Product Highlight: 1998 Topps Super Chrome Baseball

Here in America we do everything bigger and better. We will supersize anything. Right down to our baseball cards.

(36) cards are in the 1998 Topps Super Chrome Baseball set. The overall design looks just like 1998 Topps Chrome Baseball with one tiny change. Cards measure 4 1/8″ x 5 3/4″.

Inside each box you will find (12) packs. Each pack has (3) supersized cards. You can tell by the large hanging tab on the pack that this product was made for retail stores such as Walmart.

Are there any chase cards? Yes. Each base card has (1) refractor parallel. You should find (1) refractor per box.

Too bad Topps didn’t make SuperFractors back then. Pulling a Super Chrome SuperFractor would have been fun.

Topps Super Chrome Baseball saw a return in 1999. After 1999 it wasn’t heard from again.

Base
Refractor
Pack
Box

Checklist:

  • Tony Gwynn #1
  • Larry Walker #2
  • Vladimir Guerrero #3
  • Mo Vaughn #4
  • Frank Thomas #5
  • Barry Larkin #6
  • Scott Rolen #7
  • Juan Gonzalez #8
  • Jeff Bagwell #9
  • Ryan Klesko #10
  • Mike Piazza #11
  • Randy Johnson #12
  • Derek Jeter #13
  • Gary Sheffield #14
  • Hideo Nomo #15
  • Tino Martinez #16
  • Ivan Rodriguez #17
  • Bernie Williams #18
  • Greg Maddux #19
  • Roger Clemens #20
  • Roberto Clemente #21
  • Chipper Jones #22
  • Sammy Sosa #23
  • Tony Clark #24
  • Barry Bonds #25
  • Craig Biggio #26
  • Cal Ripken, Jr. #27
  • Ken Griffey, Jr. #28
  • Todd Helton #29
  • Mark McGwire #30
  • Jose Cruz #31
  • Albert Belle #32
  • Andruw Jones #33
  • Nomar Garciaparra #34
  • Andy Pettitte #35
  • Alex Rodriguez #36

Product Highlight: 1989 Fleer Glossy Baseball

Glossy was to Fleer as Tiffany was to Topps.

In an attempt to compete with Topps, Fleer issued a series of Glossy sets. At a quick glance these cards look just like the normal Fleer flagship set. But upon a closer look you’ll notice minor upgraded changes that give the cards a higher-end feel.

Lets take a look at the 1989 Fleer Glossy Baseball set.

This set consists of (660) “Custom Coated” cards, (12) “Custom Coated” Limited Edition World Series cards, and (66) full color team logo stickers.

When compared to a normal 1989 Fleer Baseball card you’ll notice that the Glossy example has a shiny finish, and has been printed on white card stock.

Turning the card over you can see blue was used for the Glossy instead of yellow. A big “Collectors Edition” logo is in the background on the Glossy card as well.

Sets were distributed in tins only. About 30,000 sets were printed.

Key rookie cards include Randy Johnson #381, Ken Griffey, Jr. #548, and John Smoltz #602.

The 1989 Fleer Glossy Baseball set has a famous cameo appearance in the 1990 film Home Alone.

When Kevin is snooping around his older brother’s bedroom a 1989 Fleer Glossy Baseball tin can be seen on the top shelf.

The shelves eventually come crashing down. Inside the tin you can see a few cards. One card is definitely of Fred McGriff.

Product Highlight: 1982 Chicago Cubs Red Lobster

Thought you had this set but can’t find it? Then you’re a lost claws. Get it? That’s a lobster joke.

On August 20, 1982 baseball fans attending the Chicago Cubs game received a promotional set of cards. The Chicago Cubs and local Red Lobster restaurants came together to make this set possible.

About 15,000 sets were produced. The cards are numbered in order of the player’s jersey number, and contain a facsimile autograph.

Ryne Sandberg’s card is the most desirable. Most collectors see Sandberg’s cards made by Topps, Fleer, and Donruss in 1983 as his true rookies. The Sandberg card included within this set predates all of them. Its his first card to feature him in a Cubs uniform. His other cards prior to 1983 have him in a minor league uniform.

28-card Checklist:

  • Doug Bird
  • Larry Bowa
  • Bill Buckner
  • Bill Campbell
  • Jody Davis
  • Leon Durham
  • Lee Elia – Manager
  • Steve Henderson
  • Willie Hernandez
  • Fergie Jenkins
  • Jay Johnstone
  • Junior Kennedy
  • Ken Kravec
  • Randy Martz
  • Bob Molinaro
  • Jerry Morales
  • Keith Moreland
  • Dickie Noles
  • Mike Proly
  • Al Ripley
  • Ryne Sandberg
  • Lee Smith
  • Scot Thompson
  • Dick Tidrow
  • Bump Wills
  • Gary Woods
  • John Vukovich / Gordy MacKenzie / Billy Williams / Billy Connors / Tom Harmon – Coaches
  • Team Picture

Product Highlight: 1987 ACME Phillie Phanatic Figures

You and your mother are grocery shopping at the local ACME. She is embarrassed because you are sitting in the shopping cart throwing a fit. That’s until you lay your eyes on these awesome Phillie Phanatic figures.

The Philadelphia Phillies and ACME came together for this fun promotion that began on June 28, 1987. Every week for eight weeks a new Phillie Phanatic figure would be released. Each figure only cost $0.99 plus tax.

This set of Phillie Phanatic figures has the world’s greatest mascot in eight different poses – fielding, waving, handstand, batting, kneeling, Mr. Formal, pitching, and sliding.

None of the figures are that rare. All can be found today fairly easily. They’re made of solid plastic with no moving parts. Paint chipping is the main condition issue you need to watch out for.

Product Highlight: 2007 Upper Deck Holiday Inn Baseball

The 2007 Upper Deck Holiday Inn Baseball set is nothing earth shattering, but an interesting promotion.  For those members of the Holiday Inn Priority Club that stayed at a participating Holiday Inn hotel between May 31, 2007 and July 30, 2007 received a special pack of Upper Deck baseball cards.  You received a pack for each night stayed.  Inside each pack there are (4) cards – (3) base, and (1) Cal Ripken, Jr. insert.  There are (5) Ripken inserts, and the entire base set consists of (60) cards. Its possible to find those Ripken inserts with a code on the back. The codes were meant to be used in the Priority Club Rewards Program.

You won’t find any rookies, relics, autographs, or parallels.  Adding at least one of those elements would have drastically increased people’s interest in this set.

In my opinion, Upper Deck’s idea of printing cards on hotel room keys for promotional purposes makes for a more unique souvenir.

Product Highlight: 1988-90 Topps MLB Sports Shots Duo-Tang Pocket Folders

Whether you’re heading back to school or looking for some fun office supplies I think we can all agree these pocket folders are freakin’ awesome.

I’m going to be dead honest. There really isn’t much to say about them. Pocket folders designed to look like giant Topps baseball cards. You could find them in a variety of stores between 1988 and 1990. We know those are the years they were available because 1988, 1989, and 1990 Topps baseball card designs have been used.

Without an official checklist its unclear if every card in each 1988, 1989, and 1990 set was turned into a pocket folder. You will find folders of stars such as Tony Gwynn and Mark McGwire. But then folders were also made for guys like Greg Walker and Dion James. Folders were not just limited to top name players.

These pocket folders are about as easy to find as their baseball card counterparts. Plenty of them floating around the secondary market.

Folders were issued in 1991, but the design doesn’t follow any known baseball card set.

Product Highlight: 1986 Big League Chew Home Run Legends

Growing up in the 1980s I bet you can remember when Big League Chew hit the streets.  Big League Chew is unlike any bubble gum that fans had seen before. Packaged in a foil pouch, and the gum itself is shredded to resemble chewing tobacco.  Big League Chew is the brainchild of Portland Mavericks pitcher Rob Nelson. The idea was pitched to the Wrigley Company by MLB All-Star pitcher Jim Bouton. Fans were introduced to it in May of 1980, and it has been in production ever since.

In 2010 the Wrigley Company sold the rights to Big League Chew to Ford Gum. Various gum flavors and packaging styles have been added over the years. I’ve always enjoyed the artwork featured on their packages.

Gum chewers in 1986 were greeted with a baseball card inside their pouches of Big League Chew.  The entire set consists of only (12) cards.  Pouches each had one card and/or you could send away through a mail-in offer for a complete set.  Many of the cards found in the pouches were damaged through the packing process. All of the players in the set are members of the 500 Career Home Run Club.  The year on the card indicates when that player made it into the club.

Interesting fact. During the mid-1980s Ford Gum was owned by Leaf. Yes, the same Leaf that makes cards. If Ford Gum would’ve had the rights to make Big League Chew back then these cards would have the Leaf name on them.

Product Highlight: 1999 Topps Action Flats Baseball

I can still remember going into my local card shop and seeing these crazy little dudes for sale.

The Topps Action Flats line actually began in 1998 with the NFL. Football fans got another dose in 1999 as well. But baseball fans only received one set which was released in 1999. Another baseball set was in the works before the product line got officially dropped altogether.

What are Action Flats? An Action Flat is a small (flat) figure that comes on a stand. It was another attempt at competing with Starting Lineup. The 1999 Topps Action Flats Baseball set consists of (12) players:

  • Chipper Jones
  • Greg Maddux
  • Mark McGwire
  • Sammy Sosa
  • Kerry Wood
  • Barry Bonds
  • Alex Rodriguez
  • Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • Cal Ripken
  • Juan Gonzalez
  • Nomar Garciaparra
  • Derek Jeter

The Action Flat figure is posed to mimic the image on the accompanying card. Cards look just like the flagship set, but have a “Action Flats” foil stamp on them.

Topps did make some parallels to chase. Away and Classic Jersey parallels apply to the figures only. Classic Jersey parallels are more difficult to find. The cards that come with the figures are the same whether the figure is a parallel or not.

Props to Topps for trying something different. But the Action Flats line never really caught on.

Montgomery Club Members Are NOT Entitled To Every Topps Online-Exclusive Product First

Members of the Topps 582 Montgomery Club were shocked on Friday, May 6, 2022 when they discovered that 2021 Topps Formula 1 Chrome Sapphire Edition was on sale to the general public. Usually club members get first access to popular online-exclusive products before everyone else for the most part.

Boxes began popping up on Topps’ European sites, and then made their was to the U.S. I was able to add (1) box to my cart, but the Topps website froze for me during the checkout process due to the high volume of users. Some made it through successfully, bots especially, before it sold out.

A box of 2020 Topps Formula 1 Chrome Sapphire Edition originally cost $99. As of right now that same product sells for around $4k. Even with the increased price ($699.99) for the 2021 product you can see why club members are angry they weren’t offered it first like they were last year.

Although a massive surprise, if you read the language on the Topps 582 Montgomery Club website it clearly states “Exclusive Access to Pre-Sale window for select Topps 2022 Online Exclusives including Sapphire, Finest Flashbacks, Ginter X, and Archives Snapshots.” The keyword here is “select”. “Select” does not mean members will get a pre-sale window for every online-exclusive product. It means just the ones Topps chooses. Which products Topps chooses can clearly change from year to year.

Attempt to charge back your membership fee, threaten not to renew your membership next year, and write all of the hate e-mail you want. All the threats in the world aren’t going to make you feel better. 2021 Topps Formula 1 Chrome Sapphire Edition is most likely gone for the $699.99 price, and nothing is going to change that. If you want a box you’ll have to pay more on the secondary market. I would be very surprised if Topps offers members their allocation now that the general public sale is over.

Why wasn’t 2021 Topps Formula 1 Chrome Sapphire Edition one of the “select” products for pre-sale? Rumors and people’s imaginations instantly began to run wild. Maybe some of it will turn out to be true. You can read through it all on the Blowout Forums.

We still have a lot of the year to go. Topps could very easily surprise members with an exclusive product (never produced before) that could make up for 2021 Topps Formula 1 Chrome Sapphire Edition not being offered to club members first. Then again, they don’t have to.

In the end, it is all in the details of the language for the club we signed up for. Plain and simple.

Product Highlight: 1992 MotorArt Iditarod Sled Dog Race

Wow! The 80’s and 90’s really did bring us some unusual card sets.

MotorArt (out of Florida) certainly isn’t the first card manufacturer you think of first. Most likely because they didn’t stick around that long. Thanks to MotorArt collectors were introduced to the Iditarod Sled Dog Race Set.

The 1992 MotorArt Iditarod Sled Dog Race Set consists of (110) cards. You could purchase the cards in two different formats:

Hobby Box
Factory Set

There was also a 4-card promo pack they issued.

Over the course of the set you will find cards of mushers, dogs, and the various survival procedures they go through to finish the race.

No relics. No autographs. No parallels. No chase cards. MotorArt did offer a promotion where you could send away for a complete set on an uncut sheet. They only made 1,049 of these (one for each mile of the race). Each sheet cost $49.

Standalone Iditarod Race sets have never gained much hobby traction. Its not uncommon to find mushers included in products such as Allen & Ginter, Sport Kings, and Goodwin Champions.