30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Cream of the Crop

One of my favorite things about reading old Beckett and Tuff Stuff price guides are the different lists they created.  It's fun to reflect on what was popular back in the day and compare it to what's hot now.

This afternoon, I spent over an hour digging through my Tony Gwynn scans in an effort to list out my Top 10 favorite cards for a contest Collecting Cutch is holding over on his blog.  If you're interested in seeing other people's responses, click here.

Without further adieu...

#1: 1983 Topps #482/1983 O-Pee-Chee #143

This really shouldn't be a surprise, since I just wrote about for another contest a few weeks back.  The 1983 Topps baseball card design is one of my personal favorites.  The fact that it happens to contain the key rookie card of my all-time favorite player locks this card down at #1.  I decided to include his O-Pee-Chee rookie card too, because they're both in a league of their own.

#2:  1982 TCMA Hawaii Islanders #10

This is Gwynn's first official trading card and as of today, my second favorite card in the collection.

#3:  1999 UD Century Legends Epic Signatures #TG

I've been a big fan of autographs since the mid 90's and after almost twenty years, this set remains one of my favorite designs.

#4:  1993 Finest Refractor #77

I have a few Tony Gwynn refractors sitting in my collection, but none of them are as significant to our hobby as the 1993 Finest Refractors.  Prices on these cards have fluctuated a lot over the years.    There was a time in the late 90's when this particular card sold for hundreds of dollars.  After two decades, I finally added this card to my collection last April for $63.50, which seems pretty pricey for a 90's parallel.  However the last three copies to sell on eBay have sold for $107.61, $137.50, and $153.50, so I'm pretty happy with the price I paid.

#5:  2007 UD Sweet Spot Classic Signatures #TG

Upper Deck sure knew how to produced some amazing autographed cards.  Sweet Spot Signatures was one of them.  I love the color scheme and seeing a sepia tone photo of The Murph in the background.

#6:  2007 UD Masterpieces Stroke of Genius #GW

This is the third Upper Deck autograph of Gwynn to make the list and I know that I'm not the only one who misses UD Masterpieces.  C'mon MLB... bring UD back!  Bring UD back!  Bring UD back!

#7:  1992 Donruss The Elite Series #14

Anyone else here collected back in the day when a print run of 10,000 was considered super rare?  This card is a symbol of those times and I'm sure some of you can appreciate its hobby significance.

#8:  2013 Five Star Signatures #TGW

Surprise.  Surprise.  An autographed card not pulled from an Upper Deck product.  Honestly, Topps has produced it's fair share of beautiful autographed sets.  This is one of my favorites, because of the simple design.  The light background really helps the blue signature stand out.

#9:  1997 Upper Deck Game Jersey #GJ2

In 1996... Press Pass made cardboard history by embedding swatches of game used jerseys into their college basketball product.  Upper Deck joined them and created jersey cards for their football and hockey products.  The next year, they added baseball to their lineup and this Tony Gwynn card was born.

#10:  2002 UD Vintage Timeless Teams Bat Quads #2

How often do you find three first ballot hall of famers and the all-time home run leader on one memorabilia card?  But that's not what put this card into my Top 10 list.  It's the fact that it features my two favorite players of all-time on one single card.

Here are a few cards that fell just shy of making the list...

Honorable Mention #1 and #2:  1983 Donruss and Fleer Rookie Cards

I flip flop between which rookie card design I enjoy more.  I'll take the easy way out and call it a tie for today.

Honorable Mention #3:  2014 Topps Tier One Acetate #TOATGW

A while back, I targeted this card because it was one of the final sets that Tony Gwynn signed for before he passed away in 2014.  Although I'm not a huge fan of the smoke-like design in the background, I was pretty happy to add this on-card autograph to my collection.

Honorable Mention #4:  2013 Topps Triple Threads Relic Combos #TTRC-GHJ

This is my most recent Tony Gwynn and Rickey Henderson purchase.  Anytime I can find both of these guys on the same card, it's a must have for my collection.

Well there you go Collecting Cutch.  That's my Top 10 Tony Gwynn list for today.  Will it be that way six months?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe one day, I'll go back and rerank them to see.

Until then...

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. That Hawaii Islanders TCMA card is pretty sweet! Nice choice of cards.

  2. The '83 Topps was one of their best designs though I know some hate it. Next time you hit the SD check out the Tony G museum at the AleSmith Brewery

  3. Killer list, that had to have been a difficult list to put together because Gwynn has so many amazing cards.

  4. Awesome list!!! Thanks for participating in the contest. I remember getting the 83 Fleer as a Bday present in the early 90s. Gwynn was such an amazing player and person.

  5. Third reference to Masterpieces I've seen tonight. Yes, bring back UD. As far as the rookie cards go Topps wins hands down. Great set of autos. The Finest is definitely an attractive card. Great choices all.