Fan Favorites Autographs – 38 cards (1:17)
Topps did the SPs and Fan Favorites a little different this year than the previous two years – and I don’t like the changes. First off, the Short Print inserts are just one of the 4 base versions as opposed to “Fan Favorites”. The “Fan Favorite” concept has always been an idea where Topps put a player on a design where he had appeared previously, but a different picture. This year you could get Sandy Koufax or Jose Abreu in a 1986 design just as easily as Jose Canseco in a 1989 design. Sandy Koufax on a 1986 design is more like the Vintage Legends insert from Topps 2010. I think there’s a place for that – but I don’t like it when it’s mixing retired and current players.
Second, when the card does match up as a fan favorite – the statistics on the back no longer correspond to the appropriate year. For example, last year the SP (Fan Favorite) card of Eric Davis was in the 1987 design, and the card showed his statistics through 1986 – just like his original 1987 card did! This year, it shows a random selection of years and the player’s full statistics. I liked the old way better, but I care less about the statistical fact. Where they use a “year-correct” design – I still like the concept.
There are 38 Fan Favorite Autographs. Some of them are autographed versions of the same cards in the short printed set. They may or may not be what you think of as Fan Favorites. For example, the Paul Goldschmidt I pulled is the same as his 1986 Short Print card – a full year before Paul was even born! On the other hand, you could pull a Jose Canseco that is the same as his 1989 SP card – Canseco obviously did have a 1989 card. There are 11 of autographs that are redone versions of the SP card. I don’t plan on collecting any of these – because I’m already collecting the full base set. One of those 11 is Jose Abreu has a different picture for the autograph card than he does for the base set (but both are 1986 design). Also to note – these are all SP cards. All but Mookie Wilson of the 1986 cards are the “wrong year”, whereas all of the 3 other years are the “right year” for that player.
- 1973 – Graig Nettles
- 1980 – Dusty Baker
- 1986 – Mookie Wilson, Jose Abreu (different picture), Don Zimmer, John Olerud, Paul Goldschmidt, Troy Tulowitzki (redemption)
- 1989 – Andy Van Slyke, Darren Daulton, Jose Canseco
That leaves 27 cards that are autographs that weren’t in the base set. Of those autographs, 8 are of players who didn’t have a card in the year shown. I’m trying to decide if I want to collect these cards. I’m on the fence.
- 1986 – Mel Stottlemyre
- 1990 – Bob Horner, Ivan Rodriguez, David Eckstein, Jeromy Burnitz, Orlando Hernandez, Rondell White, Sean Casey
That leaves 19 cards. Of the 18, 1 player is on a team that doesn’t fit – Lenny Harris. He didn’t play for the Mets until much later in his career. Since I pulled his card, I’m going to just keep it.
- 1990 – Lenny Harris
That leaves 18 cards. Eric Davis, Mark McGwire (both 1980) and Rickey Henderson (1973) have cards in the non-SP portion of the base set, but the autographs are different pictures and the team/year are appropriate for that player. For Henderson, I’m assuming he is 1990 because there’s a mock-up shown on Topps ads for Archives – but his card is a redemption so I don’t know for sure. I will try to collect each of these, though I assume the McGwire will be pretty tough to get and the Henderson redemption will be as well.
- 1972 – Phil Niekro
- 1982 – Dave Parker
- 1986 – Lenny Dykstra
- 1989 – Eric Davis*, Terry Pendleton
- 1990 – Greg Vaughn, Howard Johnson, Bip Roberts, Carlos Baerga, Chris Sabo, Mike Greenwell, Mark Lemke, Mark McGwire*, Mickey Tettleton, Rob Dibble, Ron Gant, Rickey Henderson*
That Niekro is a great card. Interestingly, Topps used only 3 designs outside of what was available in the base set – 1972 and 1982 (only Parker and Niekro), and 1990 – which was used on over half the FFA cards. Here’s a recap!
- 5 SPs from the base set – wrong year
- 1 SP from the base – wrong year, different picture (Abreu ’86)
- 6 SP’s from the base set – correct year
- 8 players not in the SP in the wrong year
- 1 player in the correct year but wrong team (Lenny Harris)
- 17 players with the correct year and team
There are also parallel versions of these autographs this year. The odds below are hobby unless otherwise noted.
Fan Favorites Autographs Gold – 38 cards (1:129 retail only, #/50)
Fan Favorites Autographs Silver – 38 cards (1:211 hobby only, #/25)
Fan Favorites Autographs Purple – 38 cards (1:563, #/10)
Fan Favorites Autographs Sapphire – 38 cards (1:1,122, #/5)
Fan Favorites Autographs Red – 38 cards (1:4,871, #/1)
Fan Favorites Autographs Printing Plate – 38 cards (1:1,400, 4 versions #/1)