Traded Set

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Traded set: A close relative of high numbers, but with some major differences. In 1981, Topps fought back against their new competitors Fleer and Donruss by printing a follow-up to their regular set they dubbed "Topps Traded." Debuting in the fall of '81 as a factory set of 132 cards, it featured cards of players who had been traded in their new uniforms, as well as rookie cards of young players. Almost all other update sets, whether they are called (Fleer) Update, (Donruss) The Rookies, (Topps) Traded, (Score) Rookie/Traded, or (Upper Deck) Final Edition, have followed this format. Notable exceptions are those such as '93 Select Rookie/Traded, '94 Score Rookie/Traded, 94 Sportflics 2000 Rookie/Traded and '95 Topps Traded, which were released in wax pack form only, and '90 and '91 Topps Traded, which came in packs as well as a boxed set.

Often these sets contain the only true rookie cards of major players, or cards that have interest in other ways. The '81 Topps Traded set contained Dave Winfield's first card as a Yankee, and Fernando Valenzuela's first individual card (he appeared in the regular 1981 Topps set with two other players). 1982 Topps Traded shows Cal Ripken, Jr. on his first solo Topps card, as well as Ozzie Smith's first card as a Card. Unfortunately, many of the rookies from 80s era traded sets fall under the definition of the dreaded "XRC."

'84 Fleer Update, '89 Score Rookie/Traded, '92 Fleer Update, '92 Topps Traded and '98 Fleer Update have all become important sets, or at least contain important cards, that must be in any serious hobbyist's collection. 1999 and 2000 Topps Traded and 2000 Bowman Draft Picks and Rookies will probably also prove to have long-term popularity with a wealth of true rookie cards, not to mention an autographed card in every boxed set.