2004 Topps Wire-to-Wire Reds Cards

30 11 2015

The number of guys from the 1990 World Series team was down to just 2 for the 2004 Topps set.  That’s a decrease of 1.  The 1 player who was gone after having a card in the 2003 set was Jose Rijo.

  • Rijo came back after 5 years off to pitch two seasons for the Reds as a reliever.  He is one of two players to play after having received Hall of Fame votes (Minnie Minoso).

Lou Piniella and Barry Larkin were both back in the Topps set – this would be Larkin’s last Topps card, while Piniella basically had cards through the 2009 season for his time with the cubs and Devil Rays.

2004 – Barry Larkin, Lou Piniella

2004 Topps Wire Reds Piniella Larkin

They had 3 parallel cards as well – Topps Gold, Topps Black and 1st Edition.

Larkin also was featured in the 2004 Hit Parade insert set, as he was 7th on the active hit list at that point.

2004 Topps Hit Parade Larkin

Piniella was also featured in the Series Seats Relic set, for his days with the Yankees.

2004 Topps Series Seat Lou Piniella

Finally, Paul O’Neill was also featured with the Evil Empire in a World Series set – you could find him in the Series Stitches relic set – though his “stitches” was a bat piece.

2004 Topps Series Stitch Paul O'Neill


2004 Topps cards – Big Red Machine

29 11 2015

Big Red Machine members were done being in the Topps set after 2002 when Tony Perez finished his final managerial stint.  But, there are quite a few insert cards of Big Red Machine members in every year after that.  In 2004, it was only Johnny Bench.  Bench was included in the World Series Highlights insert set.  You could find a regular insert, or an autographed version honoring his 1976 Series MVP award.

2004 Topps World Series Highlights Auto Johnny Bench

He was also in the Series Stitches relic.

2004 Topps Series Stitch Johnny Bench

It’s worth noting that 3 of the “Great Eight” members were included in 2004 Topps Retired Signature.  This used the same design as 2004 Topps.  It’s not the same product, so I don’t count it – just thought it was worth pointing out you could find Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion and George Foster in that product.

2004 Topps Autographs

27 11 2015

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  I have been spending quite a bit of my day today going through COMC.com.  For the blog, up next are Topps autographs…


Autographs (34 cards, tiered odds – series 1  /  series 2)

2004 Topps Autograph Konerko

Topps did a set just for autographs for the 6th straight year.  I’ve really liked these cards in the past, though the 2004 design may be my least favorite.  I like it better when the picture fades into the section where the autograph is.  There are some pretty good names in this set – A-Rod is probably the biggest.

World Series Highlights Autographs (20 cards, 1:74 – s1 HTA Jumbo  /  1:69 – s2 HTA Jumbo)

2004 Topps World Series Highlights Auto Johnny Bench

Of the 30 World Series Highlights insert cards, 20 of them came in autographed versions.

American Treasures Presidential Signatures (42 cards, 1:175,770 – s1, #/1)

American Treasures Presidential Signatures Dual (1 card, 1:208,320 – s1 HTA Jumbo, #/1)

2004 Topps American Treasures Lincoln

American Treasures Signatures (17 cards, 1:658,152 – s2, #/1)

American Treasures Presidential Signatures Dual (1 card, 1:196,592 – s2 HTA Jumbo, #/1)

2004 Topps American Treasures Helen Keller

Last up out were 61 different cuts signature 1/1 cards.  Series 1 packs had a cut signature of each of the 42 presidents, with a dual version of the two Bush presidents inserted into series 1 HTA Jumbo packs.  Series 2 had cut signatures of non-presidential American Icons.  The dual card in series 2 is of Mark Twain & Samuel Clemens (who are really the same person).

2004 Topps Relics

25 11 2015

Unfortunately for me – for the 3rd straight year of this project – I didn’t pull any autographs or relics in my 2004 Topps boxes.  This means these scans are borrowed from the interwebs.  As always, odds below are for hobby packs unless otherwise noted.


All-Star Stitches Jersey Relics (36 cards, 1:136 s1)

2004 Topps All-Star Stitches Hasegawa

Derby Digs Jersey Relics (7 cards, 1:585 – s1)

2004 Topps Derby Digs Pujols

All-Star Patch Relics (43 cards, 1:7,698 – s2)

2004 Topps All-Star Patch Shigetoshio Hasegawa

These are all event-worn jerseys from the 2003 All-Star Festivities.  There are 43 cards in the first series – 7 of them are from Home Run Derby participants (Gary Sheffield is the lone Derby participant who didn’t have a card), 36 from other All-Stars.   Each of those 43 players has a rarer patch card in series 2 (only 15 were produced).

Series Seat Relics (15 cards, 1:316  s2)

2004 Topps Series Seat Lou Piniella

Series Stitch Relics (24 cards, tiered odds  s2 HTA/hobby)

2004 Topps Series Stitch Paul O'Neill

The next theme was for the World Series, both inserted into series 2.  The Series Seat Relics have a piece of a seat from the home park where the player featured made a past World Series appearance.  The Series Stitches have jersey or bat pieces used by a player who appeared in the Fall Classic.

Presidential First Pitch Seat Relics (16 cards, 1:592 – s2 HTA/hobby)

2004 Topps Presidential First Pitch Taft

The final relic was a relic parallel to the Presidential Pastime insert set.  It also has a piece of a seat – in this case from a park where the president threw out a first pitch.  In most cases, this is listed as Griffith Stadium, however Topps had some blatant errors here.  The checklist is below:

  • Griffith Stadium, Washington D.C. – Taft (1910*), Wilson (1913), Harding (1921), Coolidge (1924), Hoover (1929), Roosevelt (1933), Truman (1945), Eisenhower (1953), JFK (1961), LBJ (1966**), Nixon (1969**)
  • Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia – Ford (1976)
  • Wrigley Field, Chicago – Reagan (1988)
  • Memorial Stadium, Baltimore – Bush Sr. (1989)
  • Jacobs Field, Cleveland – Clinton (1994)
  • Yankee Stadium, NY – Bush Jr. (2001)

2004 Topps Presidential 1st Pitch Reagan

* There’s an error here.  The back of the card references the first pitch Taft threw in 1910, which began the tradition of Presidential First Pitches.  However, Taft threw that pitch at National Park, not Griffith Stadium, which didn’t open until 1911.  This could be argued as just being a typo, however.  Taft did throw out the first pitch when Griffith Stadium (which was at the time called National Park II) the next year in 1911.

** There’s an even more blatant error here. the Senators stopped playing in Griffith Stadium in 1962, and it was demolished in 1965.  Johnson and Nixon never threw a first pitch in Griffith – they did so in RFK Stadium.

2004 Topps Factory Set inserts

24 11 2015

Topps was decreasing the number of insert sets in 2002, 2003 and 2004, but they were creating quite a bit more factory base sets with bonus insert sets.  These all had the same basic design as the Topps set.

  • Topps Team Prospect Bonus – 20 cards (5 per team factory sets)

Topps Draft Picks (15 cards, 5 per Retail factory set, 10 per HTA factory set)

2004 Topps Draft Pick Bonus

The retail factory sets (blue background) have cards #1-5 of the Draft Pick Bonus set.  The Home Team Advantage factory (green background) had cards #6-15.  They came in 5-card clear packages.  Gio Gonzalez and Phil Hughes are the biggest names in this bonus set.

Topps First Year Player Bonus (10 cards, 5 per Hobby factory sets)

2004 Topps First Year Bonus

I’m not 100% sure on which sets they came in, but I believe there were two different types of hobby factory sets (red background), with 1 package each containing either cards #1-5 or #6-10 of the first year bonus set.  It also possible that there is just one, and you have 1 of 2 when you buy a hobby set.  Ervin Santana is the only name worth noting from this set.

Topps Team Prospect Bonus (20 cards, 5 per team factory sets)

There were 4 different team-specific factory sets – the Yankees, Astros, Cubs and Red Sox.  These have 5 cards of team-specific prospects as the bonus set.  They look the same as the First Year Prospect bonus above, with the first year designation at the bottom.

2004 Topps inserts

22 11 2015

Standard inserts are next in my 2004 Topps round of posts.  The last post covered the Fall Classic Covers insert set; today’s post covers all the rest.  As always, the insert odds reflect hobby packs unless otherwise noted.  It seems like Topps had been decreasing the total number of insert sets in 2002, 2003 and 2004.  Unfortunately that trend goes back the other way in the late 2000’s.

Again, there were a lot of familiar insert sets.

World Series Highlights (30 cards, 1:18)

2004 Topps World Series Highlights s2 box

Along with the Fall Classic Covers, this was the other insert set with a World Series theme.  These were available in both series, covering some of the best performances in the history of the series.  These cards are lettered instead of numbered – the worst way to do it.  The cards have a foil background and the back has either the box score from the game highlighted or a write-up about the accomplishment.

Own the Game (30 cards, 1:18 – series 1)

Own the Game was back for the 4th time.  It is always a league leader set, with holofoil of some sort, though this year I really like the black borders.

2004 Topps Own the Game s1 box

Hobby Masters (20 cards, 1:12 – series 1 hobby/HTA)

Hobby Masters was back, also for a 4th time (1997, 2002 and 2003 being the other years).  These are made to have some sort of … elegance, I think?

2004 Topps Hobby Masters s1 box

Hit Parade (30 cards, 1:7 – series 2)

Hit Parade was back for the 2nd year (3rd if you count the 2001 relic set by the same name).  I don’t like this design quite as much as the year before, but it’s still not a bad set.  This set lists active career leaders in Hits, HR and RBI).

2004 Topps Hit Parade s2 box

All-Stars (20 cards, 1:16 – series 2)

All-Stars was also back in 2004, with select players who made the 2003 All-Star game.

2004 Topps All-Stars s2 box

Presidential Pastime (42 cards, 1:6 – series)

Since it was an election year, Topps got Presidential in this set.  All 42 presidents are inserted, with a description of how they are tied to baseball in some fashion.  A lot of the time, this covers the first pitch.  A very cool set.

2004 Topps Presidential Pastime s2 box

2004 Topps Retro inserts (Fall Classic Covers)

21 11 2015

Topps didn’t reprint old cards in the flagship set for 2003, though they did have an insert set based on the 1951 Blue and Red Back sets.

In 2004, Topps had nothing based on an old Topps design (or an old card design).  Very different from today’s card world when there are reprints every day.  However, there is one insert set that loosely meets the idea of “retro”, even if it’s different from what we’re used to.  This is one of my favorite insert sets Topps has ever created – so I figured it was worth its own post.

As always – odds below are for hobby packs.

Fall Classic Cards (99 cards, 1:12)

This insert set had every single World Series program to date.  Even numbered years (48 of them, since the World Series wasn’t played in 1904 and 1994) were found in series 1.  Odd numbered years were found in series 2.

2004 Topps Fall Classic Covers s1 box

The card backs have the results of the series and a brief write-up.