Many of you are probably surprised to see this card and are wondering what the heck it is. In 2003, 2004, and 2005, Topps issued special sets called "All-time Fan Favorites", depicting the better-known players on cards from their teams. For each card, they picked a year among that player's peak with the given team, and chose the classic Topps design from that year. Then, they usually used a photo taken in that year (or close to it.)
For example, if you compare the above card of Puckett to his regular 1988 Topps card, it looks like both photos might have been taken from the same at-bat.
There are a lot of differences between the regular 1988 set and these special cards from 15 or so years later:
- The team lettering at the top is different. (It's less pronounced on this card, but you'll see what I mean with other cards coming up.)
- The colors are slightly different in the red border and the orange banner behind his name, and similar differences exist on other cards.
- There is a foil stamp.
- The back includes a banner with the updated copyright information.
- The stats on the back include only the years with the team featured on the card. In Puckett's case, it's moot since he spent his entire career with the Twins, but again compare on some of the other cards coming up.
- Also, the stats are for the entire career, not just up through 1987.
- The coloring on the back is a bit different too, primarily with the gray background being replaced by a much brighter gray that's closer to white.
- The cards are on much thicker stock.
(Incidentally, I'm not going to be adding players from these special cards to the HOF and deceased player counts, since these are not true 1988 Topps cards.)