Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

Want Lists are located here. NPB Baseball Want List is located here.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Bright Spots Before My Eyes: Completed Set

While I'm always on the lookout for any cards I need to finish sets, some sets are higher on my priority list.

Several years ago, I decided to put together a master 1996 Topps Laser set. I eventually got the base set done, and I've been working on the inserts ever since.

There are three insert sets, each with 16 cards. Stadium Stars is the rarest, appearing in 1:60 packs. Only 24 packs came per box, meaning it would take two to three boxes on average to get just one card; with perfect collation that makes forty boxes to get a full Stadium Stars set. That would be, with great luck, 20 boxes of each series.

You'd probably get one and a half Power Cuts sets, as those are 1:40.

The easiest set is still essentially a box hit, appearing 1:20 packs. That is the Bright Spots insert set. The checklist focuses on younger players expected to be future stars. Jason Kendall has a card, as do Chipper Jones and Hideo Nomo. And there's Bob Wolcott, Brooks Kieschnick, and Jimmy Haynes. Do any of those names ring a bell?

There is one more big name in the set:
1996 was Jeter's first full season in the majors, and he tore up the American League, batting .314 and winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. It certainly makes sense that Jeter would appear here, but he has a unique distinction in the set: he has two cards. No other player appears twice.

Thanks to Jeter's popularity, both of his cards were ones I needed as I approached the completion of this set. I lucked into finding the Series 2 card, #13, at a show in Tokyo, and I got an amazing deal on it. Card #2 here, from the first series, has proven itself to be quite elusive at affordable prices. I still feel like I probably overpaid, especially looking at that bottom left corner, but I'm happy to knock this card off the list.

I still need ten of the Power Cuts cards and 14 Stadium Stars. Perhaps I can finish those off in the next decade.

Until next time...


  1. I have the Series 2 card of Jeter, but still need to track down the Series 1 card. I definitely prefer the silver foil on the Series 1 inserts compared to the gold foil on the Series 2 set.

  2. Are you chasing the set, or just Jeter? I agree that for this set the silver is better looking.

    1. I'd like to pickup the whole set, but I'm cutting back financially... so it's not really on my radar. I bought the entire Series 2 set back in 2014 for $4.99 (+ $2.95 shipping). Pretty sure those days are in the past... especially since Jeter will be headed to Cooperstown this year.

  3. > And there's Bob Wolcott, Brooks Kieschnick, and Jimmy Haynes. Do any of those names ring a bell?
    As a minor league card collector from the 90's, I remember all three of those guys...

    Fun fact - Jason Kendall and Derek Jeter were both born on the same day - June 26, 1974

    1. You know what, I remember most of the names in most of these sets from that era. I recognize more 1990s baseball player names than today's players, which is kind of sad.