This is the first of the Topps Traded sets where I’ll do a completed set post. Before 1995, Topps Traded meant a factory set that I would be purchasing. It was gone from 1996 through 1998, and it was again a full box set in 1999 and 2000. So this was the first one I “collected”.
Info about my set:
How I put the set together:
- 160 cards from the Topps Traded box
- 1 card from Sportlots
- 4 cards from Beckett Marketplace
Card that completed my set: #14T – Kevin Gross
This was one of 4 cards I got from Beckett’s Marketplace in February. I bought this box in 2012. Then I got 1 card from Sportlots in 2014 – then waited 2 more years before I finally said the hell with it and finished this thing! I’m surprised it took so long, but I was trying not to buy the last couple cards until they were part of another purchase. I found a dealer on Beckett who had some other cards that were tougher, who also had these cards. And here we are!
Set composition: 165 cards (114 single MLB player cards, 14 Draft Picks, 2 On Deck, 2 Tops Prospects, 1 Star Track, 12 Rookie of the Year Contenders, 10 At the Break, 9 All-Stars, 1 checklist)
Representation of ’94 MLB season: OK, like I said this was the first time for me to do a complete set post for a Traded set. So what I’ll do is combine the Traded and regular Topps sets.
The 1995 Topps set featured 567 out of the 991 players who played in Major League Baseball in 1994. That’s 57.2%.
In the update set not in the base set: 28 players.
It had become much more about “rookies who (maybe) played in 1995” than “players who were traded in 1995 or not featured in the regular set”.
Total in base and update sets: 595 different players. Or 60% of the 1994 MLB rosters.
Last active player from this set: #18T – Carlos Beltran
Wow, weird how this works out, but I have to explain this whole error thing. Carlos Beltran is the only player still active in 2016*. His card had a big snafu with it. It doesn’t feature him. the Juan LeBron card does. And his card features Juan Lebron. Yes that’s confusing, and it has nothing to do with the notable basketball player from Akron. They just got those 2 guys pictures messed up. So card #18 is considered Beltran’s “rookie card”, but features a picture of Lebron. Meanwhile, card #12, LeBron’s card, features a photo of the future All-Star, Beltran.
* – There’s a chance Bronson Arroyo will come back to play, but it isn’t looking promising. In fact, as far it looks now, Beltran may end up outlasting his fellow draft class member by 2+ seasons.
Beckett lists both the Beltran rookie and the first flagship Topps card of the greatest closer ever at $10. Weird how in the baseball card hobby, the card picturing LeBron but listed as Beltran’s RC is the more valuable.
Most notable card: #40T – Hideo Nomo
It could be argued the Beltran card is the most notable, with the Lebron/Beltran mix-up going on. But Nomo-mania was as big as it comes, and this was his first Topps card.
Best card (my opinion): #20T – Larry Walker
I think Walker should be in the Hall of Fame, and I’m surprised he hasn’t got more traction. I think people are overreacting to the Coors Field effect. He had some historic numbers, and yes, Coors contributed to that. But he was one of the best players in baseball for quite a while even if you adjust a bit downward for Coors. Also, him coming to Denver was the catalyst for them becoming a better franchise. This card exists because he signed in Denver as a free agent as soon as the strike lifted. To me, it’s the a card I really appreciate because of that.
Second best card (also my opinion): #110T – David Cone
Another guy who hasn’t gotten enough HOF play. I’m not convinced David Cone is a Hall of Famer, but he isn’t that far off. At a minimum he should have gotten more than 3.9% and been one-and-done.
Cone was coming off his Cy Young award in KC, and was another huge free agent signing. He had a really good year, but Toronto failed miserably in what was a strange title defense – with the 1994 canceled season. He ended up in New York as their workhorse down the stretch. This is a cool card with the sunset logo in the background.
Best subset card: #163T – Mike Piazza / Ivan Rodriguez AS
I really like this particular All-Star subset. The space allows for some good photos even though it’s a dual player card. This is the best of that bunch.
Favorite action photo: #11T – Ray Durham
Traded/Update sets aren’t particularly known for their action shots. This is a cool one. Look how far out of that baseline Durahm is, rounding third and heading for home.
Favorite non-action photo: #110T – David Cone
Like I said, I like the cool effect with the background here.
My Favorite Reds card: #34T – “Benny” Santiago
Benito was a big part of the Reds really good team in 1995. He was a solid player, though he split a lot of time with Eddie Taubensee. As evidenced by the All-Star card above, I’m a sucker for photos with catcher’s gear involved.