I already finished the History of Topps set and posted about it back in January. That was a series 1 insert set; Topps created a similar set for series 2 that covered baseball card history before Topps started up – “Before there was Topps”. I finished this set shortly thereafter, but didn’t get around to posting on it until now. Since I’m moving this week, I don’t have much time to do new posts, so I’m going to take this opportunity to do some of these overdue “completed set” posts.
Info about the set:
Set description: “A 10-card review showcasing the world of vintage baseball culminating with the founding of Topps!” At least that’s the way they describe it on the sell sheets. Everything is correct – except this is really just a 7-card set. The cards in this set have a tan border surrounding an oval “mirror”, with a card from the highlighted vintage set showcased. In the top part of the border is the wording “Before There Was Topps”, while the name of the set showcased is in the bottom.
Set composition: 7 cards, 1:18 hobby odds
Hall of Famers: 7. All the cards displayed feature Hall of Famers.
How I put the set together:
2 cards from a series 2 HTA jumbo
1 card from a series 2 blaster
2 cards from a card show
2 cards from Sportlots
Thoughts on the set:
I think the fact they did this set as part of their 60th anniversary was a good idea. From that vantage point, I like this better than the Vintage Reproductions they had in series 1. This set goes well with their “History of Topps” set – though I’d have added some cards. Here’s what they did include:
- BTT1 Honus Wagner (1909 T-206)
- BTT2 Christy Mathewson (1911 T-205)
- BTT3 Walter Johnson (1911 T-201)
- BTT4 Babe Ruth (1921 Exhibit Supply Co)
- BTT5 Jimmie Foxx (1933 Goudey)
- BTT6 Mel Ott (1939 Play Ball)
- BTT7 Stan Musial (1948 Bowman)
I would have included as much as possible, including these sets:
- 1869 Peck & Snyder – the first card of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings would have been great for this set – heck, they even mention it on the back of the Wagner T-206 card!
- 1887 Allen & Ginter – obviously something they can make happen
- 1887 Gypsy Queen and/or Old Judge – they clearly have the rights to the Gypsy Queen set
- 1888 Goodwin Champions – though there may be some rights issues here since Upper Deck has the rights to this set. But I don’t know if it matters – I think they use the “informational” thing here. Because I think UD has the Play Ball and Goudey rights that Topps did still use.
- 1888 – Kimball Champions – they have an insert set of this in 2011 Topps. A card with a description about the set would have been cool.
- 1912 – Hassan Triple Folders – I love these cards!!!!
- 1914 – Cracker Jack. This is a must!
- 1916-1938 – Zeenut – I don’t know much about these, so another card would be great!
- 1930′s – US Caramel – they had these in the Vintage Reproduction set – why not here?
- 1941 – Double Play – ditto
There’s at least 8 ideas they could come up with there!
Card that completed my set: #BTT1 – Honus Wagner (1909 T-206)
I got this card along with card #2 in a January purchase from Sportlots.
Highest book value: They are all the same value.
Best card (my opinion): #BTT1 – Honus Wagner (1909 T-206)
Hard to go against the Holy Grail. I also really like the Mathewson T-205 card.
My Favorite Reds card: There aren’t any.