Saturday, November 3, 2012

30 Year Top 50: 2000 Topps Traded

#37-The 2000 Topps Traded set comes in at this spot, but this is a set that I could see becoming more important over time.  The evolution of this set has been pretty interesting to say the least.  At the time of it's release the 135 card set was issued as a factory set with an autograph per set.  The autographs were a skip set featuring some of the rookies that are in the base set.  Most of the important rookies signed cards except for Adam Wainwright.

2000 Topps Traded Ben Sheets

Much of the early hype surrounding the 2000 Topps Traded set followed two cards:  Ben Sheets and Francisco Rodriguez.  The Sheets card spiked after his appearance in the 2000 Olympics where he pitched the US Baseball team to a gold medal upsetting the Cuban team which fielded pro players.  The Francisco Rodriguez card spiked after the 2002 World Series run by the Angels.  Both cards slowly slid backwards as Sheets ran into injury problems a few years into his career as a Brewer and Rodriguez signed with the Mets and floundered.

2000 Topps Traded Adrain Gonzalez 

The Adrian Gonzalez rookie was also fairly popular at the time of the sets initial release.  Gonzalez was the number one overall pick in the 2000 amateur draft.  The card eventually trended downward after Gonzalez bounced around his first few years in the league.  A trade to the Red Sox saw a jump in his cards popularity and price, but he has cooled a bit since his trade to the Dodgers.  A few good years in Los Angeles could pick this card back up again.

2000 Topps Traded Miguel Cabrera

Overtime, the Miguel Cabrera rookie has emerged from this set as the most important card.  Whether you believe he is the equal of Pujols or ARod, or not, he is an important player and probably a Hall of Famer.  After this year's Triple Crown effort his cards have climbed in popularity and price.  While the base version of his 2000 Topps Traded card is readily available and easy to find he did sign cards for this set too.  

2000 Topps Traded Miguel Cabrera Autograph

I don't think Topps has ever put a production number on the Topps Traded autographs, but I would guess there are probably at least 1000 of each card.  Some of the autographs haven't held up too well, so condition is going to eventually play a part in the availability and affordability of this card.  There are always a few floating around Ebay and COMC, but you are going to have to pay a lot for it.  By the way, check out the Cabrera autograph on this card and a current card.  Good job with keeping the autograph consistent.  

2000 Topps Traded Adam Wainwright

2000 Topps Traded Brandon Phillips

A few other good rookie cards are floating around this set that have also emerged in more recent years.  There were popular periods of time for Carlos Zambrano, Barry Zito, and Juan Pierre.   The two pictured above, Adam Wainwright and Brandon Phillips, are probably the two biggest movers.  Wainwright has never won a Cy Young Award, but has been close a few times.  He came back from Tommy John surgery this past year and pitched fairly well, so it will be interesting to watch if he can recapture his old form. 

Brandon Phillips is another good player who has started to get a little bit of love from card collectors.  In my opinion his cards have always been a little bit lower than what they should be.  He's a great signer and has a nice looking autograph to go with everything the guy does on the field.  His rookie card from this set is pretty easy to find, plus a signed cards from the set.  


The Phillips autographs aren't hard to find and won't cost you a second mortgage on your house like the Cabrera.  However, the Phillips autographs have also been some of the worst aging autographs in the set.  This is my copy which has been sleeved and placed in a top loader in a box.  Yet, if you look closely at the signature it clearly has some points where the ink has started fading.  

Overall, this set is a great addition to any collection given the quality of rookies included.  Plus, if you can find a sealed version you always have a shot at pulling out a Cabrera autograph.  The base set will generally set you back about $50, or you can try to find the Topps Chrome version which will run between $100-$120.  


Like the 2000 Topps Traded Set?  Not in my Top 50 countdown is the 1999 Topps Traded set.  Similar to the 2000 Topps Traded set, the 1999 version was loaded with high talent rookies.  However, while the 2000 Topps Traded set continues to have its rookie crop rise in performance and value, the 1999 set has gone the other direction.  

At the time of it's release the sets key rookies included C.C. Sabathia, Josh Hamilton, Adam Dunn, Carlos Pena, Carl Crawford, and Alfonso Soriano.  The best of that bunch is the Hamilton and Sabathia cards.  The others have all trailed off for various reasons.

1999 Topps Traded Josh Hamilton 


1999 Topps Traded C.C. Sabathia

While both the Hamilton and Sabathia are nice cards and good additions to the collection I would be hesitant and skeptical of their future values.  While I am sure that most teams interested in signing Hamilton this offseason will be successful in managing his off the field issues, I am not sure that he is going to hold up well in the long term.  The second half of this season should be a warning.  Sabathia is chugging towards 300 wins and has proven durable most of his career, but he did have some injury problems this year.  Plus, C.C. is not the most well conditioned professional athlete and I would, like Hamilton, have to question how well he will hold up over time.  After all, there are those who believe the C.C. stands for Captain Crunch.  As in, two boxes per day.  

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