2001 Topps – Through the Years Reprints

2001 Topps - Through the Years Reprints

2001 Topps – Through the Years Reprints

This 50 card insert set is a fun set to collect. The cards have that vintage feel to them without the vintage price. Personally I wouldn’t collect a reprint set as a set itself but somehow it being an insert in this situation makes all the difference. It’s because it’s only a small part of a regular issue that gives the incentive to collect it. If Topps came out with a reprint set as the set itself I wouldn’t understand the point of spending the money on it. Once you collect all the cards all you have is a reprint set, you may as well collect the original set instead, or collect a newer non-reprint set.

Anyone else collect or have collected these inserts?

Topps, What Were You Thinking?

Perhaps some of you are fans of the parallel set that have come out through the years, The Golds, Platinums, Silvers, Reds, Greens, etc. Although a rare few try to complete these sets, numerous collectors do try to complete, of their favourite player, what is known in the hobby as a rainbow set. That is, for the uninitiated, one each of the base card and all the parallels of their favourite player. This might be a fun pursuit, even if some of those parallel’s are 1/1 5/5 or 25/25s. But it could also be quite frustrating if the cards can not be found. But if the deed is accomplished you could have the only rainbow set of that player from that set in all the world.

Topps Chase Cards

Topps Chase Cards

But what happens when the parallel has 500-800 different cards? Would you try to collect all of them? How about if the border doesn’t change but instead they place a number on the front of the card to indicate a certain amount of a certain statistical digit the player has accomplished? Well that’s what Topps did with some of their sets back in 2006-2008. And the statistic was career home runs. Not satisfied with duplicating a card several hundreds of times for just one great player (Mickey Mantle) they decided to continue the nonsense with Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Josh Gibson. If that wasn’t enough, they expanded beyond the career home runs to include DiMaggio’s two hitting streaks. the more famous 56 game hitting streak he accomplished in the majors, and the less famous 61 game hit streak he accomplished while in the minors.

Topps Joe DiMaggio Hitting Streak Cards

Topps Joe DiMaggio Hitting Streak Cards

In order to get every one of these insert cards, which for all intents and purposes are exactly alike, you would need to find over 2000 cards. Imagine filling a binder with Mantle’s Home Run History cards, it would look something like this:

Topps Mickey Mantle Home Run History Insert Cards

Topps Mickey Mantle Home Run History Insert Cards

So the question remains: What was Topps thinking?

My only guess is that they were lazy people and thought us chimp-brains might not notice the stupidity of it all and run around pursuing these cards ad nauseam. Use your talents to better improve the cards, not repeat and repeat card after card so that opening packs becomes routine and boring. You should know better than that Topps, shame shame.

2015 Topps Archives Signature Series Baseball

2015 Topps Archives Signature Series Box Top

2015 Topps Archives Signature Series Box Top

I’m not much for recent cards. In my searches locally I have purchased cards from the early 2000s and I personally bought boxes of 2006 and 2007 Topps and Fleer products when I returned to the hobby at that time from a 15 year absence. But my concentration has been from 81-93 for set collecting and then good cards of HOF players during that era and earlier.

But when Topps came out with their first Signature Series boxes last year I was intrigued. I’m not much into collecting auto cards either, if I happen to pull one that’s cool, but I don’t chase after them. This product was Topps first buy back issue that was not used as inserts. It meant that you were guaranteed a signature card. Which for me, made a signature card more attractive.

2015 Topps Archives Signature Series Rollie Fingers

2015 Topps Archives Signature Series Rollie Fingers

For those of you not knowing much about this product here is a short description. Topps went out and bought back a bunch of their cards in the secondary market. Then they got a bunch of players (retired) to sign these cards. They sent the cards to the printer to stamp on a gold foil “Topps Archives 2015” logo and a serial number ranging from 1/1 to around 99/99. The players who signed these cards range from HOF players like Sandy Koufax (the main attraction for collectors), Ken Griffey Jr., John Smoltz, Rollie Fingers, and other non-HOF stars like Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green and Andres Galarraga. They then took the cards and sealed them in a plastic container (slabbed as it were) and attached a Topps Archives gold colored sticker wrapped front to back at the top right of the container.

2015 Topps Archives Signature Series Fred McGriff

2015 Topps Archives Signature Series Fred McGriff

Once Topps got the card together (signature, foil stamping, plastic encasement) they then put one of these cards in each box of the product. You buy a box, you get just one card. You buy a case, you get 20 boxes, or 20 signature cards. You will see a range of Topps and Bowman cards in the product ranging mostly from the 80s, 90s, 00s. Pulls I have seen have come from 1987 Topps, 1992 Topps, 1991 Stadium Club, 1994 Bowman. All these cards are actually worth pennies until Topps stamps and players sign them. You will not get any rookie card signatures here, not that you would actually want them as many would say the rookie cards are defaced with a signature on them.

2015 Topps Archives Signature Series Sandy Koufax

2015 Topps Archives Signature Series Sandy Koufax

When this product was released it was understood to be quite limited. When you pulled cards that were 1/1s at a rate of 2-4 per case you could see why. The SRP, to my understanding was 40.00, but many dealers held back the product from its initial release in order to raise the price later (I see greed still pervades the hobby). But I’m not sure why. Because in the end, I decided not to purchase a case or even a box of this product.

I waited and watched some case breaks on you tube and the pulls were nothing spectacular. I would have difficulty paying 40.00 or 50.00 on a 1992 Topps card of Andres Galarraga. In fact all the cards I saw pulled from cases, whether from HOF players or not are cards I already have sans-signature. For me it’s hard to get excited for a 1987 Topps star card even if it now has a signature and gold foil stamping on it. I have seen the card already for over 15 years already. It’s like dressing up a rat in a tuxedo. In the end it’s still a rat.

2015 Topps Archives Signature Series Nolan Ryan

2015 Topps Archives Signature Series Nolan Ryan

Probably the people who eventually pulled or will pull a Sandy Koufax or Nolan Ryan Signature might think the purchase was worth it, but my guess is everyone else will be yawn-struck.