2021 Topps x ESPN Once Upon a Time in Queens Remembers the 1986 Mets


Lots of movies and TV shows having trading cards. Documentaries — not so much. 2021 Topps x ESPN Once Upon a Time in Queens is one such set. That said, it’s a natural fit seeing as how the doc looks at the ’86 Mets.

Like the documentary, the set is divided into four parts. Each has a different group of ten cards, meaning a complete set has 40 cards.

2021 Topps x ESPN 30for30 Once Upon a Time in Queens Roger McDowell

Although players are the focus, Once Upon a Time in Queens also explores some of the cultural aspects of New York’s run. To that end, it’s similar to an entertainment trading card set that charts out a story as well as introducing various characters.

Naturally, cards adapt the 1986 Topps Baseball design.

Two levels of parallels are randomly inserted in boxes. Blue and Orange have 86 copies while Gold parallels are one-of-ones.

Select cards also have autographs.

Boxes are available exclusively through the Topps website for one week ($19.99 each). It’s a print-on-demand product, so some parts may be more plentiful than others.

2021 Topps x ESPN 30for30 Once Upon a Time in Queens Box

Available Separately

Although the main set has autographs available in packs, others are available on their own. Mike Tyson and the documentary’s executive producers, Jimmy Kimmel and “Cousin” Sal Iacono are included.

In addition to these are four additional cards with art from Joey “Paints” Petruccio that are being sold on-demand, similar to Project70. Rainbow Foil (/99) and Gold Frame (1/1) parallels are randomly inserted in the print run while silver-framed Artist Proofs, which have 86 copies, are sold separately.

2021 Topps x ESPN Once Upon a Time in Queens baseball cards at a glance:

Cards per pack: 10
Packs per box: 1
Set size: 40
Release date: Parts 1 and 2: September 14, 2021, Parts 3 and 4: September 15, 2021

2021 Topps x ESPN Once Upon a Time in Queens Checklist

40 cards.
10 cards per part.


  • Blue and Orange – /86
  • Gold – 1/1

Part 1

Available: September 14
Print Run: TBA

1 Darryl Strawberry – Introduced, 1980 #1 overall Draft Pick
2 Keith Hernandez – Introduced, 1983 arrival
3 Davey Johnson – Named Manager, 1984 Arrival
4 Dwight Gooden – Arrives from Minors
5 Dwight Gooden – The Magic of Doc, 1984 ROY Campaign
6 Gary Carter – Introduced, 1985 Arrival
7 Lenny Dykstra – Introduced, 1985 Arrival
8 Mookie Wilson – Mets Speedy Veteran, Part of Club Since 1980
9 Dwight Gooden – 1985 NL Cy Young Award Winner
10 Frank Cashen – Building a Contender


7 Lenny Dykstra
9 Dwight Gooden

Part 2

Available: September 14
Print Run: TBA

11 Bob Ojeda – Added to the mix, 1985 offseason & “These guys are nuts”
12 New York Mets – 1986 Mets Spring Training, Expectations
13 Davey Johnson – Predicts Mets Will “Dominate”
14 New York Mets – April Sweep of St. Louis, Whitey Herzog Says “It’s Over.”
15 New York Mets – “America’s Team”, Mets Appearing in Commercials & TV
16 Keith Hernandez / Darryl Strawberry – “On the Town”, Keith and Darryl at Nightclub
17 New York Mets – “Plane Society”, Artwork by Joey “Paints” Petruccio
18 Gary Carter – Takes a “Curtain Call”
19 Ray Knight – “Waves” out HR on July 3
20 Lenny Dykstra / Wally Backman – A “Wild Boys” Style of Play


13 Davey Johnson
19 Ray Knight

Part 3

Available: September 15
Print Run: TBA

21 Mike Tyson – Visits the Mets
22 Keith Hernandez – Takes Time for a Crossword Puzzle
23 New York Mets – “Let’s Go Mets!” Mets Human Pyramid
24 Darryl Strawberry – Strawberry Swings for the Fences
25 Shea Stadium – NL East Clincher, September 17, Fans Storm Shea Stadium Field
26 Bob Ojeda – NLCS Game 2, Bobby O.’s Complete Game
27 Lenny Dykstra – NLCS Game 3, Lenny’s Walkoff Homer in the 9th
28 Dwight Gooden – NLCS Game 5, Doc vs. Nolan
29 Gary Carter – NLCS Game 5, “The Kid” Walks It Off in the 12th
30 New York Mets – NLCS Game 6, Mets Win the Pennant!


22 Keith Hernandez
24 Darryl Strawberry

Part 4

Available: September 15
Print Run: TBA

31 Bob Ojeda – World Series Game 3, Ojeda Comes Up Clutch Again
32 Gary Carter – World Series Game 4, Gary Slugs a Pair of Homers; All Tied Up
33 Kevin Mitchell – World Series Game 6, Stanley’s Wild Pitch, Mitchell Scores
34 Mookie Wilson – World Series Game 6, Mookie & Buckner – Baseball History
35 New York Mets – World Series Game 6, Pandemonium in Queens
36 Ray Knight – World Series Game 7, Longball Clinches World Series MVP Honors
37 New York Mets – World Series Game 7, The Last Out and Celebration
38 New York Mets – World Series Game 7, Players Embrace
39 New York Mets – World Series Parade, Canyon of Heroes
40 New York Mets – Team Photo, A Year to Remember

Joey Paints

4 cards.
Sold individually.


  • Rainbow Foil – /99
  • Artist Proof – /86 (sold separately)
  • Gold Frame – 1/1

1 The Uniform
2 Spirit of ’86
3 Hey! Up Front!
4 Jumping for Joy


These autographs are not in packs. Rather, they are sold individually.

2021 Tpops x ESPN Once Upon a Time in Queens Mike Tyson Autograph

Click on the links to see what’s available on eBay.


  • Green /99
  • Mets Stripes /86
  • Blue /49
  • Red /10
  • Orange /5
  • Gold 1/1

“Cousin Sal” Sal Iacono – Brooklyn Native Helps Capture the ’86 Amazin’ Mets /125
Jimmy Kimmel – Incurable Mets Fan Retells the ’86 Season /125
Mike Tyson – Heavyweight Goes Toe-to-Toe with the Mets /125


Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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