Card of the Day: 1992 Topps Gold Brien Taylor autograph /12000
If you’re a proud iPod owner, thank your lucky stars that you don’t own a Zune mp3 player. Poor bastards. And if you do own a Zune that was affected by the calendar roll-over, things could be much worse. You could be the guy whom Kathy Griffin pointed her crude remarks toward last night as she and Anderson Cooper brought in the New Year in style …
Anyway, all joking aside, I wanted to start the new year off in golden fashion by discussing a card that for many remains one of the most interesting baseball cards of this generation: the 1992 Topps Gold Brien Taylor certified autograph.
In 1992, it was pretty much unheard of to see certified signatures offered by card companies. Sure, Upper Deck gave us the Reggie Jackson Baseball Heroes signed insert in 1990, the Nolan Ryan in 1991 and ones of Ted Williams, and Reds Teammates Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench in 1992. But for the most part, certified autographs were not part of the hobby, especially ones featuring the brightest stars of the future.
In its Topps Gold parallel factory sets, Topps included a special card, one of super prospect Brien Taylor. This card was different than the true rookie, which was part of the base set. This card was numbered No. 793, showed a studly Brien Taylor wearing his Yankee cap and bore the signature of the Next Big Thing.
Brien’s story is one that has been well documented. If you care to read more about him, The Fight and his subsequent disappearance from baseball, you can get that info HERE. I’m sticking strictly to the cardboard.
For 16 years, I knew this card existed, but I do not think I actually ever saw one in person … that is until two weeks ago.
Returning home from work, I saw a stack of bubble mailers waiting for me in my mailbox. And when I retrieved them, I noticed that one was extremely thick and heavy — I had no idea what someone had shipped me. As it turned out, it was this Brien Taylor autograph encapsulated in a 1-inch thick screw down. I laughed because the holder itself is a sign of the times. But then it dawned on me … the screw case (which weighs about a pound, no joke) was shrink wrapped and the Topps certificate of authenticity was inside.
I’ve been unable to confirm this, but did Topps actually issue these Brien Taylor cards in this fashion? I have not seen a lose Topps Taylor auto on eBay, eventhough some 12,000 of them exist, so I have nothing to which to compare. And my 2008 Beckett Baseball Almanac — which I purchased Monday with a Borders gift card I received for Christmas (Thanks, Mom) — makes no mention to how the card was issued
Can anyone shed any light on how these were packaged within the factory sets? If they were in fact distributed in these thick cases, that makes this copy all the more special, because it is in its original form.
I wish I could tell you more about the hype this card had in 1992, but truthfully, I was spending most of that time searching for Donruss Diamond Kings inserts.
I bought this Taylor two weeks ago because I felt it was a part of cardboard history. Funny how a signed card of a retired uber-prospect who never played an inning in the Bigs gives me more joy than the latest and greatest from any of the current high-dollar products.
Oh, and by the way, this is NOT the 1992 card to which I was referring in my post yesterday about the 1991 Leaf “Gold Leaf Rookies” Jeff Bagwell. That card is in transit …
This entry was posted on January 1, 2009 at 2:53 am and is filed under Card of the Day with tags Anderson Cooper, autograph, baseball cards, Beckett Baseball, Brien Taylor, Card of the Day, Cardboard Icons, certified issue, CNN, iPod, Kathy Griffin, New Year's Eve, prospects, rookie, Topps, z2k, Zune. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.