Completed insert set – 2001 Topps What Could Have Been

30 06 2016

Here’s another completed insert set.  This one is from 2001 Topps.  I am catching up, as I think this is the first post that I’ve done where the set completing occurred in the current calendar year 🙂

Info about the set:

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Set description:  As part of its 50th anniversary product, Topps created a lot of sets that paid homage to the Company’s history producing baseball cards.  This set, however, takes a different spin.  It looks at players from the Negro Leagues who never got the chance to play in the majors.  I kind of infer that the idea is also that they didn’t get to appear on baseball cards during their day.  It’s done in a very similar design as the “Before There Was Topps” set from series 1.

The fronts feature a black and white photo of the player with a gray foil finish over the background.  The player name is at the bottom, while the Topps 50 logo is in the top corner.  The back has a write-up on the player’s Negro League career.

Set composition:  10 cards, 1:25 odds (2001 Topps series 2)

Hall of Famers:  All 10.  Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Buck Leonard, Cool Papa Bell, Rube Foster, Martin Dihigo, Judy Johnson, Mule Suttles, Pop Lloyd

Card that completed my set:  #WCB8 – Mule Suttles

2001 Topps What Could Have Been Mule Suttles

I got this card in a trade with reader Kary, who has been a friendly reader and contributor to the Lifetime Topps project for a few years!

How I put the set together:

  • 3 cards from the 2001 series 2 hobby boxes I bought
  • 3 cards from trades
  • 2 from a card show
  • 1 from an eBay lot
  • 1 from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  Up to 2001, there really hadn’t been many Negro League cards in the mainstream sets.  That started to change, and this was the first Topps set to feature Negro Leaguers.  It’s a great set from that standpoint.  I wish they hadn’t made it so drab, though – the gray makes it so bland.  I would have liked some of the color-making technology you see on lots of cards these days. 

Best card (my opinion):  #WCB1 – Josh Gibson, #WCB2 – Satchel Paige

2001 Topps s2 What Could have been Gibson Paige

I had a tough time picking between Paige and Gibson, as they’re probably the most notable Negro League hitter and pitcher.  Adding to that, I really like the photos of both.  So I’m picking them both.  My blog, my rules.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none.

Here’s the scan of the full set.

2001 Topps What Could Have Been complete

2001 Topps What Could Have Been - front

Other tidbits:  For every player except Satchel Paige, this was their first Topps card.  Paige was the only one of these 10 players to make it to the Majors, and he had a very famous Topps card in 1953.

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