Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Year in Twins Trading Cards: 2012 edition

Most baseball fans can remember a time when they sat down to sort through shoe boxes full of cardboard with the faces of their favorite players on the front. I grew up in a small town in North Dakota without cable so one of the easiest ways for me follow my favorite players was to collect their trading cards. The hobby has changed a lot since the late 80s and early 90s but some fans still flock to get their hands on the latest edition of Topps Baseball Cards.

The year on the field hasn't been that great for the Twins but there have been some unique and popular card that feature members of the Twins. Here is a rundown of all of the releases so far with a few of the best cards to feature the Twins in 2012.

2012 Topps Series 1 Baseball
Release Date: January 28, 2012
Twins Base Set Cards:
62    Ben Revere
81    Liam Hendriks - RC
95    Chris Parmelee - RC
97    Jim Thome - Checklist
111  Kevin Slowey 

164  Carl Pavano
179  Denard Span
230  Justin Morneau
235  Joe Benson - RC
249  Trevor Plouffe
276  Scott Baker
292  Ben Revere - Topps All-Star Rookie
303  Danny Valencia
316  Nick Blackburn


Unique Cards: Tsuyoshi Nishioka had a short print variation card with him and Butera messing around on the bench. The hardest Twins card to get in the set was a 1/1 card featuring a cut signature of Harmon Killebrew. My favorite photo of the year for a Twins card came in this set (see awards at the bottom).

2012 Topps Tribute Baseball
Release Date: March 9, 2012
Twins Base Set Cards:
43   Harmon Killebrew
51   Joe Mauer

Unique Cards: This set is all about the autographed and relic cards. Mauer was the only Twins player featured in the autographed card section. As usual, there is a relic card of Mauer but there were also relic cards of Twins Hall-of-Famers Harmon Killebrew and Bert Blyleven. There were some unique cards that featured players debut digits from their first year. David Ortiz and Rod Carew were part of this set.

2012 Topps Heritage Baseball
Release Date: March 14, 2012
Twins Base Set Cards:
26    Scott Baker
40    Chris Parmelee - RC
80    Jamey Carroll
89    Liam Hendriks - RC
95    2012 Rookie Stars - Joe Benson/Chambers/Brown/Taylor
125  Ron Gardenhire - Manager.
135  2012 Rookie Stars - Chris Parmelee/Lombardozz/ Florimon/Pacheco
159  Ryan Doumit
162  Twins - Team Card
186  Joe Mauer
191  2012 Rookie Stars - Liam Hendricks/Liddi/Moore/Schwinden
198  Joe Benson - RC
269  Justin Morneau
281  Jason Marquis
314  Alexi Casilla
333  2012 Rookie Stars - Joe Benson/Hendricks/Parmelee/Waldrop

Unique Cards: Everybody loves stickers and you can get a Joe Mauer Stick-Ons card from Heritage. It doesn't stop there with Mauer as he is also featured in their Clubhouse Collection Relic Cards.

2012 Topps Museum
Release Date: April 6, 2012
Twins Base Set Cards:
18   Joe Mauer

Unique Cards: Harmon Killebrew had a "Canvas Collection" short print card for collectors to hunt out. Joe Mauer's duel autograph card with Johnny Bench was one of the nicest cards in the set. As with most sets, Mauer gets all of the autograph/relic card love.

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen
Release Date: April 18, 2012
Twins Base Set Cards:
73    Ben Revere
119  Justin Morneau
121  Scott Baker
140  Joe Mauer

Unique Cards: Joe Benson didn't have a base card in the set but he had autographed cards to be found. Ben Revere's amazing catch at Target Field in 2011 was one the set's "Glove Stories." Joe Mauer had an exchange card that got the holder an autographed relic card of the Twins backstop. Cards with Indian Head pennies were inserted into the set and Mauer was the Twins representative on this insert. One of my favorite Twins cards of the year was in this set (see awards at the bottom).

2012 Bowman Baseball
Release Date: May 4, 2012
Twins Base Set Cards:
65    Ben Revere
73    Justin Morneau
87    Joe Mauer
208  Liam Hendriks - RC
215  Joe Benson - RC
219  Chris Parmelee - RC
Prospect Cards (Regular & Chrome): Eddie Rosario, Michael Gonzalez, Levi Michael

Unique Cards: Autograph cards of Eddie Rosario were doing very well in the secondary market. Miguel Sano was featured in their "Bowman's Best Prospects" insert series. Some of the coolest cards in the set had a silver ice finish to them.

2012 Topps Archives Baseball
Release Date: May 23, 2012
Twins Base Set Cards:
90   Joe Mauer
175 Justin Morneau
Reprint Cards: Rod Carew (2 different), Harmon Killebrew

Unique Cards: Former fan favorite Chili Davis had an autograph card in the set but it wasn't in a Twins uniform. Bert Blyleven and Paul Molitor have framed mini autographed cards featuring 1983's design. The deckled edge cards of Mauer and Killebrew are among my favorites from the set.

2012 Topps Series 2 Baseball
Release Date: June 6, 2012
Twins Base Set Cards:
337  Glen Perkins
389  Alexi Casilla
411  Tsuyoshi Nishioka
501  Matt Capps
512  Josh Willingham
517  Francisco Liriano
529  Luke Hughes
535  Joe Mauer
655  Ryan Doumit

Unique Cards: Topps must really like Nishioka because he had cards in Series 1 and Series 2 but he also got a silk insert card. It's funny to think that Liam Hendriks can be part of the "Golden Moments" set when he doesn't have a big league win to his name. There's a ring implanted into this Harmon Killebrew card.

2012 Topps Tier 1 Baseball
Release Date: June 20, 2012
No Base Cards in this set. Only relics and autographs.

Unique Cards: This entire set is made up of unique cards. Joe Mauer had a "Prestigious Patch" card that was a 1/1 insert. One of the most unique cards is featured in the award section at the bottom of this post. There were also multiple relic and autograph cards from Mauer in this set. Ben Revere had multiple cards featured in their "On the Rise" Autograph cards.

2012 Allen & Ginter Baseball
Release Date: July 11, 2012
Twins Base Set Cards:
78    Joe Mauer
125  Ben Revere
138  Josh Willingham
144  Joe Benson - RC
147  Tsuyoshi Nishioka
239  Liam Hendriks - RC
265  Chris Parmelee - RC
297  Justin Morneau

Unique Cards: There were low numbered silk/cloth cards of Mauer and Morneau inserted into packs. Mauer's sweet signature could be found in a few different varieties in the set. In a set like Allen & Ginter, there are plenty of unique cards but most of them are not related to baseball.

2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball
Release Date: July 25, 2012
Twins Base Set Cards:
2    Liam Hendriks - RC
3    Joe Mauer
84  Justin Morneau
Prospect Cards (Regular & Chrome): Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, Brian Dozier

Unique Cards: Rosario, Levi Michael, and Oswaldo Arcia all had autographed cards included in this product. There were also low numbered (out of /25) black autograph cards of Michael and Rosario. Sano's low numbered autos are going for a lot on eBay.

2012 Topps Finest Baseball
Release Date: August 8, 2012
Twins Base Set Cards:
77   Liam Hendriks - RC
83   Joe Mauer
88   Chris Parmelee - RC
96   Joe Benson - RC

Unique Cards: Benson and Brian Dozier have autographed rookie cards in the set. Liam Hendriks has some very cool autograph/jersey cards that can be found in this product. There are a few different versions of Joe Mauer autographs in the set with the few on eBay going for over $200.

2012 Twins Trading Card Awards
Photo of the Year: Topps Series 1 Baseball #62 Ben Revere

Favorite Card of the Year: Harmon Killebrew/Joe Mauer Gypsy Queen Autograph Relic Insert

Unique Card of the Year: Joe Mauer Bat Knob Tier One 1/1

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