Saturday, October 26, 2019

Joy of a completed set: 2001 Topps Archives Reserve Future Rookie Reprints

The 2001 Topps Archives Reserve Future Rookie Reprints are now entirely wrapped up in my ARMS! In fact, my Archives Reserve Master Set now contains every non-hit card, with only autos and relics to worry about going forward.

Some background on these... regular Archives Future Rookie Reprints (cardboard versions with gold foil Archives logo) were issued 5 per 2001 Topps factory set. The Archives Reserve Future Rookie Reprints are similar except they feature Chrome cardstock and a blue/red Archives logo. These were originally issued 5 per Topps Limited Edition factory set (the "Limited Edition" just means the base cards are on thicker stock and have a special "Limited Edition" stamp near the bottom). There are 20 of these rookie reprint insert cards.

What bugs me about them (other than the fact that Topps has reprinted their notable rookie cards to death at this point) is they are not refractors, despite every other Archives Reserve card ever issued being on refractor Chrome stock. These are just normal silver Chrome cards without the rainbow shine. A bit disappointing to me in that regard, but still, as they are branded Archives Reserve cards, I targeted them for my master setbuild.

Let's take a look at all 20...

Some of my cards are graded. I'm not concerned about the grade, these just happened to be the ones I ended up finding/buying (They don't pop up for sale super often). PSA registry for these shows my Chipper is currently one of only two PSA graded copies, both 8s. No one has a complete PSA set of these, as 5 of the cards have never been submitted. And I'm not sure what PSA is talking about with the Bonds being labeled a "Gold Border" as it's a standard '87 Topps reprint with no variations.

Cal Ripken and Justin Timberlake-- er, I mean Shawn Green. Strangely enough, the Ripken seems to be the card from this set that pops up for sale most often, at least in my experience. I ended up scoring a dupe of it that I sent off to TMV Dennis.

A couple big names here. The Big Hurt is one of the very few (only?) "GEM MINT 10" cards in my collection.

Cards #7 through #10. My penultimate pickup was the Bernie. Sammy Sosa was the last one I needed. Scored it for a good price on eBay. The seller had it listed as a regular Archives reprint.. neglecting to mention "Reserve" which probably helped me land it as cheaply as I did. The regular Archives reprints are much easier to find (higher print run) than the Archives Reserve counterparts.

In a throwback to the "Tiffany" sets of the 1980s, Topps produced a high-end version of their factory set exclusively through Hobby dealers. Every card was printed on 20-point thick cardstock with the words "LIMITED EDITION" foil stamped in very small type above the player's name. Each set was packaged in a wooden box and came with a pack of five cards from the Limited-exclusive 20-card Topps Archives Reserve Future Rookie Reprints insert set -- essentially a parallel of the set that came five to a regular factory set.
Topps capped production at 5000 serial-numbered sets with a suggested retail price of $173, however only 3905 Limited sets were printed.
So there were 20 different cards, with 5 cards per set spread out over 3905 factory sets. I assume all 20 cards had equal quantities produced, but who knows. I asked Twitter for help doing the math on this, and they said the answer was a print run of 976.25 per rookie reprint. So Topps likely made 1000 of each card, with a few ending up being trashed. And it can be assumed many (if not most) of those fancy factory sets were kept intact/sealed by collectors, still sitting in their closets, so there aren't a ton of these inserts popping up for sale out there.

Rickey and Tony are probably my favorites of all these.

Here we have a 5-time Cy Young winner and a 2-time MVP.

Two members of the 500 Home Run Club back before they could buy beer much less HGH.

And finally here are cards #17 through #20.

For keyword search purposes, here's the checklist:
1 Barry Bonds
2 Chipper Jones
3 Cal Ripken
4 Shawn Green
5 Frank Thomas
6 Derek Jeter
7 Geoff Jenkins
8 Jim Edmonds
9 Bernie Williams
10 Sammy Sosa
11 Rickey Henderson
12 Tony Gwynn
13 Randy Johnson
14 Juan Gonzalez
15 Gary Sheffield
16 Manny Ramirez
17 Pokey Reese
18 Preston Wilson
19 Jay Payton
20 Rafael Palmeiro

Feels good to have this one knocked out.

It inspired me to finally put my ARMS quest into spreadsheet form to help me track which autos/relics I've got and which I still need: Archives Reserve Master Set spreadsheet

This is a long-term project, not one that I spend too much time/money on it at the moment. I've got more than enough collecting goals I'm working on now, with Topps Retired autos being on the top of that list, and several other setbuilds I've been trying to focus on. But maybe someday down the line I'll hit this harder and go after the biggies such as needed autos of Willie Mays and Nolan Ryan, not to mention Joe Montana, Barry Sanders, and Johnny Unitas (yes, I'm including the football Archives Reserve cards in this too).

ARMS (Archives Reserve Master Set)
I'm attempting to collect every Archives Reserve card that came out from the original releases (2001-2002).
This includes the one football set (2001) in addition to the two baseball releases.
This does NOT include the autographed baseballs that were available (and are now mostly faded).
It does NOT include the autographed mini helmets from the football release.
It also does NOT include buyback autos that may have come later from the likes of Archives Signature Edition.
Original Reserve *cards* only. The signed baseballs and mini helmets are hard to find and don't interest me at all.
None of the original Archives Reserve cards are serial numbered (no parallels! no 1/1s!) and there were no printing plates available, so a true "master set" of cards is doable.

Not easy, but doable!


  1. Good luck with the master set. Some of the player choices are baffling for the rookie reprint set.

  2. Damn- well done and congrats! Good luck with the rest of your ARMS race.

  3. Congrats! I always loved Archives Reserve, and I agree with you that these should have had the Refractor finish as well.

  4. Lol. Green totally does look like JT. Congratulations on completing your set.

  5. Congratulations on the completed set! I've seen these online before and thought that they were refractors (because of the AR brand), it's kind of weird to find out that they're not.

  6. congrats good to see people finishing up some things they want to collect it can be a bear at times I know.