Completed insert set – 1996 Topps Masters of the Game

4 05 2017

I did the “elusive eight” post yesterday for getting the Kirby Puckett card from this set.  This is the completed set post.  I’m actually getting pretty close to finishing up the 1990’s!

Info about the set:

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Set description:  This hobby only insert highlights the best players in the game at the time.  The horizontal cards have a picture of the player on the front with a view of his home field in the background – all with a bit of the spectralight effect.  The back has particular accomplishments that I guess qualify this player as a “Master of the Game”.

Set composition:  20 cards, 1:18 odds (1996 Topps series 1 hobby)

Hall of Famers:  12.  Dennis Eckersley, Eddie Murray, Paul Molitor, Ozzie Smith, Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, Cal Ripken, Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, Kirby Puckett, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas

How I put the set together:

  • 15 cards from COMC
  • 4 cards from Sportlots
  • 1 card from Beckett’s Marketplace

Card that completed my set:  #15 – Kirby Puckett

I just got this card to knock it off my Elusive 8 list last week.

Thoughts on the set:  I like the thicker card stock, and the background foil technology is great.  Topps could do something like this today and I would like it.  It would have been nice if they did a foil version of the Mantle tribute (card #7).

Best card (my opinion):  #7 – Tim Raines

I’ll go with the recently inducted HOF member.  It took too long for Rock to make it to Cooperstown.  By this point he was a grizzled vet.  The Mattingly card was a close 2nd – it was released right after he retired.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none.  Barry Larkin would have seemed appropriate here – coming right off his MVP season after a decade in the league.

Here’s the scan of the full set.

Any other tidbits:  As mentioned, this card came out after Mattingly retired.

12 out of 20 HOF-ers is pretty impressive, plus you’ve got Bonds and Clemens who are probably the best 2 (or at least 2 of the best 3) historical players in this group.





Updating the Elusive Eight for an 8th time

3 05 2017

This is the 8th time I’ve crossed something off this elusive card list.  I got a new card from COMC, amongst some other purchases:

1996 Topps Master of the Game #15 – Kirby Puckett

This was a legitimately elusive card.  I got the first card toward this set in 2012.  I got the 2nd-to-last card of this set 2 years ago.  I’ve been on the lookout for this Puckett card ever since and didn’t find it until a COMC search a few weeks ago.  It finishes the set, which is always a great thing!

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Here’s the updated Elusive Eight, just in case anyone has these cards available!  Remember – the pictures are the photos I have of other cards in the set.  Since I don’t have them, I don’t have actual photos yet!

1995 Topps Pre-Production Spectralite #PP5 – Travis Fryman

1995 Topps Pre-Production Spectralite Sandy Alomar

This was one of 4 cards on the original Elusive Eight that has stayed on the whole time and I’m still yet to obtain, and to me is the one that might prove the toughest.  I’m guessing that whenever I turn over the full original list – it will be this card that gets me there.

1996 Topps Masters of the Game #15 – Kirby Puckett

96 Masters of Game

Another EE original – I am surprised I haven’t found this guy yet.  The hunt continues…

2012 Topps Archives In Action #82IA-JE – Jacoby Ellsbury

Trade Night Owl June 2012 Archives

This is another original list card that I just can’t seem to find.  As a retail-only set, these aren’t common by any means, but I’ve seen the other cards in this set so much more frequently.

2013 Gypsy Queen #218 – Adam Wainwright

2013 Gypsy Queen Gwynn

This was on the original list, but unlike the others this is a card I could go out and buy now if I wanted to.  I just haven’t had the burning need to complete the Gypsy Queen set from 2013.  It’s not something I need to pounce on, but hopefully I get this by end of 2016.

2012 Topps Archives Combos – #58-YE – Yaz/Ellsbury

2012 Archives Combos Bench Votto

So this card was on the 2nd list, and has been on there ever since.  I had 2 needs for this set, so couldn’t fit it into the original, so once I got one of the originals, this card and its counterpart replaced…

2012 Allen & Ginter Giants of the Deep #14 – Bottlenose Whale

2012 Ginter mini Giants Deep Bottlenose Whale

So technically this was on the original list, but not continuously on.  I think I’ve bumped it off two times.

1998 Hall Bound #1 – Paul Molitor

1998 Topps s1 box HallBound Bonds

Ugh, I actually thought I bought this card on COMC in the same purchase as the Puckett Master of the Game.  It showed up and I realized it was the Chrome version.  D’0h!

2002 Topps Traded #1 – Jeff Weaver

2002 Topps Traded Tim Raines

This is the card I’m adding to replace the Cabrera/Kaline card above.  I’m going to do this going forward – keep 1 of these 2002 Topps Traded cards on my list.  See, it’s going to be the hardest base set of this Lifetime Topps Project for me to complete.  Topps short printed the first 110 cards and they now go for $3-$5 a pop.  I’m hoping this helps me focus on these.

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Here are some other cards that would be knocking on the door to make the list.

1998 Milestones  cards #3 (Dennis Eckersley) & #4 (Juan Gonzalez)

2001 Topps MVP redemption set – a very expensive set, I have about 10 of the 25 cards

2003 Topps Nolan Ryan Record Breaker – 3 very difficult cards to go

2003 Topps Traded – 5 cards to go

2004 Topps – 5 cards to go

2012 Topps – the Bryce Harper 661 card





Completed insert set – 1998 Topps Roberto Clemente Finest

1 05 2017

I got caught up on all of my completed insert set posts last year.  Then I started posting at a far lesser clip, and I’ve finished off a few more sets.  The Clemente insert set is one of them.

Info about the set:

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Set description:  Clemente was the 3rd historic player honored with a reprint set (after Mickey Mantle in ’96 and Willie Mays in ’97).  Clemente was a good choice, as 1998 marked 25 years since his tragic death.  This set had reprints of the full run of his base Topps cards during his career.  Reprints of his 19 regular cards from 1955-1973 were issued across both series.  The 10 odd years come in series 1, while the 9 even years come in series 2.  There is a gold Clemente logo, created just for this set.  There was a chrome version and a regular – this is the finest version, which came one every other box.

Set composition:  19 cards, 1:72 odds (1998 Topps series 1, 2)

Hall of Famers:  1 – just Clemente.  None of his multi-player cards are included.

How I put the set together:

I got none from the boxes I bought.  I did actually get one refractor – just no regular finest versions.

  • 17 cards from COMC
  • 1 card from Beckett Marketplace
  • 1 card from Sportlots

Card that completed my set:  #13 – 1967 Topps

I bought the last cards I needed from Sportlots a few weeks ago.

Thoughts on the set:  Retro sets are everywhere you look these days, but in 1998 there weren’t that many, and they were almost all reprints.  I like the Finest versions of these cards.  And, to be honest, I kind of wish Topps would abandon the shotgun approach and go back to individual players.  They do something similar with jumbo cards available online.  I think they could do some stuff like all the Griffey Topps cards, or even all the Willie McCovey Topps cards.  With the finest versions, it would do well.

Best card (my opinion):  #19 – 1973 Topps

I have to go with the same thing I did for the regular set.  The 1972 card is probably my favorite photo, but the 1973 card is great as well.  And there’s something awesome about seeing exactly 3,000 hits on the back of the card.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none (obviously).

Here’s the scans of the whole set.