Card I selected: #302 – Barry Larkin
In 1998 I picked a player from my favorite team, only my 2nd Cincinnati in these parallel attempts. There were a few more cards to get in 1998 – Topps went back to inserting a parallel in the base set called “Minted in Cooperstown”, and they had a special factory set made to sell at both parks of the 2 expansion teams. There were 2 jumbo cards again – the Topps SuperChrome and its refractor version. And Opening Day made its debut offering.
I’m back to not having the full complement of these cards. I’m missing the Opening Day card, which I’ll be able to get pretty easily someday. More difficult is the SuperChrome Refractor for Larkin, which I feel will be very difficult to come by. I’ve never even seen it for sale. So while I hope to redo this post someday, it may be a while.
# of cards (including the Topps card): 9
The parallel sets in 1998 include:
- Minted in Cooperstown
- Inaugural Diamondbacks
- Inaugural Devil Rays
- Opening Day
- Chrome Refractors
- SuperChrome Refractors
1998 Topps #302
1998 Topps Minted in Cooperstown #302
This parallel set was called “Minted in Cooperstown”. The cards have a bronze Hall of Fame stamp on them – and all the cards were printed in Cooperstown using a portable press. The back is exactly the same as the regular card.
1998 Topps Inaugural Diamondbacks #302
1998 Topps Inaugural Devil Rays #302
Just as they’d done in the expansion year of 1993, Topps also produced 2 special factory sets for sale at both the Diamondbacks’ and Devil Rays’ team stores. The cards are stamped with a logo of the respective team. The back is exactly the same as the regular card.
1998 Topps Opening Day #198
Topps issued the first “Opening Day” set in 1998. This 165 card set was retail only, and features the same photos from the base set. The border is silver instead of the gold that the base Topps cards have, and there is an Opening Day logo instead of the Topps logo. Naturally, the back has a different number and it has a silver background unlike the gold in the regular Topps set.
1998 Topps Chrome #302
Topps Chrome was back for the 3rd year. This time it was a full version of all 503 cards in the regular Topps set, released in 2 series. The front of the card reproduces the base set using Topps chromium technology and of course the logo is the Topps Chrome logo. The back of the card is the same as the regular set except for the logo, slightly different copyright wording, and hollow block letters spelling “REFRACTOR” that are filled in when the card is a refractor.
1998 Topps Chrome Refractor #302
Inserted every 12 packs of Topps Chrome were refractors. A plastic diffraction effect that gives refractors a colorful, reflective shine. The block letters mentioned above are filled in on the back so you can tell it’s a refractor on the back as well.
1998 Topps SuperChrome #6
1998 Topps SuperChrome Refractor #6
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Topps came out with giant jumbo cards that were their own product called SuperChrome. These cards came in 3-card packs that retailed for $4.99. The front is the same as Topps Chrome except there’s a SuperChrome logo and the cards are 4-⅛” by 5-¾”. The number on the back is different since it’s a smaller set. There’s also a refractor version, which came 1 in 12 packs just like regular-sized ones, though the refractor wording on the regular sets is nowhere to be found.
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Any sets I didn’t get: That’s all of them you could get.
Other cards I would have liked to do: The Jim Edmonds card (making an overhead catch) and Tom Glavine’s card (running the bases in a jacket) are very cool. Also, A-Rod had a notable card since it was his first Topps card. Finally, getting Sosa or McGwire in the year they had the historic home run chase would have been cool. I was limited to the 36 guys in the SuperChrome set, and since I really like this Larkin, that was my choice!
Hopefully I can find that SuperChrome refractor someday!