2001 Topps Autographs & Memorabilia

18 02 2015

In 2000, Topps was full-blown into the whole autograph trend that had grabbed hold of the industry.  It’s kind of surprising that this was only the 3rd year that the flagship product had autographs of current players.  This actually was the first year that current players and retired players were featured in the same set.

Odds below are for hobby packs unless otherwise noted.

Golden Anniversary Autographs – (99 cards, 1:346 series 1 / 1:216 series 2)

2001 Topps s2 Nolan Ryan auto

Golden Anniversary Autographs were inserted across both series.  There were three types of autos.

  • Golden Anniversary Greats, for retired players like Nolan Ryan shown above.
  • Golden Anniversary Stars, for current MLB players.
  • Golden Anniversary Prospects, for rookies and minor league prospects.  Like the Bobby Kielty shown below.

2001 Topps s2 50th Anniversary Auto Kielty

The backgrounds have a nice white baseball design, with fading at the bottom for the autograph.  A handful of cards were packed out as redemptions, but most of these on-card autos were inserted directly into the packs.  I think these cards are really nice – better than almost any set I’ve seen the last couple of years.  The autographs came in tiers – so that Ryan I pulled above is a pretty tough thing to find!

Shot Heard Round the World Autograph – 1 card (1:7,299 in s1)

2001 Topps Shot Heard Round the World auto 91 Bowman

A random but very cool card inserted into series 1 was a dual autograph of the “Shot Heard Round the World” – Ralph Branca & Bobby Thomson.  This was done in honor of the 50th anniversary of the home run.  The card is actually a buyback of 1991 Bowman, stamped and re-signed by the two participants.

Aside from the Golden Anniversary Autos and the 1-card Bowman buyback, there were 5 different memorabilia sets.

King of Kings – 6 cards (1:2,056 s1 / 1:2,391 s2)

King of Kings Triple – 2 cards (1:8,903 s1 / 1:7,205 s2)

2001 Topps King of King Ryan

King of Kings Relics included three different players in each series, with a rarer triple-relic card of all 3 guys from each series.  The triple relic cards were the first multi-relic card in Topps flagship.

Topps Originals – 10 cards (1:1,172 s1 / 1:1,023 s2)

2001 Topps Originals relic Boggs

Topps Originals inserted uniform pieces into reprints of 10 different players’ first Topps card.  Topps made a few interesting decisions – Mike Schmidt’s multi-player card was cropped down to just his photo.  These cards kind of go with the Topps Through the Years cards, though it’s always the first Topps card here.

Hit Parade – 10 cards (1:2,607 s2 – retail only)

2001 Topps Hit Parade Murray

Hit Parade relics were retail-only cards with a piece of bat inserted.  All 6 players had 3,000 hits or 500 HR.  Or in the case of the guy above, both.  This was probably a bit of a response to the very popular Upper Deck sets from 1999 and 2000 – A Piece of History – which had all the 500 HR and 3,000 hit players.

Two of a Kind – 28 cards (1:30,167 s2)

2001 Topps Two of Kind relic Bo Deion

Two of a Kind may be the best insert in this whole set.  Deion and Bo – together with a bat relic card.

Base Hit – 6 cards (1:2,056 s1 / 1:2,391 s2 – HTA jumbo only)

2001 Topps Base Hit Johnny Oates

Base Hit cards were the lone autographed relics.  These were a different, but very cool idea Topps came up with.  These cards were inserted into series 2 packs, with 28 of the 30 MLB managers autographing the cards.  There is a piece of a base used on that team’s opening day included in the cards.  Joe Torre and Dusty Baker are the two managers who didn’t sign for Topps and are thus missing from this set.

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