1998 Topps Retro Inserts (Clemente)

5 09 2013

After issuing reprints from Mantle and Mays in 1996 and 1997 flagship set, Topps continued the theme in 1998 with Roberto Clemente.  Clemente was the theme elsewhere in the product, too.  He was given card #21 (his uniform number) in honor of the 25th anniversary of his passing, and there is a 5-card tribute set in series 1.

As always – odds below are for hobby packs.

Clemente Tribute (5 cards, 1:12 series 1)

1998 Topps s1 box Clemente tribute

This 5-card tribute set covers some of Clemente’s career highlights and was included in series 1.  The borderless cards had some new photos of Clemente (new at the time) and has the Clemente tribute logo on the front with a Puerto Rican flag as the backdrop.

Clemente Reprints (19 cards, 1:18)

1998 Topps s1 box Clemente reprints

Topps had the same inserts for Clemente as they did for Mantle and Mays before him, but they did it a little differently.  In the past, series 1 had the reprint set and series 2 had the Finest versions.  For Clemente in 1998, Topps inserted both sets in both series; the odd years came in series 1 and the even years came in series 2.  The reprints are glossy, but other than that there are only small differences from the originals.  There is a gold foil stamp on the front to designate the cards as “Roberto Clemente Commemorative” reprints, and a small extra line on the back noting the card number for the insert set.

Clemente Reprints Finest (19 cards, 1:72)

Clemente Reprints Finest Refractors (19 cards, 1:288)

1998 Topps s1 box Clemente refractor

Topps again inserted Finest and Refractor versions of each set.  The card above was the only one of these I pulled in two boxes – but it’s a refractor!

Clemente Reprints Last Day Production (19 cards, 1 per series 2 case)

Hobby factory sets were packaged with 8 random insert cards and a hermetically sealed “Last Day Production” version of one of the Clemente cards.  This was similar to sets done in 1996 for Mantle, except those were done as case toppers.

1998 Topps Clemente Last Day Sealed back

Clemente Memorabilia Madness Redemption – (1:2,400 series 1)

1998 Topps s1 box Clemente Wild Card madness

Series 1 also included a Clemente Memorabilia promotion where you could get a bunch of different memorabilia related to Clemente.  You needed to pull one of the winner cards and also include one of the Wild Cards above.  I’ll do a separate post with some of the details on those later.  And tomorrow I’ll go over the rest of the inserts from 1998.




2 responses

20 11 2015
Aaron Johnson

It should also be noted that there is a full “Factory Set” that Topps put out that are hermetically sealed and limited to 1998 copies. Also, it took me forever to become convinced that the refractor cards are actually different than the Finest versions. One sure-fire way to identify a refractor is to find the capital “R” in some conspicuous area on the back. Sometimes they are near the card number and sometimes they aren’t. It just depends where there was room I guess. It is near impossible to tell from a photograph on an auction that a card is a refractor otherwise, and lots of people don’t have a clue what they have or the value. Refractors also cost at least 2 to 3 times the finest cards, so it is best to ask to see the back of the card before buying and finding out it is only a finest. I also have one of the winner cards for the memorabilia madness, and the wild card. The winner card has a portrait of Roberto and I was lucky finding it on eBay. It wasn’t super cheap, but it cost me half of the low book value and that was still a lot. I haven’t seen one since.

21 11 2015

Good call on the factory version. I had something in my overview on that but not on this post.

I pulled a finest refractor and in person you can definitely tell from the front. But yeah, how good (or bad) an individual scanner is can impact that.

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