Saturday, April 20, 2013

Complete Set: 1998 Topps Tek

I started my work on this set about three months ago needing 25 cards to complete the set.  I quickly started picking up single cards and lots and ended up getting down to needing one card within three weeks of starting off on my work to complete the 1998 Topps Tek set.  I was ecstatic to be down to just one card.  One measly Jason Kendall card.  I trolled Ebay, COMC, and trade pages in search of the card.  After one week of looking for the card I was not even sure that the card existed.  I had serious doubts.  If you Google Search Jason Kendall Topps Tek an image of a 1998 Topps Tek card does not appear anywhere.  Further, after several weeks there was not a scent of the card anywhere.  Finally, last week I found a copy of the card on Ebay with a Buy It Now of $1.00.  Well worth the dollar and my set is finally complete.

1998 Topps Tek Jason Kendall

I did a write up on this set awhile ago and got into the specifics of trying to assemble the actual complete set.  To summarize, the set has 90 different players and each player has 90 different pattern variations meaning that assembling the master complete set of the 1998 Topps Tek set would require finding a total of 8100 cards.  The fact that it took me three months to find a Jason Kendall card, let alone 89 more, tells me that I am going to stop right here with one card of each player.  90 cards in all was hard enough to do without needing to track down a full 89 more sets.  I actually started collecting this set to put together as many variations of the Ray Lankford card.  Currently I am about half way there on that goal and will continue to work on adding new patterns.  

Favorite Card from the Set:

1998 Topps Tek Randy Johnson

I like this card for several reasons.  First, Topps did not airbrush this card.  Randy Johnson started the 1998 season pitching for the Mariners, but was traded to the Astros at the trading deadline.  The classic Topps move would have been to airbrush him into late year releases wearing an Astros uniform.  However, it appears that they actual went out and got a photo of the Big Unit in a Houston uni.  To that end, Randy Johnson was only on the Astros for half a season and the list of Johnson cards appearing in an Astros uniform are relatively small.  Not like Mike Piazza on the Marlins, but still not a long list.  

Second, living in a National League city I never had a chance to watch Randy Johnson pitch in person before 1998.  I watched him in All-Star games and a few Mariners games on TV, but never in person.  The first game I saw him pitch was a game against the Cardinals at the end of the 1998 season.  I was really impressed.  Needless to say, I picked up a few Randy Johnson cards that fall including the one above making it the first Topps Tek card in my collection.  


  1. Oke, so i now know i need 90 different Glavine variations ! Let the challenge begin :-))

  2. Kendall's Tek cards are nearly impossible to find online. There were (and may still be) a couple hardcore Kendall player collectors during the 90's/early 00's, so I suspect that they may have hoarded a lot of the Tek cards that weren't scooped up by set collectors. It's just a theory, but the number of Tek cards available online for Kendall is definitely a lot smaller than what I see for other players from the set.