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Cards You’ve Never Seen: 1992 Topps Debut ’91 Todd Van Poppel Promo

1 May

It isn’t too often that you get a look at the prototypes and mockups of Topps’ oddball and direct market sets of the Junk Wax era. One of my favorite sets and one that I wish could’ve continued through the 1990s is the Topps Debut set, featuring each player who made their major league debut the previous season. Image a 1993 Topps Debut ’92 Mike Piazza or a 1996 Topps Debut ’95 Mariano Rivera…plenty of interesting what-ifs there.

This is the only known prototype from the 1990-1992 sets as far as I could find. There is a Golden Spikes Award version of Alex Fernandez’s 1991 Topps Debut ’90 card, which also happens to come in two versions itself. Looks like Mr. Van Poppel was the lucky subject of their testing out the design elements for the final version. While this card is likely just a mockup and was probably never printed, please comment if you can confirm a physical copy. I’d love to showcase it here, especially images of both sides.


1992 Topps Blackless (Missing Ink) Variations

29 Mar

A recent trip to the card shop in search of some junk boxes yielded one1992 Topps Wax Box and one 1997 Score Hobby Reserve Box (complete waste of money). The Topps box was quite a score because almost every other pack had two Match The Stats game cards, which were the primary reason for the purchase. But in the last quarter of packs, these two cards popped out:

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Quick Look: 1992 Bowman Foil Variations

25 Jan

Here’s a look at a handful of the variations that exist in the 1992 Bowman Foil subset. Each of the non “short-printed*” foil cards can be found with two different photo croppings, some more obvious than others, but all are affected by this variety.

Another batch of foils in 1992 Bowman are also affected by a variety in the bio data on back. Howard House, Matt Williams and Scott Cepicky can be found with spelling errors in their personal data on back:

*1992 Bowman Foil sheets included 2 sets of most players in the subset on each sheet, however some foil subset subjects only appear once per sheet, creating the “short-print” designation that was used in the catalogs for several years.

Quick Look: 1992 Topps Cal Ripken Jr. #40 Variations

7 Jun

One of the lesser-known variations in 1992 Topps, a set that has had little investigation into it’s varieties, is the base card of Orioles legend, Cal Ripken Jr. #40. A card that’s already iconic, for it’s use of the famous photograph of Cal standing next to Gehrig’s Yankee Stadium plaque.

What many collectors do not know, however, is that it can be found in two varieties: The first version, which appears to be more common, has the “team bar” on front in a dark orange, almost brown, color. The second version, which seems slightly scarcer, has the “team bar” on front, correctly printed in black.

Quick look: 1992 Topps Gold Winners Rickey Henderson #2

18 Dec

I’ve long been working on a master set of 1992 Topps Gold Winner cards. At last count, there were over 100 different variations in the set! And since I keep discovering new ones with each lot I sort, the parameters for the ‘master set’ title remain ambiguous. Again, I will post extensively about this set at a later date, but for now, take a look at the first card in the set to feature a variation: #2, Rickey Henderson’s Record Breaker card (the base card also features a variation, though a different one entirely). Notice the 2 different sizes of the ‘ToppsGold’ watermark on the back: