I’ve now finished up 3 of the Goodwin Champion sets. This one took me a little over 2 years to finish, which is par for the course for Goodwin. This isn’t a set for those who don’t like SP cards in the base set – there are again three tiers of SP cards.
I’ve still got a little work for the master set, which entails adding on a 60-card insert set called “Wonders of the Universe”.
Info about my set:
How I put the set (base / SP / SSP / mini) together:
- 156 (130/17/6/3) cards from my three hobby boxes
- 50 (3/23/14/10) cards from Sportlots/Beckett/COMC
- 17 (17/0/0/0) cards from a card show
The set is numbered up to 225, but there were 2 cards that didn’t make the final set (#213, #218). #223 wasn’t supposed to be inserted, but a few of the Dylan Bundy card did make it into packs.
Card that completed my set: #23 – John Havlicek
I got this from Sportlots last December.
General Set Info
Set composition: 223 cards (150 base, 40 SP, 20 SSP, 13 mini-only)
There are 192 athletes
- 54 Baseball (no active MLB, 13 minor league)
- 35 Basketball (6 active NBA)
- 33 American Football (8 active NFL)
- 21 Ice Hockey
- 14 Golf (10 men, 4 women)
- 7 Olympian (4 track & field, 2 Gymnasts, 1 Swimming)
- 6 Soccer (all men)
- 5 Auto Racing
- 3 Boxing
- 3 Skateboarding
- 2 Rock Climbing
- 2 Horse Racing (2 jockeys)
- 1 Tennis
- 1 MMA
- 1 Wrestling
- 1 Rodeo
- 1 Motocross
- 1 Roller Derby
- 1 Arm Wrestling
- 1 Fishing
There are 30 non-athletes or “famous figures” in the set
- 5 Outlaws/Lawman
- 3 Political Figures (3 U.S. Presidents)
- 3 University Founders
- 3 Actors
- 3 Authors
- 3 Businessmen
- 2 Military Figures
- 2 Artists
- 2 Musicians (1 singer, 1 composer)
- 5 “Other” (Comic Book Writer, Inventor, Dancer, Photographer)
Earliest active player from this set:
Baseball – #158 – Harry Wright
Harry Wright was playing baseball about as long as it has been played. The son of a cricket player, and a cricket player himself, Wright joined the New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club in 1857 when the National Association of Base Ball Players was first formed. He played his first game with them in July of 1858, and played with the Knickerbockers until 1863. When they stopped playing competitively, he jumped to the Gothams. In 1865, he went to Cincinnati, and over the next 4 years he constructed the best baseball team of its era. The cornerstone of his team was his brother George, 12 years younger, who was probably the best player in the world at that point. In 1869, when the NABBP officially allowed players to be paid, the Cincinnati Base Ball Club became the Red Stockings, baseball’s first professional team. They went on an amazing run, going 65-0 in 1869, and winning 84 straight games before they finally fell to the Brooklyn Atlantics in June of 1870.
The Red Stockings lost popularity after that defeat, and Wright was wooed away by the Boston team when the NAPBBP was formed. He brought many of his Cincinnati players with him, and led the club to 4 of the 5 National Association pennants and 2 of the first 3 National League pennants. However you look at it, Wright was the first baseball player and the first professional baseball player in this set.
All sports – #175 Jem Mace
There’s one athlete in this set earlier than the father of professional baseball. That would be Jem Mace, who was a bare knuckle boxer in the mid-1800s. Mace made his debut in 1857, and won the England title in 1861. He would go on to fight in England, USA and Australia in a long career that helped establish glove boxing as the sport we are more familiar with today.
First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – Wayne Gretzky, #100 – Meyers Leonard, #200 – Isadona Duncan
Highest book value: #223 – Dylan Bundy
Most notable card: #223 – Dylan Bundy
As I mentioned above, this card was not supposed to be released. Along with 2 other cards, it wasn’t included on the checklist and was to be a hole in the set. A small number made it through production and into packs. It’s kind of reminiscent of the Alex Gordon Topps card from a few years ago, though I don’t think it’s that rare. Or at least it’s not in a set like flagship Topps.
Because of the mistake noted above, it’s the rarest and is definitely the most expensive card in this set. You could even consider the set complete without it. I did get one, for about 30 bucks.
Best card (my opinion): #169 – Tim Keefe
This is a cool card of a Hall of Fame pitcher posing with a bat, wearing a colorful uniform from the 1880’s, in front of an interesting background. All that makes it a cool card, but the reason I consider it the best card is that Keefe was in the original set. He’s the only person in this Goodwin set and the original version from 1888. That’s what puts it over the top of some of the other cards in the set.
Second best card (also my opinion): #101 – Tony Gwynn
At some point I’d like to start a collection of cards like this. Players shown in their second sport. Gwynn was an excellent basketball player at San Diego State, though the team around him wasn’t good enough to make the NCAA tourney in any of his 4 years. He is still the all-time leader in assists at the program, for both his career (by a wide margin) and a single season.
Best subset card: N/A
Favorite action photo: #143 – Tiger Woods
This is a bit of a stretch calling it an action photo, but I think it qualifies for a golfer. And it’s pretty cool. I hope Tiger can come back, but it’s looking less likely than ever before.
Favorite non-action photo: #53 – Walt Frazier
My Favorite Reds card: #51 – Pete Rose
Unlike the previous year’s set, Rose has a great photo in 2013 Goodwin.