Completed master set – one last look at 1997 Topps

2 06 2016

Once I completed the Awesome Impact set, which I did last September and posted about yesterday, that meant I’d locked down the master set for 1997 Topps.  This is the latest year that I’ve done so.

There weren’t any particularly major obstacles here, there’s just a number of insert sets that took a little while to accumulate.

Info about my base set:

How I put the base set together:

  • 249 cards from series 1 retail box
  • 216 cards from series 2 retail box
  • 30 cards from trades

Card that completed my set: #261 – Lance Johnson

1997 Topps final card - Lance Johnson 261

Best card (my opinion): #463 – J.T. Snow

1997 Topps 263 JT Snow best card

Check out this link to see the rest of the base set post.

My Master” Set Info:

719 cards – 495 “base”, 215 “insert”, 9 “other”

Toughest card to track down:  Pre-Production #PP1 – Frank Thomas

1997 Topps Pre production Thomas PP1

This could be any one of the 9 pre-production cards.  They were very difficult to track down, or even learn much about before I did.

How I put the additional sets together:

  • Promos – all 9 cards from eBay
  • Inserts – 27 cards from boxes, 11 from trades, 8 from card shows, 80 from COMC, 59 from Sportlots, 30 from Beckett’s Marketplace

Other product bests

Best Insert card:  Interleague Finest #ILM-2 – Mike Piazza / Tim Salmon

1997 Topps Interleague Finest Piazza

1997 Topps Interleague Finest Salmon

I wrote this a while ago when I finished off this set.  To me you can’t beat a Piazza / Salmon combination card.  When I first got back into card collecting, it was 1993 when those two guys burst onto the scene and won the Rookie of the Year award.  They were always linked to me – kind of how Harper and Trout are today, except you hadn’t heard about Salmon or Piazza for 3 years before their rookie season.

Best Autograph or Relic card:  Willie Mays Reprint Autograph #2 – 1952 Topps

Most notable insert card:  Willie Mays Reprint Autograph #2 – 1952 Topps

1997 topps mays auto

In series 1, 19 of the 27 Willie Mays reprints were autographed by the Say Hey Kid and inserted directly into packs – there were about 65 of each.  These are marked with a “Topps certified autograph” foil stamp instead of the Mays Commemorative stamp which comes on the non-autographed cards.  This was a big deal – it was the first autographs inserted directly into Topps flagship packs.

Best Reds insert of any type:  Topps All-Stars #AS10 – Barry Larkin

1997 Topps All-Stars Larkin

There were only 2 Reds cards out of the 215 inserts.  This one and Larkin’s Interleague Finest with Albert Belle.  I like the card with just him a little better.

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