Opening Day, perhaps the least-anticipated baseball card product on Topps’ release calendar, came out this week.
The set, a low-end “highlights” version of Topps Series 1 that came out last month, includes 220 cards that essentially follow the same design. (The foil additions are removed and an “Opening Day logo is added, and players who changed teams during the off-season are usually shown in their new uniforms via digitally-manipulated photos. A few stars that were held for Series 2 also sneak in occasionally.)
The inserts are usually the only reason to be interested in Topps Opening Day, and there are some fun ones this year. The perennial 25-card mascot set is back, along with a 25-card “Superstar Celebrations” set. Two new designs, a 30-card “Fired Up” set and a 20-card “Breaking Out” set, would have been at home in most early 1990s products and appeal to my sense of nostalgia without directly recalling any specific older cards.
There’s also a bland 25-card “Opening Day Stars” set, a fun 10-card “Between Innings” set focusing on things like the Washington Nationals’ “Racing Presidents,” and the obligatory blue foil parallel set and printing plates, autographs and relics with astronomical odds of being found.
(You can find some card images at The Schlabotnick Report, if you want to see what some of the insert sets look like.)
The New York Mets are represented about as well as you’d expect overall, with six cards in the base set:
- 47 Matt Harvey
- 97 Wilmer Flores
- 101 Zack Wheeler
- 134 David Wright
- 147 Bobby Parnell
- 214 Travis d’Arnaud
It would have been nice to see Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy instead of Flores and Harvey, I think.
Among the inserts:
- Mr. Met is the final card in the Mascots insert set (M-25).
- David Wright is in the “Breaking Out” insert set (BO-7), the “Fired Up” insert set (UP-15), and the “Opening Day Stars” insert (ODS-20).
I can’t tell if the Mets are represented in the “Between Innings” insert set, since the titles of some cards are vague and I haven’t seen images yet.
I’m going to pass on Opening Day this year, but that’s a comment on my budget more than the “fun factor” of the set. I really do enjoy most of the inserts and if the base set just had a deeper checklist, Opening Day might be in the running for my favorite product of the year.
Feel free to send any unwanted mascots or “Between Innings” cards my way if you do end up buying Topps Opening Day cards.
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