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.


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.