Completed insert set – 1995 Topps League Leaders

24 06 2016

I’ve done a lot of completed insert set posts over the past few months from the late 90’s and early 2000’s.  Some of those are very cool sets, some not so much.  But since there are so many more once you get to about 1997 or 1998, they become less memorable.  If there’s 8 insert sets in a product, 1 has to really stand out to become memorable.  For example, the 2000 All-Topps Team set is a set that I generally like.  But it’s not really memorable, and since it was one of 10-12 insert sets that year, I don’t always remember it and I definitely have to look up which year it was released.

That’s not true for 1995 Topps League Leaders.  This was one of 2 insert sets that year.  Ah, for the simpler days.

Info about the set:

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Set description:  This set showcases the players among the “league leaders” from statistical categories RBI, HR, Stolen bases, average and strikeouts.  The front emphasizes the player by darkening the background in an effect I can only describe as black bubbling.  The backs show the players place in the league and in their division for that statistical category – and the player’s totals from throughout the decade.

Set composition:  50 cards.  1:6 (1995 Topps retail packs)

Hall of Famers: 10

Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, Frank Thomas, Kirby Puckett, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson

Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is also in the set.

How I put the set together:

  • 10 cards card from my series 1 and 2 retail boxes
  • 4 cards I already had from back in the day
  • 5 cards from trades
  • 21 cards from Sportlots
  • 6 cards from Beckett
  • 3 cards from COMC
  • 1 card from eBay

Card that completed my set:  #LL44 – Chuck Knoblauch

I got this card on Sportlots last December.  There were 2 cards that really eluded me, this was the one I got last.  I bought the Craig Biggio card about 1 month before this card – had to go with a single card eBay purchase which is never ideal for a cheaper card like this.

1995 Topps League Leaders Knoblauch final card

Thoughts on the set:  Unlike the insert sets I discussed above from 2000 or after – this insert set doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.  Since it’s one of just 2 inserts in 1995 Topps (the other being the Finest total bases set), I see a card from this set and know when and where it’s from.  That’s a huge positive for me.

Is it the greatest design ever?  No, but I do like the background effect, which works particularly well with some of the photos like Knoblauch’s.  It’s a cool looking set in a binder.

Best card (my opinion):  #LL44 – Chuck Knoblauch

1995 Topps League Leaders Knoblauch final card

I guess I saved the best card for last, as far as me getting the card.  This picture captures the black bubble effect better than any other.  Sliding into a base with dirt kicking up also goes well on a card for being among the league leaders in stolen bases.

My Favorite Reds card:  #LL29 – Hal Morris

1995 Topps League Leaders Hal Morris

Unlike the 2015 Reds, the 1994 and 1995 Reds were good.  Hal Morris was 4th in the NL batting race.  Not too many inserts with him on there.  This beats out Sanders, Kevin Mitchell and Jose Rijo.

Here’s a scan of the whole set.

1995 Topps League Leaders complete

1995 Topps League Leaders complete 2

1995 Topps League Leaders complete 3

1995 Topps League Leaders complete 4

1995 Topps League Leaders complete 5

1995 Topps League Leaders complete 6

Any other Tidbits:  Frank Thomas, Albert Belle and Jeff Bagwell all have 3 cards in the set for being top 5 in the 3 triple crown categories.

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