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Thursday, March 4, 2010

2003 Topps205 backs

Ike's Cards enjoyed the 2002 Topps206 mini back post, and asked if I have a Topps205 version. Lucky for Ike, I did - it was just sitting in my draft folder. Here's how to decipher the ad backs on Topps205 minis.

Common back:
Polar Bear

Like in Topps206, the common default back is Polar Bear. In my experience, if you bought a box of Topps205 you could expect about 25 out of 40 minis to have the Polar Bear back. While mini cards were only one per pack, each box had a bonus 20 card box of minis as a box topper. Someone at Topps really liked Polar Bear. This is the end of the easy portion of this post. The rest will require  a Doctorate in Cardology to understand.  I'm collecting this mini set and I still barely grasp it.

Uncommon backs:


This is the default uncommon back. Unline the 2009 Topps206 set, there are no stated odds for any of these things. Out of 40 minis in a box you will probably get 4-6 Sovereigns in series one, 8-10 in series two. (I opened a few boxes of this stuff) Like the Polar Bears the ink on the back was black. However, that is not the only Sovereign you could pull.

Sovereign Green

It's a little tough to tell from the scan, but the ink on the back of this card is a dark green. 20% of the Sovereign print run was printed with green ink. That makes this an uncommon uncommon. Just wait, it gets worse.

Rare back:


Drum was the default rare card in the set. By default, I mean that it carried through to series two. Not all backs are found in both series, but Polar Bear, Sovereign and Drum are constants. These were found about 1 per box plus another one in the mini bonus box. These also have black ink.

Multi-Brand Combo

Also labeled as uncommon were a set of minis that had a combination of five different ad backs. While you could build a complete set of Polar Bears or Sovereigns, you con't build a complete set of any one of these ad backs. You could however build a complete set using all five of these backs. These were only found in series one boxes, Topps gave up on this for series two. These cards were slightly tougher to get than Sovereigns, but not quite as tough as the Drums. Here they are:

American Beauty




Sweet Caporal

These five all have brown ink on the back, making it easy to tell these from the others. Like I said, you can complete a 150 card brown back set using all five backs, but not a 150 card Piedmont or Sweet Caporal set. I've never found a listing of which cards can be found with which backs but that might be an interesting research project. I'm not quite done with these though, there were also...

Multi-Brand Purple Backs

These here look slick. 10% of the total multi-brand set is printed in Purple ink. These are rare uncommons, and are actually tougher to find than the Drums. If all that is confusing, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Brooklyn backs

Brooklyn backs are common, uncommon rare and impossible. How can this be? Well, basically, Topps split up the Brooklyn set and made 25 of them common, 85 of them uncommon, 30 of them rare and 30 of them numbered to five copies. That's right, five. That's right, forget about ever collecting a set of Brooklyn backs. While the Brooklyn concept was kind of cool at first, after you pull four of the same dirt-common Brooklyn back, it grew tiresome quickly. You'll probably get about 8 in a series 1 box. I actually have a list of which cards are which rarity, so if you have a few Brooklyns around you can check the list and be disappointed that Manny Ramirez isn't a super rare one.

The last type of Topps205 back is the Bazooka back. These were 1:1573 packs and were also numbered to five each. I have never ever seen even one of these backs. Just for reference, the odds to pull an original T205 card was 1:336 packs. Isn't artificial scarcity fun?

2003 Topps205 Brooklyn Back Scarcity List

1 Barry Bonds uncommon
2 Bret Boone uncommon
3 Albert Pujols uncommon
4 Carl Crawford uncommon
5 Bartolo Colon rare
6 Cliff Floyd rare
7 John Olerud rare
8 Jason Giambi uncommon
9 Edgardo Alfonzo numbered to 5
10 Ivan Rodriguez numbered to 5
11 Jim Edmonds uncommon
12 Mike Piazza common
13 Greg Maddux uncommon
14 Jose Vidro uncommon
15 Vlad Guerrero rare
16 Bernie Williams rare
17 Roger Clemens common
18 Miguel Tejada uncommon
19 Carlos Delgado uncommon
20 Alfonso Soriano common
21 Bobby Cox MG uncommon
22 Mike Scioscia rare
23 John Smoltz uncommon
24 Luis Gonzalez common
25 Shawn Green common
26 Raul Ibanez common
27 Andruw Jones uncommon
28 Josh Beckett common
29 Derek Lowe uncommon
30 Todd Helton common
31 Barry Larkin uncommon
32 Jason Jennings uncommon
33 Darin Erstad uncommon
34 Magglio Ordonez common
35 Mike Sweeney uncommon
36 Kazuhisa Ishii uncommon
37 Ron Gardenhire MG common
38 Tim Hudson uncommon
39 Tim Salmon common
40 Pat Burrell rare
41 Manny Ramirez common
42 Nick Johnson uncommon
43 Tom Glavine uncommon
44 Mark Mulder rare
45 Brian Jordan uncommon
46 Rafael Palmeiro rare
47 Vernon Wells uncommon
48 Bob Brenly MG uncommon
49 C.C. Sabathia uncommon
50 Alex Rodriguez common
51 Sammy Sosa rare
52 Paul Konerko rare
53 Craig Biggio uncommon
54 Moises Alou rare
55 Johnny Damon uncommon
56 Torii Hunter common
57 Omar Vizquel common
58 Orlando Hernandez numbered to 5
59 Barry Zito uncommon
60 Lance Berkman common
61 Carlos Beltran uncommon
62 Edgar Renteria uncommon
63 Ben Sheets uncommon
64 Doug Mientkiewicz uncommon
65 Troy Glaus rare
66 Preston Wilson uncommon
67 Kerry Wood common
68 Frank Thomas uncommon
69 Jimmy Rollins uncommon
70 Brian Giles uncommon
71 Bobby Higginson uncommon
72 Larry Walker common
73 Randy Johnson common
74 Tony LaRussa MG rare
75 Derek Jeter uncommon
76 Bobby Abreu uncommon
77 Adam Dunn uncommon
78 Ryan Klesko rare
79 Francisco Rodriguez uncommon
80 Scott Rolen rare
81 Roberto Alomar common
82 Joe Torre MG rare
83 Jim Thome numbered to 5
84 Kevin Millwood numbered to 5
85 J.T. Snow uncommon
86 Trevor Hoffman rare
87 Jay Gibbons uncommon
88 Mark Prior common
89 Rich Aurilia rare
90 Chipper Jones uncommon
91 Richie Sexson rare
92 Gary Sheffield uncommon
93 Pedro Martinez rare
94 Rodrigo Lopez uncommon
95 Al Leiter uncommon
96 Jorge Posada common
97 Luis Castillo rare
98 Aubrey Huff common
99 A.J. Pierzynski uncommon
100 Ichiro Suzuki uncommon
101 Eric Chavez uncommon
102 Brett Myers uncommon
103 Jason Kendall uncommon
104 Jeff Kent numbered to 5
105 Eric Hinske uncommon
106 Jacque Jones uncommon
107 Phil Nevin rare
108 Roy Oswalt rare
109 Curt Schilling uncommon
110 Nomar Garciaparra rare
111 Garret Anderson uncommon
112 Eric Gagne uncommon
113 Javier Vazquez uncommon
114 Jeff Bagwell uncommon
115 Mike Lowell common
116 Carlos Pena uncommon
117 Ken Griffey Jr. rare
118 Tony Batista rare
119 Edgar Martinez uncommon
120 Austin Kearns common
121 Jason Stokes numbered to 5
122 Jose Reyes numbered to 5
123 Rocco Baldelli numbered to 5
124 Joe Borchard numbered to 5
125 Joe Mauer numbered to 5
126 Gavin Floyd numbered to 5
127 Mark Teixeira numbered to 5
128 Jeremy Guthrie numbered to 5
129 B.J. Upton uncommon
130 Khalil Greene numbered to 5
131 Hanley Ramirez RC rare
132 Andy Marte RC uncommon
133 J.D. Durbin RC numbered to 5
134 Jason Kubel RC numbered to 5
135 Craig Brazell RC numbered to 5
136 Bryan Bullington RC rare
137 Jose Contreras RC numbered to 5
138 Brian Burgamy RC rare
139 Evel Bastida-Martinez RC numbered to 5
140 Joey Gomes RC numbered to 5
141 Ismael Castro RC numbered to 5
142 Travis Wong RC numbered to 5
143 Michael Garciaparra RC numbered to 5
144 Arnaldo Munoz RC uncommon
145 Louis Sockalexis XRC numbered to 5
146 Richard Hoblitzell numbered to 5
147 George Graham numbered to 5
148 Hal Chase numbered to 5
149 John McGraw numbered to 5
150 Bobby Wallace numbered to 5


IkesCards said...

You, Sir, are a national treasure. This is amazing stuff. I have a stack of ~250 of these on my desk as we speak... time to mute this conf call and start collating!

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the insanity that was Topps C55 Hockey.

madding said...

Damn you for making me want to collect these now.

I wonder if there are any math nerds out there who take odds and serial number data and then attempt to extrapolate it to estimate what kind of a print run certain sets have.

dinged corners said...

Dizzyingly great post, and the information is much appreciated.

Although now we want Brooklyns.

Anonymous said...

Bazooka back on eBay so you can add the image.