1991 Topps parallels – Carlton Fisk

30 04 2016

1991 Topps

Card I selected:  #170 – Carlton Fisk

Back to a Hall of Famer for my pick in the 1991 set.  This is one of the best photos in a set stocked full of great photos.  It’s definitely my favorite action photo.

# of cards (including the Topps card):  6

The parallel sets in 1991 include:

  • O-Pee-Chee
  • Tiffany
  • Desert Shield
  • Micro
  • Cracker Jack

Scans:

1991 Topps #170

1991 Topps best action Fisk

1991 Topps Fisk back

1991 O-Pee-Chee #170

1991 Topps best action Fisk

1991 OPC Fisk back

Like 1990, the Canadian version of the Topps set was no different on the front.  And the set was again as large as the regular Topps set – 792 cards.

Here are the differences for this card:

  • The copyright on the bottom of the back says O-Pee-Chee and notes the card was printed in Canada.
  • Any wording on the back is in both English and French.
  • The card is printed on white stock unlike the grey of the regular Topps card.

1991 Topps Tiffany #170

1991 Topps best action Fisk

1991 Topps Tiffany Fisk back

For the 8th and final year, Topps issued a Tiffany variation in factory set form, printed on white cardstock with glossy coating on the front.  This set had the lowest print run in of any other year – less than 5,000.  The 1991 Tiffany set came in a blue box.

1991 Topps Desert Shield #170

1991 Topps Desert Shield Fisk

1991 Topps Fisk back

Topps printed special edition parallel cards of the 1991 Topps set for armed servicemen in the Persian Gulf.  There is a gold foil Desert Shield logo in the upper right corner of the cards – they were issued in packs and are pretty scarce.  Other than that, they are exactly the same as the regular set.

1991 Topps Micro #170

1991 Topps Micro Fisk

1991 Topps Micro Fisk back

OK, this was just a bad idea, but starting in 1991 Topps produced a “micro” set for the first time.  They’d go on to issue these for three years.  This set was issued in factory form – the cards measure 1″ x 1-3/8″.  Other than the fact they are ridiculously small, they are the same as the main set.

1991 Topps Cracker Jack #2

1991 Topps Cracker Jack Fisk

1991 Topps Cracker Jack Fisk back

Topps backed a 72-card set to be inserted into boxes of Cracker Jack in 1991.  The cards were based on the 1991 Topps set.  The cards are a little bigger than the Micro set – but not much!  They measure 1-1/4″ by 1 3/4″.  Other than the size, the front is identical.  The backs are orange and have a completely different set-up.

The “Rainbow”:

1991 Topps Fisk rainbow

Any sets I didn’t get:  Not really, though there are a ton of different minor back variations I’ve read about that have to do with how dark the red is, or how bold the 40th anniversary water stamp logo is on the back.

Other cards I would have liked to do:  Wade Boggs or Roger Clemens.

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Completed master set – one last look at 1991 Topps (post #1,001)

23 12 2013

Following up my post from yesterday – thanks for the kind words people have had.  I figured I’d follow that up, not with a summary of 1990’s statistics (which is where I’m at in my “lifetime Topps” cycle) – but with a Master Set post.  I finished up 1991 somewhat recently.  I’ve already done this post for the 1991 base set, but I recently finished the “Master Set” when I got the last All-Star Glossy card (Al Lopez, who was the AL team captain in 1990).

I’ve said it before – THIS SET IS AWESOME!  This is quite possibly my favorite Topps set of this project.  1980, 1983 and 1987 are up there for completely different reasons, but this set has a solid design, and more importantly – great photography.  It’s amazing how much better a set can get in one year, and the card stock didn’t improve or anything.  But going through this set one card at a time, I realized how many great cards there are.

Info about my set:

How I put the set together:

  • 426 cards from the wax box
  • 292 cards from a box of rack packs
  • 29 cards I already had from back in the day
  • 45 cards from trades

Card that completed my set: #710 – Kent Hrbek (one of 2 cards received in a trade from Scott Crawford on Cards that completed the set – one of 3 sets Scott got the last card to me for!)

Read the rest of this entry »





eBay purchase – 1991 Topps pre-production sheet

6 01 2013

I posted about this promo set / sheet over a year ago.  I said at the time I was playing the waiting game – basically all I had ever seen were individual cards cut from the sheet at a price more expensive than I wanted to pay.  Plus, it seemed like I would see 1 or 2 individual cards, but it would be hard to find the whole set.  I didn’t want to end up with 6 of the 9 cards and then see an uncut sheet or a complete and feel torn on whether to buy it.  So I waited on this one.

1991 Topps pre-production sheet

Well, I found an uncut sheet on eBay last month for a reasonable price, and I pounced on it.  The corners were a little rounded (the listing said this, so I appreciated the upfront honesty there), but for something like this sheet, I was fine with that.  It’s been so difficult to find that I’m happy to get a version of any type.

This means a) I have it, and b) I get to update my previous post!

Here’s the back of the cards for the sake of the picture – I hadn’t seen any good shots of these previously.

1991 Topps pre-production sheet_0001





Completed set – 1991 Topps

6 11 2012

Since about March I’ve been doing retro cards and current year stuff, and now about 8 or 9 months later I’m back to the Lifetime Topps project.  I’ve got one more base Topps set that I completed before I get back to posting about my main project.

Like 1989 and 1990, I haven’t  quite finished off the “Master Set” yet.  For those sets, it’s because of the K-Mart Batting Leaders inserts.  For this one, I don’t have the 9-card promo set yet.  I’ll get them someday, I think, but that’s actually a pretty hard set to find at a reasonable price – much like those Batting Leader cards.  I’m also missing most of the All-Star Glossy insert cards.

So it’s just the “complete set” post for now.  But it’s worth pointing out – THIS SET IS AWESOME!  This is quite possibly my favorite Topps set of this project.  1980, 1983 and 1987 are up there for completely different reasons, but this set has a solid design, and more importantly – great photography.  It’s amazing how much better a set can get in one year, and the card stock didn’t improve or anything.  But going through this set one card at a time, I realized how many great cards there are.

Info about my set:

How I put the set together:

  • 426 cards from the wax box
  • 292 cards from a box of rack packs
  • 29 cards I already had from back in the day
  • 45 cards from trades

Card that completed my set: #710 – Kent Hrbek (one of 2 cards received in a trade from Scott Crawford on Cards that completed the set – one of 3 sets Scott got the last card to me for!)

Set composition: 792 cards (721 individual ML player cards*, 10 #1 Draft Picks, 26 Managers, 6 Checklists, 7 Record Breakers, 22 All-Stars)

*The 721  individual player cards include 10 All-Star Rookies and 6 Future Stars

Representation of ’90 MLB season: 

Out of the 721 player cards, 2 players featured did not play in the 1989 season.  Both were prospects who just didn’t make the MLB roster (Greg Colbrunn and Wilson Alvarez).  1 player was in a subset only and did play in the 1989 season – Alex Fernandez, the Golden Spikes winner and 4th overall pick who was the only member of the Draft Pick subset to make the majors in 1990.  The 720 players who did play represent 71.5% out of the ~975 players who played in MLB in 1987.

The 721 players represent 72.7% out of the ~990 players who played in MLB in 1990.

Last active player from this set: #333 – Chipper Jones

Jones and Omar Vizquel both retired at the end this year and, along with Jamie Moyer, were the only three players to play in the 2012 season.  Both Chipper and Omar played in the final game of the year (October 3rd), though Chipper played in the one-game playoff loss to St. Louis 2 days later.

Player with the most cards in the set: 3 players with 3 cards:

There are 2 subsets, and 3 players have a card in both the All-Star and Record Breaker subset – Bobby Thigpen, Ryne Sandberg and Carlton Fisk

Thigpen – #420, #8 (Record Breaker), #396 (All-Star)

Fisk – #170, #3 (Record Breaker), #393 (All-Star)

Sandberg – #740, #7 (Record Breaker), #398 (All-Star)

First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – Nolan Ryan, #100 – Don Mattingly, #200 – Darryl Strawberry, #300 – Kirby Puckett, #400 – Barry Larkin AS, #500 – Will Clark, #600 – Bo Jackson, #700 – Jose Canseco

These are a whole lot of the same guys as last year.  And these cards are a good example of how good the photography is here.

Highest book value: #333 – Chipper Jones RC

Most notable card: #333 – Chipper Jones RC

There were no cards from 1991 Topps in the top 60 cards that they did a couple of years ago.  But this is easily the most notable (and the only notable rookie card) from the set.

Best card (my opinion): #450 – Wade Boggs

This was borderline revolutionary to put something like this on a card in 1991.  This is a great card.

Second best card (also my opinion): #530 – Roger Clemens

Gotta love Clemens next to the strike out sign on the Green Monster.

Best subset card: #392 – Ken Griffey, Jr.

I’m biased since Griffey is my favorite player, but this is a great card displaying his fluid swing.  And there frankly aren’t that many subset cards in this set.  Which is another thing I like about it.

Favorite action photo: #170 – Carlton Fisk

This card was right up there as the best card in the set with the Boggs and Clemens.  If those cards weren’t ultra-unique in and of themselves, this would be the best card in the set to me.  It beats out the best card from almost any other set I’ve looked at thus far!

Favorite non-action photo: #450 – Wade Boggs (see above)

My Favorite Reds card: #92 – Danny Jackson

This card narrowly beats out a great action shot of Mariano Duncan turning two over a sliding Ozzie Guillen.  But I love this card because it shows Jackson’s unique leg kick and delivery.

Topps Reprints and others:

  • 1999 Ryan reprints – Nolan Ryan
  • 2001 Through the Years – Chipper Jones
  • 2001 Archives – Dave Parker, Fred Lynn, Rick Reuschel
  • 2001 Archives Rookie Reprints – Jones
  • 2001 Topps Traded – Joe Carter (’91T)
  • 2002 Archives – Dennis Eckersley
  • 2002 Gallery Heritage – Jones, Jason Giambi (’91T), Luis Gonzalez (’91T)
  • 2003 Gallery Heritage – Ivan Rodriguez (’91T)
  • 2005 Rookie Cup Reprints – Dave Justice, Larry Walker, Sandy Alomar Jr.
  • 2010 CMT – Jones, Ken Griffey Jr., Ryan
  • 2011 60YOT – Roberto Alomar, Larry Walker
  • 2011 Lineage Autographed Reprints – John Smoltz
  • 2013 Rookie Card Patch – Jones

Chipper’s 5 reprints beats out everyone else

Other Notable Cards: There really aren’t any “notable” cards aside from the Chipper Jones rookie – in some way, that’s the beauty of this set.  It relies on its own design and photography and does just fine.  There are a ton of great photos, so I pulled some of them:





1991 Topps Babe Ruth Movie set

1 11 2011

Topps issued an 11-card set of cards to promote an NBC Babe Ruth movie that aired in October of 1991.  The cards were created in the design of the 1991 set, with a description of the actor or scene portrayed on the front of each card.  Everything I’ve read about the movie was that it wasn’t great, but it was significantly better than the previous Babe Ruth movie (from 1948).  Stephen Lang played the title character.  It’s an interesting cast of characters, highlighted in the set.

  • Babe Ruth – played by Stephen Lang
  • Claire Ruth – played by Lisa Zane
  • Lou Gehrig – played by Neal McDonough
  • Miller Huggins – played by Bruce Weitz
  • Ty Cobb – played by Pete Rose
  • Jacob Ruppert – played by Donald Moffat
  • Rod Carew – as a swing consultant to help Lang learn to bat left-handed (the switch-hitting Rose couldn’t help here?)

This set contains the last card of Pete Rose printed by Topps through the weird coincidence of his playing Cobb a couple of years after his lifetime ban.  I bought the set from eBay a few weeks ago.





1991 Topps Glossy Sets

30 10 2011

Topps was down to 2 Glossy sets issued in conjunction with its 1991 base set.  Topps didn’t issue the 60-card All-Star and Prospects glossy send-in set this year – the 40th Anniversary insert cards and old Topps set giveaways took the place of that set as the main prize for the instant win game.  This year it was down to just the 22-card All-Star set and the 33-card Rookies set.  The Rookies set was again available 1 per jumbo pack.  This year the All-Star set was available by sending in proofs of purchase of Rack Packs, as opposed to inserted 1 per pack as in previous years.

The 1990 Reds World Series team was decently represented.  Hal Morris was there from the Rookies team, and both Jack Armstrong and Chris Sabo made it into the All-Star set as they started the 1990 game.  I haven’t been able to find a full set of the All-Stars for sale, so those 2 cards are just scans.  I do have the Morris and the Rookies set.

All-Star Glossy

Back for its 9th and final year, the 22-card set commemorating the 1990 All-Star game was available after sending in a certain number of rack packs and $1.50 S&H.  The more proofs of purchase you sent in, the cheaper you could get the full set.  The set again had the manager, 9 starters, and the All-Star game honorary captains for each league.  Al Lopez was the AL honorary captain, while Juan Marichal was the NL captain.  As mentioned, I don’t have any of these cards yet.  So I’ll just show the Griffey pic from an ebay auction.

8 Hall of Famers:     W. Boggs, C. Ripken, R. Henderson, A. Lopez, R. Sandberg, O. Smith, A. Dawson, J. Marichal (1 less than the previous year’s set)

Glossy Rookies

In its fourth year, the Rookies set was again issued 1 per jumbo pack.  The set depicts some of the best rookies from the 1989 season.  All 10 members of the Topps All-Star rookie team are again included in this set, as well 23 other 1990 rookies.  Frank Thomas is by far the biggest name from the set, though Larry Walker is a likely future HOF-er and there are quite a few other future All-Stars in the set.





1991 Topps parallel sets

29 10 2011

Topps had a few parallel sets in 1991.  Just as it had since 1984, Topps issued a Tiffany set.  The Tiffany set came in a navy box and was the last, and most limited, of all the Tiffany sets.  In 1992 Topps would start printing the regular base set on white cardboard, and the whole card would be glossy in 1993, so the idea of a Tiffany set became obsolete.  The Traded Set also had a Tiffany version; both sets were limited to less than 5,000 sets.

There were two new parallels in 1991. The most famous was the Desert Shield parallels.  Topps printed these special edition parallel cards of the 1991 set and inserted them into packs that were intended for servicemen in the Persian Gulf.  There is a gold foil Desert Shield logo in the upper right corner of the cards.  Many of these cards never made it to their intended recipients but were sold back here – they are fairly scarce and could command a good premium in the early 90’s (and still do so to some extent today).  A well-kept version of the Chipper rookie will sell for a couple hundred dollars.  At some point I may consider getting the Reds of these, but not right now.

Topps also produced a “micro” set for the first time.  Topps issued these mini-cards in factory set form for three years.  The cards measure 1″ x 1-3/8″.  I bought Reds team sets for all 3 years of micro parallels on eBay a little while back.  Here’s some of them – there so small it’s hard to get them onto the scanner in any kind of order!