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 toppsmillion.com 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!!