2016 Topps Series 1 Baseball: Information and Pack Break
Basic Hobby Pack
Basic Card and Pack Construction
Base Set and Parallels
2016 Topps Series 1 Baseball at a glance
Packs per hobby box: 36
Cards per pack: 10
Set size: 350
The 2016 Topps Series 1 base set will consist of 350 cards and it will be a mix of rookies, veterans, league leaders and include a subset of World Series highlight cards which is pretty standard stuff. Each card will have nine types of parallels:
- Gold (/2,016)
- Vintage (/99)
- Black (/65)
- Pink (/50)
- Platinum (1/1)
- Rainbow, Clear (/10; hobby only)
- Framed (one per case)
- Printing Plates (1/1’s but there are 8 of them for each card)
Select players also have variations, but they are limited to photo variations this year; no stat backs or sparkles which I think is a welcome change. Use the codes on the back of the cards to distinguish whether you have a regular card, short print or super short print. According to Beckett these are the codes:
- Base – 7075
- SP – 7123
- SSP – 7125
There will be nine types of inserts in this one:
- Presidential Candidates – Politicians
- Berger’s Best, a year-by-year look back at basic Topps through Sy Berger’s eyes
- Pressed into Service – shows players in non-traditional roles
- 100 Years at Wrigley Field – revisits past moments in the stadium’s history
- Back to Back
- Topps Laser – marking the 20 year anniversary of the die-cut set from 1996 in booklet form
- First Pitch – showcase celebrity appearances at ballparks
- Team Logo Pins –these will be serial numbered and have autographed parallels limited to only 25 copies
- No-hitter Pins – these will be serial numbered and have autographed parallels limited to only 25 copies
- World Series Stamp and Coin cards – these will have denomination versions and some will have autographs (/10)
One Last Thing
Bunt Code cards and Bunt Player cards will be included (this year’s interactive code insert) that gives collector’s a way to get into Topps’ mobile apps game. Codes will be good for in-game tokens or exclusive cards found only with the redeeming of the card.
There will be eight types of autographed Relics in this release with most of these cards limited to 10 copies and none more than 50. Berger’s Best, Topps Laser, Back to Back, Pressed and Wrigley inserts will be limited to 10, while the World Series winners and Postseason Performance will be limited to 50. A set of Glove Leather autos — signed onto simulated leather will be limited to 25.
For standard autographs, there will be Scouting Report, Berger’s Best, Laser, Back to Back, Pressed into Service, 100 Years of Wrigley, World Series and Postseason. These will all be limited to 25 except for World Series and Postseason, which are limited to 50. A pair of 1/1 inclusions will also be found here with Berger’s Best cut autos as well as a standard cut auto set.
Nine different game-used memorabilia sets will be found in this one with the same lineup as other inserts — Scouting Report, Berger’s Best, Laser, Back to Back, Pressed, Wrigley, World Series and Postseason. The only new one here will be In the Name Relics that are 1/1 letter patches from players’ 2015 MLB All-Star Game workout jerseys. These will be found in hobby and jumbo packs only along with the Laser Relics. All standard Relics will be numbered to 99 or 100 save for the Scouting Report, which will not be numbered.
Breakdown of Pack 1
Base Cards: 74 Troy Tulowitzki, 81 Alexei Ramirez, 85 Corey Seager (RC), 133 Aaaron Nola (RC), 145 Jon Niese, 199 Jay Bruce, 284 Jon Gray (RC), 310 David Wright, 338 League Leaders (Gordon, Harper, Goldschmidt)
Insert Cards: Berger's Best BB-54 Justin Verlander Rookie Card
Thoughts: I love the base card design this year. The cards are full bleed, high gloss and include lots of up-close action shots. Pulling a Seager RC and David Wright made this a nice pack. The Jon Niese card bugs me as the trade that sent him to the Pirates was fairly early in the offseason. Years ago, Topps reflected early off-season trades in Series 1 but they don't anymore and it's silly. The Berger's Best subset is interesting but only to a point. I'd rather they stopped the reprints altogether but putting this card, a card Berger had nothing to do with, into a set named after the man is pretty foolish.
Pack 1 Highlights
Breakdown of Pack 2
Base Cards: 25 Brad Ziegler, 39 Mark Trumbo, 76 Glen Perkins, 129 Kendall Graveman, 183 Andrelton Simmons, 222 Homer Bailey, 260 Ryan Hannigan, 326 Kevin Plawecki
Insert Cards: Back to Back Posey/Belt, Scouting Report Trea Turner Autograph
Thoughts: Well the only base card of interest there is Plawecki since I'm a Mets fan. The Back to Back insert is odd. The text on the back notes that the two players hit homers in the same game but NOT back-to-back. Why call it that then? It's not a bad looking card but at least highlight players that back-back home runs. The Trea Turner autograph was a pleasant surprise. The back provides a scouting report on the player and Turner is one of the Nationals top prospects so this was a nice pull. It is, unfortunately, a sticker autograph.
Pack 2 Highlights
Breakdown of Pack 3
Base Cards: 27 Alec Asher (RC), 29 League Leaders (Cabrera, Bogaerts, Altuve), 62 Trace Thompson (RC), 75 Rusney Castillo, 114 Brett Lawrie, 196 Hunter Strickland, 207 Maikel Franco, 244 Matt Carpenter
Insert Cards: Back to Back (Donaldson/Tulowitzki)
Parallel Cards: 193 Trevor Bauer Rainbow Foil
Thoughts: Well again, the Back to Back idea is cool but the text implicitly states that these two did not go back to back in a game together - it's just weird. The Rainbow Foil parallel is nice looking but completely unnecessary. It isn't limited or serial numbered and there are a host of other parallels that are so what was the point?
Pack 3 Highlights
Breakdown of Pack 4
Base Cards: 107 Kevin Siegrist, 115 Aaron Harang, 122 Melky Cabrera, 156 Cameron Maybin, 162 Joaquin Benoit, 247 Yunel Escobar, 269 Giancarlo Stanton, 320 Jake Peavy, 343 Drew Hutchinson
Insert Cards: Perspectives David Ortiz, Wacky Packages - Dodgers
Thoughts: OK so the Perspectives insert seems pointless also. They aren't really highlighting anything except the popularity of David Ortiz. The Wacky Packages card is numbered like an insert but the back makes it clear that this is an ad for an upcoming set of Wacky's based on baseball which I think is a cool idea. I highlighted the Benoit card below as early articles said the Camo pictures indicated short-prints but that is not necessarily the case. This Benoit card is a regular base set card. Way to make it more difficult Topps!!
Pack 4 Highlights
Breakdown of Pack 5
Base Cards: 41 Josh Harrison, 50 Salvador Perez, 77 Clay Buchholz, 158 Henry Urrutia, 192 John Jaso, 248 Atlanta Braves, 259 Paul Goldschmidt, 351 Chase Utley
Insert Cards: Wrigley Field Celebrates 100 Years Rafael Palmeiro
Parallel Cards: 141 Colin Rea Gold 1966/2016
Thoughts: The Wrigley Field inserts talks about the first night game at Wrigley - so why isn't there a picture of the stadium at night? The text talks about Palmeiro's three hits in that game which is relevant, but not the best use of cardboard in my opinion. The Gold Parallel card looks good though I don't know this particular prospect. The serial numbering is in clear black ink on the back. I featured the Goldschmidt card just because I think he's a really good player who, as a Mets fan, I don't get to see too often.
Pack 5 Highlights
Breakdown of Pack 6
Base Cards: 24 Hollywood Production (Checklist Combo Card, 120 World Series Highlights, 201 Adam Jones, 216 Logan Forsythe, 268 Robinson Cano, 277 Elvis Andrus, 305 Colby Lewis, 306 Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 325 Kaleb Cowart
Insert Cards: First Pitch Victor Esinoza (Mets), Bunt Code Card
Thoughts: I like the First Pitch cards though I wish they chose celebrities we all know. Espinoza is the jockey for American Pharaoh but I'm sure you knew that right? The BUNT code card will introduce collecors to digital cards, again. I certainly plan to look into it, maybe.
Pack 6 Highlights
Breakdown of Pack 7
Base Cards: 14 Chris Davis, 30 Yan Gomes, 35 Luke Hochevar, 197 Neil Walker, 214 Chris Colabello, 266 Jonathan Papaelbon, 276 Francisco Cervelli, 394 Charlie Furbush, 329 Comeback Kids (Checklist Combo Card)
Insert Cards: Perspectives Nolan Ryan
Thoughts: It looks like the Combo cards are all checklists which doesn't really bother me. The Nolan Ryan insert card has an awesome picture of the inside of the Astrodome but the text highlights Ryan's choice of Orange Juice after throwing No-hitters. Fascinating!!!
Pack 7 Highlights
Breakdown of Pack 8
Base Cards: 58 League Leaders (Greinke, Arrieta, K168 Nathan Eovaldi, 202 Colorado Rockies, 210 Mike Zunino, 252 Jorge Soler, 347 Jason Grilli, 349 Ben Revere
Insert Cards: Wrigley Field Celebrates 100 Years (Maddux, Jenkins)
Parallel Cards: 217 Lance Lynn Gold 0908/2016
Thoughts: So this Wrigley Field card talks of Harry Carey singing Take me out to the ballgame and then mentions that since his death there are celebrity vocalists. Weird that Harry isn't ON the card!!! The gold card looks nice as usual.
Pack 8 Highlights
Breakdown of Pack 9
Base Cards: 53 George Springer, 104 Jeremy Hellickson, 139 Yasiel Puig, 173 Jose Abreu, 231 Chris Coghlan, 243 Luke Gregerson, 257 Jake Marisnick, 272 Denard Span, 299 Angel Pagan
Insert Cards: Berger's Best BB-49 Josh Hamilton Rookie Card
Thoughts: Again, the card features a reprint of a card Berger had nothing to do with as Berger retired in 1997. The Puig card looks good and the picture on the Angel Pagan card is very cool.
Pack 9 Highlights
Breakdown of Pack 10
Base Cards: 34 Omar Infante, 193 Trevor Bauer, 230 Ryan Vogelsong, 234 David Robeertson, 292 Todd Frazier, 298 Ryan Braun, 302 Houston Astros, 337 League Leaders (Harper, Arenado, Gonzalez)
Insert Cards: Berger's Best BB-36 Bo Jackson Rookie Card
Thoughts: So the 1987 Topps Bo Jackson looks marginally better with gloss on it but the odder thing here is that this reprint will likely be worth more than the original since there are like, 4 Million 1987 Topps Bo Jackson cards - we didn't really need a reprint of this did we?.
Pack 10 Highlights
Breakdown of Pack 11
Base Cards: 100 Bryce Harper, 106 Jordan Walden, 130 A.J. Pollock, 131 Adam LaRoche, 271 Kevin Kiermaier, 301 Wade Miley, 311 Dariel Alvarez, 316 Jake Odorizzi, 348 Seth Smith
Insert Cards: Berger's Best BB-46 Livan Hernandez
Thoughts: The Harper card features an interesting picture. The Livan Hernandez insert is absolutely pointless. I'm sure when I get Berger's Best and it features a vintage card, I'll like it a bit better but in the end, its just a reprint and there are no original back variations for them.
Pack 11 Highlights
Some Conclusions about the Product
So I love the basic product design of the 2016 Topps Series 1 set. The inserts feel sort of pointless as the text doesn't seem to match the pictures all too well. The parallels I pulled, the regular Gold and the Rainbow foil are fairly standard though I've never seen the point in the foil parallel. The gold has been a standard parallel since 2001. The Trea Turner autograph was a cool pull and unexpected. The better pulls will be found in Jumbo packs so I'll break a couple of those next.