This is a pretty big one to complete – I finished off the 2011 Gypsy Queen set last month, including the SP’s. This product was the surprise of 2011 as far as how well it did, and I really liked the design and the way the pictures look. Since I’d completed every insert set by the time I got the base set done, my “look back” will cover everything – base and inserts.
Info about my set:
How I put the set (non-SP / then SP) together:
183 (176/7) cards from my first hobby box
62 (59/3) cards from my second hobby box
11 (10/1) cards from retail packs
5 (4/1) cards from a group break
48 (44/4) cards from trades
8 (7/1) cards from Sportlots
26 SP cards from an eBay lot
1 SP card from a card show
6 SP cards from Check Out My Cards
Card that completed my set: #338 – Babe Ruth (1 of 2 cards I got from a Check Out My Cards purchase – the other was Nick Markakis)
General Set Info:
Set composition: 350 cards (297 current players, 53 retired players)
Earliest active player from this set: #164 – Cy Young
When I’ve done this for older sets – I usually do “last active player”, but for these sets one I’ll do first active player. This is easily Cy Young, who debuted in 1890. The only other player to play in the 19th century in this set is Honus Wagner, who debuted in 1897.
Player with the most cards in the set: 8 of the retired players have 2 cards – they are shown with different teams.
- Ty Cobb (Tigers & A’s)
- Jimmie Foxx (Red Sox & A’s)
- Rogers Hornsby (Cardinals & Cubs)
- Johnny Mize (Cardinals & Giants)
- Frank Robinson (Orioles & Reds)
- Babe Ruth (Yankees & Red Sox)
- George Sisler (Browns & Braves)
- Tris Speaker (Indians & Red Sox)
First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – Ichiro, #100 – Nolan Ryan, #200 – John Lackey, #300 – Franklin Gutierrez
The Ichiro is a pretty nice card.
Highest book value: #338 – Babe Ruth SP (see above)
Most notable card: #66 – Sandy Koufax, #318 – Hank Aaron
I picked both these guys because in 2011 Topps signed agreements with Koufax and Aaron to promote their products. This was a pretty big deal at the time, since both guys hadn’t had cards in quite a while.
Best card (my opinion): #18 – Christy Mathewson
This is kind of what I think a Gypsy Queen card should look like. An all-time great pitcher in Christy Mathewson who doesn’t get a ton of cards. Great shot of him in an old school uniform in what looks like a pre-game windup. It’s a beautiful card.
Second best card (also my opinion): #99 – Ozzie Smith
I’ve said it before, but I like insert sets that have legitimate themes, and I like cards that capture memorable moments. This card captures the Wizard rounding the bases after a walk-off home run in game 5 of the 1985 NLCS. Smith had 6 full seasons in his Hall of Fame career where he didn’t hit a single homer, but this one got Jack Buck to let out his famous “Go Crazy” call.
Best subset card: N/A
Favorite action photo: #84 – Tim Lincecum
“The Freak” shows his freaky follow through. Dustin Pedroia has a really nice card as well.
Favorite non-action photo: #67 – Dave Winfield
You can’t beat a young Winfield posing in his old-school Padres uniform. I can see how he was drafted by the NBA after seeing this picture. Felix Pie, Andre Dawson, Carl Yastrzemski and R. A. Dickey all had cards I considered here.
My Favorite Reds card: #22 – Barry Larkin
I had a framed paper of Larkin, so I used that photo. I picked this one because Larkin didn’t have a lot of “retired” cards until 2011, and this one was pretty cool.
Other Notable Cards: I think I’ve covered quite a few. This is a really nice set – going through it again re-confirmed that for me. So you could argue there are a bunch more “notable” cards. Too many to scan.
My “Master” Set Info:
469 cards – 350 “base”, 119 “insert”
- Insert sets: Great Ones, Home Run Heroes, Future Stars, Wall Climbers, Sticky Fingers, Gypsy Queens
How I put the additional sets together: Boxes, packs, card shows, trades and online – various sources, just like I did with the full base set. I covered each insert set in earlier posts.
General Insert Set Info:
Most notable insert card of any type: GQA-SC – Sandy Koufax
A year and a half later, Topps has put Sandy Koufax autographs in plenty of its products, but this was one of the first to have them after Topps inked him to a deal at the start of the year.
Best Autograph or Relic card: Framed Mini Relic #FMRC-RHE Rickey Henderson
These framed minis aren’t a new innovation in 2011 Gypsy Queen, and I’m an admittedly biased Rickey Henderson fan. But I just love the way the green goes with this card. And Rickey is not in the base set (or anywhere else in the product), so that adds to how cool the card is.
Best Insert card: Mini Variation #18 – Christy Mathewson
This was a tough one – those Framed Paper cards are very nice. But these mini variations are a throwback to the originals, which is something I can always appreciate. They came 1 per the 10-card mini packs in the hobby boxes. The Mathewson regular card is my favorite, but this variation with him in the old style baseball sweater seems to go with the design even more.
Best Reds insert card of any type: Triple Autograph Relic #TAR-RVB – Robinson/Votto/Bench
3 former Reds MVPs – this card is so out of my price range it’s not even funny, but at least I can admire the picture of it on my blog!