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:
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
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
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:
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.