Tuesday, November 9, 2010

the set topps got right (seriously this time!)

I knew very little of the 2002 release of Topps T206. In fact, I knew next to nothing except that it existed. I knew I had a few Blue Jays cards that one of you may have sent over, and I had that stray Vladimir Guerrero sitting in my Topps box. I never knew of its scale of how on point the set is to the original. Until yesterday. As many of you know, I find the 2009 T206 set to be one of my favorite sets and I had stated my over the top liking for this set in this post. How wrong I was. Well, not fully as I still really like 2009. As I neared completion of the 2009 issue, I started to do some looking for the 2002 set on eBay. I found one that said it was the complete 456 card set. I thought it would be just right, even though in Beckett it said the full set was 525 due to the variants. Well the set came in yesterday and after looking through it, I began to see it was indeed the full 525 cards. Someone had painstakingly put together this set (including the 90 Team 206 subset cards from each of the three series), included all the variants, the three boxtoppers with the history of the 2002 issue written by Keith Olbermann, and even included the three paper checklists from the boxes. There were even 20 or so duplicates of the original T-206 reprints, including the six pictured above. This was the most complete set I could have ever asked for and totally didn't expect. What I paid for it was even more scary, as practically no one touched it and it ended at $16 (plus $11 for shipping). After picking through it and reading over the three boxtoppers, I realized that this set, not the 2009 set, was Topps' real love letter and tribute to the original 1909-11 issue. The two to three variants per superstar player, the reprints of the originals, the size of the individual series is even close to the original. The relics were not included here, but I have seen some of them online and on the checklist and they seem tremendous. Johnny Evers Jerseys, Honus Wagner bats, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, the list goes on of fantastic relics from 100 years ago. I believe this set has now taken over the top spot as my favorite modern set. Simply incredible that they went these lengths to preserve the legacy of one of the most famous and collected baseball card sets ever. Now my one question: where is the Topps that pieced together the ideas for this set? Because surely they aren't the same Topps we have around now.

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