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2019: The Year of the Cardboard Kid

Updated: Dec 28, 2019

The year 2019 was a pretty significant year for Gary Carter in the baseball card world. Including printing plates and Topps.com oversized “wall art” cards, “The Kid” had a total of 202 different cards produced during the calendar year, up from just 92 in 2018. And since 18 of those 92 cards from 2018 were Leaf Metal Sports Heroes, which were actually released in March 2019 (despite their ’18 markings), that means Carter had about 3X the number of new cards released in 2019 than the year before!


Carter's very first card of 2019.

Between the big three card producers –Topps, Panini and Leaf/In The Game— Gary appeared in 23 different sets. His very first card of the year was a Topps.com exclusive Throwback Thursday "1976 Star Wars design" card with a print run of 513. He later appeared in all three major Topps releases –Series 1, 2 and Update— as well as Allen and Ginter, Archives, Diamond Icons, Dynasty, Five Star, Gypsy Queen, Luminaries, Triple Threads and Tribute. Carter also appeared in the Ginter X and Reflections Topps.com online sets as well as the aforementioned #TBT and the ever-popular Topps Living Set, his very first foray into the supposedly never-ending set. His 1953 design Living Set card featured him from his initial run with the Montreal Expos and had a print run of 2,606. Since a player can appear only once for each team they played for, Carter can still appear as a Met, Giant and Dodger should Topps choose to make them.



An image of the exceptionally poorly designed Leaf Ultimate. What a waste of a beautiful laundry tag.

Gary also appeared in Panini’s Diamond Kings, Flawless, Leather and Lumber and National Treasures sets. Despite being unlicensed, the design and image selection used by Panini in 2019 was pretty on point. They also stuffed their Flawless release with some of the nicest patches Carter has ever had.


Conversely, the unlicensed and somewhat homemade-looking Leaf/In The Game card company included Carter in two of their sets featuring very poorly designed cards that did not even have an image of the 2003 Hall of Fame inductee and 11X All-Star. For this reason, I passed on owning any of them, including a beautiful laundry tag that was sadly wasted on a very visually unappealing design, again, sans player image. Too bad they didn't put their Leaf Metal Sports Heroes designer on the job or spring for an image.


Without further adieu, here are the 2019 Gary Carter cards I've picked up as of this writing...

The full run of 2019 Allen and Ginter / Ginter X, including the super popular Stained Glass /25, Framed Cloth /10, Dual Rip Card /10, Metal /3, Wood 1/1 and Silver 1/1.
Topps S2 Legends SP Variant, Living Set, Reflections Insert, #TBT and all four Transcendent sketch cards, including the encased, wood-framed 1/1 originals.
Carter was included in Topps' yearlong 150 Years of Baseball celebration, with inserts in Series 1 and Update.
Near complete runs of Tribute and Archives. Just missing the 1/1 variants.
Three true 1/1s: Luminaries Dual Auto Booklet with Mike Piazza, Dynasty Cut Auto and Five Star Cut Auto. On the bottom are 3 of the 4 Diamond Icons Cut Autos.
Complete run of Gypsy Queen, including Blank Plate, Logo Swap and Black 1/1 variants.
In addition to his 202 physical cards, Carter had 12 Topps Bunt digital trading cards. Among the highlights were a 150 Years of Fun "signature variant" award, a lenticular Batteries card (also featuring David Cone), two Bunt 150 inserts and a unique ticket stub card.
Carter's largest rainbow ever produced. Here are 27 of 28 Prizm cards. Just missing the Shimmer /7.
The October 2019 issue of Beckett Magazine featuring my Carter Prizm Rainbow in the bottom righthand corner. The feature story "Chasing the Rainbow" was written by me.
Check out my patches! The complete Flawless rainbow, including Black 1/1.
Diamond Kings Unnumbered, Holo Blue /25 and "First Off The Line" Purple /10.
Full run of Flawless, including the 1/1 dual patch and two low #'d cut autos.
Three different styles of National Treasures Booklets along with Hall of Fame Materials and Retro Materials inserts.
Though they were called 2018 Leaf Sports Heroes, this slick set came out in March 2019. Quite an upgrade from the hideous offerings by Leaf/In The Game if you ask me. Here is the full run of regular regular and wave. On the top left is the Superfractor-looking Gold Circles 1/1. The only one I'm missing is the Black Etched 1/1 parallel.

That's it for 2019 blogs. I hope you've enjoyed this site so far and will come back in 2020 to see what new Gary Cards get released and/or added to my page. As you can see, we've already added a spot for the "new" decade. Thanks for visiting and Happy Holidays!

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This site is dedicated to the memory of Gary Edmund Carter. My childhood hero and one of the greatest baseball players of all time.

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