Completed master set – one last look at 1996 Topps

13 02 2020

I finished up the master set to 1996 Topps!  I wish I had 1995 done, but the cyberstats promo card of Travis Fryman from that year has proven to be the most difficult card to find of any I can think of.  So while I’ve still completed all my Topps master sets through 1994, I can also add 1996 to that now (as well as 1997 – and I have to check but I think 2000).

This one wasn’t as hard as some others – but still had some tough gets.  The Star Power and Draft Picks Power Boosters were tough to accumulate, and my final obstacle was just finding the Wrecking Crew cards at a somewhat reasonable price.  For reference, I got Matt Williams and Juan Gonzalez for $4.25 each on COMC.  Not sure if you’d consider that reasonable, but the chrome cards seem to come up more frequently than the regular inserts from those late 90’s sets.

Info about my base set:

How I put the base set together:

  • 199 cards from the series 1 retail box
  • 213 cards from the series 2 retail box
  • 1 card I already had from back in the day
  • 27 cards from trades

Card that completed my base set: #58 – Scott Sanders

Best card (my opinion): #297 – Marquis Grissom

Check out this link to see the rest of the base set post.

My Master” Set Info:

653 cards – 440 “base”, 201 “insert”, 12 “other”

How I put the additional sets together:

  • Promos – all 10 cards from a couple eBay auctions
  • Mantle factory cards – bought them both on COMC
  • Inserts – 14 from my s1/s2 retail boxes, 1 I had from when I was a kid, 90 from Sportlots, 76 from COMC, 11 from trades, 6 from Beckett, 4 from card shows, 1 from eBay

Other product bests

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2001 Topps Brian Meadows and… 2001 Topps Brian Meadows

11 02 2020

I’m working on the 2001 Topps set recap since I just finished the base set.  And it takes a lot of work, more than I remembered (man, I used to have way more free time).  Anyways, I came across this.

2001 Topps Brian Meadows

And also this.

2001 Topps… Brian Meadows?


Now, you may think those are the same card.  But, you my friend, would be mistaken…

See, when trying to figure out how much the set represents the 2000 season as far as number and percentage of players, I have to check for guys who have a card in series 1 and 2.  Well, Brian Meadows has one, and he’s got the same picture on both cards.  I’m sure this has been written about somewhere, but I couldn’t find anything in a quick google search.  Topps could have used a little help in the QC back in 2001!

Completed insert set – 1996 Topps Wrecking Crew

9 02 2020

I’ve been trying to finish this set up for quite a while, and lo and behold – COMC had the two cards I needed during their Black Friday sale!

Info about the set:

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Set description:  This hobby only insert honors some of the hottest home run producers in the League.  The vertical cards have of the hitter on the front with the background grayed out via some foil technology.  A baseball at the end of a chain is across the right side of the card as if their breaking down some concrete.

Set composition:  15 cards, 1:18 odds (1996 Topps series 2 hobby)

Hall of Famers:  3.  Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas, Mike Piazza

The steroid era had some significant impact in thinning out these ranks.

How I put the set together:

I didn’t get a hobby box for series 2, so none of these cards were put together via packs.

  • 7 cards from COMC
  • 6 cards from Sportlots
  • 1 card from a trade
  • 1 card purchased at the 2013 National Convention

Card that completed my set:  #15 – Matt Williams

I got this and the Juan Gonzalez card on COMC for Black Friday.

Thoughts on the set:  I’m a bit meh on this set.  It’s OK, it’s a decent idea and the background dark foil technology is kind of cool.  I mean, yeh – everyone wanted to get home run hitters into sets back then.

Best card (my opinion):  #15 – Matt Williams

This is by far the one where the photo seems to mix into the card design.  Williams does seem like he’s driving the wrecking ball into a wall with his swing.

My Favorite Reds card:  #6 – Ron Gant.

Here’s the scan of the full set.

Any other tidbits: One of these cards could be found in the hobby factory set in 1996.

Also, I feel like I need to say – this is just an interesting cast of characters here.

Updating for 2020 – Hall of Famers in Topps Traded

7 02 2020

Topps Traded is a quicker post – I’ve got to update for the 3 new inductees.

  1. Ted Simmons – Simmons is in 2 different Topps Traded sets.  He was in the inaugural 1981 Topps Traded set after being part of the 1980/81 offseason trade along with (now fellow) Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers from the Cardinals to the Brewers.  I’d say the Brew Crew won that trade.  He is also in the 1986 Topps after the Brewers traded him to the Braves for (primarily) Rick Cerone.
  2. Larry Walker – Walker was in the 1995 Traded set after his trade to the Rockies when Montreal dismantled what could have been a dynasty.  Then he was in 2004 Topps Traded after he was traded to the Cardinals toward the end of his career.

Derek Jeter? I actually don’t have anything to add here.  Jeter was in some later Topps Update sets – but not until 2006 which is after where I’m currently at (stalled?) in the Lifetime Topps project

1981 Topps Traded – 10 HOF****

Bert Blyleven, Rollie Fingers, Carlton Fisk, Joe Morgan, Gaylord Perry, Bruce Sutter, Don Sutton, Dave Winfield, Tim Raines, Ted Simmons

1982 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

Reggie Jackson, Ferguson Jenkins, Perry, Cal Ripken, Ozzie Smith

1983 Topps Traded – 3 HOF

Morgan, Tony Perez, Tom Seaver

1984 Topps Traded – 7 HOF

Yogi Berra (mgr), Dennis Eckersley, Goose Gossage, Morgan, Phil Niekro, Perez, Seaver

1985 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

Gary Carter, Rickey Henderson, Sutter, Sutton, Earl Weaver (mgr)

1986 Topps Traded – 4 HOF****

Niekro, Seaver, Dick Williams (mgr), Simmons

1987 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

Steve Carlton, Andre Dawson, Eckersley, Reggie Jackson, Greg Maddux

1988 Topps Traded – 4 HOF

Roberto Alomar, Gossage, Lee Smith, Frank Robinson (mgr)

1989 Topps Traded – 6 HOF

Blyleven, Henderson, Eddie Murray, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr.

1990 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

Carter, Red Schoendienst (mgr), Bobby Cox (mgr), Winfield, Lee Smith

1991 Topps Traded – 6 HOF

Alomar, Carter, Raines, Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez, Jack Morris

1992 Topps Traded – 4 HOF

Carter, Murray, Winfield, Morris

1993 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

Wade Boggs, Dawson, Paul Molitor, Winfield, Mike Piazza

1994 Topps Traded – 6 HOF

Henderson, Murray, Ryne Sandberg, Pedro Martinez, Lee Smith, Jack Morris

1995 Topps Traded – 17 HOF*****

Mariano Rivera, Lee Smith, Andre Dawson, Boggs (subset), Tony Gwynn (subset), Kirby Puckett (subset), Cal Ripken (subset), Frank Thomas (subset), O. Smith (subset), Johnson (subset), Craig Biggio (subset), Griffey Jr. (subset), Piazza (subset), Bagwell (subset), Rodriguez (subset), Chipper Jones (subset), Larry Walker

1999 Topps Traded – 0 HOF

2000 Topps Traded – 0 HOF

2001 Topps Traded – 19 HOF

Rickey Henderson, Carlton Fisk, Juan Marichal, Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken Jr., Ozzie Smith, Tom Seaver, Gary Carter, Greg Maddux, Dennis Eckersley, Joe Morgan, Roberto Alomar, Nolan Ryan, Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Jack Morris, Lee Smith

(other than Rickey – the rest are from the reprint subset)

2002 Topps Traded – 8 HOF

Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, Frank Robinson (mgr), Nolan Ryan (subset), Reggie Jackson (subset), Wade Boggs (subset), Roberto Alomar (subset), Ken Griffey Jr. (subset)

2003 Topps Traded – 4 HOF

Rickey Henderson,  Roberto Alomar, Ivan Rodriguez, Jim Thome

2004 Topps Traded – 2 HOF*****

Greg Maddux, Walker

Updating for 2020 – Hall of Famers in Topps sets

5 02 2020

After catching up for the previous few years – now I’ve got to update the base Topps sets I’ve done for the 2020 inductees:

  • Derek Jeter
  • Larry Walker
  • Ted Simmons

Marvin Miller was also inducted, but he wasn’t a player and never had a card in a base Topps set.


The number of Hall of Famers in a given set has always been something that intrigued me.  I count the number of Hall of Famers for every new set I start, and post about it in my overview.  So, since there are now 3 new Hall of Famers to account for, I need to go back and update those posts.  In showing this stuff below, I will show the cumulative total as well.

First, some reminders.  I include all Hall of Famers from the set.  That includes someone like Johnny Bench who had a Turn Back the Clock card in the 1990 set.  I also include managers who were Hall of Fame players (Frank Robinson in 1984 Topps, or my personal favorite – Yogi Berra as an Astro coach on their 1987 Topps team leader card).  I also include player cards of guys who made the Hall of Fame as a manager (i.e., 1969 Topps Bobby Cox).  If you have a bronze plaque in Cooperstown, I’m including you.

This took less work looking up these numbers that doing so for 2019 and 2018 – which was, in one post, looking up a dozen guys.  Still, these 3 guys have quite a large spread.  Jeter had his first Topps card in 1993 and played well past my  current ending point of 2004, and Simmons had his rookie card in 1971, which is well before the year I was born (1980) which marks the start of this Lifetime Topps project.  Simmons finished his Hall of Fame career in 1988 and had a card that year, while Larry Walker’s rookie card was in 1990 – so there is one set that gets no addition from the 2020 class; the gold ole 1989 set.

Without any further ado, here we go!

1980 Topps – 44 Hall of Famers

Johnny Bench, Bert Blyleven, George Brett, Rod Carew, Steve Carlton, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Carlton Fisk, Goose Gossage, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Fergie Jenkins, Willie McCovey, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan, Jack Morris, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Phil Niekro, Tony Perez, Gaylord Perry, Jim Rice, Nolan Ryan, Mike Schmidt, Tom Seaver, Ted Simmons, Ozzie Smith, Willie Stargell, Bruce Sutter, Don Sutton, Alan Trammell, Dave Winfield, Carl Yastrzemski, Robin Yount, Earl Weaver (manager), Tommy LaSorda (manager), Dick Williams (manager), Sparky Anderson (manager), Joe Torre (manager), Bobby Cox (manager), Tony LaRussa (manager), Lou Brock (HL)

  • The induction of Simmons increased this number by 1.

1981 Topps – 45 Hall of Famers

Gone (-2):  McCovey and Brock were gone after retiring

New (+3):  Whitey Herzog got a manager card when he was hired by St. Louis.  Rock Raines and Harold Baines got cards in the 1981 set as part of the Future Stars triple player cards.

  • The induction of Simmons increased this number by 1.

1982 Topps – 39 Hall of Famers

Gone (-8):  There was no manager subset in 1982, which accounts for the big drop – Weaver, LaSorda, Williams, Herzog, Anderson, Torre, Cox and LaRussa aren’t in this set.

New (+2):  Cal Ripken Jr. and Lee Smith both have rookie cards in this set.

  • The induction of Simmons increased this number by 1.

1983 Topps – 50 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Willie Stargell retired and had his last card in 1982 (-1).

New (+12):  The manager subset came back, which led to 9 new cards of Hall of Famers – Weaver, LaSorda, Williams, Sparky, Herzog, Cox, Torre, LaRussa and Frank Robinson.  Additionally, Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg and Tony Gwynn entered the fray.

  • The induction of Simmons increased this number by 1. This is still the set with the most HOF-ers in my Lifetime Topps Project.

1984 Topps – 49 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Earl Weaver had retired after the 1982 season, with no new Hall of Fame blood in this set.

Bench, Perry and Yastrzemski were only included in a subset card.

  • The induction of Simmons increased this number by 1.

1985 Topps – 45 Hall of Famers

Gone (-6):  Robinson was gone after his stint as the Giants manager was over, while Bench, Yaz, Perry, Palmer and Jenkins had also had their last player cards.

New (+2):  Kirby Puckett’s rookie card is in this set, and Yogi Berra had a card for his second (and controversial) stint as Yankee manager.  When I started this blog, Puckett was the most recent rookie card of any Hall of Famer!  That claim now belongs to Piazza.

  • The induction of Simmons increased this number by 1.

1986 Topps – 45 Hall of Famers

Gone (-3):  Torre was fired as Braves manager in 1984 and wasn’t gone until this set.  Berra was fired as well, and Joe Morgan retired.

New (+3):  Earl Weaver was back as the O’s manager, and we had a Turn Back the Clock subset that got Willie Mays and Frank Robinson into the mix.

  • The induction of Simmons increased this number by 1.

1987 Topps – 43 Hall of Famers

Gone (-6):  Cox was no longer the Blue Jay skipper at this point, and Carew, Fingers and Tony Perez all retired. Robinson and Mays were gone from the TBC subset….

New (+4):  But Clemente and Yastrzemski replaced them.  Barry Larkin had his first card in this set, and Yogi Berra had the awesome TL card as coach of the Astros!

  • The induction of Simmons increased this number by 1.

1988 Topps – 41 Hall of Famers

Gone (-7):  Mr. October, Lefty and Tom Terrific and Earl Weaver all retired at this point.  Clemente, Yaz and Berra were gone from subsets .  

New (+5):  Maddux and Glavine had their first base Topps cards, and the subsets were a wash due to 3 new Cardinals – Bob Gibson and Stan Musial from the TBC subset, and Red Schoendienst being featured on the Cards Team Leader card.  

Phil Niekro made it only on the Record Breaker subset with his brother in this set.

  • The induction of Simmons increased this number by 1.

1989 Topps – 41 Hall of Famers

Gone (-7):  Sutton, Simmons, Niekro (RB), Williams (mgr), Schoendienst (TL), Musial (TBC), Gibson (TBC)

New (+7):  Roberto Alomar RC, Randy Johnson RC, Craig Biggio RC, John Smoltz RC, Hank Aaron (TBC), Brock (TBC), Frank Robinson (back as a manager)

  • As mentioned – there were no new additions to this set from the 2020 Hall of Fame class.

1990 Topps – 43 Hall of Famers

Gone (-4):  2 relievers exited the set – Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage (who would be back).  And the 2 guys who were in the TBC subset were gone as well.

New (+6)  Frank Thomas and Larry Walker had RC’s in the set, while Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez had their first regular Topps cards.  The effect of the TBC subset was a wash, it went up to 3 HOFers from the previous year (Koufax, Schmidt, Bench), but one of them was Mike Schmidt who didn’t actually have a base card after retiring mid-1989.  So the net effect on this side is +2.

  • The induction of Walker increased this number by 1.

1991 Topps – 41 Hall of Famers

Gone (-5):  Rice (retired), Herzog (retired), Schmidt, Bench, Koufax (the TBC set had ended its 5-year run)

New (+3):  Torre and Cox, both of whom got back in the managing saddle.  Chipper Jones had his first card via the 1st Round Draft Pick subset.

  • The induction of Walker increased this number by 1.

1992 Topps – 45 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Robinson (fired as Oriole manager)

New (+5):  Gossage (back after a stint in Japan).  Pudge and Bagwell are in this set – true rookies were in the Traded set from 1991, but for both these guys this is their first base Topps card.  Thome and Mussina are also in this set – they had cards in other products (not Topps Traded) in previous years, so this isn’t their rookie card.

  • The induction of Walker increased this number by 1.

1993 Topps – 49 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Gossage (retired for good this time)

New (+5):  Tony Perez (Reds manager), Pedro Martinez (first Topps card), Mike Piazza (first Topps card – Prospects card), Trevor Hoffman (first Topps card – Marlins card), Derek Jeter (RC)

  • The induction of Walker & Jeter increased this number by 2.

1994 Topps – 40 Hall of Famers (a mass exodus!)

Gone (-10):  Topps did away with manager cards in 1994, which meant no cards for Torre, LaRussa, Cox, Sparky, Perez and LaSorda.  Additionally, Blyleven, Carter and Fisk all retired. Jack Morris didn’t have a card despite pitching in both 1993 and 1994.  He did have a card in 1994 Topps Traded, and some cards in a few 1995 sets.

New (+1):  Hank Aaron (tribute)

  • The induction of Walker & Jeter increased this number by 2.

1995 Topps – 35 Hall of Famers (further depleted!)

Gone (-6):  Brett, Ryan and Yount (all retired for good).  Sandberg (retired temporarily).  Dawson (left out of the set, though he is in ’95 Traded).  Aaron (tribute).

New (+1):  Babe Ruth (tribute)

  • The induction of Walker & Jeter increased this number by 2.

1996 Topps – 36 Hall of Famers (an actual increase!)

Gone (-3):  Winfield (retired), Trammell (not included despite playing both 1995 and 1996), Ruth (tribute)

New (+4):  Mickey Mantle (tribute), Dawson (back after ’95 snub), Sandberg (back in baseball after a year-plus hiatus), Vladimir Guerrero (via a prospect card)

  • The induction of Walker & Jeter increased this number by 2.

1997 Topps – 33 Hall of Famers

Gone (-5):  Dawson, Puckett, Ozzie Smith (retired), Mantle (tribute), Lee Smith. Topps didn’t include Lee Smith in the flagship set after 1996 despite him pitching for 2 teams in 1996 and pitching in 25 games in 1997.

New (+2):  Jackie Robinson (tribute), Mariano Rivera (first Topps card)

  • The induction of Walker & Jeter increased this number by 2.

1998 Topps – 30 Hall of Famers

Gone (-5):  Murray, Sandberg (retired), Robinson (tribute), Henderson (snubbed – he even has an insert card in the product), Raines (also snubbed).

New (+2):  Roberto Clemente (tribute), Roy Halladay (first Topps card via the prospects set).  Halladay is now has the latest first Topps flagship card of any HOFer .

  • The induction of Walker & Jeter increased this number by 2.

1999 Topps – 28 Hall of Famers

Gone (-4):  Molitor, Eckersley (retired), Clemente (tribute), Baines (snubbed)

New (+2):  Nolan Ryan (tribute), Henderson (back after snub)

  • The induction of Walker & Jeter increased this number by 2.

2000 Topps – 30 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Nolan Ryan (tribute)

New (+3):  Hank Aaron (tribute), Raines & Baines (back with regular cards!)

  • The induction of Walker & Jeter increased this number by 2.

2001 Topps – 38 Hall of Famers

Gone (-2):  Wade Boggs (retired), Tim Raines (temporarily retired – but this was his last base Topps card)

New (+10):  The manager subset was back, which meant new cards for Torre, Cox and LaRussa.  There was also a Golden Moments subset, which had new cards of Bill Mazeroski, Reggie Jackson, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Nolan Ryan, Lou Brock and Carlton Fisk.

Hank Aaron’s Tribute card was gone in 2001, but he was still in the Golden Moments subset.

  • The induction of Walker & Jeter increased this number by 2.

2002 Topps – 28 Hall of Famers

Gone (-11):  Cal Ripken & Harold Baines retired, and the Golden Moments subset was gone, which meant those cards of Mazeroski, Jackson, Robinson, Clemente, Ryan, Brock, Fisk and Aaron were gone.  Roy Halladay does not have any 2002 Topps cards except for Topps 206 – so there must have been some sort of contract dispute over his likeness that was resolved in time for 2003.

New (+1):  Tony Perez managed the Marlins at the end of 2002, and got a manager card in this set for it.

  • The induction of Walker & Jeter increased this number by 2.

2003 Topps – 28 Hall of Famers

Gone (-2):  Tony Gwynn had retired in 2001, but still got a 2002 card.  He was gone from the set in 2003.  Perez was no longer a manager, so his card was gone as well.

New (+2):  Frank Robinson became the Expos manager in 2002, and got a card in this set.  Halladay was back in good graces with the card folks in Philly in 2003.

  • The induction of Walker & Jeter increased this number by 2.

2004 Topps – 28 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Rickey Henderson retired.

New (+1):  Mike Schmidt was included in a subset card along with Jim Thome.

  • The induction of Walker & Jeter increased this number by 2.