After we were down to just 12 members of the 25 members of the ’90 World Series team (24 players and Lou Piniella) in the 1995, we went even lower in 1996 – 8 players and 1 subset card.
There were 2 players back in the set after being left out of the ’95 set:
- Joe Oliver had been injured and only played a half-dozen games in 1994, but started most of the season for Milwaukee in 1995 and thus got a card in this set.
- After Norm Charlton signed with the Phillies in 1994 and needed Tommy John surgery soon thereafter, Charlton was traded back to the Mariners at the end of 1995. He became their closer and was a big part of the team’s 1995 playoff run.
Piniella was manager of that Mariners team – but Topps didn’t have manager cards for the third straight year. He’d be back in Topps sets in the future, though. Eric Davis would also get back in the game after he didn’t have cards in ’95 or ’96 – but not for another year.
There were 6 players gone from after having cards in the 1995 set:
- Jack Armstrong was out of baseball after one last shot with Texas in 1994; so he was gone in the ’96 set.
- Todd Benzinger played his last 9 games in 1995 for the Giants – he signed with the Yankees but never made it into a game. He didn’t have any cards in 1996.
- Mariano Duncan didn’t have a Topps card – I’m chalking this one up to the decrease down to 440 cards in the set. Duncan actually played in over 80 games, and went back to Cincinnati to help out for their playoff run. Duncan had a few more years left – he would be back in the 1997 set.
- Though he had a couple of Fleer cards in 1996, Chris Sabo’s last Topps card came in 1995. He played for the White Sox and Cardinals in 1995 before coming back to Cincy for his last season in 1996.
- Billy Hatcher also played only a half-dozen games in a short stint with Texas in 1995.
- Jeff Reed didn’t get a card in the ’96 set despite playing 66 games for the Giants. He’d be back in the set a year later.
That’s a net loss of 4 guys, so we’re down to only 8 out of 25 in 1996 Topps, and the one subset card (Larkin in Star Power).
1996 – Jose Rijo, Danny Jackson, Randy Myers, Norm Charlton, Joe Oliver, Hal Morris, Barry Larkin, Paul O’Neill, Barry Larkin (Star Power)
Larkin’s Star Power subset fell in the first series, so that netted him a Power Booster insert. He and Paul O’Neill also got included in the Profiles insert set. I don’t have either card yet to be able to scan.