I completed another insert set earlier this year. This one is from 1999 Topps.
Info about the set:
Set description: These cards are full bleed photos with the words “Picture Perfect” up the side of the card. The cards each contain a minor, very difficult to determine mistake and part of the charm is to figure out what the error is in the card. At least, that’s what I’ve read. The only two I could find was that Kerry Wood had eye black on his card and Ken Griffey has some weird design on the back of his helmet. The backs of the card have a multiple choice trivia question – and it points you to the player’s base Topps card where you can find the answer.
Set composition: 10 cards, 1:8 odds (1999 Topps series 1)
Hall of Famers: 2. Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez.
How I put the set together:
- 4 cards from my series 2 hobby box
- 1 card from a card show
- 4 cards from Sportlots
- 1 card from Beckett’s marketplace
Thoughts on the set: This set has some things going for it and some things not. I like the trivia idea on the back. There are 4 things – 1 of which isn’t true. Topps refers you to the player’s base card to answer the questions. This is a really good idea. But the design is pretty plain, and if it’s true that you’re supposed to find something wrong on the front of the card – I wish it was a little easier to do!
Card that completed my set: #P10 – Derek Jeter
I got this card in a trade with reader Kary at the end of last year.
Highest book value: #P10 – Derek Jeter
Best card (my opinion): #P10 – Derek Jeter
Jeter gets the clean sweep here. His card has the best photo of the bunch.
My Favorite Reds card: There are none.
Here are the questions on the backs of the cards. Keep in mind the answers are from 1999 – so things have changed since then!
#P1 – Ken Griffey Jr.
- Griffey first led the AL in homers when he was 24 years old.
- His 140 RBI led the AL in 1996***
- He had more BBs than SOs in 1993.
- He was a #1 draft pick in 1987.
***this is the false item. Griffey had 140 RBI, but it did not lead the league. You could tell this on the back of Topps card #100 since the RBI total isn’t italicized. Albert Belle outpaced him with 148.
#P2 – Kerry Wood
- Wood has recorded more SOs than IPs in every pro season.***
- He has never had a losing pro season.
- He never had a minor league shutout.
- He was born in Irving, Texas.
***This one takes a little work, as you have to add up his multiple minor league stints on Topps card #20. He had 7 strikeouts in 7.1 innings in 2 stops in 1995.
#P3 – Pedro Martinez
- Martinez has never had a save in the Major Leagues.***
- He had 13 complete games in 1997.
- He is under 6 feet tall.
- He never led the league SHOs.**
***Pedro had 2 saves for the Dodgers in ’93 and 1 for the Expos in ’94
**If you went to his Topps card #95, you’d see his shutouts in 1997 were italicized. However, this is actually an error – he had 4 SHOs, and his teammate Carlos Perez had 5 shutouts that year. Pedro did end up leading the AL in shutouts the year after this card was produced.
#P4 – Mark McGwire
- McGwire hit more 3Bs in 1987 than combined from 1988-98.
- He has slugged .600+ in 6 seasons.
- He did not lead a league in HRs in 1997.
- He has never had more than 550 ABs.***
***Big Mac had over 550 at bats in both the 1987 and 1988 seasons – as evidenced on card #70.
#P5 – Greg Maddux
- Maddux was the Cubs’ 2nd round draft pick in 1984.
- He owns 2 NL ERA titles.***
- His first two ML ERAs were over 5.00.
- He has a SHO in 12 straight ML seasons.
***Maddux had 4 ERA titles through 1998, which you can find on Topps card #16. His streak of seasons with a shutout ended in the 1999 season.
#P6 – Sammy Sosa
- Sosa has had more HRs than 2Bs in 7 straight seasons.
- He began his career with the Rangers.
- He never hit .300 before 1998.***
- He set a career high in BBs in 1998.
***Sosa hit exactly .300 in 1994, as you could find on card #66.
#P7 – Greg Vaughn
- Vaughn was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1986.
- He got his 1,000th hit last season.
- His 1998 SLG was his career best.
- 1998 was his first 40+ HR season.***
***On card #96, you can see that Vaughn hit 41 homers in 1996 for the Brewers and Padres.
#P8 – Juan Gonzalez
- Gonzalez has 100+ RBI in every season of 110+ games.
- He has had 4 straight 40-HR seasons.***
- He averaged more than 1 RBI/G in ’96.
- He played his 1,000th game last year.
***Gonzalez was working on 3 straight 40+ homer seasons after 1998. He had 27 homers in the strike shortened 1995 season. His 1998 Topps card is #50.
#P9 – Jeff Bagwell
- Jeff once batted .368 without winning the batting title.
- He led the league in Gs in 1996.
- He was a 30-30 man in 1997.
- He was a Red Sox #4 draft pick.***
***On card #150, you can see that Bagwell was drafted in the 4th round, not #4.
#P10 – Derek Jeter
- Jeter posted ML highs in both HRs and SBs in 1998.
- He has had 3 straight .300 seasons.***
- He has had 3 straight 70-RBI seasons.
- He was born in New Jersey.
***Jeter hit .291 in 1997. His 1999 Topps card is #85.