This is a great group of essays about collecting various baseball card sets. There are so many reasons why collectors decide to build the sets that they do. Clearly, set building is alive and well, it definitely makes up a large percentage of the trading that takes place on We hope that you take the time to read this latest round of essays. Perhaps you'll decide to collect one of the sets because of what you read here. You might find it interesting that 1985 Topps and 1989 Upper Deck each had 3 entries. We consider all of the essays sent in to our contests as being the voice of the hobby and thank you all for contributing.

    1970 Topps Baseball Set

    My favorite baseball card set has to be 1970 Topps. The reason is really quite simple. It was the first set that I collected. In 1970 I was 11 years old, and I can't remember any better time than waking up on a summer morning to meet my buddies at the local 7-11 to buy and trade cards. The storeowner would always get mad at us because we would lay out our cards in front of the store entrance. Back then a pack of cards was only 10 cents, so my allowance and any other money I could earn by picking berries or washing cars got me a fairly good stack of cards. 

    The 1970 set is simple, and loaded with Hall of Famers that I grew up watching (mostly on television). I was born and raised in the Seattle area, and at that time didn't have a Major League team, unless you count the 1 year (1969) that we had the Pilots, but that is a story in itself.

    The 1970 Topps set is also special to me because it contains Seattle Pilots cards. I saw my first and only Major League baseball game at Sick Stadium that year. Unfortunately the Pilots lost to the Yankees 4-2. The 70 set has all the players that I saw play at my first game such as Don Mincher, Tommy Harper, Ray Oyler and Diego Segui. Not to mention the Yanks I got to boo at.
    My 70 set doesn't have much dollar value today, as I taped most of the cards into an album, because of course we didn't have plastic pages to put the cards in back then. And we spent hours flipping cards (lost a Reggie Jackson and rounded many corners doing that), and destroyed a few more in the spokes of my bicycle so it would make that motorcycle sound (Ernie Banks, just to name one card I ruined with my bike). But every time I open my album and thumb through the 70 set, I don't think about the money that it could be worth, but the memories of being 11, hanging out with my best friends, chewing that awful gum in the baseball card packs and flipping and trading cards. And as I am writing this, it is occurring to me that maybe that is why I continue to collect cards today. To remind me that there was nothing like being 11 years old, in the summer, with my best friends, playing baseball and collecting baseball cards.

    Samuel Portnoy

    1997 Bowman Chrome Baseball Card Set

    This is why the 1997 Bowman Chrome baseball card set is my favorite. The year was 1997, and a new exciting trend in baseball cards was just beginning; the introduction of Bowman Chrome. Prior to 1997, I rarely ever built sets, and the only sets I did build were Bowman sets from 1992 to 2000. What really struck me about the 1997 Bowman Chrome set was it was the first time Bowman used the ever now popular Chrome design. I bought a fair amount of Topps Chrome in 1996, and really became attached to this new crazy technology transforming the baseball card world. At the time I had no idea of just how popular the Chrome cards would become in today's world of sports card collecting. 

    In 1997 I had no idea that Bowman was going to try their hand with the new Chrome technology.  I went to "Field of Dreams" card shop in Bangor Maine, and the owner (Skip) told me, I may be interested in the new 1997 Bowman Chrome he just got in, because I had bought so much of the 1996 Topps Chrome Baseball. I took his suggestion, and ended up taking two boxes home. When I opened the first pack and looked at them, I was absolutely blown away by the design. Not only was I opening up some great looking cards, I knew I was pulling cards that could potentially be worth a lot of money, based on the values of the rookie cards from the regular Bowman base brand, and also the Bowman's Best sets that were introduced in 1994. I immediately was hooked on the 1997 Bowman Chrome cards like no other, and I had been collecting for over 15 years prior to then. I decided right then and there I was going to build the entire set, and also try to build the refractor set if I could. 

    I started going to card show after card show trying to obtain the singles I need to build the set. I also started going to any store that I though may possibly carry 1997 Bowman Chrome.  During that same year, I built about 95% of the set, and about 25% of the refractor set. For some reason for the life of me, I could not locate the Lance Berkman rookie card, Miguel Tejada card, and a few other minor rookie cards. I had no problem finding the non-rookie cards because everyone wanted the rookie cards. I realized just how popular the set really was, and that thousands of collectors like myself had taken on the challenge of building the set. It took me almost two full years to finally obtain all of the cards in the base set. At the same time my efforts at finding all of the refractors in the set was still not going so good. Keep in mind these were the days before the widespread use of the internet, and trading groups to obtain hard to find cards. I ended up scrapping the idea of building the refractor set, because I just couldn't find all of them. 

    If only I had Samstradingpost back then! In the end I ended up spending more money on the set than it was actually worth, because the box prices became inflated to the overwhelming popularity of the set, but that didn't bother me, as I accomplished building the set. 1997 Bowman Chrome was the first "premium" set that I ever built, and the excitement.

    Michael Pully

    Here are the rest of the favorite baseball card set entries:

    1985 Topps Baseball Card Set
    Why the 1985 Topps Baseball Card Set is my Favorite. When I received word of this contest there was only one set that came to my mind....1985 Topps. The '85 Topps set was my maiden voyage into the sports card world and who could pick a better year to begin collecting?

    In 1985, Michael Jackson was COOL (yes, I had a silver glove and rocked the moonwalk).

    In 1985, my favorite car was the Delorian (only if it came with a Flex Capacitor)

    In 1985, Pac Man, Pitfall, Frogger, and Asteroids represented the pinnacle of technological achievement in our time.

    And in 1985, I worked my tail off picking dandilions, weeding gardens, mowing lawns, washing cars, and taking out the trash each week to earn a crisp dollar bill so I could walk five blocks to the local Food Town to buy 3 packs of wax paper-covered goodness. Each pack contained 15 cards that sandwiched a bright pink, powdery stick of sweetness.

    The cards were marvelous to behold with a sharp white border (that was often off-center) and bold multi-colored team names and logos that were easy to sort into the 26 (yes there were only 26 then) team sets. The backs of the cards were a forest to kelly green (depending upon fading) accented with bold red to pink (once again fading contingent) ink outlining career stats, baseball history trivia, and often, a fast fact about the player featured on the front of the card. For instance:

    Did you know that Roger Clemens was offered a contract to play basketball for the Seattle Supersonics and Boston Celtics? (That one has won me a drink or two at the local watering hole)...or...former Cubbies OF Richie Hebner was a grave digger in the off season---I'm guessing he was not a Boras client.

    These facts along with the cornucopia of baseball statistics ignited my passion for the game of baseball like nothing else. The coveted RC's of the set were of a 19 year old flame throwing phenom that went by the name of Dr. K. From his stats, I could tell you that he struck out 300 batters for the Lynchburg Cats in 1983. The A.L. featured a pudgy bowling-ball who hit like a wrecking ball and went by the name "Puck". This gregarious dynamo electrified the hearts of baseball fans young and old before glaucoma took his vision and a stroke took his life.

    Sure other names popped into prominance later on down the road. A strapping first baseman from USC named Mark McSomething-or-Rather had a U.S. Olympic card in that set that once was selling for upwards of $500 during his infamous 1998 season, before conventional wisdom and a cowardly Senate deposition tempered its market. A young barrel-chested pitcher for the Red Sox had a rookie card in that set that gained some popularity as he went on to win 7 tainted Cy Young Awards while striking out over 4,000 batters and receiving countless non-Botox injections in his sitting cheeks. 

    Nice cards both of them, though for a freckle-faced 10 year old they still pale in comparision to the two crowned jewels of that set, two cards that were too good to throw across the room into a cardboard box or to press between a thumbtack and my wall...Seattle Mariner rookies Alvin Davis and Mark Langston.

    As an aspiring southpaw hurler, I spent hour upon hour in my back yard and my bedroom mirror perfecting the ear-high leg kick that Mark Langston utilized to generate his 90 MPH fastball. For hours more, I drove imaginary moonshoots into the right field bleachers just like A.D. The Mariner's of the 80's were much like the Mariners of 2008 (minus the $125 million payroll)---terrible. But, to a young budding baseball fan, the front row seasons tickets (they were cheap back then) in the Kingdome offered me access to black sharpie autographs from many of my heroes, and the '85 Topps cards were my passes.

    The card industry has changed, some for the better, some for not. Dollar values have replaced sentimental ones and the hobby has forsaken younger generations. For many of us though, the cards of our youth are still available in abundance and our memories of old can still be refreshed and indoctrinated into the minds and hearts of our young ones.

    While a fresh box of 2008 Bowman Chrome is not assuredly in my future, a visit home to the dark corners of my mom's attic is. It is there that I hope I find an old box full of creased and frayed 1985 Topps cards waiting for me and my son.
    Jeremy Porter (portersprospectreport)

    1985 Topps Baseball Set
    This is why the 1985 Topps baseball card set is my favorite.
    My favorite set is the 1985 Topps set. There are several reasons why I have always liked this set and have chosen it to be my favorite set. One reason is that this set consists of 792 cards which contains a significant amount of rookie cards which include Roger Clemens,Dwight Gooden,Mark McGwire,Alvin Davis,Franklin Stubbs,Mike Pagliarulo and many more. Although several of these rookies didn't quite live up to their potential, no one knew back in '85 that they wouldn't. Busting open packs in the local card shops was a lot of fun and the more rookies that were in the set, the more fun it was. One of my best memories in over 30 years of collecting cards was paying 50 or 75 cents a pack hoping to get the ever popular rookie cards of Gooden and Clemens. At that time, no one knew that the Mark McGwire rookie would be $20 in 2 years because he was going to set the rookie home run mark with 49 and that by 1998 his card would soar to $250 after shattering Roger Maris' all time mark of 61homers. This is another reason that I chose this set. It was a great idea to include players from the 1984 USA Olympic Team. Other than Big Mac, there were players like Oddibe McDowell (how can you not like that name?) who broke Reggie Jackson's home run record at Arizona State, Scott Bankhead who would have a successful career, Cory Snyder who was tearing the cover of the ball in his first year with Cleveland and Shane Mack who was a late bloomer for the Twins. Topps did a great job with the color and design of the olympic cards. Another idea I liked was the Father and Son cards. There were several players whose dads played in the major leagues, but who would have ever known if it weren't for 1985 Topps? As a statistic freak, I also liked that Topps continued to put complete stats on the back of the players cards which is something that not all card manufacturers have done. Topps also made the card numbers easy to read which is a benefit to those of us who have spent countless hours putting together complete sets. Another bonus to this set was all the second and third year star cards of future hall of famers like Tony Gwynn,Ryne Sandberg,Wade Boggs and Don Mattingly. This set was loaded with rookies and stars which made collecting this years set my most memorable and that is why I chose 1985 Topps.
    Kary Haller

    1985 Topps Baseball Card Set
    This is why the 1985 Topps baseball card set is my favorite

    I think the primary reason why the 1985 Topps set is my favorite is nostalgia. It was the first set that I collected with real passion. I bought cards as early as 1982, but it wasn't until 1985 Topps that the collecting addition really took hold. I have fond memories of plunking quarters, earned through lots of hard work around the house and yard, down on convenient store counters and walking away with several packs of cards, their bright red wrappers concealing cardboard gold and a stick of sugary sweet gum. 

    There are lots of other reasons to like the 1985 Topps set other than nostalgia though. It has an underrated, bold design. I've always enjoyed those sets that use the individual teams' colors in the design. It helps to provide variety in the set. There are a ton of star rookies in the set. Clemens, Gooden, Hershiser, Puckett, Langston, Eric Davis. I was fortunate enough to pull all of the major rookies from packs - my Kirby Puckett has the gum stain on the back to prove it! And then of course there's the McGwire Team USA card. The 1984 Olympics are the first that I really remember, so the Team USA subset added an extra layer of exciting to the set. Of course, no one knew who any of the players on the team were at the time, and I remember going back two years later and being even more excited when I discovered that I had the McGwire. There were other great subsets too. My favorite was probably the Father/Son cards. They connected current players with those from the past. Those Father/Son cards made me interested in the history of baseball cards. So much so that I actually collected a few Ray Boone and Vern Law cards from the 50's and displayed them along side of my 1985 Bob Boone and Vance Law cards.

    I never completed the 1985 Topps set when I was a kid, although not for lack of trying. I have the box of duplicates as evidence of my attempt at completing the set. There are only so many quarters a 9 year old can earn in a summer though, and I ended up coming up a few short. I have recently pulled out those old 1985's again and am now in the process of trying to complete my favorite set.
    Scott C

    1953 topps Baseball Set
    My favorite set of baseball cards is the 1953 topps baseball cards because it has alot of great players from the past that really made a name for baseball itself.there were alot of players in that year that really set a goal for todays players to acheive or even break there records they set.and alot of todays players idolize those players for the acheivements they gives todays players goals to set.i think the most idolized player from that year was the great mickey mantle.he had set a record that had stood to be one of the greatest accomplishments in major league baseball have accomplished what he did in his career was awsome.there were other great players to but the mick's record will never be me he was one of the greatest players to ever play the game of baseball.i myself look up to the baseball players of that year for the things they accomplished in that year.for mickey mantle to have started his career that year and started a record for other players to accomplish so they can make a name for themselves in their baseball career too.mickey mantle is one of the greatest players to ever play the game of baseball.

    1999 Black Diamond Baseball set
    Remember the days when a jersey card was worth a generous amount if it was a star player. Or do you remember when and insert card looked beautiful and also, when pulled, was worth the $5 a pack. When I think about those days I think about the set that I first started collecting which is the 1999 Black Diamond Baseball set. You could not be left with a frown buying a box of these cards. You got serial numbered inserts, the beautiful reciprocal cut cards, and who can forget the game used bat cards. You could get a one piece bat, a two piece bat, or if you were lucky, a three piece bat card numbered 1/1. The first box of Black Diamond I bought I pulled a Barry Bonds double bat card and that set me off from there. After that I completed 11 complete 1999 Black Diamond sets. I have 4 complete reciprocal cut sets, and I also have 6 Barry Bonds double bat cards. Even the name, Black Diamond, is enough to raise your curiosity enough to at least try one pack. The blackish/grayish shiny look of the cards leaves you thinking not that you made the wrong choice in buying them, but a feeling that those cards would look great in any collection. 

    1999 Topps Tek Baseball Set
    My favorite set of all time would have to be the 1999 Topps Tek Baseball set. The Topps Tek was a unique set that made its debut in 1998. These were thick plastic like cards with see through designs which made it a very flashy set. What made this set so exciting was that there were multiple patterns for each card in the base set. Different designs in the background mixed with different logos would combine to make this set nearly impossible to complete. The card numbers would have hyphens followed by another letter or number in order to distinguish each base card from the other variety of the same card.

    It was definitely worth the fun of ripping pack after pack open in order to find just the right card. In addition to the base set there was a parallel gold version of each card which made collecting for this set even more exciting and valuable. This 1999 set came following the great HR chase between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire so just pulling their card in this set was amazing. It was a time when baseball fans where so into the game that collecting was reaching a nice peak as well. Another memory about this set was that each card for some reason had a unique scent similar to maple syrup! The 1999 Topps Tek Baseball set is definitely my favorite set of all time. 

    2001 Topps Baseball Set
    My Favorite set is 2001 Topps Baseball. There are a few things that make this set great. It was the 50th Anniversary of Topps, many subsets were brought back, there are great insert sets, both the front and the back of the cards are great, and there is the Ichiro Suzuki rookie that says Suzuki on it.
    Topps brought back things for their 50th anniversary that should have never been taken away. These include managerial cards, league leaders, and season highlights. There were many first managerial cards of a manager in that uniform in a mainstream and/or national set. The league leaders is a foil subset giving both league leaders on the same card, one on the front, and the other on the back. They also had postseason cards as well as cards from golden moments.

    Insert sets are numerous and can be another paper in itself. From A Look Ahead, A Tradition Continues, Before There Was Topps, Combos, Golden Anniversary, Through the years, autographs, and game used just to name a few. There aren't many sets that look so great and also make great pairings of players. They also brought back the Gold set, this time it was serial numbered to 2001.

    The front of the card is great as well as the back of the card. There are many people that said Topps should have gone to a retro base set. I commend Topps for not doing that. The base Topps set was, is, and never shall be retro. It is about today, great photography, current stats, and photos of the past season. Baseball has green fields; there are not enough green-bordered sets for those who choose to have it. The front has the team logo with gold print. The back is a lower color value of the front with full stats, where a player lives, and league leaders. Too many times, the back of the card, the other 50% is overlooked when styled. A picture is worth 1,000 words, but stats and quotes are not in live pictures on trading cards.

    One thing that is not right but being done today, is eliminating the name Suzuki on the Ichiro cards. I have no problem with saying Ichiro or Yao on the back of a jersey. However, omitting a last name is absurd. There are celebrities known by one name, but they should always include the last name in an article. There may be another player named Ichiro someday. Deliberately omitting the last name can be disrespect for the family name and tradition.
    Matthew Page

    1975 Topps Baseball Set
    I remember when i opened my first pack of these cards. My dad was taking me and my three brothers on a fishing trip and we had stopped in a little country store to get fish bait and sandwiches and cold drinks for the day. I was only six years old but remember it to this day (and i'm 38 now). My dad bought me four packs of 1975 Topps, (they were .25 cents each), probably to keep me halfway interested in the trip and out of the way i'm sure. I can still remember the very first card from them that i seen, Ted Simmons of the St. Louis Cardinals. I love the design of the 75 Topps with the colored borders on every card, the team's name t the top and players name at the bottom. 

    I also like this set as it was the first time i can remember getting cards that were my own and not some passed down from my brothers. Used to love to pull any of the Cincinnati Reds players also. I got out of collecting in my teen age years as most of us do but glad i got back into it. I'm still working on that 1975 Topps baseball set but getting closer with every trade and hope to finish it one day. My dad has passed seven years ago but maybe i can pass these cards on to my daughters when the time comes and they can get as much enjoyment out of them as i have all these years. Not sure if this is the amount of required words needed for this contest but just glad to still have the memories from that time. 
    Dennis Lackey

    1989 Upper Deck Baseball Set
    This is why the 1989 Upper Deck set is my favorite.
    This card set revolutionized the card business, taking it a bit further away from tradition and leading it, in part, on the super-slick path cards have taken today.

    Every card sports a tamper-proof hologram on the back of the card -- to deter counterfeiting, which was a big problem at that time with key rookie cards -- as well as rich action photography on the front and back. The first card in this set secured it as a landmark release as Upper Deck gambled on a Seattle Mariners prospect Ken Griffey Jr. for its first card -- a player Topps had failed to even include in its set.

    For all that Upper Deck has done in subsequent years to anger collectors with super-high-priced high-end products and redemption card problems that please no one, all can be soothed a bit with a look at this landmark set and the Griffey card.

    1989 Upper Deck Baseball Card Set
    In 1989, Upper Deck released a set of baseball cards that revolutionized the sports card market forever. The Upper Deck cards were enclosed in a foil package, which helped protect the cards. You didn't have to worry as much about the edges of the cards being bent. The cards themselves were striking. The material they were made on was superior to the cheaper cardboard versions of their counterparts. In addition, they had pictures on both the front and the back of the cards. To finish things off, each card had a small hologram in the shape of a baseball diamond. 

    Up to this point, baseball cards were pieces of cardboard that came in a wax package and sometimes included a stick of gum that didn't taste all that great and messed up the back of one of the cards. There was something else special about these cards: they stated the odds of getting different insert cards in a pack. Packs of Upper Deck cost more than the other brands, but the quality, distinctive look, and foil packaging put these cards in a league of their own. This is why my favorite set of baseball cards is and will always be the 1989 Upper Deck set.

    1989 Upper Deck Baseball Card Set
    My favorite set of all time is the 1989 Upper Deck set, the first year ever of Upper Deck.
    This was the first complete set I ever bought and still probably the only one I have that wasn't put together through boxes and trading commons for. I remember the reason I wanted the set was for the Nolan Ryan card, the one in the expansion set of the multiple exposure of Ryan tossing a football. As a big football fan, that card was just special to me.

    The set started off great, with Ken Griffey Jr.'s rookie card as the forst card, and other great rookies, such a Gary Sheffield and Randy Johnson (as an Expo)leading off the 800-card set. the photgraphy was remarkable, something I foolowed all the wat to my current profession as a sports photographer. While I don't shoot for a card company, my style of shooting reflects that of what I used to stare at when I was younger among all my cards from all the main sports.

    As a Mets fan back then, my treasures in the set were Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden.

    I still look at the set at least once a year. It was become something more of a time machine now than anything. I mean, this was Griffey before he was really anything in the sport, Johnson while he was still a minor leaguer and many players that are now long retired. Mark McGwire, not so buff and with the A's, Barry Bonds as a Pirate and Hall of Famer's like Cal Ripkin Jr. spread out throughout the set.

    This still stands as my favorite set to this day, even of the 20 or so sets I have between football and baseball cards. I bought the set (because it looked cool) just months after attending my first baseball game and just months after I started going to the store to by random packs of Topps, searching for Strawberry cards to add to my collection of NY Mets stuff.

    Topps Baseball Sets
    Topps is my favorite set.Topps is my favorite set because they include many of the young rookies along with veteran players.I also am enamored with their photograpy in their sets.They also keep the price of their cards low so that even the penny pinchers among us can afford to buy their cards and sets.I have enjoyed collecting their cards for many years and feel like they are a trusted and wholesome company.In this downward turn in the economy I feel they offer the best economic wise for serious and novice collectors.They have also been around for almost as long as baseball cards have been around.I also feel like the inserts are a added bonus to the fun found in collecting their cards.

    Topps Heritage baseball card set
    This is why the Topps Heritage baseball card set is my favorite.
    Set collectors often get to a certain point in collecting, where the availability of the last few cards becomes extremely scarce. This can be frustrating and may lead to a disappointing finish if the cards have to be purchased at an unreasonable price. However, there is nothing quite like the gratifying feeling of looking at a finished set one last time before putting it to rest up on the shelf. The extent of this satisfaction can be maximized by considering two priorities for set collection, fun and value. After collecting many sets, I have found Topps Heritage to fill my needs the most.

    The first priority is the fun of collecting. Baseball card collecting is a hobby, and needs to be fun to keep interest alive. Topps Heritage offers a card that brings us into a different era of baseball, resembling cards from sets that are 50 years old. What we come to find out is that baseball never gets old, and I am sure the intriguing designs are just as fun to collect now, as they were when my grandparents were kids. Topps Heritage offers different surprises every year, and you never know what to expect when you open those first few packs. The main set usually consists of around 400-500 cards of which you can expect about a quarter of to be short prints. The short prints are much more difficult to accumulate compared to the base set. If you were to try and collect all the short prints from packs, you would probably end up with 3-4 base sets in the process. This makes it necessary to either trade or purchase short prints individually, which can be a fun adventure. There are also interesting inserts, parallels, autos, and game used cards that can be collected or traded for short prints. Each card has a wealth of information on the back, and some interesting stories as well. There is a ton of entertainment in each pack.

    The other priority for collecting sets is the value compared with the cost. With Topps Heritage the value of collected sets holds strong. With more and more people jumping into this set, the costs of finding older short prints has gone way up. A high number short print from the original 2001 Topps Heritage set has an average Beckett BV of $4.00. You would be hard pressed to buy any of these on eBay for less than that. In comparison, a short print from the 2008 might have a Beckett BV of $8.00 and sell on average for $3.00 on eBay. As demand for this set increases the value can only go up. Other factors that make this set valuable is what I call the BV per pack. When I first started collecting this set in 2004, the BV per pack was very high. I could buy a pack of regular Topps for $2.00 and get a total BV of between $2.00 and $3.00, or I could buy a pack of Topps Heritage for $3.00 and get a total BV between $12.00 and $14.00. The value sold me and the fun hooked me.

    I have collected many sets, but still recommend Topps Heritage to anyone. The value and the fun are unparalleled, and did I forget to mention that each pack comes with gum?

    1990 Topps Baseball Card Set
    This is Why my 1990 Topps Baseball Cards is my Favorite it the First set I every put to Getter Piece by Piece by Trading going to Baseball Show And the Most Important Part I put it togetter with my Grandson help we work togetter on it it not the Pertiest set but we put it with each help and have theRookies Frank Thomas it took us quite a while to get it togetter we still have a lot of extra cards left over from that set every once in a while i open the just look at it remenber when we was putting it togetter my grandson is in collage now he Don't collect Baseball cards any more he don't had time he still come over and look at them.

    1975 Topps Baseball Set
    Psychedelic borders, exploding afros, handle-bar mustaches, and a pinch-runner card? Only one baseball card set can boast such a motley assortment of visual delights. Want a bunch of key rookie cards of Hall of Fame type players? Yep. This set has those, too. For these reasons and more, 1975 Topps is by far my favorite set ever produced.

    Crack open a binder filled with 1975 Topps and your eyes immediately are bombarded with greens, pinks, blues and oranges...and that's from only the first few cards! This set broke the mold of color uniformity Topps had been producing for the preceding 23 years. No more cookie-cutter white borders. Topps was now embracing the rainbow color palette of the 1970s.

    And what about those 70s hairdos? 1975 Topps displays some of the best manes and facial creations of all time! Just check out Jose Cardenal's fro on card #15 (Yes, Oscar Gamble's curly dome bursts as usual, but give someone else a chance, wouldya Oscar?). And placing Thurman Munson's 'stache (#20) right next to Rollie Finger's handlebars (#21)? Pure genius. 

    Card #407 looks innocuous enough. It shows Herb Washington leading off a base in his yellow and green A's jersey. But look closely at his position on the team.Herb is a PINCH RUNNER. That's right. Charley Finley, maverick owner of the A's, decided to hire a track and field star to pinch run and steal bases. The good news was that he successfully swiped 28. The bad news? Caught 16 times. Yikes. But, at least he can show his kids his 1975 Topps baseball card.

    If the above anomalies don't quite whet your appetite, how about the litany of Hall of Famers and baseball icons whose rookie cards appear in this set? George Brett's green and purple card (#228) is arguably the seminal rookie card of the 1970's, while Robin Yount's orange and brown card (#223) may run a close second. Collectors are also treated to rookie cards of Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez (speaking of mustaches), Fred Lynn, and Jim Rice.

    So there you have it. If you're looking for a highly collectable, unique and colorful set, chock full of rookie cards and Hall of Famers, send out this post on Sports Card Fun:
    "WTTF 1975 Topps Baseball!!!"
    Peter Whitmore

    1992 Bowman Baseball Card Set
    This is why 1992 bowman baseball card set is my favorite: Every sport has at least one a set with such a high quotient of rookie superstars that it's not even fair comparing it to others. Basketball has three entries, simply because cards weren't made all that often: 1957-58 Topps, 1961-62 Fleer and 1986-87 Fleer. Only in the last one were there a large number of actual rookie superstars, not just players enjoying their first card. In football, there are 1984 Topps, 1986 Topps and 1989 Score. Hockey's got 1951-52 Parkhurst and 1980-81 OPC & Topps.

    Baseball's littered with sets like this: 1949 Leaf and 1952, 1954, 1965, 1975, 1985 and 1987 Topps come immediately to mind. And of course there are others, like 1992 Bowman. As an exercise of mental dexterity, I'm going to list the names of ten players who appeared in '92 Bowman and I want you to tell me which ones had their rookie appear in another set. Ready?

    Derek Lowe
    Pedro Martinez
    Jeffrey Hammonds
    Mike Hampton
    Manny Ramirez (two cards in the set!)
    Carlos Delgado
    Mariano Rivera
    Mike Piazza
    Trevor Hoffman
    Garret Anderson

    Only Martinez, Piazza, Hammonds and Ramirez had rookies in other sets. Now I want you to tell me if that mattered.

    Of course it didn't. 1992 Bowman was, is and always will be the best set for early-Nineties rookies, and I'll be damned if it mattered that Pedro Martinez's only true rookie wasn't part of it (it came in 1991 Upper Deck Final Edition). If you were a young player and your name wasn't Shawn Green your rookie, for all intents and purposes, was in this set.

    This was easily the biggest thing in the hobby in 1992. No other set even came close '92 was an off-year for the blossoming 'premium' craze as Leaf, Ultra, Stadium Club and Studio put out so-so sets. Only Pinnacle (Score's foray into higher quality) made its debut. In other words, it was a perfect time for a below-the-radar set like this to take hold.

    And thanks in part to a handful of short-printed cards, Bowman's leap into foil (no more simple, thread-bare gold foil relegated to a corner icon, as in 1991) and at least three distinct rookie waves, it's never had to loosen its grip.

    As I mentioned in a previous post, 1992 was the most popular of the early Nineties Bowman sets. But was it the most deserving of the attention? I happen to like 1991 more, but that set doesn't bring as much to the table as '92.

    1992 is in the top five of the early decade not just because it's a rookie juggernaut. It's in there because of the foil, the short prints and the general overhaul Topps did on Bowman between 1991 and 1992.

    It's fair to say that 1991 Bowman wasn't much to look at. Actually, if we're more truthful, the last time Bowman had released a good-looking set was 1955. Taking that into account, Topps printed 1992's set on coated white stock with a bright action shot and thick white borders on the front and a color headshot on the back. All together it wasn't a bad design; you could almost even call it attractive. In fact, you probably wouldn't know the average card was a Bowman were it not for the completely indecipherable block of statistics on the back, the brand's trademark inclusion.

    The funny thing about this set is that it is one of the few modern-era sets that's as relevant today as the day it was released. Simply put, every player of the last generation-regardless of his star quality-had a card in this set. Okay, at least a number of them did. And it's not even that 1992 had such a great rookie class. It's that this set managed to include a lot of guys years before they showed up in other brands. Take Derek Lowe, for instance. After his Bowman card in 1992, he doesn't show up in another brand (besides Bowman) until Donruss 1998. Granted, he didn't make the majors until 1997, but that was Bowman's thing get a guy early, way before the competition.

    Topps Total baseball Card Set
    This is why Topps Total baseball card set is my favorite. I like Topps Total baseball because it is cheap, fun to collect, and has good player selection. I'm just a kid so I can't afford the high end products, like Triple Threads. I am upset they ended this product because, I enjoyed just going to Target and picking up a cheap pack that had a lot of cards. I know the cards aren't worth much but its still worth the purchase I think. Second, I like Total because its fun to collect. Sure, it was hard to collect, but also very fun. Lastly, I like the set because it has good player selection. It has a good mix of veterans, stars, and prospects. It also had combined cards, with team leaders, and team prospects. Also one thing I love about the set, is you can pretty much know for sure that you wont get the same players in any pack because of the large set size. So if I get a Sammy Sosa in one pack I can be sure I wont get it in the next pack. One other thing I like is that in most of the sets the cards were good to get autographs on, they didn't smear and were easy to see. When I saw this contest, I knew right away Topps Total was my response. That is why I like Topps Total baseball sets.

    1958 Topps Baseball Card Set
    Going to my great Aunt Sylvia's house, some two hours away, was not something I looked forward to as a kid. 

    Old people. Ewww. 

    Until Aunt Sylvia went down in her basement, and brought up a two cigar boxes full of 1958 Topps baseball cards.

    It was 1982, I was 11 years old, and had been collecting since I was six. Simply seeing these old cards was easily the greatest hobby moment of my life. Then getting to touch them was even better. Then seeing cards of Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, Mickey Mantle... well, I wanted them. I had to have them. Unfortunately, they weren't mine. They were Norman's, Sylvia's son, my mother's cousin. What to do, what to do...

    I started stealing them. Horrible, right? I had a pile of about 40 cards, and I put them in my pocket. (I know, I know... so much for grading them, right?) Then my dad caught me. It's tough to hide that much cardboard.

    Well, my dad flipped out, but Norman, who was there, understood. "I would probably have done the same thing!" he said, knowing an unhealthy addiction when he saw one.

    In the end, and much to my dad's upset, Norman allowed me to have all his doubles, which included Aaron, Al Kaline, Robin Roberts, and 'Bob' Clemente. These 50-odd cards came home with me, went into 9-card plastic sheets, and, to this day, are still right in the front of my "stars" binder.

    Now, fast forward to 2007. I hadn't bought a pack of baseball cards in over 20 years, when I find myself in a drug store. I see an old-time looking pack. "Heritage?" I say to myself, and then realizing it was a 1958 set, I decided to buy a pack. Went back the next day and bought two more.

    And I haven't stopped buying packs. Just like that, I got back into the hobby, all because of that fateful day when those cigar boxes bubbled up from a Brooklyn basement.

    Thanks, Aunt Sylvia.

    1987 Topps Baseball Card set
    This is why the 1987 Topps Baseball Card set is my favorite.

    Barry Bonds and Bo Jackson's rookie cards. Barry Larkin, Rafael Palmiero, and even John Kruk's rookie cards. Such a promising class of players and Mark McGuire's first card in his major league uniform. The basic wooden border design brought back memories of the 1962 set. Not only is that the first set I can remember, it's one that (with the exception of the high numbers) that I've pursued over the years. 

    The cheesy posed pictures, the team logos and the players names in the colored box made the fronts easy on the eyes. The backs (as all base Topps sets have always done) had complete lifetime stats for the players - just check out Mike Schmidt's card. A trivia question about the player, and an On This Date gave some very random information on some very random players from the past. Personal data on the pictured player made the card a total mini-encyclopedia. At 792 cards the set had all of the players you could want from your favorite team and those you despised and put into your bicycle spokes. I still keep this set in a binder on my shelf along with my partial '62 set and the '90 Leaf set. 1987 was 21 years ago but it seems like yesterday and the set is ageless.

    2006 Topps Chrome Baseball Set
    This is why I love 2006 Topps Chrome Baseball. 

    As a kid I was a big time baseball card collector. I collected all my favorites up until about my sophomore year in high school and then I kind of slid out of the hobby. Then about 2 years ago, something sparked my interest in the hobby again. I found a local card shop in town and made a visit. I surprised to see how much the hobby had changed in 10 years I had been out of the hobby. Cards now called "Game Used" were all around. Autographs were easier to obtain now as well. Eager to get back into the hobby, I decided to pick up a box of 2006 Topps Chrome. It was priced good and it guaranteed 2 autos per box. Before I knew it, I found myself buying hobby boxes at an incredible pace. I was instantly hooked on the Topps Chrome. I loved the fact that I could get 2 autos per box and the hobby boxes contained a cool top loader too. 

    After a few boxes I even hit a printing plate in my top loader. These too were new to me as printing plates were not around when collected when I was younger. I thought the idea of a printing plate was so awesome!! Then I even nailed a auto printing plate. I was completely and instantly hooked on this product. 06 Topps Chrome will always have a special place in my heart as it opened and turned me back onto the hobby. Great product that was priced good. The cards were sharp looking and with the chrome technology, pulling mint or better cards was always possible. I truly love that year and product!

    1984 Donruss Baseball Card Set
    This is why 1984 Donruss baseball card set is my favorite... I started collecting baseball cards back in 1988 , the big offensive season of '87 ( some rookie named McGwire hit 49 homers that year) and lots of new promising stars were coming up. Back then '84 Donruss was like the holy grail, Don Mattingly was a hobby sensation and his rookie card from that set almost single-handly revived the hobby at that time. It had a beautiful design and was far scarcer that its Topps competition. In this day and age of short-printed, serial-numbered, game used , autoraphed stickered , parallel -insert-refractors (blah) it really makes me yearn for a simpler time and I think back to opening ACTUAL wax packs , dozens at a time ( by the way, that'll cost you a Franklin to do now)with friends long gone,collecting our favories who have all but retired by now...But I still have my memories when I look back on this set that I can cherish forever now... 
    James S.

    Topps Turkey Red Baseball Card Set
    This is why Topps Turkey Red baseball card set is my favorite.

    I am not a set collector, but I got hooked on the Topps Turkey Red cards in 2006 and 2007. I think it was the excitement of opening the packs and pulling short prints that did it for me. The design was pretty cool too. Whether it was a hobby box or a blaster box from Target, I usually had some nice pulls. Nothing extreme, but it was just fun sorting through the parallels, rookies, and short prints. I did pull my first and only Press Plate in a blaster box of 2006 Topps Turkey Red from Target. I immediately traded it, but that made me want to go out and buy another box.

    The local cardshop where I grew up had the 2006 Turkey Red in stock, and had a pretty good deal on it. If I remember correctly they were $70-$75 a box. The set featured Nolan Ryan base, parallels, and inserts, so that's another reason I was spending money I didn't have on those "fun to open" boxes! I probably bought three hobby boxes and several blaster boxes back in late 2006 and early 2007. I never put the set together, but I had a lot of fun trading out starter sets to other collectors. 

    Another cool thing about 2006 Topps Turkey Red was that it was a continuous set. The card numbers picked up where the 2005 set ended. If I remember right, that's the first time a set has been done like that. I honestly don't think I can find anything to dislike about Turkey Red. I am a big fan of the 2007 set, but financially couldn't afford to buy the product. In any case, the short prints from all three Turkey Red sets serve as great trade bait! 

    Topps 1956 Baseball Card Set
    Having recently purchased Bowman following the Brooklyn Dodgers dramatic World Series victory in 1955, The Topps Company, Inc., was set to hit a "home run" with its 1956 baseball card set. Topps did not disappoint! 

    During those "geeky" years of sixth and seventh grade, I was living in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Having been born and raised in the Philadelphia area, I took my passion for the Phillies to the heart of Reds and Cubs country. Learning to switch-hit and throw left-handed while playing wiffle ball was mandatory to the integrity of the game when pretending to be Larry Bowa at the plate or Steve Carlton on the mound.

    It was also during this time of life in the mid-70s that I began to seriously collect sports cards. Memorizing the starting line-ups of World Series teams of the past and playing APBA Baseball with championship teams of years gone-by developed my interest in baseball history, particularly the 1950s. Perhaps my interest was piqued because my father played high school baseball during the 50s and spoke with fond memories about players like Richie Ashburn, Robin Roberts, and Puddin-Head Jones. 

    When my friend Todd and I found out that a classmate from school had a box of old baseball cards that his uncle gave him, we hopped on our banana seat bikes, Charlie's Angels cars in-hand. Farrah Fawcett for Sandy Koufax anyone?

    I left that swap meet with my first fist-full of vintage baseball cards: a 1955 Sandy Koufax rookie card; a 1955 Henry Aaron. But no card was as valuable to me as the 1956 Topps Richie "Whitey" Ashburn. 

    The 2 5/8" by 3 ¾" cards were displayed horizontally. However, unlike the 1955 Topps set, a color "head" shot of the player was super-imposed over an in-action photo, which had a painting-like look. Ashburn is depicted sliding into third with the umpire hovering over him to make the call.

    Those action cards made the game come to life for me. There was Robin Roberts on the mound with both arms stretched behind him beginning his wind-up, Bob Feller rearing back on his right leg with a big left-leg kick, and "Whitey" Ford ready to uncork another strike; Mickey Mantle and Roberto Clemente leaping at the wall to rob lesser players of hits; Al Kaline and "Duke" Snider crossing the plate to score a run; and "Pee Wee" Reese avoiding a base runner to turn the double play. 

    Topps 1956 cards came in either gray or white backs, included the previous year's and lifetime statistics of the player, as well as personal information. Ashburn, born March 19, 1927, was 5'11", weighed 170 pounds, batted left, threw right, and hailed from Tilden, Nebraska. Each card-back included three comic-like sketches containing trivia about the player. Ashburn's 1956 card mentioned he was the '55 NL batting king, had hit .300 6 times in his 8 years with the Phils, and that he was a great base runner.

    I graduated high school in Souderton, Pennsylvania during the Phillies magical World Series year of 1980. During that season, I had a Phillies 15 game plan with a good friend. Our tickets were four rows above the railing in the second deck, just above the Phillies broadcast booth. With a fishing reel in tow, I attached that 1956 Topps Richie Ashburn card to the line by paper clip, added a handwritten note, and lowered it over the railing. Today that autographed '56 Topps "Whitey Ashburn" is a treasured part of my favorite set of cards, the first vintage set I completed collecting. 
    Jim Elliott

    1992 Update MLB Baseball Card Set
    This is why the 1992 Update MLB baseball card set is my favorite.
    As an adolescent growing up in early 1990s Geelong, Australia, baseball cards, and indeed baseball itself, were not popular and were difficult to find.

    Basketball and Australian Rules football were the popular choices for card-lovers Down Under.

    However, the hobby shop that existed in downtown Geelong, known as "Card Mania" (it's still there today) stocked many obscure sports cards, from baseball, to American football, ice hockey and European soccer.

    After going into Card Mania purely to stock up on Magic Johnson cards (he was and still is my all-time favorite), I stumbled upon some baseball cards, namely the 1992 Fleer Update MLB baseball card sets.

    The most prominently displayed of that set was the Mike Piazza rookie card. 

    Due to my love affair with sport, and the fact I now work in the sporting media, card-collecting has not only been a hobby for me all my life, but also is a great source of obscure information that can assist me in learning more about sports and sportspeople.

    This is why I was so open to looking into baseball cards, and baseball as a sport, when I first hooked onto the 1992 Fleer Update series.

    From there, I learnt about such household American names as Barry Bonds, Jose Conseco, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan, and of course, the (then) young Piazza.

    This card series became my favorite because it taught me to love and know about the sport of baseball, and Major League Baseball in America, in particular.

    It turned out to be a pivotal moment in my life.

    I've always been very rigid with taking care of my cards, not bending the edges, etc., so even now, 16 years later, my set of 1992 Fleer Update MLB series cards are in mint condition.

    I never completed the set, but that was never the point for me.

    Of all the tens of sets of sporting cards I've collected over the years, I would have only a handful of completed sets.

    It's more about just gaining a breadth of knowledge and stats about sports and sportspeople, as opposed to collecting to get the entire set.

    I guess my set of 1992 Fleer Update MLB cards was like a pivotal moment in my youth - it opened my eyes to a new sport, one which has never really rated a mention over here Down Under, and thus broadened my knowledge to become a more complete sportscaster.

    I always remember the Piazza rookie card, as it was on the front of a baseball magazine in Card Mania, so I was really attracted to the cards, and to Piazza, from that.

    Even though I am a Dodgers fan, I'll always hold a soft spot for Piazza himself, for, inadvertently, introducing me to the glory of America's national pastime.

    I would probably have about a little over a half of the completed set of that 1992 Fleer Update MLB card set, and even though I've not looked at it for a while now, it will always hold a fond place in my heart.

    Topps Tribute Baseball Card Set
    It was a cold January afternoon and I decided to take a trip to my local card shop. Little did I know that was the day I would discover my favorite baseball card set, Topps Tribute. I am a fan of every year that Topps Tribute was made. 

    Topps produced these sets from 2001 to 2004 in which every pack contained an autograph and / or memorabilia card. Every issue of Topps Tribute screams that it is an ultra-premium product. The base cards are absolutely gorgeous and feature some of the greatest players to ever play the game. A large portion of my collection focuses on memorabilia cards of older players such as Ty Cobb, Joe Cronin, Babe Ruth, and Sam Crawford. Topps Tribute is a terrific set to collect if you love older players. If I had to pick one version of Topps Tribute as my favorite, it would be the last one they produced - 2004 Topps Tribute Cut Signature Edition. That day I went into the card shop I purchased a pack of the Cut Signature Edition and pulled a Willie Mays 1/1 Cut Signature. After inspecting the product a little more I found out that Topps made a 1/1 Cut Signature for every member of the Hall of Fame and inserted them in their packs. Another reason I enjoy Topps Tribute sets so much is because many of the cards commemorate historic events in baseball history. 

    One of the many cards that I would love to add to my collection would be the Willie Mays / Vic Wertz dual memorabilia card which features a bat piece of Wertz and a glove piece of Mays. Its one of the most historic memorabilia cards ever created and it's limited to only 54 copies which commemorates' "The Catch". That is what is so great about this product. Not only does it have great looking cards with an awesome checklist, it also teaches you about the game. Someday I hope to see the return of Topps Tribute to the hobby store shelves.

    2006 Factory Baseball Card Set
    This is why, the Topps 2006 Factory Set is my uncontested favorite baseball card set of All-Time

    “And here we go again! His old lectures…”, Mr. SCTF announced. “It’s at least the 170 time he said that.”

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, with renewed vigor, oh, yes, thank you.” Mr. Collecteur-for-Life exclaimed. “It is my pleasure to serve you, and to bring you tomorrow’s information TODAY.

    “I had a lot of fan mail questions coming in, and some are from you. I gracefully accept it, and wish you can keep it up. Now today’s topic is: What is my favorite baseball card set. So let me sit down and tell you my story.”

    “3 months ago, a relative of mine promised that as an early birthday present (maybe too early), he would give me a Topps 2006 Factory Set, I as a collector has collected single packs for my whole life, but would be eager and pleased to receive a fabulous birthday present – Something new…”

    “I told him that I would love the present, but I have never heard of something called a factory set -”

    “And I thought you know everything!” The MC said in awe.

    “Well, not as a collective factor, more like individual information that I know a lot about. Anyways, so he went to my birthday party, he was very hesitant about the present, and I thought about the idea of him not having a present for me at all!”

    “What makes this story interesting is that the climax is very unusual. He stayed for a long time after the party and claimed that his parents must have been late, and refused to call home! That raised my suspicion meter by almost half.”

    “When it was 4:58 p.m. (party was over 2 hours ago), he finally showed the actual reason why he stayed so late. ‘Happy birthday!’ He cried out loud, I was taken back a little bit, but remained my gentleman manner. Hm-hm.”

    “He took out a box, about 30cm long and 8 cm wide and 8 cm tall, looked like some kind of an explosives container. But I took it and ripped off the cover. Topps 2006 Factory Set, it read. I froze for a moment, and started thanking and laughing and rolling on the floor all at the same time! I couldn’t have been any happier: The first complete set in my whole life! Even for a professional collector like me, this is still awe-inspiring, paralyzing, dumbstrucking, I can go on and on with all the words, but you get what I am saying.”

    “Anyways, this is the 2nd episode of my baseball story, and remember, my Uncontested Baseball Set of All Time is…. (Drum roll)… The 2006 Topps Baseball Complete Set. Aloha, everyone! Goodnight!”

    Note: This is an reenactment of an event that occurred on September 15, 2008. It was designed to be a joke, in which turned out to be a miscellaneous event that frustrated many parents. Do not attempt!
    Johnny Tang

    1963 Topps Baseball Set
    Maybe because it was the first or maybe because it's just been one of the best, the 1963 Topps Baseball set is my favorite set. I fondly remember as a kid going to the corner store and buying the pack of cards and looking for my favorite player - Willie Mays. I can remember the excitement of opening the pack and looking for Willie. I was more than shocked when I finally got a check list and he wasn't listed. In 1963, Topps turned out this set in three different series. Mays would be in the second series but the little corner store where I bought the packs didn't get that series in. I grew up in Hockey Country and by that time, there was more interest in the hockey cards than baseball.

    I love this set - The quality of the picture was tremendous - when you're thinking 1963 and before the high tech design cards of today. What I liked most was the little inset with another picture of the player. And of course there was the gum. I know Topps has got back into gum in cards in recent years in plastic; well back then, there was no plastic and the gum would stain some of the cards.

    I wasn't shutout entirely on getting a Mays card because he was featured on several other cards - there was the National Leauge Home Run Leaders Card # 3 and the Pride of the National League with Stan Musial - Card # 138.

    Another reasons this was such a great set was that it celebrated perhaps one of the greatest World Series of that time - the 1962 series between the Yankees and the Giants. Willie Mays versus Mickey Mantle - the "Say Hey Kid" against "The Mick". That 1962 world series would go the full 7 games and Willie McCovey would line out to Bobby Richardson to give the Yanks the series 4 games to 3. There are seven cards in the set that focus on each game of that World Series.

    I was 14 years old at the time and the little corner store wouldn't sell baseball cards again. It wasn't until 1987 when my 7 year old was looking for something to collect that we got back into card collecting. My Mother had kept the cards, so I was delighted to get them from her and have another look at these great cards. I then spent the next 10 years completing the set. And in 2001 when Upper Deck put out their Vintage product with cards that mirrored the 1963's, I was in 7th Collecting Heaven. 

    There are many products that have better quality, greater design and more value but none will ever replace the memories that I get when I look at the 1963 Topps set. 
    Bruce Wylie

    2005 Donruss Diamond Kings Baseball
    My favorite card set is 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings!
    The reason that is my favorite set is because for a 13 yr old boy (like me) you really don't have enough money to buy big high end boxes, like Triple threads, or anything like that. So for a box in the mid 40s, early 50s in price that is what I am looking for! I have broke many boxes of Diamond kings boxes and here are some of my highlights: Roger Maris Bat-Jsy/100,Pujols Bat-Jsy/100, Sean Casey Black Border Jsy-Jsy/10, Zambrano auto-Jsy-Jsy/200, Craig Biggio Bronze auto/50, Fergie Jenkins HOF heroes auto.See, there is also always a chance for that BIG hit in one of these boxes! Every time I pick one up, or order one, I am thinking mojo as soon as I get it! I think 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings is one of the best products of in a long time! Anyone looking to beef up their collection, or if anyone is looking to start a collection. I will recommend this set, 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings to anyone looking for a low budget box! Thanks for reading my entry, and I hope I win! Thank you again!

    Landon Clark, 13

    Allen and Ginter Baseball Cards
    What are my favorite baseball cards? Hmm.My favorite baseball card brand? There are so many to choose from. From Bowman and Turkey Red, to Goudey and Sweet Spot. I love pretty much all baseball cards, Bowman has so many prospects, Turkey Red has a great texture on the card, and is great for getting autographs on because they don't smudge on that material. Goudey gives you the cool design from the `30s. Plus, with Sweet Spot you are almost guaranteed to get a Sweet Swatch or Sweet Spot auto. But the card that I found that puts all of those great traits together is Allen and Ginter. 

    If you have ever tried to get an autograph on a regular Upper Deck or Topps card, you will know from experience that they smudge oh so easily. That can get very annoying. I mean, just think, you are getting Derek Jeter's autograph on his new Topps card, and you get it back, expecting it to look awesome. Then you look down to see what treasure you are holding, and it is smudged! "Oh no!" you think. "This glossy card has ruined my most prized possession!" I've always thought Allen and Ginters were so great for autographs after I got Akinori Otsuka autograph on his 2006 card.
    My favorite card designs are always the old, vintage ones. Now don't get me wrong, I think all the new card designs look tremendous! But nothing can compare to the cards from early 1900s. Not to mention the paintings actually look very realistic, and I love that!

    For the price of the pack, you get a very good chance to pull a jersey, bat, or autograph card. Even if you don't pull one of the above mentioned cards, you are guaranteed 2 state cards per pack, with players on the card from their own state, with state flag. There are also some really rare, bizarre, insert cards. Like DNA cards, really, where else can you find George Washington's nose hair, or a hair from a Woolly Mammoth? Rip Cards are great because they come with some more rare cards in them. But you have to take the chance to rip it and maybe only get a mini #'d out of 50, or you can not rip it and keep the card intact with the picture of the famous player on front.
    In my opinion, Allen and Ginter baseball cards are the best cards on the market right now. You get the vintage design with current pack inserts. I can't say enough that they are also the best card for getting autographs on. Including all the celebrity cards and random insert cards, this is the perfect baseball card.

    2006 Greats of the Game Baseball Card Set
    My favorite baseball card set is 2006 Greats of the Game. The reasons why I like these cards are that they are of the best players that have played the game of baseball. For example some of the players in this set are Don Sutton, AL Kaline, Cal Ripken Jr., Brooks Robinson and many many more. It was a pretty difficult set to make but after I completed it, it was worth making it. The cards are so classy in their own way. The pictures on these cards are just plain picture they could be a little better. You can look at the cards and know who it is but I would like to see some of pictures of them playing the game. Also the player selection was great there were no no-names I knew who all the players were. This might be off track but they are great to get signed through the mail. Looking at the cards I realize that it's like owning a piece of the players even though it is not a jersey card or an autograph. It doesn't have to be a jersey card or an autograph to impress me its just the players that they select and that's why 2006 Fleer Greats of the Game is my favorite baseball card set.

    1973 Topps Comics Baseball Card Set
    My favorite set is an oddball set that most collectors do not know much about. It is the 1973 Topps Comics. This is the year that I started collecting cards.

    Being only 10 years old, I scrounged all the money I could to purchase ten-cent wax packs of the regular 1973 Topps set. I would go across the street to a local pharmacy in Brooklyn and purchase the packs whenever I got a few cents. I was so happy when I got card number 1 of the greatest homerun hitters ever (Ruth, Aaron, Mays). I immediately put it into my pocket and went downstairs to play with my friends so I could show off this great card. Naturally, during the course of playing, the card got all bent, but who cared about condition, I still had this great card.

    I loved the chewing gum in those products, even if they did stain the cards in the pack. My dentist also thanks Topps for the business I gave him. Towards the end of the summer, I noticed there were big, thick pieces of gum, about 4 inches long by 1 inch wide, made by Topps, being sold in the same store (I think they were either 50 cents or 99 cents). Since I loved the taste of that gum (the very next year they had a card of Kurt Bevacqua blowing the largest bubble of the major leaguers), I bought one of them. It didn't look like a pack of cards, just gum, so I ripped open the wrapper to get at the gum. Lo and behold was the comic on the inside of the wrapper. Of course, if I looked at the packaging, I would have known that, but 10-year olds don't have that kind of patience. So I got a Stargell ripped apart, missing some major pieces. Over the following few weeks I ended up buying 3 more of these (that was a lot of money), but knowing what to expect, at least these I opened them a little more carefully.

    These comics weren't listed in my 1975 Sports Collectors Bible (the original Price Guide by Bert Randolf Sugar), so I just put them in a box near my small collection of cards, since I didn't know much about them, nor even how many were in the "set" since they were not numbered. I didn't even consider them cards. Imagine my surprise when I first spotted them in Bob Lemke's second edition of the Sports Collectors Digest in 1988, some 15 years later. I dug up the four that I had and found each was worth around $40-$50. And more so, it stated that the comics "were strictly a test issue, if ever distributed at all." But I knew better. Being that Topps was a Brooklyn company, they tested it locally in my Brooklyn neighborhood.

    Although I know they are scarce, it shocks me to see that they are listed in the current Beckett Annual for $300-$400 each (O.K., mine are not in the greatest condition). I've seen probably over a million cards in my lifetime of collecting, many of them quite rare, but have yet to come across these. My mother still lives in the same Brooklyn apartment, but the pharmacy is long gone to the mega-store chain pharmacies. I pull them out periodically to remember those days of my childhood that are now over 35 years ago.

    1913 National Game Baseball Card Set
    This is Why 1913 National Game baseball card set is my favorite- by James M. Bring

    I have been collecting cards since 1978. Obviously in the last 30 years there have been some great sets introduced to the hobby. Technology and imagination have pushed the envelope on the cards we pull from packs today and therefore it could be difficult to chose one set that stands out above all the rest. So when I sat down to think about my favorite set I knew it had to be something that I personally collect. With that in mind, the answer became obvious.

    My favorite baseball set of all-time is 1913 National Game. This 45-card set is chuck full of Hall of Famers from the early days of the national pastime. The Georgia Peach, Spoke, Home Run, Big Train and Shoeless Joe all are represented in this beautiful production. 

    These cards are one of the first productions to have actual photos of the players rather than art work. The design is very simple by todays standards but are still attractive and elegant. Not to mention affordable to most collectors. I can't imagine spending $400 on some favor-of-the-month rookie when I could by a 1913 issue of Cobb or Cy Young.

    Originally these cards where issued as part of a baseball game that was produced in 1913 which also makes for some added interest. The corners are slightly rounded like a deck of playing cards so creased and damaged corners aren't of great concern when looking for these in good condition.
    So for me, without a doubt, the 1913 National Game set is my favorite baseball set ever. From it full line-up of front line Hall of Famers to its simple red and white designed backs that state "BaseBall". It begs the question "How could anything so simple be so beautiful?"

    2007 Allen and Ginter Baseball Card Set
    After taking a few years away from the hobby - only buying the occasional pack from the big-box retail stores - I went to Beckett online to see what was happening in the industry, and to see if any of my classic cards were worth anything. I found an article on 2007 Allen and Ginter. Somehow, I missed the first release of the card the year before, but I thought it was the perfect blend of what I sought in the industry. Cards that appealed to the eye on first view. Just enough rookie cards to pique the average collectors interest. Of course, A&G also had the lottery ticket hopes of cut signatures from amazing historical figures. 

    When I picked up my first pack on vacation on Cape Cod, I was hooked, but since I was living in the Bronx at the time, I was unable to continue the collection. By the time I moved to a city with a decent hobby shop (Phoenix), A&G was missing from shelves everywhere. Though I am reduced to finding occasional packs online and making trades for base cards, with no hopes of those lottery ticket pulls, I still appreciate looking at the craftsmanship that pulled me fully back into collecting after years of avoiding the passion. 

    1991 Stadium Club Baseball Card Set
    The 1991 Stadium Club baseball card set has always been my very favorite set since it came out 17 years ago. It was unique and of a better quality than most other sets at that time.

    I really liked the backs of the cards as they showed the Topps rookie card of each player. I thought this was a really cool use of the back which is mostly ignored in most products.

    However, the thing I liked best was the photography and the clean look of the cards.

    When this set came out it was very Hot and very hard to find packs. I am a set builder and would each day after my college classes drive around to all the stores and see if they had any more packs. I spent a lot of money completing the three set that I own.

    To complete the set of 600 cards in two series of 300 was a lot more difficult because there wasn't the internet and all the trading that goes on now.

    My favorite cards in the set are #1 Dave Stewart dressed in a tuxedo throwing a ball behind his back. Sammmy Sosa (6) in a whitesox uniform with his hat on crooked. Frank Thomas (57) with a perfect swing, Eric Show (138) playing guitar in a hammock, Nolan Ryan (200) in a tuxedo pitching, Barry Bonds (220), Juan Gonzalez (237),
    Orel Hershiser (244) in a sweater, Shane Mack (259), Ken Griffey Jr. (270) in the dugout, Robin Ventura (274) the perfect follow though. Then in series 2 Darryl Strawberry (301) in a Dodgers uniform, Tony Gwynn (308) and his smile, Gary Carter (424) in full Dodger gear, Deion Sanders (442) leaving the batters box, Chuck Knoblauch (548).

    The set is filled with stars of the 70's, 80's,90's and the 2000's. It has numerous HOFers or future HOFers. 

    The cards and the industry have changed since then but I still call it my favorite set. Every time I open the box and go through the cards, it brings me back to that time, when collecting was all about fun. It's exactly how it should be.
    creeves15 (Curt)