Maddux Overload – 2002 Edition


The New England Patriots beat the St. Louis Rams for their first NFL championship shortly after the tragic events of 9/11, so a lot of people put extra meaning on that team winning, but I’ll let you decide if it was warranted.

The Los Angeles Lakers win their third straight title, this time against the Nets, so of course they did.  The Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans creating a string of team naming events that still confuses me to this day.  On the WNBA side, the LA Sparks also repeated to take their second straight title.  The New York Liberty returned to the finals after a year away for the loss.

Lennox Lewis keeps the Heavyweight Boxing title after beating Mike Tyson in real life, but I don’t know he would be able to beat him in the NES game.

Lance Armstrong wins the Tour de France. Again. Again.  Oh, oops.  Wait.  No he officially didn’t. Again. Again.

Tiger Woods wins the Masters in back to back years and was the only player to end the U.S. Open with a score under par.

Canada wins both Olympic gold medals, but Detroit takes the Stanley Cup against the Carolina Hurricanes.  I’m unsure how many Canadians played for either of those teams.

Serena Williams wins 3 of 4 major tournaments, but misses out on the Grand Slam as Jennifer Capriati takes the Australian Open.

The Anaheim Angels (not yet of Los Angeles) win the World Series in seven games over the San Francisco Giants.  Mike Trout, and even year bullshit, were both still several years away for their respective clubs.

And in 2002, card manufacturers released 384 cards of Greg Maddux that I deemed worthy of my collecting efforts.

Thanks to the generosity of reader Jeremy, originally mentioned in our landmark 500th post (and in my 1993 Overload post, and 1994 post, and 1995 post, and 1996 post and 1997 post and 1998 post and 1999 post and 2000 post and 2001 post), I now have 38 more of those cards as I did before.

2002 Before Jeremy – 17/384 cards – 4%

2002 After Jeremy – 55/384 cards (including zero upgrades) – 14%

After seeing the yearly totals go down for three straight years, 2002 gave us a leap of over 100 more cards over 2001’s total. We’re going to keep going up for a bit, too as the industry collectively decided to cram a bunch of new parallels into everything.

In the many years since Jeremy’s package, I’ve acquired 27 more 2001 cards, bringing my total to 82 for the year ’02, and putting me at slightly over 21% for that year.  Still, as always, there’s plenty of progress yet to be made.  For now, let’s focus on what Jeremy sent.

Not a real piece of jersey on the right side

The collecting road is going to be long for Absolute Memorabilia. A good portion of this product is, understandably, memorabilia. Not as much this year as in other years, but there are also a lot of insert parallels that makes this daunting

Creepy eyes

There are too many Bowman sets these days. Heritage didn’t last all that long and my quest for this year’s Heritage is over. Regular Bowman, Chrome and Best haven’t even begun.

Normal eyes

It’s still weird to me that Diamond Kings is its own product. It’s like Gallery meets Studio, which is fine, but it’s hard to break free from the idea they should be subsets in regular Donruss (like how it is now…while also still being its own product).

Not a diamond King subset

I never noticed that those corner icon things are baseball diamonds. And terrible ones at that.

Big E

Elite is elite.  It always looks the same, but somehow continues to exist.  At least the inserts and things haven’t gotten too crazy yet.

It’ll be a while before I’m done with Originals

This card looks like it’s primed for a relic window, but there isn’t a relic version.  There are of other Donruss Originals inserts, but not this one.

One time when “L” is good

Super Estrellas is not such as super design. At least it’s a basic set collecting-wise.

This would stand out in a pack

In fact, after this insert, which looks better in person for obvious reasons, all I need is the poster from this set.

The background is like a 90s after school special title screen

E-X parallels are highly sought after, if I’m not mistaken.  It looks like there’s also a jersey card, which should be interesting with the acetate.


Finest is so hit or miss.  This one is a miss for me.  Too busy in the background with a bunch of useless garbage and the dot matrix font along the edge does it no favors.

I don’t see Maddux in that clipping

We’re moving on to Fleer and holy hell there are a lot of Fleer cards to collect each year.

Not how the stars and stripes works

For instance, there are three more versions of this insert card to get.  All three of them are relics: single and dual and patch.

Genuinely dumb

I’ve never liked the Genuine set.  I don’t get it.  Here’s the good news, though.  This is a one and done set for Maddux.

Old man Maddux with his bat cane

So many relic cards in Fleer products.  Three of the 5 I still need are jersey or patch cards here too.  You’d think with this kind of flood, it’d be easier to find some of them.

Back when I scanned things dumb and cut off the sides of some cards

Tradition is a relatively basic set compared to other Fleers, but most of what’s left is very low numbered parallels.

Anyone have these curtains in their house?

Tradition update is basically the same thing, but adds an autograph #/99 to the chase.

make sure to adhere your pictures with blue tape

Alright, we’re at the end of the Fleer portion of our program.  Time to put it in the scrapbook

Black sheep of the family

Did you ever want to know what 2001 Leaf would look like?  Well, 2002 Leaf has you covered for some reason.  Nope, that wasn’t confusing for me to find in my checklist at all.


Buckle up for a slew of Rookies and Stars.  Here’s what I believe is the normal base card showing a sweet throwback uniform.

Closer to rookie

This throwback photo is listed as a short print.  I don’t know if that’s true, but I’ll go with it.

Get used to this design

This set had a subset, which is surprising.  Most would be turned into inserts instead.

Different pictures are good

I don’t know how many other players are in this part, but Maddux shows up 4 times.


I got three of the four.  Next step is the longevity parallels of all the above #/100.  Easy!

Oh look, half a background

I know I say this pretty much every time, but…man is SP Authentic extremely boring.  I just don’t get it. Was this a hit chaser’s product or something?

Dead ball era, but for card designs

SPx has had ups and downs.  This is a down. I need some flair. Some holograms. Some die cuts. Something that brings it back to its more premium roots.

Even Stadium Club isn’t immune from a boring look

Surprisingly, Stadium Club is very light this year.  No parallels to chase. Just a relic.  That seems like a mistake, but I’ll take it.


2002 Topps is an okay design, I guess but that border kills it.  They liked to pick odd colors and they don’t always work.

Far too busy

Remember when there were some interesting subsets in Topps?  Now it’s all about rookie cups and rookie debuts and rookie’s first rookie rookie who led the league in being a rookie.

Iceman the best

A rare mini appears.  Well, not rare in that it’s an SP, although maybe? But I don’t think so.  Rare in that this massive package that we got, there simply were not many in there.  This is still the only 206 mini I have so far.

Since I’ll never buy a box

This is the second time in the last three posts that 2002 Heritage has appeared.  What an interesting photo effect that was used for these.  Not ideal, but interesting.

Ah yes, good old shoulder number and shoe letter

Topps Reserve is suffering from SP syndrome.  What is this supposed to be accomplishing here?

Don’t want it back

I’m not on the Topps Total bandwagon.  The only benefit is that some people get cards when they wouldn’t otherwise. Everything else about it is terrible.

Pointless timelines bug me

I think that Upper Deck is the toughest company to keep track of.  It’s really hard for me to tell what is an insert from their flagship product and what is a brand new one.  I’m pretty sure that this is its own thing.

Just need two more Ultra cards

I hadn’t thought about it before, but there are very few pictures of pitchers running to cover a base (or field a ball).  Them in set position waiting for a grounder, yeah.

Missing the electrics

I’m also okay not seeing 40-Man, although I like the look of these a lot more.  Crazy that there’s a jersey card to chase in this set too.  Seems like every set had a Maddux jersey.

Have this insert, but not the base card

This is a card that’s begging for texture.  Foil, embossing, die cuts, or something.

I’m okay with everything but the photo choice

Okay, so not every set had a Maddux jersey.  This one had a Maddux bat card.

Need the silver parallel

Here’s the texture I was looking for.  Ovation is usually good for that and I appreciate it.  I’m not standing up or anything, though.

Two balls on the same play? Sounds like cheating to me

Last one is a checklist from the Collector’s Choice successor.  It’s a simple set with just a single parallel to chase, so that’ll be a small Victory once I’m done with that. For now, I will go ahead and thank Jeremy again, wherever you are.  It’s amazing that I’m still working through this in some fashion so many years later, but I hope to finally put a bow on it by the end of 2019.

104 left to show before taking Sportlots delivery.

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