I think this is the completed insert set post that has been sitting in the queue for the longest time. I finished this set off in December, 2014, as part of a Black Friday purchase. When I complete a set, I have a standard process:
- Click “add new” post,
- type in the name of the set in the header,
- pick a date pretty far in the future,
- hope I’ll have time to post about it before that date,
- and click “save draft”.
Then, when I do have the time, I post about it. I’m making a conscious effort to get caught up on all these completed set posts. I was getting so far ahead of myself. Part of the point of doing this blog is to enjoy the accumulation of cards I’ve put together. And doing these completed set posts is a big way to do that.
Info about the set:
Set description: This 16-card set features the best hitters of the era. The set has a faux wood background, with the player’s name at the bottom and the set name going along the left hand side. The back has a crop of the same picture situational statistics from the 1996 season.
- Runners on base
- Runners in scoring position
- Bases loaded
- Men on & 2 out
- Close & late
Set composition: 16 cards, 1:36 odds (1997 Topps series 2)
Hall of Famers: 3 – Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas, Mike Piazza
2 new inductees to keep Mr. Thomas from feeling all alone in this set.
How I put the set together:
- 1 card from my series 2 retail box
- 1 card from a trade
- 1 card from the 2013 National Convention
- 1 card from Sportlots
- 3 cards from Beckett Marketplace
- 9 cards from COMC
Card that completed my set: #TT3 – Bernie Williams
Bernie was one of 4 cards I got from COMC – as I mentioned, I’ve sat on this completed set post for over a year.
Thoughts on the set: Love it. 5 stars. I love fake wood as a design element; it’s used less than it could be. If I had my way, the 2012 set would have had a wood border to honor the 1987 and 1962 sets. To me, this would be a great idea as a set for Archives to re-do.
Best card (my opinion): #TT16 – Mike Piazza
It’s usually pretty hard for me to pick against Ken Griffey Jr. He has a particularly good picture, too, where they’ve captured the moment he makes contact. But I really like the Mike Piazza card. While Piazza’s swing was not as famous as Griffey’s – it was unique in its own right. He swung with noticeable force, and I always remembered it for his violent follow-through. It seemed like he might break the bat on his back. This card captures that facet of his swing perfectly. And the way the background is blurred out with the wood effect, it highlights the player it even more.
My Favorite Reds card: There are none.
Here’s the scan of the full set:
Any other tidbits: It was fun to look at the stats on the back.
- Barry Bonds was probably the best player with runners on base. He hit .357 with 22 homers in 235 ABs.
- Andres Galarraga was a little better than MVP Ken Caminiti with RISP. He hit .413 with 18 homers and 115 RBI with runners on 2nd or 3rd.
- Albert Belle was 7 for 13 with bases loaded – with 2 grand slams. He knocked in a ridiculous 26 runners in those 13 at bats.
- Caminiti was probably the best of the group with men on & 2 out. He hit .377 in 114 at bats, knocking in 40 runners.
- Close & late was probably Jeff Bagwell – he hit .360 with 9 homers in 86 RBI. Chipper Jones had similar clutch numbers in this category.