Cards From Fairly Obscure Topps-Issued Team Sets

Last night I was struggling to come up with something to write about for today’s post… Well, to be fair, I have plenty I can write about, but nothing I had been particular driven to write about.

…Until…

I was reading a post on Baseball Card Breakdown about his COMC acquisitions which included two cards from the 1990 Topps “TV” sets. I said “Hey, I just got one of those from COMC too! Maybe I should feature it in a post…”

…And this is that post!  How about that?

I’ll get to the “TV” sets in a little bit, but first I’m going to start off with a couple of other COMC acquisitions, all of which come from smaller Topps sets you may not be familiar with.

First off is a card from the 2010 Topps Emerald Nuts set, which I believe was part of a series of giveaways at San Francisco Giants games.  There were Emerald Nuts sets from 2005 to 2012.  The sets featured 32 different cards, so obviously there were players in the set which didn’t make it into the regular Topps set.

Mark DeRosa made it into the 2010 Topps Update set as a Giant, but with a different photo.  You might also notice that the Giants logo used is not the same logo used in Flagship Topps;  those cards featured just the Giants wordmark without the baseball part of the logo.

In 2013, a similar set was produced, this time sponsored by Chevron.

Nick Noonan, like Mark DeRosa, is a player I collect… In fact, everybody featured in this post is a player I collect to some degree.  Noonan was a Giants 1st round pick in 2017 and made his debut in 2013.  This was Noonan’s only 2013 Topps card of any kind… in fact, he didn’t appear in a regular Topps set until this past year’s flagship set.

After the 2013 Chevron set there was a 2014 Coca-Cola set, and as far as I can tell that ended the run of San Francisco Giants giveaway sets.

Next up is a card from one of sixteen “Team Stadium Club” sets put out by Topps in 1993.  These cards were issued in team sets which came in hard plastic clamshell cases.  These sets aren’t particularly rare and frankly aren’t very attractive – the design in the upper right is gold foil – but the sets often get overlooked.

John Habyan was a Major League pitcher who, like me, is from Long Island and about my age.  I used to have a friend who had played high school ball against Habyan, so my friend’s enthusiasm for Habyan’s MLB career carried over to me and even though I lost touch with that friend 20+ years ago, I still collect Habyan.

Here’s the back of the card.

At the time these came out, I bought Marlins and Rockies team sets, as I was fascinated in the first baseball expansion since 1977 and the second of my lifetime.  Those cards were notable in that all the players were pictured in their new uniforms.  I probably should do a post about those two sets.

…But anyway…

John Habyan is also featured in the next card, which is from the 1990 Topps “TV” Yankees team set I teased at the beginning of this post.

These cards are called “TV” sets because they were marketed on television, but I don’t believe there’s anything about the cards or the packaging which refers or alludes to TV… It’s just what the collecting community calls them.  Each of the six 66-card sets issued (an “All-Star” set plus the Mets, Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and Cardinals) came in a sealed cardboard box.

Here’s the back of Habyan’s card.  Because it mildly annoys me, I’ll point out that the card lists his town of birth as “Bayshore” but the town’s name is actually Bay Shore.  I realize nobody cares, but I don’t care that nobody cares.  So there.

Just for comparison purposes, I’ll share similar cards which I’d posted before – my Mets “team set” from the TV All-Star set, plus the back of the Doc Gooden card.




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Oddball Set Du Jour: 1993 Stadium Club Team Marlins

Yesterday I featured the “Team Rockies” version of 1993 Stadium Club… Today, I’m going to feature some cards from “Team Marlins”.

One thing that strikes me about both teams, 20 years later, is that they had some talent.  They weren’t good teams, but they had some decent players… more so than previous expansion teams, I think.

One thing that was in play for these teams more than their predecessors was free agency.  For example, Benito Santiago signed with the Marlins as a free agent, rather than through the expansion draft or trades.

1993 Stadium Club Team Marlins Benny Santiago

I know I’ve said it  before, but the thing that always gets me about the early Marlins uniforms was the sheer amounts of teal.  I don’t have a problem with teal, and it certainly gave the team a distinctive look, but those hats and helmets that were solid teal were just tooooooooo much.  They also had teal caps with black bills, which at least took the edge off.  Going with solid black caps later on was too far the other way;  I would’ve liked to have seen black caps with a teal bill, but they never tried that.

Charlie Hough was 45 in 1993, but he also was a knuckleballer, so he gave them some innings and pitched pretty well.  Hough finished out his career with two seasons in Miami.

1993 Stadium Club Team Marlins Charlie Hough

Like Brad Ausmus, who I mentioned yesterday, Trevor Hoffman was traded to the Padres halfway through the 1993 season.  Unlike Ausmus, Hoffman played for his parent club, getting in 28 relief appearances in before being traded as part of a package for Gary Sheffield.

1993 Stadium Club Team Marlins Trevor Hoffman

Yesterday I featured several 1993 Rockies who later got managing jobs in the Majors.  Today, I’m featuring a 1993 Marlin who much later got a job managing those Rockies…

1993 Stadium Club Team Marlins Walt Weiss

…Unllike yesterday’s future managers, Weiss wasn’t a catcher.  Weiss spent one year in teal after having been traded by the A’s to Florida for a couple of prospects who didn’t pan out.  He became a free agent after the season was over and signed with the Rockies.

These 30-card Stadium Club team sets were sold at Wal-Mart stores.  According to my 2008 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, other teams which got these sets were the Braves, Cubs, Angels, White Sox, Astros, Royals, Dodgers, Yankees, A’s, Phillies, Cardinals, Giants, Mariners and Rangers.

Oddball Set Du Jour: 1993 Stadium Club Team Rockies

Back in 1993, there were a number of special Stadium Club team sets sold at Wal-Mart stores. The sets had 30 cards each, were sold in clear plastic hanger packs and were done for 16 different teams.

At the time, I would buy anything that pictured the expansion Rockies and Marlins players in their new uniforms, so I bought both sets at a card show.
1993 Stadium Club Team Rockies Andres Galarraga

As you can see, the cards have a unique design; not an attractive one to my eyes, but it’s different. It’s a little hard to tell from the scans, but the design featured a good amount of gold foil. The baseball and striping on the upper right is all gold foil.

While scanning cards from the Rockies sets, I noticed that the 1993 Rockies had 3 catchers who would later go on to manage in the Majors.

I don’t think I have to tell you which team Joe Girardi manages.
1993 Stadium Club Team Rockies Joe Girardi
Girardi was the starting catcher for the ’93 Rockies.

Eric Wedge recently stepped down as the Mariners’ manager, and has also managed the Indians.
1993 Stadium Club Team Rockies Eric Wedge
Wedge appeared in 9 games for the Rockies.

Brad Ausmus, who was recently named as the Tigers manager, never actually played for the Rockies. He’d been taken from the Yankees in the expansion draft and played in AAA until a July trade sent him to San Diego.
1993 Stadium Club Team Rockies Brad Ausmus

Here’s the back of Ausmus’ card.
1993 Stadium Club Team Rockies Brad Ausmus back

The other two Rockies catchers that year were Danny Sheaffer and Jayhawk Owens. Sheaffer managed the Princeton Rays in 2013, Owens has managed in the minors, but I couldn’t find where he is now.

According to my 2008 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, other teams which got these sets were the Braves, Cubs, Angels, White Sox, Marlins, Astros, Royals, Dodgers, Yankees, A’s, Phillies, Cardinals, Giants, Mariners and Rangers. I’ll feature a couple of Marlins tomorrow.