Completed insert set – 1999 Topps Nolan Ryan Reprints

30 03 2016

Continuing on the completed set wagon.  I posted about the Willie Mays reprint last week; I also finished up the Nolan Ryan set from 1999 a little while ago.  I’m sort of catching up – this one’s only from December of last year!

Info about the set:

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Set description:  After issuing reprints from great outfielders from the 50’s and 60’s – Mantle, Mays and Clemente – Topps went with a more recent hobby icon in 1999, strikeout king Nolan Ryan.  Ryan was the theme elsewhere in the product, too – he was given card #34 (his uniform number).  I think this may have been in honor of his getting inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame, as it had been 5 years since he retired.  Topps inserted the even years (starting with 1968) came in series 1 and the odd years came in series 2.  The reprints are glossy, with a gold foil stamp on the front to designate the cards as “Nolan Ryan Commemorative” reprints, and a small extra line on the back noting the card number for the insert set.

Set composition:  27 cards, 1:18 (1999 Topps)

Hall of Famers:  1 – just Ryan.  Jerry Koosman is the only other player featured in this set.

How I put the set together:

  • 4 cards from my 1999 hobby boxes
  • 10 cards from a card show
  • 7 cards from Beckett Marketplace
  • 4 cards from COMC
  • 2 cards from Sportlots

Card that completed my set:  #10 – 1977 Topps

1999 Topps Nolan Ryan 77

I picked up this from COMC for Black Friday last year.  This is one of the better cards in the set – Ryan has a great autograph, so any card with a facsimile signature gets high marks.

Thoughts on the set:  By 1999 this idea was probably a bit overdone, but to be honest – if Topps had just decided, we’re gonna do one of these every year, but cut back on other stuff, I think it would be pretty good.  Compared to the 1 per year for each series sets they’ve done 4 times already in the new decade (counting 2012 Archives), these single player inserts are pretty cool.  Ryan is a true cardboard icon – like Mantle, his greatness to cardboard collectors outpaces his considerable greatness as a player.  So this is a good set.

Best card (my opinion):  #1 – 1971 Topps

1999 Topps Nolan Ryan 71

Even the poor placement of the stamp can’t keep this card down.  1980 and 1990 are favorites of mine as well.

My Favorite Reds card:  There obviously are none.

Here’s the scan of the full set:

1999 Topps Nolan Ryan complete

1999 Topps Nolan Ryan complete 2

1999 Topps Nolan Ryan complete 3

Any other tidbits:  Ryan had card #1 for 3 straight years from 1990 through 1992.

14 of the 27 cards feature Ryan at some point in his pitching motion.

With sets like this, you notice things like that.



2 responses

15 02 2021
Oliver S

Hi there, I just came across your site (and this few years old post about Nolan Ryan inserts). I’m in the process of cracking open sealed boxes that have been sitting waiting decades for this moment :).

I am writing because I just opened a 1999 Topps boxset and received a reprint of 1970 Topps Finest 712 REFRACTOR Nolan Ryan card. Looking at your scan of the cards above, it seems your 1970 card (top row, 3rd column) is normal. Are you interested in acquiring the refractor version? It’s beautiful. Happy to send pictures and communicate over email or phone. Let me know.


15 02 2021

Just went for the regulars, no refractors – thanks for checking out the blog!

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