Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Complete Set Showcase - 1993 Topps Commanders of the Hill

I have been slowly working my way forward on completing Topps insert sets throughout the 90s and early 2000s.  Originally I thought this set fit in with that quest when I picked up the Bill Swift card for my Giants collection but this was a stand alone set.

I saw this complete set pop up on Sportlots as an auction and was able to pick it up for just a few dollars.  Here is a summary of the set as found on Beckett.com:
This 30-card standard-size set issued by Topps features pitchers of the American and National Leagues. The cards were available for an additional 25 cents per pack with the purchase of a fountain coke at military installation snack bars and food courts only, through the PX/BX. Each pack contained five cards.
Pretty cool, a military release.  I wasn't aware of any military only releases outside of the 1991 Topps Desert Shield parallels.  I scanned the entire 30-card set and examples of two of the backs.  The set showcases each leagues Cy Young winner, Strikeout leader and then each team's ERA leader.  I found the set pretty cool as it reminded me of a few fairly solid pitchers like Charles Nagy, Bill Gullickson, and Pete Harnisch that I really hadn't given much thought to since they pitched in the MLB.

I will share the entire set without commentary until the end:

The cards have a nice camo design along the bottom and two side borders.  I find it interesting that the three borders are all different widths.  The team name goes vertically along the left side which makes sense as this is primarily a team leaders set.  There is a small banner in the top left showing the city name and a bigger banner near the bottom with the player name and their team leader or league leader designation.  The set name is in the bottom right corner with a baseball in the middle of the logo.  I find it interesting that the Topps name doesn't appear anywhere on the card front.  Overall I think this is a fun design, I like the look and it is pretty unique and fits in well with the military release with the camo.

Here are the two different types of card backs.  The Smoltz card on the top is how the Cy Young and Strikeout Leaders looks.  Just a nice little write-up with some highlights of the season.  The team leader cards show a small recap of each of the pitchers starts.  I really like this display and wouldn't mind seeing it on other pitcher card backs.  There is a joint Coca-Cola/MLB logo in the bottom right along with a Players Association logo.  The only notation of Topps is in the fine print with the copyright info in the bottom left.

I am really happy I picked up this set even though it wasn't the insert set I thought it was.  It brought back a lot of memories of some good pitchers from the 90s in a nice solid design.


  1. Wow, never knew that set existed. I'm not a camo fan but it totally works here. Love the "Commanders of the Hill" designation. Very cool!

  2. I never knew that this release was a Topps production - you learn something new every day!

  3. I'm with the other guys, never even knew of this set.

  4. What a cool set! This is the first I've heard of it, and I may have to track some down.

  5. Not very often I find a 90's insert set produced by a major company that I've never seen before. The fact that it was a military release makes it that much cooler.