Topps actually did pretty well with 2016 Update – not too many insert sets and only 1 felt completely unnecessary. Do I wish it was more like the mid-90’s with just a few? Sure but from this aspect this was a fun box.
First off. No Berger’s Best. Yay! That was a dumb insert set because it had just been done so much. But I’ll start with the set they just didn’t need to do. It’s just not particularly interesting. I think it’s supposed to be “these guys are good hitters and they wear Franklin batting gloves”. It’s not bad. But it’s also not some great, memorable design and I view it as “unnecessary”.
As always, I start with my least favorite and move up to the best. The rest I think are interesting, at a minimum. Topps continued an insert from series 2 and did Ichiro’s trip to 3,000. It’s a bit of a weird set. The 2nd to last card is #2,989. The last card is #3,000. I didn’t get the last one.
Updated Note: After reading the backs a bit more, the advertising for Franklin on the back of the card this set is a damn shame.
The rest of the 3 inserts were all very good (but not great) to me. These Topps Fire inserts are an idea taken from another program and I think look really cool.
First Pitch is back from series 1 & 2 (and from 2015). I want Topps to keeps this coming. I said it in series 2: Craig Sager threw out the first pitch at Wrigley the other day and he’d be a good addition.
I want to say “For the win”, but unfortunately Sager lost his battle with cancer. He fought like nobody before, accepting some levels of treatment that had really never been done before. It’s hard to see this card and not be sad. I’m actually becoming a bigger NBA fan than MLB (blasphemy) and I’ll miss him. But glad he got to do the Cubs first pitch because he was always a big Cubs fan.
Last is 3,000 hit club.
Cool set. Really cool set. But not great because I know #1 (among others) aren’t included and it’s not in either chronological or total hit order.