Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Minor Series One thoughts

On Saturday, I finally found some Series 2019 Topps Series One. I went to a more reliable Target that is a little further away, but I was able to add a few more errands to the trip, so it worked out.

I had been sitting on a gift card since Christmas, so ultimately I decided on two blasters, a hanger, and a loose pack that had probably already been searched.

My first card was Matt Davidson.
I really don't have any new thoughts that haven't already been shared from many.

I like the design a lot. The half border works well. I'm completely indifferent on borders vs no border, but what I like most about it is the excellent bookend it makes from 2015-2019. 16-17-18 all had a pretty similar look and feel, while 2015 was pretty great. This does a nice job of ending the last three years designs and setting the stage for Topps to go a number of ways in 2020.

The Yankees checklist is decent. I like the Didi Gregorius card a lot, although unfortunately didn't pull it. I pulled several Chad Green, Chance Adams, Gleyber Torres, and Miguel Andujars because of poor collation.
One nitpicky thing is that I wish the Rookie Cup logo was centered above the team logo, versus slightly to the right. Minor thing, yes, but would have preferred the symmetry.
I think the parallels - at least the foil and the gold - look excellent. The gold is easy to spot, and the foil looks nice with the white portion of the border. Thumbs up from me on both of those.
I've also just come to the conclusion that inserts in 2019 - or any year in the past 10 years or so - I just am not interested in. As a young collector in the '90s, I'm someone who likes a good insert set. Companies were one-upping each other, and inserts felt special and different. I guess that's where companies like Fleer/Flair and Pacific really always came through.

In 2019, they are so bland, both in topic and design. I'm sure the people at Topps are very nice who come up with these, but I don't understand the need to be so generic (e.g. Stars of the Game). I guess it's so they can shove 100 players in each set, including legends, because we all need more modern cards of Ruth and Mantle.
I'd say my favorites - at least in terms of aesthetics - are are Cactus and Grapefruit Legends inserts. They would have really popped with some shiny foil or texture, but the backgrounds are at least a bit more interesting. My mind went to 1996 Ultra Power Plus is anyone remembers those.
I pulled an Evolution of the Game Casey Stengel, which happens to fall 1:105. It doesn't look like a one-in-a-hundred pack card.
My two blasters yielded me TWO Nationls - Max and Trea Turner. Those are already claimed. I snagged a few SPs as well. I feel like the days of accidentally flipping past a photo variation are gone since they are so common now.
That's it! It's always fun to open new packs, and I do really like the base cards a lot. The photography is very good too. I doubt I'll open any more, but I'm glad I found some and that we can officially kick off the 2019 card - and baseball - season.


  1. Thanks for this post. I'm not a fan of the inserts either; save the historical players for Stadium Club or something. One thing I find really frustrating is that at card shows, they have these HOF boxes with Yankee or other greats and all the cards are modern insert cards which is annoying as all get out.

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    1. Outstanding, Lorie! Do you have any opinions on the Series One checklist? What about the inserts? I bet the foil parallels look pretty impressive after cataract surgery!

  3. I 100% agree on how cheap and generic insert sets look these days. I remember the inserts being the best looking cards in the set.

    Great post!

  4. I talked to my LCS owner yesterday and he said he didn't like the half border and thought it might make it more difficult to see if the card is centered properly. I'm kind of in the other camp. I love the half border and think it's kind of a throw back to the '82 set.
    I'm with you on the inserts. I read on someone's blog that if you were building the master set of Series 1 there would be more insert cards to chase than base. It's true, but how does Topps even think this what collectors want?