I’m going to move on and do a few completed insert sets from post-2009, which is kind of like “Anno Domini” for this blog – I started back up in 2010, and while I’m collecting every Topps Flagship since then, I’m only counting the project as 1980 through 2009. At least for now.
This wasn’t an insert set per se – you got it as a redemption.
Info about the set:
Set description: “Celebrate the excitement by bringing this card to your participating local hobby store to claim a free Topps Baseball Spring Fever promo pack.” Topps brought back an old promotion, in name at least, in 2013. You could only exchange the redemption card pulled in 2013 Series 1 from February 20-27, though how well the dealers participated for this kind of thing can always be a bit spotty. The cards themselves feature current and retired players, with a colored holofoil background with palm trees on the bottom. The back has a write-up featuring what the player will work on (current players) or what the retired player’s spring training career was like.
Set composition: 50 cards, 1 per hobby box (2013 Topps series 1)
Hall of Famers: 7 – Orlando Cepeda, Cal Ripken, Andre Dawson, Rickey Henderson, Ken Griffey Jr., Stan Musial, Ted Williams
How I put the set together:
- 5 cards redeemed from local hobby store
- 17 cards in a trade
- 12 cards from Sportlots
- 11 cards from a card show
- 3 cards from COMC
- 2 cards from the NSCC (separate years, actually)
Thoughts on the set: I love the set, and am glad Topps has continued to do it up through 2016. The design for this particular year is awesome – it really does feel like something you should get while at a Spring Training game. Being colorful really works for this set.
Card that completed my set: #SF-7 – Jason Heyward
One of 3 cards I got from COMC as part of their Black Friday promotion last year.
Best card (my opinion): #SF-5 – Orlando Cepeda
Of all the retired players, this photo just looks the best with the design. I really like the Rickey Henderson card, and the Heyward card shown above is great as well.
My Favorite Reds card: #SF-17 – Todd Frazier
Beats out Votto and Mesoraco.
Here’s the completed set. I’d almost never do a scan of a set this large, but I love the colors and definitely want to throw this out there!
Any other Tidbits: Info from the backs of the retired guys:
- Cepeda got his first Giants’ Spring Training invite when they spotted him in Puerto Rican winter ball.
- Both Ripken and Griffey were used to Spring Training as they’d attended with their fathers as youngsters.
- Dawson’s late signing to the Cubs in 1987 – after camp had started – is referenced on his card.
- Henderson’s card referenced how much he’s done after retirement, helping the A’s and Mets as an instructor at Spring Training.
- Coming to Spring Training as a special instructor after he retired is how Don Mattingly eventually landed his first hitting coach gig.
- Musial was almost released as a pitcher at the Cardinals’ 1941 Spring Training. A year later he made the club as an outfielder and the rest is history.
- Teddy Ballgame was late to his first 2 Spring Training camps (while he was still a minor leaguer) – due to circumstances out of his control for a railroad closure and an illness.