Completed insert set – 1997 Topps All-Stars

21 01 2015

I got another 1997 insert set knocked off the list.

Info about the set:

Set description: 22 cards featuring the top 11 players at each position, as voted on by Topps employees.  The cards are printed on foilboard with a firework background.  The card backs have three players – the 2nd and 3rd team selections are also included.

Set composition: 22 cards, 1:18 odds (1997 Topps series 1 packs)

Hall of Famers: 4. Frank Thomas, Cal Ripken, Barry Larkin and Tom Glavine.

How I put the set together:

  • 2 cards from my series 1 retail box
  • 2 cards from trades
  • 1 card from a card show
  • 5 cards from Sportlots
  • 3 cards from COMC

Thoughts on the set:

Randomly inserted in Series one hobby and retail packs at a rate of one in 18 and one in every six jumbo packs, this 22-card set printed on rainbow foilboard features the top 11 players from each league and from each position as voted by the Topps Sports Department. The fronts carry a photo of a “first team” all-star player while the backs carry a different photo of that player alongside the “second team” and “third team” selections. Only the “first team” players are checklisted listed below.

Topps really fell in love with the shiny stuff during the late 90’s.  This was right in the midst of that infatuation.  I like the set, though – it’s a good crop of players from an era I can relate to.  And the cards scan really nice – they look great all right next to each other as a full set.

Card that completed my set: #AS10 – Barry Larkin

Like the Season’s Best set from my last post – I got this from a Beckett Marketplace dealer back in May of last year.

Highest book value: #AS9 – Cal Ripken

Beating out Bonds – at least according to the last Beckett I looked at.

Best card (my opinion): #AS18 – Tom Glavine

The placement of the fireworks goes perfectly with the Glavine photo here.

My Favorite Reds card:  #AS10 – Barry Larkin

This is always really easy when there’s only one Redleg.

1997 Topps All-Stars 1997 Topps All-Stars_0001 1997 Topps All-Stars_0002

Any other tidbits: I figured I’d compare my all-star selections from my 1996 season to the ones the Topps employees picked.  Here’s how we stacked up – I’ll only note it if there was a difference.

  • C – Pudge
  • C – Hundley.  I had Piazza.  Hundley had slightly better power stats, but Piazza’s average and OBP were 70 points higher – so I think I made the right pick.
  • 1B – Thomas.  I picked McGwire.  I could have gone either way.
  • 1B – Galarraga.  I picked Bagwell.  In both first base cases, I noted that the Big Hurt and the Big Cat were really close.  I took Bagwell because he had an incredible year and because Galarraga was clearly helped by Coors (look at his road/home splits – it’s night and day).  But I’ll say that any of those 4 guys are good picks.  For
  • 2B – Knoblauch
  • 2B – Eric Young.  I took Biggio.  I don’t think it was even close – Biggio may have been the best player in the NL in 1996.
  • 3B – Thome
  • 3B – Chipper.  I went with the MVP in Caminiti.  I probably wouldn’t have voted him the MVP – but he did deserve the nod here.
  • SS – Ripken.  This is a Topps nostalgia pick.  A-Rod was the best player in baseball in 1996.
  • SS – Larkin
  • OF – Belle
  • OF – Bonds
  • OF – Griffey
  • OF – Burks
  • OF – Gonzalez.  I picked Brady Anderson.  Juan won the AL MVP, but he was my 4th outfielder.
  • OF – Sheffield
  • LHP – Pettitte.  I didn’t pick Pettitte as one of my 3 pitchers.  This is just a difference in how I picked them – I picked the 3 best hurlers, regardless of what side they threw from.  Pettitte would have been my top southpaw.
  • LHP – Glavine.  I also didn’t pick Glavine.  I noted in my write-up that he was my 4th pitcher, and he would also have been my top lefty.
  • RHP – Hentgen
  • RHP – Smoltz
  • RP – Hernandez.  I went with Mariano Rivera, who was the Yankee set-up man in 1996. But still the best reliever.
  • RP – Wohlers.  I went with Hoffman, and I think Jeff Brantley would have been ahead of Wohlers as well.
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2 06 2016
Completed master set – one last look at 1997 Topps | Lifetime Topps project

[…] sets:  Sweet Strokes, Interleague Finest, Season’s Best, All-Stars, Team Timber, Hobby Masters, Willie Mays Reprints, Willie Mays Finest, Mickey Mantle […]

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