Sunday, July 8, 2012

A blast from the past: 2003 Topps

While rummaging around for post ideas, I ran into a brick of cards in one of my many monster boxes that caught my eye.  The blue bordered 2003 Topps set.  Another of the many sets from the past that I never completed.

I'm not sure why I never completed this set, my only guess is that having moved into a new house within the previous year, I probably still had no idea where to go back then for cards outside of the big box stores.

I flipped through a bunch of the cards and quite a few of them caught my eye. 

There was a whole bunch of manager cards, and the only one that is still managing today is Ron Gardenhire.  Even better, he is still in Minnesota after 10 years, something that you don't see too often anymore.  The Twins beat the team featured on the next card in 5 games in the ALDS.

20 wins in a row?  Maybe another mark that we may never see broken for quite a while.  2002 was the 3rd of 4 consecutive seasons that the A's went to the playoffs, and in each of those 4 years the A's lost in the first round.  Moneyball seemed to work, but I guess it only got the A's so far.

This next card struck me as very interesting.  Here's a 3 panel photo of the NL batting leaders.  Yet, you take a look at the back, you see that Walker was 2nd, Guerrero 3rd and Helton 4th.  I look at the back, and I see that Barry Bonds finished first that year with a .370 average.  I wonder why he wasn't pictured on the card??

The AL ERA leaders card struck me as interesting, largely because it didn't feature any Yankees.  If Tim Wakefield's ERA was .09 runs better, the Red Sox would have swept all 3 spots.  Zito's 2002 season was probably his best, a 23-5 record, 2.75 ERA and he won the Cy Young.  If only the Giants knew then what they know now.

Love this next card, a great play on words.  I looked at the card and actually thought (stupidly, yes I know) that the game was snowed out.  I had forgotten that J.T. Snow was part of that Giants team that stretched the series to 7 games before the Anaheim Angels finally won out.

I'm sure I'll be able to find a few more cards from the set to show off during the week, it was pretty cool flipping through the couple of stacks I found. 

Thanks for reading, Robert


  1. For a brief time in the early aughts, Barry Bonds was persona non grata with the MLBPA and Topps. They didn't have a contract to put him on cards, so he wasn't on anything but his own merchandising brand. Even in business, BB was kind of a douche.

  2. And then Topps overcompensated the next couple of years by inserting roughly 12,000 different Bonds cards in their sets. Robert, if you ever want to make more of a dent in the 2003 set, I'd be happy to help!