Topps Gold Label was a blatant ripoff of Flair Showcase. The 300-card base set was fractured into three 100-card "classes" (sound familiar?), with the Class Two and Class Three cards short-printed and seeded into packs at the rate of 1:2 and 1:4, respectively. There are two parallels: Black and Red, with the C2 and C3 versions rarer than the C1s. All-in-all, there are three different cards of each player, and three different versions of each card for a grand total of nine.
But wait, that's not all! Another way Topps ripped off Flair Showcase was in the use of one-of-one parallels. Like Flair, there are ones-of-one for each Class. But unlike Flair, they also made ones-of-one for all the Blacks and Reds as well.
The back of each card has a paragraph called "Imprint on the Game."
Roberto Alomar (Class One)
"Roberto and brother Sandy live by the words of their grandma. `Make your mother and father proud.' In 1998, Roberto won MVP honors at the All-Star Game, one year after Sandy took the prize. Mom and Pop beamed with pride."
Todd Walker (C1)
"Batting .194 with the Twins on May 24, 1997, Walker was optioned to Calgary. But instead of sulking, he persevered. Big Time. Todd rapped .345 at Salt Lake to earn a September call-up, then hit .364 the rest of the way."
Wait, wait. I thought he was optioned to Calgary? What's this Salt Lake bullshit?
Pat Da Bat (C1, ROOKIE)
OH HELLS YEAH!!! AN RC OF PAT DA BAT BURRELL!!!!
And it's a "true" rookie no less! I'm better feeling already.
"`Pat the Bat' displayed his incredible maturity as a Miami (FL) freshman batting an NCAA-leading .484 with 23 homers. Unfazed by the pressure of the year's College World Series, he rapped .500 and was named the tourney MVP."
WTF?? ANOTHER C-3POLERUD CARD????
"Months after undergoing brain surgery, Olerud made his pro/MLB debut with Toronto in 1989 -- but he had to wear a helmet even on defense. Overcoming fears of a beaning, John developed into a batting champ in 1993 (.363)"
Class One Black (1:8) Phat Albert Belle
"A former Boy Scout, Belle has spent hundreds of hours talking to kids about the importance of education and having good values. He is also extremely generous to charities. `I feel blessed I can help,' he said."
I am a little better feeling with the Burrell RC, but another C-3POlerud? Jesus H. Christ, how many more C-3POlerud's can a collector stand?
I am feeling a bit of sympathy for the geek who had to write the back of that Albert Belle card.