Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Top 20 Under $25 - #10 - 1992 Topps Factory Set

I've kind of mailed it in the last couple of times with single-card posts. Time for an image-heavy one. We're past the halfway point with my 2011 Top 20 Under $25 countdown. Here's item #10...

What is it? A 1992 Topps baseball factory set.
When and where did I get it? Early October, at a flea market with my younger brother.
How much did it cost me? $10, no shipping!

Of all the items in the countdown, this one by far contains the most cards for the money. When I saw this 792-card set available at a local flea market for just $10 I jumped at it. I knew it was a complete, mint-condition set because it was in the factory box and still encased in cellophane. At just over a penny per card I couldn't turn it down.

1992 was the first year that Topps used white cardstock for its flagship baseball set. It was also the last year for the standard card backs I had grown up collecting (although these are obviously white), as the backs would be glossy beginning with the '93 set. Oh yeah, they also featured panoramic views of baseball's stadiums (great link here), the first time Topps featured pictures on the back since the early 1970s:

It was also the first set without gum in the packs. I think the design is decent but the photography is great. The Ripken at the top of this post is arguably the best photo in the set, but there are plenty of others in the mix in my opinion. In the interest of keeping this monster sized post manageable, I'm going to just show the scans of some of my favorite cards and keep the commentary to a minimum. Enjoy! There's pretty much something for everyone in this set...

One of my favorite players, Nolan Ryan, leads things off with card #1...

...followed by some Record Breaker cards. Remember these?...

...maybe they do have these in recent Topps sets, I guess I haven't picked up enough packs to even know...

...Jon Farrell gets the award for best (or worst) hair in the set...



...this always seems to be the case with me, but I like the horizontal cards best in this set...

...see?...

...some of the early Topps cards of the stars of my youth are in this one...


...as well as some late career cards of some Hall-of-Famers...

...Sammy sure looked much different back then...

...and like most of the flagship sets leading up to this one, there are manager cards...



...Manny, Manny, Manny...if only you could go back to the Youth Service League and start over...


...Cliff won a medal I guess, not sure what for...

...I love this card of a troubled-looking Jack Clark in front of the Green Monster, one of my favorite photos in the set...

...I betcha Robbie's mom had this card displayed on her fridge back in the day...


...another great horizontal shot, I've seen those one posted many times...


...there are two two-sport stars in this set. Will we ever see one again? Probably not...



...worst shirt in the set goes to Greg Anthony hands down. This paisley and floral combination should never appear on a baseball card. From any era. Ever. Moving on...





...your latest World Series-winning manager...

...a terrible trade by the Red Sox...


...what's not to love about this card? What a great moment captured on cardboard. Not to mention a baby blue Expos jersey...

...this is one I'd put up with the Ripken that led off the post in terms of best cards in the set. There is just so much going on here...


...another one of my favorites. I actually chose this card when assembling my own custom "hobby box" this past summer...





...another beauty. Pretty close to perfection on cardboard as far as I'm concerned...


...the other two-sport star...

...John Franco signing some autographs for the Mullet Club...

...as a Red Sox fan, this card just feels wrong...





...speaking of the Red Sox, their new skipper is included...

...and we close it out with a very happy Joe Carter. He's got plenty of reasons to smile, as he was about to win consecutive World Series and hit one of the most dramatic and famous homers in baseball history to clinch the second title.

So, there you have it. Maybe not the world's most valuable set but some pretty great cards for mere pennies and one I'm happy to have in the collection. Don't worry, the last 9 posts in the countdown will be much shorter than this one!

7 comments:

Fuji said...

I picked up one of these sets off of Craigslist earlier in the year. Which gold cards did you get?

shoeboxlegends said...

Hah, pretty much absolute crap! 10 no-namers. I'd be happy to send them to you if you're trying to pursue a gold set or something, let me know!

Dave H said...

Nice deal and at that price you can NEVER go wrong. A clean looking set with lots of players good and bad. Question is, will this make an album or stay in a box?

Fuji said...

Thanks for the offer... but I'm not building the set. I bought the set in hopes of finding a Tony Gwynn and Greg Maddux... plus I figured I'd break it down and keep the A's and Padres team sets.

1967ers said...

I gave up on baseball after 1991 because there were so many cards that I couldn't keep up in two sports. I think I'll have to pick this one up! I really like the ballpark shots on the back.

shoeboxlegends said...

It really is a great set. I think Topps was starting to feel the threat posed by Upper Deck at the time, the photography in the 1991 and 1992 sets is heads above the sets leading up to those two.

shoeboxlegends said...

Oh and Dave H, to answer your question, this one is just not binder worthy at this point in time. I've been getting a lot more cards into binders as I've made progress with organizing over the past year, but I'm limited by how many binders I have at the moment. Right now if you're not a pre-1990 hockey set or a 70s Topps baseball set you have no shot at a binder.

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