Friday, May 30, 2008

Topps Set of the Week: 2000 Topps

We're looking back to the turn of the millennium this week as we honor 2000 Topps Baseball. The nineties were over, and we were bracing ourselves for Y2K. As we prepared ourselves for the worst (computers crashing, rivers rising, record cold, all the things we worried about), I already had my 2000 Topps Series I cards in hand. And what a beatiful looking set it was.

Those gray borders, the Topps 2000 logo above the player's name, the team colored bands that went across the bottom of the cards. The cards had a futuristic look to them. At 478 cards, this was one of smaller sets Topps created since the big baseball strike of 1994. Players depicted on the cards had to be either superstars or at least recognizable names in the game because there was hardly any room for that third string catcher or the mop up reliever in this set.

Rookie cards of Barry Zito and Ben Sheets (they shared the same card #451) were big in 2000. Stars like Mike McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Alex Rodriguez dominated the headlines, as players such as Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken were beginning to wind their careers down. 2000 was also the year Topps honored Hank Aaron by including not only including him in the packaging, but also giving him a card within the set (appropriately #44 in the set), a reprint insert set of all 23 of his Topps cards from 1954 to 1976, and five different cards of him in the Magic Moments subset.

The Magic Moments subset actually consisted of five different event cards per player (for Sammy Sosa, for example, his 20 HR June, 66 HR 1998, 62 HR 1999, 1998 MVP, and HR 61/62), and you only needed one of each subset to complete your set (althouh it was relatively easy to find those extra cards). The players chosen for this honor, besides Hank Aaron, include the already mentioned Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr, Cal Ripken, Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, Barry Bonds, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez.

The backs of the players' cards were vertically oriented (the first time since 1993), with another full-color picture of the player above his statistics. Other highlights include the dominant New York Yankees, winning their third World Series in four years over the Atlanta Braves. League Leader cards were found in series II, as well as Draft Picks and Prospect cards. One card that was missing from this set was the #7 card, which was "retired" in honor of Mickey Mantle.

Factory sets of 2000 Topps are not abundant, but can easily be found, whether you buy at the hobby shop, at a show, or online. The future was looking bright, a new decade of baseball would bring out new stars, new events, new records to be broken. And this was the set that would introduce us to them all. Here's to you, 2000 Topps.


JayBee Anama


Mr. Schwartz said...

The 2000 Topps, right in the middle of the Dark ages for card collecting.

Cards will never go back to being what they were during the over-production era but they won't go back to what they were when mostly kids collected them either before then.

I see cards not going anywhere up or down these days.

TDLindgren said...

Always liked this set. Loved the Sosa, Griffey and especially the regular Aaron card #44 and the Aaron reprints. They also reprinted McGwire's 1985 Topps rookie as well.