Completed insert set – 2013 Gypsy Queen Sliding Stars

5 03 2016

Info about the set:

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Set description:  There actually isn’t a write-up on the sell sheet for this set, so I have to use my own creativity :).  The theme is just what you’d think – players sliding into bases.  The horizontal front has a gray border with the player’s name at the top and the Gypsy Queen script at the bottom above the set name.  The back has a write-up on the player’s baserunning prowess.

Set composition: 15 cards, 1:6 odds (2013 Gypsy Queen)

Hall of Famers:  4.

Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, Joe Morgan, Rickey Henderson

How I put the set together: 

  • 8 cards from 2 hobby boxes
  • 1 card from a trade
  • 1 card from the National Show
  • 2 cards from Sportlots
  • 2 cards from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  Gypsy Queen always does themed insert sets, which is a big plus on my mind.  This set is the same – it’s a great set.  Topps could use more photos like this in their products.

Card that completed my set:  #SS-RH – Rickey Henderson

Best card (my opinion):  #SS-RH – Rickey Henderson

2013 Gypsy Queen Sliding Stars Rickey

For any set that deals with stealing bases or sliding I feel obligated to pick Rickey as the best card.  It doesn’t hurt that it’s a great photo of him executing his patented headfirst slide.  With his sunglasses on, no less.

I got this card in June of 2015 from COMC.

My Favorite Reds card:  #SS-JM – Joe Morgan

2013 Gypsy Queen Sliding Stars Joe Morgan

He’s the only Red in this set, but this is a cool photo.  He’s sliding into Vida Blue in game 6 of the 1972 World Series.

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All told, the 15 pitchers here have thrown 31 no-hitters – counting Bailey’s 2013 gem, Milwood’s 2nd (which was a combined effort) and Halladay’s no-hitter in the postseason.  5 of those were perfect games (Hunter, Cain, Humber, Halladay and Koufax).

2013 Gypsy Queen Sliding Stars complete

2013 Gypsy Queen Sliding Stars complete_0001

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Completed insert set – 2013 Gypsy Queen Glove Stories

14 10 2015

This is the 4th 2013 Gypsy Queen insert set I’ve finished to date.  I kind of appreciate how Topps has found this one insert they do each and every year for Gypsy Queen.

Info about the set:

Set description:  There was actually no write-up on the sell sheet, so I’ll have to do this all by myself :).

This set features 10 current fielders (in past years there were both current and retired guys).  The cards have a brown, leather-ish border with an oval-shaped window to showcase the “oil painting” photos showing off an incredible defensive play.  The “Glove Stories” phrase is across the bottom.  The player’s name (first initial only) and team are at the bottom, with a headline of the play depicted as well.  The back has a description of the play.

Set composition: 10 cards, 1:6 odds

Hall of Famers:  None – all current players.

How I put the set together: 

  • 8 cards from 2 hobby boxes
  • 1 card from a retail pack
  • 1 card from Beckett marketplace

Card that completed my set: #GS-JW – Jayson Werth

I got this in May of last year – so I’m a year and 5 months late posting on this one!  I got the Werth card from Beckett’s marketplace.

Thoughts on the set:  As I’ve said before, I love themed insert sets.  This is no different.  The one thing I’d say here, I feel like this set design was made for football.  The oval window almost seems like the shape of a football, the leather looking border looks like the color of a pigskin, and the stitching seems more along those lines, too.  But the set was still a fun read.

Best card (my opinion): #GS-GB – Gregor Blanco

This was for the catch that ended up saving a perfect game for Matt Cain.  I thought that was a cool thing to show off in this set.

My Favorite Reds card: There are none.

2013 Gypsy Queen Glove Stories complete

2013 Gypsy Queen Glove Stories complete_0001

Any other tidbits:  Derek Jeter’s card is the only play that wasn’t from 2012.  It highlights his catch in the 2001 ALDS against Oakland where he went over the 3rd base wall to catch a foul pop-up.

The cards from Coco Crisp, Jon Jay and Werth all highlight catches they made in the 2012 playoffs.

Jeter and Manny Machado are the only infielders in this set.





Completed insert set – 2013 Gypsy Queen Collisions at the Plate (what, no Ray Fosse!?!)

9 07 2015

This is the 3rd 2013 Gypsy Queen insert set I’ve finished to date.  The All-Star game is coming to Cincinnati soon, some 45 years after it was held at the new Riverfront Stadium and Pete Rose delighted the home crowd by knocking over Ray Fosse.  I figured this would be a good set to showcase, though unfortunately Pete Rose wasn’t allowed to be in this card set.

Info about the set:

Set description: “Several of the most spectacular and memorable home-plate collisions!”  This set showcases some notable current and retired catchers who are known for their fearlessness blocking the plate.  This is an interesting set, since it basically couldn’t be made in 2014 after the rules for home plate collisions changed.  Topps picked 10 of those players.

The front has a tan/orange border with the Gypsy Queen script at the top and the words “Collisions at the Plate” above a mini home plate with a fancy flair as an inside border.  The cards are horizontally oriented, with a photo of that player and another player running into him at home plate.  The photo is surrounded by a clouding effect that looks like white/gray dust.

Set composition: 10 cards, 1:8 odds

Hall of Famers:  3.

Gary Carter, Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk

Card that completed my set: #CP-BP – Buster Posey

I actually got this card back in May of 2014 from COMC – I’m pretty far behind on these completed set posts!

How I put the set together: 

6 cards from 2 hobby boxes

1 card from a trade

2 cards from Beckett online marketplace

1 card from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  I always love themed insert sets, and I like the color on this one.  The clouding effect is really cool and appropriate for this set.  Like most Gypsy Queen inserts (and unlike the base set in 2013), this is a very cool set.

Highest book value: #CP-BP – Buster Posey

Best card (my opinion): #CP-SP – Salvador Perez

Perez has become a favorite player of mine since Kansas City’s 2014 playoff run, and this is a great photo.  Perez is tagging out Chicago’s Alejandro De Aza, who jumped into the air in a type of play that would be illegal in today’s game.

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

The only Red in this set.

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2013 Gypsy Queen Collisions at the Plate McCann

2013 Gypsy Queen Collisions at the Plate

Here are the “other players” – the runners – getting tagged out in the collision for each card.  And the date the picture was from.

  1. Brian McCann – Mark Teixeira, Yankees.  McCann tagged out his future teammate courtesy of an outfield assist from Jason Heyward on 6/19/12.  It preserved a 3-3 tie for the Braves in a game they eventually won, 4-3.
  2. Buster Posey – Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers.  Ramirez beat the throw in this case, to make the score 4-0 on 7/28/12.  This was a Los Angeles blowout, 10-0.
  3. Carlton Fisk – Willie Randolph, Yankees.  I couldn’t pin this game down, and I spent a lot of time looking.  The most likely culprit is July 24, 1976, when Randolph scored on a bunt single.  Out of the 5 games I pinned as possibilities, this was the only one that was a day game, and I’m pretty sure from the picture this was a day game.  The others were 5/22/76, 9/15/78, 6/29/79, and 7/2/79.
  4. Carlos Ruiz – Yadier Molina, Cardinals.  Molina makes this set twice.  On this card, he’s being thrown out on 5/25/12 on a relay throw from second baseman Freddy Galvis.  This 8th inning out preserved a 3-3 tie in a game the Phillies won in the 10th.
  5. Gary Carter – Ozzie Smith, Padres.  The next two older games were easier to track down than Fisk/Randolph.  Smith singled to load the bases on Bill Gullickson in the 5th inning of a game on 5/19/81.  Ruppert Jones followed that up with a single of his own, scoring Jeff Lefebvre and Tim Flannery.  Smith tried to score as well, but was gunned down on the relay throw, which went from Ellis Valentine to Gullickson to Carter.  The Padres held the lead they got with that play, winning 3-1.
  6. Johnny Bench – Al Oliver, Pirates.  The play in question was 7/22/77, and, like most of the others on this list, it made a difference in the final score.  The Pirates won the game, 8-7.  Oliver singled in the 4th inning off Tom Seaver, stole second, and came around on Rennie Stennett’s single to beat Cesar Geronimo’s throw.
  7. Miguel Montero – Casper Wells, Mariners.  This was on 6/18/12, on a direct throw from Jason Kubel.  The Diamondbacks won a blowout in interleague play, 7-1.
  8. Salvador Perez – Alejandro De Aza, White Sox.  This occurred in the second inning on an outfield assist from Alex Gordon on 9/9/12.  It was the difference in a game the Royals won, 2-1.
  9. Wilin Rosario – Michael Bourn, Braves.  Bourn scored here, on 9/3/12, on a sacrifice fly from Martin Prado.  The Braves won this game, 6-1.
  10. Yadier Molina – Ty Wigginton, Pirates.  This was the only new player where the picture wasn’t from 2012.  This was the 4th inning of a game on 9/12/05.  Wigginton tried to score from first on a double by Brad Eldred, but he was gunned down, Jim Edmonds to David Eckstein to Molina.  The Cardinals held on to win, 4-3.




Completed insert set – 2013 Gypsy Queen Dealing Aces

22 03 2014

This is the 2nd 2013 Gypsy Queen insert set I’ve finished to date.

Info about the set:

Set description: “The top pitchers in baseball will be pictured in all 4 suits: Heart, Club, Spade, Diamond.” Topps did 5 of each suit – so 20 of the best pitchers in today’s game.  The front is white with an internal colored border of red or black depending on which suit the player is paired up with.

Set composition: 20 cards, 1:4 odds

Hall of Famers:  None – these are all current pitchers.

How I put the set together: 

12 cards from 2 hobby boxes

3 cards from trades

Thoughts on the set:  I love themed insert sets, and I think going with the playing card theme is a pretty cool idea.  I don’t think too much of the 2013 Gypsy Queen base set, and they seem to have made the inserts more interesting and colorful.  I’ll also give them kudos for doing 5 of each suit – that’s something I could have seen Topps not being symmetric with.

Card that completed my set: #DA-FH – Felix Hernandez

I got King Felix from Beckett.com.  His suit designation is a Diamond in this set.

Highest book value: #DA-CK – Clayton Kershaw

Best card (my opinion): #DA-CK – Clayton Kershaw

I don’t even know if the highest book value is correct – I don’t have a recent enough Beckett to check.  But I’ve got to think Kershaw is the most valuable of any current pitcher these days.  In a set like this, I’ll tend to go with Kershaw as the best card too – since he’s the best pitcher around.

My Favorite Reds card: #DA-JC – Johnny Cueto

He’s the only Red, but he’s a deserving addition to this set.

2013 Gypsy Queen Dealing Aces

2013 Gypsy Queen Dealing Aces_0001

2013 Gypsy Queen Dealing Aces_0002





Completed insert set – 2013 Gypsy Queen No-Hitters

30 09 2013

It’s funny – I scheduled this post for today and of course there was a no-hitter thrown by Henderson Alvarez on the last game of the year…

This is the only 2013 Gypsy Queen insert set I’ve finished to date.

Info about the set:

Set description: “A selection of current and retired pitchers that have thrown a no-hitter”.  There are quite a lot of guys with no-no’s out there.  To date there have been 281 no-hitters in baseball history, thrown by about 250 different pitchers (give or take depending on how you count no-hitters by multiple pitchers).  Topps picked 15 of those pitchers.

The front has a white border with the Gypsy Queen script at the top and No-Hitters above a ribbon at the bottom.  The border has some “flair” matching the player’s team color, and the team logo, player name and player’s number are shown at the bottom as well.  The back has a write-up on the no-hitter(s) that earned the hurler a spot in this set.

Set composition: 15 cards, 1:4 odds (2013 Gypsy Queen)

Hall of Famers:  5.

Bob Feller, Catfish Hunter, Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, Warren Spahn

How I put the set together: 

  • 12 cards from 2 hobby boxes
  • 3 cards from trades

Thoughts on the set:  I’ve said it many times on this blog – but I love themed insert sets.  In fact, while I usually wish for fewer cards in insert sets – this is one where I wish Topps would have gone with even more than 15 cards!  This is a cool set with a design I like.

Card that completed my set: #NH-NR – Nolan Ryan

Highest book value: #NH-NR – Nolan Ryan

I got this in a trade with Baseball Card Comeback in July.  Ryan also has the most valuable card based on BBCM’s numbers.

Best card (my opinion): #NH-JA – Jim Abbott

It’s hard to vote against the amazing 7 no-hitters by the Ryan Express, but I love that Topps got Abbott in this set.

My Favorite Reds card: #NH-HB – Homer Bailey

The only Red in this set.  Funny how he threw another one this year shortly after this card was released!

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All told, the 15 pitchers here have thrown 31 no-hitters – counting Bailey’s 2013 gem, Milwood’s 2nd (which was a combined effort) and Halladay’s no-hitter in the postseason.  5 of those were perfect games (Hunter, Cain, Humber, Halladay and Koufax).

2013 Gypsy Queen No Hitters

2013 Gypsy Queen No Hitters_0001

As mentioned, I think Topps could have included even more pitchers.  They could have made this set 30 cards just with players that have thrown no-hitters and are in the Gypsy Queen base set!

Topps didn’t include the following pitchers who were active in 2013.  An asterisk means they have a card in the Gypsy Queen base set.

  1. Ervin Santana
  2. Francisco Liriano *
  3. Matt Garza *
  4. Edwin Jackson
  5. Ubaldo Jimenez
  6. Mark Buehrle * (who has 2, including a perfect game – and seems like the most glaring omission to me)
  7. Jonathan Sanchez
  8. Jon Lester *
  9. Clay Bucholz * (the two Red Sox are also pretty big omissions IMO)
  10. Anibal Sanchez *
  11. Derek Lowe *
  12. A.J. Burnett

Also – the following 9 retired pitchers have pitched no-hitters, are in the GQ set but not in the no-hitter set.

  1. Bert Blyleven
  2. Babe Ruth (was part of a combined no-hitter)
  3. Juan Marichal
  4. Bob Gibson
  5. Phil Niekro
  6. Tom Seaver
  7. Jim Bunning (2 no-no’s, including a perfect game)
  8. Dwight Gooden
  9. Bob Lemon




Gypsy Queen retail purchases

23 05 2013

I bought a few different types of retail packs for 2013 Gypsy Queen as well.  I purchased a blaster, a single retail “loosey”, and one of the 3-pack jumbo / rack packs that have the white border parallels.

I didn’t get any more SP’s toward my set, but I did get to check out the white parallel cards, which are very nice.  So nice, that I kind of wish this was closer to the border color that Topps went with for the regular set.

2013 Gypsy Queen retail white parallel

I also did pretty well getting “hits” from these purchases – though it was of the relic variety, not the autograph kind.  I got a framed mini of Eric Hosmer, a relic of Mitch Moreland.

2013 Gypsy Queen retail Hosmer

2013 Gypsy Queen retail Moreland

And I also got a blue framed paper (#/499) of Carlos Santana – who is doing very well for my fantasy baseball team!

2013 Gypsy Queen blue framed Carlos Santana

But the bigger pulls for me were from a team that is slowly becoming a rival (or at least potential competition) to the Reds in the Central division.  I got two minis of Pirate players.  One was of Hall of Fame second baseman Bill Mazeroski – the man with the biggest hit in Pirate history.  And, in my opinion, the 3rd biggest home run in baseball history (I’d go with Thomson and Aaron above his).

2013 Gypsy Queen black Mazeroski

Pretty nice there.  But, the last pack I opened from the jumbo netted me the best pull from 2013 Gypsy Queen.  Far better than anything I’d pulled in the hobby boxes.

Yes, this probably qualifies as BIG MAJOR MOJO BEDONK-A-DONK!!!!

A newer Pirate, a guy who will very possibly win an MVP someday – Andrew McCutchen.  This is the wood minis, which are numbered out of 5.  Very cool!

2013 Gypsy Queen wood McCutchen





Gypsy Queen – retired players new in 2013

21 05 2013

Continuing the show of Gypsy Queen retired players.  Here’s the stats again of retired players in each set.  This was in my post yesterday:

In the 350-card set from 2013, there are 260 current players and 90 retired players.

In the 300-card set from 2012, there are 246 current players and 54 retired players.

In the 350-card set from 2011, there are 297 current players and 45 retired players, plus 8 players who have a second card showing them in a different uniform.

Of those retired players, 21 are in all three sets.

Of the remaining 69 retired players in 2013 Gypsy Queen, 5 had cards in the 2011 set and 25 cards in the 2012 set.  That leaves 39 retired players who are new to the Gypsy Queen set in 2013.  I’m scanning their cards here.

Cecil Fielder, Bert Blyleven, Bill Buckner, Enos Slaughter, George Kell, Billy Williams, Joe Morgan, John Kruk, Monte Irvin, Phil Niekro, Rickey Henderson, Early Wynn, Hal Newhouser, Vida Blue, Don Mattingly, Whitey Ford, Bruce Sutter, Will Clark, Don Sutton, Tony Perez, Al Lopez, Goose Gossage, Fergie Jenkins, Rick Ferrell, George Brett, Harmon Killebrew, Hoyt Wilhelm, Jim Abbott, Jim Rice, Jim Bunning, Bobby Doerr, Lou Boudreau, Bob Lemon, Paul O’Neill, Robin Roberts, Robin Ventura, Ted Williams, Bill Mazeroski, Phil Rizzuto.

I don’t have every single one of these yet, because some of them are SP’s.  But I’ll scan the ones I do have.  The Ted Williams card is probably the most notable.  Jim Abbott is also a very cool inclusion.

2013 Gypsy Queen new retired players 2013 Gypsy Queen new retired players_0001 2013 Gypsy Queen new retired players_0002

I have no clue why this interests me, but it does for whatever reason.  I think it’s the auditor in me that needs to reconcile this somehow.  If you’re curious about other “combinations”, there are 14 retired players with cards only in the 2011 set.  There are 3 retired players with cards only in the 2012 set.

2011 has 45 retired players (14 only in 2011 + 21 in all years + 5 in 2011 & 2012 + 5 in 2011 & 2013)

2012 has 54 retired players (3 only in 2012 + 21 in all years + 5 in 2011 & 2012 + 25 in 2012 & 2013)

2013 has 90 retired players (39 only in 2013 + 21 in all years + 5 in 2011 & 2013 + 25 in 2012 & 2013)