Continuing my post from Friday – here are Topps Hall of Famers for sets from the 1990’s. The numbers sure look different in this decade than the previous one. Some of that is just purely the fact that it’s later and these guys aren’t all eligible yet. Plus, the way the elections work, time helps. Every player who played in the 1960’s and 70’s is eligible and has been for quite a while, but there are more guys from the 20’s and 30’s because they’ve just had more chances on veteran committees and such.
The other thing is the steroid era, which is clogging things up a bit. I’ve said my piece on it – I would vote them in, or at least anyone whose connection was before 2005 when it was effectively not against the institution of baseball’s rules. Someone like A-Rod or Manny, I have a little different view on.
Here’s HOF ers from the 1990’s. What’s interesting here – until a week ago, this list would have had no new players. Frank Thomas is the first player to start his career (and have his first baseball card) in the 1990’s.
For sake of continuity – 1989 had 33 Hall of Famers, which included 5 managers and 2 Turn Back the Clock subsets of retired players.
1990 Topps – 32 Hall of Famers
Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, George Brett, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Dennis Eckersley, Carlton Fisk, Tom Glavine, Rickey Henderson, Barry Larkin, Greg Maddux, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Jim Rice, Nolan Ryan, Ozzie Smith, Frank Thomas, Dave Winfield, Robin Yount, Tommy LaSorda (manager), Sparky Anderson (manager), Tony LaRussa (manager), Whitey Herzog (manager), Frank Robinson (manager), Mike Schmidt (TBC), Johnny Bench (TBC), Sandy Koufax (TBC)
The reason for the decrease is basically attributable to 2 relievers exiting the set – Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage (though the Goose would be back), offset by Frank Thomas having his RC in the set. The effect of the TBC subset was a wash, it went from 2 to 3 HOFers from the previous year, but one of them was Mike Schmidt who didn’t actually have a base card after retiring mid-1989.
- The 2014 inductees increased this number by 4 – Maddux, Glavine, Thomas and LaRussa
1991 Topps – 29 Hall of Famers
Gone (-5): Rice (retired), Herzog (retired), Schmidt, Bench, Koufax (the TBC set had ended its 5-year run)
New (+2): Torre and Cox, both of whom got back in the managing saddle
- All 6 2014 inductees are in this set – Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, and the 3 managers (Torre, LaRussa, Cox)
1992 Topps – 29 Hall of Famers
Gone (-1): Robinson (fired as Oriole manager)
New (+1): Gossage (back after a stint in Japan)
- All 6 2014 inductees are again in this set
1993 Topps – 29 Hall of Famers
Gone (-1): Gossage (retired for good this time)
New (+1): Tony Perez (Reds manager)
- All 6 2014 inductees are again in this set
1994 Topps – 21 Hall of Famers (a mass exodus!)
Gone (-9): Topps did away with manager cards in 1994, which meant no cards for Torre, LaRussa, Cox, Sparky, Perez and LaSorda. Additionally, Blyleven, Carter and Fisk all retired.
New (+1): Hank Aaron (tribute)
- All 3 2014 player inductees are again in this set – and the rest of the decade. And Topps didn’t go back to manager cards until much later.
1995 Topps – 16 Hall of Famers (further depleted!)
Gone (-6): Brett, Ryan and Yount (all retired for good). Sandberg (retired temporarily). Dawson (left out of the set, though he is in ’95 Traded). Aaron (tribute)
New (+1): Babe Ruth (tribute)
1996 Topps – 17 Hall of Famers (an actual increase!)
Gone (-2): Winfield (retired), Ruth (tribute)
New (+3): Mickey Mantle (tribute), Dawson (back after ’95 snub), Sandberg (back in baseball after a year-plus hiatus)
1997 Topps – 14 Hall of Famers
Gone (-4): Dawson, Puckett, Smith (retired), Mantle (tribute). Puckett was the first HOF player to start in my
New (+1): Jackie Robinson (tribute)
1998 Topps – 11 Hall of Famers
Gone (-4): Murray, Sandberg (retired), Robinson (tribute), Henderson (snubbed – he even has an insert card in the product).
New (+1): Roberto Clemente (tribute)
1999 Topps – 10 Hall of Famers
Gone (-3): Molitor, Eckersley (retired), Clemente (tribute)
New (+1): Nolan Ryan (tribute), Henderson (back after snub)
Now, I’ve only gotten through 1999 posts for my Lifetime Topps project, so I haven’t figured all this stuff out for any years after this. At some point I’m going to do all that, and maybe even go back further into older sets. Until them, I can still update Topps Traded – which will be tomorrow’s post!