Topps Lineage – oddball sets that “didn’t make the cut”

17 09 2011

This wraps up my looks at Topps Lineage – and I must say I’ve been excited to do this post for quite some time now.  I think Topps did a pretty good job picking the inserts they used for Topps Lineage.  As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, my main gripe is that they made the inserts too difficult to come by when that’s what should be driving the product.  Here’s a look at some other sets they may have considered:

Honorable Mention – Topps Rub-offs

These sets were inserted into packs in 1961 and 1966.  The images were reversed, as shown, and you could rub the image off onto a flat surface.

#5 – 1971 Topps Greatest Moments

This 55-card test set has a black-bordered design that borrows from the design of the 1971 set.  The horizontal cards are as “longer” than the standard card, measuring 2-1/2″ x 4-3/4″.  The back is written in newspaper style format, similar to the Topps Giants.  These cards would have been very cool – Topps could have done a “season review” type set.  Since they were a separate test, not an insert, it would have fit very well into the Lineage idea.  But the cards would have been difficult to do in a standard card size, and the Topps Giants were the box topper.  Look for these as your 2020 Heritage box topper!

#4 – 1951 Topps Connie Mack’s All-Stars and 1951 Topps Current All-Stars

These cards were issued in the 1951 “Topps Baseball Candy” packaging which would usually contain one of the 3 possible larger-sized sets (2-1/16″ x 5-1/4″) surrounded on each side by a 2-card red-back panel.  One of these 3 sets was Topps Teams, which were team photos for 9 of the 16 ML teams.  The other two were Connie Mack and Current All-Stars, which are “fold-out” cards similar to the 1964 Topps Stand-Ups.  These were 11-card sets, though 3 of the current All-Stars were only available by writing in to Topps.  Anyways, there’s a bunch this would again have fit in really well with the current and older player theme that Topps has been doing.  Again, though, these cards probably wouldn’t make sense because of the larger size and the fact that Topps did include the Topps Stand-Ups insert cards.

#3 – 1948 Topps Magic Photos

In 1948, Topps issued a small-sized (7/8″ x 1-7/16″) set containing non-sport and sports cards.  This set contained Topps first baseball cards.  The cards are actually developed photos – there are 19 baseball subjects, including a few all-time great Hall-of-Famers.  I’m going with Grover Cleveland here, since I found out in my “300” post that I hadn’t scanned a card of him yet.  This would have been a very cool thing to add, if you ask me.

#2 – 1986-1990 Mini Leaders

These cards were issued for 5 years in the late 1980’s  in their own packs.  These cards measure slightly smaller than the standard cards – depending on the year, this is around 2-1/8″ x 3″.  The sets were  66, 77, or 88 cards and are designed similar to the team leaders cards from the base set that year.  The cards show the league leaders in various statistical categories from the previous years.  Remember when card companies used to do that?  They’d pick a standard for a set and stick to it – not just throw together something like “Great Ones” so they could put Mickey Mantle and 2 different Babe Ruth cards in a set?  Anyways, I’ll digress.  This starts to get where I really think Topps could have done something creative.  The 75 minis measured 2-1/4″ x 3-1/8″, so that’s pretty similar to these cards.  Why not do away with the other parallels and add these cards in.  You could have 1 mini per pack – and they could have done like 10 or 15 cards from each design, for a total of 50 or 75.  I think this would have put a lot more value in the product – regardless of how many relics or autos you have!

Note – Topps is apparently including a throwback to the 1987 leader cards in next year’s base Topps set.  If you ask me, they should have gone with the every 25-year theme of wood grain borders, but this is at least a good tribute there.

#1 – 1965 Topps Embossed

This is my #1 – because I can’t find a good reason not to have put this in here!  If Topps did a throwback of this set and made parallels of gold, silver, bronze, and any other color, I’d probably try to collect them all.  When I was younger, my mom used to take me and my brother out antiquing.  She liked antique copper luster-ware, and we’d go to antique shops every now and then.  Sometimes I would find a few baseball cards here and there, and I remember one time buying a few of these.  These gold cards have a raised relief sculpture-type picture of the player.  American League cards are bordered in blue, National Leaguers in red.  These can actually be found for fairly cheap.  I hope someday Topps does a throwback to this – maybe the 2014 Heritage set will have these in the product somehow.




2 responses

17 09 2011

I had no knowledge of those 48’s or 71’s until this post. Any of these sets as inserts would have made fine inserts in Lineage. I do agree though, they did make some of the inserts hard to come by and I feel they shouldn’t have.

17 09 2011

Yeah, I usually want fewer inserts. Like in the Topps base product, I feel the inserts are just too common right now and I’d often rather just have had another base card. But for Lineage, where the base set was only 200 cards, I’d say the opposite – I’d rather have 4-6 of each insert per box, not just 2!

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