Friday, February 11, 2011

Complete Set Chronicles: 2002 (Topps) Post Cereal

In my first Complete Set Chronicle post, I highlighted my oldest complete set (1981 Fleer).  This time, I'm going to highlight the first set that I was able to complete via packs - the 2002 (Topps) Post Cereal set.

2002 (Topps) Post Cereal


Baseball cards and Post Cereal went hand-in-hand throughout much of my childhood, in fact, if Post put real baseball cards back in their cereal boxes again, I'd be more likely to eat their product!

Alpha:


The 2002 Post Cereal set contains only 30 cards - one from each team.  Therefore, one would expect the best player from each team to be represented...and Alex Rodriguez of the Rangers was probably a great choice for the first card in the set (despite whatever you may think of A-rod these days).

Omega:


The last card in the set (#30) is Jeff Conine...and again, if each team had to have a representative, there weren't exactly a whole bunch of stars to choose from in the 2002 Orioles squad.  And, to be fair to Conine, he was named the 2001 Most Valuable Oriole by the Orioles (and was coming off a 97 RBI, .311 batting average season).

Card Design:


The front of the cards has drawn a lot of comparison to the 2010 Topps base set design (for good reason). See the 2010 Topps card on the left as compared to the 2002 Post card on the right.


The backs of the cards are also nice, especially for a cereal card.  

I really like the second picture and the small write-up about each player.  The statistics are for the previous season only, but much like Stadium Club sets, have a monthly breakdown of how each player performed.  Overall, a wonderful card design on both front and back.

Other:

As I mentioned at the top, each team was represented by one (and only one) player in the set.  I think that's a great idea because then everyone has a card to chase, no matter their team allegiance.  Within the Post cereal boxes, there was also a checklist printed on the inside of the box - I still have the one I used when completing my set (and yes, it's been actually used as a checklist)!  I do, however, wish that the checklist was in numerical order rather than alphabetical order by last name.  That would have made it easier to know exactly which card belonged to each missing number.


I've scanned my binder pages so you can see the set in its entirity - all 30 cards.  




Overall:

I love the set.  It holds a special place in my heart for being the first set I ever completed - and also the first time I turned a profit on baseball cards.  I distinctly remember going to the grocery store and buying every Post Cereal box that had the cards in 'em.  You could open the cardboard portion of the box (not the plastic bag) and pull out the small bag holding the cards (which was always wedged between the cereal bag and the side of the box).  From there, I donated the cereal, kept the cards I needed for my set, and put the rest on eBay.  I made $100 profit from this set - which was a huge sum for a guy just out of high school who was buying cereal.

For a final score, the set gets a 9/10.  I would love to award it a perfect 10, but it would have needed to have Larkin (rather than a fine choice in Casey) as the Reds representative.  I also took issue with a few other team reps (Bernie for the Yankees and Green for the Dodgers are two others that stood out for me at the time).  

2 comments:

Community Gum said...

This set looks remarkably like last year's Topps base set... I approve of that! -Andy

AJ said...

Cool to see the set laid out and completed. I actually found a few of these cards in their unopened plastic last night.

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