Completed insert set – 2011 Topps Kimball

18 08 2015

I completed a big insert set in December last year from 2011 Topps.  It’s one of the “retro-themed” products inserted into flagship Topps, and it’s one of the cooler sets they’ve done.

Info about the set:

Set description: “150-card continuity installment featuring current and retired players on elegantly vintage-designed mini cards.”   The set pays homage to the tobacco cards from Kimball & Co. – the 1888 N164 set.  These tobacco-sized minis have a color close-up of the player at the top with an action shot at the bottom.  The original set was 50 color pictures of athletes across many different sports, including a few baseball players.  Here’s one of the 4 original cards, pitcher Hardie Henderson, a fairly forgettable 19th century pitcher who was actually toward the end of his career at the time the set came out.

1888 Kimball Hardie Henderson

Topps redux of the set has active and retired players in the mix.  The cards come 50 cards per each series of 2011 Topps.

Set composition: 150 cards, 1:4 odds

Hall of Famers: 60.  Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb (3 cards), Pee Wee Reese (2), Mel Ott (2), Hank Aaron (2), Sandy Koufax, Carlton Fisk (2), Nolan Ryan (2), Stan Musial, Tom Seaver (2), Tony Gwynn, Johnny Bench, Greg Maddux, Luis Aparicio (2), Juan Marichal, Jackie Robinson, Bob Gibson, Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson (2), Robin Roberts, Roy Campanella, Brooks Robinson, Ernie Banks, Phil Rizzuto, Eddie Murray, Bob Feller, Lou Brock, Frank Robinson (2), Eddie Mathews, Barry Larkin, Craig Biggio, Mike Schmidt, Ryne Sandberg, Willie McCovey (2), Whitey Ford, Andre Dawson (2), Jim Palmer, Duke Snider, Hank Greenberg, Frank Thomas (2), Wade Boggs, Carl Yastrzemski, Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken Jr., Paul Molitor (2), Gary Carter (2), Babe Ruth (2), Jimmie Foxx, Honus Wagner, Tris Speaker, Johnny Mize, Christy Mathewson, Bert Blyleven, George Sisler, Ozzie Smith, Joe Morgan, Rogers Hornsby, Cy Young, Joe DiMaggio

How I put the set together:

  • 37 cards from 4 hobby/HTA jumbo boxes I purchased across the 3 series
  • 12 cards from various retail packs
  • 28 cards from trades
  • 12 cards from the National Sports Card Show
  • 61 cards from Sportlots/eBay/Beckett Marketplace

Thoughts on the set: Like many others – I love the design of these cards when they came out.  I kind of wondered if Topps was using this as a test to do a full-blown Kimball Champions product in the future, though that seems to have gone by the wayside.  It was a really cool card set to collect, and I like that Topps did cards across each series.  The action pictures at the bottom of the card tended to be very recognizable – Ichiro or Mel Ott in their notable batting stances, T

On the negative side, 150 cards is just too much to collect.  That’s why I’m posting about completing the set some 4 years after it came out.  It did seem like a weird set to do in the 60th anniversary year, as well.  Finally, if you noticed above, Topps doubled up on a ton of players.  Usually this was by putting 2 different uniforms – i.e., Hank Aaron with the Braves and the Brewers.  But Ty Cobb has 3 cards in the set, while Ott and Pee Wee Reese are shown with the same team on their 2 cards.

Card that completed my set: #KC-125 – Nolan Ryan

2011 Topps Kimball Nolan Ryan

One of 3 cards (the other being Ford) that I got in a Beckett.com purchase in December last year.

Highest book value: #KC-7 – Mickey Mantle

2011 Topps Kimball Mantle

If there’s a Mick in the set, he’s usually the top for “book value”.

Best card (my opinion): #KC-149 – Cy Young

2011 Topps Kimball Cy Young

Those are two recognizable, iconic photos of the 511-game winner.  And, more importantly, he is the only guy who feels like he could have been in the original (even though he first played in the majors a couple of years after the 1888 set came out).

My Favorite Reds card:  KC-79 – Barry Larkin

2011 Topps Kimball Larkin

Larkin is wearing my favorite version of the Reds’ uniforms – the sleeveless pinstriped jerseys with the black-billed cap.

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