Cheap Wax Wednesday Box Breaks: 2022 Topps Total Baseball


2002 Topps Total Baseball marked the brand’s debut. It immediately became a favorite with a group of collectors for one simple reason — its massive base set checklist. Topps Total became a fairly inexpensive challenge for set collectors, while also providing team checklists of basically the entire roster. Team collectors loved Topps Total.

2002 Topps Total Baseball consists of a 990-card base set. Yes, you read that right, nine hundred and ninety cards. If all teams were even, that’s 33 base cards per team. That is enough to feature the entire big league roster while also including some prospects as well.

There are also four different inserts to chase down: Team Checklists, Total Topps, Award Winners, and Total Production. 

2002 Topps Total Baseball Box Break

Cards per pack: 10
Packs per box: 36
Price paid: $35

Shop for 2002 Topps Total Baseball boxes on eBay.

Pack 1 highlights:

Nomar Garciaparra Team Checklist (1:4 packs) & Tim Hudson

The Team Checklist cards use the same design as the base. The only difference is that the base cards are glossy, while the checklist cards are not. 

Pack 2:

Dean Palmer & Kevin Brown Total Topps (1:3 packs)

Pack 3:

Orlando “O-Dog” Hudson, Chipper Jones Team Checklists (1:4 packs) & Barry Bonds Award Winners (1:6 packs)

Pack 4:

Kazuhiro Sasaki & Randy Johnson Team Checklists (1:4 packs)

Sasaki played just four seasons in the major leagues, making his debut in 2000. By the time he played in the majors, he had already played 10 professional seasons in Japan, racking up 229 saves. 

Pack 5:

Troy Glaus Team Checklists (1:4 packs) & Nomar Garciaparra Total Topps (1:3 packs)

Pack 6:

David Justice, Victor Martinez & Todd Helton Total Production (1:12 packs)

Pack 7:

Billy Wagner

Speaking of saves, Wagner ranks sixth on the all-time list with 422. 

Pack 8:

Jose Reyes, Greg Maddux & Randy Johnson Total Topps (1:3 packs)

Pack 9:

Roger Clemens Award Winners (1:6 packs)

Pack 10:

Richard Hidalgo & Ray Durham

Durham swiped 225 bases his first eight seasons in the majors. 

Pack 11:

Dmitri Young & Kerry Wood Total Topps (1:3 packs)

Pack 12:

Sammy Sosa Award Winners (1:6 packs)

Pack 13:

Shawn Green Team Checklists (1:4 packs), J.D. Drew & John Olerud

John Olerud posted an impressive .863 OPS over his 17-year major league career. That number would currently be good enough for 14th in the major leagues this season. 

Pack 14:

Eric Chavez Total Topps (1:3 packs)

Pack 15:

Adrian Beltre, Rich “El Guapo” Garces & Pedro Martinez

Garces is a perfect example of the extended checklist. Rich appeared on just 92 total cards in his career, including parallels and variations. Only 28 of those cards are in major league releases. 

Pack 16:

Jeff Bagwell Team Checklists (1:4 packs) & Barry Zito

Pack 17:

Josh Beckett Team Checklists (1:4 packs), David “Boomer” Wells & Cliff Floyd Total Topps (1:3 packs)

Pack 18:

Roger Cedeno & Randy Johnson Award Winners (1:6 packs)

Pack 19:

Craig Biggio

Biggio played his entire 20-year career in Houston, accumulating 3,060 hits, four Gold Gloves, and five Silver Slugger awards. 

Pack 20:

Todd Helton Team Checklists (1:4 packs), Gabe Kapler & Andruw Jones Total Topps (1:3 packs)

Pack 21:

Carlos Lee, Jim Thome Team Checklists (1:4 packs) & Nomar Garciaparra Total Production (1:12 packs)

Pack 22:

Lance Berkman, A.J. Burnett & Darin Erstad

Burnett threw a no-hitter May 12, 2001. During the outing he struck out seven batters while walking nine and hitting another. 

Pack 23:

Carlos Beltran, Ken Griffey, Jr. Team Checklists (1:4 packs) & Ivan Rodriguez Total Topps (1:3 packs)

Pack 24:

Billy Koch, Jose Vidro & Jorge Posada Award Winners (1:6 packs)

Whenever I see Billy Koch I think of the scene in Moneyball when he blows the lead against the Royals and comes into the dugout and destroys the water cooler. 

Pack 25:

Edgar Renteria, Roy Oswalt, Mike Lowell & Magglio Ordonez Team Checklists (1:4 packs)

Pack 26:

Chipper Jones, Sammy Sosa Team Checklists (1:4 packs) & Bernie Williams Total Topps (1:3 packs)

Pack 27:

Mark Teixeira & Gary Sheffield

Pack 28:

Raul Mondesi, Octavio Dotel, Jim Edmonds & Tim Salmon

Dotel pitched for thirteen different teams during his 15 major league seasons. His 3.78 career ERA shows why teams wanted him.

Pack 29:

Jeff Suppan & Ken Griffey, Jr. Total Topps (1:3 packs)

Pack 30:

Rod Beck, Paul Konerko & Pat Burrell Team Checklists (1:4 packs)

Pack 31:

Carlos Delgado, Eric Chavez Team Checklists (1:4 packs) & Aaron Sele

Delgado was selected as an All-Star just twice during his career. That seems low for a guy who hit 473 home runs and posted a very impressive .929 career OPS. 

Pack 32:

Derek Jeter Team Checklists (1:4 packs), Vinny Castilla & Chipper Jones Total Topps (1:3 packs)

Pack 33:

Johnny Damon & Ichiro Suzuki Award Winners (1:6 packs)

Pack 34:

Mike Piazza Team Checklists (1:4 packs) & Garret Anderson

Pack 35:

Vladimir Guerrero Team Checklists (1:4 packs), Torii Hunter & Alex Rodriguez Total Topps (1:3 packs)

Hunter won nine straight Gold Gloves in center field from 2001 to 2009. 

Pack 36:

Vladimir Guerrero Total Production (1:12 packs)

Lastly, the snowed Craig Biggio card back. 

Unfortunately, I did encounter some sticking in this one. Some cards did sustain some surface damage. Luckily, it seems all of the inserts made it out unscathed. 

It shouldn’t be all that shocking with such a large base set, but I seemed to miss all of the bigger Rookie Cards in this box. I didn’t find Joe Mauer, Jason Bay, David Wright, or even Chone Figgins. 

As a player and team collector, I do appreciate Topps Total. Many names not typically found are included on the lengthy checklist. The design is simple, and the inserts are pretty good. All in all, this is still a fun rip, and one I wouldn’t mind trying again. But, buyer beware, you may encounter some sticking. 

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Want more installments of Shane Salmonson’s Cheap Wax Wednesday? Check out his other breaks in the archives.