Completed set & Master set – One last look at 2012 Gypsy Queen

20 12 2014

I finished the 2012 Gypsy Queen master set (meaning the inserts and all of the , so this is the wrap-up post on that.  I finished the base set quite a while ago – but the inserts took quite a while.  The Gypsy Kings insert set was my final frontier here.

Info about my set:

How I put the set together:

169 cards from my first hobby box

88 cards from my second hobby box

4 cards from the first 2 boxes were replaced by Topps after being damaged

4 cards from a retail jumbo pack

35 cards from a trade with the Dutch Card Guy

Card that completed my set: #227 – Ralph Kiner (1 of about 20 cards I got in a trade from the Dutch Card Guy in early June).  See the picture below.

General Set Info:

Set composition: 300 cards (246 current players, 54 retired players)

Earliest active player from this set: #229 – Ty Cobb.

When I’ve done this for sets from my Lifetime Topps project, I usually do “last active player”.  For these sets I’m doing 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 300 different cards and 300 different players with 1 card each :).

First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – Jesus Montero, #100 – Derek Jeter, #200 – Felix Hernandez, #300 – Babe Ruth

A former Yankee.  A current Yankee.  The all-time greatest Yankee.  And a future Yankee.  Oh, and 2 Mariners.

Highest book value: #253 – Cal Ripken Jr.

Most notable card: #250 – Ken Griffey Jr.

Hard to pick against this card – getting Griffey back into the mix after he retired was a big deal.

Best card (my opinion): #250 – Ken Griffey Jr. (see above)

For the same reasons as above – the 2nd best player ever born on November 21st in Donora, Pennsylvania.

Second best card (also my opinion): #249 – Stan Musial

Born on November 21st – in Donora, Pennsylvania.

Best subset card: N/A

Favorite action photo: #217 – Eric Thames

This was actually a really hard one to pick.  Hanley Ramirez has a really good shot, as does Matt Kemp.  There were many cards with a great level of detail considering these photos are touched up to make them look like paintings.  But this Thames card was my favorite.  The level of detail (his eyes are following the foul ball), where the bat is, the color of the uniform make this a winner for me.

Favorite non-action photo: #227 – Ralph Kiner, #241 – Larry Doby

I couldn’t decide between these guys.  I really appreciate that Topps got a couple of great Hall of Famers into this set who don’t always get cards like a Ruth, Koufax or Mantle.  And these are great photos.

My Favorite Reds card: #21 – Matt Latos

Another card with a lot of detail.

Other Notable Cards: I think I’ve covered quite a few.  Like 2011 Gypsy Queen, this is a really nice set, but I also wouldn’t call any cards particularly “notable” for a 2012 set – so there’s either too many or too few to scan.  I don’t like the design as much as the previous Gypsy set, but after going through the set again, the photos are very nice – more so than I had realized.

My Master” Set Info:

387 cards – 300 “base”, 87 “insert”

  • Insert sets: Moon Shots, Sliding Stars, Glove Stories, Hallmark Heroes, Future Stars, Gypsy Kings

How I put the additional sets together: Boxes, packs, card shows, trades and online – various sources, just like I did with the full base set.  I covered each insert set in earlier posts.  Gypsy Kings was the last insert set I finished up.

General Insert Set Info:

Most notable insert card: Glove Stories #GS-WM – Willie Mays

2012 Gypsy Glove Stories Mays

I don’t know if I’d call anything particularly notable in any Gypsy Queen insert set – but this card shows one of the most recognizable moments in baseball history.  Mays with his over-the-shoulder catch from the 1954 World Series.

Best Autograph or Relic card: Autographs #GQA-KG – Ken Griffey Jr.

Best Insert card of any type: Autographs #GQA-KG – Ken Griffey Jr.

Griffey Jr Gypsy

The biggest news I remember hearing about 2012 was the addition of Ken Griffey Jr. to the Topps mix.  The guy who has been synonymous with Upper Deck since 1989, and he’s going to autograph Topps cards in 2012.  That was bigger than Koufax, Aaron, or Mays.  Not because his auto was worth more, but because it represented a changing of the guard in a way.  If you couldn’t move on from Topps getting an exclusive license 2 years ago – well this was a way to bolt the nail in the coffin for you.  This was the card that signified that more than anything.

Best Reds insert card of any type: Indian Head Penny #JBE – Johnny Bench

2012 Gypsy Bench penny

Cards with coins inserted wasn’t new for 2012 Gypsy Queen, but pairing it up with a penny from back when the original Gypsy Queen came out was a great spin on this.  Too bad it’s completely not affordable.

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Completed insert set – 2012 Gypsy Kings

23 08 2014

I’m now moving on from my Archives posts to cover completed sets.  This will take up quite a bit of blog time – I’ve completed a lot of sets and neglected final posts for them!  I am just about wrapped up the “master set” for 2012 Gypsy Queen.  In fact, I’ve completed the base set and the inserts, I just want to get the 3 baseball card minis passed out at the 2012 National Convention.

The final insert set I completed from 2012 Gypsy Queen is the “non-baseball” insert set.  It’s a play off the Gypsy Queen idea – called “Gypsy Kings”.  Just like in 2011, Topps put together a group of fake people into the insert set.  Some think it’s kind of stupid, but I guess it’s at least something different.  I guess I was OK with it, but was also glad they stopped doing it in 2013.

Info about the set:

Set description:  There isn’t a description on the sell sheet for this set, but basically the set features a bunch of made up players for a Gypsy King baseball team.  There is some far-fetched writing on the back, usually describing some crazy thing that the particular Gypsy King player did.  The cards feature a brown background and what I would say is a pretty nice design.

I think the Gypsy Kings are all Topps employees who have posed in old school baseball uniforms for the set.  There were also autograph and relic versions of the cards – moving from fake cards to fake autos/relics.

Set composition: 12 cards, 1:48 (2012 Gypsy Queen)

Hall of Famers:  None – these aren’t real people!

How I put the set together:

  • 1 card from a hobby box
  • 2 cards from trades
  • 1 cards from a card show
  • 8 cards from Sportlots/COMC

Thoughts on the set:  I collected it because it wasn’t that difficult, but it’s definitely odd.  I like what they did this year with Gypsy Kings better than last year – at least it’s a fake baseball team, not a fake band of gypsies.  It’s mildly interesting to read the backs.

Card that completed my set: #GK8 – Aladar the Cruel

I got this card from a Sportlots purchase a few months ago.

Highest book value:  All the same

Best card (my opinion): #GK12 – Savo the Savage

I like the Chuck Norris ism in the write-up on the back of this card.  “A runner once tried to steal home by knocking Savo to the ground.  That man died.”

2012 Gypsy Kings

2012 Gypsy Kings_0001





Completed insert set – 2012 Gypsy Queen Future Stars

19 08 2014

I finished two different 2012 Gypsy Queen insert sets last November – my how time flies!  The one I haven’t showed off yet is the Future Stars insert.

Info about the set:

Set description: There isn’t a write-up on the Topps promotional material for this set since it’s retail only.  However – there was a Future Stars set in 2011 packed out to every type, which was described as 15 “Promising up and comers”.  This set features guys who were rookies in 2010 or 2011.  The front has a blue border while the back has a player write-up.  They also compare each player to a former all-star.

Set composition: 15 cards, 1:4 odds (2012 Gypsy Queen – retail only)

Hall of Famers: None.

How I put the set together:

  • 1 card from a jumbo pack
  • 5 cards from trades
  • 1 card from the 2013 National
  • 3 cards from Sportlots
  • (negative-1) card from my son getting into my baseball cards
  • 6 cards from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  I like the set, I like continuity between the years.  I like the design for the previous year’s set a little better.  2012 was the year Topps started using “card letters” instead of “card numbers” to denote the card.  That’s a negative in my eyes.  Still, not a bad set at all.  They do a good job with the all-star comparison – for example, Freddie Freeman is compared to Tino Martinez.  That’s better than something outlandish, like saying he’s the next Lou Gehrig or Jimmie Foxx.

Card that completed my set: #FS-MM – Matt Moore

I got this back in November for COMC’s black Friday.  Actually, Moore was one of 4 cards, but I’ll consider him the final since his card was the one my kid got a hold of!

Highest book value: #FS-MS – Mike Stanton

Obviously, a set like this can fluctuate – but as of now, Stanton is the hottest out of this group.  Even if he did change his name up since this card came out!

Best card (my opinion): #FS-CK – Craig Kimbrel

The Kimbrel card shows a cool looking shot of him following through on a pitch.

My Favorite Reds card: There are none.

Any other tidbits: Starlin Castro’s card has an error on the back – saying that he led the league in hits in 2001 (should be 2011).  Also, 4 guys were in this set and the 2011 set – Stanton, Castro, Freddie Freeman, and Desmond Jennings.

2012 Gypsy Queen Future Heroes 2012 Gypsy Queen Future Heroes_0001 2012 Gypsy Queen Future Heroes_0002

Any other tidbits: Starlin Castro’s card has an error on the back – saying that he led the league in hits in 2001 (should be 2011).  Also, 4 guys were in this set and the 2011 set – Stanton, Castro, Freddie Freeman, and Desmond Jennings.

Here are the comparisons made on the back of the card:

FS-BB: Brandon Beachy (Mike Scott)

FS-CK: Craig Kimbrel (Eric Gagne)

FS-DH: Derek Holland (Al Leiter)

FS-DJ: Desmond Jennings (Cesar Cedeno)

FS-EH: Eric Hosmer (Will Clark)

FS-FF: Freddie Freeman (Tino Martinez)

FS-JH: Jeremy Hellickson (Robin Roberts)

FS-JM: Jesus Montero (Ted Simmons)

FS-JU: Justin Upton (Eric Davis)

FS-MM: Matt Moore (Frank Tanana)

FS-MP: Michael Pineda (J.R. Richard)

FS-MS: Mike Stanton (Dave Winfield) – Stanton/Winfield is the only comparison that was the same year-over-year

FS-MT: Mark Trumbo (Lee May)

FS-PG: Paul Goldschmidt (Frank Thomas)

FS-SC: Starlin Castro (Julio Franco)





Completed insert set – 2012 Gypsy Queen Hallmark Heroes

19 06 2014

It took me quite a while, but I finished up this retail only set – Hallmark Heroes from 2012 Gypsy Queen.

Info about the set:

Set description: 15 all-time greats and the a description of the notable way they left their mark on the game.  Hence, their “hallmark”.  This set features a blue border around a barrel-shaped photo frame, with the Gypsy Queen logo at the bottom and a write-up on the back.

Set composition: 15 cards, 1:4 odds (2012 Gypsy Queen retail only)

Hall of Famers: 15.  Bob Gibson, Cal Ripken, Ernie Banks, Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Nolan Ryan, Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax, Stan Musial, Ty Cobb, Willie Mays

How I put the set together:

  • 1 card from a jumbo pack
  • 7 cards from trades
  • 1 card from the 2013 National
  • 6 cards from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  I like the set overall, but it doesn’t stand out much after a number of similar Gypsy Queen inserts since then.

Card that completed my set: #HH-JD – Joe DiMaggio

This is one of 4 cards I got back in the COMC Black Friday sale.  (yeah, I’m behind on the old baseball card blog)

Highest book value: #HH-MM – Mickey Mantle

Whenever there’s a Mantle in this set, he will be the answer here.

Best card (my opinion): #HH-RC – Roberto Clemente

The picture here goes really well with the design and the frame, and the back of the card talks about dignity.

My Favorite Reds card: #HH-JB – Johnny Bench

He’s the only one.

2012 Gypsy Queen Hallmark Heroes

2012 Gypsy Queen Hallmark Heroes_0001





2012 Card of the Year!!!

30 12 2012

The biggest news I remember hearing about 2012 was the addition of Ken Griffey Jr. to the Topps mix.  The guy who has been synonymous with Upper Deck since 1989, and he’s going to autograph Topps cards in 2012.  That was bigger than Koufax, Aaron, or Mays.  Not because his auto was worth more, but because it represented a changing of the guard in a way.  If you couldn’t move on from Topps getting an exclusive license 2 years ago – well this was a way to bolt the nail in the coffin for you.

But I truly mean that in a good way.  I’m biased, but I believe that Griffey has one of the 5 most significant baseball cards of all-time.  Actually, I think his ’89 UD is third, behind the 52 Mantle and the T-206 Wagner.  I actually don’t know who would be 4th – it might actually be a non-baseball card if I wanted to expand.

So regardless, when Griffey’s signing with Topps – and this card – was announced in December of last year, I thought it was huge news.  And the picture above is the auto you’d get with a Griffey redemption.  And it is a true beauty.  A shot of Junior following through on his signature swing, maybe seeing one of his 630 homers.  Junior had an earlier card than this one – it was in Topps Tribute.  And his Archives auto was a pretty cool remake of his 1989 Topps Rookie Card.  But for me, this is the card that said “Griffey is back in the baseball card game”.

I have been trying to get this card all year.  But the price was too high.  Well, I finally met myself in the middle.  I saw one come up on eBay, offered up more than I would have been previously willing to pay, but less than it had been going for earlier in the year.

I’d put that over some other cards.  Here’s some of the other cards I’d consider.

  • Second place for me has to go to this card.  I know it’s from an unlicensed set, and I know we can’t trust relics any more – but it’s a bat card from Shoeless Joe for crying out loud!

  • Bryce Harper Archives card #241.  Maybe one of the most hated cards ever – but also one of the hottest selling cards I’ve ever seen
  • Topps #261 – Kyle Blanks.  A card of a no-name player that makes you want to watch “The Natural” like no other card can do.
  • Topps #58 – Tim Hudson (the vote for best card from MadduxGlavineSmoltz).  Not a no-name player, but it isn’t usual that you see a pitcher trotting off a homer with the dugout shown waving it out.  This would be a great card if it was a slugger; the fact that it’s for Hudson adds to the cool factor.
  • Goodwin Masterpieces Cap Anson.  Another Goodwin Champions insert – I loved the Masterpieces set which featured artist hand-painted renditions of the original Goodwin Champions cards from 1888.  Though #’d out of 10 and pretty pricey, I decided to try to collect the 5 boxers from this set.  The baseball players were just too pricey (and there are 8 of them).  But if there was one card I’d love to have out of this set, it’s the best player from the 19th century and the first guy in history to reach 3,000 career hits.

2012 Goodwin Masterpieces - Cap Anson





Completed insert set – 2012 Gypsy Queen Glove Stories

4 11 2012

The next “standard” baseball insert set I’ve completed from 2012 Gypsy Queen is the “defense-oriented” set.  Like Wall Climbers from last year, now there’s a set called Glove Stories.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Images and stories of spectacular fielding plays”.  This set features 10 current and retired fielders with oil painting photos showing off an incredible defensive play.  The cards have a brown border with the “Glove Stories” phrase across an arched top.  The player’s name and team are in a box in the bottom of the picture, and the 2012 “Gypsy Queen” logo is at the bottom part of the border.

Set composition: 10 cards, 1:6 odds (2012 Gypsy Queen)

Hall of Famers:  Just 1 for now – Willie Mays.   Jeter and Griffey are future locks, however.

How I put the set together:

  • 6 cards from my 2 hobby boxes
  • 4 cards from trades

Thoughts on the set:

Like the Moonshots set – I like whenever insert sets have a specific, legitimate theme better than just anything that Topps can throw good players in the set.  I like the fact that this focuses on defensive plays – that’s different.  I wish they’d have gotten Brooks Robinson and Roberto Clemente into the set – Hall of Famers with notable defensive plays who are in the base set.  Ozzie Smith, too.  I’d also have included the play Mark Buehrle made on Opening Day last year.

Card that completed my set: #GS-BR – Ben Revere

I got this card in a trade with Anthony from Baseball Card Locker.

Highest book value:  #GS-DJ – Derek Jeter

Jeter’s card is valued a little more than Mays or Griffey…

Best card (my opinion): #GS-WM – Willie Mays

But I’d take the most notable defensive play in history.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none.





Somebody’s probably already caught this…

31 10 2012

A Halloween Special.  Cuz this is sort of spooky.

I’ve been working on going through the 1988 Topps set to do a “completed set” post (which I should have done tomorrow), and I just had to point this out…

Note – I’m not even complaining that this happens.  I understand (mostly) why it can and does happen for older players – though for Gwynn it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense since pictures of him should be aplenty!  If anything, I think it’s cool that I went through the 1988 set, saw the Tony Gwynn card that I have probably seen 100 times before.  But I’m now seeing it through 2012 goggles, and now I think “that looks familiar – it’s got to be the same photo as the Gypsy card that also has a miniscule variation that is really the same photo cropped differently”.  On some level, that’s actually kind of cool.  Or pathetic.  Whatever.

I also noticed this happened with Gwynn elsewhere – his 2012 Ginter card is the same photo as one of the Topps Glossy sets.  This is a much cooler photo for that to happen, in my humble opinion.

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