One of the most heralded subsets during the mid-80s baseball card boom was 1985 Topps Team USA. Found smack-dabbed in the middle of the monster 792 card set, there were sixteen cards that made your heart skip a beat while opening a pack, hoping you’d get a Mark McGwire. Of course, Shane Mack, Oddibe McDowell, and Cory Snyder weren’t so bad either – this set was loaded with potential!
Beginning in 2002, Upper Deck has continued their support of Team USA by releasing factory sets featuring not only the team itself, but autographs of these up and coming stars. Combine this with fellow Team USA alums, and the checklist of autographs over the years is a who’s who in baseball:
Ryan Howard, Mark Prior, James Loney, Joe Mauer, Jeff Francoeur, Matt Holliday, Dustin Pedroia, Justin Verlander, Huston Street, Will Clark, Rod Dedeaux, Todd Helton, Scott Kazmir, Barry Larkin, Tino Martinez, John Olerud, BJ Surhoff, Alex Gordon, Ian Kennedy, Delmon Young, Connor Jackson, Ryan Garko, Ryan Zimmerman, David Price, Matt Wieters, Justin Upton, Kurt Suzuki, and Matt Laporta, just to name a few amoung the hundreds of possible autographs.
Nice looking autographs (before they became famous), small print runs, and only being available in factory set form make these sets primed for stardom. I did some research and can’t believe how cheap these sets really are considering the amount of star potential. I challenge everyone to look into these sets and hopefully you’ll agree with me!
Director of Purchasing