After going through a bunch of comparisons between the 2 Gypsy Queen sets – I’m on to some more standard posts I’ve done for each set. 2011 Gypsy Queen features cards of 1 Big Red Machine player (Johnny Bench) and 1 player from the 1990 Reds World Series Champs (Barry Larkin).
Since the original Gypsy Queen set was too old, there are obviously no Reds WS champions in the 1887 set (I would note however, that Charlie Comiskey has a card in the set. He was the owner of the 1919 Black Sox who LOST the World Series to the Reds). The Redlegs were never quite good enough to participate in the World’s Series that occurred from 1884 to 1890 between the winner of the American Association and the champion of the National League. They did, however, finish first in the American Association during its inaugural year of 1882; but this was before the two leagues started to play an inter-league championship. This Reds team of the 1880’s featured future Hall-of-Famer Bid McPhee.
First, here are future HOF-er Larkin’s cards. Larkin has a card in the base set, which means he has a 5 mini-card parallels (Mini, Gypsy Queen back, Black Border, Sepia #/99, Leather #/10) and a State Stamp parallel #/10. He’s also in the first 100 cards, which means he has a photo variation mini, and that he’s in the Framed Paper parallel set – Bronze and Green version. He also has 12 different printing plates: 4 for the regular card, 4 for the mini, 4 for the mini photo variation. So there are 9 variations on Larkin’s base card – not counting the printing plates – and 10 counting the base card (a bit much I’d say). Next, he’s got an original art patch, at least he does according to the checklists I’ve seen. Finally, he’s got a framed mini-relic, which I pulled from my second box.
So, all told – Larkin has 24 total cards, 12 if you don’t count printing plates, 4 different photos (mini relic, original art, base, photo variation), and 3 relics (framed mini, original art, stamp), and 2 gigs as a commentator in as many years!
See pictures below – the state stamp is not a stolen internet picture – I bought one of these off eBay!
Next, here are Bench’s cards. Bench has a card in the base set, but it’s not in the first 100 cards. So this means he has the 4 mini-parallels (no photo variation and no sepia), a state stamp card and 8 printing plates (base, mini). Note that there’s an error on the back of his card – it shows the Red Sox logo. Someone is still bitter about 1975! He’s included in 2 insert sets – Home Run Heroes and The Great Ones. This means he has a mini version of both of those, and 8 more printing plates. Finally, Bench has a couple of autograph/relic inserts. The first one is a dual auto/relic with fellow Buster Posey (2 guys who won NL ROY as a catcher). The next one is particularly cool – 3 Reds MVPs – Bench, Frank Robinson and Joey Votto featured on a Triple Autograph Relic card.
So, Bench’s tally is 27 total cards, 11 if you don’t count printing plates, 4 different photos (mini relic, original art, base, photo variation), 3 relics (framed mini, original art, stamp), and a partridge in a… My head is starting to spin…
Back to the 1887 Reds set. Apparently the Gypsy Queen set didn’t have any cards of Cincinnati players – the set focused primarily on the 8 National League teams and the 1886 World Series Champion St. Louis Browns of the American Association. Based on this – from the 1881 American Association champion Redlegs – only 1 player would have had a chance at getting a card in the Gypsy Queen set. Rudy Kemmler played a whopping 3 games for the 1881 Reds – he played most of that season for Pittsburgh. He was also on the Browns’ 1886 World Champion team noted above – I haven’t found a Gypsy Queen card of him online. But he did have a card in the Old Judge set depicting his place on the 1886 World Champions – so there’s a chance he had a card in the Gypsy Queen release.