Completed insert set – 2015 Topps Eclipsing History

28 12 2016

This is my first completed insert set from 2015 Topps.

Info about the set:

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Set description:  “15 dual subject cards featuring a current record holder and the Legend of the past he eclipsed to claim that record.”

They changed that between sell sheet and production to make it a 10-card set.  Regardless, these cards have two up close photos of players in the manner described above.

Set composition:  10 cards, 1:10 odds (2015 Topps s2)

Hall of Famers:  12.  Many of the cards have 2 HOF-ers, and only the last card (Darryl Strawberry, David Wright) is 2 guys not in the Hall.

Lou Brock, Rickey Henderson, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, Ozzie Smith, Tom Seaver, Whitey Ford, Rod Carew, Jim Rice, Lou Gehrig

How I put the set together:

  • 5 cards from my s2 HTA Jumbo box
  • 5 cards from trades

Card that completed my set:  #EH-1 – Henderson / Brock


I got this card from reader Bill K, whose sent me a bunch of cards this month and I’m in the midst of a bunch of posts covering that 🙂

Thoughts on the set:  Cool set, very few current players – but I’m fine with that.  This is the kind of set where I wish Topps wasn’t limited by its contracts.  See other tidbits for ideas I have!

Best card (my opinion):  #EH-1 – Henderson / Brock

2015 Topps Eclipsing History front

Rickey is my favorite non-Reds player, so this was easy for me, though Ryan over Koufax for single season strikeouts was very close.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none.

Any other tidbits:  Here are my ideas for additions to this set:

Bonds over Aaron or McGwire would be great.  Pete Rose over Ty Cobb would be even better.  Those are all controversial, but hell, Aaron over Ruth (RBI) would be awesome for the baseball historian in me!  Nolan Ryan over Walter Johnson would also be awesome.  The non-purist in me would love putting Mariano River over Trevor Hoffman or K-Rod over Bobby Thigpen for the 2 all-time saves titles.

Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Blockbusters

21 07 2016

I completed this set a long time ago, but wanted to wait to post it in honor of the biggest blockbuster of my lifetime.  Ken Griffey Jr. to the Reds was the best day of my sports fan life.  The 98-win Reds were getting my favorite player – and the consensus best active player in the game.

It didn’t turn into a championship, but I wasn’t overly concerned with that.  Yeah, would another World Series have been nice?  Sure – but it would have been gravy for me.  I’d take the ~9 years of Griffey any day.  I got season tickets in 2005 – even though I lived 2 hours away.  It was a cool thing when I was a few years out of school and could afford things like that.

Info about the set:

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Set description:  “Cards featuring the biggest trades and signings in Baseball history.”  About what you’d expect based on the name.  The design is made to look like a newspaper, with the set title at the top akin to the Newspaper name.  The headline is at the bottom.  As often as possible, the set has the player shown at the presser for the trade / signing – which is really cool.  The back has a write-up describing the trade or free agent move.

Set composition:  30 cards, 1:4 hobby odds (2012 Topps Update)

Hall of Famers:  12 – Frank Robinson, Gary Carter, Ken Griffey Jr., Nolan Ryan, Rickey Henderson, Tom Seaver, Babe Ruth, Catfish Hunter, Carlton Fisk, Ryne Sandberg, Steve Carlton, Bruce Sutter

How I put the set together:

  • 9 cards from my Hobby box
  • 1 card from a retail pack
  • 11 cards from trades
  • 6 cards from Sportlots
  • 2 cards from the 2013 NSCC
  • 1 card from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  Honestly, I can only find one fault – and that’s with the headline.  They are all the same “Reds© Get Griffey”, “Yankees© Get Ruth”.  It’s always the same line, which is fine, but the copyright just stands out so much.

Aside from that, this is a great set.  It’s a great idea, period.  It’s great to put it in Topps Traded.  Making it a newspaper headline is creative and appropriate.  They have really good selection.  Frank Robinson.  Ken Griffey.  Babe Ruth.  Tom Seaver.  There may be a few other trades on the level of those 4 – but honestly if I picked a list of the top 10 for sheer notoriety, those would be on it.

Card that completed my set: #BB-15 – Babe Ruth

Best card (my opinion): #BB-15 – Babe Ruth

2012 Topps Update Blockbusters Babe Ruth

I got this card 2 Black Fridays ago, so I’ve been sitting on this for a while!  How can you go against the biggest trade in any sport’s history?  You can’t…

My Favorite Reds card:  #BB-7 – Ken Griffey Jr.

2012 Topps Update Blockbusters Ken Griffey Jr.

Even though I’d want to with this card!  Tom Seaver was pretty cool, too.

My least favorite card (special for this set only):  #BB-3 – Frank Robinson

2012 Topps Update Blockbusters Frank Robinson

Trade a guy who you think is too old, and he wins the Triple Crown.

Any other tidbits:  Some of the ones that aren’t on here that I would include:

  • Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Grove – sold to Boston from the Philly A’s when Connie Mack gutted his roster to make ends meet.  Though I guess it didn’t lead to a title – which is shocking.
  • Pete Rose leaving his hometown Cincy to go to Philadelphia.  Led to the first championship for the Phillies.
  • Joe Morgan to the Reds – taking the Big Red Machine to the next level.
  • Randy Johnson to the
  • Babe Ruth could have had a 2nd card – the Yankees not re-signing him and him going to the Boston Braves was a worthy footnote for a set like this.
  • Honus Wagner from Louisville to Pittsburgh.  This is like the Griffey trade – a guy sent to his hometown team.  And it led to one title in 1909.
  • Greg Maddux signing with the Braves.

That’s just some – any others you can think of?

Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Golden Moments

15 03 2016

OK, so I finished up the “retro” portion of my completed insert set posts.  I’m jumping back on this completeness train, where I still have quite a few to go.

This insert is from 2012.  I finished this set in late 2015 – just over a year ago.  Yeah, I really need to get on these completed inserts 🙂  It’s the Golden Moments insert set, which spanned all 3 series (1, 2 and Update) in 2012 Topps.  If you remember back to 2012, gold was the theme for most of the Topps inserts.

Info about the set:

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Set description:  “Featuring active and retired players and a Golden Moment from their career.”

There are 50 cards in each series, for a whopping 150 cards total.  The cards have a gold stucco background across most of the card, with a player photo on the right side.  The player name, team and a highlight description of the “golden moment” are listed over a black background toward the top.  The word “Golden Moments” is across the left hand side, with the player’s team logo over a home plate shape.  The bottom of the card fades to white.  The back has a write-up of the specific golden moment.

It’s worth noting that most of the “moments” are really good regular season games, not historical achievements (though there are a few of those).

Set composition:  150 cards, 1:4 odds (2012 Topps)

Hall of Famers:  35.  Many of them (9, in fact) have 2 cards.

Tom Seaver, Red Schoendienst, Andre Dawson (2), Jim Rice, Barry Larkin, Ryne Sandberg (2), Willie McCovey, Dennis Eckersley, Brooks Robinson, Frank Thomas, John Smoltz, Al Kaline (2), Joe Morgan, Carlton Fisk, Luis Aparicio, Johnny Bench (2), Paul Molitor, Stan Musial, Cal Ripken (2), Carl Yastrzemski, Dave Winfield, George Brett (2), Jim Palmer, Ozzie Smith, Reggie Jackson (2), Rickey Henderson, Tony Gwynn (2), Wade Boggs, Willie Mays, Gary Carter, Mike Schmidt (2), Ernie Banks, Nolan Ryan, Robin Yount, Harmon Killebrew

How I put the set together:

  • 24 cards from the 3 boxes I bought (1 per each series)
  • 14 cards from other packs I bought
  • 86 cards from trades
  • 7 cards from a card show
  • 19 cards from online purchases

Card that completed my set:  #GM-U1 – Bryce Harper

2012 Topps Golden Moments GMU1 Harper

I got this card last year (along with the Derek Jeter card from Update) from my large Black Friday purchase on COMC.  Those cards arrived last December.

Harper’s Golden Moment was May 2, 2012, when he had his first outstanding game.  A week into his Major League career, he had 3 hits, a diving catch, and got on base ahead of a walk-off homer by Ian Desmond.

Thoughts on the set:  I usually find some kind of redeeming quality for a set, but this honestly is one of my least favorites.  It contains a number of elements that I abhor in an insert set.  First, it’s unnecessarily large.  It’s not just that there are 150 cards, but 32 players have 2 cards, and another 3 guys have 3 cards.  That’s too much.  Second, the design is just too clearly made so that Topps could do a relic/auto version of these cards.  The relic versions of these cards don’t look so bad, but without them it’s too noticeable.  Finally, the cards aren’t numbered consecutively across the series.  That’s pretty bad, but you can’t tell if card #GM-2 is from series 1 or series 2.  They at least fixed it up in Update, where those cards got a “U” designation.

I do like the idea behind it, but this set just seems like insert filler, and the idea of a “great moment” is one that Topps has used in other inserts in the past.

Best card (my opinion):  #GM-U23 – Nolan Ryan

2012 Topps Golden Moments insert Nolan Ryan

Ryan only has 1 card in the set, which is how it should be, and it honors his 7th no-hitter on May 1, 1991.  That’s the best moment showcased in this set.

My Favorite Reds card:  #GM-18 – Barry Larkin

2012 Topps Golden Moments insert Larkin

Larkin, Johnny Bench, George Foster and Joey Votto – all former NL MVPs – are in this set.  Larkin is my favorite, mostly because I loved the sleeveless uniforms from the mid-90s.  Also, this card honors September 22, 1996, when Larkin became the first shortstop to join the 30-30 club.

Any other tidbits:  Miguel Cabrera, Josh Hamilton and Jose Bautista all have 3 entries into this set (one each series).

2012 Topps Golden Moments 3 cards Cabrera Bautista Hamilton

Completed insert set – 2012 Topps A Cut Above

23 12 2014

After wrapping up my 2014 Topps purchases a few posts ago – I didn’t really want to start right back up into my Lifetime Topps project since I’m so close to the end of the year.  So I’m continuing with a few more completed set posts, and then a few “end of year” posts that I’ve always done.  Mid-January, I will start 2001 of the Topps project.

A Cut Above is an insert set in 2012 Topps series 2.  Unlike almost every other set – this one doesn’t follow the gold theme Topps used throughout the 2012 product.

Info about the set:

Set description: “Striking Die-Cut Cards”.  OK, so Topps’ sell sheet doesn’t really say much.  These are colorful, borderless cards with die-cut effects that I can best describe as “caddy corner sevens” in the top right and lower left of the card.  The background is given a kind of blurry effect that keeps the focus squarely on the player. The back has a write-up as to why that player is a “cut above” with a catchy slogan at the top.  The set has 11 retired players and 14 current players.

Set composition: 25 cards, 1:6 hobby odds (series 2)

Hall of Famers: 10 – Cal Ripken, Nolan Ryan, Stan Musial, Mike Schmidt, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Johnny Bench, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle

How I put the set together:

5 cards from my HTA Jumbo box

1 card from an HTA Jumbo pack

15 cards from trades

4 cards from online dealers

Thoughts on the set:  It’s nicely done and one of my favorite inserts from 2012 Topps.  Going away from all the gold is a very good thing in my opinion.  25 cards is reasonably collectible, though it’s a bit high.  I would have preferred Topps stuck with only active players for a number of reasons – one of which is that most of the retired players have very familiar photos.

Card that completed my set: #ACA-24 – Mickey Mantle

I got this card in a Beckett Marketplace purchase back in May.

Highest book value: #ACA-9 – Cal Ripken

Best card (my opinion): #ACA-19 – Robinson Cano

I’m not really big into Yankees, but this picture fits well with the die-cut design, and the stadium background is very cool.  I also really like the Schmidt and Mantle cards.

My Favorite Reds card: #ACA-20 – Johnny Bench

This is the only Reds card.  Unfortunately its a photo of Bench that has been used a few times in the past.

2012 Topps A Cut Above set

2012 Topps A Cut Above set_0001

2012 Topps A Cut Above set_0002

Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Career Day

23 09 2014

I completed an insert set from 2012 Topps series 2 almost a year ago that I forgot to post about – Career Day.  This was finished up with a trade from Jeff’s Collections.  Ryan Braun (cheater) was the final card – so I don’t know how I feel about that part! 🙂  Considering I completed this back in 2013, though, this post has been a while coming!

Info about the set:

Set description: “Celebrating some of the biggest single-game performances in MLB history”.  These cards are horizontally oriented, with the words Career Day down at the bottom and the date of the accomplishment and a small write-up over those words.  The player is shown above with a faded background and the team logo to the right side.  The back shows the player’s stat line from that day, and describes the player’s day.  There are 14 retired players and 11 current stars.

Set composition: 25 cards, 1:6 hobby odds (series 2)

Hall of Famers: 13 – Al Kaline, Stan Musial, Sandy Koufax, Joe DiMaggio, Frank Robinson, Mike Schmidt, Johnny Bench, Reggie Jackson, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Yogi Berra

How I put the set together:

  • 5 cards from my HTA Jumbo box
  • 2 cards from other hobby/retail packs
  • 1 card from Sportlots
  • 17 cards from trades

Thoughts on the set:  This is a good idea and a nice design.  Like many insert sets from Topps, I like the idea, but not enthused by the execution.  It’s really a set to talk about big days that handpicked players had – not the “biggest days of all time” like the sell sheet description says.

  • Albert Pujols – 10/22/11, World Series game 3.  Three homers in the World Series – that certainly qualifies.
  • Reggie Jackson – 10/18/77, World Series game 6.  See the above – 3 home runs in the World Series.
  • Stan Musial – 5/2/54.  Musial became the first player to hit five home runs on the same day – blasting 3 homers in the first game of a double-header and 2 more in the second.
  • Sandy Koufax – 9/9/65.  Koufax’s struck out 14 batters – the most in a perfect game.
  • Joe DiMaggio – 7/9/37.  DiMaggio became the first player to hit for the cycle and hit 2 homers.  It’s been done a few times since – including by DiMaggio again!
  • Mike Schmidt – 4/17/76.  Schmidt hit 4 homers, one of only 13 players who have done this.
  • Willie Mays – 4/30/61.  Mays also hit 4 homers in this game.

Some of the other active players I understand keeping – but I’d have tried to include a few of the following games:

  • Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series
  • Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout, 1-hitter
  • Clemens and Johnson’s 20-K games
  • Mark Whiten’s 4-homer, 12-RBI game against the Reds in 1993
  • Jim Bottomley and his 12-RBI game in 1924
  • Wilbert Robinson’s 7-hit, 11-RBI game in 9 innings in 1892
  • Shawn Green’s 19 total bases (and 4 homers) in 2002
  • Roy Halladay – pick either your no-hitter in the post-season or his perfect game

Card that completed my set: #CD-10 – Ryan Braun

I got this card in a recent trade nearly a year ago with the Jeff’s Collections.  Doesn’t look like Jeff’s blogging any more – but he did help me out at the time!

Highest book value: #CD-22 – Mickey Mantle

Best card (my opinion): #CD-12 – Reggie Jackson

It looks like Topps got one of Mr. October’s 3 swings in the photo.

My Favorite Reds card: #CD-17 – Joey Votto

Beats out the Bench card.

2012 Topps Career Day set

2012 Topps Career Day set_0001

2012 Topps Career Day set_0002 2012 Topps Career Day set_0003

Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Gold Futures

21 09 2014

I’m moving on to going over some recently completed insert sets from flagship Topps, and the next one is from 2012 Topps.  In accordance with the Gold edict Topps issued in 2012, this one is Gold Futures.

Info about the set:

Set description: “Featuring young stars who are on their way to creating golden moments of their own.”  This black-bordered set has a gold interior line with a ribbon at the bottom containing the player’s position and number.  In the middle is the team logo, which can conveniently be replaced with a relic piece if necessary.  There’s a write-up on the back that is geared toward the player’s

Set composition: 50 cards, 1:6 hobby odds (series 1 & 2)

Hall of Famers: none – these are all young stars.

How I put the set together:

  • 20 cards from s1 & s2 Hobby / HTA Jumbo boxes & packs
  • 2 cards from retail packs
  • 20 cards from trades
  • 1 card from a card show
  • 7 cards from online purchases

That’s a really good percentage from trades or packs, much better than some of my most recent efforts.

Thoughts on the set:  Not a bad set, and though the idea is far from original, I think having a set of future stars is one you could re-hash just about every year.  The design is a little different from most of the other insert sets from 2012, with the black border.  50 cards is too much.  And I don’t like when a set is so clearly designed to swap in a relic.

Card that completed my set: #GG-37 – Jordan Walden

2012 Topps Gold Futures Walden

I got this card via a Beckett Marketplace purchase in May.

Highest book value: #CF-16 – Mike Trout

Best card (my opinion): #CF-16 – Mike Trout

2012 Topps Gold Futures Trout

I like the Buster Posey card quite a bit – he’s taking his catcher’s mask off to field a pop up.  But calling a guy a “future star” when he is 2 years removed from his Rookie of the Year season and in the midst of an MVP season seems a little disingenuous.  So I’m going with Mike Trout, as he’s clearly the best future prediction from this set.

My Favorite Reds card: #GF-8 – Aroldis Chapman

2012 Topps Gold Futures Chapman

The Cuban Missile wins in a landslide.  Since he’s the only Red in the set.

Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Gold Standard

14 06 2014

I recently completed an insert set from 2012 Topps series 1 & 2 – Gold Standard.  This is one of the better ones from 2012 in my mind.

Info about the set:

Set description: “Recognizing players who have gained entry into some of the most exclusive clubs in baseball, like the 3,000-Hit club, the 500-Home Run club and the 3,000-K club.”  This set is horizontally oriented, with a marble background, a top/bottom border and the player’s picture to the right.  There’s a gold foil “badge” in the middle that lists the specific accomplishment the card honors.

The back lists the date that the player reached the accomplishment.  The cards are made to create a relic (by replacing the circular “badge”) or autograph version.

Set composition: 50 cards, 1:6 hobby odds (2012 Topps series 1 & 2)

Hall of Famers: 21 – Nolan Ryan (3 cards), Stan Musial (2), Paul Molitor (2), Cal Ripken Jr. (2), Bob Gibson (2), Mike Schmidt (2), Frank Robinson (2), Ernie Banks (2), Willie McCovey (2), Tom Seaver (3), Reggie Jackson (2), Al Kaline (2), Frank Thomas, Ty Cobb (2), Joe DiMaggio (2), Andre Dawson (2), Mickey Mantle (2), Willie Mays (2), Hank Aaron, Lou Gehrig, Roberto Clemente, John Smoltz (2)

The set is skewed toward retired players given its nature.  Jeter, A-Rod, Thome, and Chipper are the only players who aren’t in the HOF.

How I put the set together:

  • 20 cards from my series 1 & 2 HTA Jumbo boxes
  • 2 from other hobby/HTA packs
  • 3 from retail packs
  • 23 cards from trades
  • 1 from a card show
  • 1 from Sportlots

Thoughts on the set:  This is one of the better insert sets in 2012 Topps.  I like the design, it’s more attractive than some of the other insert sets with the gold theme from 2012.  And I like that it has a specific basis – guys who have made a certain statistical club.  The fact that the card lists the date of the milestone and discusses it is great.  The set doesn’t really need to be 50 cards (with 2 cards for almost every player included) – Topps could have eliminated some of the lesser milestones.  They started doing things like “25-win season” in series 2.  They could have split it up in order, too – put all the strikeout guys together, etc.  At least it’s numbered and not lettered unlike some of the other insert sets they’ve done recently.  All in all – a good set.

Card that completed my set: #GS-50 – Ty Cobb

I got this card from Sportlots in a May purchase

Highest book value: #GS-24, GS-47 – Mickey Mantle

Best card (my opinion): #GS-1 – Nolan Ryan

The first card in the set honors his 5,000th strikeout.  I love the introduction on the back of the card.  “There was a future U.S. President in the stands, a future Hall of Famer at the plate, and, of course, a future Hall of Famer on the mound.”  Ryan struck out Rickey Henderson in Arlington in front of George W. Bush.  The Hank Aaron card is pretty awesome as well.

My Favorite Reds card: GS-11 – Tom Seaver (the only one)

An interesting thing I noticed – if you know the back story on Ty Cobb’s hit record, you know that later research basically concluded that a game in 1910 where Cobb had two hits was double counted.  That would have changed the timing of his 3,000th hit to 2 hits later.  More importantly it actually made the difference in the batting title that year (though runner-up Nap Lajoie had his own side of the controversy).  but MLB hasn’t officially acknowledged the error.

Here’s the list of the cards, the milestone, and the date it happened.  One thing that’s really cool about this set – they have the right team for each player.  For example, Tom Seaver is shown with the Reds for his 3,000th strikeout, the White Sox for his 300th win.  I appreciate that – it makes the set even better in my eyes.

2012 Topps Gold Standard

2012 Topps Gold Standard_0001

2012 Topps Gold Standard_0002

2012 Topps Gold Standard_0003

2012 Topps Gold Standard_0004

2012 Topps Gold Standard_0005

  1. Nolan Ryan, Rangers.  5,000th strikeout – August 29, 1989 in Arlington, TX.
  2. Stan Musial, Cardinals.  3,000th hit – May 13, 1958 in Chicago, IL.
  3. Paul Molitor, Twins.  3,000th hit – September 16, 1996 in Kansas City, MO.
  4. Cal Ripken, Jr., Orioles.  3,000th hit – April 15, 2000 in Minneapolis, MN.
  5. Bob Gibson, Cardinals.  3,000th strikeout – July 17, 1974 in St. Louis, MO.
  6. Mike Schmidt, Phillies.  500th home run – April 18, 1987 in Pittsburgh, PA.
  7. Frank Robinson, Orioles.  500th home run – September 13, 1971 in Baltimore, MD.
  8. Ernie Banks, Cubs.  500th home run – May 12, 1970 in Chicago, IL.
  9. Willie McCovey, Giants.  500th home run – June 30, 1978 in Atlanta, GA.
  10. Reggie Jackson, Angels.  500th home run – September 17, 1984 in Anaheim, CA.
  11. Tom Seaver, Reds.  3,000th strikeout – April 19, 1981 in Cincinnati, OH.
  12. Al Kaline, Tigers.  3,000th hit – September 24, 1974 in Baltimore, MD.
  13. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees.  600th home run – August 4, 2010 in New York, NY.
  14. Frank Thomas, Blue Jays.  500th home run – June 28, 2007 in Minneapolis, MN.
  15. Ty Cobb, Tigers.  3,000th hit – August 19, 1921 in Detroit, MI.
  16. John Smoltz, Braves.  3,000th strikeout – April 22, 2008 in Atlanta, GA.
  17. Jim Thome, Twins.  600th home run – August 15, 2011 in Detroit, MI.
  18. Joe DiMaggio, Yankees.  1,500th RBI – July 29, 1951 in New York, NY.
  19. Andre Dawson, Red Sox.  1,500th RBI – April 12, 1994 in Kansas City, MO.
  20. Derek Jeter, Yankees.  3,000th hit – July 9, 2011 in New York, NY.
  21. Chipper Jones, Braves.  1,500 RBI – April 13, 2001 in Atlanta, GA.
  22. Nolan Ryan, Rangers.  300th win – July 31, 1990 in Milwaukee, WI.
  23. Tom Seaver, White Sox.  300th win – August 4, 1985 in New York, NY.
  24. Mickey Mantle, Yankees.  500th home run – May 14, 1967 in New York, NY.
  25. Willie Mays, Giants.  600th home run – September 22, 1969 in San Diego, CA.
  26. Andre Dawson, Red Sox.  400th home run – April 15, 1993 in Boston, MA.
  27. Jim Thome, White Sox.  1,500th RBI – May 1, 2009 in Arlington, TX.
  28. Stan Musial, Cardinals.  400th home run – May 7, 1959 in St. Louis, MO.
  29. Cal Ripken Jr., Orioles.  400th home run – September 2, 1999 in Baltimore, MD.
  30. Willie Mays, Giants.  3,000th hit – July 18, 1970 in San Francisco, CA.
  31. Hank Aaron, Braves.  700th home run – July 21, 1973 in Atlanta, GA.
  32. Ernie Banks, Cubs.  1,500th RBI – September 12, 1969 in St. Louis, MO.
  33. Bob Gibson, Cardinals.  1.12 ERA – 1968 season.
  34. Reggie Jackson, Angels.  1,500th RBI – September 3, 1984 in Cleveland, OH.
  35. Chipper Jones, Braves.  400th home run – June 5, 2008 in Atlanta, GA.
  36. Al Kaline, Tigers.  1,500th RBI – July 29, 1973 in Baltimore, MD.
  37. Willie McCovey, Giants.  1,500th RBI – June 2, 1979 in Chicago, IL.
  38. Paul Molitor, Blue Jays.  1,500th run – June 13, 1995 in Toronto, ONT.
  39. Frank Robinson, Orioles.  1,500th RBI – June 25, 1971 in Boston, MA.
  40. Nolan Ryan, Rangers.  5,714th strikeout – September 17, 1993 in Anaheim, CA.
  41. Mike Schmidt, Phillies.  1,500th RBI – September 26, 1987 in Philadelphia, PA.
  42. John Smoltz, Braves.  55 save season – September 28, 2002 in New York, NY.
  43. Tom Seaver, Mets.  25 win season – September 27, 1969 in Philadelphia, PA.
  44. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees.  1,500th RBI – September 28, 2007 in Baltimore, MD.
  45. Derek Jeter, Yankees.  1,500th run – June 2, 2009 in New York, NY.
  46. Joe DiMaggio, Yankees.  56 game hitting streak – July 16, 1941 in Cleveland, OH.
  47. Mickey Mantle, Yankees.  1,500th RBI – August 27, 1968 in New York, NY.
  48. Lou Gehrig, Yankees.  400th home run – July 10, 1936 in New York, NY.
  49. Roberto Clemente, Pirates.  3,000th hit – September 30, 1972 in Pittsburgh, PA.
  50. Ty Cobb, Tigers.  1,500th RBI – May 29, 1993 in Detroit, MI.

Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Golden Greats

6 06 2014

Back in March, I completed an insert set from 2012 Topps.  Everything from 2012 Topps has “Gold” associated it.  That was the theme back in 2012.  I still lament this – it should have been wood in honor of the 1962 / 1987 / every 25 years paradigm!

Complaints aside, this was a good set to finish up.  I got it wrapped up after purchasing 3 cards from Sportlots in March.  This is a 100-card set, so it’s quite large.  Usually I scan the full set in, but most insert sets I complete are 50 cards or less, and in fact, tend to be more around the size of 10 or 20.  I think I’m just going to do individual cards I like when it’s more than 50 cards.

This set could be found in series 1 and update – and the organization was inconsistent between the two series.

Info about the set:

Set description:

Series 1 – “Featuring 15 of the greatest players of all time, each with 5 Golden Moments highlighted on 5 cards”.

Update – “Featuring 25 more of the greatest players of all time, each with a Golden Moment highlighted on 5 cards”.

The cards are vertically oriented with a gold border with an inset in the shape of a home plate.  The player’s name and position are on a strip in the bottom left positioned over a headline of the relevant Golden Moment, with a circular emblem in the bottom right.  The back uses a home plate shaped outline as well, with the same headline and a write-up of the Golden Moment.

Set composition: 100 cards, 1:4 hobby odds (2012 Topps series 1), 1:8 hobby odds (2012 Topps series 2)

There are 75 cards in Series 1 (5 cards per player), with only 25 cards in Update (only 1 per player).

Hall of Famers: 36 – Lou Gehrig, Nolan Ryan, Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Cal Ripken Jr., Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron, Tom Seaver, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Andre Dawson, Bob Gibson, Brooks Robinson, Dave Winfield, Ernie Banks, Gary Carter, Harmon Killebrew, Jim Palmer, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Lou Brock, Mike Schmidt, Ozzie Smith, Reggie Jackson, Rickey Henderson, Stan Musial, Tony Gwynn, Tony Perez, Wade Boggs, Warren Spahn, Willie Stargell, Yogi Berra, John Smoltz

(A better way to put it would be – out of the 40 different players in this set, only Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly, Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols are not Hall of Famers)

How I put the set together:

  • 10 cards from my 2012 series 1 HTA Jumbo box
  • 4 cards from my 2012 Update Hobby box
  • 3 cards from various retail packs
  • 57 cards from trades (that’s a lot of trading!)
  • 16 cards from card shows
  • 10 cards from Sportlots

Thoughts on the set:  This is one of the better designs from the Gold-themed inserts from 2012.  I really like it.  However, I don’t like how Topps was inconsistent between issuing this in Series 1 and Update.  To be honest, I like what they did in series 1 a little bit better.  They had 5 pivotal moments from a given player’s career, of guys who are true all-time greats.  The 25 cards in the Update set feel a little different, where it just seems like Topps is trying to fit as many Hall of Famers into the set.

On some level, I wish Topps had really picked more of the seminal moments of these guys careers. Instead, they just picked some of the really good individual games.  However, that’s a little different, so it’s kind of neat to read about great games that I didn’t know about.  The only 3 cards I can think of that are truly “historic” moments are those of Lou Gehrig (the day he replaced Wally Pipp), Nolan Ryan (broke Walter Johnson’s record) and Sandy Koufax’s perfect game.

Card that completed my set: #GG-92 – Reggie Jackson

2012 Topps Golden Greats Reggie Jackson

I got this card in a March purchase on Sportlots (one of 3 cards from that purchase).

Highest book value: #GG-31 to #GG-35 – Mickey Mantle

2012 Topps Golden Greats Mantles

Best card (my opinion): #GG-18 – Ty Cobb

2012 Topps Golden Greats Cobb Triple Crown

This was the coolest “fact on the back”.  Ty Cobb won the triple crown back in 1909, which was the only year he won the home run title.  He is the only player to win the “quadruple crown”, as he also led the league in steals that year.  These are all things I knew.  However, what I didn’t know was that every single one of those home runs was an inside the park job!  Here’s the write-up from the back:

“In a 10-2 Tigers victory over St. Louis, Cobb cracked the last of his American League-high nine homers.  This one – like the eight that came before it – was an inside-the-park round tripper.  Ty, who fell three shy of Sam Crawford’s 1901 record for full-speed four-baggers, was the only player in the 1900s to lead a circuit without clearing a fence.”

My Favorite Reds card: #GG-96 – Tony Perez

2012 Topps Golden Greats Tony Perez

Morgan’s card is my favorite between his, Bench and Morgan.  The Perez card discusses a walk-off homer he had in July 1975 when the Reds came back from a 4-run, 9th inning deficit.

Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Classic Walk-Offs

26 07 2013

Topps had a pretty cool insert set from 2012 series 1 that I completed quite a while ago.  I actually finished this up in a trade with the Dutch Card Guy back in November, but forgot to post about it until now.  The insert set is Classic Walk-Offs.

Info about the set:

Set description: “Celebrating the greatest walk-offs of all-time”.  The cards are designed horizontally with three different picture frames of the player in his walk-off homer moment.  Sometimes Topps used the same photo all 3 times (see the Bench) sometimes they use a few different shots.  The picture in the top left of the card is a color photo, while the other two are gray / sepia toned.

Set composition: 15 cards, 1:8 hobby odds (2012 Topps series 1)

Hall of Famers: 4 – Bill Mazeroski, Carlton Fisk, Johnny Bench, Mickey Mantle

The set is skewed toward current players for what has to be contractual reasons – the 4 players above are all of the retired players in the set.

How I put the set together:

  • 5 cards from my HTA Jumbo box
  • 2 cards from some HTA Jumbo packs (which I bought to do the redemption)
  • 8 cards from trades

Thoughts on the set:  This is a really cool idea.  Like many insert sets Topps does, I love the idea, but am a little nitpicky with the execution.  Having a set focused on some of the bigger walk-off home runs?  Great idea.  Not having Kirk Gibson, Joe Carter or Bobby Thompson in that set?  That’s blowing it for sure.  Like some of these sets, I’ll show you what I would add.  I’m going to make this a little different – as opposed to replacing a few cards, I’d actually double it and make it a 30-card set.  Which means I need to find 15 homers to add!

There have been two home runs to end a World Series.  Only one (Mazeroski) is included in this set – obviously this has to be included.

  • Joe Carter – 10/23/93 off Mitch Williams of the Phillies.  Touch ’em all Joe, you’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life!

There have been four homers that sent a team to the World Series.  Only the one hit by Magglio Ordonez  in 2006 was included – and since that completed a 4-game sweep, while the others were in do-or-die games, I’d have to say it’s the least dramatic.

  • Bobby Thomson – 10/3/51 off Ralph Branca of the Dodgers, NL Tiebreaker Game 3.  The shot heard round the world.  There have been articles, books and documentaries written about everything regarding this home run – from the mystery of where the ball ended up to the fact that all 3 New York teams were the only teams in the “playoffs” that year.  The most famous homer in baseball history somehow didn’t make it into a set about walk-off home runs.
  • Chris Chambliss – 10/14/76 off Mark Littell of the Royals, ALCS Game 5.  Chambliss couldn’t complete the walk-off since the Yankee fans mobbed the field – he later was escorted out to touch home plate by the umpires.
  • Aaron Boone – 10/16/03 off Tim Wakefield of the Red Sox, ALCS Game 7.  Aaron Bleeping Boone!

That’s 4 I’ve added.  There have also been quite a few very notable World Series walk-off home runs that weren’t a series clincher – I’ve added the ones I’d include below.

  • Tommy Henrich – 10/5/49 off Don Newcombe of the Dodgers, World Series Game 1.  The first walk-off homer in World Series history was off Don Newcombe and gave the Yankees the early series lead.
  • Eddie Mathews – 10/6/57 off Bob Grim of the Yankees, World Series Game 2.  This isn’t the first walk-off you think of, but it tied the series 2 games apiece in what would be Hank Aaron’s only World Championship.
  • Kirk Gibson – 10/15/88 off Dennis Eckersley of the A’s, World Series Game 1.  This is probably a top 5 in the most famous home runs of all time.
  • Kirby Puckett – 10/26/91 off Charlie Liebrandt of the Braves, World Series Game 6.  We will see you tomorrow night!
  • Chad Curtis – 10/26/99 off Mike Remlinger of the Braves, World Series Game 3.  This has less to do with the homer and more with how Curtis shunned Jim Gray after the game.  Gray had gone pretty much attacked Pete Rose the game before trying to get him to admit to betting on baseball – it put a big damper on the All-Century Team celebration for anyone watching it.  Regardless of the fact that Rose was guilty as sin, it was inappropriate from Gray and the response from Curtis was awesome.
  • David Freese – 10/27/11 off Mark Lowe of the Rangers, World Series Game 6.  We will see you tomorrow night (again).  This probably got left out because of timing issues as the set was in series 1 of the next year.  But they should have got it in there.

That’s 10 total, so I’ve got 4 more to add.  I’d also include the following:

  • Gabby Hartnett’s “Homer in the Gloamin'” as darkness descended upon Wrigley Field in a 1938 game against league leading Pittsburgh – basically, if he hadn’t hit the homer, they would have replayed the entire game.  Instead, it vaulted the Cubs into an eventual National League pennant.
  • Ozzie Smith’s “go crazy folks, go crazy!” homer – which was only the 14th of his career and the first he’d ever hit from the left side of the plate!
  • Robin Ventura’s “walk-off grand slam single” in the 1999 NLCS.
  • Ted Williams’ walk-off home run in the 1941 All-Star game.
  • Chris Hoiles “ultimate walk-off”, where he hit a walk-off grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the 9th on a 3-2 count with his team down 3 runs.  This is the only time this has ever happened.

Card that completed my set: #CW-7 – Mickey Mantle

I got this card in a trade with the Dutch Card Guy.

Highest book value: #CW-7 – Mantle

Best card (my opinion): #CW-1 – Bill Mazeroski

A walk-off World Series game 7 homer – the only homer that rivals Thomson’s as the biggest home run in baseball history.

My Favorite Reds card: #CW-5 – Jay Bruce

Beats out the Bench card.  I’m sure when Bench hit his in the 1973 LCS, it was a big deal.  But the Reds had already been to 2 World Series in the previous 3 seasons; clinching the division for the Reds for the first time in 15 years was a big deal for more recent Reds fans.

Here’s the list of these cards – and the year when the walk-off happened.

  • Bill Mazeroski (1960).  Game 7 of the World Series – the only in history.
  • Carlton Fisk (1975).  Game 6 of the World Series, in extra innings.  But they didn’t win the series the next night 🙂
  • Johnny Bench (1973).  Game 1 of the NLCS.
  • David Ortiz (2004).  Game 3 of the ALDS, to complete a series sweep.
  • Jay Bruce (2010).  To clinch the division for the Reds after 15 years without a postseason berth.
  • Mark Teixeira (2009).  Game 2 of the ALDS.
  • Mickey Mantle (1964).  Game 3 of the World Series.  This was Mantle’s last World Series, and it broke Babe Ruth’s record for career Series blasts.  He would hit two more in the series, though the Cardinals would prevail.
  • Alfonso Soriano (2001).  Game 4 of the ALCS.  Gave the Yanks a 3-1 series lead.
  • Rafael Furcal (2004).  Game 2 of the NLDS.
  • Jim Thome (2007).  September, well after the White Sox had been eliminated.  But this was Thome’s 500th career home run.  A cool addition if you ask me.  And if you’re reading this blog, I’ll assume you did.
  • Magglio Ordonez (2006).  As mentioned above – this one clinched a 4-game sweep to send Detroit to the World Series.
  • Scott Podsednik (2005).  Game 2 of the World Series.  He’d had no homers in the 2005 regular season, but Podsednik put the White Sox well on their way to a sweep.
  • David Ortiz (2004).  Game 4 of the ALCS.  A much bigger walk-off for Big Papi – this one kept the Red Sox season alive.  They never looked back after it, becoming the only team to come back from a 3-game deficit.
  • Derek Jeter (2001).  Game 4 of the World Series.  Mr. November.

Cards from the Golden Giveaway

11 02 2013

So I’ve opened all I’m going to open for 2013 Topps series 1.  I went to Target yesterday in search of a blaster, but the one near me only had loose packs, hangers and jumbos.  I already opened one each of those, so I’m just calling it a day for that.  I’ve got my wantlist up – and have a little bit to trade, though I’m super busy with work – so sorry for the folks who’ve asked and I haven’t got back to quite yet.

On to today’s post – I had kind of forgotten about these, but then saw a couple of posts where other bloggers were reminding that the Golden Giveaway was coming to an end soon.  I think all told I got 4 code cards in the Golden Giveaway – 2 of which were Jeter and Ripken – and I was able to swap those 4 cards for 3 players I wanted – Rickey, Griffey and Ryan.

2012 Topps Golden Moments Die Cut

These cards are technically called “Golden Moments Die-Cut”, though the #/99 version is the gold version.  The cards are very nice – the die-cut is pretty cool and they are thick as all get out.  I’ve read a few people say they seem more like Bowman inserts, though I think they’re pretty solid.