Completed insert set – 2010 Topps History of the Game

5 01 2012

Topps History of the Game is an insert set in 2010 series 1 as part of the “Baseball History” line of inserts.

Info about the set:

Set description: “Records the history of baseball through photography, spotlighting famous venues, locations, stars and legendary moments”.  There’s a marble border set up like a picture frame surrounding another (brown) border around the pictures – which are both horizontal and vertical.  “History of the Game” wording is set in a box at the top.

Set composition: 25 cards, 1:6 hobby odds (2010 Topps series 1)

Hall of Famers: 7

Babe Ruth (on 4 cards), Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson, Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken.  There’s also a card honoring the first Hall of Fame class.

How I put the set together:

  • 6 cards from the hobby box
  • 12 cards from trades
  • 2 cards from a card show
  • 5 cards from Sportlots

Thoughts on the set:  This is a cool set.  I love just about any type of set like this that celebrates history of the game.  I’d probably take out most of the player cards – except the Jackie Robinson and the Ruth that honors the first all-star game.  I’d also keep Johnny Bench – since his card really is there to honor the first MLB draft.  Those just go into a different set if you ask me.  I’d take out:

  • “Ruth sold to the Yankees” and replace it with a card for the first professional baseball team – the 1869 Red Stockings
  • “Gehrig replaces Wally Pipp” and replaced it with a card honoring the creation of the National Anthem
  • “Ruth sets HR mark” and replace it with something discussing the American Association and the 1880’s World Series
  • “Ruth retires with 714 HR” and replace it with a card honoring the history of the Negro Leagues
  • “Maris breaks Ruth HR record” and replace it with a card honoring the “other” leagues noted as Major Leagues by MLB – the Union Association (1884), the Players’ League (1890) and the Federal League (1914-1915)
  • The Frank Robinson card was supposed to honor creation of the MLBPA – I’d have stuck with that and talked about the advent of Free Agency.
  • “Ryan throws 7th no-hitter” and replace it with a card honoring overseas barnstorming tours – from Spalding’s 1880’s tour to Ruth’s tours to those that happen today.
  • “Ripken breaks Gehrig’s record” with the 1994 strike.  Hey – it’s a history card set, not a feel good set.

Card that completed my set: #HOTG9 – Gehrig replaces Wally Pipp

This was one of 4 cards I got in a Sportlots purchase in November – which included the Gehrig card for setting the record and the Ripken card for breaking Gehrig’s record.

Highest book value: #HOTG23 – Ripken breaks Gehrig’s streak

Best card (my opinion): #HOTG5 – First World Series Game Played

A cool picture of the field at the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds – the home of the American League’s Boston Pilgrims (now Red Sox).  It looks like it’s being mobbed after Boston beat Pittsburgh to win the first Series – 5 games to 3.

My Favorite Reds card: #HOTG12 – First Night Game Played in MLB History

Beats out the Bench card.

Here’s the list of these cards – and the year when the event happened.

  • HOTG1 (1839*) Baseball Invented
  • HOTG2 (1871) First Professional Baseball Game
  • HOTG3 (1876) National League Created
  • HOTG4 (1901) A.L. Elevated to Major League Status
  • HOTG5 (1903) First World Series Game Played
  • HOTG6 (1910) President Taft Attends Opening Day
  • HOTG7 (1920) Ruth Sold to the Yankees
  • HOGT8 (1921) Baseball hits the Airwaves
  • HOTG9 (1923) Gehrig Replaces Wally Pipp
  • HOTG10 (1927) Ruth Sets Single Season HR Mark
  • HOTG11 (1933) First MLB All-Star Game is Played (Babe Ruth)
  • HOTG12 (1935) First Night Game Played in MLB History
  • HOTG13 (1935) Ruth Retires with 714 Career Home Runs
  • HOTG14 (1936) First Hall of Fame Class
  • HOTG15 (1947) Jackie Robinson Plays MLB game
  • HOTG16 (1947) First Televised World Series Championship
  • HOTG17 (1957) Dodgers and Giants Move to California
  • HOTG18 (1961) Maris Breaks Ruth HR Record
  • HOTG19 (1965) First MLB Draft (Johnny Bench)
  • HOTG20 (1966) NL & AL MVP (Frank Robinson)
  • HOTG21 (1973) DH rule created
  • HOTG22 (1991) Ryan Throws 7th No-Hitter
  • HOTG23 (1995) Ripken Breaks Gehrig’s Streak
  • HOTG24 (1997) Interleague Play Introduced
  • HOTG25 (2000) 1st MLB game in Japan

* – According to legend.  I was disappointed that this card doesn’t point out the fact that Doubleday clearly didn’t invent the game.

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