1999 Topps parallels – Ken Griffey Jr. – no more hunting left to do! (sort of)

27 04 2017

So I picked up a white whale about 2 months ago.  For the parallel cards in 1999, I picked Ken Griffey Jr.  I’m considering this parallel project done for 1999, though I’m having a different player fill in for Mr. Griffey for that MVP promotion.  Yeah, if I find his MVP promotion card someday, I’ll try for it.  But I’m doubtful, and even if I do, it may be more than I’m willing to pay.

But the big find here was the Refractor from Topps SuperChrome.  I’ve been on the lookout for this card for over a year, and I jumped on a $30 price tag (best offer – I think $40 was the initial ask) as soon as I saw it!

Here’s the updated post.

1999 Topps

Card I selected:  #100 – Ken Griffey Jr.

I picked a 2nd straight Hall of Famer in 1999.  It was also my 2nd straight Moeller High School graduate – Ken Griffey Jr. followed Barry Larkin.  This was my favorite card of the entire 1999 set; Griffey connecting with a pitch on a horizontal card is great.

I don’t have every one of these cards yet.  There’s 2 hold-ups.  First – like the 1998 Larkin, I’m missing the Super Chrome Refractor which is just a card that doesn’t show up on eBay or anywhere else very often.  Second is the MVP promotional card.  There were only 100 of these, and Griffey was a winner so most of them were probably redeemed.  So I’m not holding my breath on ever getting that one and have picked a replacement.

# of cards (including the Topps card):  10

The parallel sets in 1999 include:

  • MVP promotion
  • Oversize
  • Opening Day
  • Opening Day Oversize
  • Chrome
  • Chrome Refractors
  • SuperChrome
  • SuperChrome Refractors
  • Action Flats

Scans:

1999 Topps #100

1999 Topps Griffey best card

1999 Topps Griffey back

1998 Topps MVP Promotion #NNO

The only parallel in the 1999 Topps product was the MVP promotion.  Inserted only into hobby packs, were cards with a Topps MVP stamp.  If the player depicted won MVP of the week (as selected by Topps) in 1999, you could send that card in for a set of cards honoring each of the 25 winners.  The set paralleled the first 198 cards in series 1, and cards #243-444 in series 2.  Basically all of the regular cards but no subsets.  The backs of the cards have information on the promotion (no statistics).

As I mentioned, I’m not too optimistic that I’ll ever run down the ’99 MVP Promotion card of Griffey.  I hope to, but these are just really hard to find.  So I bought this card of Roberto Kelly a while ago to stand in as a semi-permanent placeholder.

1999 Topps Oversize #7

1999 Topps Griffey best card

1999 Topps Oversize Griffey back

Each hobby box or HTA jumbo box contained a 3-¼” x 4-½” jumbo card as a box topper.  There were 16 cards that are exact replicas of the player’s base cards, except for the size and the numbering.

1999 Topps Opening Day #58

1999 Topps Opening Day Griffey

1999 Topps Opening Day Griffey back

Opening Day was back for the 2nd time in 1999.  This 165 card set was retail only, and features the same photos from the base Topps set.  The border is silver instead of the gold on flagship Topps, and there is a foil 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.

1999 Topps Opening Day Oversize#3

1999 Topps Opening Day Griffey

1999 Topps Opening Day Oversize Griffey back

Just like the flagship Topps, Opening Day contained a jumbo box topper.  They were the same size – 3-¼” x 4-½” – but only had 3 players.  Naturally, Junior is one of them, along with Home Run champs McGwire and Sosa.  The only difference from this card and the base Opening Day is the size and the numbering.  I tracked this down recently as part of this parallel project.

1999 Topps Chrome #100

1999 Topps Chrome Griffey

1999 Topps Chrome Griffey back

Topps Chrome was back for the 4th year.  For the 2nd time it was a full reproduction of 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 Topps Chrome logo and slightly different copyright wording.

1999 Topps Chrome Refractor #100

1999 Topps Chrome Refractor Griffey

1999 Topps Chrome Refractor Griffey back

Inserted every 12 packs of Topps Chrome were refractors.  A plastic diffraction effect that gives refractors a colorful, reflective shine.  The word refractor is written just below the number on the back – otherwise the back is the same as the regular Chrome card.  Of all the cards I got specifically for this project – this one was the most expensive – I paid $30 for it.

1999 Topps SuperChrome #18

1999 Topps SuperChrome Griffey

1999 Topps SuperChrome Griffey back

1999 Topps SuperChrome Refractor #18

For the 2nd and last time, 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, and it also has a SuperChrome logo.  There’s also a refractor version, which came 1 in 12 packs just like regular-sized ones, with refractor wording just below the card number.

YAY!  NOW I HAVE THIS CARD!

1999 Topps Action Flats #S1-8

1999 Topps Action Flats Griffey

1999 Topps Action Flats Griffey back

This was probably one I could have not counted as a parallel – it’s a totally different picture.  But since Griffey has one of these, I decided to include it.  The set has the exact same design as Topps, with an action logo on the front in foil and on the back in color.  Aside from the logo and the numbering – the back is exactly the same as the Topps back.

The “Rainbow”:

Like I said, if I see a Griffey someday I’ll try to get it, but I’m not holding my breath.

Any sets I didn’t get:  That’s all you could possibly get from 1999.

Other cards I would have liked to do:  Griffey is the best (in my opinion) card in the set.  And the only 3 players that have all of the cards above are the ones in the Opening Day jumbo set – Griffey, McGwire, Sosa.

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1998 Topps parallels – Barry Larkin – no more hunting left to do!!!

3 01 2017

I just got the SuperChrome Refractor of Barry Larkin, which finished off the parallels for 1998.  Most of the post below has already been read, but with the new card I want to tidy up this post with all the pictures.

1998 Topps

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
  • Chrome Refractors
  • SuperChrome
  • SuperChrome Refractors

Scans:

1998 Topps #302

1998 Topps Larkin

1998 Topps Larkin back

1998 Topps Minted in Cooperstown #302

1998 Topps Minted in Cooperstown Larkin

1998 Topps Larkin back

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 Diamondbacks Larkin

1998 Topps Larkin back

1998 Topps Inaugural Devil Rays #302

1998 Topps Inaugural Devil Rays Larkin

1998 Topps Larkin back

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

1998 Topps Opening Day Larkin

1998 Topps Opening Day Larkin back

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

1998 Topps Chrome Larkin

1998 Topps Chrome Larkin back

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

1998 Topps Chrome Refractor Larkin

1998 Topps Chrome Refractor Larkin back

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 Larkin

1998 Topps SuperChrome Larkin back

1998 Topps SuperChrome Refractor #6

1998-topps-superchrome-refractor-larkin

1998-topps-superchrome-refractor-larkin-back

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, the refractor wording is on the back like the regular-size refractors.

The “Rainbow”:
1998-topps-barry-larkin-rainbow

1998-topps-barry-larkin-rainbow-2

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!





1996 Topps parallels – Frank Thomas – no more hunting left to do!!!

2 07 2016

1996 Topps

I just got the Refractor of the Big Hurt.  Most of the post below has already been read, but with the new card I want to tidy up this post with all the pictures.

Card I selected:  #100 – Frank Thomas

This marks the 6th straight Hall of Famer for the 1996 set.  I’m up to 5 cards, counting a jumbo.  Cyberstats was gone, but there was a new regional product called Team Topps, and Topps Chrome was released for the first time.

Unfortunately, this is also the first time I don’t have every card I want, so I’ll need to return to this post at some point.  I’m missing the Chrome Refractor card of Thomas.  A few months back, when I decided I wanted to be serious about doing these parallel cards, I went on a bit of a splurge to buy as many as I could.  One I didn’t buy was the Chrome Refractor for Thomas in 1996.  It was on eBay for a while, but at $20, seemed too steep.  It’s now been sold, so I’ll have to wait.

# of cards (including the Topps card):  5

The parallel sets in 1996 include:

  • Team Topps
  • Team Topps Big
  • Chrome
  • Chrome Refractors

Scans:

1996 Topps #100

1996 Topps Frank Thomas

1996 Topps Frank Thomas back

1996 Team Topps #100

1996 Team Topps Frank Thomas

1996 Topps Frank Thomas back

Certain teams were part of the first “Team Topps” set sold at Wal-Mart with “Big Topps” cards.  The Team Topps cards were parallel versions of the players from the team, with the same number and picture as the regular card.  The only difference was a special stamp, usually gold foil.  The teams sold were the Rangers, White Sox, Cubs, Yankees, Mariners, Indians, Dodgers, Braves and Orioles.

1996 Big Topps #NNO

1996 Big Topps Frank Thomas

1996 Big Topps Frank Thomas back

The Big Topps cards featured the superstar from that team.  The inset Topps card was the same size as the regular card, with a blue marble background to make it a jumbo card.

1996 Topps Chrome #29

1996 Topps Chrome Frank Thomas

1996 Topps Chrome Frank Thomas back

Topps issued a “Topps Chrome” product for the first time.  165 of the cards from the base set were reproduced using Topps chromium technology.  The background has little circles/bubbles, which is a little different from the way Chrome is done today.  The cards are obviously numbered differently, and there’s also a slight difference on the back as Topps has an extra line with their patent info for Chrome technology.

1996 Topps Chrome Refractor #29

1996 Topps Chrome Refractor Frank Thomas

1996 Topps Chrome Refractor Frank Thomas back

This is the card I found to finish off this year in Topps parallels – and re-do this post!

Like all refractors, these cards are identical to their regular counterpart, except the fronts have a plastic diffraction grating that gives the card a colorful, reflective shine.

The “Rainbow”:

1996 Topps Frank Thomas rainbow

Most blogs have a vertical orientation.  This one included.  It is what it is.  If I could do this blog in landscape, it would work better for this one scan.  But it’s still the best way to scan 4 regular size cards and one jumbo.

Any sets I didn’t get:  That’s it.

Other cards I would have liked to do:  I’m limited to guys on the 9 teams that had Team Topps cards, and if I want to include the Jumbo “Big Topps” – that means there are only 9 players.  Considering I also want to have a different player, Cal Ripken was out once I got to 1996.  I thought about Griffey, Maddux, but I do really like this card of the Big Hurt and planned on using Griffey for 1999.





Putting a Big Hurt on a PSA case

1 07 2016
William Wallace

FREEEEEEDOM!!!

In April I did a bunch of posts about the parallel cards I was collecting for the Lifetime Topps project.  The first year where I didn’t have every single card I wanted was 1996 Topps.  I was missing the Topps Chrome Refractor for Frank Thomas.  At the time, I lamented the fact that I had passed on paying $20 for an ungraded version of that card on eBay.  Well, I found one for two-thirds of that recently, but it was “encased”.  And graded cards don’t fit in a binder next to the other Frank Thomas 1996 Topps cards I have.  Here’s a progression of what I did to

Start

For anyone doing this, I’d recommend going to the closest thing you have to a sound proof room.  If you have a baby and a 4-year old, a wife, a girlfriend or any combination of the above, you don’t want them getting pissed mid-strike.  That could lead to interruption, which could lead to a damaged card.

Mid-way

Speaking of damaged cards, be careful once you get that quiet room, be careful.  You need to hammer the case hard enough to get some breaks each time, but not so hard that you crack the whole thing in one swing – which would turn that “8” into a “4” right away.  Hammer on the back of the card, because, a scratch on the back isn’t really a big deal. Also – and this is the best advice because I only learned it after doing this a few times – hammer from the bottom.  You just need to get that card out of the way.  The top has the PSA logo and that just means added glass to break.  Go to the bottom – the point of least resistance.

Frank has his freedom.  William Wallace would be proud.





2004 Topps parallels – Brandon Webb

16 05 2016

2004 Topps

Card I selected:  #502 – Brandon Webb

This is the only one of these cards I selected that has the Topps rookie cup on it.  Webb had about as unique a career as you could have.  He went 10-9 with a 2.84 ERA to get 3rd in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2003.  He probably should have won the award, but that performance at least got him onto the Topps All-Star Rookie team.  In 2006, he won the NL Cy Young, and he followed that up with runner-up finishes the next 2 years.  His 2008 campaign included a 22-win season.  To have 3 straight seasons of winning or running up in the Cy Young voting doesn’t happen much.  But after that, he pitched one more game in the majors due to injury.

He’s from Ashland, Kentucky, which is pretty close to where I grew up.  So I always liked him and wish he could have made it back in his couple comeback attempts.  I actually have all of these cards, so this post can be considered “final”!

# of cards (including the Topps card):  10

The parallel sets in 2004 include:

  • Gold
  • Black
  • First Edition
  • Opening Day
  • Chrome
  • Chrome Refractors
  • Chrome Gold Refractors
  • Chrome Black Refractors
  • Chrome Red X-fractors

Scans:

2004 Topps #502

2004 Topps Webb

2004 Topps Webb back

2004 Topps Gold #502

2004 Topps Gold Webb

2004 Topps Gold Webb back

Topps Gold, with a Gold border, was back for the another year (6th time overall, 3rd straight).  This parallel had a shiny gold foil border and was numbered to 2,004 on the back in gold foil stamping.  The front doesn’t have the “53 years of collecting” that had been on the Topps Gold cards the previous couple of years.

2004 Topps Black #502

2004 Topps Black Webb

2004 Topps Black Webb back

Topps Black was in just its 2nd year in 2004.  The border is black.  Topps Black was numbered to 53, with a gold foil stamp on the back, to honor 53 years of collecting since the 1952 set.

2004 Topps First Edition #502

2004 Topps 1st Edition Webb

2004 Topps Webb back

There was a new parallel set in 2004 – dealers who bought a Home Team Advantage case got 1 bonus box of Topps First Edition.  These cards had a “1st Edition” stamp on the front of the card, but are otherwise exactly the same as the regular Topps cards.

2003 Topps Opening Day #159

2004 Topps Opening Day Webb

2004 Topps Opening Day Webb back

Opening Day was back for the 7th time in 2004.  165 cards, retail only, and the same photos from the base Topps set.  The border is a blue-gray color, 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.

2004 Topps Chrome #261

2004 Topps Chrome Webb

2004 Topps Chrome Webb back

Topps Chrome was back for its 9th year.  It was 466 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.

2004 Topps Chrome Refractor #261

2004 Topps Chrome Refractor Webb

2004 Topps Chrome Refractor Webb back

Inserted every 4 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.

2004 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor #261

2004 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor Webb

2004 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor Webb back

 

Topps Gold Refractors have a gold border (that looks a little orange to me) and the refractor effect.  After being numbered in 2003, these cards weren’t sequentially numbered in 2004.  The word gold refractor is noted on the back by the card number.

2004 Topps Chrome Black Refractor #261

2004 Topps Chrome Black Refractor Webb

2004 Topps Chrome Black Refractor Webb back

Black Refractors were back, this time not numbered.  The black refractor wording is noted on the back by the card number.

2004 Topps Chrome Red Xfractor #261

2004 Topps Chrome Red Xfractor Webb

2004 Topps Chrome Red Xfractor Webb back

This card has the refractor / diffraction effect but with a checkered finish that Topps called “X-fractors”.  This year’s version had a red border.  Red X-fractors came 1 per hobby box, and also weren’t numbered.  However, the production numbers were calculable, and this red version of Webb’s card had 61 copies.  The wording “X-fractor” is on the back by the number.

The “Rainbow”:

2004 Topps Webb rainbow_0002

2004 Topps Webb rainbow 2

Any sets I didn’t get:  Topps Traded had Blue 1/1 parallels, and also had printing plates for the first time in a flagship Topps product.  First off, that’s Topps Traded so I feel fine not counting it.  Second, cards numbered out of 20 or so is around where I draw the line – I definitely won’t be getting any one-of-ones as part of this parallel project.

Other cards I would have liked to do:  This is such a great set.  I love the design and the outline of the player in the corner – just about any card is great in this set.





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.





2002 Topps parallels – Vlad Guerrero (and Chone Figgins) – some hunting left to do

14 05 2016

2002 Topps

Card I selected:  #100 – Vladimir Guerrero

I went back and forth a bit on who to pick here – basically determined by the Kanebo Silver card I could find.  I found a Sammy Sosa quite a while ago and bought it.  But I don’t love Sosa’s card and he’s far from my favorite player, too.  I bought the Kanebo packs mentioned in my last post, and pulled one silver card – of Vlad the Impaler.  I love this card, and Vlad has always been a cool player.  I’d much rather have him in this parallel set!

I have one more card to go to finish off the 2002 parallels.  Chrome introduced the rarer Black Refractors in 2002, and I just haven’t found one yet.  Not surprising that I have had trouble tracking down a card numbered to 50 from 14 years ago…

# of cards (including the Topps card):  11

The parallel sets in 2002 include:

  • Gold
  • Home Team Advantage
  • Limited
  • Kanebo
  • Kanebo Silver
  • Opening Day
  • Chrome
  • Chrome Gold Refractors
  • Chrome Black Refractors
  • Chrome Refractors (Traded only)

Scans:

2002 Topps #100

2002 Topps Vlad Guerrero

2002 Topps Vlad Guerrero back

2002 Topps Gold #100

2002 Topps Gold Vlad Guerrero

2002 Topps Gold Vlad Guerrero back

Topps Gold was back for its second straight year with a shiny foil border.  Numbering Topps Gold to the current year – #/2002 – is a trend Topps has kept to this day.  In 2002 it was only a partial parallel, though of most of the set.  There were 58 cards that didn’t have gold parallels – basically any of the full bleed subsets and the Barry Bonds 73 HR card.  The gold border was a little weirder in 2002 – as the base cards themselves had a gold/orange border.

2002 Topps Home Team Advantage #100

2002 Topps HTA Vlad Guerrero

2002 Topps Vlad Guerrero back

Cards from hobby factory sets got a stamp to special “Home Team Advantage” logo to designate them.

2002 Topps Limited #100

2002 Topps Limited Vlad Guerrero

2002 Topps Vlad Guerrero back

Limited Edition factory sets were back, coming in a wood box and a stated production run of 1,950 (though the cards themselves weren’t numbered).  These cards are stamped with the words “Limited Edition” in the bottom right.

2002 Topps Kanebo #6

2002 Topps Kanebo Silver #6

2002 Kanebo Topps Vlad Guerrero

2002 Kanebo Topps Vlad Guerrero back

2002 Kanebo silver Vlad Guerrero

2002 Kanebo Topps Silver Vlad Guerrero back

Now I’m getting to some hard to find cards.  This Japanese parallel of the 2002 Topps set was actually issued in 2003.  The regular Kanebo cards are pretty tough to find themselves, but at any given point they pop up on eBay.  Topps issued the cards in Japan in conjunction with Kanebo, a Japanese manufacturer of gum and plenty of other products.  There are 55 cards in the set.  The front of the card is basically the same, just without the gold foil on the name and the Topps logo.  The backs are completely in Japanese, have different numbering since they’re a partial parallel, and have a Kanebo logo in the bottom right hand corner.

There’s actually a black parallel that’s even harder to find and I’m just not including it here.  I’d love to add the Vlad to my parallel collection, but I’ve only seen 1 or 2 ever for sale and it would be pure luck if the particular player showed up.

2002 Topps Opening Day #29

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Opening Day was back for the 5th time.  Again, it’s a 165 card set that could only be found in retail outlets.  The border is brown instead of the orange/gold of the flagship set, and there is a foil Opening Day logo at the bottom.  The photos are the same as the base Topps set.  Naturally, the back has a different number.

2002 Topps Chrome #100

2002 Topps Chrome Vlad Guerrero

2002 Topps Chrome Vlad Guerrero back

Topps Chrome was here for its 7th year as a nearly, but not quite, full parallel.  Released in 2 series just like Topps, Chrome reproduced the first 695 cards of the regular Topps set using the chromium technology.  The other differences on the front are the Topps Chrome logo and the fact that the border is silver.  The back of the card is the same as the regular set except for the Topps Chrome logo and slightly different copyright wording.  The numbering is the same.  It’s kind of weird that the back is gold but the front is silver.

2002 Topps Chrome Gold Refractors #100

2002 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor Vlad Guerrero

2002 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor Vlad Guerrero back

Refractors were back, and they weren’t retrofractors this time.  But the regular season version of 2002 Topps Chrome didn’t have regular refractors – only gold refractors.  That makes an interesting twist to my collection here.  The back points out that it’s a refractor.

2002 Topps Chrome Black Refractors #100

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Black Refractors made their first appearance in 2002.  They were very rare, which is why I haven’t been able to snag one yet.

2002 Topps Chrome Traded Refractors #T196

Vlad doesn’t have a card in the 2002 Topps Traded set, so I’m just using the card of Chone Figgins that I pulled.  They would be teammates soon after these cards came out.

The “Rainbow”:

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Any sets I didn’t get:  I didn’t include the black Kanebo cards above.  I’ve never seen that card for anyone but Magglio Ordoñez and So Taguchi, so while I think the card of Guerrero probably does exist, it’s unlikely I’ll ever find it.

Other cards I would have liked to do:  As I mentioned, I originally was going to go with Sosa because I found a silver Kanebo card of his.  Other than that, Vlad seems like one of the best cards in the set.  There are 55 guys in the Kanebo set, and most – but not all – are in Opening Day – so the population here is probably around 45 guys you could get all of the flagship Topps cards.  Raul Mondesi, Johnny Damon and Cliff Floyd are the 3 players who have all of the cards above – including a Topps Traded card.