Review: 2010 Topps Baseball Cards

What to Expect

Well, this year's baseball cards are just hitting the market. This year, the only authorized baseball cards are from Topps, the company everybody knows is synonymous with baseball cards. Upper Deck is also producing cards but they are not licensed by Major League Baseball Properties so be wary of them.

This years 2010 Topps packs offer a lot a different things. The basic cards are ok as usual. The design is clean, the cardstock white and the colors are very bright. But beyond that, packs of cards offer quite a bit for the $2.00 a pack should cost.

There are several different basic insert sets. Legendary Lineage (shows two players from the same position or team), When They were Young (pictures today's players as children), Tales of the Game (shows events in baseball history), Cards Your Mom Threw Out (reprints the fronts of many favorite cards moms really did throw out - there is parallel to this that includes Original backs which are much harder to find), Turkey Red (painted images of many well known favorite players), toppstown (includes codes to put together a virtual online binder of cards), Tales of the game (highlights events in baseball history - again), Peak Perfomance (features players of historical importance), TOpps Million Card Giveaway code cards.

Honestly, this is alomst too much but it does insure that you you get 2 inserts per pack - a toppstown card plus one other insert. The Tales of the Game and History of the game have the same theme and look the same so I'm not sure what they were doing there. The When They Were Young inserts are garbage - nobody cares what David Wright looked like at 9 years old so these are a waste as well. The other inserts all came across very well.

There are autograph and Game used inserts as well. The only ones I've pulled are game-used parallels of the Peak Performance inserts and I was lucky enough to pull 3 NY players (I live in NY so that worked out well) - Nick Swisher, David Wright and Dwight Gooden. No autographs yet.

There are several short-printed variant cards. I have to admit that they seem much harder to pull this year than in year's past because I still haven't gotten one out of 3 boxes. Any card depicting a retired player is a short-print (except the Mickey Mantle card). Also any card picturing a NY Yankee with pie on his face is also a short print - actually an Extreme Short Print since they are near impossible to pull. These cards are not considered part of the regular set and won't be found in the year-end full set product.

There are basic parallels as well. Gold border cards are serial numbered out of 2010. Black bordered cards are serial numbered out of 59.

In years past, Topps had made an effort to reflect off-season signings in the free-agent market that happen early enough to include. This year they don't appear to have done this as Curtis Granderson is still with Detroit and Jason Bay is still shown on the Boston Red Sox. Bay may have been considered late but GRanderson was traded for very early in the off-season.

The Topps Million Card Giveaway is a fun and interesting promotion. These cards have codes on the back. When entered into the website, the code essentially awards you a real card that Topps has apparently bought from the secondary market and apparently ALL of the Topps catalog is available. That being said, my early codes awarded me nothing but common garbage I have in my attic. A 1993 Chito Martinez, really?? Now I know Topps can't just get the best cards but seriously, a 1993 Chito Martinez isn't even wanted by Chito Martinez - he's probably got thousands of them already!! On the other hand, I put in 7 codes the other night and received commons from the 1960's so I was much happier with that. The best card I've been awarded so far is a 1969 Jim Palmer worth about $30. Any cards redeemed can be traded but if you want them, you will pay a shipping fee to have Topps ship them to you.

This set is fun and the specialty cards are plentiful. I have to admit that there are a large number of NY players in the insert sets which is great for NY-based dealers but annoying to the rest of the world. If you love baseball go out and buy some packs to open with your kid. The gum doesn't exist anymore but the cards are still great to collect!!

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Comments 15 comments

Jeff 6 years ago

Thanks for the info. My daughter and I ripped a box of this last night, and we got a couple gold-bordered cards (Pujols and Mauer!) that neither of us had any idea about.

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dblyn 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Those sound like basic Gold Parallels to the base set. They should be serial numbered out of 2010 on the back of the card. Those are 2 good pulls since there are 330 cards in the series and those are 2 of the best players in baseball. I'm picking up another box at a show on Sunday..

Steve Kelly 6 years ago

I'm glad the hobby has consolidated. It will increase th value of the cards since there will no longer be an excess in supply.

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dblyn 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

I wouldn't want to predict the future on this just yet. I certainly agree that there was way too much product out there for a long time but having 2 companies was ok by me. The simple fact is that UD screwed up, really bad, and that's why they no longer have a license. Ultimately, having no competition might lead Topps to become the same company it was in the 70's which offered poor production and almost no quality control.

In this day and age we expect better, but with no competiton, we might have to just be happy with anything they throw out there at us.... we'll have to wait and see.

Grizzle 6 years ago

Bought a couple retail packs at Walmart yesterday and IN THE SAME PACK pulled a Peak Performance Gordon Beckham Auto IMMEDIATELY followed by a peak performance auto Jay Bruce. This had to have been a mistake...a good mistake though..

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dblyn 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Awesome pulls from a retail pack too as autos are far more difficult to pull from Retail packs rather than from Hobby packs..

JamesM 6 years ago

What is the difference between the Series 1 and the Opening Day Series. Which is better to collect?

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dblyn 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Opening Day is a retail only product that is usually cheaper than the regular series 1 packs. The two sets look very much the same but the Opening Day cards usually have the Opening Day logo on them and the border is likely a different color (I haven't bought any yet this year). For collector's, the better cards are more plentiful and found at better ratios in the Series 1 Hobby product.

ANDREES123 6 years ago


Jayman5 6 years ago

The only thing missing in this review is the sponsorship by Topps for the review.

Although the graphics and card design very are nice as well as some of the inserts. The pictures are HORRIBLE as they have been for the last several years! Unless you prefer unrecognizable, bleacher distance, backside shots for player pictures for which the set consist largely of this type of garbage. These low quality pictures are simply a cost cutting measure, since using quality posed pictures over the “pictures from the bleachers” Topps uses takes more time to produce. Kids or collectors will not enjoy these cards nearly as much as they use to, put simply they can not relate to familiarization of who is pictured on the cards in most cases. Also the T3 reprints are an absolute waste of card stock. Since Topps has re-established monopolization of the baseball card market.. I expected positive changes such as a return to the quality photo's once connecting MLB baseball players to kids and collectors alike... Instead the monopoly will simply translate into low quality, high priced cards.

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dblyn 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Jayman, Why you waited so long to say anything, since this set has been out nearly a year, truly amazes me. Topps has NEVER had great pictures unless you count Stadium Club. The shots are action shots and take no more time to get than posed shots (which most people don't like - you might be in the minority there) and they don't cost anything more either. Topps definitely needs to up their game on the additional content like inserts and such but on the whole - considering that they now have no competition - it wasn't a bad set to collect. Kids don't relate well to baseball and baseball cards because the players continually move around. Kids in the 50s, 60s and 70s were attached to their favorite players because they knew they weren't going anywhere. That simply isn't the case anymore. The card companies didn't help by pricing most products out of a kids range either. Feel free to be upset, but please understand why you should be. Topps cards of the distant past weren't the prettiest of things either, but kids related to them far better 30 years ago than they do today...

Dustin 6 years ago

Man collecting baseball cards is not what it used to be. I remember having the becket and prices going up. I feel like everyone collects now so they really will not be ever worth as much as before. Of course the exclusive cards will but sets.... I do not know!

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dblyn 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

I don't know if this will make you feel any better but there are far FEWER people collecting cards today than ever before. This industry has shrunk a lot over the past few years. Those of us who always loved it, stayed with it. Hopefully this hobby will boom again someday but please don't feel like it is now - it absolutely isn't. Just keep it fun and the rest will take care of itself...

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cccfree 5 years ago

I'll never forget the day I got duped to trade my Ken Griffey rookie card for two Lenny Dykstra's.

I looked at the Beckett guide later that week and found out my "friend" had ripped me off.

I went back and kicked his butt...

Baseball Training Bat 5 years ago

Baseball is interesting match to watch. Thanks a lot for this hub.

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