Monday, February 22, 2021

Actual Topps Cards

Revisiting some past Topps cards along with another Turkey Red push. 
Jeremy has a concept blog called Topps Cards That Never Were which, as you might guess, features cards Topps never got around to making. Here's an example. This is something I have done in my own head from time to time, but my ability to create and design doesn't usually translate well to the physical world. Jeremy is also a Rays collector and put together a few team-for-team exchanges with me in 2020. The latest package featured a really nice assortment of Cardinals goodies.

This is a yellow Bowman parallel of one of the top starting pitchers for the Seattle Mariners. With Dexter Fowler officially out of the picture, Tyler O'Neill probably only has one more season to prove that the Cardinals didn't lose this trade.

Upper Deck Masterpieces had a great two year run, and was one of the companies better offerings. We miss them in baseball for this reason, although they certainly had many missteps.

Box topper or box loader? What is your preferred nomenclature?

This was kind of a forgettable insert design, but the black swirly bit at the top of the photo makes it a rare parallel. These were actually numbered to 299.

I always loved the "## Years of Collecting" printing on the older Topps gold parallels.

By the end of its life, after the Upper Deck takeover, Fleer had reverted to its original place as a very low end brand with only a couple of sets to its name. I still miss it. The inserts weren't anything special, but occasionally you'd get something wild like this Pujols In The Zone card.

It's true that I made fun of these Diamond Anniversary parallels when they first came out, but they really stand out as a classic a decade later. The 2011 set was really a high point for modern Topps cards. I wish Topps could have done something interesting with their cards this year to commemorate their 70th anniversary, but all they did was double the production numbers over 2020. (Seriously, just check the odds on the numbered parallels.)

Here's another nice insert with a goofy font. I'm always excited to add stuff to my Jim Edmonds collection.

Wait... I don't think that's actually Jim Edmonds.

Along with the big batch of Cards cards, Jeremy sent a six-pack of Turkey Red needs. I'll still be working on this master set well into 2021, but at least I know that I had a ton of help from a lot of folks like Jeremy.

Thanks again to Jeremy. Let me know if you have any of these pesky retail only inserts.


  1. I'm a big fan of UD Masterpieces... especially the framed parallels. And I usually use the term box toppers, but have probably said box loaders as well.

  2. box toppers for me, too. nice andruw jones switcheroo on the edmonds card!
    it is sort of weird to me that topps didn't/doesn't seem to include their 1951 set as an official release - 55 years of collecting in 2006 would have begun in 1952. or do they get mixed up between "years of collecting" and "anniversary" definitions? i am thinking it may be the latter.

  3. Don't have any box toppers, but that is what I call them. That Edmonds/Jones is really cool!

  4. Glad you enjoyed the cards. I never actually noticed Jones on the back of the Edmonds before. Makes me want to see if Jones is in the set, and if I have it see who is pictured on the back.
    I would call the Pujols card a box topper.


Comments are highly encouraged, but then again, so is eating your fruits and vegetables.