Completed insert set – 1996 Topps Road Warriors

13 04 2016

This is my 5th finished insert set from 1996 Topps.  Getting close on the master set!

Info about the set:

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Set description:  This series 2 insert was available only in specially marked Wal-Mart retail packs.  The front of the card shows a full shot of the player with a paved road in the background and the player name in foil at the top.  The words “Road Warriors” is at the bottom.  The back shows the 5 best opposing parks for that player.  Interestingly, there is a Fleer insert set of the same name in 1996.

Set composition:  20 cards, 1:1 (1996 Topps Wal-Mart series 2)

Hall of Famers:  3. Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, Frank Thomas.

How I put the set together:

  • 13 cards from Sportlots
  • 4 cards from COMC
  • 3 cards from Beckett’s Marketplace

Thoughts on the set:  I really like the design.  However, the photos don’t fit.  It suffers a bit from photo selection working with the design.  Only 2 of the cards (Bell, Gant) truly fit into the road design as if those guys were running down the road on the card.  2 more (Biggio, Bonds) sort of fit.

The concept is great.  Overall, it was a fun set to read through.  There are so many insert sets from back in the late 90’s that I would really enjoy seeing today.  I appreciate sets that are geared toward better players, but aren’t afraid to put a guy like John Valentin in over Ken Griffey Jr. in 1996 because, damn it, he had better road stats!  Today it feels like Topps would never do that.

Card that completed my set:  #RW10 – Tino Martinez

1996 Topps Road Warriors Tino

I got this in May of last year on Beckett’s Marketplace.

Best card (my opinion):  #RW8 – Ron Gant

1996 Topps Road Warriors Gant

I mentioned how Gant fits the design.  I think he fits the design better than Biggio.  Craig looks like he’s strolling down the street.  But this looks like a highway!  Gant looks like he ran halfway down the street, saw a Ferrari coming and now needs to brake and scoot back a bit before he moves forward.

My Favorite Reds card:  #RW8 – Ron Gant

96 Road Warriors front

96 Road Warriors front

There is a Reggie Sanders card as well, but like I said, the Ron Gant card fits the design better than any other card in the set.

1996 Topps Road Warriors complete

1996 Topps Road Warriors complete 2

1996 Topps Road Warriors complete 3

Any other tidbits:  McGwire’s statistics on the back jump out at you far more than anyone else.  He had 5 homers in 14 at bats in Fenway Park and 3 homers in 9 AB at Comiskey.

1996 Topps Road Warriors McGwire back

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One response

16 04 2016
Adam Kaningher (@adamk0310)

Unsurprising that there are no Rockies in this set. They’ve never been the best away from Coors.

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