Card of the Day: 1992 Topps Gold Brien Taylor autograph /12000

brien1Happy New Year to you all. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

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 …

14 Responses to “Card of the Day: 1992 Topps Gold Brien Taylor autograph /12000”

  1. The 1992 Taylor auto rookie was never placed in packs. They were only placed in Topps Gold Factory Sets. Thus it was easy to just place the certificates in the the box. I think they were included in all factory sets. There is one example on ebay –

  2. I forgot to say that you can see that the box is normal sized, so it did not have such a monster case in it.

  3. Justin, I’ve seen the auction you link to — as well as others currently running — and for some reason the box looks a tad bigger. Maybe the color of the box is deceiving me.

  4. I think the color is decieving. If you look at the basketball factory set it looks a little bigger too. I think the colors and the design with that black border just looks bigger. It seems though, that havening such a big block floating around on top of those cards (if it was packaged that way) would cause a lot of secondary damage. It would involve extra packaging which wouldn’t be cost effective to Topps at a time when packaging was ignored.

  5. Does the certificate have any visible folds?

  6. This card has just made my want list now btw.

  7. no folding on the cert …

  8. Hmmm… If that set wasn’t so overpriced I would almost grab it just to find this out.

    I remembered I read a great story about Brien last year somewhere. I did a quick search and found it. It’s sad (of course) but it’s a good one. Another prospect I had forgotten all about till I saw this.

  9. I bought the 1992 ToppsGold set that included Brien Taylor’s handsigned card #793. It is still in the sealed box.

    You’re correct you can’t seem to find the card or the completed sealed 1992 ToppsGold set on e bay or anywhere else.

    What is the value of Brien Taylor’s signed card worth and the complete sealed 1992 ToppsGold box set?

    Also, the box appears to be normal size.

  10. I have this card. I just bought a “lot” of cards cards (mostly 90’s) from an individual getting rid of boxes of misc cards. I found one Brien Taylor card which is signed. The signature looks very close to the one you have on the picture. I don’t know if it is authentic.

    • If it’s that specific card, it’s gotta be authentic I would think, because the regular issue card is different (it’s him pitching, mid windup).. I had never seen or heard of that card in my life..

      I remember back in ’92, the REGULAR Taylor card was near $10 in Beckett.. That was unheard of in those days, for a new set.. I was shocked, cuz I hadn’t bought a Beckett since the last year, and when I saw this Brien Taylor card priced so high, I just HAD to have it.. I really wonder how much that gold auto was worth back then tho.. I imagine it would have HAD to been over $100.. Even the regular issue gold card had to be like $25-50 probably.

  11. amy moreno Says:

    i have 2 unopened ToppsGold 1992 sets that include the special 793rd Brien Taylor handsigned card. if u wish to purchase one or both please call me at 409-594-5492 hope to hear from u soon

  12. […] Traded was the first set I remember coming with an autographed card in every set. Yes, I know the Brien Taylor 1992 Topps set story, but I couldn’t afford sets when I was 11. This set came with a RC auto and some of […]

  13. Judy Kirk Says:

    I have one of these Brien Taylor autographed cards. I actually won it that year in a drawing that a card shop was having.

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