Thursday, February 4, 2010

2010 Topps first impressions

2010 Topps Baseball, Series One
First Impressions

Alright, so this has absolutely nothing to do with toys. My first hobby dates back 20 years to 1990. A friend of mine got me into baseball cards on the way home from a vacation in the mountains. We stopped at a rather large roadside flea market of sorts and I walked away with a large stack of 1990 Topps and Donruss baseball card packs. I guess as they say is history.

With the release of the 2010 Topps Baseball cards I've bought/collected baseball cards in some capacity now for 20 years. Just typing that makes me feel old! I thought it would be kinda neat (at least to me) to give my first impressions of the first baseball cards of the season since it's kind of a bench mark for me.

After reading some blogs and viewing some pictures of the 2010 Topps Baseball series 1 I decided to hit a few Target stores in my area to see what I could find. My first trip found one of those large gravity feeders of packs. I was particularly looking for the "blaster" boxes...but nothing could be found. A trip the following day to a different Target found me one lone box. I snatched it up with a little reservation. Since I'm not into set building I cringed a bit at the $19.99 price tag. Since it was the only box though I decided to go ahead with the purchase anyhow.

These "blaster" boxes give you 10 packs, each with 8 cards for a total of 80 cards. I guess the main draw of these boxes is that you get one exclusive patch card. I saw these with the 2009 cards so I knew what I was getting here. Nothing special since the patches are created just for these cards and not game used. The checklist for these patch cards is 50 cards long and features names such as Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Ryne Sandberg, Ichiro, Chase Utley & Albert Pujols. The other draw is that 2 of the packs are Throwback parallels. These cards are essentially the same as the base cards except they are printed on the old style brown cardboard. The Topps logo is also the old logo. I like these myself so the inclusion of these made the decision to buy the box a little easier.

So, what did I end up with you may wonder? For starters I got a Hank Greenberg (Detroit Tigers) 1935 World Series commemorative patch card. Nice looking, but I had rather have Chipper Jones or Pujols. Oh well. At least I got a Pujols from one of the Throwback packs.

As a Braves fan I was happy with some of the pulls. In the Throwback packs I got a Javier Vasquez. From the base set I got a few more Braves: Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson, Reid Gorecki and Javier Vasquez.

Also ended up w/ 2 of the Million Card Giveaway cards. This program really intrigues me, but I'll have to wait another week or so before the program goes live. Pulled a few of the Cards Your Mom Threw Out (even one of the original back versions), one When They Were Young (Johnny Damon) and a few of the other low odd inserts.

I love the basic and clean design of the base set. The team logos are large and colorful and the names are easy to read. I could have done without the silver foil, but I'm afraid that foil stamping and the glossy U/V coatings are here to stay on the regular Topps set. Backs of the cards have been improved over last year's set as well. Biggest change I noticed and I know a lot of others noticed is the card number in the upper right corner is MUCH easier to read. I've never been a set builder so the card #s have been irrelevant to me, but it's nice to see that Topps listened to the complaints and rectified the issue this time around.

All in all this set is a home run in my opinion. Great base design and pretty good inserts. Yeah so people may be sick of the gold parallels or the ToppsTown inserts, but they are OK additions in my book. Without new kids coming to the hobby it'll start to die off so if Topps has to use the ToppsTown program or something else to attract kids I'm fine with that. So, what are you waiting for? Head on down to your local hobby shop (if you're lucky to have one) or to your local Target store and pick up some packs. I think after you've busted a few packs you'll be glad you did.

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