Category Archives: Topps Sets

2016 Topps Series 1 – My Review

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2016 Topps Buster Posey

It’s been a week since the release of the 2016 Topps Series 1 set and I thought I would share my opinions. The 350-card base set features veterans, rookies, Future Stars, Topps All-Star Rookie Team members, League Leaders, World Series Highlights, and team cards. I lost count of how many packs I have bought but I am only 8 cards from a complete so it’s safe to say I am sort of a fan. After reading various blog reviews I may be in the minority here though? I can appreciate the fact Topps is trying something new here and only have a few features I am not a fan of. My first issue would be the logo only being partly visible. I would love to see the whole logo but wouldn’t want it to be any smaller though. If somehow the area the logo is located in was a little bigger I think it would be an improvement. My second issue would be the cloudy look on the top corner and bottom corner. I am not sure it needs to be removed entirely but maybe a little less cloudy? For the first time ever Topps has removed the border from their flagship product. I love the no border look, but would not want Topps to entirely abandon borders in the future. Wouldn’t be upset if borders returned next year but for this year I love the look. The photography I think is great! If I could change one thing it would be to have more of the player in the shot. I think there are too many photos that are close up. Many don’t like the blurry background but I read on another blog review (forgot which one?) that the photos were not photo-shopped by Topps.

Being a San Francisco Giants fan I love pulling them from packs and two of them have great action shots!

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Joe Panik (#137)

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Angel Pagan (#299)

The parallel options in 2016 Topps include Rainbow Foil, Gold (#/2016), Vintage Stock (#/99), Black (#/65), Pink (#/50), Clear (#/10), Framed (one per case), Platinum (1/1), and Printing Plates (1/1). I have pulled a few Rainbow Foil and Gold borders, including this Kris Bryant.

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Gold Border – Kris Bryant (#350 – #/2016)

Some of the main inserts in 2016 Topps that I have pulled or acquired include 100 Years at Wrigley (25 cards), Amazing Milestones (10 cards), Back-to-Back (15 cards), Berger’s Best (65 cards), First Pitch (20 cards), MLB Debut (40 cards), Perspectives (25 cards), Pressed Into Service (10 cards), The Greatest Streaks (10 cards), and Walk-Off Wins (15 cards). I like the MLB Debut, The Greatest Streaks, and Amazing Milestones the most. I love the photography on The Perspectives but I am not a fan of the writing on many of the cards. It seems to get in the way sometimes! The rest of the inserts are okay and I’ll probably end up trying to acquire them but won’t be going out of my way.

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100 Years at Wrigley – Ryne Sandberg (#WRIG-2)

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Amazing Milestones – Babe Ruth (#AM-07)

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Back-to-Back – Buster Posey/Brandon Belt (#B2B-3)

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Berger’s Best – Mike Trout (#BB-60)

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First Pitch – Rebekah Gregory (#FP-18)

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MLB Debut – Nelson Cruz (#MLBD-8)

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Perspectives – Nolan Ryan (#P-24)

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Pressed Into Service – Ichiro (#PIS-9)

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The Greatest Streaks – Ken Griffey Jr. (#GS-02)

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Walk-Off Win – Manny Machado (#WOW-6)

As far as I am concerned it is one of my favorite Topps sets of the 2000’s, second to the 2015 Topps set. What do you think?

2014 Topps Heritage Blaster Box

2014_topps_heritage_blaster_boxI am a sucker for a discount, so even though I didn’t buy any 2014 Topps Heritage this year I couldn’t pass up a 40% discount on a blaster box of 2014 Topps Heritage at Wal-Mart. With eight packs (seven plus an extra one), for a total of 72 cards that equals to 16 cents a card. The 2014 Topps Heritage set is based on the 1965 Topps set.

I didn’t pull nothing too spectacular, but anytime I get to open packs of cards it is a good time. I was hoping to pull some San Francisco Giants cards but only got two, Bruce Bochy manager card and a 2014 Rookie Stars card of rookie shortstop Ehire Adrianza (with Washington Nationals rookie shortstop Zach Walters). Bochy led the San Francisco Giants to their third World Series Championship in the last five years, in case you were living under a rock and didn’t hear.  Adrianza played in 53 games for the Giants in 2014, batting .237 in 97 at-bats.

In addition to the two Giants I pulled (disappointed there weren’t more) a few more cards that I thought were cool.

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#1 – 2013 Batting Leaders (Cabrera, Mauer, Trout)

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#268 – Christian Yelich (Topps 2013 All-Star Rookie)

I have always been a fan of the Topps All-Star Rookie cards.

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#499 – Gerrit Cole (Blue Parallel)

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#JB2 – Johnny Bench 1st Draft

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#BF-BG – Flashbacks Bob Gibson

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#TANKK – Sandy Koufax and Clayton Kersh (Card is spoken for)

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#NAPPA – New Age Performers Pedro Alvarez

Since I don’t collect this set I don’t have a need for most of the cards the following are available:

#1 – 2013 Batting Leaders (Cabrera/Mauer/Trout)
#16 – Carlos Ruiz
#19 – Jeff Locke
#20 – Cliff Lee
#22 – A.J. Ellis
#26 – Ryan Wheeler
#27 – Jarrod Saltalamacchia
#33 – Michael Cuddyer
#34 – A.J. Burnett
#40 – Carl Crawford
#47 – Rex Brothers
#59 – Adam Lind
#63 – Jacob Turner
#69 – Gaby Sanchez
#94 – Hector Santiago
#99 – Walt Weiss (MGR)
#103 – Alex Gordon
#104 – Joey Butler/Jim Adduci (2014 Rookie Stars)
#106 – Nick Markakis
#136 – 2013 World Series – Game 5
#145 – Edwin Encarnacion
#164 – John Danks
#179 – Rafael Betancourt
#183 – Robbie Grossman
#184 – Kole Calhoun
#185 – Matt Holliday
#190 – Allen Craig
#197 – Josh Reddick
#205 – Starling Marte
#210 – Erick Aybar
#219 – Michael Young
#221 – Bartolo Colon
#223 – Miguel Gonzalez
#228 – Mitch Moreland
#229 – Colby Rasmus
#231 – Chris Johnson
#241 – Drew Stubbs
#256 – Wilson Ramos
#266 – Adam Dunn
#268 – Christian Yelich (2013 Topps All-Star Rookie)
#274 – Ron Washington (MGR)
#277 – Will Venable
#278 – David Lough
#286 – Arquimedes Caminero/Kris Johnson (2014 Rookie Stars)
#288 – Jhonny Peralta
#299 – Mike Moustakas
#308 – Travis d’Arnaud/Wilmer Flores (2014 Rookie Stars)
#320 – Shelby Miller
#335 – Tyler Pastornicky
#340 – Josh Willingham
#346 – Fredi Gonzalez (MGR)
#349 – Yovani Gallardo
#356 – Victor Martinez
#359 – Huston Street
#363 – Norichika Aoki
#371 – Edwin Jackson
#394 – Dexter Fowler
#404 – Charlie Blackmon
#407 – Rajai Davis
#408 – Didi Gregorius
#413 – A.J. Pollock
#416 – Emilio Bonifacio
#435 – Andrelton Simmons
#466 – Chris Archer
#494 – Carlos Gonzalez

#JB2 – Johnny Bench 1st Draft
#BF-BG – Flashbacks Bob Gibson
#NAP-PA – New Age Performers Pedro Alvarez

#499 – Gerrit Cole (Blue Parallel)

If you need any of the cards listed please leave a message.

2014 Topps Series One – My First Look

Along with finishing up the 2013 Topps Series Two set (I got distracted late last year) I am going to start putting together the 2014 Topps Series One set.  I bought my first Jumbo Pack (36 cards) at Wal-Mart the day they came out.  Here are some of the highlights from that first pack –

BASE SET CARDS

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#267 Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco Giants

Ht: 6’4″   Wt: 215   Throws: Right   Bats: Right
Born: 7-27-77, Charlotte, NC   Home: Atglen, PA
Drafted: Giants #5-June, 1988   Acq: Free Agent, 1-14-11

For those that do not read the back of the cards – Ryan supplied one of the great October performances in 2012.  He went 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA, including an NLCS victory in which he was the first Giants pitcher since 1924 to rap a postseason extra-base hit.

ROOKIE FACT: 62 percent of Ryan’s pitches in 2000 were strikes.

 

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#136 Will Middlebrooks, Boston Red Sox

Ht: 6’3″   Wt: 220   Bats: Right   Throws: Right
Born: 9-9-88, Greenville, TX   Home: Texarkana, TX
Drafted: Red Sox #5-June, 2007   Acq: Via Draft

For those that do not read the back of the cards – Will put together some monstrous games in 2103 – a sign of things to come for the young masher.  In one, he came up with three homers; in another, he drove in seven runs with a grand slam and a three-run trip.

ROOKIE FACT: Will tied a record with 9 RBI in his first four Major League games.

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#56 Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners

Ht: 6’4″   Wt: 210   Throws: Right   Bats: Right
Born: 8-13-92, Shreveport, LA
Drafted: Mariners #1-June, 2010

For those that do not read the back of the cards – Roughly 40 friends and family members turned out for Taijuan’s first Major League start at Houston on August 30, 2013, and he did not disappoint them.  Showing off the mid-90s fastball that prompted Baseball America to name him the No. 2 prospect in the Seattle system, Walker allowed just two hits, one walk and one unearned run over five stellar innings.

ROOKIE FACT: At 21, Taijuan became the youngest Mariners pitcher to win his debut.

#133 Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox

Ht: 6’3″   Wt: 185   Bats: Right   Throws: Right
Born: 10-1-92, Oranjestad, Aruba
Signed: Red Sox-2009 as Free Agent

For those that do not read the back of the cards – By the time USA Today named Xander its 2013 Minor League Player of the Year honoree in September, the affable Aruban was impressing Red Sox teammates in the Majors.  “He’s a great athlete,” Dustin Pedroia says.  “He’s got a ton of ability.” The slick-fielding, power-hitting Bogaerts played well enough in 18 games to make the postseason roster.

ROOKIE FACT: Xander’s 2013 promotion made him the youngest Red Sox rookie since 1972.

#281 Robbie Erlin, San Diego Padres

Ht: 5’11”   Wt: 190   Throws: Left   Bats: Right
Born: 10-8-90, Oakland, CA
Drafted: Rangers #3-June, 2009

For those that do not read the back of the cards – Summoned to San Diego early in 2013, Robbie warmed up for possible relief appearances three times before finally getting in a game on April 30.  There was no such uncertainty near the end of the season once he’d cracked the rotation.  Erlin closed the campaign with three straight quality starts, including 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the Dodgers.

ROOKIE FACT: Robbie earned his first Major League win at Toronto on June 1, 2013.

PARALLEL SET CARDS (I am not collecting the Parallel set cards so if you need these let me know.)

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#192 Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates

Ht: 6’3″   Wt: 235   Bats: Left   Throws: Right
Born: 2-6-87, Santo Domingo, D.R.   Home: Bronx, NY
Drafted: Pirates #1-June, 2008   Acq: Via Draft

For those that do not read the back of the cards – Pedro led the NL in 2013 with what ESPN Home Run Tracker calls “No Doubts” – 11 long-gone bombs.  There also in no doubt that the young third baseman is now among the most fearsome hitters in Baseball.  Alvarez topped the League in fewest at-bats per jack and was Pittsburgh’s only player of the season to go deep in four consecutive games

ROOKIE FACT: Pedro drove in a run in seven straight games, August 4-11, 2010.

#193 Ricky Nolasco, Los Angeles Dodgers

Ht: 6’2″  Wt: 235   Throws: Right   Bats: Right
Born: 12-13-82, Corona, CA   Home: Rialto, CA
Drafted: Cubs #4-June, 2001   Acq: Trade with Marlins, 7-6-13

For those that do not read the back of the cards – Shoring up the rotation after his acquisition from Miami, Ricky won eight of his first nine decisions in Dodger Blue.  He is one of only 10 pitchers with double-figure wins totals each of the last six years.

ROOKIE FACT: A home run off Tom Glavine was the first hot of Ricky’s career.

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#15 Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks

Ht: 6’3″   Wt: 245   Bats: Right   Throws: Right
Born: 9-10-87, Wilmington, DE   Home: The Woodlands, TX
Drafted: Diamondbacks #8-June, 2009   Acq: Via Draft

For those that do not read the back of the cards – Paul strapped his team on his back during a phenomenal 2013 campaign in which he led the League in RBI and OPS.  Teammate Aaron Hill calls his work ethic “by far the best I’ve ever seen in a guy.”

ROOKIE FACT: Paul’s late tie-breaking triple on 9-23-11 clinched the NL West Division.

 

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#221 Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins

Ht: 5’11”   Wt: 190   Bats: Right   Throws: Right
Born: 5-15-87, Tupelo, MS   Home: Fulton, MS
Drafted: Twins #8-June, 2009   Acq: Via Draft

For those that do not read the back of the cards – Brian crafted a marvelous transition from shortstop in 2013, leading AL players at all positions in assists with 461 – fifth most ever by a Twins second sacker.  His 18 homers were second among AL keystoners

ROOKIE FACT: Brian came up with at least one hit in 14 of his first 18 MLB games.



1989 TOPPS DIE CUT MINIS 

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#TM-49 Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

Ht: 6’2″   Wt: 230   Bats: Left   Throws: Right
Born: 10-16-92, Las Vegas, NV   Home: Las Vegas, NV
Drafted: Nationals #1-June, 2010   Acq: Via Draft

For those that do not read the back of the cards – In 2009, Bryce launched the longest home run ever hit inside Tropicana Field – a drive that would have measured 502 feet had it not hit the back wall of the dome.  He was 16 years old.  By 20, Harper had twice been named to the NL All-Star Team.

 

 

 

THE FUTURE IS NOW

2014_topps_first_pack_the_future_is_now_fn-30_bryce_harper# FN-30 Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

For those that do not read the back of the cards – A “Welcome to the Majors” Moment: On May 3, 2012, Bryce was the youngest three-hole hitter in the Major Leagues since Andruw Jones in 1996.  Harper embraced the challenge by driving in the winning run with a double in Washington’s 2-1 defeat of Arizona.


 

 

 


UPPER CLASS

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#UC-9 Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirates

For those that do not read the back of the cards – Rookie Season Superlatives:  Hit safely in his first seven and 17 of his first 19 games . . . Tagged 11 triples – the first of nine times would reach double figures . . . Went 5-5 with three doubles, 5/29/55 vs/ Phillies . . . Logged 18 outfield assists (second in NL).

 

 

 

 
More packs coming soon!