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Topps Baseball Set Reviews, 1987-99

1987-1999  1987  1988  1989  1990  1991  1992  1993  1994  1995  1996  1997  1998  1999  2000-2009  2000  2001  2002  2003  2004  2005  2006  2007  2008  2009  2010-2019  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  2018  2019  2020-  2020  2021

1987 Topps/Topps Traded

Set Size: 792/132

Players With Dual Cards: None

Card #1: Roger Clemens Record Breaker

Subsets: All-Stars (22) Record Breakers (7) Turn Back The Clock (4) Checklists (7)

The Best Cards: #653 Kevin Mitchell, #520 Jack Clark, #52T Reggie Jackson

Notable Uncorrected Error Cards: #108 Jim Gantner (reversed negative) #196 Randy O'Neal (loss total wrong) #274 Jeff Hearron (two 1986 stat lines) 

My Thoughts On The Set: One of my all-time favorites. The wood grain look is timeless, and I wonder why Topps has never tried a similar look in any subsequent sets. 

Some reverses featured "On This Date", which was more or less random bits of trivia/info not directly connected to the card's subject at all. OTD would also relay the trivia subject's Topps card number from whatever year was being referenced. It lasted one set.

For some reason Danny Jackson of the Royals was excluded from the base set even though he was a full-time member of the Royals' rotation for most of 1986. He did appear in the Traded set.

Mike Witt (Angels) returned to Topps after a mysterious one-set absence.

This year, Manager reverses showed bio information and a team checklist.

Included is a 22-card All-Star subset with league leaders on the reverse. There are also eight Record Breaker cards and four Turn Back The Clock cards, taking collectors back to 1967.

Part of what makes this set special: the common colors match the team colors, which, as we found out in 1988-90 Topps, isn't always a given.

1988 Topps/Topps Traded

Set Size: 792/132

Players With Dual Cards: None

Card #1: Vince Coleman Record Breaker

Subsets: All-Stars (22) Record Breakers (7) Turn Back The Clock (5) Checklists (7) Team U.S.A. (21)

The Best Cards: #351 Cardinals Leaders

Notable Uncorrected Error Cards: #338 Brian Holton (1987 ERA printed as AVG) #692 Mike Birkbeck (1984 saves should be zero, not two) 

My Thoughts On The Set: Most, but not all, commons were color-coordinated to their respective team. For example, the Angels are treated with red and blue, but the Athletics are treated with green and...purple. It was still much better than the 1989 and 1990 Topps sets, which featured almost no team-specific colors for whatever reason.

A famous error card, #18 Al Leiter, depicted teammate Steve George instead. The error was corrected with Leiter's image.

My favorite card in this set is #351 Cardinals Leaders, which depicts active star Tony Pena posing with St. Louis legend Red Schoendienst, then a coach. Cool stuff when baseball's past and present is brought together.

Angels IF Doug DeCinces and Cubs RP Dickie Noles each switched teams late in the year, but are pictured with their original 1987 clubs. DeCinces' card reads "Now With Cardinals" while Noles' reads "Now With Tigers".

This year, Manager reverses showed bio information and a team checklist.

For some reason, the Eddie Murray Record Breaker card, with "mirror" images of Murray, creeps me out a bit.

1989 Topps/Topps Traded

Set Size: 792/132

Players With Dual Cards: None

Card #1: George Bell Record Breaker

Subsets: All-Stars (22) Record Breakers (7) Turn Back The Clock (5) Checklists (7)

The Best Cards: #106T Nolan Ryan

Notable Uncorrected Error Cards: #6 Record Breaker (Chris Codiroli is pictured rather than Doug Jones) #35 John Tudor (listed with Red Sox in '84, not Pirates) #193 Sparky Anderson (Luis Salazar's name misspelled "Salazer") #508 Wally Backman (A "he" should be "his") #528 Luis Medina (mystery rectangle on card front)


#535 Todd Worrell (1988 W should be 5, not 4) #567 David Wells ("Record" misspelled "Recor") #584 Randy Velarde (signed in 1935 instead of 1985)

My Thoughts On The Set: Bill Buckner played 108 games between the Angels and Royals in 1988, but did not receive a card in either the base or Traded set. 

This year, Manager reverses showed bio information and a team checklist.

For some reason, Tony Gwynn's league-leading 1988 average was not bolded or italicized; it was corrected in the 1990 set.

Let's just say Ken Griffey Jr.'s Traded card (his rookie card, of course) was quite popular in 1989, though not as valuable as its Upper Deck counterpart.

Kevin Coffman finished 1988 with the Cubs but is shown as a Brave; "Now With Cubs" is printed across the card front. Same for Jody Davis, with the teams reversed.

1990 Topps/Topps Traded

Set Size: 792/132

Players With Dual Cards: None

Card #1: Nolan Ryan

Subsets: All-Stars (22) Record Breakers (3) Turn Back The Clock (5) Checklists (7) Nolan Ryan (4)

The Best Cards: #124 Dave Dravecky

Notable Uncorrected Error Cards: #55 Darrell Evans (1988 and career HR totals wrong) #222 Kurt Stillwell (graduate is spelled "gradute") #355 Marty Barrett (slugged .056 in '82, not .56) #364 Rolando Roomes (played for Nashville in '89, not Indianapolis) #376 Checklist (Teddy Higuera almost left off) 

My Thoughts On The Set: This was the first set I collected in real-time, buying up pack after pack after pack until I'd completed the set.

Dave Dravecky's 1989 season (and career) ended suddenly with a broken arm in August that was later discovered to be cancerous. He received a card with a special dark background in obvious acknowledgment of his bravery.

In 1990, I didn't really care that commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti, who died during the 1989 season, received a card—he was not a ballplayer or manager! But as I've aged and learned more about Giamatti, I've developed appreciation for the card, even replacing my original when its condition became unacceptably poor (I did not take great care of my early Topps sets.)

Braves rookie Dave Justice was included in the Traded set; his card was hot back in 1990.

This year, Team Leaders cards went away, with Manager cards now featuring every team's statistical leaders along with bio information.

A special four-card subset commemorated Nolan Ryan's 5,000th strikeout in 1989; he is shown with each of his four teams with a load of 5,000's over a green/yellow background.

Keeping up Topps' recent trend, some of the All-Stars featured were not actually MLB All-Stars in 1989.

The "Turn Back The Clock" subset appears for the fourth and final time. Record Breakers recognizes Vince Coleman setting the consecutive steals record (50), Rickey Henderson setting/extending the leadoff home run record (40), and Cal Ripken Jr. setting a record for consecutive 20-homer seasons by a SS (eight).

1991 Topps/Topps Traded

Set Size: 792/132

Players With Dual Cards: None

Card #1: Nolan Ryan

Subsets: All-Stars (22) Record Breakers (7) Checklists (7) Team USA (26)


The Best Cards: #530 Roger Clemens, #155 Dwight Evans, #672 Shane Mack, #659 Oscar Azocar, #760 Benny Santiago

Notable Uncorrected Error Cards: #149 Al Osuna (listed as B/T: Left, Right instead of Right, Left) #241 Dave Clark (career stats are #535 Ruben Sierra ("and" misspelled as "amd") #573 Rich Rodriguez (bio lists him as #4 pick) #587 Jose Offerman (blurb has him signed in '88 instead of '86) #673 Greg Olson (incorrect annual RBI)

My Thoughts On The Set: This was the second Topps set I collected "live" (the year it was released). It marked 40 years of Topps baseball cards with a commemorative logo on the front and back of each common. 

1991 Topps introduced horizontal card fronts for the first time in my collecting era, a very refreshing break from the norm. Unlike most Topps images of the era, many of these horizontal pics had...personality. They were actually fun to look at, if that makes any sense.

Alex Fernandez is included as a 1990 Draft Pick (#278), even though he finished 1990 in the majors and should have had a standard common.

For over 20 years, I owned the #337 Keith Comstock error card with Cubs graphics before finally replacing it with a Mariners one.

For whatever reason, the returned-from-Japan Bill Gullickson was excluded from both sets despite being in the rotation all year for the 1990 Astros (and moving to the Tigers for 1991). He'd been in the 1990 Traded set, so it shouldn't have been a licensing issue...never could figure that one out.

1992 Topps/Topps Traded

Set Size: 792/132

Players With Dual Cards: None

Card #1: Nolan Ryan

Subsets: Record-Breakers (4) All-Stars (22) Draft Picks (27) Checklists (7) Team USA (27)

The Best Cards: #190 Joe Carter, #207 Jack Clark, #555 Frank Thomas, #261 Tom Lasorda

Notable Uncorrected Error Cards: #150 Roger Clemens (1990 LL ERA not bold/italicized) #574 Steve Avery (1989 games incorrect) #772 Garry Templeton (pitchers' stat heading)

My Thoughts On The Set: Memories of times gone by...1992 Topps stands out to me because I built at least 1/3 of the set via vending machines at a pizza restaurant. How possible is that today? About as possible as smoking in a hospital without being tackled.

A simple, but distinctive, design for this set; based on 1991-92 Topps, the company appears to have finally realized graphics colors should at least partially match team colors. See this Ozzie Smith Cardinals card to the right? Two years ago, those boxes are probably white and blue.

In the last couple of years, Topps has gradually reduced images of players staring off into the distance, and replaced them with posed images facing the camera (once again, see the Ozzie Smith card to the right). My thoughts? A great, and overdue, improvement.

Tom Lasorda's common, on which he's shown leading his team on a pregame run at age 64, is one of my favorites despite my Dodgers antipathy.

This year, Manager cards featured neither team checklists nor team leaders. Rather, we got each dude's career playing stats and annual managerial stats on all-vertical reverses...nice, and different. (For the first time ever as a player or manager, Bob Rodgers is identified by Topps as "Buck". He'd be "Buck" again in the 1993 set before manager cards went away.)

Also new to reverses: most commons receive a panoramic photo of their subject's home ballpark, which I can't recall being previously done on any baseball card common—if so, it had been a while. Topps wisely didn't include the images on every last card, lest the novelty wear off that much faster. Still, a couple of images per park (rather than one) would have improved the feature.

This year, Draft Picks got their own unique look rather than matching the rest of the set, which I approved of (included among Draft Picks was Manny Ramirez). 1992 Topps also featured nine Prospects cards, with four players to a card. Most of them didn't do much, a few (such as Chipper Jones) did.

Topps Gold was a parallel set that featured every base card with gold font...except the checklists, which were replaced by six commons not released in the standard factory set (#131 Terry Mathews, #264 Rod Beck, #366 Tony Perezchica, #527 Terry McDaniel, #658 John Ramos, and #787 Brian Williams.) I did not learn this until around 2013-14.

The Traded set gave collectors 27 Team USA cards from the '92 Olympic team. For years, these were the last Topps cards of Charles Johnson and Jason Varitek...long story.

1993 Topps/Topps Traded

Set Size: 825/132

Players With Dual Cards: Charlie Hayes, Butch Henry, Eric Young

Card #1: Robin Yount

Subsets: All-Stars (11) Managers (15) Prospects (10) Draft Picks (24) Coming Attractions (26) Checklists (7) Team USA (22)

The Best Cards: #100 Mark McGwire, #261 Kevin Mitchell, #  Rick Aguilera, #  Kirby Puckett

Notable Uncorrected Error Cards: #247 Frank Seminara (acquired in '98 instead of '90) #395 Checklist (Eckersley misspelled Eckerlsley) #518 Benji Grigsby (misspelled Bengi on the front) #624 Sam Militello (drafted in 1988 instead of 1990) #633 Three Russians (a batter is given a pitcher's stat heading) #789 Jeff Conine (career stats partially omitted)

My Thoughts On The Set: With two new teams beginning play in 1993, Topps increased the set size from the now-customary 792 to 825. (396 cards in Series 1, 429 in Series 2.) The Rockies and Marlins were very well-represented in this set. Actually, too-well represented if you count the 16 dual-prospect cards (most of whom never sniffed MLB).

For one of just two times in my 32 years of collecting, 1993 Topps commons featured vertical back layouts (it also happened in 2000 Topps).

The "Three Russians" card #633 was a stray from the norm. None of the three Angels prospects depicted on the card reached MLB, but if you want to know more, click here.

Managers no longer received their own common. In this set you'll find two skippers per card, one from each league, including new 1993 managers Dusty Baker, Dallas Green, etc. rather than those who concluded the '92 season.

Gary Gaetti's front name font is white. Every other Angel received blue front name font.

After a one-year absence, Future Stars returned in 1993 Topps...sort of. Only expansion prospects received this designation, which was not splayed across the front of the card as in the past. You had to flip the card to read "Future Stars Of The Florida Marlins/Colorado Rockies". Of these alleged stars-to-be, only two even remotely came close to MLB stardom.

Topps Gold was a parallel set that featured every base card with gold font...except the checklists, which were replaced by six commons not released in the standard factory set (#394 Bernardo Brito, #395 Jim McNamara, #396 Rich Sauveur, #823 Keith Brown, #824 Russ McGinnis, and #825 Mike Walker.) I did not learn this until around 2013-14.

1994 Topps/Topps Traded

Set Size: 792/132

Players With Dual Cards: None

Card #1: Mike Piazza

Subsets: All-Stars (11) Future Stars (26) Prospects (10) Coming Attractions (28) Draft Picks (34) Measures Of Greatness (9) Checklists (4)

The Best Cards: #511 Devon White, #180 George Brett, #5 Ozzie Guillen, #422 Rey Sanchez, #132 Bret Barberie 

Notable Uncorrected Error Cards: #158 Prospects (Derek Jeter's career average wrong) #310 Robin Yount (111 3B in 1988) #379 Mark McLemore (numbered #370) #603 Wade Boggs MOG (misspelled "so" as "to") #751 Dan Ehler DP (misspelled "is" as "in") Checklists 791-792 (both numbered out of order) 

My Thoughts On The Set: This was the first set I actually protected as I collected it. No more wrapping unglossed Topps cards in rubber bands and stashing them in a shoebox—now the cards were carefully placed in plastic sleeves and gently stored in a Topps hobby box.

Despite my care, I was initially disappointed with this set. How could Topps return the set back to 792 cards after the addition of two new teams, rather than carry over the 1993 Topps set size of 825 cards? Contributing vets such as Charlie Leibrandt, Scott Sanderson, Jeff Treadway, Rick Honeycutt and several others I'd grown used to collecting had no cards in the base or Traded set—but many did have cards from other companies like Score. That bothered me.

It took the drastic set size reductions in 1995-96 to get me over my disappointment with this set. Now it is one of my favorites. Even minus Tom Brunansky.

Nolan Ryan received a special "27 Major League Seasons" on his (sunset) common. He was also card #34, his famed uniform number.

Topps Gold was a parallel set that featured every base card with gold font...except the checklists, which were replaced by four commons not released in the standard factory set (#395 Bill Brennan, #396 Jeff Bronkey, #791 Mike Cook, and #792 Dan Pasqua.) I did not learn this until around 2013-14.

For some reason, the Series 2 checklists were numbered all funky. It bothered young me so badly I stapled them to read correctly.

This set introduced a new and improved Topps All-Star Rookie trophy. Except for 2010 Topps, it has been in use ever since.

Alex Rodriguez's beef with Topps was underway by 1994; he does not have a card in this set but you can obtain 1994-97 Topps-themed A-Rod cards in what's called the "Alex Rodriguez Spokesman" set, available on and elsewhere.

1995 Topps/Topps Traded

Set Size: 660/165

Players With Dual Cards: None

Card #1: Frank Thomas

Subsets: All-Stars (11) 1994 Draft Picks (33) 1995 Draft Picks (14) Checklists (5) Star Track (14) Future Stars (14) On Deck (30) 1995 Prospects (12) Rookie Of The Year Candidates (11) At The Break (9) Mid All-Stars (9)

The Best Cards: #426 Paul O'Neill, #438 Roberto Alomar, many others (see below)

Notable Uncorrected Error Cards: #79 Prospects (Ray Brown is not Ray Brown) #522 Sandy Alomar (given four RBI in 1994 instead of 43) #17T Mark Kiefer (says Brewerse on front) #18T Carlos Beltran (pic is of Juan LeBron) #122T Prospects (Mark Sweeney is misidentified as Mike Sweeney on reverse) #156T Mid All-Star (Fred McGriff is listed as a Blue Jay instead of a Brave)

My Thoughts On The Set: Until the strike hit and led to a reduced Series 2 (264 cards, compared to 396 for Series 1), this set was on its way to becoming the greatest ever. Visually, it already is, with only the front name font coming up a bit short. LOVE "Diamond Vision" and await the day something like it returns to Topps (though no breath is being held.)

Many key veterans were excluded from the base set due to the reduced size, including Tony Fernandez, Glenallen Hill, Tom Henke, Dave Stewart and more. I was extremely disappointed over these omissions until learning most of them made it into the Traded set. 1995 Traded increased by 33 cards over its usual size, but much of that went to unnecessary, empty subsets.

A number of 1995 Topps commons, including those of Dave Nilsson, Royce Clayton and Scott Servais, received "burst mode" card fronts—that is, multiple images shot in succession during a play. The company reused the technique once or twice in the 1996 and 1997 sets as well, then POOF! No more burst mode.

Overall, imagery from 1995 Topps was absolutely fantastic and hasn't been equaled in any flagship set before or since. Which is a crime. (Note: if you like clouds, you'll love 1995 Topps.)

"On Deck" replaced the "Coming Attractions" prospect subset from the 1994 set. Each team got one dual-player On Deck card; two more On Decks showed up in Traded.

A special Babe Ruth card made it into '95 Topps commemorating 100 years since his birth.

Alex Rodriguez's beef with Topps continued; he does not have a card in this set but you can obtain 1994-97 Topps-themed A-Rod cards in what's called the "Alex Rodriguez Spokesman" set, available on and elsewhere.

1996 Topps

Set Size: 440

Players With Dual Cards: None

Card #1: Tony Gwynn Star Power

Subsets: Star Power (22) AAA Stars (4) Future Stars (10) Prospects (10) Draft Picks (27) Checklists (3)


The Best Cards: #248 Chuck Knoblauch, #396 Ricky Bones, #150 Randy Johnson

Notable Uncorrected Error Cards: #8 Tom Glavine Star Power (won two games in June, not 21) #301 Ozzie Smith ('81 stats says "Padre" instead of "Padres")

My Thoughts On The Set: Obviously, production took a hit in the wake of the ugly 1994-95 strike. Topps, known for including "everybody" in the past, reserved this set for regulars, top starters, closers, and prospects. And even those guys weren't guaranteed to make an appearance. Too many notable exclusions to list, but the lack of a sunset card for Lou Whitaker was especially disappointing. 

The design was okay, though a different, slimmer name font could've worked better. Alex Rodriguez's beef with Topps continued; he does not have a card in this set but you can obtain 1994-97 Topps-themed A-Rod cards in what's called the "Alex Rodriguez Spokesman" set, available on and elsewhere.

Card #7 honors Mickey Mantle, who died in August 1995. There is also card #96 recognizing Cal Ripken Jr.'s breaking the consecutive-games record in September 1995.

No All-Stars this year; instead we're given a "Star Power" subset. In addition to prospects, Topps piled on the youngsters with AAA Stars and Future Stars. Topps also produced a (bloated) Draft Picks subset, which included Todd Helton.

Topps Traded & Rookies was temporarily discontinued this year. It returned in 1999.

1997 Topps

Set Size: 496 (minus card #7 retired for Mickey Mantle)

Players With Dual Cards: None

Card #1: Barry Bonds

Subsets: Highlights (10) Prospects (16) Expansion Prospects (10) Draft Picks (13) Checklists (4)

The Best Cards: #71 Eric Young, #452 Ruben Sierra, #65 Chuck Knoblauch

Notable Uncorrected Error Cards: #84 Mike Fetters (misnumbered as #61) #277 Chipper Jones (misnumbered as #276) #315 Darryl Kile (entire 1995 statline reads as zero)

My Thoughts On The Set: A good set for the times. The set size increased by 55 cards, which alone counts as a victory for 1997 Topps. With the expansion Diamondbacks and Devil Rays' farm systems beginning play in 1996, some of those extra 55 cards were spent on their prospects. Most of them amounted to little or nothing in MLB.

The fonts are all quality, but some blurbs (most notably Dwight Gooden's) dragged on for so long that the text was borderline impossible for even me, with 20/20 vision, to read. Other blurbs, for the first time in my collecting era, made reference to certain player's new teams for the 1997 season (such as Jose Vizcaino), though all players were featured with their 1996 teams.

American League commons get red backgrounds, while National League commons get green backgrounds (why not blue?). A handful of cards received the opposite color, likely just printing errors.

Kansas City's Chris Haney, who made 35 starts and threw 228 innings in 1996, did not receive a card. Other notable exclusions: Terry Mulholland (33 GS, 202 IP) Willie McGee (.307 in 309 AB back with St. Louis) Dave Hollins (516 AB) and no sunset cards for Andre Dawson or Alan Trammell.

Card #42 pays tribute to the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's MLB debut.

Season Highlights cards arrived, for the first time in at least my collecting era. There were 10 in all; the five from Series 1 featured the team name on the front, while the five from Series 2 named the highlight instead.

Three 1996 league-leading stats were not bold/italicized on the player's common: Juan Guzman's ERA, Roger Clemens' K, and Kenny Lofton's AB. All three would eventually be corrected down the road.

Alex Rodriguez's beef with Topps continued; he does not have a card in this set but you can obtain 1994-97 Topps-themed A-Rod cards in what's called the "Alex Rodriguez Spokesman" set, available on and elsewhere. (Charles Johnson's absence continued as well.)

Still no Topps Traded & Rookies this year. It returned in 1999.

1998 Topps

Set Size: 504 (minus card #7 retired for Mickey Mantle)

Players With Dual Cards: Michael Tucker

Card #1: Tony Gwynn

Subsets: Highlights (10) Prospects (15) Expansion Rookies (8) Draft Picks (12) World Series (7) Interleague Play (5) Interleague Preview (5) Checklists (4)

The Best Cards: #140 Jay Bell, #184 Jeff Montgomery, #3 Billy Wagner, #287 Brian Jordan, #5 Vladimir Guerrero, #146 Jose Guillen

Notable Uncorrected Error Cards: #499 Prospects (Brad Penny is identified as Nick Bierbrodt and vice versa)

My Thoughts On The Set: #504 Alex Rodriguez was a late addition to the set, having agreed with Topps after the original checklist was released. The company made room for him (duh) and his card made its way into packs; I don't think it was in the factory set box.

This set coincided with my senior year of high school, so a load of nostalgia is attached to it.

Great design, great front text font. I wasn't terribly fond of the reverse name font, but everything else was top-notch visually with interesting blurbs. Front photos were creative and unique (see "The Best Cards" above) at levels unseen since the '95 set. Why can't the company still use these types of images?

Topps should have given the Expansion Draft #1 picks regular common designs, rather than using the same design expansion rookies got. Tony Saunders' Topps All-Star Rookie trophy looks comically out of place.

Some glaring omissions include Rickey Henderson, Randy Myers and Brett Butler; 1997 regulars Brian Moehler, Julio Franco, Ryne Sandberg and Benito Santiago weren't anywhere to be found, either. On the other hand, pleasantly surprised to find no-name middle reliever Tom Martin (#238) and Yankee spare infielder Pat Kelly (#61) in the sarcasm.

The unlicensed Charles Johnson remained absent from Topps. 


Still no Topps Traded & Rookies this year. It returned in 1999. 

1999 Topps/Topps Traded & Rookies

Set Size: 463/121 (minus card #7 retired for Mickey Mantle)

Players With Dual Cards: None

Card #1: Roger Clemens

Subsets: Highlights (5) Prospects (20) Draft Picks (14) League Leaders (12) World Series (8) Strikeout Kings (5) All-Topps (11) Checklists (4)

The Best Cards: #274 Brian Hunter, #72 Javy Lopez, #111T Matt Mantei, #48 Charlie Hayes

Notable Uncorrected Error Cards: #132 A.J. Hinch (reversed front image) #159 Mike Lieberthal (called "Mark" on reverse) 

My Thoughts On The Set: 1999 Topps was easily the most disappointing set of my collecting era. After each of the previous two sets increased in size (440 to 496 to 504), this set made a sharp decrease back down to 463 despite what was a very special 1998 season. As a result, many deserving vets and youngsters were not included, such as Shane Frikkin' Spencer, who was the talk of baseball in September 1998 after banging 10 homers in 73 AB.

Also absent: Rolando Arrojo (14 wins in 32 starts), Mike Stanley (29 home runs) and more.

If the size weren't bad enough, the look was ghastly plain and most front images seemed to show 75% dirt. Those unique pics we saw in 1998 Topps were nowhere to be found here, except #274 Brian L. Hunter in a mask.

I did like the addition of the award winner logos on the common reverses, although Topps forgot Sandy Alomar Jr.'s 1990 AL Rookie Of The Year victory.

Charles Johnson finally returned to Topps, with card #175.

The 1998 Home Run Chase was acknowledged with special cards for Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. McGwire's card, #220, has 70 variations—one for each homer he hit in '98. Sosa's card, #461, has 66 variations. (I was able to procure McGwire variations 7 and 22, and Sosa variation 12.)

Card #34 went to Nolan Ryan as a Ranger in the 1999 Topps design; he's shown in his other three uniforms on the reverse. This is presumably in celebration of his 1999 Hall-of-Fame election. A five-card subset, Strikeout Kings, compares modern K artists to Ryan. I'd have rather had Spencer, Arrojo and Stanley.

Roger Clemens received two base set commons, one as a Blue Jay and one as a new Yankee. This was the first time in my collecting era a Topps Series 1 star returned in new garb for Series 2 rather than the Traded set. Perhaps the company didn't know if there would be a Traded set and couldn't pass up an early card of the game's hottest pitcher in the game's all-time uniform.

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