Project 2020: King Saladeen Collectors Guide

When Project 2020 began, King Saladeen proved to be a popular and consistent seller. Each of his first five releases ranked in the top ten sellers at the time of their release and his second release was the first card to sell more than 4,000 units (having sold 9,873).

Saladeen’s cards are bright, energetic, and instantly recognizable and will likely remain popular among collectors after this collection is complete.

Below we track every card by this artist. Release ranks are based on all the cards sold to that point. Final ranks include the full 400 card checklist. Clicking a link on this page will direct you to an affiliate retailer or to relevant eBay links for that card.

#6 – Ken Griffey Jr, Mariners

Print Run: 2,504
Release Rank: #2
Final Rank: TBD
Artist Release Rank: #1
Artist Final Rank: TBD

Saladeen’s first release was his Ken Griffey Jr card, released on the third day of the collection’s run. It was the second highest selling card to that point and also the second to sell more than 2,000 copies.

#29 – Derek Jeter, Yankees

Print Run: 9,873
Release Rank: #1
Final Rank: TBD
Artist Release Rank: #1
Artist Final Rank: TBD

This release was an early record breaker and became the best selling card to date, outselling the second place card (#25, Ken Griffey Jr) by 6,166 copies. Card #29 was the first card to break a 4,000 card print run (and, obviously, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9,000 as well), the second to break 3,000 and the seventh to break 2,000.

#47 – Don Mattingly, Yankees

Print Run: 2,763
Release Rank: #8
Final Rank: TBD
Artist Release Rank: #2
Artist Final Rank: TBD

Although King Saladeen only held the top sales spot for a few days, his third card did rank in the top 10 and cemented his standing with all three of his cards ranked in the top 15.

#61 – Willie Mays, Giants

Print Run: 5,459
Release Rank: #6
Final Rank: TBD
Artist Release Rank: #2
Artist Final Rank: TBD

King Saladeen’s cards were quickly establishing themselves as consistent sellers. His Mays card was the sixth best seller to date and was the best selling card not featuring Mike Trout or Derek Jeter. 61 cards into the 400 card release, Saladeen had two cards in the top 10, three in the top 15, and all of his cards in the top 20.

#77 – Ichiro, Mariners

Print Run: 11,425
Release Rank: #6
Final Rank: TBD
Artist Release Rank: #1
Artist Final Rank: TBD

At this point in the Project 2020 series, print runs were beginning to escalate very quickly. Despite this Ichiro card being a new personal #1 for King Saladeen, it was only the sixth best seller over all and was the sixth card to sell more than 10,000 units.

#105 – Nolan Ryan, Mets

Print Run: 12,874
Release Rank: #24
Final Rank: TBD
Artist Release Rank: #1
Artist Final Rank: TBD

Print runs for Project 2020 peaked early with #88 (Griffey) selling 99,177 copies. By the time of this release, cards were consistently selling over 10,000 copies and 11 had sold over 30,000. Card 105 set a new personal #1 for Saladeen but became his first card to not hit the top 10 at the time of release.

#124 – Bob Gibson, Cardinals

Print Run: 6,090
Release Rank: #63
Final Rank: TBD
Artist Release Rank: #4
Artist Final Rank: TBD

The market correction for Project 2020 cards hit as quickly as its peak did. Card #124 would be the fourth best seller of Saladeen’s seven releases and rank as the 63rd best seller overall at the time of release.

#154 – Roberto Clemente, Pirates

Print Run: 5,916
Release Rank: #82
Final Rank: TBD
Artist Release Rank: #5
Artist Final Rank: TBD

The Clemente card marks a complete market correction for King Saladeen cards. Despite a respectable print run, it helped establish a downward trend in sales (a trend experienced by nearly every artist in this collection at this point). This card outsold all of the first 27 releases but is ranked closer to those cards than the peak cards of the set.

#181 – Sandy Koufax, Dodgers

Print Run: 4,369
Release Rank: #108
Final Rank: TBD
Artist Release Rank: #7
Artist Final Rank: TBD

For the third consecutive release, King Saladeen’s card sold fewer copies than the previous release. This also marks the first card not to rank in the top 100 at the time of release.

#195 – Cal Ripken Jr, Orioles

Print Run: 4,055
Release Rank: #121
Final Rank: TBD
Artist Release Rank: #8
Artist Final Rank: TBD

This is the fourth consecutive card to sell fewer than its predecessor and the second to miss the top 100 which, at this point, any card selling more than 5,000 would have made.

#213 – Frank Thomas, White Sox

Print Run: 3,415
Release Rank: #149
Final Rank: TBD
Artist Release Rank: #9
Artist Final Rank: TBD

The downward trend continues with a fifth consecutive card selling fewer copies than the preceding release and the third card not to reach the top 100 (the threshold for that distinction is now 5,155 cards). Six Saladeen releases are still ranked in the top 100 at the time of this card’s release.

#234 – Mark McGwire, Athletics

Print Run: 2,793
Release Rank: #178
Final Rank: TBD
Artist Release Rank: #10
Artist Final Rank: TBD

This is the sixth consecutive release without an increase of sales over the previous release and the fourth Saladeen card to miss the top 100. At this point, King Saladeen cards are selling near their early numbers with this release only outselling card #47 (Mattingly) by 30 copies.

#253 – Jackie Robinson, Dodgers

Print Run: 3,159
Release Rank: #176
Final Rank: TBD
Artist Release Rank: #10
Artist Final Rank: TBD


The descending sales streak finally ends with the release of this Jackie Robinson card. Although the print run is 366 cards larger than #234, the initial release rank is two spots higher and the Mark McGwire card has fallen 14 spots over the course of the 19 card gap between releases.

#273 – Rickey Henderson, Athletics

Print Run: 2,812
Release Rank:
#200
Final Rank:
TBD
Artist Release Rank:
#11
Artist Final Rank:
TBD

The Man of Steal couldn’t keep the upward sales momentum going as this release fell only a few cards shy of being Saladeen’s lowest seller.

#296 – Tony Gwynn, Padres

Print Run: 2,334
Release Rank:
#240
Final Rank:
TBD
Artist Release Rank:
#15
Artist Final Rank:
TBD

With the seat nearly 75% complete, print runs are consistently under 5,000 and are usually much lower. This release is the lowest print run of any Saladeen card and marks his first card not to rank in the top 200. At this point, there are only five releases remaining over the next quarter of the checklist.

Topps Project 2020 cards are available for 48 hours exclusively through the Topps website. Final print runs are determined by consumer demand within that 48 hour window.