The Refractor Project 2.0

1999 Topps Chrome Refractor Mariano Rivera WS

I started this website a couple of years back with the intention of collecting and displaying refractor cards from the 1990s. I put the site on hold for a while due to health issues, but I always had the intention of coming back to this collection and work my way towards completing that goal.

The first time I saw a refractor in person, which was when 1993 Topps Finest debuted, I was hooked. At first, they were inserted at a rate of one per box, which is unheard of anymore. Later releases saw more than one per box, but the chase was still strong.

Of course, seeing one in person was not the same as actually pulling one from a pack. So in 1994, I got my first taste of ownership of a refractor after shelling out $8 for a pack of Topps Finest. The refractor? Will Clark. I was ecstatic and put that card away in a protective case. In fact, I would’ve been just as happy to pull a refractor of anyone in the set, but to pull a star like Clark was awesome.

Throughout the decade, I acquired a good stack of refractors; some were pack-pulled, some were bought at the local sports card shop. Unfortunately, since I was a teen in the 90s, I ended up selling the majority of them when it came time to go to college, and I even stopped collecting shortly after.

Sigh. If I only knew then what I know now.

Which leads me here today. My goal is to get 1 refractor from each chrome-based set Topps released in the 1990s, from all four sports: baseball, basketball, hockey, and football. Topps Chrome, Bowman Chrome, Bowman’s Best, Topps Finest, and even the short-lived Stadium Club Chrome. I want to get base card parallels, subset parallels, and even insert parallels if available.

My best memories of card collecting come from that decade and so it’s appropriate that I try to build a collection from my youth. I will also be doing this with my kids, to share with them and hopefully give their interest in card collecting a head start. After all, that’s what my dad with me when growing up.

With that said, welcome to The Refractor Project 2.0. Stick around as I add to my collection over time, and don’t be shy.


Note: As of this posting, I only have the baseball gallery in working order, since that’s the sport I’m most familiar with and actually have cards to display. Other sports will follow.