Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2001 Topps #7: Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees, OF

I've added yet another 2006 Topps Mantle Collection card to my set.  This time, I found a #MM2001 to fill in for the missing #7 card in my 2001 Topps set.  Unlike #MM1998, the border coloring on this card looks very close to the original set.    

Friday, July 25, 2014

1998 Topps #7: Mickey Mantle, New Yankees, OF

This post title may seem to be a little misleading, but it is definitely suitable for my intended purpose.  What we actually have here is a 2006 Topps Mantle Collection card #MM1998, but for me, it's a 1998 Topps #7.  It really bothered me that Topps retired the #7 card between 1997-2005.  After returning back to the hobby in 2001 following a 10-year lapse, I noticed that the missing card number would throw off my page count when organizing my sets into binders.  Where I have been used to card #'s 90, 180, 270, 360, 450, 540, and 630 occurring at the corner of every 10th page, there had been oddball number cards in those positions. 

The missing #7 cards probably led to the beginning of my set organizations by team, which then evolved into organization by team performance and players.  Extra cards first went to the front of my binder, and eventually to the back, where additional bonus cards could be easily added in the future.  The missing #7 cards also probably led to my temporary lapse in modern card collecting between 2007-2012, in which I focused solely on vintage card collecting.  My temporary lapse in modern card collecting was also encouraged by the onset of numerous variation cards ('99T McGwire/Sosa HR's, '00T Magic Moments, '02T Bonds HR's, Factory Bonus Sets, etc.), scarcity of Traded Sets ('01-'04), and probably significantly, the missing 2006 Topps card #297 Alex Gordon.  Just when Topps returned card #7 to their sets, they pull a stunt like introducing a card that either is, or is not part of the "complete" set--but it exists.   

I have since recovered from the disappointment of all of these modern sales gimmicks (and Topps has again removed card #7 from their sets), but for the missing #7's from between 1997-2005, at least, there is an affordable answer.  The 2006 Topps Mantle Collection consists of 10 cards numbered from #MM1996-#MM2005, or at least from what I am aware.  I currently only have two of these, but intend to obtain them all eventually to integrate into my base sets.  I probably chose the worst one to start with since the border of #MM1998 does not quite match the border of the rest of the '98T set, but the rest of the '06T Mantle Collection cards seem to match their respective sets very well.     

Now, comes the issue of where to place the #7 Mantle card.  From about 1995, Topps began manufacturing veteran-type player cards beginning with Babe Ruth, and then M.Mantle '96, J.Robinson '97, R.Clemente '98, N.Ryan '99, H.Aaron '00, etc.  Originally, I included these long retired veterans at the front of their respective team sets; then I moved them to the back of my binders with the rest of the extra cards (they're not current players!).  Now, I'm considering moving them back into the front of their respective team sets as shown in the first page of my '98T set binder for the 1998 World Champion New York Yankees.  There are two reasons for this: stats on the back of each card like they were still playing and recent veteran variation factory bonus cards. 

This is all just part of the fun of collecting baseball cards these days. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

2007 Topps Factory Set Rookie Variation Bonus Cards #16-20

Here are some more factory set rookie variation bonus cards from my 2007 Topps baseball set.


2007 Topps Factory Set Rookie Variation Bonus Cards #11-15

Here are some more factory set rookie variation bonus cards from my 2007 Topps baseball set.

2007 Topps Factory Set Rookie Variation Bonus Cards #6-10

     Yesterday, I added five new cards to my 2007 Topps baseball card set with a factory set rookie variation bonus pack containing cards #6-10 out of 20 total.  My original 2007 Topps factory set came with two packs of five cards, which I will post shortly.  For a long time, I did not know what to do with these type of bonus cards.  When I first started collecting baseball cards as a kid between 1987-1991, bonus cards did not exist in wax packs and factory sets (although cello packs did contain an all-star commemorative card). 
     When Topps began introducing bonus cards into their factory sets in 1992, I had already moved on to other interests and never noticed them.  I first noticed bonus cards when I began collecting baseball cards again in 2001.  Up to that point in time, factory set bonus cards could not be effectively integrated into the base sets like Topps Traded cards could.  Until recently, I would either place my factory set bonus cards at the back of my card binders, or just separate them completely.  
     Within the past year, I decided to incorporate these type of cards into my sets as I would for the Traded/Update sets.  This post marks the beginning of my attempts to collect these factory set bonus cards.  The first Topps factory sets that contained bonus card packs that could be integrated into the base sets appeared in 2002, although the factory set that I purchased in 2002 contained Archive cards that could not be integrated. 
     To date, I have compiled 15 of the 20 total rookie variation cards for the 2007 Topps set.  Some of these cards are actually not variations at all, but the only card issued for a player in this year.  Others look like an exact duplicate of the base card or Update card.  Here are the five bonus cards I received in the mail yesterday.  If the player had a base card or Update card, I included that version alongside the bonus card as well.



Monday, July 14, 2014

2001 Topps Baseball Stars

As the set that brought me back from a 10-year hiatus of baseball card collecting, the 2001 Topps 50th Anniversary collection carries more sentimental value to me than any other set produced in the 21st Century.  Here is a collage of 99 different cards from the base set that stood out to me upon first glance.