My previous post was the last of the inserts from Topps Archives. Well, almost. There was one more standard insert – but this is kind of along the lines of “been there, done that”. Topps included a 50-card insert set of reprints of actual cards from between 1952-1986. This is a set that, to me, shouldn’t have “made the cut”. The cards themselves are nice – they’ve got a wide variety of different players, so only a little bit of doubling up. They reproduce the actual card back instead of a write-up, so that’s good. The issue for me isn’t the cards or how they are done. It’s just that they’ve done so many of these reprint inserts already, that it just wasn’t necessary here. They had the Cards Your Mom Threw Out in 2010, 60 Years of Topps in 2011, and this just seems like almost the same thing. It also doesn’t really go with the right era – this product seems more geared to 70’s and 80’s, yet two-thirds of the reprints are 50’s and 60’s. I’d have much rather have had a reboot of one of the sets I cover below instead of this one. that’s my preference, and it’s actually one of the few things I didn’t like about this product. Anyways, here’s another photo of 6 of those cards just for reference.
Archives Reprints – 50 cards (1:4)
When I went through Lineage last year, I did a look at what some of the oddball sets Topps didn’t include that I think they could have. I’m re-showing that list here – because they didn’t actually put any in from my list from last year. That’s OK – I actually think they did a really good job with the inserts this year. The 1967 stickers are similar to the “rub-offs” below, and the Deckle Edge weren’t on my list last year – but have turned out to be a very cool addition.
Also, compared to Lineage last year, Topps made an improvement from one perspective – they are easier to collect now. Whereas Lineage had a bunch of sets that were either 25-50 cards to complete and 2 per box, the inserts in Archives are 2-4 per box and generally are smaller set size. The one exception is that “Reprints” insert I mention above, which at least comes 6 per box, and frankly, that’s the one I wish they’d have swapped that out for one of the sets below.
That said, 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. Also, as mentioned – they did the 67 Stickers this year, and I think those were similar to these.
#5 – 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. These cards probably wouldn’t make sense because of the larger size – but could have been a box topper.
#4 – 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 from Lineage last year. These cards would have been very cool – Topps could have done a “season review” type set. These would have been a great box topper in each hobby box! I actually swapped #4 and #5 – because doing these as a topper would be more in line with the era Topps was focusing on for Archives, so they’d be better than the Connie Mack cards. Look for these as your 2020 Heritage box topper!
In 1948, Topps issued a small-sized (7/8″ x 1-7/16″) set containing non-sport and sports cards. The baseball subjects from this set can really be considered the first “baseball cards” that Topps produced.
The cards are actually developed photos – there are 19 baseball subjects, including a few all-time great Hall-of-Famers. I went 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
OK – caveat here, I know Topps is did the 1987 minis in the flagship set his year. If you ask me, they should have gone with the every 25-year theme of wood grain borders, but I still like those minis. Doesn’t mean they couldn’t have done a league leaders set of 50 minis. I think people would have loved them!
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. 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!
#1 – 1965 Topps Embossed
This is again my #1 – because I can’t find a good reason not to have this in Archives! 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 – I’d be disappointed if the 2014 Heritage set doesn’t have these in the product somehow.