2016 Topps Archives – the hits

14 06 2016

I got 2 autographs, just like you’re supposed to, in my 2016 Archives box.  I didn’t get any of the insert theme autographs like Father-Son or Topps Super.  It would have been especially cool if I could have pulled a Bull Durham auto, but nobody on this planet ever really chooses each other.

I did get 2 of the Fan Favorite Autographs.  The first one was a regular version of Charlie Hayes.  Hayes is card #308 in the SP portion of the set, this is just the autographed version of that card.

2016 Topps Archives FF Auto Charlie Hayes

The other card I got was the blue version of Miguel Sano’s autograph.  This is #/199, which I bet isn’t that much rarer than the regular versions of the autographed cards.  Sano’s regular card is in the 1991 portion of the set.

2016 Topps Archives FF Auto Miguel Sano 83

There are 45 of those Fan Favorite autographs.  The guys who aren’t in the regular set are:

  • FFA-AB Andy Benes 89
  • FFA-BB Bob Boone 79
  • FFA-BC Bert Campaneris 71
  • FFA-BS B.J. Surhoff 89
  • FFA-BW Billy Wagner 90 (not a really FFA – he didn’t start playing until 1995)
  • FFA-CE Carl Everett 90 (not a really FFA – he didn’t start playing until 1993)
  • FFA-DS Darryl Strawberry 86
  • FFA-EP Eduardo Perez 90 (jumping the gun – he didn’t start playing until 1993)
  • FFA-FH Frank Howard 71
  • FFA-FT Fernando Tatis 83 (not a really FFA – he didn’t start playing until 1997)
  • FFA-JB Jeff Burroughs 71
  • FFA-JK Jim Kaat 71
  • FFA-JL Javy Lopez 91 (also not really a FFA – he made his debut in 1992)
  • FFA-JN Jeff Nelson 85 (he also didn’t start playing until 1992)
  • FFA-JR J.R. Richard 79
  • FFA-JV Jose Vizcaino 89
  • FFA-MA Moises Alou 86
  • FFA-PH Pat Hentgen 91
  • FFA-RB Ron Blomberg 71
  • FFA-RF Rollie Fingers 71
  • FFA-RM Rick Monday 71
  • FFA-SA Sandy Alomar, Jr. 90
  • FFA-SAJ Sandy Alomar, Sr. 71
  • FFA-SG Steve Garvey 79
  • FFA-TF Terry Francona 84
  • FFA-TH Teddy Higuera 86
  • FFA-VL Vern Law 53




2016 Topps Archives – 1991 Topps

13 06 2016

1991 did a little better than 1979 as far as retired guys in the same set.  There were 3 guys from the wrong team.

2016 Topps Archives wrong team 91

Chipper has a Draft Pick card in 1991.  Now both cards say “Braves”, but honestly, this card is an affront to his rookie card.  And Dawson was well past his Expo days by 1990/1991.

Gary Carter was the other wrong team guy.  Carter has a 1991 Topps card with the Giants, and with the Dodgers (Traded), but he’s shown here with the Expos.  He did go back to the Expos, after an 8 year hiatus, in 1992.  I don’t have his card yet so no picture to show.

There’s one guy with a “Card That Never Was”, though it’s a bit iffy.  Goose Gossage played for the Yankees in 1989, went over to Japan for one year in 1990, then came back to America with the Rangers in 1991.  He played 4 more years.  Obviously the correct team for a 1991 card would be to put him on the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks, but this is pretty good if you’re being reasonable.

2016 Topps Archives Gossage 91

There are 3 players with either cards in the original 1991 set.  Two are all-time greats, the other is a 400-save guy who may deserve a little more love!

First is the all-time strikeout king, Nolan Ryan.  This card could totally be from the 1991 set, and it might be a better option.

2016 Topps Archives Nolan Ryan 91

1991 Topps ryan rickey

The next is the all-time Iron Man.

And finally, John Franco who I still remember as a Red – but was definitely with the Mets (and an All-Star at that) by this point.

Nomar Garciaparra is the “almost” guy worth mentioning here.  He is in the 1992 Traded set for his Team USA card.  This gets him into a design 1 year earlier.





2016 Topps Archives – 1979 Topps

12 06 2016

As far as guys who had “Fan Favorite” cards in 2016 Topps Archives, 1979 was not quite as successful.  There were actually more cards that qualify, but 6 of them have the wrong year.

First, Joe Morgan has a card from his first stint with the Astros – he didn’t go back to Houston until 1980. Ozzie Smith also has a card with the Cardinals – he wasn’t traded until just before the 1982 season.  I didn’t get their cards in my box, so no scan.

Tom Seaver was traded to the Reds in 1977, so 1979 was his 2nd year of having a Reds card.  Bruce Sutter was with the Cubs through the 1980 season, so this card was two years off the other way.  Carlton Fisk was the same – he didn’t sign with the White Sox until 1981.

2016 Topps Archives wrong uniforms 79

Oscar Gamble was closest – he was in between his two stints with the Yankees.  He played for the Padres in 1978, but was traded to the Rangers in the offseason.  His 1979 card shows him with the Rangers.  His 1979 card shows him with the Padres.  He was then traded to the Yankees at the deadline, and he never had a contemporary card showing him with the Rangers.  I guess this card could be viewed as a card that never was – but the way things worked until around 2000, if there was a 1979 Traded card, it would have shown him with the Rangers.  The closest thing to showing him with the Rangers was his 1979 O-Pee-Chee card.

1979 OPC Oscar Gamble

There are no “cards that never were”, except for I guess the Gamble if you want to be a bit liberal on that comment.

There are 3 players with cards in the original 1979 set with the right team.  But one of them is not era correct.

That card is Jim Palmer, who had snipped the hair a bit by 1979.  The Archives picture seems to be early 70’s by my guess.  That’s still a pretty cool shot, though it seems like the All-Star line is missing when comparing the two side-by-side.

The other 2 cards do seem era-appropriate.  First is Reggie Jackson – he’s shows with the Yankees, and considering he didn’t play all that long with them, this has to be pretty close to the right year.

Last is Willie McCovey.  Stretch came back to the Giants in the 1977 season, and I’m pretty sure this is from that stint since he didn’t have sideburns until he went to San Diego in the early 70’s.

There’s two other cards worth mentioning.  Both Ken Griffey Jr. and Roberto Alomar got their first cards on the 1979 design.  Their dads had cards in that set, so you could do a side-by-side that way.  For another day for me, however!





2016 Topps Archives – 1953 Topps

11 06 2016

There’s one guy with a “Card That Never Was” in the 1953 portion of the set.  This was Duke Snider.  This is (at least) his 2nd card like this where Topps put Snider on the ’53 design.  The first was in the Cards That Never Were portion of the 60 Years of Topps insert set in 2011.  They used the exact same photo back then – the newer Archives one is cropped a little closer.  Snider didn’t have a Topps card in 1953 for the standard reason – he signed exclusive with Bowman.

2016 Topps Archives Duke Snider 53

There are 4 players with either cards in the original 1953 set.

The first is Monte Irvin, who passed away earlier this year.  Unlike the Snider card above, it looks like Topps intentionally blurred, or made more grainy, the picture.  Probably in an attempt to make it look more like the paintings.  It works OK here, some cards better (see the next card).

The 2nd card is Hal Newhouser.  As I mentioned, this card and whatever effects Topps used work really well.  One of my favorite cards in this set; probably the only one I’d argue competes with the original.  Though I like the Tigers logo on the original better.

Ralph Kiner is the 3rd guy in the set.  Definitely like the original better – it’s a fairly memorable card from the 1953 set and I again like the logo better.

Last but not least is the immortal Satchel Paige.  His 1953 Topps card is pretty iconic, maybe the most notable card in the set.  You can’t beat the original, but in this case, the card is really well done and the fact that they’re doing the “Fan Favorite” treatment to such a classic card is very cool.  I said above that the Newhouser is one of the better cards in the set – this one probably is my favorite.

The one other card that is worth mentioning in the first 300 is the card for Jim Bunning.  Bunning was in professional baseball as early as 1950, when he was signed as an amateur free agent out of Cincinnati’s own St. Xavier high school.  He didn’t make his MLB debut until the age of 23, in 1955.  Bunning played for the Tigers until 1963, when he was traded to the Phillies.  For whatever reason, he seems to be better remembered for playing in Philadelphia, though he played 3 more years in Detroit.  Anyway, this isn’t a Card that Never Was – and they have him shown in his 30’s with Philly – but it’s kind of close…

2016 Topps Archives Bunning 53





2016 Topps Archives – other inserts

10 06 2016

Another late post from me.  I went to a Kane County Cougars game tonight which was pretty fun, but didn’t get a chance until now.  I’m never sure in this situation if I should just wait til tomorrow, but I’ve had this post almost teed up for a while now.

Yesterday I posted about how great the idea of a Bull Durham set was, but also lamented about the missed opportunity by putting Costner and Sarandon only in the insert set.  But there are 3 other inserts in Archives, and this is the post for those.

First off, 4 inserts with 62 cards in total is great.  Unlike almost every other product out there, I can reasonably collect the 300-card base set and 55 inserts.  I wish Topps would do this with more products – it would make me far more likely to buy boxes.

So aside from that, here’s the other 3.

1969 Topps Supers – 30 cards, 1:6

2016 Topps Archives 69 Super

In 1969, Topps issued test cards of full-bleed cards, believed to be released only in the NYC area.  The corners are rounded and the cards are just a quarter-inch shorter than the other sets on each side (2-¼ x 3-¼).  The backs are minimalist – just a box at the bottom with the player name, team and position.  There’s a great write-up on these here.

The Archives version is just a little bit different; the cards have the rounded corners, but they’re the same size as all the other cards in the pack.  Wish they weren’t – I always prefer matching the original – but these are still really nice-looking cards.  There’s also a version where the writing is red on the back (“red back”) numbered to 50, a black back 1/1 version, 4 printing plates, and 19 of the players autographed their Super card for pack inserts.  These are all current players.

1985 Topps Draft Picks – 18 cards, 1:8

2016 Topps Archives 1st Draft Pick Blomberg Griffey Strasburg

The last 2 inserts copy the design of a 1985 Topps subset.  Not sure why Topps wanted to go all 1985 on us, but I’m fine with it – they’re good subsets.  The first is the 1st overall draft pick subset, which was card #271-282 in 1985.  This is really cool, as the 1985 subset obviously didn’t feature every single 1st overall pick.  This is a mix of current and former players.  15 of the guys in this insert are new – Harold Baines, Darryl Strawberry and Jeff Burroughs are in this set and the original subset.

1985 Topps Father/Son – 7 cards, 1:12

2016 Topps Archives Father Son Perez Alomar

The other 1985 subset that was recreated was the father/son cards from #131-143.  There is one duplicate here – Terry and Tito Francona are in the 1985 subset and the 2016 Archives card.  The really cool one is the Boone boys.  Ray and Bob Boone have a card in 1985, whereas Bob switches over to the left side in 2016 and his son Bret comes in on the right.  Sandy Alomar appears on 2 cards with both of his sons – something I wish Topps had done with Aaron Boone.

One thing kind of frustrating with this insert – there are 7 cards in the regular set but 8 in the autograph set.  Topps printed a card of Felipe and Moises Alou, but then they didn’t make a regular, non-auto version.





2016 Topps Archives Bull Durham inserts

9 06 2016

The big news for Archives this year was the inclusion of insert cards from the movie Bull Durham.  Since the movie came out in 1988, Topps used the 1988 design.  Two years ago they did the same thing with the Major League movie – it came out in 1989.  Very cool cards.  I got the following 2 cards below in my box.

2016 Topps Archives Millie Shelton

This was basically the reason I bought this box.  However there’s one thing I really don’t like about what Topps did.  There are 7 cards in the set – and each is available in a version signed by the actor.  But there are actually 9 autograph cards available.  Why the difference?  Susan Sarandon and Kevin Costner have cards, but they only inserted autographed version.  I’m not sure why, though I think it’s just to drive up the price.  You can only get those cards if you’re willing to pay for the autograph.  These are 2 of the 3 most famous actors from the movie – they’re the 2 main characters.  In 2014, Margaret Whitton (Rachel Phelps in Major League) only has an autographed version, but she’s not Charlie Sheen.

Anyway, not going to let it damper the overall good idea of this set.





2016 Topps Archives – parallels

7 06 2016

Tonight I’m slightly closer to my regular posting time, though still a bit late.  I usually set up posts a few days in advance.  That works fine for when I’m doing a post about a set I completed 11 months ago, or a box I opened a few weeks ago.  But doing it for a new product I just bought means I’ve got to open the packs and then post about them.  Fitting in dinner, hanging out with the kids, putting them to bed – that makes doing a post by 6:30 CST impossible if I don’t.

Today’s post is about parallel sets from 2016 Topps Archives.  I got 2 parallels in my box – both of the blue variety.

Blue – 1:14 (#/199)

2016 Topps Archives blue Franco Beltran

Two New Yorkers.  Both were Mets at one point in their career.  Franco is in the 1991 portion of the set, which matches up with where he was in 1991.  In fact, his 1991 Topps card isn’t that different from the card above.  But that’s for another post, where I’ll do all sorts of those comparisons.

As you can see, these cards have a blue background; the only other difference is that they’re numbered out of 199 on the back.  Not bad, actually.  I kind of like these better than the holofoil stuff Topps did in previous Archives sets (2014 and 2013 – not sure what they did last year, I had a year hiatus from this product).

Those were the only 2 parallel cards I got.  The rest of the photos are pilfered from the interwebs (i.e., eBay).

Red – 1:55 (#/50)

2016 Topps Archives red Franco

Pilfered is a little too strong of a term here – I actually bought this card on eBay to get a rainbow of Mr. Franco.  So I own the card pictured.  I wish I had just pulled it in a pack, but if ifs and buts were candy and nuts…

Same idea as the blue parallels – just harder to find and numbered out of 50.

Black – 1:2,728 (#/1)

2016 Topps Archives Black Eckersley

I did not buy this card, but if you’re an Eckersley super-collector it’s on eBay right now for 99 bucks.  This is your standard 1/1.  There’s also printing plates, which I’m not going to show here because I think printing plates are dumb.  They were novel 20 years ago and are now in every product.

Desert Shield – 1:328

2016 Topps Archives Desert Shield Franco

This was a very cool unannounced addition.  Cards in the 1991 subset – #201 to #300 – have the Desert Shield logo in the top right corner.  This looks back to the cards that were stamped with a special logo and sent to members of the military in 1991.  Those cards sell for a big premium over the regular cards.

It would be neat if Topps went that route again – they inserted these cards into packs, but maybe they could do a special set to send out to today’s troops.

That’s all the parallels, I think next up I’ll do the inserts.