announce the winner of a daily prize sponsored by the beer.  His catch phrase was “Have a Knick, feel refreshed.”  A Knickerbocker beer advertisement appeared in the outfield of the Polo Grounds.

Knickerbocker Polo Grounds

The Boston Braves also apparently had a sponsorship agreement as well – I found an ad from the 1950’s for them and the Red Sox.

Knickerbocker Boston schedule

Also, I found a recent article about some pieces of the old Ruppert brewery getting dug up – see that link here.

Completed insert set – 2011 Topps Lineage Cloth Stickers

14 08 2014

Some 3 years later, I’m getting very close to completely wrapping up the 2011 Topps Lineage “Master set”.  This is the last standard insert set, and on some level I guess I could say I’ve completed a master set.  The other things I’m chasing are the boxtopper set of 1964 Giants (which I should be done with soon) and the 75 mini parallel (which I’m 90% there – about 20 cards to go).

This one is one of my least favorite sets from Lineage.  It’s the Cloth Stickers insert set, which is loosely based on a test Topps set from 1972.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Modeled after the 1972 test set, these brightly hued fabric cards display 50 subjects on the Lineage base card design, and unlike the original are actual stickers.”

Like the other insert sets in Lineage, this is a tribute to a past oddball set.  Or in this case a test set that was never distributed.  Though Topps had a full-blown cloth sticker set in 1977 that was widely distributed and probably more in line with what this set really is.  Here’s my previous post comparing the Lineage set with the older sets.  Regardless, Topps used the same design as Lineage, just with a cloth front that could peel off as a sticker. It’s actually more like a partial parallel.  At 50 cards, it’s one-quarter of the base set – so I’d probably argue that’s what it is anyways!  The set has a mix of retired and current players, just like the base set does.

Set composition:  50 cards, 1:12

Hall of Famers: 24. Sandy Koufax, Mickey Mantle, Cal Ripken Jr., Whitey Ford, George Sisler, Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig, Mike Schmidt, Nolan Ryan, Duke Snider, Reggie Jackson, Al Kaline, Eddie Murray, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Cy Young, Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Ryne Sandberg

How I put the set together:

4 cards from my two hobby boxes

3 cards from 2 different group breaks

7 cards from trades

1 card from the 2013 National Convention

35 cards from online (Beckett, COMC, Sportlots)

Thoughts on the set:  As I mentioned, it’s loosely based on the oddball Topps set from 1972.  But Topps just used the base Lineage design.  It would have been cooler to do a different insert set with the 1972 or 1977 design (or even do a different year with no provenance in Topps-cloth-sticker-history – maybe 1978).  Since, it’s one-quarter the size of the regular Lineage set, and the picture, write-up and design elements are all the same as the base set, it’s really a partial parallel.  It’s not a bad set, but 50 cards is way too much.

Card that completed my set:  TCS-48, Ryne Sandberg

2011 Lineage Cloth Ryne Sandberg

I’ve been 1 card short of finishing this for over a year.  Sandberg was unusually tough to track down; it was always too expensive compared to other cards in this set.  I eventually broke down and paid too much from a Beckett dealer because I’ve been so close to wrapping up Lineage.  I paid 2 bucks for this card plus shipping.  And it wasn’t even a dealer where I bought a bunch of other stuff.  Still – I’m glad to cross this off the list!

Highest book value:  TCS-6 Cal Ripken Jr.

2011 Lineage Cloth Cal Ripken

Apparently at some point in recent years, Ripken became the most valuable guy you could find in a set.  At least according to Beckett.  For as long as I could remember, this had always been Mickey Mantle.  But that’s not the case; Ripken books at higher than anyone else.

Best card (my opinion):  TCS-1 Sandy Koufax

2011 Lineage Cloth Sandy Koufax


Monte Irvin was my favorite card from the base set, but his card didn’t make it to the cloth set.  I like the Koufax card the best out of the cards that did make it.  Hank Aaron’s card is pretty cool too.  Both of their photos seem to go well with the Lineage design, which is hard to do.

My Favorite Reds card:  TCS-47 Tom Seaver

2011 Lineage Cloth Tom Seaver

Joey Votto and Johnny Bench are both in the set, but I like the Seaver card the best.

Goodwin Champions – baseball players in both the 1888 and 2014 sets

12 08 2014

Four baseball players have cards in both the original Goodwin Champions set and the one that was released by Upper Deck in 2014.

2014 Goodwin mini King KellyKing Kelly was the first baseball player (he’s card #1 in the 2011 set).  I’ve covered him before in my Gypsy Queen 2011 set review.  Kelly was still one of the better players in the game, but his very best years were already behind him by the 1888 season.  He was still one of the most popular players in the game, but had already been sold by Albert Spalding to the Boston Braves in an effort to purge the Chicago ball club of all the drinkers on the team.  Known for his chicanery on the diamond and his “lack of discipline” off it, he also is the subject of what is known as the first pop song, “Slide Kelly Slide”.  Kelly would have 2 more good years in the National League.  In Boston, he did pick up a second career as an actor, but his career and life began going downhill.  He died of pneumonia in 1894 one year after being relegated to the Minor Leagues.  Kelly was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1945.

2014 Goodwin mini Dan BrouthersThese three baseball players represented 75% of the 4 best players in the game in the 1880’s.  Next up was another Hall of Fame player, Dan Brouthers.  I also featured Brouthers in a Gypsy Queen review I did back in 2011 – he or Roger Connor were really the best argument for top player at the time this set came out.  In 1888, Brouthers played for the defending champion Detroit Wolverines, who had bested St. Louis, the class of the American Association.  Unfortunately, it would be St. Louis that lasted, as they would later move to the National League. Meanwhile, the Detroit club did not fare as well in 1888 and disbanded for financial reasons.  Brouthers actually joined Kelly in Boston in 1889 and solidified his status as the game’s best a year later; like Kelly, he was also elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.

2014 Goodwin Cap AnsonCap Anson certainly had the longest career of any player in the 19th century; counting his tenure in the National Association, he played for 27 seasons, from 1871 to 1897.  Even in his final season, at the age of 45, he played in 114 games and hit .285.  This was only his third season out of those 27 where he hit under .300.  He was the first member of the 3,000 hit club, and depending on whether or not you count the National Association statistics, Anson retired with around 2,000 RBI (give or take) and around 1,900 runs scored (give or take).  He was a player-manager for Chicago for 20 of those 27 seasons, winning over 1200 games and 5 NL pennants – the Colts (now the Cubs) were baseball’s first dynasty.  Anson truly was baseball’s first immortal.  That said, he had one of the biggest impacts of any figure in keeping baseball segregated; he famously refused to take the field against Moses “Fleetwood” Walker on multiple occasions.  Walker was the last African-American to play in a major league until Jackie Robinson did so in 1947.  8 years before that, Anson was elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Fred Dunlap2014 Goodwin DunlapThe final player was Fred “Sure Shot” Dunlap, an excellent second baseman in the 1880’s who will never be confused with a Hall of Famer.  He had one truly great season leading the St. Louis Maroons to the pennant in Union Association’s only year of existence.  He led the league in batting, runs scored and home runs, and would have been the league’s MVP had they had such an award.  St. Louis moved to the National League the next year, and their performance in 1885 is the best evidence that the Union Association shouldn’t be considered a Major League; they finished in last place.  Dunlap never had nearly the year he’d had in 1884, but he was still as solid defender and the best player on a bad team.  Later in his career, he was a grizzled veteran on the World Champion Detroit team.

2014 Goodwin Champions – base cards

10 08 2014

I wanted to show some of the base cards in Goodwin, since it doesn’t get the airplay on the blogosphere that Allen & Ginter does.  Honestly, I think the player selection is slightly less interesting than previous years.  But I do really like the design, and there’s a few interesting subjects.  First, you’ve got the two newest members of the Cleveland sports community – on back to back cards in the set.

2014 Goodwin Lebron & Johnny Football

And then there’s the newest celebrity sports couple – Tiger Woods & Linsey Vonn.

2014 Goodwin Tiger Vonn

There are some interesting photos of athletes participating in other hobbies they have.  Roethlisberger and Malone are showing off motorcycles, Larry Bird is golfing, and my favorite is former Bengal Ickey Woods on the electric guitar!

2014 Goodwin hobbies

Of course, there’s always some drama available, and Goodwin has a few cards of today’s baseball pariahs.  McGwire has been on Topps cards the past few years, and Rose has been in past Goodwin sets and has a few of his own exclusive Leaf sets – but I hadn’t seen a Clemens card in quite a while.

2014 Goodwin baseball outcasts

There’s always some good golfers in this set – in addition to the card of Tiger above, you’ve got the best player in today’s game, the best player ever and Gary Player (no slouch himself).

2014 Goodwin golfers

And now that they’ve got Ken Griffey Jr. back in the fold – Upper Deck has all of the main athlete sponsors that you think of from their fledgling years in the 1990s.  Tiger is probably the other main spokesman I can think of.

2014 Goodwin UD spokesman

There are quite a few quarterbacks in the set, too.  Montana and Manning are pretty cool additions.  Dan Marino is in the set, too, but it’s one of the 8 base cards I don’t have yet.  The Namath card is pretty horrible, probably the worst one in the set.

2014 Goodwin QBs

Anyways, that’s a few of the cards in the set – I’ll show a few more in my next post based on cards that were in the original Goodwin set.

2014 Goodwin Champions box break #3

8 08 2014

I bought a third box of 2014 Goodwin Champions.  I got my best hit of the 3 boxes I bought in this one.  I was kind of bummed I didn’t get a monster card or one of the options like Origins of Species, etc.  You’ll have to read further down to see what I got!

Here are the minis.  I got way more minis than the odds say: 7 regular minis, 4 green lady luck minis, and 2 of the canvas minis.

2014 Goodwin box 3 minis

Here are the Goudey inserts.  A few of these are doubles from my earlier boxes.  I think that Paul O’Neill card is a golf photo!

2014 Goodwin box 3 Goudey

I got two autographs in this box – though no one of particular note.  The first one was Steven Holcomb, who in 2010 helped the US to its first bob sledding gold medal since 1962.

2014 Goodwin box 3 auto Steven Holcomb

The second autograph was for Hayley Wickenheiser, who is considered the greatest woman’s hockey player of all time.

2014 Goodwin box 3 auto Hayley Wickenheiser

Finally, here’s that big hit I mentioned!  I haven’t pulled one of these in the other years where I’ve purchased boxes of Goodwin Champions.  I pulled a Museum Collection card.  2011 was the first year for Goodwin’s Museum Collection set and it featured historic items from different eras.  In 2012, the them was the Civil War, in 2013 it was the Wild West, and now it’s the first World War.  This is a heck of a pull, I plan on redeeming it.

2014 Goodwin box 3 Museum Collection redemption

Below are the “stats” for the box.

20 packs per box * 5 cards per pack = 100 cards

71 of the 130 card base set (55% set completion)

5 SP cards (though all were duplicates)

2 Super SP cards

78 of the 180 card full set (43% set completion)

7 Minis Base Parallels

4 Minis Green – “Lady Luck” back

2 Mini Canvas

6 Goudey

2 Autographs

1 Museum Collection Memorabilia

Including all three boxes:

122 / 130 of the base cards (94%)

140 / 180 of the full set (78%)


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