2003 Topps parallels – Carlos Delgado – finally finished!!!!

24 06 2018

This is the product of finding one of those white whales!  I posted back in 2016 about the 2003 Topps parallels I was going after – and I’d never even seen his 2003 Chrome Silver Refractor.  The silver refractors were supposedly only in series 2.  This involved some pretty decent research (if I do say so) – I checked COMC’s history, looked through Worthpoint.  Far from exhaustive, but I’d never even seen the Delgado card.

It popped up on eBay recently, and I put about a $30 bid in on it (don’t tell the seller – it sold for $2.50 when I was the only bidder !) 🙂  And now I’m done with this year’s parallel collection…

2003 Topps

Card I selected:  #421 – Carlos Delgado

Delgado isn’t a Hall of Famer.  This isn’t the best card from this set.  But the blue goes well with his team (the Blue Jays).  And Delgado was an underrated player.  Most importantly, I was able to snag a card of Delgado from the Kanebo set, which is easily the hardest of the parallels to find.

There is one card of his I’ve never seen – the silver refractor which was only available in retail series 2 chrome packs.

# of cards (including the Topps card):  13

The parallel sets in 2003 include:

  • Gold
  • Black
  • Home Team Advantage
  • Kanebo
  • Opening Day
  • Opening Day Get a Hit Scratch-off
  • Chrome
  • Chrome Refractors
  • Chrome Silver Refractors
  • Chrome Gold Refractors
  • Chrome Black Refractors
  • Chrome Uncirculated X-fractors

Scans:

2003 Topps #421

2003 Topps Delgado

2003 Topps Delgado back

2003 Topps Gold #421

2003 Topps Gold Delgado

2003 Topps Gold Delgado back

Topps Gold was back for the third straight year (5th overall).  This parallel had a shiny gold foil border and was numbered to 2,003 on the back in gold foil stamping.  The front also has “52 years of collecting” written across the top.

2003 Topps Black #421

2003 Topps Black Delgado

2003 Topps Black Delgado back

Topps started Topps Black as a much rarer parallel insert set in 2003.  The border is black.  Topps Black was numbered to 52, with a gold foil stamp on the back, to honor 52 years of collecting since the 1952 set.  It has the same “52 years of collecting” at the top of the front.

2003 Topps Home Team Advantage #421

2003 Topps HTA Delgado

2003 Topps Delgado back

Topps Limited was gone, but Topps still created a Home Team Advantage (HTA) factory set with a foil-stamped “Home Team Advantage” logo on the front.

2003 Topps Kanebo #8

2003 Topps Kanebo Delgado

2003 Topps Kanebo Delgado back

Topps issued Japanese versions alongside a company called Kanebo for the 2nd year.  These seem to be harder to come by than the 2002 versions.  There are 55 cards, The backs are written in Japanese, and the card numbers are different.  The front differs from the regular Topps card in that it doesn’t have foil stamping and there’s no Topps logo.  The borders on the front and back are a different shade of blue – very close to the Opening Day cards.

2003 Topps Opening Day #15

2003 Topps Opening Day Delgado

2003 Topps Opening Day Delgado back

Opening Day was back for the 6th time in 2003.  Tge 165 card set was retail only, and features the same photos from the base Topps set.  The border is a little bit lighter shade of blue, and the team logo on the front is replaced with the Topps Opening Day logo.  The back is the same as the Topps set except for the different number and slightly different copyright info.

2003 Topps Opening Day Scratch-Off #NNO

2003 Topps Opening Day Scratch-off Delgado

2003 Topps Opening Day Scratch-off Delgado back

These stickers had a play-and-win game on the back.  It’s a partial parallel of the Opening Day set (72 cards).

2003 Topps Chrome #259

2003 Topps Chrome Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Delgado back

Topps Chrome was back for the 8th year.  It was 440 cards, so not the same size as the regular set.  The front of the card reproduces the base set using Topps chromium technology and the logo is the Topps Chrome logo.  The back of the card is the same as the regular set except for the Topps Chrome logo and slightly different copyright wording.

2003 Topps Chrome Refractor #259

2003 Topps Chrome Refractor Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Refractor Delgado back

Inserted every 5 packs of Topps Chrome were refractors with their colorful, reflective shine.  The word refractor is written by the number on the back – otherwise the back is the same as the regular Chrome card.  In 2003 Topps started numbering these – they were stamped in gold foil out of 699.

2003 Topps Chrome Silver Refractor #259

Series 2 retail packs had special silver refractors.  So it wasn’t a full parallel of Topps Chrome, which is a bit weird.  I was on the lookout for this card, had never seen it before, and now finally have it!

2003 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor #259

2003 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor Delgado back

Topps Gold Refractors had the gold border and the refractor effect.  These were numbered out of 449.  The word gold refractor is noted on the back by the card number.

2003 Topps Chrome Black Refractor #259

2003 Topps Chrome Black Refractor Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Black Refractor Delgado back

Black Refractors were back, this time numbered out of 199.  The black refractor wording is noted on the back by the card number.

2003 Topps Chrome Uncirculated Xfractor #259

2003 Topps Chrome Uncirculated Xfractor Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Uncirculated Xfractor Delgado back

These cards came one per box as a box topper.  They have the refractor / diffraction effect but with a checkered finish that’s called “X-fractors”.  They come in a hard case and are thus “uncirculated”.  Xfractor is written at the bottom by the card number.

The “Rainbow”:

2003 Topps Delgado rainbow

Any sets I didn’t get:  A few worth mentioning.  First, the Kanebo set comes with copper parallel.  Considering how hard it is to get the base card, getting the copper just isn’t realistic.  Though if I ever see it, I’ll try for it.  Also, Topps did create super-rare trademark variations where the Topps logo was the old logo from the 1970’s.  Delgado has a variation card, but it’s too rare for me to chase and I’m going with “variation isn’t a parallel” here.

Other cards I would have liked to do:  Griffey’s card is great in this set, and he has all of the above parallels.  But I did Griffey in 1999.  I thought about John Smoltz – he’s in a throwback Braves uniform on his card – but he didn’t have a Kanebo card.

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Completed insert set – 2003 Topps Ryan Record Breakers

3 06 2018

I finished another set recently and this is a white whale kind of set!  Over 3 years, I’ve slowly put together the set through eBay and COMC, and last month I got the last card of 7.

Info about the set:

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Set description:  Topps had a giant Record Breaker insert set in 2003, but it did a second off-shoot to commemorate Nolan Ryan’s 7 no-hitters.  There’s a card for each no-hitter, with a colorful background just like the regular set.

Set composition:  7 cards, I have no clue on the odds

Hall of Famers:  1 guy, 7 times

How I put the set together:

  • 5 cards from eBay
  • 2 cards from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  The regular set is way too large, but this set is pretty cool.  I wish it wasn’t so rare, though.

Card that completed my set:  #NR2 – Nolan Ryan (July 15, 1973)

I got this one on eBay last month.  I had 4 of the 7 cards going into 2018, then found 2 cards in January on eBay and the last card in April.

Best card (my opinion):  This is one of those sets that I just don’t think you can pick.  I don’t have a favorite Nolan Ryan no-hitter.  In fact, it would be easier for me to pick a least favorite card.  Ryan’s 7th no-hitter came on the day Rickey Henderson (my favorite non-Red player as a kid) broke Lou Brock’s stolen base record.  So it kind of overshadowed what was, in my opinion, a bigger moment.  I’ve always been a big fan or Nolan Ryan, though, so I got over it.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none.  It sure would have been nice to have the Ryan Express on the Big Red Machine!

***********

Here’s a scan of the set.

Any other tidbits:  This Ryan Record Breaker set is a bit of a mystery to me – any info would be appreciated!  Beckett and Baseballcardpedia say that the Ryan No-Hitter Record Breaker cards come 1:2 per series 2 HTA Jumbo.  My series 2 box that I did was a s2 HTA Jumbo box, and I can tell you that’s not the case.  Regular Record Breaker cards come 1:2, but the Ryan cards do not.  In a box of 12 packs, I did not pull a single Ryan card.  Given the fact it will cost you over 10 bucks if you ever find one, they are much more rare than that.





2003 Topps parallels – Carlos Delgado (some hunting left – maybe)

15 05 2016

2003 Topps

Card I selected:  #421 – Carlos Delgado

Delgado isn’t a Hall of Famer.  This isn’t the best card from this set.  But the blue goes well with his team (the Blue Jays).  And Delgado was an underrated player.  Most importantly, I was able to snag a card of Delgado from the Kanebo set, which is easily the hardest of the parallels to find.

There is one card of his I’ve never seen – the silver refractor which was only available in retail series 2 chrome packs.

# of cards (including the Topps card):  13

The parallel sets in 2003 include:

  • Gold
  • Black
  • Home Team Advantage
  • Kanebo
  • Opening Day
  • Opening Day Get a Hit Scratch-off
  • Chrome
  • Chrome Refractors
  • Chrome Silver Refractors
  • Chrome Gold Refractors
  • Chrome Black Refractors
  • Chrome Uncirculated X-fractors

Scans:

2003 Topps #421

2003 Topps Delgado

2003 Topps Delgado back

2003 Topps Gold #421

2003 Topps Gold Delgado

2003 Topps Gold Delgado back

Topps Gold was back for the third straight year (5th overall).  This parallel had a shiny gold foil border and was numbered to 2,003 on the back in gold foil stamping.  The front also has “52 years of collecting” written across the top.

2003 Topps Black #421

2003 Topps Black Delgado

2003 Topps Black Delgado back

Topps started Topps Black as a much rarer parallel insert set in 2003.  The border is black.  Topps Black was numbered to 52, with a gold foil stamp on the back, to honor 52 years of collecting since the 1952 set.  It has the same “52 years of collecting” at the top of the front.

2003 Topps Home Team Advantage #421

2003 Topps HTA Delgado

2003 Topps Delgado back

Topps Limited was gone, but Topps still created a Home Team Advantage (HTA) factory set with a foil-stamped “Home Team Advantage” logo on the front.

2003 Topps Kanebo #8

2003 Topps Kanebo Delgado

2003 Topps Kanebo Delgado back

Topps issued Japanese versions alongside a company called Kanebo for the 2nd year.  These seem to be harder to come by than the 2002 versions.  There are 55 cards, The backs are written in Japanese, and the card numbers are different.  The front differs from the regular Topps card in that it doesn’t have foil stamping and there’s no Topps logo.  The borders on the front and back are a different shade of blue – very close to the Opening Day cards.

2003 Topps Opening Day #15

2003 Topps Opening Day Delgado

2003 Topps Opening Day Delgado back

Opening Day was back for the 6th time in 2003.  Tge 165 card set was retail only, and features the same photos from the base Topps set.  The border is a little bit lighter shade of blue, and the team logo on the front is replaced with the Topps Opening Day logo.  The back is the same as the Topps set except for the different number and slightly different copyright info.

2003 Topps Opening Day Scratch-Off #NNO

2003 Topps Opening Day Scratch-off Delgado

2003 Topps Opening Day Scratch-off Delgado back

These stickers had a play-and-win game on the back.  It’s a partial parallel of the Opening Day set (72 cards).

2003 Topps Chrome #259

2003 Topps Chrome Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Delgado back

Topps Chrome was back for the 8th year.  It was 440 cards, so not the same size as the regular set.  The front of the card reproduces the base set using Topps chromium technology and the logo is the Topps Chrome logo.  The back of the card is the same as the regular set except for the Topps Chrome logo and slightly different copyright wording.

2003 Topps Chrome Refractor #259

2003 Topps Chrome Refractor Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Refractor Delgado back

Inserted every 5 packs of Topps Chrome were refractors with their colorful, reflective shine.  The word refractor is written by the number on the back – otherwise the back is the same as the regular Chrome card.  In 2003 Topps started numbering these – they were stamped in gold foil out of 699.

2003 Topps Chrome Silver Refractor #259

COMING SOMEDAY TO A BLOG NEAR YOU

Series 2 retail packs had special silver refractors.  So it wasn’t a full parallel of Topps Chrome, which is a bit weird.  I’m on the lookout for this card, but I’ve never seen it before.

2003 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor #259

2003 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor Delgado back

Topps Gold Refractors had the gold border and the refractor effect.  These were numbered out of 449.  The word gold refractor is noted on the back by the card number.

2003 Topps Chrome Black Refractor #259

2003 Topps Chrome Black Refractor Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Black Refractor Delgado back

Black Refractors were back, this time numbered out of 199.  The black refractor wording is noted on the back by the card number.

2003 Topps Chrome Uncirculated Xfractor #259

2003 Topps Chrome Uncirculated Xfractor Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Uncirculated Xfractor Delgado back

These cards came one per box as a box topper.  They have the refractor / diffraction effect but with a checkered finish that’s called “X-fractors”.  They come in a hard case and are thus “uncirculated”.  Xfractor is written at the bottom by the card number.

The “Rainbow”:

2003 Topps Delgado rainbow

That’s page 1.  Page 2 is…

COMING SOMEDAY TO A BLOG NEAR YOU

Hopefully I can find the silver refractor someday.

Any sets I didn’t get:  A few worth mentioning.  First, the Kanebo set comes with copper parallel.  Considering how hard it is to get the base card, getting the copper just isn’t realistic.  Though if I ever see it, I’ll try for it.  Also, Topps did create super-rare trademark variations where the Topps logo was the old logo from the 1970’s.  Delgado has a variation card, but it’s too rare for me to chase and I’m going with “variation isn’t a parallel” here.

Other cards I would have liked to do:  Griffey’s card is great in this set, and he has all of the above parallels.  But I did Griffey in 1999.  I thought about John Smoltz – he’s in a throwback Braves uniform on his card – but he didn’t have a Kanebo card.





2003 Topps Traded Autographs & Memorabilia

30 09 2015

I only have 1 legitimate scan to show off in this post, since I got 1 relic in the 2003 Topps Traded box.  The rest of these photos are swiped from the internet (in most cases eBay).

Signature Moves – (20 cards, 1:114-280)

2003 Topps Traded Signature Moves Victor Martinez

Signature Moves was back for the 2nd year, showcasing autographs of guys who had switched teams and a few rookies, like Victor Martinez above.  There were two tiers in this autograph set, A and B.  It’s actually a fairly obtainable set.  I was looking on eBay and the prices aren’t too bad for guys like V-Mart and Teixeira.

Team Topps Legends and Blue Chips were also inserted in Topps Traded as cross-product autographs you could find.  I covered those back in the Autograph overview for the regular Topps set.

There were a few different memorabilia sets you could get in Topps Traded.

Transactions Relics – 25 cards (1:78-168)

Transactions Dual Relics – 3 cards (1:421)

2003 Topps Traded Chrome Refractors_0001

The main memorabilia set was called Transactions Relics.  This basically replaces Tools of the Trade from the year before.  The single-player cards all contain bat pieces, and like the Signature Moves cards they are inserted in 2 different tiers.

2003 Topps Traded Transaction Relic Dual Pudge

There was again a dual version for 3 players which contained jersey pieces from the player’s previous and current team.

Future Phenoms Relics – 15 cards (1:101-2,330)

2003 Topps Traded Future Phenoms Relic Hafner

There were separate rookie/prospect relic cards called Future Phenoms as well – this was the first year for these.

Hall of Fame Relic – 2 cards (1:1,009)

Hall of Fame Dual Relic – 1 card (1:2,015)

2003 Topps Traded HOF Relic Murray

There was a relic honoring each of the 2 Hall of Fame inductees in 2003.  Gary Carter’s card had a jersey inset, Eddie Murray had a bat.

2003 Topps Traded HOF Dual Murray Carter

They also had a dual card.  I really like the design for these – it seems a lot more Hall of Fame appropriate than the Ozzie Smith the year before.

After Jose Canseco in 2002 and Tony Gwynn/ Cal Ripken in 2001, the Farewell Relic didn’t make a return showing in 2003.  This may have been due to lack of a clear person to honor.  Rickey Henderson played his last game in 2003, but he didn’t officially retire for quite a few years.  Matt Williams also retired in 2003, but Topps may have not known he was definitely retiring at the end of the season.  Tim Raines may have been the best bet.  He didn’t play after the 2002 season, and it was probably official at that point.  But Raines had retired once before and so it’s possible nobody was sure at that point.





2003 Topps Traded & Rookies – parallel set

29 09 2015

Topps had no stand-alone insert sets in the 2003 Traded product.  Aside from relics or autographs, the only insert set was one parallel set.  You could also get a Chrome and Chrome Refractor variations in the packs, but I view those as a different product.

Topps Gold (275 cards, 1:3)

Topps Gold was back, and just like the base set, it was numbered to the year – out of 2,003.  Topps didn’t include Topps Black in the Traded product, even though it had its debut in the 2003 series 1 and series 2 Topps sets.

2003 Topps Traded Gold cards





2003 Topps Traded & Rookies scans

27 09 2015

I’m pretty used to Topps Traded being bought through packs as opposed to through factory boxes; this was the 3rd year after Topps had switched over to that medium.  2003 was still something of a transition phase to what we have today, as:

  • the base set only consisted of traded players, first year players and prospects.
  • the only inserts in the product are gold parallels and relic/autograph hits.
  • Topps Chrome is included as well.  I’m not sure when it will end, but I hope it does soon.  I’d rather get base cards toward my set.

Today it’s essentially a third series of the product which contains All-Stars, home run derby participants and season highlights as well as its own standard inserts.

Rookies and prospects are always a big thing in Topps Traded, and there’s one very big rookie card in this set.  That’s Robinson Cano, who is still one of the best second-sackers in baseball, even if he isn’t doing quite as well in Seattle as he probably envisioned.

2003 Topps Traded Robinson Cano RC

There are 4 other guys who have had significant, sustained success in MLB.  Hanley Ramirez is back with his original team – though he’s also not doing as well as Cano.  McCann is now with the Yankees and has put together a solid career.  Dan Haren just won his 150th game, and Shane Victorino has played a major role on 2 World Series champions.  These are all Rookie Cards.

2003 Topps Traded McCann Hanley Haren Victorino RCs

There’s a few more guys from the set whose success has been much more fleeting – but they still gained some notoriety along the way.  Ishikawa is a little different from the other 3 – he earned that notoriety when he became the last year, whereas the other 3 guys had some significant success in the mid 2000’s.

2003 Topps Traded Wang Webb Ishikawa Bonderman FY RCs

Aside from these first year cards, there is also a “prospects” subset.  Miggy is the most notable – in fact, Beckett says this is the second most expensive card in the set, behind Cano.

2003 Topps Traded Miguel Cabrera PROS

There’s quite a few other guys in that prospect subset, and most of them didn’t make their name with the team shown on the card below (James Loney aside).

2003 Topps Traded Gonzo Wainwright Choo PROS

Moving on to the veterans, there are 2 Hall of Famers in this set.  Both were very close to the end of their career.  This is one of the few cards you can find that evidence Rickey Henderson’s time with the Dodgers.  Alomar had a little more time with the White Sox, but he was close to the end at this point.

2003 Topps Traded Roberto Alomar Rickey Henderson

There are 3 veteran “traded” guys who really jumped out at me as significant acquisitions.  All 3 of the guys below were leaders on World Series winning teams.  Pudge, of course, led the Marlins to the championship in his only season in Florida.  But his impact that one year is probably understated.  His role in shaping the growth of the Marlins’ young pitching prospects.  Aside from him, Carpenter and Ortiz have led the Cardinals to multiple World Championships.

2003 Topps Traded Ortiz Pudge Carpenter

A notch below them are 3 more significant acquisitions.  None of these guys ever made the World Series with their existing team, but they certainly made an impact.

2003 Topps Traded Thome Kent Aramis

A fun thing about the Traded set are the “old guys”.  There’s always a lot of players who you kind of say “oh, yeah, he played for them”.  Or maybe you didn’t even know that they did play with that team!

2003 Topps Traded older stars

And it’s always fun to see the new managers.  Or in this case, the recycled managers.  Dusty moved on to Chi-town right after a World Series appearance, and Felipe took his place in San Fran.  Art Howe didn’t like the Moneyball approach so he went to New York, and Buck Showalter went to Texas for another underrated tenure.  And Trader Jack just guided his team to the World Championship in his first year in Florida!

2003 Topps Traded Managers

Two more scans.  First, these were my two favorite photos from the set.  Hundley just looks like he’s trying to catch rain, and Widger looks like he’s a blind man being led somewhere by Cal Eldred.

2003 Topps Traded best pics Hundley Widger

And, last but not least, for all the Red Sox fans out there.

2003 Topps Traded Aaron freakin Boone

Aaron f*cking Boone!





2003 Topps Traded & Rookies HTA box break

25 09 2015

2003 Topps Traded HTA box

I bought my 2003 Topps Traded box and opened it last month from Baseball Card Exchange for just under 90 bucks.  I just opened it, so this is one of the first boxes where I actually bought it right before I opened it.  I’ve purchases a lot of boxes in advance and just waited until I got to that point in the blog to open it.

There are 10 packs, 35 cards per pack.  The HTA box also has a box topper.  In every HTA box, you get one Chrome Uncirculated X-fractor.

2003 Topps Traded Chrome Uncirculated pack

These cards are numbered out of 25.  If you do the math, that means there are 6,875 boxes out there.

2003 Topps Traded Chrome Uncirculated Carlos Duran

There is a little better rookie crop in this box, so it was pretty fun to open.  I got one base card of the most notable rookie.

2003 Topps Traded Robinson Cano RC

I got 10 gold cards in the box – one card per pack.

2003 Topps Traded Gold cards

I got 20 regular Chrome cards, which is the 2 per pack you’re supposed to get.  I got a Chrome version of the Cano card as well.  Here are the 3 most notable guys out of those 20 Chrome cards.

2003 Topps Traded Chrome Cano

I also got 3 Chrome Refractors, which is slightly beating the 1:4 odds a little better than what the odds say (you should get 2 per box).  No Cano here – that would have helped defray the cost of the box!

2003 Topps Traded Chrome Refractors

You are supposed to get 1 relic or autograph per box – I got a relic in this case.  This is a pretty nice relic of Andres Galarraga

2003 Topps Traded Transactions Relic Galarraga

Damaged cards weren’t a big problem, but I did have 7-8 cards that had corners that were dinged pretty badly.  A couple of those were doubles, so I’m exactly 5 cards short of the set.  I’ll take that any day after the luck I’ve had with the rest of the boxes!

Stats for the box:

  • 10 packs per box * 35 cards per pack +1 box topper = 351 cards
  • 41 doubles

275 of the 275 card set. (100% set completion – though 5 singles were damaged)

  • 10 Topps Gold
  • 20 Chrome
  • 3 Chrome Refractors
  • 1 Chrome Uncirculated X-fractor
  • 1 Transacton Relic