Completed insert set – 1999 Topps Picture Perfect

29 03 2014

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.

1999 Topps Picture Perfect

1999 Topps Picture Perfect_0001

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.

2013 Goodwin Champions box break #3

28 03 2014

I bought a third box of 2013 Goodwin Champions.  No hit as good as the middle box, but this was fun nonetheless.  Here are the minis – 7 regular minis, 2 green minis and 1 of the canvas minis.  Nobody all that notable outside of Ozzie Smith.

2013 Goodwin Champions box 3 minis

Here’s the five Wonders of the Universe inserts, including one “SP”.  Luckily I’ve pulled 15 different cards toward this set from the three boxes.

2013 Goodwin Champions box 3 Wonders of the Universe

Here’s the jersey cards – I’m glad I didn’t get any hockey players.  Danica is a pretty cool card, it looks like I could get around 10 bucks for it.  And Chi Chi Rodriguez is pretty cool as well.

2013 Goodwin Champions box 3 Danica Patrick relic

2013 Goodwin Champions box 3 Chi Chi relic

And I got an autograph, too!  Though it’s not someone I’ve ever heard of.  Kevin Pillar.  Looking it up, Pillar is a pretty good story – he was a 32nd round pick from 2 years ago who did really well in the minors and got 100+ at bats this year.

2013 Goodwin Champions box 3 Kevin Pillar auto

I did OK as far as collation goes.  I only picked up 14 more of the base cards toward the set in this third box.  I am now 20 cards short for the first 150.  The SP’s and SSP’s were all cards I didn’t have yet – so I’m getting there on those.

Below are the “stats” for the box.

20 packs per box * 5 cards per pack – 3 memorabilia cards = 97 cards

71 of the 150 card base set (47% set completion)

6 SP cards

2 Super SP cards

79 of the 223 card full set (35% set completion)

7 Minis Base Parallels

2 Minis Green – “Lady Luck” back

5 Wonders of the Universe

1 Autograph (K. Pillar)

2 Memorabilia (D. Patrick, Chi Chi Rodriguez)

Including all three boxes:

130 / 150 of the base cards (87%)

156 / 223 of the full set (70%)

2013 Goodwin Champions box break #2

26 03 2014

Next up is my second box of 2013 Goodwin Champions.  I did better on this box from a hit perspective, but I’m still not all that close to finishing even just the regular base set.

Here are the minis.  I got 2 baseball mini exclusives – those are a subset of minor league players which goes toward completing the regular set – combined with the first box, that’s 3 down, 10 or so to go!  I got 5 more regular minis, including one of the Hulkster!  I’ll be keeping that one.  I got 2 Green Lady Luck cards and a canvas mini of Clyde Drexler.

2013 Goodwin Champions box 2 minis

Here are the insert cards, which again were 5 cards of “Wonders of the Universe”.  I was really hoping to get one of the 3-D cards, but wasn’t so lucky – those have much harder odds.

2013 Goodwin Champions box 2 Wonders of the Universe

Next up, here’s the hits.  First, the Memorabilia cards.  I got some interesting ones here.  Tony Hawk and Tony Dorsett.  These cards are super thick, though I again am kind of questioning the Dorsett card – that doesn’t look like material from his days on the gridiron.

2013 Goodwin Champions box 2 Tony Hawk relic

2013 Goodwin Champions box 2 Dorsett relic

The last hit made this a pretty good box – Hall-of-Famer, 3,000 hit club, and an 8-time batting champion – in a basketball uniform?  Pretty cool if you ask me!

2013 Goodwin Champions box 2 Tony Gwynn auto

All told, after 2 boxes, I’m still 34 cards short of the base set, with quite a few doubles.  I did get 8 needed SP/SSP cards, so that’s good.  Hopefully I get much closer in box #3.

Below are the “stats” for the box.

20 packs per box * 5 cards per pack – 5 for memorabilia cards = 95 cards

69 of the 150 card base set (46% set completion)

6 SP cards

2 Super SP cards

2 mini exclusives

79 of the 223 card full set (35% set completion)

5 Minis Base Parallels

2 Minis Green – “Lady Luck” back

1 Mini Canvas

5 Wonders of the Universe

1 Autograph (T. Gwynn)

2 Memorabilia (Hawk, Dorsett)

Including the first box:

116 / 150 of the base cards (77%)

135 / 223 of the full set (61%)

The last post from the National – 2013 Goodwin Champions box break #1

25 03 2014

2013 Goodwin Champions boxThe National was back in August.  At the time, I did a bunch of posts on all the things I got from the National Convention.  I got some cards for my Topps project, I got some cards from other set needs, I got some of the giveaways from Topps and other companies, and I bought a few boxes (Panini Golden Age, Topps Series 2).  2013 Goodwin Champions, which was new, was the last one I purchased.  I’ve waited to post about it because I wanted to get a couple more boxes.  I only bought one box at the National, but then it was hard to find boxes on the internet for a decent price.  At Christmas tie, I ordered 2 more boxes of Goodwin from Dave and Adam’s Card World.

I’ve always liked this product, though I’m a bit alone on that – not everyone does.  The design is always pretty cool.  I wish they had more cards per pack, and I could go for a sports related insert set.  And I wish Upper Deck could get the player most associated with the company – Ken Griffey Jr. – back into the fold.

Like the last two years, every other box had a mini.  I got 7 regular minis, 2 Green minis with “Lady Luck” on the back, and 1 canvas mini.  The canvas minis have replaced the silver foil from last year, and are printed on different paper.  The white on the front and the back looks nice.  You can also find a red foil version #’d to 13 and 1/1 gold presidential minis.

2013 Goodwin Champions box 1 minis

Here’s the insert set – it’s called Wonders of the Universe.  The first 40 cards come 1 per 5 packs, while the “SP” cards (#41-60) are 1 per box.  The Orion Nebula is the SP that I pulled.  There’s another insert set called “End of Days” that is much harder to come by.

2013 Goodwin Champions box 1 Wonders of the Universe

I didn’t pull anything too crazy to write home about.  I got 3 “hits”, which is what you’re supposed to get.  The first one was an autograph of jockey Mario Gutierrez.

2013 Goodwin Champions box 1 Mario Guitierrez auto

I got one relic of Hockey Hall of Famer Larry Robinson.  Robinson played from 1971-1992, and I’m honestly a little skeptical about this jersey (I guess you can’t really trust any of these based on events from this year) – it looks like a much newer material than what he would have played in.

2013 Goodwin Champions box 1 Larry Williams relic

And I also got an Animal Kingdom Patch of the Groundhog.  These are continued from the last 3 years, and are even continuously numbered (so these are 201-300).  Pretty neat – these are cards that I can really see some niche collectors going after.

2013 Goodwin Champions box 1 Groundhog Animal Patch

I got no doubles from the base cards, so that’s a good thing. Below are the “stats” for the box.

20 packs per box * 5 cards per pack – 4 cards for relics = 96 cards

70 of the 150 card base set (47% set completion)

6 SP cards

2 Super SP cards

1 Base Minis

79 of the 223 card full set (35% set completion)

6 Minis Base Parallels

2 Minis Green – “Lady Luck” back

1 Canvas

4 Wonders of the Universe

1 Wonders of the Universe SP

1 Auto (Gutierrez)

1 Materials (Larry Williams)

1 Animal Kingdom (Groundhog)

That catch was fantastic! Part 2

22 03 2014

I completed another trade in early January.  This was my second trade with Weston from the blog Fantastic Catch.  You’ll notice quite a few of these are of the St. Louis Cardinal variety – Weston is a fan of the evil Redbirds, and as much as it pains me to get Cardinal cards, I’m happy to get closer to completing these sets!  I sent Weston a few inserts he needed and some other Cardinals.

Here’s some of the cards I got in return – a bunch of Topps inserts from 2013 (and one from a few years ago):

Trade with Fantastic Catch January 2013

Thanks for the trade Weston!

Completed insert set – 2013 Gypsy Queen Dealing Aces

22 03 2014

This is the 2nd 2013 Gypsy Queen insert set I’ve finished to date.

Info about the set:

Set description: “The top pitchers in baseball will be pictured in all 4 suits: Heart, Club, Spade, Diamond.” Topps did 5 of each suit – so 20 of the best pitchers in today’s game.  The front is white with an internal colored border of red or black depending on which suit the player is paired up with.

Set composition: 20 cards, 1:4 odds

Hall of Famers:  None – these are all current pitchers.

How I put the set together: 

12 cards from 2 hobby boxes

3 cards from trades

Thoughts on the set:  I love themed insert sets, and I think going with the playing card theme is a pretty cool idea.  I don’t think too much of the 2013 Gypsy Queen base set, and they seem to have made the inserts more interesting and colorful.  I’ll also give them kudos for doing 5 of each suit – that’s something I could have seen Topps not being symmetric with.

Card that completed my set: #DA-FH – Felix Hernandez

I got King Felix from  His suit designation is a Diamond in this set.

Highest book value: #DA-CK – Clayton Kershaw

Best card (my opinion): #DA-CK – Clayton Kershaw

I don’t even know if the highest book value is correct – I don’t have a recent enough Beckett to check.  But I’ve got to think Kershaw is the most valuable of any current pitcher these days.  In a set like this, I’ll tend to go with Kershaw as the best card too – since he’s the best pitcher around.

My Favorite Reds card: #DA-JC – Johnny Cueto

He’s the only Red, but he’s a deserving addition to this set.

2013 Gypsy Queen Dealing Aces

2013 Gypsy Queen Dealing Aces_0001

2013 Gypsy Queen Dealing Aces_0002

RECAP – “Lost Cards”: The Year After

21 03 2014

Back in January, I posed the question:

“Lost Cards.” Every year card companies come out with different sets and make decisions about what athletes they do and don’t include in those sets.  They choose to include new subsets – and exclude old ones.  What’s the card or card(s) that weren’t produced that you wish had been made?

I based the last 60 or so posts on what I called “the year after”.  When a player retires at the end of one season, you don’t know if he’ll be included in the next year’s set.  Here’s a recap of the players I did and whether or not they had a card.

In determining if they had  card below – I only included cards that have the player’s final statline.  So the Willie Mays 1974 World Series card doesn’t count.

1952 – Joe DiMaggio. No card.  (But a retro card with the 1952 Topps design was made)

1952 Topps DiMaggio

1953 – Lou Boudreau (Bowman)

1953 Bowman Lou Boudreau

1954 – Johnny Mize. No card.

1955 – Johnny Pesky (Bowman)

1955 Bowman Johnny Pesky

1956 – Ralph Kiner. No Card.

1957 – Jackie Robinson. No Card.

1958 – Roy Campanella. No Card.

1959 – Pee Wee Reese. No Card.

1960 – Larry Doby. No Card.

1961 – Ted Williams (Fleer)

1961 Fleer Ted Williams

1962 – Ted Kluszewski (Post)

1962 Post Ted Kluszewski

1963 – Richie Ashburn

1963 Topps Richie Ashburn

1964 – Stan Musial.  No card. (but a retro card was made in 2013 Heritage)

2013 Heritage Real One Musial

1965 – Duke Snider. No Card.

1966 – Warren Spahn. No Card.

1967 – Sandy Koufax. No Card (did have a ’67 Topps Venezuelan retired card).

1967 Topps Venezuelan Koufax

1968 – Whitey Ford. No Card.

1969 – Mickey Mantle

1969 Topps Mantle

1970 – Don Drysdale. No Card.

1971 – Bob Allison. No Card.

1972 – Ernie Banks.  No Card. (But there was a mini card inserted in 2013 Topps)

2013 Topps Banks mini

1973 – Roberto Clemente

1973 topps Clemente

1974 – Willie Mays.  No card (did have a 74 Topps subset).

1974 Topps Willie Mays

1975 – Al Kaline (SSPC – he also had a Topps subset and a ’75 mini design from 2011 Lineage)

1976 SSPC Kaline

1976 – Bob Gibson. No Card.

1977 – Hank Aaron. No Card.

1978 – Brooks Robinson. No Card (did have a subset).

1978 Topps Brooks Robinson

1979 – Wilbur Wood

1979 Topps Wilbur Wood

1980 – Lou Brock. No Card (did have a subset).

1980 Topps Brock Yaz HL

1981 – Willie McCovey (Fleer)

1981 Fleer Willie McCovey

1982 – Bobby Bonds

1982 Topps Bobby Bonds

1983 – Willie Stargell (Donruss & Fleer)

1983 Donruss Stargell

1984 – Johnny Bench (Fleer)

1984 Fleer Johnny Bench

1985 – Joe Morgan

1985 Topps Joe Morgan

1986 – Rod Carew

1986 Topps Rod Carew

1987 – Pete Rose

1987 Topps Pete Rose

1988 – Reggie Jackson (Fleer, Score, Sportflics)

1988 Score Reggie Jackson

1989 – Steve Carlton. No card.

1990 – Mike Schmidt (Donruss)

1990 Donruss Mike Schmidt

1991 – Keith Hernandez (Fleer & Score)

1991 Fleer Keith Hernandez

1992 – Dwight Evans

1992 Topps Dwight Evans

1993 – Gary Carter

1993 Topps Gary Carter

1994 – Nolan Ryan

1994 topps Nolan Ryan

1995 – Goose Gossage (Upper Deck and others)

1995 Upper Deck Gossage

1996 – Kirby Puckett

1996 Topps Kirby Puckett

1997 – Ozzie Smith (Leaf and others)

1997 Leaf Ozzie Smith

1998 – Eddie Murray (Collector’s Choice and others)

1998 Collector's Choice Murray

1999 – Paul Molitor (Fleer and others)

1999 Fleer Tradition Molitor

2000 – Wade Boggs

2000 Topps Wade Boggs

2001 – Will Clark

2001 Topps Will Clark

2002 – Cal Ripken Jr. (Ultra and others)

2002 Ultra Ripken

2003 – Tim Raines (Donruss)

2003 Donruss Tim Raines

2004 – Rickey Henderson (UD Vintage and others)

2004 UD Vintage Henderson

2005 – Roberto Alomar

2005 Topps Roberto Alomar

2006 – Jeff Bagwell

2006 Topps Jeff Bagwell

2007 – Bernie Williams (Upper Deck & Topps Heritage)

2007 UD Bernie Williams

2008 – Barry Bonds. No card.

2009 – Greg Maddux

2009 Topps Maddux

2010 – Randy Johnson

2010 Topps Randy Johnson

2011 – Ken Griffey Jr. (Obak)

2011 Obak Griffey

2012 – Manny Ramirez

2012 Topps Manny

2013 – Chipper Jones (Topps Update SP variation)

2013 Topps Update Chipper Jones

2014 – Mariano Rivera

2014 Topps retiring Rivera

“Lost Cards”: The Year After, 2014

19 03 2014


2014 Topps retiring Rivera Helton

Best Player to retire in 2013.   Mariano Rivera.

Did he have a 2014 card?   Yes, 2013 Topps and some others so far

This is my last and most recent post on this topic.  The list of retired players can’t even be considered final yet.  But Rivera would be the best player to retire, with one possible exception.  He’s been given a few final cards – so far he’s made the Topps set and the Turkey Red set.

Apologies to:   I can’t decide between Roy Halladay and Todd Helton, both of whom officially announced their retirements at the end of 2013.  Topps gave Helton a last card in series 1 this year, but didn’t do so for Halladay. Halladay is in 2014 Turkey Red.  

That major exception?  If this guy’s last game was played at the end of 2013, I’d have to bump him ahead of Rivera no matter how much he’s despised.

2014 Topps series 1 A Rod

“Lost Cards”: The Year After, 2013

19 03 2014


2013 Topps Update Chipper Jones

Best Player to retire in 2012.   Chipper Jones.

Did he have a 2013 card?   Yes, 2013 Topps Update (sort of), among some other Panini offerings

Chipper announced his retirement before the 2012 season and followed through on it – yet his 2013 Topps card comes from Update?  This comes in a bit of a different situation.  Chipper didn’t get a regular Topps card in series 1 or 2, but in the Update set Topps included some retired players as SP variations.  One of them was Chipper, and it shows him in the All-Star game from 2000.  So it’s with a little bit of an asterisk.

Jones also has a card in Panini’s Select and Prizm brands.

Apologies to:   Jim Thome, who didn’t have any 2013 base cards, though he was included in the Chasing history set from Topps that year. 

“Lost Cards”: The Year After, 2012

18 03 2014


2012 Topps Manny

Best Player to retire in 2011.   Manny Ramirez.

Did he have a 2012 card?   Yes, 2012 Topps and mini

Ramirez retired after 5 games with the Rays in 2011 after he had tested positive for PEDs for 2nd time and faced a 100-game suspension.  This one comes with a bit of an asterisk – Ramirez has played minor league baseball at the triple-A level each of the past two seasons for the A’s and Rangers affiliates, as well as a productive stint in the Chinese professional league.  He recently insisted that he isn’t retired yet.

The fact that Manny hadn’t officially retired but didn’t make the majors is what gets him on this list.  It’s also what helped him to have a Topps card – since he played for the A’s in spring training while trying to make the Major League club, he’s shown with a card in their uniform.  Not that Topps used a real A’s photo of Manny – that’s a photo-shopped Dodger card up there!

Apologies to:   As mentioned, this one comes with something of an asterisk, since Manny isn’t retired and has in fact played in minor league and foreign professional baseball.  Assuming Manny never gets back on the MLB diamond, apologies would go to…

Ivan Rodriguez.  Rodriguez retired after a few years with the Nationals when he couldn’t catch on with a team in 2012.  He didn’t have a 2012 base card.  

Vladimir Guerrero also retired when he couldn’t get a contract for the 2012 season.  Topps gave him a record breaker checklist card in the base set, but not a regular card.  He did have a card in 2012 Heritage with his full stat line.