2003 Topps Traded & Rookies scans

27 09 2015

I’m pretty used to Topps Traded being bought through packs as opposed to through factory boxes; this was the 3rd year after Topps had switched over to that medium.  2003 was still something of a transition phase to what we have today, as:

  • the base set only consisted of traded players, first year players and prospects.
  • the only inserts in the product are gold parallels and relic/autograph hits.
  • Topps Chrome is included as well.  I’m not sure when it will end, but I hope it does soon.  I’d rather get base cards toward my set.

Today it’s essentially a third series of the product which contains All-Stars, home run derby participants and season highlights as well as its own standard inserts.

Rookies and prospects are always a big thing in Topps Traded, and there’s one very big rookie card in this set.  That’s Robinson Cano, who is still one of the best second-sackers in baseball, even if he isn’t doing quite as well in Seattle as he probably envisioned.

2003 Topps Traded Robinson Cano RC

There are 4 other guys who have had significant, sustained success in MLB.  Hanley Ramirez is back with his original team – though he’s also not doing as well as Cano.  McCann is now with the Yankees and has put together a solid career.  Dan Haren just won his 150th game, and Shane Victorino has played a major role on 2 World Series champions.  These are all Rookie Cards.

2003 Topps Traded McCann Hanley Haren Victorino RCs

There’s a few more guys from the set whose success has been much more fleeting – but they still gained some notoriety along the way.  Ishikawa is a little different from the other 3 – he earned that notoriety when he became the last year, whereas the other 3 guys had some significant success in the mid 2000’s.

2003 Topps Traded Wang Webb Ishikawa Bonderman FY RCs

Aside from these first year cards, there is also a “prospects” subset.  Miggy is the most notable – in fact, Beckett says this is the second most expensive card in the set, behind Cano.

2003 Topps Traded Miguel Cabrera PROS

There’s quite a few other guys in that prospect subset, and most of them didn’t make their name with the team shown on the card below (James Loney aside).

2003 Topps Traded Gonzo Wainwright Choo PROS

Moving on to the veterans, there are 2 Hall of Famers in this set.  Both were very close to the end of their career.  This is one of the few cards you can find that evidence Rickey Henderson’s time with the Dodgers.  Alomar had a little more time with the White Sox, but he was close to the end at this point.

2003 Topps Traded Roberto Alomar Rickey Henderson

There are 3 veteran “traded” guys who really jumped out at me as significant acquisitions.  All 3 of the guys below were leaders on World Series winning teams.  Pudge, of course, led the Marlins to the championship in his only season in Florida.  But his impact that one year is probably understated.  His role in shaping the growth of the Marlins’ young pitching prospects.  Aside from him, Carpenter and Ortiz have led the Cardinals to multiple World Championships.

2003 Topps Traded Ortiz Pudge Carpenter

A notch below them are 3 more significant acquisitions.  None of these guys ever made the World Series with their existing team, but they certainly made an impact.

2003 Topps Traded Thome Kent Aramis

A fun thing about the Traded set are the “old guys”.  There’s always a lot of players who you kind of say “oh, yeah, he played for them”.  Or maybe you didn’t even know that they did play with that team!

2003 Topps Traded older stars

And it’s always fun to see the new managers.  Or in this case, the recycled managers.  Dusty moved on to Chi-town right after a World Series appearance, and Felipe took his place in San Fran.  Art Howe didn’t like the Moneyball approach so he went to New York, and Buck Showalter went to Texas for another underrated tenure.  And Trader Jack just guided his team to the World Championship in his first year in Florida!

2003 Topps Traded Managers

Two more scans.  First, these were my two favorite photos from the set.  Hundley just looks like he’s trying to catch rain, and Widger looks like he’s a blind man being led somewhere by Cal Eldred.

2003 Topps Traded best pics Hundley Widger

And, last but not least, for all the Red Sox fans out there.

2003 Topps Traded Aaron freakin Boone

Aaron f*cking Boone!

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