By Rich Klein
The National Chicle name is very important in sports card history although the set best known under that name consisted of just 36 cards in the one football set produced back in 1935. The company made its initial entry into the baseball card market with its 1934-36 Diamond Stars baseball set, done in art deco style.
Each box consists of 24 packs with 8 cards per pack. The current online retail price stands between $85 and $95.
The front of the box promises two autographed and one game-used card in each box.
One of the great highlights of the card is that each card was created from a painting done by a well-known sports artist. Some of the artists who contributed to this set include Monty Sheldon, Paul Lempa and Brian Kong.
Each box has a sheet showing a set checklist on one side and the artists on the other. In this set, the artists are as much the stars as are the players.
2010 National Chicle baseball cards have indeed kept the original 1930's feel to them. The front of each card features the player's drawing and his name while the back includes a write-up done in old school style as well as biographical information about both the artist and the player featured.
We were anxious to dig in and here’s what popped out of our box:
Base Cards: 171 of 275 with no duplicates. Whether intentional or not, I noticed card #42 was Robinson Cano. Cano, the fine second baseman for the New York Yankees was named after Jackie Robinson and I wonder when card numbers were assigned for this set whether someone at Topps was really paying attention to that number and which player to put there. The smart money says yes.
SP's: Eddie Mathews (#295); Ernie Banks (#296); Joe Morgan (#298); Reggie Jackson (#299); Ryan Howard (#304) and Matt Carson (#324). Interestingly, Carson's card is in the 1980 Topps design which was the same as the great A's outfielder: Rickey Henderson.
Bazooka Backs: Cliff Lee, Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki
National Chicle Backs: Gordon Beckham, Juan Francisco, Chipper Jones, Jason Marquis, Justin Morneau, Ian Stewart and Edison Volquez
Relic Card: Dustin Pedroia (#d to 199)
Autographs: Neftali Feliz and Tommy Manzella
Cabinet (Oversized box-topper card-hobby exclusive) : Cy Young
Not an overwhelming bonanza of great inserts in this particular box, but if you’re a fan of sports card history, the National Chicle set is always fun to look at.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]
See 2010 Topps National Chicle on eBay