Thursday, April 18, 2013

Completed sets: 2011 and 2012 Topps Prime Nine promotions

You might remember that I put up a series of posts highlighting my fantastic last trade with legendary blogger BA Benny back in March.  In the very first post I was so overwhelmed with all the complete sets he had sent me that I decided to just take a quick snapshot of all of them together (mostly in boxed-set form) so I could return to posting them individually later.

Well today I'm ready to show a couple of them off, and I decided to do both of these at once because they're relatively small at nine cards each, plus they're related--the complete versions of Topps' 2011 and 2012 Prime Nine promotions.

First up is the 2011 set, which was subtitled "Player of the Week Refractors."
Topps chose nine players--one for each defensive position, of course (which means no DH!)--and then listed nine reasons each was worthy of the selection:
Happy belated Jackie Robinson Day, everybody!
The set works pretty well if you don't think of it as Topps' version of the All-Century Team or something like that.  And obviously they didn't do that or all NINE cards would have been Yankees.  Anyway, these are shiny, Refractory, purdy cards that were available at select hobby shops that year for collectors that pulled their redemption cards (two per hobby box, says SportsCardRadio).  I complain about redemptions pretty often, but a card that drives collectors to hobby shops to pick up free cards they don't have to wait for is a logical way to do it, and for this I salute the company (a rare honor these days).  And to keep the lovefest going, I'm even willing to say that the player selection here is pretty reasonable as well.  Personally, I would have gone with Ripken over Jeter, but Jeter's plenty deserving himself, so I'll abide.

The following year, Topps went homerunnier, Yankee-er and curvier with its Home Run Legends set:
Chrome cards are bendier than Bender "Bending" Rrrrrodriguez!
Each player in this series had made it to the 500 HR list at the time except Pujols, who's still around 25 shy as of today.  Conspicuously absent are players such as Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Rafael Palmeiro, though it's very likely they were left off due to lack of collector interest.  The strangest snub to me is Ken Griffey Jr.--throw him on there instead of Jackson--you've got enough freaking Yankees as it is!  Junior is one of only eight players to reach the 600+ mark, while Reggie was a self-important strikeout machine.  At least Topps deigned to include a few non-Yanks, including one of my favorite legends, Frank Robinson:
McGwire still owns the rookie record with 49, though at least Robinson went on to a much, much more storied career.  And what a card from last year said holds true today:  no active player is anywhere near his 586, with Pujols being the next big threat.

Also, it's nice to see Banks get a little more recent hobby love.  His 512 HR tie him with Eddie Mathews for 21st overall, and that total best such legends as Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Chipper Jones, and Carl Yazstrzemski.

All in all, I'm happy to declare both of these promotional sets a victory for Topps.  They're shiny Refractors that came from a fairly well handled promotion and highlight some players that deserve plenty of attention (and Reggie Jackson).

I'll scan more of the sets Mike sent my way in the future when my posts get boring or I'm lacking for content--and if you go back and look at that first post, you'll see I have plenty left!

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