Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Archives Reprints

15 09 2014

I’m doing pretty well with the 2012 Topps Archives insert sets.  It’s not one of my favorite insert sets, but I finished the Reprints set 2 years after Archives was released.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “50 different cards featuring Hall of Famers on classic Topps Reprints.”

OK, reprints are cool, but when Archives came out, Topps had done “Cards Your Mom Threw Out” the year before’s bast Topps set and “60 years of Topps” in 2012 series 1 and 2.  So this just didn’t make sense.  Another redo of an oddball set would have been better.

Set composition:  50 cards, 1:4

Hall of Famers: 34 – Yogi Berra, Larry Doby, Bob Feller, Monte Irvin, Ralph Kiner, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Duke Snider, Harmon Killebrew, Sparky Anderson, Brooks Robinson, Cal Yastrzemski, Willie McCovey, Whitey Ford, Juan Marichal, Joe Morgan, Fergie Jenkins, Rod Carew, Catfish Hunter, Jim Palmer, Reggie Jackson, Johnny Bench, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Robin Yount, George Brett, Gary Carter, Dave Winfield, Ozzie Smith, Eddie Murray, Willie Stargell, Wade Boggs, Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn

How I put the set together:

  • 12 cards from two hobby boxes
  • 2 card from retail packs
  • 4 cards from trades
  • 8 cards from an eBay lot
  • 3 cards from a card show
  • 21 cards from online purchases

Thoughts on the set:  I’m glad they didn’t continue doing this in 2013 and going forward.  Reprinting old cards is far from a unique idea.

Card that completed my set:  1976 George Brett

I picked up Brett from COMC in July.

Highest book value:  1984 Cal Ripken

Best card (my opinion):  1959 George Anderson

If you’re going to do a reprint set – at least it should be an interesting one like a card from Sparky’s playing days.  The 85 Tony Gwynn is up there as well – again, because it’s not an obvious classic, but a solid card that may have been one of the best in the set.

My Favorite Reds card:  The 1973 Joe Morgan is the best one to me.  It beats out the ’69 Bench and the ’81 Seaver.

2012 Archives Reprints

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Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Archives Deckle Edge

15 04 2014

This is the fourth 2012 Topps Archives insert set I’ve completed – after the 1968 3-D, 1977 cloth stickers, and the 1967 Sticker insert sets.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Before the insert card craze of the 1990’s, Topps was experimenting and testing new technologies 30 years prior.  Topps pays tribute to 4 classic inserts featuring active and retired stars.”

This insert is designed like the Deckle Edge cards from 1969 that were inserted into Topps packs back then.  Here’s my previous post comparing the current set with the old Deckle set.  The cards have perforated edges and a card size slightly smaller than standard.  The photo is sepia toned and there is a blue facsimile signature.

Set composition:  15 cards, 1:12 (2012 Topps Archives)

Hall of Famers: 8 – Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Carl Yastrzemski, Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, Harmon Killebrew, Joe Morgan

How I put the set together:

  • 4 cards from two hobby boxes
  • 1 card from a retail pack
  • 3 cards from trades
  • 2 cards from the National card show
  • 1 card from Sportlots
  • 4 cards from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  This and the 3-D are my favorite insert sets from 2012 Archives.  I like that Topps produced these cards in the same size as the 1969 versions.  They seem very true to the original.  I like the set size, too – 15 cards is attainable, even though these are only 2 per box.

Card that completed my set:  69DE-12 Roberto Clemente

One of two cards I picked up from a COMC purchase last November (Black Friday).

Highest book value:  69DE-12 Roberto Clemente

Best card (my opinion):  69DE-6 Ichiro Suzuki

A good action shot, classic Ichiro swing.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none. Joe Morgan is featured in an Astro uniform – which is appropriate for a set based on 1969.

2012 Topps Archives 69 Deckle

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Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Archives ’67 Stickers

13 04 2014

This is the third 2012 Topps Archives insert set I’ve completed.  The first two were the 1968 3-D and 1977 cloth stickers.  This is the 1967 Sticker insert set.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Before the insert card craze of the 1990’s, Topps was experimenting and testing new technologies 30 years prior.  Topps pays tribute to 4 classic inserts featuring active and retired stars.”

This insert is designed like the 1967 stickers set, which were issued as a regional test issue in 1967 for the Pirates and Red Sox.  Here’s my previous post comparing the current set with the old set.

Set composition:  25 cards, 1:8 (2012 Topps Archives)

Hall of Famers: 5 – Willie Mays, Jim Palmer, Tom Seaver, Mickey Mantle, Carl Yastrzemski

How I put the set together:

  • 6 cards from two hobby boxes
  • 1 cards from a jumbo pack
  • 4 cards from trades
  • 12 cards from Sportlots
  • 1 card from COMC
  • 1 card from the NSCC

Thoughts on the set:  I like these cards – in general I love the concept behind Topps Archives and Lineage with the insert sets.  I probably like these less than the 77 Stickers and the 68 3-D cards, but they’re cool inserts.  I wish they’d have had more than one cross-over between the two sets (Carl Yastrzemski is the only player with a card in this set and the original sticker set).

Card that completed my set:  67S-TL – Tim Lincecum

I picked the last card up on Sportlots in December.

Highest book value:  67S-MM – Mickey Mantle

Best card (my opinion):  67S-RM – Roger Maris in a Cardinals hat!  They got the year right by including this – though even some hardcore baseball fans may not realize Maris finished his career in St. Louis.

My Favorite Reds card:  there are none

2012 Topps Archives 67 Stickers

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Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Archives ’77 Cloth Stickers

27 09 2013

This is the second 2012 Topps Archives insert set I’ve completed.  The first one was the 1968 3-D insert, this one is the 1977 cloth stickers.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Before the insert card craze of the 1990’s, Topps was experimenting and testing new technologies 30 years prior.  Topps pays tribute to 4 classic inserts featuring active and retired stars.”

This insert is designed like the 1977 cloth stickers, which were issued as its own product – not as a test or an insert to 1977 Topps packs.  Here’s my previous post comparing the current set with the old set.  The set uses the exact same design as the 1977 Topps set and the 9 players who have a card in both the original and the Archives set.

Set composition:  25 cards, 1:6 (2012 Topps Archives)

Hall of Famers: 11 – Willie Stargell, Jim Rice, Steve Carlton, Joe Morgan, Rod Carew, George Brett, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Johnny Bench, Robin Yount and Gary Carter.

How I put the set together:

  • 8 cards from two hobby boxes
  • 2 cards from a blaster
  • 3 cards from trades
  • 7 cards from Sportlots
  • 3 cards from Check Out My Cards
  • 2 cards from the NSCC

Thoughts on the set:  The 68 3-D and Deckle Edge are my favorite insert sets from this product, but I like this set as well.  It’s better than the Sticker set from Lineage from 2011 – which was basically just a parallel using the Lineage card design.  25 cards is an attainable goal, too.  Overall – the inserts were a big plus to me as far as 2012 Archives goes.

Card that completed my set:  GC – Gary Carter

I picked this card up at the National Convention this year out in Rosemont, IL.

Highest book value:  DJ – Derek Jeter

Best card (my opinion):  JB – Johnny Bench

A really good action shot of the greatest catcher of all-time.  I’m pretty sure I’ve seen cropped versions close up with his face in this photo, but I like this card with the design.

My Favorite Reds card:  JB – Bench

There’s also a Joe Morgan card that’s pretty cool.

2012 Topps Archives 77 Cloth

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Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Archives 3D

28 12 2012

This is the first 2012 Topps Archives insert set I’ve completed – the 3-D insert modeled after the 1968 test set.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Before the insert card craze of the 1990’s, Topps was experimenting and testing new technologies 30 years prior.  Topps pays tribute to 4 classic inserts featuring active and retired stars.”

This insert is designed like the test-issue 1968 3-D set, featuring 25 stars of today, utilizing life-like 3D technology.”  This is another tribute to a past oddball set.  The 1968 3D cards are pretty expensive to find, but is a cool set.

Here’s my previous post comparing the current set with the old set.  The set has a white border with a yellow player name and a pink oval with the team name.  The cards have (naturally) a 3D effect, and are blank-backed and unnumbered like the 1968 cards.  The old set had 12 cards, this year’s version has 15 cards.

Set composition:  15 cards, 1:8 (2012 Topps Archives)

Hall of Famers: None – only current players.

How I put the set together:

  • 6 cards from two hobby boxes
  • 1 card from a trade
  • 1 card from a card show
  • 6 cards from Check Out My Cards
  • 1 card from Sportlots

Thoughts on the set:  This and Deckle Edge are my favorite insert sets from this product.  I like that Topps produced these cards in the same size as the 1968 versions, unlike last year with Topps Lineage when they did a 3-D set in the standard size.  I like the set size, too – 15 cards is attainable, even though these are only 3 per box.

Card that completed my set:  Al Kaline

I picked this card up from a Sportlots purchase I made on Black Friday.

Highest book value:  Mickey Mantle

Best card (my opinion):  Roberto Clemente

A good action shot, but I like this card the best because Clemente was actually in the original test set.

I also think the Cabrera, Ruth and Kemp are good photos that go with the 3-D design.

My Favorite Reds card:  Joey Votto

He’s the only Red in the set.

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2012 Archives & related sets – Big Red Machine

24 06 2012

Topps Archives has tons of Big Red Machine cards.  It’s got Big Red Machines out the wazoo, BRM’s out the yin-yang!  No guys from the 1990 World Series team however.  I’ll do this set by set (ending with an overview of player by player).

Base Set

Despite 5 of the 9 Big Red Machine members being included in the product, there are actually only 2 guys in the Archives base set.  The first being Joe Morgan, who has a card in the 1954 subset, and the second being Ken Griffey Sr., who has a Fan Favorite SP on the 1977 design.

Normally, I’d show pictures of what cards are in the original sets, but there are so many options here that I won’t.  If you factor in the SP cards from 201-240, there are so many years that I’d end up including almost every year they had cards anyways.  That said, here’s a breakdown of who is in the originals from the 4 main years of the Archives set:

1954 Topps – None

1971 Topps – 8 of the 9 (missing Griffey) and 2 subset cards:

Sparky Anderson MG, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, Dave Concepcion RC, Pete Rose, Cesar Geronimo RC, George Foster RC, NL HR Leaders (Bench/Perez), NL RBI Leaders (Bench/Perez)

1980 Toppsall 9 and 1 subset card:

Detroit Tigers CL (Sparky MG), Bench, Perez, Morgan, Concepcion, Rose, Griffey, Geronimo, Foster, Rose HL (10th season 200+ Hits)

1984 Topps7 of the 9 (missing Sparky and Bench) and 6 subset cards :

Perez, Morgan, Concepcion, Rose, Griffey, Geronimo, Foster, Superstars Retire HL (Bench along w/Yaz & Perry), NL Active AVG Leaders (Rose), NL Active RBI Leaders (Perez), NL Active HR Leaders (Perez), NL Active Hit Leaders (Rose, Perez), NL Active SB Leaders



Topps only included parallels of the first 200 cards, so Morgan is the only player with a Gold parallel or a printing plate from the base cards.


Fan Favorite Autographs

The SP card of Griffey Sr. from the 1977 design also appears in the autographed fan favorites.  Additionally, George Foster is the 3rd Big Red Machine member in this product, as he has a Fan Favorite Auto from the 1978 design.



The reprints bring it up to 5 BRM members, as Topps issued reprints of Sparky Anderson’s rookie card (1959 – from his playing days), the first single player card for Johnny Bench (1969).  Additionally, Joe Morgan’s cards from 1967 and 1973 are included.

Since there are printing plates for each of these, that’s 4 more cards with 4 printing plates #/1.


1969 Deckle Edge

Joe Morgan didn’t have a Deckle Edge in the original 1969 set, but Topps gave him a card in this year’s Archives set.  Unfortunately, they used a photo from his 1980 stint with Houston, not the stint from the late 1960’s from the era of this set.  As with all inserts in this product, there’s 4 printing plates for this card, too.

Original – Pete Rose was the only BRM-er with a card from the original Deckle Edge set.


1977 Cloth Stickers

They definitely love Joe Morgan in this product – he and Bench both have a card in this insert set.

This again means there are 2 more sets of printing plates out there.  I found a picture of one of Bench’s from eBay – the printing on this one looks really beat up.

Original – Bench, Perez, Morgan, and Rose all have cards in the original 1977 Cloth Sticker set.  I’m kind of surprised Foster, who won the ’76 All-Star game MVP and was en route to smashing 52 homers and the the NL MVP at the time these were released.


1958 Classic Combinations

Topps matched Joey Votto up with Johnny Bench here.  A good choice, I must say.  There actually isn’t a printing plate inserted of these cards – they didn’t do this for the retail only inserts.


Autographed Originals

There is an exchange for a buyback autograph of a Johnny Bench original card.  These were supposedly numbered out of 5.

So, all told – if you wanted to collect every single Big Red Machine card I mentioned above, you’d have 46 cards to find. If you didn’t want the 1/1’s – that number would be 14, and if you didn’t want any parallel versions of cards, you’d have 13 (I’m not counting the relics of the cloth sticker as parallels, though you could make the argument they are).

George Foster (1) – FF Autograph

Griffey Sr. (2) – FF SP, FF Autograph

Sparky Anderson (5/1) – Reprint, 4 Printing Plates

Bench (12/4) – Reprint, Cloth Sticker, Classic Combination, Autographed Original, 8 Printing Plates

Morgan (26/6) – Base, Gold Foilboard, 2 Reprints, Deckle Edge, Cloth Sticker, 20 Printing Plates


2012 Topps Archives – other Autos, Relics and Memorabilia

23 06 2012

I already covered the Fan Favorite Autos from 2012 Topps Heritage – but here’s a brief description of the other autos and relics available in the product.  As always, odds shown are for hobby packs.


1956 Relic – 55 cards (1:120)

Archives is a product centered around autographs; the only relic available is a in the design of the 1956 Topps set.  There is a mix of current and retired players, but ‘s there’s only one guy with a 1956 relic and a 1956 Topps card – Roberto Clemente with a bat inset.  It’s a pretty rare find and has been going for $250 on eBay lots I’ve seen.  In line with what I’ve done before – I’ll show it next to his original card.

Gotta love the original, but the new one is pretty nice, too!


Originals Buybacks – 15 cards (1:8,292, #/5 – Hobby only)

Topps bought back original cards of some legends, added serial numbering (out of 5) and a Topps Original Autograph stamp, and had them signed.  Frank Robinson was the unique exception here – he autographed 88 different cards – all bought back from when he was a manager.

Framed 1983 Minis – 25 cards (1:995, #/25 – Hobby only)

There are two “types” – miniature replicas of actual 1983 cards, and current players on 1983 design.  Kind of cool – you’ve got Nolan Ryan in the set, and Nelson Cruz, who now plays for Ryan.  I actually bought a Blyleven on eBay, just to have an example.  Hall of Famer, cool card – for 25 bucks.  I like that the backs are true to the originals as well.

6-player booklet Autographs – 10 cards (odds not listed, #/1 – Hobby only)

These 6-player booklets have 6 different autographs and were supposed to have been inserted into hobby packs, but I’m actually starting to wonder about that.  I haven’t seen a single one on eBay yet – and it’s been a month since release, so that’s got to make you wonder.

80′s Icons Cut Signatures – 50 cards (odds not listed, #/1 – Hobby only)

These cards were inserted as redemptions – though it looks like you can’t tell whose signature you’re gonna get.

Karate Kid Autographs – 2 cards

These random box toppers are 5 x 7 of autographs of 2 stars from the 1984 film – Daniel’s chief rival, Johnny Lawrence, and Cobra Kai Sensei John Kreese.

Touched by Greatness – Cal Ripken (#/100)

This is also a box topper, and was inserted as a redemption for an oversized card featuring an autograph and a hand print of the Iron Man.

Other items

Topps Originals (1:14,740)

These are buybacks stamped with a “Topps Originals” logo – but no autograph.

Topps Originals Redemptions (1:44,200, 100 total)

These cards are redemptions for an original Topps card, pack, or set.  There was one redemption on eBay – it would have been a pretty cool way to start my lifetime Topps project – a box of 1980 Topps!  Too bad I started 2 years too early 🙂

Topps Vault Redemptions (1:196,000, 20 total)

These are also redemptions – for unique items from the Topps vault, like uncut sheets, player contracts and other goodies.  Again – these are some more pictures from eBay.  The bottom one is a redeemed card – an Atlee Hammaker player contract.  What?  They don’t want to keep it on file any longer?

2012 Topps Archives parallel set

22 06 2012

One thing about Archives I like better than Lineage from last year – there are far less parallel sets.  In fact, there’s only 1 normal parallel.  Now, I wish they’d have done something like the ’75 minis from last year (85 Topps minis would have been appropriate).  But this year they did a gold foil parallel for each of the 200 regular cards (the SP’s are not paralleled).  They also included 4 different printers’ plates of each base card.

Gold Foilboard – 200 cards (1:12)

Printing Plates – 200 cards (1:777, 4 versions #/1 – Hobby only)

Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow

Insert Printing Plates – 130 cards (1:1,196, 4 versions #/1 – Hobby only)

There’s also printing plates of each the inserts – 50 reprints, 15 ’69 Deckle, 15 ’68 3-D, 25 ’77 Cloth Stickers, and 25 ’67 Stickers

2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites – autographs

21 06 2012

All-Time Fan Favorites Autographs – 75 cards (1:12)

There are 41 Fan Favorite Short Print inserts, which I posted on yesterday.  All of them are available in autographed versions.  But there are even more Fan Favorite Autographs – 34 more to be exact.  The list of those cards is below – these cards are again old Topps designs with new pictures.

Dick Groat (61), Bobby Richardson (66), Bud Harrelson (69), Cleon Jones (69), Maury Wills (70), Boog Powell (71), Mickey Lolich (73), Hank Aaron (73) Bill Lee (74), Al Oliver (77) George Foster (78), Greg Luzinski (78), Bob Boone (79), Amos Otis (79), Doug DeCines (80), Bob Grich (80), Buddy Bell (81), Ben Oglivie (81), Joe Charboneau (81), Willie Wilson (81), Steve Rogers (83), Ron Kittle (84), Steve Balboni (86), Tommy Herr (86), Wally Backman (86), Roger McDowell (87), Carney Lansford (90), Bobby Thigpen (91), Doug Drabek (91), Denny Martinez (92), Jimmy Key (96), Ray Lankford (98), Gary Carter (75), Yu Darvish (86), Hank Aaron (94 Archives)

Since he recently passed away, The Carter is a sticker autograph (the only one in the product).  And the Darvish is a little different from the others – while every other card is that player on a design he was previously featured, Darvish is put on a 1986 design.  Finally, the 2nd Hank Aaron card is actually a buyback of an old Topps Archives card – the 1994 Archives set.  So it’s a buyback auto of a reprint from 1954, with the Fan Favorite stamp added.  It’s numbered out of 25.  All three of those cards have their own odds listed separately on the packs of Archives.

There’s a couple of other things notable / interesting about a few of these autos that didn’t make my list above because they have a non-autographed Fan Favorite card in the regular set:

  • The Bryce Harper autograph was a late addition and is similar to the Yu Darvish – he obviously doesn’t have a card from an older Topps set, so his is on the 1984 Topps design.  I thought of this after posting yesterday, but it would have been cooler if Topps did Harper’s card as a 2011 Topps design (and, again, if they hadn’t short-printed the hell out of it).
  • Sid Bream added various Bible inscriptions to his autographed cards.  I actually got one of these in an eBay lot – he put “Romans 10:13” on mine.  I’m by no means very religious, but this piqued my curiosity, so I looked that up – “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”.
  • Jose Oquendo has a card in the SPs of the base set on the 1988 design, and the picture looks like he’s playing short stop.  However, there are 9 different photos (1 of which is the same as the base set) of his autographed card.  This was done in honor of him playing every position on the diamond at some point during the 1988 season.

I’m actually trying to collect all the autos on the list above, except for the much more expensive Carter, Aaron, Darvish, and the Aaron Archives card.  Here’s the photos of what I’ve got so far, next to the original card.

1961 – Dick Groat

1966 – Bobby Richardson

1969 – Cleon Jones

1973 – Mickey Lolich

1977 – Al Oliver

1979 – Amos Otis

1991 – Bobby Thigpen

1992 – Dennis Martinez

2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites – cards #201-240

20 06 2012

The last section of “base cards” is quite different from the first 200 cards.  The previous sections of the set are broken up into 4 groupings of 50 cards each, with each grouping a re-make of an old Topps design.  The last 40 cards in the set are short printed, and there’s a super-short printed rookie card of Bryce Harper that is the bane of existence for set collectors who otherwise like this product (like me).  The Harper is going for around 200 bucks on eBay right now.  I’m actually surprised at how many are popping up on eBay – and the fact that the price has maintained at that level a month after release.  As of now, I have no intention of getting the card.  I wish Cole Hamels had a way of drilling Topps in the back instead of the player serving as the subject of the card!

The “regular” short prints (201-240), are known as “Fan Favorites”. This means the cards feature designs that the player was previously featured on.  The actual years displayed run the gamut from 1966 to 2000, but most of the cards are between 1975 and 1993.  ’71, ’80 and ’84 are found in the Fan Favorites, which I wish they hadn’t done since those are already designs included earlier in the set.  Same for the 1977 designs – they have the Cloth insert set in that design already.  That said, I do think this, and the Fan Favorite Autographs that I’ll cover in the next post, is the coolest part of this product.  These cards feature a checklist of guys I haven’t seen in Topps sets since I got back into collecting.  I don’t need to see Cobb, Mays, Koufax or Ruth in every product (though those guys are in this one).  A little Chili (Davis) to spice things up every now and then is much appreciated!

At some point, I’ll complete this set and repost this with every card shown.  For now, I’m going to show the cards I do have, right next to the player’s card from the year depicted.  For the older ones, I don’t own the card in question.  Out of the 1980’s sets, I brought the completed sets from 80-87 (except 82) home to my parents’ house for the time being.  So for a lot of these, I had to employ some photo shopping skills that I didn’t know I had on my Mac.  You’d think iPhoto would have some slick way to merge 2 photos, but it doesn’t.  I’m not going to do a ton of write-up on these – but here’s the pictures of the cards I have, in chronological order.

In all cases, the original card is on the right, the Archives card is on the left.  Enjoy!

1966 Topps – Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax

I don’t remember ever seeing the Mays card before.  I kind of like both the original and the Archives card.  This was Sandy’s last individual Topps card as he retired after the 1966 season.  He had some cards in the Leaders subsets, but no individual 1967 Topps card.  I actually like the Archives card better.

1971 Topps – Frank Howard

1975 Topps – Bake McBride

Like the cards that are in other parts of this product, I wish they’d have stayed away from 1975 since there were 1975 minis in Lineage last year.  And I really wish they wouldn’t deviate from the team!  They just messed up the year here – McBride played for the Cardinals through 1977, joining Philadelphia the next year.

1976 Topps – Vida Blue

Now this is what I’m talking about – these are the kind of cards that make me love this Archives product!  Interesting they didn’t put the All-Star designation on the Archives card here.

1977 Topps – Dave Kingman, Ken Griffey

These, too, are nice cards.  I wish they’d have done 78 instead of a design elsewhere, but still very nice cards.  And cool to get Griffey and his dad in the set.

1981 Topps – Cecil Cooper

1982 Topps – Oscar Gamble, Bill Buckner

For some of these 1980’s Topps cards, the Archives card is a pretty similar picture to the original.  The Buckner is the best example of this.  The Gamble is a completely different spectrum – though, it doesn’t seem like the same era as he doesn’t have that famous ‘fro.

1984 Topps – Bill Madlock, Lance Parrish

1986 Topps Traded – Will Clark

This card is on the front of the Archives box, and it’s up there with the Griffey Jr. as my favorite card in this whole product.  “Will the Thrill” is one of the more underrated players in baseball history, and this is a big upgrade from his Traded RC.

1987 Topps – Von Hayes


1988 Topps – Andy Van Slyke, Jose Oquendo, George Bell

The Van Slyke is in the bucket of “the Archives card looks a lot like the original”.  But that’s OK, his card is one of my favorites as well.  I’ve written it before, but the 1988 set is a personal favorite.  1988 was when my interest in baseball, and by extension baseball cards.  The Bell card is very cool, too – and the Oquendo card is an obvious upgrade in the picture used.  The Oquendo has an interesting story behind it – there are 9 different autographed versions that Topps inserted as part of the Fan Favorites autographs.  This is one for all 9 positions; he ended up playing each at least once in the 1988 season.

1989 Topps Traded – Ken Griffey Jr.

1990 Topps – Chili Davis

The 1990 set is kind of growing on me.  I really like the blue border cards, so I think this is another card where the Archives version is an upgrade over the original Topps card.

1992 Topps – Terry Pendleton, Ron Gant, Mitch Williams, Jim Abbott

I’ve got 4 of these bad boys.  Around 1991/1992 was when Topps started really improving the photos included in their sets.  I’ve heard people refer to this as the “Stadium Club effect”.  Whatever the reason, it’s harder for Archives to improve on some already good pictures than it was for some of the earlier years.  The Gant and Pendleton definitely look pretty similar – but both are nice cards!

1993 Topps – John Olerud, John Kruk

Hey look!  It’s John Olerud – with a batting helmet at the plate!  And John Olerud – with a batting helmet … in the field!?!  And Olerud in a batting helmet in the field is always cool.  This can get confusing.  So confusing – that I actually reversed the photo on the next card – Kruk’s Archives card is on the right (original on the left) unlike every other scan I did.  Kruk is another one of my favorite inclusions in this product!

I wonder how many times throughout Olerud’s career Topps had a photo like that – him in the field with a batting helmet.  Rickey Henderson would really like to know!  1993 was the first year Topps had a full photo on the back, and I noticed something interesting – they use the same back photo for the Archives version as the original.  That probably contributed to my mixing the sides on the Kruk!