5. 2004 Fleer Showcase- I bought this box for my birthday during spring of 2004. I remember rolling into 1,000,000 Baseball Cards in Ballwin, Missouri and picking up a box of this product. It was National Trading Card Day and I was up for some free baseball cards, but while I was there I was not going to walk out empty handed. This product had a cool looking design, decent autographs, and some cool insert sets like the Hot Gloves. I got in on this product towards the end of its run, but unfortunately this was the end of line for this product. Really cool product and my favorite fleer product from their later years (I am not counting the Upper Deck rehash).
4. 2004 Topps Cracker Jacks- I love this set. Is it the red backgrounds? The minis? Autographs? Not sure, but I put together this whole set and have a bunch of the autographs and relics out of the product too. The design is based on the 1914 Cracker Jacks set and has a lot of little quirks that were in the original: Writing on the back of the card upside down, old time players like Nap Lajoie, and Surprise Packs inside the boxes. Not the most expensive set, and not the nice throwback set that Topps has ever put out, but still a very good product worth checking out.
3. 2004 Diamond Kings- I like the Diamond Kings sets. Donruss ran them several years in the early 2000s until the company came to an end in 2005. The boxes are fun to open and there are a lot of cool serial numbered cards in this product. Relics, autographs, lots of possibilities for player and teams collectors. How many parallels made up this set? It's huge and I am not sure that I have ever seen a collector put them altogether on a player. The autographs are sticker autographs, which is a bummer, but many are inexpensive and pretty easy to find.
2. 2004 Topps Heritage- This one is an easy one. Hard to believe it only came in second on my list. The Heritage set in 2004 was based on the 1955 Topps set. One of my favorite old time sets. Topps threw in a handful of short prints and some old logo variations. Like all Heritage sets there are the usual autographs, relics, and serial numbered parallels. Really great looking set.
1. 2004 Bowman Heritage- 1955 was a great year for baseball cards. The Bowman Heritage set was a redo of the 1955 Bowman set. The television framed cards are a classic. There are also some cool variations with black and white pictures. Again, there are autographs, but one of my favorite aspects of this set was the fact that Topps added umpire autographs. There have been a few umpires included in sets here and there, but this set had a really good run of umps.