After more than 23 years since I first completed the 1990 Topps set, I recently discovered, by chance, that my set was never actually complete. After getting back into the hobby in 2001, I began integrating the Topps Traded sets into each year's base set. Now, I have begun integrating the Topps Debut sets into my collection as well. Luckily, there are only three sets to purchase: 1990, 1991, and 1992. The 1990 Topps Debut set actually shows 1989 on the factory box cover to represent the year that the first game was played by each player. What I find interesting about this set is that some of the cards depict players with a team that the base sets never printed them with, or even players that were never printed at all. A prime example is Sammy Sosa's Texas Rangers card, which I never knew existed--which one is really his rookie? I'm not sure about the order in which the Topps, Debut, and Traded sets were released, but it seems to me that the Debut sets would have come out either just before or just after the Topps base sets. I'm not typically a collector bonus or insert sets unless they can be effectively integrated into the base sets, which is the case with the Debut sets. When integrating this set into my binders, the major decision I had to make was: which team do I file each card with? In the case with Sammy Sosa's card, the player is depicted with the Rangers team on the front, but the back shows that he played with both the Rangers and the White Sox in 1989. Do I ignore the additional information about his being traded to the White Sox or not? (Sosa certainly wasn't playing for the Rangers in 1990). I finally settled on filing each card with the team they were depicted with on the front of the card. The 1990 set contains 152 total cards. A choice few are shown below.
1990 Topps Debut #120: Sammy Sosa
1990 Topps Debut #12: Joe Girardi
1990 Topps Debut #132: Omar Vizquel
1990 Topps Debut #46: Ken Griffey Jr.
1990 Topps Debut #129 Robin Ventura