Topps again came out with a set to preview their 1995 design – just as they had done in the previous year, this set was available in certain 1994 factory sets. In “retail” ’94 factory sets, there was a package of 9 cards included.
The back of the cards are numbered PP1-PP9. The line for the 1994 statistics says “Pre production sample” instead of listing the statistics. For some of the pre-production cards, the photo is different from the player’s photo from the base set.
- PP1 – Larry Walker
- PP2 – Mike Piazza
- PP3 – Greg Vaughn
- PP5 – Ken Griffey Jr. (they replaced this photo so that the base Topps set is almost identical to the card from his Topps Embossed card)
For the rest of the cards, the photo did match
- PP4 – Sandy Alomar
- PP5 – Travis Fryman
- PP7 – Mike Devereaux
- PP8 – Roberto Hernandez
- PP9 – Alex Fernandez
I’ve read that the packet of cards s actually contained 10 cards, with the extra card being a parallel “spectralight” (blackened background) version of one of the 9 cards. This would make sense to preview the new parallel for the 1995 cards, but I’ve never seen one of the spectralight promos in person or online (and I’ve looked), and the packaging on the box states that there are 9 cards. Anybody know anything for sure about this?
I had the regular promo set at home from buying it back in the day (as a 15-year-old kid).
Starting with 1994, Topps no longer printed a card of the Golden Spikes winner for the awards banquet of the US Baseball Federation. The recipient in ’94 was Jason Varitek, and I’ve read that he refused to allow Topps to use his likeness to make the card. This is interesting, because I don’t think Topps actually earns any money off this card. I think the situation between Varitek and fellow Scott Boras client Alex Rodriguez is somehow related. Varitek had a card in the 1992 Topps Traded set as part of the “Team USA” subset, but A-Rod actually opted out of playing for that team because he didn’t want to have sign the contract to have his likeness used. A-Rod didn’t come to an agreement with Topps until 1998, and Varitek held out until 2007.
Topps also had 3 cards in the “National Packtime” set where each of the 6 licensed manufacturers (Topps, Upper Deck, Donruss, Pinnacle, Fleer, Pacific) created 3 cards for the 18-card set. The players included were Deion Sanders, Mike Piazza and Raul Mondesi. All 3 cards feature different pictures from the base set.
Finally, there was a proof card of the 1995 Topps Traded Shawn Green card with no border: