Topps 3-D – 25 cards (1:12)
Topps 3-D Lineagraph – 25 cards (Black – 1:446, #/99; Red – 1:30,873, #/1)
My 2nd to last comparison for Topps Lineage is my favorite of the standard insert sets in this product – the Topps 3-D set. The 1968 3-D test set consisted of about 12 cards, and is an extremely rare find. The current year set has 25 cards, all of whom are current players. Of note – the two notable players from the ’68 set that I passed on below are Mel Stottlemyre and Rusty Staub.
One thing Topps did that was a kind of neat throwback – the Lineagraph versions have the phrase: “This is an experimental LINEAGRAPH not intended to for release. To be Returned to: The Topps Company 1 Whitehall St. New York, NY 10004″. This is a throwback to some of the “proofs” of these cards that had this written on the back, with a different address and the term “XOGRAPH”. Also, the player name and position are not included on the front of the Lineagraph cards.
I’ll try to primarily use cards that I’ve pulled from the Lineage product and am thus able to scan myself. The most notable card in the 1968 set is that of Roberto Clemente, whose career was tragically cut short due to a plane crash en route to his Puerto Rico after the 1972 season. The 2011 Lineage set has a different MVP-caliber outfielder whose career will be shorter than it should have been – this one on the front-end. It’s good to see that Hamilton has come back, and it’s even better to see him start to turn his game back up a notch the last few weeks after an injury-plagued first half of 2011.
The other Hall-of-Famer in the 1968 set is Big Red Machine RBI-man Tony Perez. This was pretty early in Tony’s career – 1967 had been his first year playing every day for the Reds. He did make the All-Star team that year and in 1968, so he was certainly a player on the rise. I don’t have it yet, so this is an ebay-swiped scan of the current big RBI-man at first base for the Reds in the early stages of his career. That would, of course, be reigning NL MVP Joey Votto.
Boog Powell won an MVP for the 1970 World Champion Orioles. He had his 3 best seasons (1966, 1969 and 1970) in the 4 pennant-winning seasons his Orioles had (the other being their loss to Clemente’s Pirates in 1971). Similar to Perez, who never led the league in a statistical category, Powell had only one “black number” – he led the AL in slugging in 1964. He hit 339 homers and knocked in nearly 1200 runners, and is one of the great Orioles in history. Today, you can get a pretty good barbecue sandwich from “Boog’s BBQ” on Eutaw Street inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Ryan Howard is a slugging first-baseman with an MVP award on his resume as well, and most importantly for this comparison – he can be seen all over your TV for his Subway commercials.
The last player I’ll cover is one of the most influential players in history. Following in the footsteps of Monte Ward from the 1880’s, Flood is one of the most pivotal athletes in the battle between players and owners. Flood was an excellent player who put together 7 seasons with over 170 hits and helped St. Louis to 3 pennants and 2 World Series titles. But his fame came from challenging the reserve clause after he was traded from the Cardinals to Philadelphia. He sat out a year and sued MLB, with the case eventually ending in the Supreme Court. He didn’t win, but his case signaled the beginning of the end of the reserve clause and was one factor in the creation of free agency in Major League Baseball. I’ll show him next to Mark Teixeira, who has done fairly well for himself with this Free Agency thing.