There are plenty of Reds in the 2011 Topps Lineage product, and 3 of them are Big Red Machine players – Johnny Bench, Tony Perez and Joe Morgan. In total, they had 5 base cards – as Morgan and Bench both were included in the All-Star Rookie subset.
This means there are 15 regular parallel inserts – 1 each for 1975 Topps mini, Platinum Diamond and Diamond Anniversary. This also means there are 25 “1 of 1” parallels – a canary parallel for each and 4 colors of printing plates.
Bench was included in the cloth stickers insert set, and he also has a 1975 mini relic card – which means there’s a canary version of that out there numbered out of ten. He also has a jumbo relic #’d out of 25, which Chris from Nachos Grande was fortunate enough to pull. Perez also has a card and a canary version in the ’75 mini relic set.
Morgan was included in the Autograph reprint set. It’s inserted as a redemption, and like the others, should have a canary version, though I’ve only seen the regular redemption up on eBay.
So, all told – if you wanted to collect every single Big Red Machine card I mentioned above, you’d have 52 cards to find. If you didn’t want the 1/1’s – that number would be 27, and if you didn’t want any parallel versions of cards, you’d have 9 (I’m not counting the relics of the cloth sticker as parallels, though you could make the argument they are). Me? I’m collecting the complete set, the full ’75 mini set, and the cloth stickers set – so I’ll end up with all 11 of those cards. Specifically, I’ll collect the other 10 non-numbered parallels of the BRM guys, both the Perez and Bench ’75 mini relics, and I’ll try to find the Morgan auto for a decent price. I hope he’s pictured as a Red! The Bench jumbo relic is probably a little out of my price range.
There are also some Big Red Machine guys in the sets that Topps Lineage pays tribute to. There two 1964 sets (Giants, Stand-ups) are too early, and the 1980’s Topps Rookies sets are too late, though a BRM-er’s son – Griffey Jr. – is included. And the
1960 Topps Venezuelan – #34 – Sparky Anderson
1964 set – #125 – Pete Rose,
1966 set – #30 – Rose, #72 – Perez, #195 – Morgan
1967 set** – #89 – Dave Concepcion**, #270 – Rose, #308 – Morgan, #327 – Perez
1968 set – #130 – Perez, #144 – Morgan, #230 – Rose, #247 – Bench, #364 – Morgan AS
* – I didn’t discuss the 1967 Topps Venezuelan set in my earlier post on the history of that set, as it wasn’t a parallel of the base set. The first 138 cards feature players from the Venezuelan Winter League, including Concepcion – whose rookie card wouldn’t come for 4 years after this one. Cards #’d 139-188 are retired all-stars, while the rest of the 338-card set are cards with the same photo as the regular Topps set. The card backs just have write-ups in Spanish – no statistics. I tried to find a picture of the Concepcion card, but I couldn’t dig anything up. I decided to throw in a picture of the retired players – which includes card #175, Johnny Vander Meer. In addition to being the only pitcher to throw consecutive no-hitters, Vander Meer also was part of the 1940 World Series Champions. He’s the card on the far left in the 2nd row below.
Tony Perez was included in the 1968 test set. A gem 98/100 version graded by SGC sold for almost $4,000 last year.
Topps Cloth Stickers
Dave Concepcion had a card printed in the 1972 test set. The photo below shows his card. Davey is probably the most recognizable name after the 4 Hall-of-Famers, also shown below.
1975 Topps Mini
#532 – Anderson (MG), #260 – Bench, #560 – Perez, #180 – Morgan, #320 – Rose, #17 – Concepcion, #284 – Ken Griffey, #41 – Cesar Geronimo, #87 – George Foster
#208 – Powell/Bench (’70 MVP), #210 – Allen/Bench (’72 MVP), #211 – R.Jackson/Rose (’73 MVP), #260 – Bench, #308 – Bench/Burroughs (Leaders)
As the ’75 Topps mini set is a full parallel of the regular set, and this set was in the middle of the peak of the Big Red Machine, this set has a boat load of Big Red Machine cards. Each of the 8 players and manager Sparky Anderson are included in this set.
Up tomorrow – I’ll look at the one player from the Reds most recent World Championship included in this set.