1992 Topps Base Set (792 Cards): Completed 6/5/10!
Thought I'd try something a little different this time, with the different kinds of cards one can find in this set listed before I go into my favorites. That way the set can become a little more familiar to those who aren't familiar with it!
So we start with the basic 6 cards in the set, which are (clockwise starting from the top left), the base card, the "star" base card (which often showcases more of a portrait type pose), the manager card, the top prospects card, the all star card, and the draft pick card:
And here are the backs of those cards. Notice the stadium photos at the bottom of the base cards, the bigger stadium photo at the bottom of the manager, and the vertical writing on the manager and prospect cards in general:
Now that you've become accustomed with the set a little bit, it's time for the top 10, through my eyes. Feel free to disagree in the comments!
10. #779 Jay Bell
I almost swapped this card out for #50, which has Ken Griffey Jr. sliding into third, but this card weirds me out too much to not be included. It's not that odd when you view it this way, standing up, but try looking at the card as it would have come out of a pack:
You'll never think of the term "laying out" the same way again. Makes the card much stranger from this perspective.
9. #96 Tom McKinnon Draft Pick
I love this card for it's "laziness." You're told that your photo will be on a Topps baseball card, and you show up in a plain white tee shirt and your baseball hat. Classy.
Also, interestingly enough, McKinnon had a very low ERA in high school, but also gave up a ton of walks (81 in 120 IP). When he hit the minors the ERA went up, and the walks did too (25 in 16 innings), and so he switched to hitting in 1993. He definitely fared better as a hitter, with .260 averages and a little power, but he never made it to the big leagues.
8. #141 Jim Leyland
Leyland is and was a great manager, and this is a great shot of him during, presumably, fielding practice. Look at that concentration he has going - very epic photo.
7. #534 Benji Gil
Three words: What. A. Douche. Gil actually ended up with a decent career though, despite his douchiness.
6. #152 Charlie Leibrandt
I showcased this card when I first got it, and I just knew it had to make my top ten. Take long fingers and put them in an interlocking pose, and you get this really weird card. Kinda freaks me out in a way.
5. #646 Craig Wilson
This is just a really great card of a guy having some fun. It sort of looks like he's juggling, but then I don't know what's up with his left arm. Add in some 90's-tastic eye wear, and you've got one of the best cards of 1992.
4. #20 Bip Roberts
I'm sure you all saw this card a million times before Bipping was a craze, so I won't really go into it that much. It's simply an awesome photo of a first base dive back, and it's worthy of this list IMO.
3. #550 Darryl Strawberry
I'm awful at identifying stadiums, so it's helpful when a card not only shows an orange foul pole next to a Mets blue wall, but also the scoreboard where "NY" is the home team. From the looks of it, someone, in the 2nd inning, hit the ball to left field on a 3-2 count. Strawberry is on his way home, while another dude is on his way to third. I wonder if they'll make it?
Clearly a great card - fantastic scoreboard/action card of a great player.
2. #207 Jack Clark
Could Strawberry's amazing action photo have beaten Clark at 2? Maybe. But I'm a Red Sox fan, and this is a great shot of the Fenway scoreboard and Jack looking pensive. So call it bias, but this card's my #2.
1. #581 Stan Javier
This card snuck into the top 10, then into the top 5, and then into the #1 spot, for several reasons. You may need to click the image to blow it up so that you can see said reasons more clearly:
1. If this set had a name, it could very well be the "Cloud of Dust" or "Dust Cloud" set, as many cards showcase this phenomenon. This is the biggest cloud, so it's the best of those cards.
2. If you look in the background, you can see one dejected Dodgers player trotting out of play, with an umpire throwing the out signal. And the guy he's calling out isn't Javier.
3. Because Javier apparently tried to sneak to third on the play, meaning that after the out was made, his opponents threw over to third to get the out. Was he safe? Well "Duncan" doesn't appear to have made the catch yet, and Javier is practically on the bag. But even in the event of a tie, the dust would probably block the ump's vision. So I'm saying yes.
But if he was out, this card would be even more awesome - how many cards can boast that they depicted two outs on a single card? I mean, double play turns are one thing - but imagine if there was the ump throwing the out sign AND a tag placed on Javier in the same picture. That'd be sweet.
Name of the Set: #714 Calvin Reese
We all know him better now as Pokey, which the card briefly mentions at the end of his bio on the back. Since I'm so used to him being referred to as Pokey, this card stands out as a weird name, and so he wins for this set.
Last card of the set: #724 Kevin Morton
I picked up the last 12 or so cards through Sportlots, and Mr. Morton was the last card out of the envelope, so he wins. It's a Red Sox, so that's cool!
And there you have it! 2nd set down, hopefully many more to go!