30 teams, all teams in, all cards ship
36 packs, 10 cards per pack
Chasers are here, autographs are available in this product, although randomly inserted:
Key 2002 Topps Baseball Cards:
- Joe Mauer RC #622
- Jason Bay RC #326
- Barry Bonds Race to 70 #365
- Rich Harden RC #687
- Albert Pujols Error #160
2002 Topps Baseball is a 718-card set. Series 1 has 364 cards. Series 2 is slightly smaller, coming in at 354 cards. Like previous years, there is no card 7 as it was retired following the 1996 set in honor of Mickey Mantle. Card 365 honors Barry Bonds' single-season home run chase. The card has 73 different variations, one for each home run hit. The format is similar to the Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa cards did three years earlier. The Bonds cards are some of the most popular in the set as several collectors chase full runs. However a 2002 Topps Baseball set is considered complete with just one of the variations.
The key rookie in the set is Joe Mauer. A pair of Canadian, Jason Bay and Rich Harden, also have rookie cards but their stock has fallen dramatically.
2002 Topps Baseball has one significant error card that was corrected, a rarity in the modern hobby. Error versions of card 160, Albert Pujols, pictures Placido Polanco on the back. Topps did go back and fix the mistake.
Gold cards numbered to 2002 are the set's only pack-inserted parallels.
2002 Topps Baseball has several basic insert sets, however most are themes used in previous sets. A new one, though is East Meets West. The eight-card set features different pairings of Japanese stars. At the time, there was an influx of players coming to the league, several of whom brought huge hobby followings. Although Ichiro Suzuki is a noticeable omission, the checklist does include Hideo Nomo and Masanori Murakami, the first Japanese player in the majors. East Meets West also has three relic cards for Nomo, Kazuhiro Sasaki and Tsuyoshi Shinjo.
Other basic inserts in 2002 Topps Baseball include 1952 World Series Highlights, 1952 World Series Tribute, All-World Team, Hobby Masters and Own the Game.
Although they'd been around for a few years now, game-used cards play a bigger part in 2002 Topps Baseball than ever before. There are several different sets with embedded pieces of jerseys, bats and other memorabilia. These sets include Kings of the Clubhouse, Jack of All Trades, Coaches Collection Relics and Prime Cuts Pine Tar Series. There are also a few different sets with pieces of Ebbets Field and Yankee Stadium seats.
Autographs also appear in 2002 Topps Baseball. The basic Autographs set is highlighted by Bonds and Alex Rodriguez. 1952 Reprint Autographs has six signers, including Duke Snider, Andy Pafko and Phil Rizzuto. Among those lending their signatures for Hall of Fame Vintage Buybacks AutoProofs are Steve Carlton, Brooks Robinson and Fergie Jenkins.
2002 Topps Baseball has several different factory sets. A Limited Edition set is similar to the Tiffany sets of the 1980s. They have a glossy front and a foil "Limited Edition" notation on the front. Hobby shop sets found in a blue box have a foil HTA stamp on the front of all of the cards except the foil League Leaders cards. Both the Green box sets and Holiday sets came with their own set of five exclusive Draft Picks. The most intriguing of these is Brandon Weeden, now a quarterback with the Cleveland Browns.
Boston Red Sox
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Mets
New York Yankees
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
St. Louis Cardinals
Toronto Blue Jays