1996 Topps parallels – Frank Thomas (some hunting left to do)

5 05 2016

1996 Topps

Card I selected:  #100 – Frank Thomas

This marks the 6th straight Hall of Famer for the 1996 set.  I’m up to 5 cards, counting a jumbo.  Cyberstats was gone, but there was a new regional product called Team Topps, and Topps Chrome was released for the first time.

Unfortunately, this is also the first time I don’t have every card I want, so I’ll need to return to this post at some point.  I’m missing the Chrome Refractor card of Thomas.  A few months back, when I decided I wanted to be serious about doing these parallel cards, I went on a bit of a splurge to buy as many as I could.  One I didn’t buy was the Chrome Refractor for Thomas in 1996.  It was on eBay for a while, but at $20, seemed too steep.  It’s now been sold, so I’ll have to wait.

# of cards (including the Topps card):  5

The parallel sets in 1996 include:

  • Team Topps
  • Team Topps Big
  • Chrome
  • Chrome Refractors


1996 Topps #100

1996 Topps Frank Thomas

1996 Topps Frank Thomas back

1996 Team Topps #100

1996 Team Topps Frank Thomas

1996 Topps Frank Thomas back

Certain teams were part of the first “Team Topps” set sold at Wal-Mart with “Big Topps” cards.  The Team Topps cards were parallel versions of the players from the team, with the same number and picture as the regular card.  The only difference was a special stamp, usually gold foil.  The teams sold were the Rangers, White Sox, Cubs, Yankees, Mariners, Indians, Dodgers, Braves and Orioles.

1996 Big Topps #NNO

1996 Big Topps Frank Thomas

1996 Big Topps Frank Thomas back

The Big Topps cards featured the superstar from that team.  The inset Topps card was the same size as the regular card, with a blue marble background to make it a jumbo card.

1996 Topps Chrome #29

1996 Topps Chrome Frank Thomas

1996 Topps Chrome Frank Thomas back

Topps issued a “Topps Chrome” product for the first time.  165 of the cards from the base set were reproduced using Topps chromium technology.  The background has little circles/bubbles, which is a little different from the way Chrome is done today.  The cards are obviously numbered differently, and there’s also a slight difference on the back as Topps has an extra line with their patent info for Chrome technology.

1996 Topps Chrome Refractor #29


As I mentioned, I don’t have this card yet.  Like all refractors, these cards are identical to their regular counterpart, except the fronts have a plastic diffraction grating that gives the card a colorful, reflective shine.

The “Rainbow”:


Any sets I didn’t get:  That’s it.

Other cards I would have liked to do:  I’m limited to guys on the 9 teams that had Team Topps cards, and if I want to include the Jumbo “Big Topps” – that means there are only 9 players.  Considering I also want to have a different player, Cal Ripken was out once I got to 1996.  I thought about Griffey, Maddux, but I do really like this card of the Big Hurt and planned on using Griffey for 1999.




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