As mentioned, I got a box of Topps series 1 HTA jumbo packs this past week. I did get the full set of 350 cards – which is one of the benefits of buying a jumbo box instead of a hobby box. I had a couple of posts where I talked about the design and pictures. So enough with the opinions, this post will have scans of the more notable base cards.
First up, here’s my favorite card in the entire set. The Jose Bautista bat flip. This caused a lot of uproar when it happened – not just from old-school fans but from Sam Dyson, the pitcher who gave up the home run.
Since I already scanned it in yesterday’s post, here’s the card that you saw on all the promotional material Topps released. I really like this card as well.
This was the other card that was shown on the sell sheets was this card of Mike Trout.
I’ve shown some of these already, but Topps put all of the National League award winners in series 1:
AL MVP Josh Donaldson is also in series 1. Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel will be making their appearance in series 2.
And since I scanned them already in previous posts, here are cards of Anthony Rizzo and Andrew McCutchen.
Here’s a dozen of my favorite photos from the set. These are all of the vertical variety.
While I like this set overall, I tend to agree with detractors on some of the points. Namely, I think the cloud smoke is not good and I’d prefer fewer up-close cropping. I’ve read thoughts that some of the design offenses of this set are lessened in impact by the horizontal cards, and I think that’s probably true. Here’s a dozen of my favorite photos with horizontal cards.
Speaking of horizontal cards, here are the league leader subset cards. I wish Topps would go with some of the floating head stuff – or something different in general. I think the rise of inserts in the 1990’s basically created the need to have subsets look more like the rest of the base set. Also, kind of weird, they went with WHIP instead of strikeouts. I’m a big proponent of sabermetrics. But not on my league leader cards – and strikeouts is probably the most accepted of the 6 triple crown stats by the disciples of Bill James!
They did go with the traditional triple crown stats for the hitters. Nobody made all 3 cards in either league.
Here’s a few more of the subsets. There is a World Series subset. I forget about this every year, but Topps has only been including a card for the 4 games in which the winning team was victorious. That’s games 1, 2, 4 and 5 for the 2015 Royals.
There are 5 checklists with combo cards on the front a bit different from previous years, where a season highlight was shown. Kind of cool cards, though I assumed that the “Papi and the Prince” card featured Prince Fielder until I got a closer look after scanning these cards!
Here’s the All-Star Rookies that made into series 1. That’s 6 of your 12 players. Yes, the Topps ASR team has expanded to 12 guys. In addition to the standard 10 that had always existed, there is now a slot for DH, which got a very deserving Miguel Sano into the mix.
If you haven’t noticed, some of the cards above have the Future Stars designation. But some don’t. I figured out the pattern. Basically, if it’s got the rookie card designation, which is true for guys like Schwarber, Conforto and Sano who were called up in July. That means that guys like this…
…aren’t in the future stars subset. That’s just weird to me. I’m used to my future stars being guys who barely got a cup of coffee the year before. In this year’s subset are JD Martinez who has 500 Major League games under his belt, or Kole Calhoun who qualified for the batting title… in 2014. Or Carlos Carrasco who made his MLB debut in 2009. Or Jung Ho Kang, whose first professional season was in 2006. Or Yasmani Grandal or Joc Pederson, who both made the All-Star team in his 4th season with his 2nd team.
Of course there are quite a few guys who make sense as I understand the traditional definition. Here’s the other 15 Future Stars in series 1. 21 is a lot for 1 series.
And, last up, here are some of baseball’s best that didn’t get into my scans above through some other fashion.