Archives – A look back at 1967 Topps Stickers

31 05 2012

I’m going to do a few “look-backs” of the oddball sets that Topps Archives copies off of in 2012.  The first one is the 1967 Topps Stickers, which was a test issue released for two teams – Pittsburgh and Boston.  These were probably released in just those areas as a test.  There were 3 cards per pack, at 5¢ a pack.  Here’s a look at a pack of Pirate stickers:

There are 33 cards in each set.  The stickers themselves are the standard card size of 2.5″ x 3.5″.

  • Subsets: The Pirates have 24 player / coach cards, while the Red Sox have 26 player / coach cards.  The remaining cards have various fun ad cards – saying things like “Clemente (or Yaz) for Mayor”, or “Tony Conigliaro is my Hero”.  hat are in the 1972 Topps flagship set.  There are 3 “In Action” cards, a “Boyhood Photo” card of Jim Fregosi, the Red Sox team card, and even a checklist.
  • Set Design:The stickers have the “floating head” look with the players’ name in a comic book style font at the bottom.  Sometimes there is a colored shape in the background.  The “subsets” have various “fun” with the design.  The cards have blank, brown backs.
  • Packs: 3 cards per nickel pack.  See the picture above.
  • Hall of Fame: There are 5 Hall of Famers in these 2 sets.
    • Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Willie Stargell, Carl Yastrzemski, Dick Williams MG
  • Last Active player: Yastrzemski, who played his final game at the end of the 1983 season.

2012 Topps Archives retail packs

30 05 2012

As I often do with new products, I bought a completely unnecessary grab of retail packs from Topps Archives.  With 2 hobby boxes, I had the base set complete, so you’d think that should be enough! But I do like to see what the odds differences are for retail packs.  So I bought a blaster and a jumbo pack from Target.  A little less than $30 in damage – here’s what I got:

3 SPs and 2 reprints.  The reprints were both new, and those are 2 excellent choices to reprint.  2 of the SPs are ones I got in the hobby boxes, though.  The Chili Davis is cool, I’m glad they did at least one 1990 card in the SP’s.

I also got a few inserts.  These are all new ones except for the Mays 3-D – so that’s probably “tradeable”.

Finally, there is one type of card that is an easier pull in retail – the 1956 Topps relics.  They are 1:120 in hobby packs, but are actually 1:30 in retail packs.  I got this Zimmerman card in one of the last packs of the blaster.

2012 Topps Archives box break #2

29 05 2012

My second box break of Archives was very similar to the first one.  Nothing to write “Major Mojo” at the top, but I still like these boxes, no doubt.

I got the 36 cards I was missing from the base set, so I can’t complain about that.

Without further holdup – here’s the scans.  First up are the SPs – these were all new ones from the first box I bought.

Here are the gold foil parallels.  If they’ve got to be in the product, at least I got a Babe Ruth.

Next, here are the reprints:

After that, here’s the “retro” inserts:

Finally – here’s the hits.  Nobody crazy – but the Mike Scott card sure is cool.  He struck out 300+ batters back in the day!  These on-card autos are generally pretty beautiful.  Again, no relic.

Below are the “stats” for the box.  They are exactly the same as the first box – though it is good to note that I gt the

24 packs per box * 8 cards per pack = 192 cards

164 of the 200 card base set (82% set completion)

6 SPs

170 of the 241 cards in the total set (70.5% completion)

6 Reprints

2 Gold Foilboard Parallels

4 ’77 Cloth Stickers

3 ’67 Stickers

3 ’68 3-D

2 ’69 Deckle Edge

2 Fan Favorite Autographs Reprint (M. Scott, A. Otis)

Including the first box:

200 / 200 of the base cards (100%)

212 / 241 of the full set (88.0%)


Here’s my wantlist, if anyone wants to trade:

2012 Topps Archives

SPs 201-204, 206, 208-212, 215, 217-221, 223, 225-226, 229-231, 234-235, 237, 239-241

Reprints 53-Kiner, 53-Mays, 55-Clemente, 56-Killebrew, 56-Snider, 59-Sparky, 61-Yaz, 62-Killebrew, 65-McCovey, 66-Ford, 66-Marichal, 67-Morgan, 67-Jenkins, 68-Hunter, 68-Palmer, 68-Carew, 69-Reggie, 70-Seaver, 71-Marichal, 72-Brooks, 73-Morgan, 74-Reggie, 75-Yount, 75-Brett, 76-Brett, 77-Yount, 77-Carter, 78-Winfield, 79-Ozzie, 79-Murray, 81-Stargell, 81-Seaver, 82-Palmer, 83-Boggs, 84-Mattingly, 84-Ripken

77 Cloth Stickers Lee, Hosmer, Carter, Bench, Morgan, Rice, Youkilis, Stanton, Braun, Carew, Halladay, Reggie, Castro, Carlton, Stargell

67 Stickers Mauer, Kershaw, Teixeira, Jeter, Tulowitzki, Howard, Halladay, Braun, Lincecum, Mays, Hamilton, Ichiro, Palmer, Seaver, Kennedy, Rivera, Sandoval, Yaz

Deckle Edge 2-3, 7-10, 12-15

3-D Kaline, Ruth, Utley, Hernandez, Upton, Votto, Mantle, Cano, Clemente

Classic Combinations all

82 In Action all

2012 Topps Archives box break #1

28 05 2012

I pre-ordered two boxes of Topps Archives, and got them in a few days ago.  I was out of town this weekend, so I didn’t get a chance to open them until today.

I’m not “retro’d out” like a number of other collectors.  It seems a lot of bloggers do like the product, though some have said it’s just not quite as good as the Fan Favorites products from about a decade ago.  I don’t know too much about those because I didn’t collect at the time, but it is an improvement from last year’s Topps Lineage product. I liked Lineage, but the inserts had too many cards in each set.  Archives doesn’t have that issue – the insert sets are a lot more collectible. On top of that, the base cards use the design of 4 old sets, as opposed to the so-so design and awful card backs from Lineage.  Finally, this is a product with tons of autographs of players from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s – guys I’d much rather see than the prospects or today’s players.   The only thing that Lineage had that this set didn’t – the 75 minis.

On to scans of what I got in the box.  I’ll do some later posts of the base cards, so just the inserts in these box posts.  Here are the 6 SP cards – which come 1 in 4 packs.  The regular base cards are one of 4 designs – 1954, 1971, 1980 or 1984.  The SPs, however, can come from just about any older Topps set design.  Notice the ’82 design – missing the signature!  Still Oscar Gamble, though, which is pretty cool.

Here are the Reprints.  There are 50 of these, also 1 in 6.  These aren’t “Rookie Reprints” like some folks have thought – they can come from any year.

These are the 2 gold foil parallels I pulled.  Like I said, one of the parallels in Lineage was the 1975 minis.  Well, if you ask me, something like that would have been better than just making a foil parallel.  Topps could have gone with the 1983 mini concept that they did for a very low print run of autographs in this product.  1985 Topps had mini cards as a test design – so going with that would have been a cool throwback to some actual Topps history.

On to the regular inserts – which usually pay homage to an old oddball set Topps had.  The first is the 1977 Cloth Stickers.  I must say, this one took some of my advice from last year.  The cloth stickers that Lineage had were supposed to be based off of 1972 Cloth Stickers.  I thought that, if that’s the case, it was pretty silly to just make it the same design and photo as the base set.  These inserts don’t do that – they are in the 1977 Topps (and cloth sticker) design.  And they look nice.

Next up are three oddball inserts from back-to-back-to-back years in the late 1960’s.  That would be 1967 Topps Stickers, which employ the floating head technique Topps seemed to love in the 60’s.  And 3D, which was a test issue in 1968 that Topps paid homage to last year in Lineage.  Unlike the ones in Lineage, this year’s version are slightly smaller than the standard size cards, which I believe is in line with the ’68 versions.  Finally, Deckle Edge is a tribute to a set from 1969 with perforated edges.

And, finally, here’s the hits.  Nothing super rare here, but these are cool nonetheless.  First up is my favorite – Al Oliver in the 1977 design:

Then there was former Saves record holder Bobby Thigpen, in the 1992 design.

No relics – those are actually a tougher pull at 1:120 (they are much easier pulls in retail).

Below are the “stats” for the box.

24 packs per box * 8 cards per pack = 192 cards

164 of the 200 card base set (82% set completion)

6 SPs

170 of the 241 card base set (70.5% set completion)

2 Gold Foilboard Parallels

6 Topps Reprints

4 ’77 Cloth Stickers

3 ’67 Topps Stickers

3 ’68 Topps 3-D

2 ’69 Topps Deckle Edge

2 Fan Favorite Autographs (A. Oliver, B. Thigpen)

Completed insert set – 1993 Topps Black Gold

27 05 2012

I always viewed the ’93 Topps Black Gold set as their first ever insert.  It wasn’t exactly true – there were inserts like stamps as far back as the early 60’s, there were packaging-specific inserts like All-Star Glossy, Rookies, and Batting Leaders all throughout the 80’s, and in 1992 there was Topps Gold cards at 1 per box.  But, card collectors today think of inserts as cards that are distinct from the base set that you get at a certain rate per packs you’ve opened.  Topps Black Gold really was the first offering in Topps flagship that fit this bill.

Info about the set:

Set description:  Staying in line with the Gold theme that Topps adopted in the early 90’s in the flagship product for all 4 sports, the Black Gold cards had gold foilboard at the top and bottom.  The Topps Black Gold logo is in the top left of the card. The rest of the background is completely black, with the player outlined by a white line.  The back of the card has another photo of the player with a writeup against a blue background.  The set has 22 players from each league.

Set composition:  44 cards

Inserted: 1:72 odds (1993 Topps – 22 cards per each series, 11 from each league).

There were also redemption cards inserted at a more difficult rate that could be exchanged for 11, 22 or all 44 cards in the set.

Hall of Famers: 12

Andre Dawson, Tony Gwynn, Barry Larkin, Ryne Sandberg, Ozzie Smith, Roberto Alomar, Dennis Eckersley, Kirby Puckett, Dave Winfield, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas

How I put the set together:

  • I already had the full set from back in 1993.

Thoughts on the set:  I like this insert set more now than I used to.  I always thought Topps was pretty inferior to Upper Deck for card technology and for inserts at this point in time (because, frankly – they were).  But these are pretty nice cards.  There isn’t really a theme to get in this set – Topps just put popular players in an even amount per league.  But overall, these are the first cards Topps did like this and I appreciate them more now than I did 20 years ago.

Card that completed my set:  N/A, since I already had it.  I’m pretty sure in 1993 we just bought the whole set anyways.

Highest book value:  1 – Barry Bonds

Best card (my opinion):  2 – Will Clark

“The Thrill” had a very unique swing, and you can see his follow through on this card.  It looks cool.

My Favorite Reds card:  14 – Joe Oliver

It would be easy to pick Larkin, but Joe Oliver getting an insert card is pretty cool if you ask me.

Completed insert set – 2012 Gypsy Queen Sliding Stars

25 05 2012

So this is a first for me. I am actually writing this post from my tablet while at the Newark Airport. I bought an Asus Transformer Prime a little while ago, and a got a hot spot from Verizon, so I’m really feeling new age today. The tablet has a pretty nice keyboard dock and is supposed to be the nicest Android competitor to an iPad. I’m no techie, and I’ve never had an iPad, so I can’t appropriately evaluate that, but I do like the tablet quite a bit. The keyboard is a little small and it’s tough to get used to when you bang on another keyboard all day at work, but I think I’ll get better at it. Everything but creating a new post and the card scans was done through the tablet!

Anyways, I have 2 boxes of Archives waiting back home for me, but didn’t have time to open before I head to a friend’s wedding. I’ll get to Archives early next week; for now, I’ll do a couple of completed set posts. The first one is from the newest product I’ve opened; 2012 Gypsy Queen Sliding Stars. This is a pretty sweet set idea – I always like when there’s a legit theme to cards as opposed to something like “Great Ones” that is just throwing good players into a set.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Base Stealers in Action”.  15 current players who are known as good base runners are displayed in horizontal photos.  The border is kind of what I’ll call “dirt color” – which goes well with all the dirt they’re kicking up in most of these action shots.  The 2012 version of the Gypsy Queen logo is at the top of the card and the player name and words “Sliding Stars” are at the bottom.  The back references a specific steal the player made, but the picture on the front doesn’t necessarily match (which I wish it would).  In fact, I don’t think it ever matches.

Set composition: 15 cards, 1:3 odds (2012 Gypsy Queen)

Hall of Famers:  None – these are all current players.

How I put the set together:

  • 14 cards from my 2 hobby boxes
  • 1 card from a trade

Thoughts on the set:

Again, I like whenever they have insert sets with legitimate themes the best.  I particularly like it when they deviate from power hitters, too!  I wish the photo on the front always matched the steal in question, but that’s just me being picky.  The did pick some good moments to highlight.  The frame looks really nice, kind of like you’re seeing a still of a movie.

Card that completed my set: #IK – Ian Kinsler

Kinsler was the card I got in a trade from Ryan’s Pitch earlier this month.

Highest book value:  #DJ – Derek Jeter

Best card (my opinion): #JE – Jacoby Ellsbury

Ellsbury is shown sliding into home on his card, and I love the guys in the dugout in the background looking on.

My Favorite Reds card:  None in the set

Here’s a list of the cards, along with the stolen base the cards are referencing:

#AM – Andrew McCutchen has stolen 3 bases in a game twice – the first time in August of his rookie 2009 campaign.

#CG – Curtis Granderson scampers home after the attempt to catch him stealing third sails into left field.

#DG – Dee Gordon steals 2nd, 3rd and home in the 7th inning on July 1, 2011 – the first Dodger to do so since 1928.

#DJ – Derek Jeter steals his 327th base to pass Rickey Henderson as the Yankees all-time leader (he did this on the road, not in Yankee pinstripes as shown on the card).

#DP – Dustin Pedroia stole 2nd and 3rd in May, 2011 as part of a 4-steal frame for the Red Sox.

#EA – Elvis Andrus steals home on the back-end of a Josh Hamilton theft of 2nd base in June 2011.

#IK – Ian Kinsler steals his 28th straight base without getting caught.

#JE – Jacoby Ellsbury swipes his record 55th stolen base of the 2009 season, setting a Boston record.

#JR – Jose Reyes breaks the Mets career record with his 282nd career stolen base in September 2009 (they didn’t even put him in the right uniform for this).  Topps got it wrong, but Reyes didn’t – he stole 3rd a few pitches later.

#JRO – Jimmy Rollins got such a good jump on his 350th career steal in May that he didn’t need to slide.

#JW – Jemile Weeks stole 22 bases in his rookie season – which didn’t start until June.  He got such a good jump on his first steal that the catcher didn’t even get a throw off toward third.

#MK – Matt Kemp stole base number 40 on September 17th of last year.

#NM – Nyjer Morgan led off a September game against Houston reaching base on an error, then stole 2nd, moved to 3rd on a wild pitch.  He later scored on a ground out – a run without a positive batting play.

#RB – Ryan Braun steals his 30th base of the year on the way to a 30-30 season in his 2011 MVP campaign.

#SC – Starlin Castro steals 2nd and 3rd when entering the 2011 All-Star game as a pinch runner.

2012 Topps Heritage Blister Pack

24 05 2012

I was at Target about a week ago – fully intending not to buy any baseball cards, but I saw something that I didn’t realize existed.  Not that it’s anything earth shattering – but I didn’t think Topps made these blister packs for 2012 Heritage like they did last year.  They cost $8.99, containing 3 retail packs of Topps Heritage and a 3-card pack of black parallels.  I bought one to see what the black parallels look like.

I got 2 inserts I needed and 1 base card (but no SP’s unfortunately).

Trades with Ryan’s Pitch & Smed!

23 05 2012

I completed another pair of trades in early May.  That puts me up to 21 for the year!  The first was with Ryan’s Pitch.  From what I’ve been told, Ryan was a frequent trader with other blogs, and he just started up his own blog earlier this year.  Check it out when you get a chance!

I sent Ryan a bunch of doubles from 80’s Topps sets I’ve picked up on my lifetime Topps project.  He sent me a random assortment of some 2012 Heritage, Gypsy, and a few cards toward my Topps collection.  Thanks Ryan!

I also completed a trade with Scott from Smed’s cards.  Scott sent me a bunch of Heritage cards from my list, after I also sent him some 80’s base Topps cards and a few other base cards.  This is my 4th or 5th trade with Scott – so thanks again!

Topps replaced my damaged Gypsy Queen cards!!

22 05 2012

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I pulled quite a few damaged Gypsy Queen cards in my 2 boxes.  Not quite 1 per pack, but more than every other pack.  Usually the damaged card was the back card of the pack, which tended to be a retired player (probably 80% of the time).  Some folks had commented that I should try to send them in to Topps, so I looked up what to do for this on their website.  Basically, you need to send in the cards (up to 25), a receipt and the packs you bought.  It can only be a current year product.  Last week, I took that advice and sent these in.  The website said it would take 4-6 weeks or so, but yesterday I got in and saw a package from Topps – less than a week after I’d sent!  It kind of sucks I had to pay shipping, but I also understand these things can happen.  Consider me a happy customer with this one!

Reds game #2 for 2012 – Yankee Stadium

21 05 2012

I went to my 2nd Reds game of the season this past Friday.  This one wasn’t at Great American Ballpark, and it wasn’t even against a National League team – it was actually the first interleague game of the year.  The Reds played at the new Yankee Stadium for the first time ever, and my wife and I drove down to the Bronx to see them play.  I’d hoped to go to two games this weekend – but the Bronson Arroyo / Andy Pettitte matchup intrigued me the most.  How would Pettitte do in his second start back?  Would A-Rod try to turn back time and knock the ball out of Arroyo’s glove on the way to first?

I had also hoped to go to the Cueto / Sabathia matchup on Sunday, but really didn’t have the time to justify the hour drive there and (more importantly) the drive back, which Friday night took nearly 2 hours, required a lengthy detour up to the Tappan Zee Bridge that was still far better than the 25 minutes where I thought I could get to the George Washington Bridge – which included a 15 minute timeframe where we moved less than a block.  One of the scarier times I’ve ever been in my car, because I felt completely claustrophobic and powerless.  Anyways, bottom line, I only got the first game.

We had great seats in the 2nd row of left field; but not bleachers – the pregnant wife definitely needs a back to her seat!  I got them on stubhub the night before at $60 a pop – and we were pleasantly surprised they had seat backs.  I was surprised the number of Reds fans I saw there – not like it wasn’t a home Yankee crowd, but I would say over 10% was wearing Cincinnati gear.  And it seems like they were all treated well – well, everyone except the guy I saw who wore a Red Sox jersey in the bleachers to a Yankee-Reds game (not sure what his deal was – but that’s just dumb).

It was a real pitching matchup, and Arroyo did very well for 7 innings.  He gave up only 1 run on a ground out in those 7 innings, and got the first 2 batters out in the 8th.  Unfortunately, Pettitte was even better, giving up 4 hits and no runs in 8 innings.  It looked like Arroyo was going to get one of those dreaded 8-inning, complete game losses.  Unfortunately, after those first 2 outs, he gave an absolute bomb to Robbie Cano and then gave up a 2-run line drive homer to Raul Ibanez.  All of a sudden it was 4-0 and the Reds chance was gone, too.

The Reds lost that game, but they took the next two from the Yanks and are now a couple of games above .500 and only a half game behind St. Louis for the division lead.  However, I’ve realized that they are far from a balanced offensive team.  Basically, it seems like the Reds don’t have a great chance of winning unless Votto or Bruce produce, even if they get a great pitching performance.  That’s a tough formula to win much more than half of your games.  I’m confident in Votto being consistent – he’s produced at a superstar level for 3+ years now.  Bruce, not so much.  At least on Sunday, Ryan Ludwick and Brandon Phillips got in on the action, so maybe one of them will get hot.

Anyways, it was a fun trip to the Stadium, loss by the Reds notwithstanding.  I’m a Reds fan first and foremost.  But even if they lose, I can still appreciate seeing a beloved Yankee like Pettitte pitch a dominant game.  Winning the next two sure helped 😉  Also, I got to sample some of the Yankee stadium ballpark fare.  I found a “retro” beer stand in the Great Hall (shown above) – it apparently used to server some cooler options than it does now.  Rolling Rock and PBR aren’t what I consider “great retro beers”.  More like “beers that weren’t that good back in the day but have been subsequently marketed up”.  They had Ballantine, though, which I’d never had or even heard of, so I tried that.  I had one of the Lobel’s sandwiches at the stand just behind left field, which is always good.  And (as dessert!) I also had a Nathan’s Famous, which I’ve always felt was up there as the best “standard” hot dog you can get at a ballgame.  Win or lose, it was a beautiful evening, and I won’t complain about seeing good baseball under those circumstances.  All in all, a fun trip to the park!