Thursday, July 24, 2014

Complete sets: 2006 Topps Rookie of the Week

It's been a few months since I last posted one of the complete sets sent to me by the legendary BA Benny in his last trade package to me before signing off (and more than a year since that mammoth trade).  Short of content for the moment, I thought it might be fun to look at another set, with this one being much newer than the last.

Today's set is Topps' 2006 Rookie of the Week promotion.  According to BaseballCardPedia (always a wonderful source for more info about sets), "This 25-card set was distributed exclusively through Topps Home Team Advantage dealer network. A new card was available each week, and to acquire that week's card collectors had to purchase a pack of Topps cards from their local HTA dealer.  Each card is a reprint of the player's Topps rookie card, but with a different photo then the original."

The same set/different picture is something Topps had started doing more of around that time, especially with the contemporary Fan Favorites set, which are far superior to the more recent Archives product that focuses on just a couple designs.  The monopolists did a pretty nice job of player selection overall, with its 24 different players (more on that shortly) comprising mostly retired HOFers along with a few modern stars.  As you'll see, nobody in this set will raise any eyebrows in 20 years.

Here's a look at the 25-card set:
The first group starts with Topps Baseball Tebow, Mickey Mantle, naturally, and then another eight Yankees right aft--oh wait, he's the only Yankee in this group of nine!  Wow, that's actually kind of nice.  I think Topps did well to jump all over the different decades instead of making these a lot more predictable and going chronologically.  The alternate photos are pretty good too.  I do have to laugh at the pair of assholes Bonds and Clemens going back-to-back, though. 
First things first--I love that Killer, and the design guys understood the history of the product enough to make his card look great even with alternate images.  The rest of the group sticks to stars from the 60s-80s except for Ichiro, who'll join the other guys in the Hall soon enough.  Of the formerly multiplayer RCs with other players cropped out appearing in this set--Ryan, Ripken, Seaver, Bench, and Schmidt--only Schmidt's card really looks weird after the edit, so that's a plus.  And hey, still no other Yankees so far!
With Jeter's impending retirement, this is another group that will be 100% HOFers very soon--and by the way, I in no way argue against his inclusion here.  My hat's off to Jeter and his excellent career, in addition to being a rare star that never really acted like a douche or got caught in any terrible scandal.  I love the choice of Gibson as well since he really doesn't get enough hobby love nowadays, plus he's one of just four pitchers in this set.  The trio of 83s that went consecutively--Gwynn/Boggs/Sandberg--was a cool outcome, though I'm not sure if it was done on purpose.  And finally, my only real complaint about the set:  a second Mantle card.  Topps, we get it--you're obsessed--but in a set this small, would it KILL you to give us 25 different players?  At least you're consistent in your suckiness.

This is still a fun set to look at once in a while, though, and I'm curious to hear some opinions from those of you interested in enough to comment, so have at it!

8 comments:

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    1. Thanks for looking, and I think so too.

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  2. I love this set. I'm working on wrapping it up myself.

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    1. Since I'm replying a few weeks later, any progress?

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  3. The two Mantles is indeed redundantly predictable.

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    1. Yeah, I mean, REALLY? "Hey, we need a player this week." "How 'bout Mantle?" "Wasn't he like the first guy in the set?" "What's your point?"

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  4. That Jeter card looks horrible, though. It's as if someone was blindfolded in a room and tried to design his rookie card from memory. It's just weird. Maybe it's weird when such familiar junk wax era designs are messed with.

    I love the Ozzie Smith, though. It's one of my favorite Ozzie-as-a-Padre cards. I also think I need to track down the Pujols for my collection.

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    1. Because of your comment I went back to Jeter's original card for comparison, and you're right! Ozzie Padres cards are fun for sure. And the Pujols (and Ichiro) cards came out great in my opinion, but that's because I love the 2001 set so much.

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