Thursday 25 December 2014

2003 Topps Red and Blue Backs insert

When Topps produced its first baseball cards back in 1951 they decided to go with two different sets called Red Backs and Blue Backs, although their official designation is 'A' series and 'B' series respectively.  Their objective was to use baseball cards to increase sales of their candy products. The cards were packaged as two connected cards along with a piece of caramel in a penny pack. Unfortunately the candy would 'melt ' and ruin the cards.

The cards were designed like playing cards, with rounded corners and either a blue or red back. The front showed a players picture and an 'action' (ball, strike, double). Long before Topps Attax the intention was to use the playing cards as a baseball card game. The game didn't catch on with card collectors, which led to a different (and more popular ) approach in 1952.

There are 52 cards in the Blue and Red sets, totalling 104 cards.

In 2003 Topps chose to produce an insert set that copied the 1951 design. Inserted in a ratio of about 1 to 12 in hobby packs and 1 to 8 in retail, the Red and Blue back insert is larger than its original counterpart and slightly more affordable.
Blue backs were inserted in Series 1 packs and Red backs in Series 2 packs. The cards are unnumbered although for checklist purposes I have used the designation used at The Cardboard Connection.

Blue Backs set Checklist

1 Albert Pujols
2 Ichiro Suzuki
3 Sammy Sosa
4 Kazuhisa Ishii
5 Alex Rodriguez
6 Derek Jeter
7 Vladimir Guerrero
8 Ken Griffey Jr.
9 Jason Giambi
10 Todd Helton
11 Mike Piazza
12 Nomar Garciaparra
13 Chipper Jones
14 Ivan Rodriguez
15 Luis Gonzalez
16 Pat Burrell
17 Mark Prior
18 Adam Dunn
19 Jeff Bagwell
20 Austin Kearns
21 Alfonso Soriano
22 Jim Thome
23 Bernie Williams
24 Pedro Martinez
25 Lance Berkman
26 Randy Johnson
27 Rafael Palmeiro
28 Richie Sexson
29 Troy Glaus
30 Shawn Green
31 Larry Walker
32 Eric Hinske
33 Andruw Jones
34 Barry Bonds
35 Curt Schilling
36 Greg Maddux
37 Jimmy Rollins
38 Eric Chavez
39 Scott Rolen
40 Mike Sweeney

Red Backs Set Checklist

1 Nomar Garciaparra
2 Ichiro Suzuki
3 Alex Rodriguez
4 Sammy Sosa
5 Barry Bonds
6 Vladimir Guerrero
7 Derek Jeter
8 Miguel Tejada
9 Alfonso Soriano
10 Manny Ramirez
11 Adam Dunn
12 Jason Giambi
13 Mike Piazza
14 Scott Rolen
15 Shawn Green
16 Randy Johnson
17 Todd Helton
18 Garret Anderson
19 Curt Schilling
20 Albert Pujols
21 Chipper Jones
22 Luis Gonzalez
23 Mark Prior
24 Jim Thome
25 Ivan Rodriguez
26 Torii Hunter
27 Lance Berkman
28 Troy Glaus
29 Andruw Jones
30 Barry Zito
31 Jeff Bagwell
32 Magglio Ordonez
33 Pat Burrell
34 Mike Sweeney
35 Rafael Palmeiro
36 Larry Walker
37 Carlos Delgado
38 Brian Giles
39 Pedro Martinez
40 Greg Maddux

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