Yesterday I posted on Archives inserts paying tribute to old school cards from other sports. I love that idea from Topps. The other thing they’re doing this year is copying designs from Topps products outside of just the Topps flagship brand. I’m not quite as enthused about this idea, though it is somewhat interesting I must admit. The two products represented are Topps Gallery (specifically the 1997 version) and Stadium Club (1998).
Archives Gallery of Heroes – 15 cards (1:31)
This is an insert set based on an insert from the 2nd year release of Topps Gallery. Topps first released its Gallery product in 1996. I kind of remember this, but 1996 was when I was on my way out as a collector. In 1997, Topps inserted die-cut cards with a stain-glass window background called Gallery of Heroes. Die-cut cards weren’t new in 1997, but they were new enough for these cards to be fairly unique with the design Topps used. The stain-glass effect was cool – the back of the cards showed a reverse of the image just like a window would look.
Topps inserted these with a similar design for 4 years, discontinuing after the 2000 Gallery set. The Archives cards clearly follow the 1997 design.
The 2013 Archives insert set has a 15 cards, whereas the original had only 10 cards. There are two guys who are in both sets, however. Both are shortstops, but one is long retired and the other is still active.
(Note – The card on the right is the original in all cards for this post)
Cal Ripken Jr.
Ripken was nearing the end of his career in 1997, but his popularity still earned him a spot in this insert set along the likes of Griffey and Piazza. He’s shown fielding in the original, whereas he seems to be watching a fly ball in the 2013 Archives version.
He’s obviously in the Archives set as a retired player. There are 9 retired players in the insert set, with some serious focus on the Yankees, as Ruth, Gehrig and Berra included.
Jeter is also in there, along with his sidekick Mariano Rivera. Jeter, on the other hand from Ripken, was the reigning Rookie of the Year when the 1997 card was released. He was just getting started. Jeter is shown batting in both cards, though from a different perspective.
He’s in the Archives set as an active player, though he’s an active player with only 4 at bats this year!
He and Mo are 2 of the 6 active players included in the Archives set.
Archives Stadium Club Triumvirate – 21 cards (1:24)
Triumvirate is based on another insert set from the late 1990’s. This was an idea Topps played with in 1998 and 1999 for its Stadium Club releases in all 3 sports. Three players have die-cut cards that fit together as a bit of a puzzle. This is pretty cool because you can put them next to each other in a 9-card sheet. Another interesting way to use die-cut technology.
The 2013 Archives insert set has a 21 cards, whereas the original had 54 cards. There are two guys who are in both sets, however. Both are shortstops, but one is long retired and the other is still active.
Belle / Thomas / Ventura
There’s one grouping of 3 players that’s exactly the same as a grouping from 1998. That’s a trio of White Sox stars from those years when they had signed Albert Belle. The three cards above are from the Archives version. I was able to snag an image of an uncut version of the 3 original cards from 1998 Stadium Club for comparison.
The Mariners were the closest thing to the three guys above – Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez were both featured in both cards together. Jay Buhner is on the 1998 Stadium Club version while A-Rod is on the 2013 Archives version.