1993 Finest

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1993 Finest box


1993 Finest (officially "Topps Baseball's Finest") is a 199-card, chromium-stock, set widely recognized as one of the most important issues of the 1990's. The Finest brand was Topps first attempt at the super-premium card market. Production was announced at 4,000, 12-box cases and cards were distributed exclusively through hobby dealers in the fall of 1993. This was the first time in the history of the hobby that a major manufacturer publicly released production figures.

Because production figures were released, it is believed that there are approximately 30,000 copies of each base card, 1,500 of each Jumbo card, and 241 of each Refractor. Some people claimed that additional refractors were backdoored to several card shops and dealers in the San Diego area.

Cards were issued in seven-card foil fin-wrapped packs that carried a suggested retail price of $3.99. The product was a smashing success upon release with pack prices immediately soaring well above the $20/pack point. The popularity of the product has continued to grow throughout the years as it's place in hobby lore is now well solidified.

Due to these boxes not having a logo printed on the plastic wrap, boxes can easily be opened and resealed. Many boxes with the original plastic wrap have a small round hole in the upper left corner on the front. Also, packs that contain a refractor can be easily identified as they are different than non-refractor packs as they were were printed and packed separately. Packs containing a refractor have a printing variation on the wrapper.

A collector, Phil Gold, is hoarding 1993 Finest Refractors. His web site, which contains the number of copies he owns of each card, is http://www.93finestrefractors.com


18 packs per box, seven cards per pack. 12 boxes per case (4,000 cases produced).


Insertion Ratios

Cards Total Cards Numbered To Odds
Base 199 - ?
Jumbo 33 - 1 per sealed box
Refractors 199 Not numbered (estimated 241 of each card) 1:15 (estimated, not stated)



Topps gave 5,000, three-card, sets to its dealer customers to promote the release of its 1993 Topps Baseball's Finest set. The standard-size The words "Promotional Sample 1 of 5000" appears in red lettering superposed upon the player's biography on the back of the card. A limited amount of these cards were issued as refractors; however, the production is unknown.

88 Roberto Alomar

98 Don Mattingly

107 Nolan Ryan

Base Set

1 Dave Justice

2 Lou Whitaker

3 Bryan Harvey

4 Carlos Garcia

5 Sid Fernandez

6 Brett Butler

7 Scott Cooper

8 B.J. Surhoff

9 Steve Finley

10 Curt Schilling

11 Jeff Bagwell

12 Alex Cole

13 John Olerud

14 John Smiley

15 Bip Roberts

16 Albert Belle

17 Duane Ward

18 Alan Trammell

19 Andy Benes

20 Reggie Sanders

21 Todd Zeile

22 Rick Aguilera

23 Dave Hollins

24 Jose Rijo

25 Matt Williams

26 Sandy Alomar, Jr.

27 Alex Fernandez

28 Ozzie Smith

29 Ramon Martinez

30 Bernie Williams

31 Gary Sheffield

32 Eric Karros

33 Frank Viola

34 Kevin Young

35 Ken Hill

36 Tony Fernandez

37 Tim Wakefield

38 John Kruk

39 Chris Sabo

40 Marquis Grissom

41 Glenn Davis

42 Jeff Montgomery

43 Kenny Lofton

44 John Burkett

45 Darryl Hamilton

46 Jim Abbott

47 Ivan Rodriguez

48 Eric Young

49 Mitch Williams

50 Harold Reynolds

51 Brian Harper

52 Rafael Palmeiro

53 Bret Saberhagen

54 Jeff Conine

55 Ivan Calderon

56 Juan Guzman

57 Carlos Baerga

58 Charles Nagy

59 Wally Joyner

60 Charlie Hayes

61 Shane Mack

62 Pete Harnisch

63 George Brett

64 Lance Johnson

65 Ben McDonald

66 Bobby Bonilla

67 Terry Steinbach

68 Ron Gant

69 Doug Jones

70 Paul Molitor

71 Brady Anderson

72 Chuck Finley

73 Mark Grace

74 Mike Devereaux

75 Tony Phillips

76 Chuck Knoblauch

77 Tony Gwynn

78 Kevin Appier

79 Sammy Sosa

80 Mickey Tettleton

81 Felix Jose

82 Mark Langston

83 Gregg Jefferies

84 Andre Dawson AS

85 Greg Maddux AS

86 Rickey Henderson AS

87 Tom Glavine AS

88 Roberto Alomar AS

89 Darryl Strawberry AS

90 Wade Boggs AS

91 Bo Jackson AS

92 Mark McGwire AS

93 Robin Ventura AS

94 Joe Carter AS

95 Lee Smith AS

96 Cal Ripken, Jr. AS

97 Larry Walker AS

98 Don Mattingly AS

99 Jose Canseco AS

100 Dennis Eckersley AS

101 Terry Pendleton AS

102 Frank Thomas AS

103 Barry Bonds AS

104 Roger Clemens AS

105 Ryne Sandberg AS

106 Fred McGriff AS

107 Nolan Ryan AS

108 Will Clark AS

109 Pat Listach AS

110 Ken Griffey, Jr. AS

111 Cecil Fielder AS

112 Kirby Puckett AS

113 Dwight Gooden AS

114 Barry Larkin AS

115 David Cone AS

116 Juan Gonzalez AS

117 Kent Hrbek

118 Tim Wallach

119 Craig Biggio

120 Roberto Kelly

121 Gregg Olson

122 Eddie Murray

123 Wilfredo Cordero

124 Jay Buhner

125 Carlton Fisk

126 Eric Davis

127 Doug Drabek

128 Ozzie Guillen

129 John Wetteland

130 Andres Galarraga

131 Ken Caminiti

132 Tom Candiotti

133 Pat Borders

134 Kevin Brown

135 Travis Fryman

136 Kevin Mitchell

137 Greg Swindell

138 Benito Santiago

139 Reggie Jefferson

140 Chris Bosio

141 Deion Sanders

142 Scott Erickson

143 Howard Johnson

144 Orestes Destrade

145 Jose Guzman

146 Chad Curtis

147 Cal Eldred

148 Willie Greene

149 Tommy Greene

150 Erik Hanson

151 Bob Welch

152 John Jaha

153 Harold Baines

154 Randy Johnson

155 Al Martin

156 J.T. Snow RC

157 Mike Mussina

158 Ruben Sierra

159 Dean Palmer

160 Steve Avery

161 Julio Franco

162 Dave Winfield

163 Tim Salmon

164 Tom Henke

165 Mo Vaughn

166 John Smoltz

167 Danny Tartabull

168 Delino DeShields

169 Charlie Hough

170 Paul O'Neill

171 Darren Daulton

172 Jack McDowell

173 Junior Felix

174 Jimmy Key

175 George Bell

176 Mike Stanton

177 Lenny Dykstra

178 Norm Charlton

179 Eric Anthony

180 Rob Dibble

181 Otis Nixon

182 Randy Myers

183 Tim Raines

184 Orel Hershiser

185 Andy Van Slyke

186 Mike Lansing

187 Ray Lankford

188 Mike Morgan

189 Moises Alou

190 Edgar Martinez

191 John Franco

192 Robin Yount

193 Bob Tewksbury

194 Jay Bell

195 Luis Gonzalez

196 Dave Fleming

197 Mike Greenwell

198 David Nied

199 Mike Piazza



These over-sized (approximately 4" by 6") cards were inserted one per sealed box of 1993 Topps Finest packs and feature reproductions of 33 players from that set's All-Star subset (84-116). Some hobby dealers believe because of the known production numbers that slightly less than 1,500 of each of these cards were produced.


Randomly inserted in packs at a rate of one in 15 (mostly one-per-box, occasionally two), this set parallels the entire 199-card Finest set except that their fronts have been laminated with a plastic lens giving the card its trademark appearance. Because of the known production numbers, these cards are believed to have a print run of 241 copies of each card -- although this production figure was never officially confirmed by Topps. It is believed that there might be short printed cards in this set. Topps, however, has never publicly released any verification of short-printed singles, but some of the singles are accepted as being tough to find due to poor distribution and hoarding. In an example of such hoarding, Andre Dawson was known to pay premiums of up to three-times Beckett HI value for copies of his own '93 Finest Refractor.

Due to their high value, these cards are extremely condition sensitive, with much attention paid to centering and minor scratches on the card fronts. Due to the subjectivity of card grading, some claim to have resubmitted the same refractors several times over the years to achieve a higher grade.