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1998 Topps Gallery Baseball Review

gallery981I think it’s about time for another box review so here’s a recap of what I pulled from a box of 1998 Topps Gallery recently. Each box contains 24 packs of 6 cards each and can be had for about $40 or so. Here are the goods:

Base set: The base set is comprised of 150 cards, split into five subsets/variations: Portraits (18), Permanent Collection (50), Expressionists (23), Exhibitions (27) and Impressions (14). An example of each can be found in the scan. There are some really great photos in this set! Overall I pulled 132 base cards (88%) with 7 duplicates. If anyone has any of these laying around, let me know and I’ll hit you with my wantlist!

Players Private Issue (1:17 packs): Serially numbered to 250, the PPI parallel mirrors the entire set and are found approximately one per box. I pulled two from this box: Dean Palmer and Alan Benes. The Benes came from the pack with some damage to the bottom left side of the card.

NOTE: Every pack of ’98 Gallery came with a PPI Auction card. They looked like the real PPI parallels except they weren’t printed on cardboard nor did they have the canvas feel to them. Each auction card had a point total on the back (25-100). Using these points (I assume you needed zillions of them), one could bid on some original sports art.

Awards Gallery (1:24 packs): All three insert sets in this product are inserted at a rate of 1 in every 24 packs. This first set, Awards Gallery, highlights ten players who won some sort of major award or led the league in some major statistical category in 1997. I pulled a Scott Rolen, who was the NL ROY in ’97. If anyone cares, Griffey, Clemens, and Larry Walker are also dressed in tuxedos in this set.

Photo Gallery¬† (1:24 packs): Photo Gallery is a ten-card set that features some of the game’s best. You can probably figure out the checklist yourselves. Like the Awards Gallery card, this card has a foil finish to it. But it’s Bonds. So blah.

Gallery of Heroes (1:24 packs): If any one of you look at that Mike Piazza card and wonder where the sticker autograph is, I order you to never read this blog again. Gallery of Heroes, a die-cut stained glass insert, debuted in 1997 Topps Gallery. In 1998, the checklist expanded from the original ten to fifteen players and jumbo variations were included as a box topper. I pulled a regular version of Mike Piazza and a jumbo of Frank Thomas.

What WASN’T Pulled: The PPI cards aren’t the only parallels in this product. There is a Gallery Proof parallel which is limited to just 125. These cards are seeded 1 in every 34 packs on average. There are also printing plates to be found (1 in 537 packs). A black, yellow, cyan, and magenta plate could be found for the front and back of each card in the set. When was the last time they made plates for card backs?

Final Thoughts: This box was a blast to open. The inserts looked great and the base photos kept me entertained, whether it was Carlos Delgado screaming at his bat or Frank Thomas doing his Diana Ross impersonation. The boxes aren’t very expensive and should give you a near complete set. I’d definitely recommend this stuff.

As always, thanks for reading and good luck with your own breaks!
-John

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2000 Topps Gallery Baseball Review

Topps Gallery has always been known for being an art-themed product, but before it went to being a strictly-painted set, Gallery had a very attractive base set with unique and vibrant photographs, to go along with some of the most unique (and coolest!) inserts the hobby has ever seen. Containing 24 packs of 6 cards each, a box of 2000 Topps Gallery can be had for very cheap, and it sure gives some bang for the buck! I recently picked up a box for $25 and was very pleased with the results. And here they are…

Base cards: In a similar fashion to 1999 Finest, this set is comprised of 100 base cards, with a subsequent 50-card subset. The cards in the subset are found 1 per pack and feature a veteran or rookie/young star. The veterans (cards 101-120) are noted as Masters of the Game while the rookies/young stars (cards 121-150) are noted as Students of the Game. In this box, I completed the base set 1-100 with 14 duplicates. From the subset, I received 24 different cards, with no duplicates (YES!!). By the way, check out that base card of Miguel “33 is the new 31” Tejada. Hilarious.

Player’s Private Issue: Seeded 1 in every 20 packs, this is the more-easily attainable parallel of the base set. What’s the less attainable parallel you may ask? How about 1/1 printing plates, seeded 1:1199 packs (yes, there were plates back then!). Anyway, the Private Player’s Issue features a silver font on the card’s front (as opposed to the normal gold) and are limited to just 250. I pulled a Tony Clark, serially numbered 159/250.

Gallery Exhibits: This is a very attractive insert set that I hadn’t even seen until I busted this box. Found 1 in 18 packs, this Chipper Jones card has got this kind of “Greek Gods exhibit” theme to it that really makes it stand out. This is a prime example of the cool, unique inserts found throughout the Gallery series.

Gallery of Heroes: These cards are GORGEOUS, and I challenge anyone to disagree. These cards feature the design of a stained-glass window you’d see at church. I pulled the Sammy Sosa in this set. These are found 1 in 24 packs. I’ll let the scan speak for itself.

Proof Positive: Each card in this set features a combination of a veteran player and a rising star at the same position. The concept is pretty much the same as the Mirror Image insert sets once found in Bowman’s Best. I beat the odds on this one, as these cards are only found in every other box on average. My card featured Mike Piazza and Eric Munson.

Heritage: Does this name sound familiar? Much like Topps Co-Signers, Fleer Sweet Sigs (and probably more that I’m not thinking of), Topps Heritage was an insert set before it became a set. In this particular set, the design was taken from that of 1954 Topps. They were seeded 1 in 12 packs and also feature a “proof” parallel which can be found 1 in 27 packs. I did not receive a proof parallel, but did receive regular Heritage inserts of Mike Piazza and Sammy Sosa. These Topps Gallery Heritage inserts are classic, IMO.

This box was definitely a blast to open. While it was a little strange seeing the same guys in my inserts (Piazza and Sosa), the combination of a cheap price and some superb inserts make this product a winner. You’ll also be able to put together a base set (minus SP’s) from a box, in all likelihood, and that’s a bonus I’d take any day. If you get the itch to bust some wax, I would definitely recommend 2000 Topps Gallery for the reasons mentioned above. The best part is, it’ll only cost you the same as a pack of UD Trilogy!

As always, thanks for the read and good luck with your own box breaks!
-John