Completed insert set – 1996 Topps Mystery Finest

1 10 2014

After doing a post for completing a Finest insert from 1995 – here’s one from 1996.  This was Topps taking the “peel or not” to the extreme – when you pulled one of these cards from a pack – you wouldn’t know who you pulled!

Set description:

These cards have Finest-based technology, however the fronts have a black coating – you need to peel it to figure out which player it is.  The fronts have a silver border around the player photo with red lettering with the player’s name and Topps logo.  There are 3 players on the back (5 players for cards #22-26), which represent the possibilities for the player on the front.  The players are organized in this manner:

  • #1-3 – Pitchers
  • #4-6 – Rookies
  • #7-9 – All-Stars
  • #10-12 – Young Stars
  • #13-15 – Power & Speed
  • #16-18 – Outfield Power
  • #19-21 – First Base Power
  • #22-26 – Five-Star Finest (all players from earlier in the set)

Set composition:  26 cards, 1:36 (1996 Topps series 1)

Hall of Famers: 6

Greg Maddux, Cal Ripken, Kirby Puckett, Tony Gwynn, Frank Thomas, Randy Johnson

How I put the set together:

  • 1 card from my series 1 retail box
  • 25 cards from COMC/Sportlots

Thoughts on the set:  As I mentioned in my last post, I usually love Finest inserts.  This set is no exception as far as the design goes.  The mystery idea isn’t necessarily my favorite – but I admit it would have seemed pretty cool back when it first came out.  I just wasn’t collecting Topps at the time.

Card that completed my set:  #M23 – Cal Ripken

I got this as one of 3 cards from COMC in May 2014

Highest book value:  #M23 – Cal Ripken

Best card (my opinion):  #M22 – Hideo Nomo

Nomo-mania was the biggest thing in 1995, and this was a great card honoring his stellar season.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none.  Barry Larkin won the MVP the year before and couldn’t get a nod in this set.

1996 Topps Mystery Finest

1996 Topps Mystery Finest_0001

1996 Topps Mystery Finest_0002

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