Monday, November 25, 2013

Complete sets: 1994 Topps II and 2000 Topps

What better way to deal with a huge backlog of stuff to post than to avoid posting for way too long, amirite?  I can see myself sticking to this bad habit of sporadic posting for the foreseeable future, especially thanks to the holidays, but I'll try to get a few more posts up before the end of the year.

So thanks to some fairly restrained spending the last couple months, I finally found a good time to pick up a couple complete sets I'd really wanted to snag.

The first was 1994 Topps Series II.  I can't remember how I ended up with a Series I set, but for the longest time, that's all I had, and I always found that ridiculous.  $20 shipped was enough to bring that one home, and that's now my oldest '90s Topps set in my collection.  Here's a few highlights I dug out to scan:
I made sure to grab my usual favorites in Griffey, Maddux, Ripken, and Gwynn, including subset cards of both Juniors.  I also highlighted a pair of Tigers favorites in Whitaker and Tettleton.  The four-player Prospects card was worth a mention since it included two pretty good catchers in Delgado and Kendall along with another former Major Leaguer in Bako.  Kendall actually appeared on ANOTHER quad prospects card the following year, because Topps.  Finally, the Aaron was a cool tribute to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his breaking Ruth's career HR record.  Appropriately enough, it's number 715 in the set.  See?  You don't have to do something stupid like retire a number (a la Mantle) to honor a player.

I highlighted this pair of cards from the "Coming Attractions" subset for two reasons:  the Chipper/Klesko card shows off a pretty solid pair of franchise players.  Meanwhile, the Tigers card tells you all you need to know about our abysmal 1990s teams!

Finally, I'm including a pair of scans of cards that go right into my Michigan Baseball player collections:

Next up was a 2000 Topps complete set that I picked up for about $23 shipped.  This is one I shouldn't have had to pick up, but for the life of me I haven't been able to find the original one I pieced together from a pair of boxes back when the set came out.  My cards have been moved place-to-plate a bit, so it's possible they just got lost along the way.  Anyway, I was fine grabbing another set to have on hand, giving me a complete run of regular flagship sets from 1999-2010.  That run WOULD extend back to 1996, but sadly I also can't find my original '98 set and am stuck with just Series II, go figure.

I remember having fun putting this set together back when Topps boxes didn't suck, and the design is pretty reasonable.  Here's a few highlights:
Again I included multiples of Gwynn and Ripken, including a couple of the subsets, which were sort of cool.  Palmer and Ausmus (as a Tiger!) are my Tigers representatives.  Topps again inserted Aaron into the set, and the product also included a full reprint set of him that year.  The shot of Larkin in the field has always been a favorite of mine (though I already had one for his PC).  And I found another chance to show off a still-young Chipper Jones.
No big deal, just seven more cards of Gwynn/Griffey/Maddux/Ripken!  I managed to grab a couple multiplayer prospect-type cards too.  I feel the Riley/Mulder/Sabathia Prospects card is the best grouping of the set, despite Riley flaming out and Mulder having to hang 'em up due to injury.  Meanwhile, the Zito/Sheets Draft Picks version has to be the best from that subset as both went on to have pretty good careers.

For about $43 I'm now much closer to having a full run of Topps flagship sets from '94-2010, and maybe eventually I'll go all the way back to '83 as an homage to Lifetime Topps Project!

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