Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Archives Triumvirate

6 03 2016

This was the fourth 2013 Topps Archives insert set I’ve completed.  Topps brought 2 new ideas into 2013 Archives.  The first was old designs from other sports, the other was old designs from other Topps baseball products.  Paying homage to an insert set from Stadium Club and Gallery, Topps gave Archives a new feel (at least in my mind).  This led to a nice juxtaposition.  Whereas the old football or basketball cards went back to the 60’s and 70’s – the 2 baseball sets were from the late 90’s.  Here’s my post on the Stadium Club version.

Info about the set:

2013 Topps Archives Triumvirate White Sox Belle Ventura Thomas

2013 Topps Archives Triumvirate White Sox back

Set description:  This was based on the Topps insert sets from 1998 and 1999 Stadium Club.  Three players have die-cut cards that fit together as a bit of a puzzle.  This is pretty cool because you can put them next to each other in a 9-card sheet.  A really interesting way to use die-cut technology.  This particular design has baseball stitches over a silver foil background.  When the cards interlock, the team name is spelled out in the background.

Here’s my previous post comparing the current set with the old set.

Set composition:  21 cards, 1:24 (2013 Topps Archives)

Hall of Famers: 2 – Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey Jr.

How I put the set together:

  • 2 cards from two hobby boxes
  • 12 cards from COMC
  • 3 cards from eBay
  • 3 cards from Beckett Marketplace
  • 1 card from Sportlots

Card that completed my set:  #T-7A – Miguel Cabrera

I picked this card up in an eBay lot (along with Mo Rivera) last September.

Thoughts on the set:  C’mon.  This set is f*cking cool!  Also, I like how Topps only included players who were actual teammates, as opposed to doing a trio like Jeter, Berra and Gehrig.  It seems more appropriate.

Best card (my opinion):  #4 – Mariners (Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez)

2013 Topps Archives Triumvirate Mariners Edgar Griffey A-Rod

For a set like this, you’ve got to pick the best combination of 3 cards.  While I’m partial to the White Sox trio because it matches with a trio from the original Stadium Club insert set, you can’t beat this one.  The Mariners team from a better time, when A-Rod was the young budding superstar everyone loved, Griffey was definitely going to be the Home Run King, and Edgar Martinez was the most feared DH in baseball.

My Favorite Reds card:  there are none

2013 Topps Archives Triumvirate Angels Trout Pujols Hamilton

2013 Topps Archives Triumvirate White Sox Belle Ventura Thomas

2013 Topps Archives Triumvirate Phillies Hamels Lee Halladay

2013 Topps Archives Triumvirate Mariners Edgar Griffey A-Rod

2013 Topps Archives Triumvirate Yankees Rivera Jeter Pettitte

2013 Topps Archives Triumvirate Orioles Bundy Adam Jones Machado

2013 Topps Archives Triumvirate Tigers Cabrera Verlander Fielder

Any other tidbits:  The fact that the White Sox cards features the same trio as the 1998 Stadium Club insert.  That’s worth repeating.

Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Archives ’65 Football Mini Tallboys

25 02 2016

This is the 3rd insert set from 2013 Topps Archives I’ve finished off – after the 1983 All-Stars set and the 4-in-1 sticker set (both of which were comparatively a much easier to complete).

Info about the set:

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Set description:  “Modeled after the 1965 Topps football design.  Featuring active and retired MLB players.”  This was something of a new idea for Topps.  They had done retro designs out the wazoo in the past, but doing it across different sports was a pretty new idea. The original cards are oversize (2-½ by 4-11/16) and had only AFL players.  It’s famous for the rookie card of Broadway Joe Namath.

The Archive version is the same design and shape, except Topps had to shrink them to fit them into packs.  The 40-card set is as tall as a standard card but thinner.  The card fronts have the player photo over a solid color background. The city name is at the top in block letters, with the player’s name and position in a block at the bottom.  The backs are horizontal with statistics below a write-up on the left side.  A cartoon with a factoid is on the right.

Here’s my previous post on this and the other “cross-sport” set Topps did for 2013 Archives.  There are 3 players who were around in 1965, that could have theoretically been in this set: Denny McLain, Al Kaline, Roberto Clemente

Set composition:  40 cards, 1:5 (2013 Topps Archives)

Hall of Famers: 4 – Al Kaline, Cal Ripken, Mike Schmidt, Roberto Clemente

How I put the set together:

  • 9 cards from two hobby boxes
  • 1 card from a retail blaster
  • 10 cards from Beckett Marketplace
  • 11 cards from Sportlots
  • 8 cards from COMC
  • 1 cards from the National card show

Card that completed my set:  #MT-MT – Mike Trout

2013 Topps Archives 65FB Mini Tallboys Mike Trout

I got this from COMC in September of last year.

Thoughts on the set:  Love it.  The idea of crossing sports for Topps Archives is a really good one.  I hope Topps does keeps doing that with this set.  I particularly like this design, and Topps stays consistent across teams – all the Reds players have the same color scheme.  That gets good marks in my book.  I’d change 2 things.  First, I’d only include guys who would have had 1965 cards, because I love the idea of “cards that never were”.  Second, it’s lettered not numbered, which always ticks me off.  I thought this set was only 36 cards (it’s actually 40) for nearly a year because I read that somewhere.

Best card (my opinion):  #MT-DM – Denny McLain

2013 Archives McLain 65 Mini Tall Boy

There are better historical players in the set, but you don’t see a ton of Denny McLain cards out there.  Plus, the fact that he played in 1965 makes it cooler than the rest as well.

My Favorite Reds card:  #MT-RD – Rob Dibble

2013 Archives 65 mini tallboy Dibble

It’s really tough to beat out the Eric Davis card at the very top.  But, like McLain, you don’t see a lot of Rob Dibble cards out there.  Awesome Topps included him.

Here’s the full scan of the set:

2013 Topps Archives 65FB Mini Tallboys complete

2013 Topps Archives 65FB Mini Tallboys complete 2

2013 Topps Archives 65FB Mini Tallboys complete 3

2013 Topps Archives 65FB Mini Tallboys complete 4

Any other tidbits:  If you’ll notice the Trout card has the team name at the top, whereas other cards have the team’s city.  The Angels are the only franchise to get this treatment – Albert Pujols also has a card like this.  This further highlights how ridiculous their city designation is; I guess Topps decided it didn’t want to fit “Los Angeles of Anaheim” at the top.  Clayton Kershaw has a card and they do have “Los Angeles” for him.

Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Archives ’69 4-in-1 Stickers

24 02 2016

This was the third 2013 Topps Archives insert set I’ve completed.  The 1969 4-in-1 Sticker insert set isn’t my favorite, but it is interesting in that it comes with some very cool 4-man combinations.

Info about the set:

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Set description:  “4 subjects per card, featuring active and retired players”.

This insert set is designed like the 1969 4-in-1 sticker set, which was a test issue of 25 “cards” with 4 mini-stickers on each card.  The stickers come in the form of the 1969 design, with the players coming from the 2nd series of Topps cards that year.  These aren’t easy to find and command a pretty penny.  The cards are blank-backed.

Here’s my previous post comparing the current set with the old set.  Willie Mays, Lou Brock and Al Kaline (via World Series subset cards), Bob Gibson, Leo Durocher, Don Sutton, Earl Weaver, Carl Yastrzemski and Pete Rose are all in the original 4-in-1 set.  The Mays quadruple from the original is below.

1969 Topps 4-in-1 Mays

Set composition:  15 cards, 1:8 (2013 Topps Archives)

Hall of Famers:  23 – Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench, Rickey Henderson, Ty Cobb, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Bob Feller, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Cal Ripken Jr., Ryne Sandberg, Willie McCovey, Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Lou Gehrig, Warren Spahn, Steve Carlton, Sandy Koufax, Ted Williams, Frank Robinson, Carl Yastrzemski

How I put the set together:

  • 6 cards from two hobby boxes
  • 1 card from a blaster
  • 1 card from the NSCC
  • 1 card from Beckett Marketplace
  • 3 cards from Sportlots
  • 3 cards from COMC

Card that completed my set:  #69S-OPJR – O’Neill/Pettitte/Jeter/Rivera

2013 Archives 4-in-1 O'Neill Yankees

I picked the last card up from COMC last June.  It’s cool to put O’Neill on there, but I’d have switched him for Jorge Posada to get the “CORE 4”.

Thoughts on the set:  Not my favorite design, but it has provenance in the original which I can appreciate.  It’s funny how the scans turn out.  You can’t tell where the first card starts and the second card begins.  And the coolest thing is the combinations Topps chose.  Like the card below.

Best card (my opinion):  #69S-WRYC – Williams/Robinson/Yastrzemski/Cabrera

2013 Archives 4-in-1 Triple Crown

This was an easy winner.  I really like the card with Cobb, Mays, Griffey and Trout at the top.  It connects great center fielders of the past to today.  But this card has 4 of the last 5 triple crown winners (interestingly, Topps’ favorite son, Mickey Mantle, is the missing link in both of those groupings).  Cabrera had just won the triple crown, and that was one of the greater achievements in sports of my lifetime.

My Favorite Reds card:  #69S-BPDS – Baylor/Parker/Davis/Strawberry

2013 Topps Archives 4-in-1 Baylor Parker Davis Straw

Johnny Bench has a card, but the card featuring Eric Davis and Darryl Strawberry is really cool.  I get why Davis and Strawberry are on the card, but I don’t know what the overarching theme is to include Parker and Don Baylor.  But it’s still a great card.

2013 Topps Archives 4-in-1 complete

2013 Topps Archives 4-in-1 complete 2

Any other tidbits:  I showed on the post linked above that Mays and Yaz had cards in both sets, but what I found interesting were how many guys are in the set twice.  Buster Posey was the one player who is in the set 3 times.  He’s on a great catcher card with Bench, Berra and Joe Mauer.  And he’s on a great San Francisco Giants card with McCovey, Matt Williams and Will Clark.  Finally, he’s on a card with David Price, R.A. Dickey and Miguel Cabrera that has the defending MVP & Cy Young award winners from 2012.

Completed set – 2013 Topps Archives

12 08 2015

A big part of the appeal for Topps Archives has to do with the inserts – Topps does reboots of old oddball sets and even a few 90’s inserts from non-flagship Topps products.  But there is a base set, and in 2012 and 2013 it was pretty neat.  I don’t have the ultra-rare card #241 from 2012 Topps Archives (and probably won’t ever buy it), so I finished the 2013 base set first.  This is still a tough set to finish, though, as there are 45 “Fan Favorite” cards that are Short Prints.  I finished this set in December of last year.

Info about my set:

How I put the set (base / SP) together:

  • 170 (164 / 6) cards from hobby box #1
  • 42 (36 / 6) cards from hobby box #2
  • 4 SP cards from retail packs
  • 17 SP cards from COMC
  • 12 SP cards from Beckett Marketplace

Card that completed my set: #214 – Fred McGriff

2013 Archives finish set McGriff

This was one of 3 of those Fan Favorite SPs I bought in December last year (Darrell Evans & Ray Knight were the others)

Set composition: 245 cards – 74 retired players, 171 current players

Player with the most cards in the set: no player has more than 1 card 

First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – Babe Ruth, #100 – Bryce Harper, #200 – Mike Trout

2013 Archives first and 00s Harper Ruth Trout

Highest book value: #241 – Fred Lynn

2013 Archives Fred Lynn

There are 29 retired players in the regular part of the set that include Ruth, Griffey, Ripken, etc.  The Short Print cards aren’t all-time greats, but I think Lynn is the most valuable out of those guys.

Most notable card: #156, 241 – Goose Gossage, Fred Lynn

2013 Archives Fred Lynn 2013 Archives Goose Gossage

This isn’t a base set that has any intention of having a notable base card – but there are 2 cards that are in the category of “cards that never were”.  Gossage didn’t have a 1990 Topps card (he did have a card in 1990 Donruss).  Lynn did have a card in 1975 Topps, but it’s his rookie card which is a 4-player prospect card.

Best card (my opinion): #233 – Vince Coleman

2013 Archives 233 Vince Coleman

This is a great card that looks like it could fit right in with the 1986 Topps set.  But what puts it over the top for me is the back of the card, which is done in the form of the Record Breaker card from 1986.  The write-up is the same as Coleman’s RB card from that set – it honors his rookie record of 110 stolen bases.

Second best card (also my opinion): #212 – Otis Nixon

2013 Archives Otis Nixon

Topps found the perfect photo for the 1992 design here.

Favorite action photo: #217 – Mookie Wilson

2013 Archives Mookie Wilson

I considered the Vince Coleman card above, but going purely for the shot on the front of the card?  I love the dirty uniform here!

Favorite non-action photo: #35 – Adam Dunn

2013 Archives Adam Dunn

Dunn literally looks like a jolly teddy bear here.  Probably more than any player on any card ever.

My Favorite Reds card: #244 – Eric Davis

2013 Archives best Red Eric Davis 244

1987 Topps has a special place in my baseball card heart, and Eric Davis was my favorite player when I was in my first decade of existence.  This card could really compete for best card in the set with the Nixon and Coleman.

Other info: Sets represented are below.

  • 54 cards – 1990 Topps
  • 53 cards – 1982 Topps
  • 51 cards – 1985 Topps
  • 50 cards – 1972 Topps
  • 4 cards – 1986, 1988, 1992 Topps
  • 3 cards – 1976, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1993 Topps
  • 2 cards – 1975, 1978, 1979 Topps
  • 1 card – 1968, 1973, 1974, 1991 Topps

Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Archives ’83 All-Stars

14 07 2015

It’s All-Star day today!  In a few hours, I’ll be taking in the second All-Star game of my life.  The first one was at Riverfront Stadium in 1988.  So if you’re scoring at home, that’s 2 All-Star games, 2 ballparks, and 1 city!

In honor of the All-Star game, I decided to do a completed set post that fits the bill.  This is from 2013 Archives, a 30-card set that uses the design from the 1983 Topps All-Star subset.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Modeled after the 1983 Topps All-Star subset”.  The ’83 All-Star subset is pretty similar to the base cards from that year.  The front has a white border and features a blue star in the bottom right, which basically replaces the cameo portrait that’s at the bottom corner of the regular cards from the set.  The players’ league is designated to the right of the star, with blue background for AL players and red for NL.  The red backs feature write-ups and the box score from a selected All-Star game.

Set composition:  30 cards, 1:4 (2013 Topps Archives)

Hall of Famers:  13 – Andre Dawson, Carlton Fisk, Cal Ripken Jr., Dave Winfield, George Brett, Gary Carter, Johnny Bench, Mike Schmidt, Nolan Ryan, Paul Molitor, Rickey Henderson, Ryne Sandberg, Tony Gwynn

Card that completed my set:  83-BP – Buster Posey

One of 3 cards I picked up from Check Out my Cards last November from the Black Friday special they have.  I always go a little crazy over that weekend and end up putting myself way behind on completed set posts.  So expect to see more of these in the future!  The other 2 cards I got were Ripken and Brett.

How I put the set together:

  • 12 cards from two hobby boxes
  • 2 cards from a blaster
  • 16 cards from Sportlots, COMC and

Thoughts on the set:  I really like the inserts cards from Topps Archives – along with the Fan Favorite concept (which was basically discontinued after 2013), it’s much better than the base cards.  The base cards basically feel like a modified version of Heritage.  But for the inserts, Topps takes old cards from their history, like oddballs and subsets, and makes for a fun collectible.

I generally like it better when they do an oddball from the 60’s or 70’s – but this is one exception.  I’ll always have a soft spot for 1980’s cards, and this was a cool set to re-do.  Additionally, Topps did very well from an execution standpoint here.  They stayed true to the design of this set – as you can tell from the Henderson cards below (the one on the left is the new card).  The 19 retired players in this set were all in Major League Baseball in 1983, and Topps generally used pictures that were era-appropriate (Fred Lynn being the only real mistake).  That doesn’t happen often, but when it does – it’s a set well-done in my opinion!

2013 Archives 83AS G Carter

Best card (my opinion):  83-CR – Cal Ripken.

This seems to be an era-appropriate picture of Ripken, and I like how you can see the seats in the background.

My Favorite Reds card:  83-JB – Johnny Bench.

The lone Redleg in this set.  Bench didn’t make the 1982 All-Star game, which is the game the original subset picked players from.  But he did make the 1983 Summer Classic, so this is something of a cool “card that never was”. 

2013 Archives 83 All Star inserts

2013 Archives 83 All Star inserts 2

2013 Archives 83 All Star inserts 3

2013 Archives 83 All Star inserts 4

Any other tidbits:  Back when I first started collecting this set, I did a post comparing guys who had cards in this set and the Topps All-Star subset from 1983.  Out of the 19 retired players, 7 of them fit this criteria.  You can see that post here.

Also, only 2 of the guys above (Dave Winfield and Leon Durham) actually made the 1982 All-Star game and thus have “provenance” in this set from that perspective.

2013 Topps Archives – 1990 Reds

22 08 2013

Yesterday was the Big Red Machine cards from Topps Archives – today is the team that I actually saw from the set.  The 1990 World Champions.  There are 4 players from that team in the set, and the most common player you’d think of – Barry Larkin – isn’t one of them.  But Eric Davis, Paul O’Neill and even Hal Morris and Rob Dibble all have cards in Topps Archives!

Base Set

O’Neill doesn’t have a card in the base set, but both Davis and Morris are in the Fan Favorites subset.  Davis has a card from 1987 Topps, Morris from 1993.

Since they have Fan Favorite cards, they also have autographed versions.  I’ll show the autos here.

Trade Waiting til Next Year Davis Archives auto

2013 Archives FFA Hal Morris

Original – here are the original cards of these guys.  Had to pull an old scan of Davis that was next to the Goose!

1987 Topps final scans 2_0001

1993 Topps Hal Morris

There aren’t any parallels since they are in the Fan Favorites part of the set as opposed to the first 200 cards.

1969 4-in-1 Stickers

Davis is in this set in an interesting card.  Most of the 4-in-1 cards have a clear connection.  Davis and Strawberry grew up together, but I’m not sure how Cobra and Don Baylor fit together.  Parker and Baylor are both MVPs during the 1970s decade – and Parker was Davis’ teammate.  But nothing brings them all together.

2013 Archives Davis Baylor Strawberry Parker

O’Neill has one, too – along with some of his Yankee teammates from the late 90’s dynasty.  It’s amazing – all of these guys are still active in 2013, while O’Neill retired in 2001.

2013 Archives 4-in-1 O'Neill Yankees

1965 Mini Tallboy Football Inserts

Davis has one of these guys.  And this is one of two places Nasty Boy Rob Dibble can be found.  See below, I got this in one of my two hobby boxes.

2013 Archives FB Tallboy Davis

2013 Archives 65 mini tallboy Dibble

There are printing plates of these, so they each have 4 of these.

1965 Dual Fan Favorites

Davis also has a card alongside Brandon Phillips in the retail-only insert.  Pretty cool card – I don’t have it yet, though.

2013 Archives Dual Fan Favorite Davis Phillips


Dibble has one of these two – an even better match – alongside fellow fireballer Aroldis Chapman.

2013 Archives Chapman Dibble Dual FF

1960 Relic

O’Neill has another card in the product – from the 1960 design Relic cards.

2013 Archives O'Neill 1960 Relic

Triple Autograph

This card is an exchange, but it’s got both Davis and Hal Morris.  I’d love to get my hands on this card when it gets released!

UPDATE – This showed up on eBay, here’s the beauty itself!

2013 Topps Archives triple auto Davis Morris Concepcion


So, all told – if you wanted to collect every single card I mentioned above, you’d have 21 cards to find.  If you didn’t want the 1/1’s – that number would be 13.

Davis (6/10) – Base (FF), Fan Favorite Auto, 1969 4-in-1, 1965 Mini FB Tallboy, Dual Fan Favorite, Triple Auto, 4 printing plates

Dibble (2/6) – 1965 Mini FB Tallboy, Dual Fan Favorite, 4 printing plates

Morris (3) – Base (FF), Fan Favorite Auto, Triple Auto

O’Neill (2) – 1969 4-in-1, 1960 Relic

2013 Topps Archives – Big Red Machine

21 08 2013

Topps Archives has quite a few Big Red Machine cards.  It even has three guys from the 1990 World Series team, too – none of whom is Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.  But I’ll post about that team tomorrow.  Today I’ll do the 8 member Big Red Machine and do the related sets, too.

5 of the 9 Big Red Machine members are in the product – Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, Ken Griffey and Dave Concepcion.  That’s missing Foster, Geronimo, Charlie Hustle and skipper Sparky Anderson.

Base Set

Even though there are 5 members in the product, there are only 2 guys in the Archives base set.  Joe Morgan and Tony Perez, both have cards in the 1982 subset.  They’re both shown with the Reds, despite the fact that Morgan was with the Phillies on his 1982 card and Perez was with the Red Sox.  Here’s their card with Tom Terrific in the middle.  Seaver was the reverse – he was actually with the Reds in ’82!

2013 Topps Archives 1982 wrong team

Here are the set designs featured in Archives and what Big Red Machine members are actually included in the original Topps sets.  Normally, I’d show pictures of what cards are in the original sets, but there are so many options here that I won’t.

1972 Topps – 8 of the 9 (missing Griffey) and 3 subset cards:

Anderson MG, Bench, Perez, Morgan, Concepcion, Rose, Geronimo, Foster

Bench IA, Rose IA, Morgan TRADED

1982 Topps8 of the 9 (missing Sparky) and 13 subset cards:

Bench, Perez, Morgan, Concepcion, Rose, Griffey, Geronimo, Foster

Bench IA, Perez IA, Morgan IA, Concepcion IA, Rose IA, Griffey IA, Foster IA, Rose AS, Concepcion AS, Foster AS, Rose/Carlton TL, Griffey/Seaver TL, Rose HL

The 21 cards is easily the most of any set – and that’s without Sparky since Topps didn’t do manager cards in 1982!

1985 Topps7 of the 9 (missing Geronimo and Bench) and 3 subset cards:

Anderson MG, Perez, Morgan, Concepcion, Rose, Griffey, Foster

Rose MG, Rose RB, Morgan RB

1990 Topps – 3 of the 9, one of which is a subset:

Anderson MG, Griffey

Bench TBC


Obviously Morgan and Perez are the only players with parallels. There are gold parallels (numbered to 199):

2013 Archives Morgan Gold parallel

and the Orange Day Glow parallel:

2013 Archives Perez Orange Glow

And since they’re in the regular set, they also have 4 printing plates as well.

Fan Favorite Autographs

There aren’t any fan favorite base cards, but Dave Concepcion does have a fan favorite autograph card.  It was a redemption that has recently been showing up on eBay:

2013 Archives FF Auto Concepcion

Box Topper

Concepcion is also featured in the box toppers that are randomly inserted, which are based on the 1971 Topps Greatest Moments cards – which are very large.  These cards are numbered to 99, and there is also an autographed version numbered to 25.

2013 Archives Greatest Moments Concepcion

1969 4-in-1 Stickers

Johnny Bench makes his first appearance in the product in this set.  See the card on the left from an earlier scan of mine, where Bench is shown with 2 of the best 3 catchers in today’s game, and alongside the other guy in the argument as the best catcher ever.

2013 Archives box 2 69 stickers

Original – Pete Rose was the only BRM-er in the super-rare original 4-in-1 set from 1969.

1969 Topps 4-in-1 Pete Rose

1972 Basketball Insert

Bench and Morgan are both in this set – since they both played in 1972, it’s cool to see them in a design as a kind of what might have been.

2013 Archives 72 BK Morgan 2013 Archives 72 BK Bench

These inserts have printing plates, too.  Here’s one from eBay.

2013 Archives 72 BK plate Bench

1983 All-Stars

Bench is included in this insert as well.

2013 Archives 83AS Bench

The checklist says Bench also has an autographed version, though I haven’t seen it.  There are printing plates of these cards.

1965 Mini Tallboy Football Inserts

Concepcion has one of these guys.

2013 Archives 65 mini tallboy Concepcion

There are printing plates of these, so he’s got 4 of those.

1973 Framed Mini Autograph

Bench has a card in the framed mini 1973 set – but it was packed out as a redemption.

1960 Relic

Bench has one of these guys, and so does Ken Griffey Sr.

2013 Archives 1960 Relic Bench

Autographed Originals

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

1987 Triple Autograph

Finally, there’s a triple autograph with Concepcion on it – pretty sweet card.  This was an exchange that apparently has since been fullfilled as they started showing up on eBay.  Numbered to 10 cards.

2013 Topps Archives triple auto Davis Morris Concepcion

So, all told – if you wanted to collect every single Big Red Machine card I mentioned above, you’d have 42 cards to find. If you didn’t want the 1/1’s – that number would be 18.

Bench (14/6) – 1972 BK Insert, 1983 All-Star, 1983 All-Star Auto, 1960 Relic, 1973 Framed Mini, Original Buyback Auto, 8 printing plates

Perez (7/3) – Base, Gold Rainbow, Day Glow, 4 printing plates

Morgan (12/4) – Base, Gold Rainbow, Day Glow, 1972 BK Insert, 8 printing plates

Concepcion (8/4) – 1965 Mini FB Tallboy, 1971 Golden Moments, 1 1971 Golden Moments Auto, Triple Auto, 4 printing plates

Griffey Sr. (1) – 1960 Relic

2013 Topps Archives #5 – comparing 1983 All-Stars

19 08 2013

Archives 1983 All-Stars – 30 cards (1:4)

The most common insert in 2013 Archives is based on the design from the 1983 All-Star subset.  These cards come 6 per box and there are 30 cards total – which makes it the largest insert set in the product.  There are 11 current players, along with 19 retired players.  Topps was specific with the retired players – all of them were around in 1983.  And, they even got their teams right – with one notable exception.  Darrell Evans is actually shown with the Giants, not with the Tigers!

7 of those guys were actually featured in the 1983 All-Star subset.  So those are kind of like “Fan Favorites” in that I can compare the 1983 card to the current year Archives card.  I don’t have all those cards yet, however, so the ones below are the ones I have.  Maybe when I complete the set I’ll do a full-blown post of these.

Andre Dawson (for all of these – original card is on the right)

2013 Archives 83 AS Andre Dawson

Carlton Fisk – They did a good job with Fisk.  The right team – in 1983 he had been with the White Sox for a few years.

Fred Lynn – this is the one where Topps blew it on the team.  I have to believe they made an effort to get the team right – because they got Darrell Evans with the Giants.  I think of him as either a Brave or a Tiger, but in 1983 he was making the All-Star team during his time with the Giants.

Screen shot 2013-07-27 at 7.13.58 PM

George Brett – can’t get the team wrong here

Gary Carter – interesting how the Kid’s hair is curly in the original, not that way in the Archives card.  I think the Archives card is a picture from the 70’s.

2013 Archives 83 AS G Carter

Mike Schmidt – like Brett, they can’t get the team wrong with him!

Rickey Henderson – seems about the right era.

2013 Archives 83AS G Carter

That leaves 12 retired players who didn’t have 1983 All-Star subsets.  These cards fall into the category of “Cards That Never Were”.  Now, to have a 1983 All-Star card, that should mean in theory that the player was an All-Star in 1982.  If I look at it that way – it shortens the results.  There are only two players out of the remaining 12 who were 1982 All-Stars.  Both Dave Winfield and Leon Durham were All-Stars in 1982 (and both were also All-Stars in 1983).

2013 Archives 83AS Winfield

2013 Archives 83 AS Durham

From the remaining 10 players, 5 of them were All-Stars in the 1983 season, so the cards kind of make sense here as well.  I’m not going to show their cards, but those players are Cal Ripken (who was the 1983 AL MVP), Darrell Evans (1983), Johnny Bench (who made it in his final season), Jim Rice, and Pedro Guerrero.  All on the correct teams – which is pretty impressive for Evans, who was with the Giants in 1983.

Well, I’ll show Bench’s card.  Because he’s a Red, he’s awesome, and more importantly, I have the card so I don’t have to do the work of snagging a picture from the interwebs.

2013 Archives 83AS Bench

The remaining 5 players who didn’t make the All-Star team in either 1982 or 1983 were all playing in that era.  Those guys are:

  • Darryl Strawberry – who was the 1983 NL RoY – but not an All-Star until ’84,
  • Tony Gwynn – AS in ’84,
  • Ryne Sandberg – AS in ’84,
  • Paul Molitor- AS in 1980 and 1985
  • Nolan Ryan – AS in 1981 and 1985

2013 Topps Archives #4 – comparing 4-in-1 stickers

18 08 2013

Archives 4-in-1 Stickers – 15 cards (1:8)

My next insert comparison for Topps Lineage seems to have replaced Topps 3-D from last year.  It’s 15 cards, found 1:8 odds, and it’s based on a test issue from the late 1960’s.

The 1969 4-in-1 sticker set consisted of 25 “cards” with 4 mini-stickers on each card.  All the cards are from the 2nd series of Topps cards that year.  Like the 68 3-D cards, these are super hard to find and command a pretty penny.

Since there are 4 players on each card, and the players picked were completely random back in 1969, there isn’t a combination used in both sets.  In fact, there are two players with cards in both sets – both pretty big names.

Willie Mays

1969 Topps 4-in-1 MaysArchives 69 4-in-1 CF Mays Griffey Trout CobbThe first is Willie Mays.  Mays was card #190 in 1969 Topps, and he’s featured with Don Wilson, John Morris and Jerry Adair.  That card is on the right.

Mays is widely considered the greatest center fielder of all-time.  In 2013 Archives, he gets appropriately slotted with some other all-time great center fielders:

  • Ty Cobb – who I’d put as the second best behind Mays)
  • Ken Griffey Jr. – top 5 CF
  • Mike Trout – who isn’t an all-time great yet but he certainly had the best rookie season of any center fielder

Tough to beat that list unless you get Mickey Mantle (or maybe DiMaggio or Speaker) involved!

Carl Yastrzemski

lf2013 Archives 4-in-1 Triple CrownThe other Hall-of-Famer in both of these sets is Boston’s own Carl Yastrzemski.  Yaz was card #130 in 1969, and his spot in the second series got him on this sticker next to Mike Torrez, Gino Petrocelli and a pair for Cardinal rookies.  Two consecutive batting titles gets you stuck next to 2 Cardinals?  Eesh!

His 2013 Archives card is better company.  In fact, this is my favorite card of the set because Topps gets this comparison really right here – triple crown winners!  Yaz is featured next to:

  • fellow Red Sock Ted Williams (two triple crowns)
  • Frank Robinson – who won the triple crown the year before Yaz did
  • Miguel Cabrera – who ended Yastrzemski’s claim to fame as the last to do it

Interestingly, this is Yaz’s only card in the entire Archives product.

Also of note, Pete Rose and Don Sutton are the other notable players in the original 4-in-1 set.

2013 Topps Archives #3 – comparing the retail only inserts

16 08 2013

Both of the retail only inserts are throwbacks to subsets from earlier Topps base sets.

Archives Dual Fan Favorites – 15 cards (1:12, retail only)

The Dual Fan Favorites cards are the more common of the two types – they come every 12 packs or so.  These cards are based on the design from 1983 Topps, specifically from the Super Veterans subset.  Those cards featured an aging veteran with a current photo next to a photo from much earlier in that player’s career.

The Archives cards take a different spin – Topps took a current player and put that next to a similar player from the same team.  There are two Reds in this set, and I like both of them.  Eric Davis next to Brandon Phillips – two flashy stars in Cincy.  But Rob Dibble and Aroldis Chapman is a great tandem – two fireball relievers!

There isn’t any overlap here – nobody from the 1983 subset is in the 2013 Archives set.  Fred Lynn is in the set, and could possibly have been a Super Veteran, as could have John Mayberry (Archives card shown below).  Also, there are plenty of guys in the Archives product who were Super Veterans – Schmidt, Reggie, Morgan, Bench, Ryan, Seaver, Gossage, Carew – Topps just used a different crop of players for this subset.  I’ve shown the card I have so far (Mayberry / Butler) and my favorite of these from 1983, Phil Niekro:

2013 Archives retail Dual Fan Favorites Mayberry Butler


Archives Retail Chase – 15 cards (1:136, retail only)

This set is based on the design from the 1989 Topps All-Star subset.  The odds are very long on these – basically the equivalent of 1 in 7 blasters.  This insert set features all new players, so there’s no overlap going on.  Derek Jeter is in the set, and despite belief to the contrary, he actually wasn’t in the majors quite yet in 1989!

Here’s a look at an original:

1989 Topps G Carter AS

And here’s an Archives version:

2013 Archives Cabrera Retail Chase

I wish Topps had used the exact starting All-Star lineup from 2012 here – that would have been a lot more interesting than just throwing in all the popular players they can.