Completed insert set – 2012 Allen & Ginter mini Giants of the Deep

18 11 2022

This one’s been sitting in the queue needing an update for a while.  I’ve wondered in the past and still do if I’ll ever get caught up posting the insert sets I’ve completed!  Here’s another mini set from Allen & Ginter that I completed back in November of last year.

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Info about the set:

Set description:  “15 cards featuring various species of whale.”  These are horizontally oriented mini cards with the animal depicted inside.  There is a write-up on the back describing why the species is endangered.

Set composition: 15 cards, 1:5 odds (2012 Allen & Ginter’s)

I weirdly got zero of these in my box!

Hall of Famers: Not a sports set.

Card that completed my set: #GD14 – Beluga Whale

I got this card from COMC in 2020!  I’m behind!

How I put the set together:

  • 2 cards from a card show
  • 1 card from a trade
  • 5 cards from Beckett
  • 3 cards from Sportlots
  • 4 cards from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  This is the kind of set that makes Ginter interesting.  But they just have the checklist on the back, so not all that cool – would be interesting to have some things to read.  Like with some of these mini sets – the photos aren’t very clear in a lot of cases.

Highest book value: They all book for the same

Best card (my opinion): #GD9 – Orca

Pretty easy choice!  I’d have considered the Narwhal but the picture isn’t very good on that one.  The Orca is very clear compared to a lot of these cards.

Here’s the scan of the full set.

Any other tidbits:  From 2011 to 2013, and then again in 2019 and 2021 Upper Deck inserted patch cards called “Animal Kingdom” into Goodwin Champions.  I cross-referenced the checklist for this set to the Goodwin patches, and the following 18 cards were in both sets:

  • GD1 – Humpback Whale (2011)
  • GD2 – Sperm Whale (2019)
  • GD3 – Blue Whale (2013) – also in the 2011 Ginter Animals in Peril set
  • GD4 – Narwhal (2013)
  • GD5 – Beluga (2011)
  • GD9 – Orca

The 9 cards that weren’t in the Animal Patches set are: Bowhead, Right Whale, Fin Whale, Pilot Whale, Pygmy Sperm Whale, Minke Whale, Bottlenose Whale, Gray Whale, Bryde’s Whale

Completed insert set – 2014 Topps Heritage Then and Now

16 11 2022

This is the fifth of the “standard” insert sets from 2014 Topps Heritage that I’ve completed.  I’ve still got some to go for that year, but I did get this one out of the way – with 6 years in between the 2nd to last and final card (and another year and a half before posting!)  I guess it’s good to get one of the easy ones out of the way.

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Info about the set:

Set description:  “Statistical comparisons of a 1965 player vs a 2013 player who were the leaders in statistical categories”.  The front shows the 2013 Major League leader in a specified category next to a player who was in the top 10 in the same category in 1964.  The reverse shows the MLB top-10 in that statistic for both years.

Set composition:  10 cards, 1:10 odds (2014 Topps Heritage)

Hall of Famers:  7 players – Marichal and Koufax both have 2 cards and Maury Wills isn’t a HOF-er out of the retired players in this set.

Clemente, Gibson, Koufax, Marichal, Mays, McCovey, Robinson

How I put the set together:

  • 2 cards from my hobby box
  • 1 card from a retail jumbo pack
  • 1 card from a trade
  • 3 cards from a card show
  • 1 card each purchased from Sportlots, COMC and Beckett

Thoughts on the set:  This is one that returns each year for Heritage.  This set gets limited by the older players Topps signed to be part of the Heritage brand.

Like last year’s set, I hate when they don’t number sets – these are “lettered”.  It also is one of those things that just blatantly doesn’t make sense when you’re 18 years apart – which always seemed off to me for Heritage.  I guess they just didn’t want to wait 2 more years until year 50 in 2000.

Card that completed my set: #TAN-KD – Sandy Koufax / You Darvish

I got the last card from COMC in back in early 2021, still working on finishing the posts for those!

Highest book value: #TAN-CC – Roberto Clement / Miguel Cabrera

A couple batting champs.

Best card (my opinion): #TAN-KD – Koufax / Darvish

Tough to top Koufax and Kershaw on these cards, but I’ll go with the strikeouts because this is the year that Koufax set the modern K record with 382 (eventually broken by Nolan Ryan by 1 about a decade later).

Best Reds card:  Two to choose form here.  I have to go with Votto over Frank Robinson.  Not because I don’t love Robbie – but they spend the back of his card talking about his time with the Orioles.  The year and Reds sync up – 1965 was his last season in Cincinnati – but they wanted to talk about his Orioles connection with Chris Davis.  A dagger to this Reds fan!

Here’s the completed set scans:

Here’s the statistic associated with each card and where the 1965 player ranked in the majors in that stat if they didn’t lead (and who actually did lead if they weren’t first):

  • TAN-CC – Batting:  R. Clemente / M. Cabrera
  • TAN-GW – IP:  B. Gibson (3rd, Koufax led MLB) / A. Wainwright
  • TAN-KD – K:  S. Koufax / Y. Darvish
  • TAN-KK – ERA:  S. Koufax / C. Kershaw
  • TAN-MC – SHO:  J. Marichal / B. Colon
  • TAN-MD – HR:  W. Mays / C. Davis
  • TAN-MS – W:  J. Marichal (4th, Koufax led MLB) / M. Scherzer
  • TAN-MV – BB:  W. McCovey (3rd, Joe Morgan let MLB) / J. Votto
  • TAN-RD – RBI:  F. Robinson (2nd behind Deron Johnson) / C. Davis
  • TAN-WE – HR:  M. Wills / J. Ellsbury

4 guys who weren’t correct, so 80% accuracy.  I’d imagine Topps didn’t have the rights to Johnson, and maybe not Morgan that year.  Koufax – who had 2 cards – was so dominant in 1965, they probably just wanted to give some due to Gibson and Marichal.

Completed set & Master set – One last look at 2013 Gypsy Queen

14 11 2022

I finished the 2013 Gypsy Queen master set (meaning the inserts and all of the base), so this is the wrap-up post on that.  On this one I finished the insert sets well before the base – which isn’t the norm.  As I posted last week – I finally finished up the last SP card from that base set.

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Info about my set:

How I put the set together:

  • 189 cards (6 SP) from my first hobby box
  • 123 cards (6 SP) from my second hobby box
  • 3 cards (all SP) from a trade
  • 35 cards (all SP) from COMC, Beckett, and Sportlots

Card that completed my set: #227 – #215 – Kris Medlen (from COMC in early 2021)

Best card (my opinion): #161 – Whitey Ford

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

My Master” Set Info:

419 cards – 350 “base”, 69 “insert”

Toughest card to track down: #215 – Kris Medlen

See above.  Mostly because I thought I had completed this set when I got the Wainwright card, only to realize I had somehow crossed #215 off the list erroneously!

How I put the additional sets together:

  • Inserts – 46 cards from the two hobby boxes, 10 from a trade, 1 from a blaster, 1 from a retail pack, 5 from Beckett Marketplace, 4 COMC, 2 from Sportlots

Other product bests

Read the rest of this entry »

Completed set – 2013 Gypsy Queen

10 11 2022

Here’s a full base set I completed recently!  A few years ago when I was more active on this blog, I thought I had finished this set but when I went through it – realized I was missing a card.

Info about my set:

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How I put the set together:

  • 189 cards (6 SP) from my first hobby box
  • 123 cards (6 SP) from my second hobby box
  • 3 cards (all SP) from a trade
  • 35 cards (all SP) from COMC, Beckett, and Sportlots

Card that completed my set: #215 – Kris Medlen

I got this from COMC in early 2021.  I had actually thought the Wainwright picture above back in 2019, but had to re-visit that and got this Medlen card in late 2020 and had it shipped with a COMC lot in early 2021 (after like a 5 month wait – not sure if that’s still the norm!).

General Set Info:

Set composition: 350 cards (by my count – 260 current players, 90 retired players)

Earliest active player from this set: #155 – Ty Cobb.

When I’ve done this for sets from my Lifetime Topps project, I usually do “last active player”.  For these sets I’ve done first active player.  This is easily Ty Cobb – who along with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig are the only players in the set who finished their career before World War II.  Cobb debuted in 1905.

Player with the most cards in the set: There are 350 different cards and 350 different players with 1 card each :).

First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – Adam Jones, #100 – Bryce Harper, #200 – Ernie Banks, #300 – Johnny Bench

Highest book value: #14 – Mike Trout

Most notable card: #14 – Mike Trout

About anything from Trout around this time is going to be the most notable.  He’s priced above anyone else in Beckett – not suprisingly they put him as an SP card.

Best card (my opinion): #161 – Whitey Ford

Love this card.  It kind of jumps out at you with the background, which I’m guessing is a Spring Training type picture.

Second best card (also my opinion): #86 – Mariano Rivera

I guess I’m staying with Bronx pitchers here, but the throwback Yankee uniform goes really well with this set design.

Best subset card: N/A

Favorite action photo: #117 – Phil Niekro


This set tends to have close-ups, even on action shots, and that doesn’t lead to the most unique in-game photos.  This was a cool follow-through of a Knucksy pitch.

Favorite non-action photo: #161 – Whitey Ford (see above)

My Favorite Reds card: #148 – Todd Frazier

Nice shot of one of my all-time favorite Reds.

Completed insert set – 2016 Topps Archives Bull Durham

5 05 2020

As I mentioned on the last post, I finished up two insert sets from 2016 Topps Archives via a Black Friday COMC purchase and I’m just now getting around to posting them.  This was a set in honor of the Bull Durham movie in the 1988 Topps design.  Great idea!  The Execution?

Info about the set:

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Set description: The big thing for Archives this year was the inclusion of insert cards from the movie Bull Durham.  Since the movie came out in 1988, Topps used the 1988 design.

Here’s my previous post on the set at the time I bought the product.

Set composition:  7 cards, 1:12 (2016 Topps Archives)

Hall of Famers: Not really applicable, but Tim Robbins has won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor (Mystic River).

How I put the set together:

  • 2 cards from my hobby box
  • 1 card from a trade
  • 4 cards from COMC

Card that completed my set:  #BD-NL – Nuke Laloosh

I got 3 cards last year on Black Friday from COMC, I’m trying to conserve scans so I’ll go with this as the one that counts!

Thoughts on the set:  As I mentioned, great idea.  But come on Topps! Not putting the 2 main characters in the set?  And you do have a small number of autographs available?  That’s f*cking stupid!  So it’s not like they didn’t have the rights to use Kevin Costner or Susan Sarandon, they just wanted to drive hype by only having their autograph cards.

Honestly, that kind of thing is what I don’t love about the baseball card hobby these days.  Selling lottery tickets to pay for the rest of the product.

Best card (my opinion):  #BD-NL – Nuke Laloosh

I think you have to include the only one who qualifies as a star of the movie to make the set!

My Favorite Reds card:  N/A for this set

Any other tidbits:  I’ve posted a lot about this move on this blog.  This set is a pretty good alternative that does have Crash Davis and Annie Savoy.

Also – they put this guy in the 2013 Archives product, would have been pretty cool if they just randomly reprinted his 1988 card and added it to this 2016 set for no reason!

Completed insert set – 2016 Topps Archives Father Son

3 05 2020

I finished up a few 2016 Topps Archives inserts from my Black Friday COMC purchase and I’m finally getting around to posting them!  There were 2 sets that were “low hanging fruit” of that release and I got the Francona Father-Son card to finish this bad boy up.

Info about the set:

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Set description:  One of two 1985 subsets that were recreated in 2016 Topps Archives, the father/son cards from 1985 were numbered 131-143 in the original 1985 Topps set. You have the Dad with one of their original cards here and the son with a more recent picture.

Set composition:  7 cards, 1:12 (2016 Topps Archives)

Hall of Famers:  3 – Roberto Alomar, Ken Griffey Jr., Tony Perez

1 Father, 2 Sons – and it’s likely the junior Tito will make it a 4th guy and a 3rd son someday for his exploits as a manager.

Also, with that list, it’s hard not to think of the Griffey trade to the Reds where Tony would not let Griffey Junior wear his retired #24 for the Redlegs.  I don’t blame him, it was just always interesting.  I think it was a combination of Tony (correctly) never felt like he got his due soon enough and he and Griffey senior just weren’t that close.

How I put the set together:

Card that completed my set:  #FS-FF – Tito and Terry (Tito) Franconas

I picked this card up on COMC last Black Friday.  Someday COMC will start shipping cards again!

Thoughts on the set:  I always love a throwback to 60’s, 70’s or 80’s subsets!  I think the execution could have been better – see my comment on Alou’s and Boone’s throughout.  They could have made this a 15-20 card set with some minor contractual additions, and a 10 card set by just including some guys they already had elsewhere in the product!

Best card (my opinion):  #FS-AAL, #FA-AL – the Alomars

I’m gonna cheat and go with 2 cards here.  The cards that have the same dad get the nod, it’s pretty damn rare to have two sons be All-Stars in the majors.  If Topps had included both Boone brothers I’d have gone with 4 best cards!

My Favorite Reds card:  the Griffey card has Senior with his 1980 Reds card, but even though I named my card Griffey, you have to go with the one that has 2 Reds on the card!!!

Any other tidbits:  There is one duplicate here – Terry and Tito Francona are in the 1985 subset and the 2016 Archives card.  The really cool one is the Boone boys.  Ray and Bob Boone have a card in 1985, whereas Bob switches over to the left side in 2016 and his son Bret comes in on the right.  Sandy Alomar appears on 2 cards with both of his sons – something I wish Topps had done with Aaron Boone.

One thing kind of frustrating with this insert – there are 7 cards in the regular set but 8 in the autograph set.  Topps printed a card of Felipe and Moises Alou, but then they didn’t make a regular, non-auto version.  Kind of frustrating – since the autos are only numbered to 10, that’s a damn hard card to come by.  I’d consider getting it if it was a more normal autograph, just to augment the set.  But out of 10?  I’m not paying $50 to $100 for it.

#TBT part 2

23 01 2017

I really like what Topps has done with their online offerings this year.  Yes, they are a tad bit expensive.  And, yes, they’re not cutting out any other product to do this stuff.  But Topps Now is, to me, a phenomenal idea.  I wish it was half the price, for sure, but the way the multiples work you could theoretically buy 3-5 of one card and sell them on eBay to defray the cost.  Either way, the fact you could go to a game, and the next day potentially buy a card with a picture from that game?  Great idea.

Throwback Thursday is the other thing they’ve done.  I purchased a couple of these during the season – the first TBT set Topps did, and I’ve bought up cards of Griffey/Piazza from the HOF induction.

I also bought one Topps did right at the end of the season.  This set caught my eye because it’s mimicking a white whale for Topps collectors.  In 1990, Topps made a card for then-President George Bush.  It’s a card I’d love to own someday, but the price will probably deter that from ever happening.  I wrote a bit about it here.  But at the end of last year, Topps did a 6-card TBT card set of former presidents this year, which was pretty cool.  It took the theme of “Presidents attending MLB games”.  So I ponied up the $19.99 and got a set.


One thing to note on these – they are very thick, which is nice considering the cost.  But they warp like 2010 Topps Chrome, which is surprising for this type of card.

I’m hopeful the new administration will surprise people.  Because of things like Dodd Frank, government has become so unnecessarily big that I believe it’s a drag on our economy.  At the same time, I’m hoping common sense prevails and the progress we’ve made in civil liberties isn’t undone.



11 08 2016

A little while ago I bought into another one of Topps internet ideas.  On some level, I feel like a sucker, but I do think these things are pretty cool.

Last year, Topps started generating various 5 x 7 sets with a throwback theme.  These are usually numbered between 50 and 199, with a couple of rarer (1/1) variations available.  I bought the set of the 1990 Reds and one that has Ken Griffey Jr’s full run of Topps cards.  I think they typically run $19.99 for the cheaper stuff.

This year, they came out with Topps Now, which is a real-time effort at producing season highlight cards.  Each day, they pick a few highlights from the day before and memorialize them on a card.  You have 24 hours to buy the card, and however many orders come in are the number printed.  It’s $9.99 per card, including shipping, or $29.99 for 5 cards (you can’t mix and match cards of a given day).  I bought the first Reds card available and then bought a card if Ichiro passing Pete Rose for the most hist as a professional.  And I’m also gonna buy an Ichiro 3K card on eBay (I missed the Topps Now day) when I get around to it.

Next up, Topps started doing Throwback Thursday.  It’s a neat idea – once a week, they pick out an old set, then they do 6 cards of players and throw them on that set design.  They have been doing it for quite a while now.  I bought a set the 2nd week, which was done in the design of the 1955 Bowman “TV” set.  It’s pretty neat, and in all honesty, doing a set like this once a week is better than doing 4 to 6 cards a day for Topps Now.

2016 Topps Throwback Thursday

Here’s the set.  I actually bought 3, 1 to keep and 2 for speculative purposes because it’s only a bit more to get the 2 more sets.

I am also piecing together the Griffey / Piazza Hall of Fame set that came.

2015 Goodwin Champions box break #3

8 08 2016

2016 Goodwin box

This is my third box of 2016 Goodwin Champions, though I should have stayed at 2 if I’d have paid attention to how small the base set was.  These were all doubles.  

That said, let me show off 3 of the coolest base cards.  As I’ve mentioned (complained), they just don’t have any big names outside of cards #1-5.  But these cards are at least cool photos – all of them are horizontal.  The first one is David Boudia, who is a diver.  Boudia won gold in the 10 meter platform diving 4 years ago.  He’s going back to Rio after winning the U.S. trials in the event.  The picture is from the 2013 FINA World Championships – that’s Barcelona in the background.  

2016 Goodwin Boudia diver

Next up is Aly Raisman, who won 2 gold medals in 2012 – she took the top spot in the Floor competition, and was captain of the Women’s team champions.  She will also be back in Rio.

2016 Goodwin Aly Raisman

Finally, the next is Sasha Digiulian, a rock climber who has won a number of titles in the PanAm games.  There are a few rock climbers and it is a cool sport to highlight.

2016 Goodwin Sasha DiGulian climber

Here are the SP cards I got – 5 of them just as the previous 2 boxes.  These are all new ones, so at least I got 15 cards toward the 50 SP’s in my boxes.

2016 Goodwin box 3 SPs

Here are the minis.  I got the same as the other boxes – so no rare mini.  5 regulars, 2 canvas.

2016 Goodwin box 3 minis

2016 Goodwin box 3 mini canvas

Here are the Goudey inserts.  I got another female trail blazer in Danica Patrick in these cards.

2016 Goodwin Goudey box 3

I again got a card of a “Supernatural” as one of my hits.  For the third and last time – this shouldn’t be considered a hit.  It’s an insert card, and kind of neat – but not a hit.  It’s Faunus, the horned god of the forest, plain and fields from Roman mythos.  This one had odds of over 1,000.

2016 Goodwin Supernaturals Faunus

The one autograph I got in this box was kind of cool – it’s these Museum Collection cards that have WWII veterans signing them.  Cool to read on the back that Mates fought the Japanese in Guam as a Marine.

2016 Goodwin Museum Signatures Don Mates

It’s always great to pay tribute to our history, and particularly to our troops.  And while this is pretty cool, it also kind of feels like when the NFL honors veterans but gets paid to do so.  My grandfather was a WWII vet – so I try to think of it this way – I’d love it if he got a card!

Last up is the memorabilia card – Justin Gatlin.  I mentioned in my previous post that I think UD could have gone with an Olympic theme.  They did have a bunch more Olympians than I thought – but still not even as good as some prior years when big names like Michael Phelps were included.

Below are the “stats” for the box.

20 packs per box * 5 cards per pack – 4 cards from packs with relics = 96 cards

76 of the 100 card base set (77% set completion)

  • 5 SP cards

81 of the 150 card full set (54% set completion)

  • 5 Minis
  • 2 Mini Canvas
  • 5 Goudey
  • 1 Supernaturals
  • 1 Memorabilia (J. Gatlin)
  • 1 Museum Collection Signatures

Including all three boxes:

  • 100 / 100 of the base cards (100%)
  • 115 / 150 of the full set (76%)

2016 Goodwin Champions box break #2

7 08 2016

2016 Goodwin box

Next up is my second box of Goodwin Champions.  This box didn’t have a bigger hit like the first box – in fact, all 3 were pretty minor.


I did get a relic, which I didn’t get last box.  It’s Miesha Tate, who beat Holly Holm after Holm beat Ronda Rousey for the bantamweight belt in UFC.  I knew who this was.  I was bashing this product for having fringe sports, and while this card probably makes that point more than not, she isn’t a complete unknown either.

2016 Goodwin Memorabilia Miesha Tate

Next up was my autograph.  Tom Shields.  I definitely didn’t know who this was.  He’s an Olympian this year.  Which got me thinking – I feel like Goodwin could have saved this product if they had gone with some type of Olympic theme.

2016 Goodwin auto Tom Shields

The last “hit” didn’t used to be considered a hit.  It’s the Supernatural insert set, and in this case the God is Baal.  I think this is pronounced “Bail” – and I kind of remember him as a pagan God from the Bible.  Kind of interesting.

2016 Goodwin Supernaturals Baal

OK, so that’s the hits, so here’s the rest of the box.  I finished up the non-SP portion of the set with this box, so I’ll have a lot of doubles of some people I’ve never heard of!

Here’s the SP cards I got.  I’ve heard of the first 2.


2016 Goodwin box 2 SPs

And here are the minis.  Same as the first box, I got 5 regular minis.

2016 Goodwin box 2 minis

And I got 2 Canvas minis

2016 Goodwin box 2 canvas minis

Next up are the Goudey inserts.  I got 5 of these as you’re supposed to.

2016 Goodwin box 2 Goudey


Below are the “stats” for the box.

I got 21 cards toward the set from this box – finishing that part of the set for me.  I need 40 SP cards to finish the whole thing.

20 packs per box * 5 cards per pack -4 cards (in packs with hits) = 96 cards

76 of the 100 card base set (78% set completion)

  • 5 SP cards

81 of the 150 card full set (54% set completion)

  • 5 Minis
  • 2 Mini Canvas
  • 5 Goudey
  • 1 Supernatural
  • 1 Memorabilia (M. Tate)
  • 1 Autograph (T. Shields)

Including the first box:

  • 100 / 100 of the base cards (100%)
  • 110 / 150 of the full set (73%)