Completed insert set – 1998 Topps Mystery Finest Bordered

17 05 2016

I’m caught up with those posts about parallel sets.  I’m kind of sad that I can’t keep going, but I haven’t opened the 2005 boxes yet, so I don’t know who I’m going to collect for those parallels.  Next up on this blog – I need to keep getting caught up on completed set posts.  I just checked, and I have over 25 sets that I’ve completed but not posted about yet.  Mostly inserts, but a few Topps base sets.  So that’s what will be on here for the most part over the next month or so.  Until Topps series 2 comes out, at least.

Info about the set:

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Set description:  Topps had a new take on Mystery Finest cards in series 2 of the 1998 set.  Unlike previous years, where the “mystery” was which player out of 3 you could find, you could tell which player you were getting by looking at the back of these cards.  However, the “mystery” in this case was which version of the card you pulled.  There were 4 versions – bordered and borderless cards, and a refractor version of each type.

I went for the bordered version of this set, which is the easiest to pull.  The front has a full-body shot of the player, with the background obscured by a giant translucent baseball that has lines emanating out from it.  The back has another color picture with a write-up about the player’s 1997 season.

Set composition:  20 cards, 1:36 odds (1998 Topps series 2)


Hall of Famers: 5. Tony Gwynn, Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux, Cal Ripken, Ken Griffey Jr.

And a few more guys who might make it in over the next few years.

How I put the set together:

  • 2 cards from my series 2 hobby box
  • 7 cards from Sportlots
  • 8 cards from Check Out My Cards
  • 3 cards from Beckett’s Marketplace

Thoughts on the set:  I don’t like this design quite as much as the series 1 Mystery Finest cards.  But the idea is cool – when I pulled one in my 1998 box, it was cool to do the peel and see which version I got.  Also, I think this design actually lends itself a little more to a base set than an insert set.

Card that completed my set:  #M-20 – Ken Griffey Jr.

1998 Topps Mystery Finest Bordered Griffey Jr

I got this from Beckett Marketplace last September.

Best card (my opinion):  #M-2 – Chipper Jones, M-18 – Andruw Jones

1998 Topps s2 Mystery Finest bordered

The two “Jones brothers” to me have the 2 photos that work best with the design for this set.  I couldn’t pick between the two.  It was actually tough to pick this over Griffey when he was at the height of his powers – but these photos work great.

My Favorite Reds card:  As was often the case for inserts from this era – there were none.


Here’s the scan of the full set.

1998 Topps Mystery Finest Bordered complete

1998 Topps Mystery Finest Bordered complete 2

1998 Topps Mystery Finest Bordered complete 3

Any other tidbits:  The write-ups on the back had some interesting factoids about the players’ 1997 seasons.  The most interesting point I read was on the back of the card for Greg Maddux.  Maddux walked 20 batters in the 1997 season – barely above his win total (19) for the year.




2 responses

17 05 2016
Cardboard Curmudgeon

Congrats on completing the set. I really like the design on that one!

18 05 2016

Thanks! I agree – great design.

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