Thursday, February 4, 2010

Box Break: 2002 Topps Gallery (Hobby)

Instead of waiting for the increasingly hideous looking National Chicle Baseball to be released, I thought I would get a box of cards from when men were men and more importantly, when Babe Ruth was not wearing a Braves uniform. 2002 Topps Gallery (6 cards per pack, 24 packs per box) was advertised as the "Museum Edition" and indeed the cards are quite worthy of their own little frames. The box was only $30 with shipping on eBay (there are still some available if anyone likes what they see in this break) and while I didn't pull any "hits" (they fall one in every other box--and by that I mean every other box that I don't buy--ba da chi!) I still enjoyed the box. Here's what was inside:

Base Set Completion: 129 of 200 (64.5%)

Duplicates: 8 (Eight dupes in one box is disappointing, especially since two packs only contained five cards instead of the advertised six, but it is Topps after all.)

Rookie/Young Stars Subset (1 per pack): 18 (This set is utterly devoid of rookies other than Joe Mauer. I did not pull a Joe Mauer. The "rookie cards" feature a red streak across the name whereas the young stars look just like the regular base cards.)

Retired Star Subset: 6 (There are just 10 retired stars in the set, numbered 191-200, I pulled Harmon Killebrew, Frank Robinson, Kirby Puckett, George Brett, Ryne Sandberg and Nolan Ryan).

Veteran Variations (1:24 packs): 1 (Derek Jeter Solid Blue--can't complain about this one, most valuable card in the set.)

Topps Gallery Heritage (1:12 packs): 3 (Mark McGwire 1985, Alex Rodriguez 1998 and Tsuyoshi Shinjo 2001--a painting of a year old card of Shinjo? It's a good thing I beat the odds and pulled an extra one of these.)

Overall Impressions: I always liked Topps Gallery but before this box had only opened a few packs here and there. The base cards are phenomenal except for a small number where the painting doesn't resemble the player at all and the Topps Gallery Heritage cards look great. Personally I would have enjoyed it more if there had been another insert set but from a base set collecting standpoint I guess it's good there wasn't. I'm not sure whether I will collect the entire base set because the rookie crop is so weak (the second best rookie besides Mauer is Kaz Ishii) so maybe I will just go after the 150 veterans and 10 retired players in the set. If someone else is trying to build this set I would be happy to help, or if someone else buys a box I would be interested in trading for your base cards. The inserts are all up for trade. Thanks for looking!


  1. The only cards I had seen from this set are the few Rays cards I have received in trades... It is a REALLY good looking set. Nice buy and nice pulls!

  2. Very nice. Rarely see this stuff opened.

    That Arod is especially cool.

  3. Hey Bud, Those are nice cards. Any Tribe duplicates? How about a wrapper before they all get thrown out!I haven't posted about my wrapper collection lately but I'm always looking for more I don't have.A want/have list is in the works.

  4. Did anyone notice McGwire is wearing Topps gear and not USA? lol

  5. Nice break! The 2002 version of Gallery was the last I was impressed with. I went on a little mini rant about it when I broke my own box about a year ago.