Completed insert set – 1998 Topps Etch-a-Sketch

27 03 2016

I completed another insert set from 1998 Topps.  This is the Etch-A-Sketch insert.

Info about the set:

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Set description:  This nine-card set features drawings by artist George Vlosich III done on an etch-a-sketch and put onto cardboard.

Set composition:  9 cards, 1:36 odds (1998 Topps series 1)

Hall of Famers:  5. Cal Ripken Jr., Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Mike Piazza, Ken Griffey Jr.

More than half the set, which is pretty good for a 1998 set.

How I put the set together:

  • 1 cards from my series 1 hobby box
  • 1 card from a trade
  • 1 card from Beckett’s marketplace
  • 2 cards from Sportlots
  • 4 cards from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  Really cool idea.  I have to give credit for thinking outside the box.  There’s a guy who’s awesome at Etch-a-Sketch.  Topps used his drawings to make a set of cards.  Honestly, it seems like better ideas than they have in today’s world.

Card that completed my set: #ES6 – Mike Piazza

98 Topps Etch front

I got this card from COMC last March.  So this completed set has been a year in wait!

Best card (my opinion): #ES2 – Barry Bonds

1998 Topps s1 Etch a Sketch Bonds

This is 2 straight 1998 sets where I’ve picked Bonds as the best card.  Somehow it seems like this could be a bad idea.  But I think the drawing of the Golden Gate Bridge in the background is really cool, plus the drawing really looks like Bonds where some of the others are a bit “sketchy”.  This is also the card I got in my box – maybe that helps!

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none.

Here’s the scan of all 9 cards:

1998 Topps Etch a Sketch complete

Any other tidbits:  The kid who started doing this is no longer a kid, and he’s still at it.  Here’s his website.

Completed insert set – 1998 Topps Clout Nine

24 03 2016

This is my 4th completed insert set from 1998 Topps.  Though I got so behind on these completed set posts that I actually have 4 more I’ve completed but not posted about yet.  I’m catching up, though!  Clout Nine is a 9-card set that fits nicely into a binder page.

Info about the set:

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Set description:  Inserted into series 2 packs, Clout Nine features a player at each position (DH but not pitcher) who had the highest OPS in baseball for that position in 1997.  The player is featured in the center and there’s a head shot of the other 8 players down the 2 sides.  There is a cloud background.  The back of the card has more clouds, a picture of the player, and a list of the top 10 at each position.

Set composition: 9 cards, 1:72 odds (1998 Topps series 2)

Hall of Famers:  4.  Frank Thomas, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, Ken Griffey Jr.

How I put the set together:

  • 1 card from my series 2 hobby box
  • 4 cards from COMC
  • 2 cards from Sportlots
  • 2 card from Beckett’s marketplace

Card that completed my set: #C9 – Larry Walker

1998 Topps Clout 9 Walker

I got this card from COMC all the way back in June of last year.  Walker actually was the MLB leader in OPS in 1997, by 102 points over Piazza.

Thoughts on the set:  This set has kind of grown on me.  At first it seemed like filler, but now I kind of like the cloud background.  The premise is really cool – I’m surprised Topps was so progressive to use OPS back in 1998.  Finally, the fact that it’s 9 cards is underrated.  I wish Topps did things like this more often.  Having a 9-card set that fits perfectly into a binder is really nice.  Much nicer than a 10-card set, which is the most annoying thing you can do.


Best card (my opinion): #C7 – Barry Bonds

1998 Topps Clout 9 Bonds

You may not like Bonds, but I don’t harbor as much ill will as others do toward him.  And I do like this photo the best.  Plus, this was pre-steroids!

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none.

Here’s a scan of the set.  All in 1 page!

1998 Topps Clout 9 complete

Any other tidbits:  Mark McGwire had the highest OPS out of players who didn’t make this set.  His OPS was 1.039, 31 points behind Frank Thomas for the 1st base card.  This was also the last year Thomas played more at first than as the DH.

Todd Stottlemyre would have been the top pitcher if they did a pitchers’ card.  He had an excellent .333 OBP and a .345 Slugging percentage for a .679 OPS.

Completed insert set – 1998 Topps Roberto Clemente Reprints

31 12 2015

I’ve still got a ton of completed set posts to go through, but on New Year’s Eve, this set seems like the most appropriate.  43 years ago today, Roberto Clemente died while on a flight to bring relief aid to victims of a massive earthquake in Nicaragua.

Info about the set:

Set description:  Clemente was the 3rd historic player honored with a reprint set (after Mickey Mantle in ’96 and Willie Mays in ’97).  Clemente was a good choice, as 1998 marked 25 years since his tragic death.  This set had reprints of the full run of his base Topps cards during his career.  Reprints of his 19 regular cards from 1955-1973 were issued across both series 1.  The 10 odd years come in series 1, while the 9 even years come in series 2.  There is a gold Clemente logo, created

Set composition:  19 cards, 1:18 odds (1998 Topps series 1, 2)

Hall of Famers:  1 – just Clemente.  None of his multi-player cards are included.

How I put the set together:

  • 4 cards from my 2 1998 hobby boxes
  • 5 cards from Beckett Marketplace
  • 10 cards from COMC

Card that completed my set:  #18 – 1972 Topps

I bought the last cards I needed from COMC back in May.

Thoughts on the set:  Retro sets are everywhere you look these days, but in 1998 there weren’t that many, and they were almost all reprints.  This wasn’t the first set like this, but it was still a great idea at this point in time.

Best card (my opinion):  #19 – 1973 Topps

The 1972 card is probably my favorite photo, but the 1973 card is great as well.  And there’s something awesome about seeing exactly 3,000 hits on the back of the card.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none (obviously).

1998 Topps Clemente Reprint complete

1998 Topps Clemente Reprint complete_0001

1998 Topps Clemente 1973 Reprint

Completed insert set – 1998 Topps Rookie Class

24 09 2013

I completed another insert set earlier this year but couldn’t post the completion (under my strange and unwritten “rules of the blog”) until I actually completed my 1998 Topps background posts.  Yesterday was Clemente, today is Rookie Class.

Info about the set:

Set description: Replacing the Clemente tribute cards from series 1 is a 10-card set of the top rookies coming into the league in 1998.  The cards feature an action photo in the foreground with a tinted background.  There is also a second photo of the player in the background, and the words rookie class going up the side.  The back has another player photo along with 1997 stats and a write-up.

Set composition: 10 cards, 1:12 odds (1998 Topps series 2)

Hall of Famers: None yet.  Todd Helton and Paul Konerko – maybe someday.

How I put the set together:

  • 4 cards from my series 2 hobby box
  • 1 card from a card show
  • 4 cards from Sportlots
  • 1 card from Beckett’s marketplace

Thoughts on the set:  This set is OK.  Not the greatest rookie class – Helton has been a pretty good player who just passed 2500 hits.  Konerko has had an excellent career.  For what it’s worth, I think Helton should be a Hall of Famer, but Konerko is very close but I lean toward no.  Derrek Lee is also in the set.  Overall, not a bad set, and one that was probably more interesting to collect at the time when these guys were young than 16 years later.

Card that completed my set: #R10 – Ben Grieve

I got this card from Beckett’s website in May.  Grieve was the 1998 AL Rookie of the Year, but had only one season after 1998 that compared to his rookie campaign.

Highest book value: #R3 – Todd Helton

Best card (my opinion): #R5 – Mark Kotsay

I like the picture of Kotsay following through on his swing, and the teal Marlins uniform seems to go well with the card design.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none.

1998 Topps Rookie Class

1998 Topps Rookie Class_0001

Completed insert set – 1998 Clemente Tribute

22 09 2013

I completed an insert set last year but hadn’t gotten to posting my foray into 1998 Topps.  I just finished up my posts on 1998 Topps, so now the wait to post about this set is over!  This was a 5-card tribute set for Topps “hero of the year” in 1998 – Roberto Clemente.

Info about the set:

Set description: “Clemente tribute cards featuring color photography that has never appeared on any trading card”.

Set composition: 5 cards, 1:12 odds (1998 Topps series 1)

Hall of Famers: 1. Obviously.

How I put the set together:

  • 3 cards from series 1 hobby box
  • 2 cards from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  I wasn’t too excited about this set at first, but given the recent state of Topps baseball card photography – having 5 completely new pictures of Clemente is actually pretty cool, and must have been at the time!

Card that completed my set: #RC2 – Roberto Clemente

One of 2 cards I got from Check Out My Cards during their Black Friday special last November.

Highest book value: all are the same

Best card (my opinion): #RC1 – Roberto Clemente

Clemente picking his weapon of choice is my favorite photo.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none.

1998 Topps Clemente Tribute complete set

1998 Topps ’90 Reds Cards

11 09 2013

After going up to 9 of the 25 1990 World Series team members in the 1997 Topps set, there was a decrease of 4 players represented in the 1998 set – down to only 5 players (but no subset cards).

There were 5 players gone from after having cards in the 1997 set:

  • Jose Rijo didn’t have a card in the set as he was out of baseball for five years.  He would get one again in 2002 – he was the second player in baseball history to play in a game after receiving Hall of Fame votes.
  • Eric Davis was not in the 1998 Topps set even though he was in a bunch of other sets in 1998 – including Topps Gallery.  Davis played for Baltimore in 1997, but was diagnosed with colon cancer and only played about 40 games.  He would be back in the base set in 1999.
  • Mariano Duncan’s last Topps card was in 1997.  He helped the Yankees to their first World Series title in nearly two decades in 1996.  He was decent for the Yankees and Blue Jays in 1997, and he did have some cards in 1998 from Pacific.  He played his last baseball in Japan in 1998 for the Yomiuri Giants.
  • Norm Charlton had his last Topps card in 1997, and like Duncan did have a card in some Pacific sets in 1998.  He actually pitched through 2001, but was largely ineffective for 5 different teams.
  • Randy Myers had also had his last Topps card in 1997.  This is kind of shocking – he led the AL in saves and won the Rolaids Relief award in 1997 while pitching for the Baltimore Orioles.  He had cards in other sets, just not in any Topps products.  Myers would be out of baseball soon thereafter, though.  He saved 28 games for the Blue Jays in 1998, but had an ERA over 4.  He was picked up off waivers by the Padres in one of the biggest waiver blunders – the Padres claimed him to block him from the Braves getting him, and thought the Jays would pull him back.  But they just let San Diego have him.  He did pitch for the Padres in the World Series, but did not pitch well.  He was injured and never pitched after the 1998 season.

Lou Piniella was manager of that Mariners team – but Topps still didn’t have manager cards for the fourth straight year.  He’d be back in Topps sets in the future, though.

There was 1 player back after not having a card in the 1997 set:

  • Joe Oliver was a bit of an alternator.  He was in the ’94 set, then gone from the ’95 set after injuries basically eliminated his 1994 campaign.  He was back in 1996, but kept out of the ’97 Topps set despite playing over 100 games the season before.  He was back in 1998 – with the Reds!

There were no subset or insert cards other than the Printed in Cooperstown parallel that each base card had.

1998 – Jeff Reed, Hal Morris, Barry Larkin, Paul O’Neill, Joe Oliver

1998 Topps Reds

1998 Topps Autographs and Memorabilia

10 09 2013

In 1998, Topps didn’t insert any autographs directly into packs of their base product.  They had done so with Willie Mays autos the year before, and a Derek Jeter auto into series 2.

Clemente Memorabilia Madness Redemption – 19 cards (1:2,400 series 1)

1998 Topps s1 box Clemente Wild Card madness

Series 1 also included a Clemente Memorabilia promotion where you could get a bunch of different memorabilia related to Clemente.  You needed to pull one of the winner cards and also include one of the Wild Cards above.

Here are the prizes you could win:

  • 227 of Clemente’s old Topps cards (3 of his 1955 Rookie Card),
  • 500 uncut sheets of Topps “Minted in Cooperstown” parallels,
  • 10 different autographed Topps cards of Clemente (1 was his 1970 Topps Super),
  • 1 Clemente Game-Used Jersey,
  • 2 autographed Pirates team World Series baseballs (1960, 1971),
  • 3 other Clemente Autographed balls,
  • 3 different signed posters/photos,
  • 4 game-used bats,
  • 4 canceled checks,
  • 1 cut autograph with a photo, and
  • 99 Clemente Pirates jerseys issued by Topps specifically for this promotion.

Here’s a picture of one of the Pirates jerseys you could have won.  A few of these have popped up on eBay over the years – this one was on somewhat recently.  Notice the patch on the upper right arm – it’s the same as the Clemente logo Topps put onto his 1998 reprint cards.



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