Tuesday, August 12, 2014

1983 Topps All-Star Collector's Edition insert set #1-40

In 1983, Topps released its first of 8 consecutive All-Star Collector's Edition insert sets (Topps Glossy Send-Ins).  Could this set actually represent the first glossy cards ever released by Topps?  I'm not really sure about that, but do people still even use the term "glossy" in reference baseball cards these days?  Everything is glossy, and so is this set.     

Placed at the back of my 1983 Topps set binder consisting of a total of 792 base cards and 132 traded cards, the 40-card Topps Glossy Send-in set makes a nice addition to my otherwise complete set.  I counted a total of 16 Hall-of-Famers in this set: C.Yastrzemski, R.Yount, M.Schmidt, D.Winfield, R.Gossage, C.Fisk, G.Carter, J.Palmer, R.Carew, N.Ryan, R.Henderson, G.Brett, S.Carlton, R.Jackson, E.Murray, and B.Sutter. 

There are also cards for other superstars like: P.Rose, D.Concepcion, F.Valenzuela, D.Murphy, and D.Baker.  More than half of the cards in this set are certainly winners.

The All-Star Game Commemorative insert sets would not be released until the following year in 1984, while the Rookies Commemorative insert sets would not be released for another 4 years in 1987.

Monday, August 11, 2014

1987 Topps '86 Rookies Commemorative insert set #1-22

The Topps Rookies Commemorative sets (or Topps Glossy Rookies) were only released for five years between 1987-1991.  Like the Topps All-Star Game Commemorative sets (or Topps Glossy All-Stars), these cards were represented by the year prior to their release.  The Glossy Rookies could be found in Topps Jumbo Packs containing 101 cards each.     

Like the Glossy All-Stars, that could be found in Topps Rack Packs containing 49 cards each, I didn't collect any of these Glossy Rookies in 1987.  Why?  Well, for one, I could barely afford the 40 cents it cost to purchase a 17-card wax pack as a 10-year old in 1987.  There's no way that I was going to be buying 101-card jumbo packs.  It never even crossed my mind.

Looking back, it sure would've taken quite a number of Jumbo packs (22 if you're lucky) to complete one of these Glossy Rookies sets.  That's 2200 Topps base cards and 22 Glossy Rookies cards, which is almost enough base cards to complete the 1987 Topps set three times over, if once again, you're very lucky. 

This understanding now brings me to the conclusion that Topps Glossy Rookies sets should be selling for a whole lot more than the current market demands--but they're not.  A set like this might cost you $6 right now online. 

 The Topps Glossy Rookies sets mirrored the size of the Glossy All-Stars' 22 cards for the first 3 years of their production between 1987-1989.  In 1990 and 1991, the Glossy Rookies sets would increase in size to 33 cards.  That's a whole lot of jumbo packs.

The key cards in this set seem to be the Rafael Palmeiro and Will Clark.  Other notables include Wally Joyner, Ruben Sierra, and Jose Canseco.  

 Currently, I have my Topps Rookies Commemorative insert set placed into my '87T binder at the very back (after the 60-card Glossy Send-ins set and the 22-card Glossy All-Stars set).

Friday, August 8, 2014

1990 Topps All-Star Collector's Edition insert set #1-60

     Generally listed in most price guides as the "Topps Glossy Send-In" set, these All-Star Collector's Edition sets were released for eight consecutive years between 1983-1990.  Although I 'm referring to these cards as insert sets, they were actually redemption sets that could be redeemed in groups of 10 cards by sending in a number of redemption cards by mail (in addition to a shipping fee).  The redemption cards were found in Topps wax packs during the years that these All-Star Collector's Edition cards were available.   

The All-Star Collector's Edition sets contained 40 cards each between 1983-1985, and then 60 cards each between 1986-1990.  These sets are not to be confused with the 22-card Topps All-Star Game Commemorative insert sets (or Topps Glossy All-Star insert sets) found in rack packs between 1984-1991.

Of the 60 cards in this set, 36 of the player names really stand out to me: Ryne Sandberg, Nolan Ryan, Dave Stewart, Barry Larkin, Darryl Strawberry, Steve Sax, Gary Sheffield, Don Mattingly, Bret Saberhagen, Robin Yount, Ozzie Smith, Ken Griffey Jr., Wade Boggs, Dwight Gooden, Eric Davis, Ruben Sierra, Roberto Alomar, Jose Canseco, Joe Carter, Mike Scioscia, Julio Franco, Tim Raines, Rickey Henderson, Bob Geren, Andre Dawson, Mark McGwire, Bo Jackson, Carlton Fisk, Kirby Puckett, Cal Ripken, Will Clark, Dennis Eckersley, Craig Biggio, Fred McGriff, Tony Gwynn, and Omar Vizquel.

My 1990 Topps baseball card set is now stacked with 792 base cards, 152 debut cards, 132 traded cards, 60 send-in inserts, 22 all-star inserts, and 33 rookie inserts for a grand total of 1,191 cards.

I think that I read somewhere that these sets were manufactured at 1% of the production rate of the base cards.  The card backs on these sets don't identify much information, which is probably why I didn't pay much attention to them growing up.  Now, looking through my set binders, I'm glad that I have them.  If you're serious about collecting the greatly under-appreciated Topps sets released between the late-'80s and early-'90s, you might want to think about picking up the Glossy insert sets to go along with it.  These sets still come at a low cost, and many of these players are now entering the Hall-of-Fame. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

1984 Topps '83 All-Star Game Commemorative insert set #1-22

What is this?  Insert cards on my 20th-Century Topps Baseball blog?  I didn't collect any of these insert cards in the '80s because they weren't included in the wax packs where I compiled my cards from.  I would often see other people with these type of insert cards in the '80s, but no one ever seemed to be seriously interested in them.  Everyone I knew collected base cards.  Imagine that. 

Anyways, it seems very difficult for modern era baseball card collectors to ignore insert cards.  Believe me; I tried.  It all started with the acquisition of all those post-1992 Topps factory sets I compiled, all of which include some type of extra bonus card packs.  When I entered back into this hobby after a 10-year hiatus in the summer of 2001, I found many of these bonus insert cards to be a nuisance.  Initially, I had no idea what to do with them.  My complete sets all went into binder pages along with my Traded/Update sets, while most of the extras were just sold off. 

I kept many of the mid-to-late '90s Topps factory set bonus reprints for players like Mantle, Mays, Clemente, Ryan, and Aaron.  Those, I would integrate into my vintage sets as a filler until an original can be found to replace them.  Afterward, I would then sell off the reprint.  I guess that this post is marking the start of my "giving in" to collecting some of these insert cards--especially those that represent my initial era of card collecting in the '80s.

Basically, there were 3 major type of insert sets manufactured by Topps between 1983-1991: Glossy Send-Ins ('83-'90), Glossy All-Stars ('84-'91), and Glossy Rookies ('87-'91).  The primary focus of this particular post is on the Glossy All-Star Game Commemorative Sets that were manufactured between 1984-1991.  This was the first of those Glossy All-Star sets, and were found individually inserted into rack packs of 1984 Topps baseball cards.

There still seems to be a lot of confusion with online listings representing these sets by the year identified at the top of the card.  In this case, the 1984 Topps All-Star Game Commemorative set actually identifies players from the '83 All-Star Game.  If you look at the copyright symbol at the bottom of the card back, the answer will become apparent.  These are 1984 Topps cards, and represent the first of 8 consecutive All-Star Game Commemorative insert sets manufactured by Topps.

They all consisted of a total of 22 cards each.  The set is split into 11 cards for each league: 9 position players, 1 manager, and 1 honorable mention/captain.  The honorable mention cards in this set are Carl Yastrzemski and Johnny Bench, who both retired during the 1983 season.  Later versions of this set included honorable mention/captain players who had retire much earlier. 

Of course, this insert set cannot be effectively integrated into my base/traded set, so I have included it at the end of my binder after the checklist cards.  I compared this set with the 22-card All-Star subsets commonly included in Topps base sets during the '80s, and found little correlation.  Some of the position players match, and some don't.

There will soon be a 40-card Glossy Send-In insert set to complement this 22-cards Glossy All-Star Game Commemorative insert set.