Tuesday, August 13, 2019

1993 Topps Traded Set

Found a nice deal on a sealed 1993 Topps Traded Set, so today I am sharing some of the highlights with you! Mike Piazza was already an established star when this set was issued, even though he was still a rookie.

The 1993 Topps Set featured a 2nd player photo on the back, a flourish they hadn't tried in a long long time. But the pressure was on to keep up with Johnny Fleer and Joey Donruss and uh, Janey Upper Deck, so that means photos on both sides! I don't know if this a common issue with the traded set, or a symptom of being in a sealed box for so many years, but the ink on the backs looks a little runny to me.

Also - what's the deal? For the first time, the traded set was no longer in alphabetical order. Also ALSO, " IT - 132T ?" I? Weird.

Piazza was one of 6 Hall of Fame players in the set (with 2 or 3 more possibly to add later?). Boggs defected from Boston to the Yankees, where he would finally win a World Series, and get to ride a NYC Police horse after the clinching game. Andre Dawson went from the Cubs to Beantown, now towards the end of his magnificent career. Greg Maddux and Paul Molitor were thinking championship as well, and both would be rewarded by the end of their tenures with their new teams.

Now that Bowman has returned and the Prospect Machine was in full motion, finding quality rookies in the traded set was becoming more rare. The Team USA issue provided opportunities to add more young players to the set, and like Nomar in 1992, another Freshman made a splash in the new traded set.

The Team USA backs are a little different, so I figured I'd share those, too. Todd was quite the athlete!

The Twins representatives had nearly 20 seasons combined in the big leagues by the time the set came out - granted, they were all from Hall of Fame OF/1B/DH Dave Winfield. Todd Walker technically wasn't with the Twins organization yet, but he'd be drafted in the first round in 1994 by the Twins. David McCarty and Pat Meares were expected to take the reigns in the infield for Greg Gagne and Kent Hrbek. Meares ultimately did become the team's everyday SS, and McCarty had flashes of brilliance, but never really became the player to match the potential.

This group of guys might have a Hall of Famer or 3 in it, you can argue about which 3 they might be. Bonds had card #1T honors, all of these guys became key pieces of their team's success for the rest of the 1990s.

Lastly, here are a couple of my favorite photos from the set, and two guys that were appearing in familiar uniforms. The traded sets can be light on action and personality, but Boomer Wells listening to the national anthem and Erik Pappas sporting some gnarly hat hair. The Big Cat had a miserable 1993 in Saint Louis, playing in fewer than 100 games, and hitting just 10 homers. But Colorado would prove that he still had a few of those 9 lives remaining, and in fact would have the best years of his career. Kirk Gibson was returning to Detroit where he found his early post season success.


  1. Cool set. So many big names on the move that year. Plus that Team USA Helton is sweet!

  2. Some great early Rockies cards in 93 Traded, but we didn't know about Helton at the time!