August 22, 2007

The Essentials

Let's say that you were assigned the job of putting together a baseball card time capsule, to be opened way in the future, presumably a time when it's normal for baseball cards to talk (not just Topps' Talkin' Baseball, which I'm still looking for, by the way). If you were to put together a list of those cards that are most essential to the hobby, that best represent achievements in the baseball card (after WWII), which cards would you choose?

I've put together a list (it's relatively short) of 59 non-rookie cards (from 1948 to 1989), 97 rookies (1948 to present), and 24 sets (1948 to 1989). I've asked Chris Harris of Stale Gum to provide a list from 1990 to the present. Here's what we came up with (in no particular order):

The Essentials (Post War)

Rookies
1. 1969 Topps Reggie Jackson (r)
2. 1960 Topps Carl Yastzremski (r)
3. 1978 Topps Eddie Murray (r)
4. 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson (r)
5. 1982 Topps Cal Ripken (r)
6. 1979 Topps Ozzie Smith (r)
7. 1972 Topps Carlton Fisk/Cecil Cooper (r)
8. 1975 Topps Fred Lynn (r)
9. 1978 Topps Paul Molitor/Alan Trammell (r)
10. 1952 Topps Ed Mathews (r)
11. 1954 Topps Ernie Banks (r)
12. 1954 Topps Henry Aaron (r)
13. 1954 Topps Al Kaline (r)
14. 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax (r)
15. 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente (r)
16. 1984 Fleer Update Roger Clemens (r)
17. 1984 Fleer Update Kirby Puckett (r)
18. 1975 Topps George Brett (r)
19. 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman (r)
20. 1968 Topps Johnny Bench (r)
21. 1967 Topps Tom Seaver (r)
22. 1965 Topps Steve Carlton (r)
23. 1963 Topps Pete Rose (r)
24. 1962 Topps Lou Brock (r)
25. 1960 Topps Willie McCovey (r)
26. 1957 Topps Frank Robinson (r)
27. 1957 Topps Brooks Robinson (r)
28. 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle (r)
29. 1951 Bowman Willie Mays (r)
30. 1948 Bowman Stan Musial (r)
31. 1949 Bowman Satchel Paige (r)
32. 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey, Jr. (r)
33. 1967 Topps Rod Carew (r)
34. 1983 Topps Tony Gwynn (r)
35. 1983 Topps Wade Boggs (r)
36. 1983 Topps Ryne Sandberg (r)
37. 1984 Topps Traded Dwight Gooden (r)
38. 1984 Donruss Don Mattingly (r)
39. 1985 Topps Roger Clemens (r)
40. 1985 Topps Mark McGwire (r)
41. 1987 Fleer Will Clark (r)
42. 1987 Fleer Barry Bonds (r)
43. 1987 Topps Bo Jackson (r)
44. 1986 Donruss Jose Canseco (r)
45. 1985 Topps Kirby Puckett (r)
46. 1985 Topps Dwight Gooden (r)
47. 1989 Fleer Ken Griffey, Jr. (r)
48. 1989 Fleer Bill Ripken (r)
49. 1987 Donruss Greg Maddux (r)
50. 1966 Topps Jim Palmer (r)
51. 1963 Topps Willie Stargell (r)
52. 1970 Topps Thurman Munson (r)
53. 1959 Topps Bob Gibson (r)
54. 1972 Topps JR Richard (r)
55. 1991 Upper Deck Pedro Martinez (r)
56. 1994 SP Alex Rodriguez (r)
57. 1992 Bowman Mike Piazza (r)
58. 1975 Topps Robin Yount (r)
59. 1974 Topps Dave Winfield (r)
60. 1976 Topps Dennis Eckersley (r)
61. 1973 Topps Mike Schmidt (r)
62. 2001 Topps Ichiro (r)
63. 1990 Leaf Frank Thomas (r)
64. 1991 Stadium Club Jeff Bagwell (r)
65. 1992 Bowman Manny Ramirez (r)
66. 1993 SP Derek Jeter (r)
67. 1992 Topps Traded Nomar Garciaparra (r)
68. 1995 Bowman Vladimir Guerrero (r)
69. 1991 Bowman Chipper Jones (r)
70. 1965 Topps Jim Hunter (r)
71. 1965 Topps Joe Morgan (r)
72. 1970 Topps Vida Blue (r)
73. 1975 Topps Jim Rice (r)
74. 1975 Topps Gary Carter (r)
75. 1977 Topps Dale Murphy (r)
76. 1981 Topps Fernando Valenzuela (r)
77. 1992 Bowman Mariano Rivera (r)
78. 1990 Leaf Sammy Sosa (r)
79. 1965 Topps Tony Perez (r)
80. 1949 Leaf Jackie Robinson (r)
81. 1948 Bowman Yogi Berra (r)
82. 1948 Bowman Bob Feller (r)
83. 1948 Bowman Warren Spahn (r)
84. 1948 Bowman Phil Rizzuto (r)
85. 1951 Bowman Whitey Ford (r)
86. 1949 Bowman Roy Campanella (r)
87. 1955 Topps Harmon Killebrew (r)
88. 1961 Topps Juan Marichal (r)
89. 1955 Topps Harry Agganis (r)
90. 1962 Topps Gaylord Perry (r)
91. 1964 Topps Phil Niekro (r)
92. 1988 Fleer Tom Glavine (r)
93. 1988 Fleer Edgar Martinez (r)
94. 1988 Score Update Craig Biggio (r)
95. 1988 Score Update Roberto Alomar (r)
96. 2002 Bowman David Wright (r)
97. 2001 Bowman Albert Pujols (r)

Individual Cards (1948 – 1989)
1. 1952 Topps Andy Pafko
2. 1954 Topps Ted Williams (#1)
3. 1954 Topps Ted Williams (#250)
4. 1959 Topps Symbol of Courage (Roy Campanella)
5. 1957 Topps Ted Williams
6. 1958 Topps Stan Musial All-Star
7. 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle
8. 1953 Topps Jackie Robinson
9. 1952 Topps Willie Mays
10. 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle
11. 1967 Topps Carl Yastzremski
12. 1975 Topps Joe Morgan
13. 1972 Topps Joe Morgan Traded
14. 1965 Topps Yogi Berra
15. 1951 Bowman Yogi Berra
16. 1951 Bowman Ted Williams
17. 1953 Topps Ed Mathews
18. 1988 Topps Wade Boggs
19. 1967 Topps Whitey Ford
20. 1954 Topps Warren Spahn
21. 1969 Topps Aurelio Rodriguez
22. 1971 Topps Thurman Munson
23. 1969 Topps Maury Wills
24. 1982 Topps Traded Ozzie Smith
25. 1981 Topps Traded Dave Winfield
26. 1984 Topps Traded Pete Rose
27. 1976 Topps Traded Oscar Gamble
28. 1976 Topps Bazooka Champion Kurt Bevacqua
29. 1977 Topps Big League Brothers (George & Ken Brett)
30. 1963 Topps Pride of the NL (Mays & Musial)
31. 1961 Topps Sandy Koufax
32. 1962 Topps Roger Maris
33. 1974 Topps Hank Aaron
34. 1970 Topps “Mets Whoop It Up”
35. 1972 Topps Roberto Clemente
36. 1973 Topps Roberto Clemente
37. 1978 Topps Jim Rice
38. 1985 Topps Pete Rose
39. 1987 Fleer “Dr. K Meets Super K” (Clemens & Gooden)
40. 1988 Topps “A’s Leaders” (Canseco & McGwire)
41. 1964 Topps NL Home Run Leaders (Aaron/Cepeda/Mays/McCovey)
42. 1963 Topps Brooks Robinson
43. 1963 Topps Casey Stengel
44. 1963 Topps NL Home Run Leaders (Aaron/Banks/Cepeda/Mays/F. Robinson)
45. 1962 Topps “Maris Blasts 61st”
46. 1962 Topps “The Switch Hitter Connects”
47. 1962 Topps Babe Ruth Story “Greatest Sports Hero”
48. 1962 Topps “Manager’s Dream” (Mantle & Mays)
49. 1954 Topps O’Brien Brothers
50. 1961 Topps “Brother Battery” (Larry & Norm Sherry)
51. 1961 Topps “Gehrig Benched After 2,130 Games”
52. 1958 Topps Don Mossi
53. 1957 Topps “Yankees Power Hitters” (Berra & Mantle)
54. 1955 Topps Dusty Rhodes
55. 1977 Topps Reggie Jackson
56. 1975 Topps Carlton Fisk
57. 1970 Topps Seattle Pilots Team
58. 1954 Bowman Ted Williams
59. 1964 Topps Ken Hubbs In Memoriam


Sets
1. 1952 Topps
2. 1953 Topps
3. 1954 Topps
4. 1986 Topps Traded
5. 1959 Topps
6. 1965 Topps
7. 1963 Topps
8. 1972 Topps
9. 1975 Topps / Mini
10. 1984 Donruss
11. 1957 Topps
12. 1955 Topps
13. 1975 SSPC
14. 1986 Sportflics
15. 1949 Leaf
16. Complete run of Donruss Diamond Kings (1982 – 1989)
17. 1987 Topps
18. 1989 Upper Deck
19. 1978 Topps
20. 1971 Topps
21. 1951 Bowman
22. 1955 Bowman
23. 1963 Fleer
24. 1951 Topps Blue & Red


Chris Harris' List (1990 to present)

1. 90 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson Baseball Heroes AU
2. 90 Score Bo Jackson "Black and White"
3. 90 Topps Frank Thomas NNOF
4. 91 Donruss Elite (set)
5. 91 Stadium Club (set)
6. 91 Upper Deck Michael Jordan
7. 92 Bowman (set)
8. 92 Fleer Rookie Sensations Frank Thomas
9. 92 Score The Franchise Mantle/Musial/Yastremzki AU
10. 92 Topps Gold Brien Taylor AU
11. 93 Finest Refractors (set)
12. 94 Leaf Limited Phenoms A-Rod
13. 94 Score Rookie/Traded Call-Up A-Rod
14. 94 SP Holoview FX (set)
15. 94 Upper Deck Michael Jordan
16. 94 Upper Deck Griffey/Mantle AU
17. 96 Leaf Signature (set)
18. 96 Select Certified Mirror Gold (set)
19. 96 SPx (set)
20. 97 Flair Showcase Legacy Masterpiece Ken Griffey, Jr.
21. 97 New Pinnacle Press Plates
22. 97 Upper Deck Game Jersey Ken Griffey, Jr. GU
23. 98 Upper Deck Retro Legedary Cuts Babe Ruth AU
24. 99 Upper Deck A Piece of Hostory Babe Ruth GU
25. 99 Upper Deck 10th Anniversary Buy-Back Ken Griffey, Jr. AU
26. 00 Fleer Tradition (set)
27. 00 Greats of the Game Autographs (set) AU
28. 00 Greats of the Game Yankee Clippings Mickey Mantle GU
29. 01 Donruss (set) -- If only for pure suckiness.
30. 01 SP Legendary Cuts (set) AU
31. 01 Sweet Spot Signatures Babe Ruth AU
32. 01 Topps Heritage (set)
33. 01 Ultimate Collection (set)
34. 02 Topps 206 Honus Wagner GU
35. 04 Diamond Kings (set)
36. 04 Donruss Fans of the Game James Gandolfini AU
37. 04 Leaf Certified Satchel Paige GU
38. 04 Topps American Treasures (set) AU
39. 06 Topps Allen & Ginter Danica Patrick AU
40. 07 Topps Derek Jeter
41. 07 Topps Allen & Ginter Ken Jennings
42. 07 Topps Allen & Ginter George Washington DNA

Please leave a comment on this post if you think we've left anything out.

7 comments:

David said...

How about the 1984 fleer update set?

Anonymous said...

The appeal of the 2001 UD Gold Glove Leather Bound set will last forever.

AroundtheHorn said...

1995 Bowman's Best Andruw Jones RC
1989 U.D. Randy Johnson RC
1989 U.D. John Smoltz RC

Anonymous said...

Good list. I think the 1984 Fleer Update Gooden should be on the list also. During the 80's, this was "the card" of "the set".

dayf said...

Good list. I would have picked the '81 Fleer "Fernand" Valenzuela card instead of the Topps Tri-rookie, but no biggie.

Two more cards for the list:

1953 Topps Satchell Paige
1956 Topps Hank Aaron (with Willie Mays action shot)

Three more cards so '76T Gamble and the Bevacqua bubblegum cards don't get lonely:

1952 Topps Gus Zernial
1984 Fleer Glenn Hubbard & friend
2007 A&G Torii Hunter

Anonymous said...

What about the first stand alone Diamond Kings Master set from 2002? Those cards were sweet!

VintageCollector said...

Why not post pics of these cards? Your leaving the cards in a time box not a list. Pics would bring this post to life!