After issuing reprints of Nolan Ryan in 1999, Topps went back to issuing cards of great outfielders from the 50’s and 60’s. Hank Aaron followed up Ryan, Mantle, Mays and Clemente. Aaron got card #44 in the base set and had a card in the Magic Moments subset – so he was the theme elsewhere in the product as well. I don’t think there was anything specific, though Aaron had a number of things going on around this time. In 1999, 25 years after Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s career record, MLB created the annual Hank Aaron award to give to the best hitter in each league. Additionally, Aaron threw out the first pitch of the All-Star game that year in Atlanta. But I think the main thing was that Topps wanted to pair him up with single-season home run king Mark McGwire as a spokesman.
As always – odds below are for hobby packs.
Aaron Reprints (23 cards, 1:18)
Like the last two years, Topps inserted both sets in both series; the even years came in series 1 and the odd 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 “Hank Aaron Commemorative” reprints, and a small extra line on the back noting the card number for the insert set.
Aaron Reprints Chrome (23 cards, 1:72)
Aaron Reprints Chrome Refractors (23 cards, 1:288)
This time Topps called their inserts Chrome as opposed to Finest, but it’s basically the same technology. Again there were Refractor versions. One difference this year was that Topps included the commemorative stamp on the Chrome version.
Aaron Reprints Autographs (23 cards, 1:4,361 series 1 / 1:3,672 series 2)
Like the other living legends before him (Mays and Ryan), Aaron signed cards for Topps to insert in 2000. The autographs available in each series match the reprints available – even years in series 1, odd years in series 2. There were around 100 of each card signed. They bear the Topps certified autograph stamp, but aren’t sequentially numbered. Topps inserted redemptions in series 1 as they hadn’t received Aaron’s autographs back in time for pack out.
McGwire Reprints (1 card, 1:36 series 1)
Topps also had a reprint of Big Mac’s rookie card inserted into series 1. This was his team USA card.