Since about March I’ve been doing retro cards and current year stuff, and now about 8 or 9 months later I’m back to the Lifetime Topps project. I’ve got one more base Topps set that I completed before I get back to posting about my main project.
Like 1989 and 1990, I haven’t quite finished off the “Master Set” yet. For those sets, it’s because of the K-Mart Batting Leaders inserts. For this one, I don’t have the 9-card promo set yet. I’ll get them someday, I think, but that’s actually a pretty hard set to find at a reasonable price – much like those Batting Leader cards. I’m also missing most of the All-Star Glossy insert cards.
So it’s just the “complete set” post for now. But it’s worth pointing out – THIS SET IS AWESOME! This is quite possibly my favorite Topps set of this project. 1980, 1983 and 1987 are up there for completely different reasons, but this set has a solid design, and more importantly – great photography. It’s amazing how much better a set can get in one year, and the card stock didn’t improve or anything. But going through this set one card at a time, I realized how many great cards there are.
Info about my set:
How I put the set together:
426 cards from the wax box
292 cards from a box of rack packs
29 cards I already had from back in the day
45 cards from trades
Card that completed my set: #710 – Kent Hrbek (one of 2 cards received in a trade from Scott Crawford on Cards that completed the set – one of 3 sets Scott got the last card to me for!)
Set composition: 792 cards (721 individual ML player cards*, 10 #1 Draft Picks, 26 Managers, 6 Checklists, 7 Record Breakers, 22 All-Stars)
*The 721 individual player cards include 10 All-Star Rookies and 6 Future Stars
Representation of ’90 MLB season:
Out of the 721 player cards, 2 players featured did not play in the 1989 season. Both were prospects who just didn’t make the MLB roster (Greg Colbrunn and Wilson Alvarez). 1 player was in a subset only and did play in the 1989 season – Alex Fernandez, the Golden Spikes winner and 4th overall pick who was the only member of the Draft Pick subset to make the majors in 1990. The 720 players who did play represent 71.5% out of the ~975 players who played in MLB in 1987.
The 721 players represent 72.7% out of the ~990 players who played in MLB in 1990.
Last active player from this set: #333 – Chipper Jones
Jones and Omar Vizquel both retired at the end this year and, along with Jamie Moyer, were the only three players to play in the 2012 season. Both Chipper and Omar played in the final game of the year (October 3rd), though Chipper played in the one-game playoff loss to St. Louis 2 days later.
Player with the most cards in the set: 3 players with 3 cards:
There are 2 subsets, and 3 players have a card in both the All-Star and Record Breaker subset – Bobby Thigpen, Ryne Sandberg and Carlton Fisk
Thigpen – #420, #8 (Record Breaker), #396 (All-Star)
Fisk – #170, #3 (Record Breaker), #393 (All-Star)
Sandberg – #740, #7 (Record Breaker), #398 (All-Star)
First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – Nolan Ryan, #100 – Don Mattingly, #200 – Darryl Strawberry, #300 – Kirby Puckett, #400 – Barry Larkin AS, #500 – Will Clark, #600 – Bo Jackson, #700 – Jose Canseco
These are a whole lot of the same guys as last year. And these cards are a good example of how good the photography is here.
Highest book value: #333 – Chipper Jones RC
Most notable card: #333 – Chipper Jones RC
There were no cards from 1991 Topps in the top 60 cards that they did a couple of years ago. But this is easily the most notable (and the only notable rookie card) from the set.
Best card (my opinion): #450 – Wade Boggs
This was borderline revolutionary to put something like this on a card in 1991. This is a great card.
Second best card (also my opinion): #530 – Roger Clemens
Gotta love Clemens next to the strike out sign on the Green Monster.
Best subset card: #392 – Ken Griffey, Jr.
I’m biased since Griffey is my favorite player, but this is a great card displaying his fluid swing. And there frankly aren’t that many subset cards in this set. Which is another thing I like about it.
Favorite action photo: #170 – Carlton Fisk
This card was right up there as the best card in the set with the Boggs and Clemens. If those cards weren’t ultra-unique in and of themselves, this would be the best card in the set to me. It beats out the best card from almost any other set I’ve looked at thus far!
Favorite non-action photo: #450 – Wade Boggs (see above)
My Favorite Reds card: #92 – Danny Jackson
This card narrowly beats out a great action shot of Mariano Duncan turning two over a sliding Ozzie Guillen. But I love this card because it shows Jackson’s unique leg kick and delivery.
Topps Reprints and others:
- 1999 Ryan reprints – Nolan Ryan
- 2001 Through the Years – Chipper Jones
- 2001 Archives – Dave Parker, Fred Lynn, Rick Reuschel
- 2001 Archives Rookie Reprints – Jones
- 2001 Topps Traded – Joe Carter (’91T)
- 2002 Archives – Dennis Eckersley
- 2002 Gallery Heritage – Jones, Jason Giambi (’91T), Luis Gonzalez (’91T)
- 2003 Gallery Heritage – Ivan Rodriguez (’91T)
- 2005 Rookie Cup Reprints – Dave Justice, Larry Walker, Sandy Alomar Jr.
- 2010 CMT – Jones, Ken Griffey Jr., Ryan
- 2011 60YOT – Roberto Alomar, Larry Walker
- 2011 Lineage Autographed Reprints – John Smoltz
Chipper’s 4 reprints beat out Ryan’s 2 (at least so far!)
Other Notable Cards: There really aren’t any “notable” cards aside from the Chipper Jones rookie – in some way, that’s the beauty of this set. It relies on its own design and photography and does just fine. There are a ton of great photos, so I pulled some of them: