2016 Topps Update – the stats

24 03 2017

I wasn’t able to post this earlier, but tonight I got through the “organization” part of my 2016 Topps Update box.  The main story to me is – since Topps moved the Update set down to 300 cards, I finished the whole set with one box!

Stats for the box:

36 packs per box * 10 cards per pack + 1 extra card (somehow) = 360 cards

21 doubles

300 of the 300 card set. (100% set completion)

6 First Pitch

6 3,000 Hit Club

4 Fire

4 Chasing 3K

5 Team Franklin

1 All-Star Stitches

2016 Topps Update hobby box – hits. Or. The hit.

19 03 2017

When you buy a Topps HTA Jumbo box, you get 3 hits.  When you buy a hobby box, you pretty much know you’re gonna get 1 and it’s most likely gonna be a jersey card.  You get what you pay for, so to speak.

This box was a prime example of that.

Just one card to show off here, because for Topps 2016 Update I only got the hobby box.  As my interest in baseball cards has gone from craze to haze, I’ve got to go with the cheaper option.  I pulled an All-Star Stitches card, which is a set I’m collecting from the 2015 Topps set.

Obviously a jersey card of a moderate star doesn’t set my world on fire.  But I’ll say, this particular set is always well-done.  This card is no different.

2016 Topps Update hobby – inserts

18 03 2017

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.

2016 Topps Update Hobby box – parallels

16 03 2017

Here’s my parallel cards from the Hobby box I bought for Topps series 1. I got a few interesting cards, though I didn’t stag anything too crazy.  The rainbow foil cards are 2016’s common, non-color inserts. I got 4 of those.

Topps Gold is the one that comes back every year, though 2016 was the first full bleed design, so it gets the honeycomb treatment.  The Corey Seager is a pretty good pull.

And I got 2 different “rarer” parallels.  First is the negative cards.  These are cool and seem to work really well with the design.  It’s hard to see who that is, but it’s a guy named Jameson Taillon who seems like a decent pitching prospect for the Buccos.

And I got a Topps Black insert of catcher Wilson Ramos.

Hope everyone is enjoying the March Madness!

2016 Topps Update Hobby box – base cards

8 03 2017

Pushing forward with my 2016 Topps Update box break.  I did subsets a couple of days ago.  Today is regular old base cards.  I haven’t gone through to see how much of the set I got quite yet, I just picked out cards I liked or thought were notable.

Topps Update was first known for 2 things – rookie cards.  There are a few notable rookies in here, though less than I expected.  Maybe time will tell.  Maybe Topps just gets a bunch of guys into series 2 these days.

Topps Update, which as any person with true wisdom knows used to be called “Topps Traded” also features guys who were traded.  Some were traded (or signed as free agents) before the season…

…others were traded in the midst of the 2016 season.

Finally, like any good set, I feel the need to go through and pick out my favorite pictures.  These are my faves of this iteration (though the Trumbo above may be one I like the best).

That’s all for now – inserts are up next.

2016 Topps Update Hobby box – subsets

6 03 2017

I bought this box back when it came out, but finally now got around to opening it!  2016 Topps Update.  I haven’t opened a new box in a long while, so this was fun.  This is the first of 2 posts about the base cards.  I’m always intrigued by what Topps is going to include for the subsets in Update.

I’ll start off with the one they always do (at least of late).  This represents all-stars from the 2016 game in San Diego.  A bunch of interesting cards here.  Ortiz played in his last game and was a sort-of guest of honor.  Hosmer won the game MVP award.  Kershaw just looks funny in Padre colors.  And Fernandez is notable for an unfortunate reason – it was weird to pull his card.

The other cards all seemed like really cool photos.

They also have cards of the Home Run Derby.  Here’s the current winner and the (at the time) defending champ.

Another subset they have this year is the Rookie Debut.  This has been a “sneaky” way to get another card of younger stars that Topps can slap a “RC” logo on.  Interesting they put Schwarber on here despite the fact his debut was in 2015.

I think this is new, at least from what I remember – but some guys who are more from the prospect list is a Rookie Combos subset.

There’s also a regular “Combos” subset as well.  I always enjoy the corny names in any given year that Topps does this.  However, I wish they differentiated the design from the base set for these.

Last but not least, here’s the highlight subset.  This showcases the somewhat-controversial professional hit record, tying the single game strikeout record, a no-hitter.  And of course.  Bartolo Colon hitting a dinger!

Completed insert set – 2016 Pressed into Service

5 12 2016

When I finished this set, I wasn’t expecting this to actually be a finished set at that point.  This was one Topps really could have done each series and made a 30 card set.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “When their teams needed them most, these 10 position players ventured into unfamiliar territory.”  The front has a picture of the position player who was forced into a pitching situation, with a background that prominently features baseball stitches.

Set composition:  10 cards, 1:8 (2016 Topps series 1)

Hall of Famers:  2. Wade Boggs, Stan Musial.

How I put the set together:

  • 7 cards from my series 1 HTA jumbo box
  • 4 cards from a trade

Card that completed my set: #PIS-5 – Paul O’Neill


I got this as one of 4 cards in trade from 30 dollar habit.

Thoughts on the set:  I love the set and my main complaint is that Topps only did it in series 1.  C’mon!  There are so many other great instances of position players pitching.  From Babe Ruth coming back to show he could still pitch, to Mark Grace giving up David Ross’ first homer, to David Ross hitting a homer as a pitcher.  Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams and Adam Dunn all have stories to tell.  There are so many great options!

Best card (my opinion): #PIS-3 – Jose Canseco

2016 Topps Pressed Into Service front

Canseco is the most fun out of all these guys, though I like the Ichiro story from last year as well.

Best Reds card (my opinion):  Paul O’Neill is the only one.


O’Neill came in to pitch in a blowout loss in 1987.  Wish they could have found a shot from the actual game.

Here’s the whole set.



Any other tidbits:  Musial was the one that seemed to stick out as not belonging.  He was a pitcher coming up in the minors, but only had one instance where he was “pressed into service” in the bigs.  He pitched to one batter in 1952 and didn’t get an out.  I wish Topps had put more about the actual pitching appearance.  Musial faced Cubs hitter Frank Baumholtz and threw just one pitch.  It was a gimmick because the Cubs and Cardinals were officially out of the pennant chase, but Baumholtz had an extreme outside chance to catch Musial for the batting title.  Musial came in from the outfield to face him in the first inning. Baumholtz grounded to third, reached on an error, and ended his batting title prayer.  Musial has the strange stat line of facing one hitter, not giving up a walk, hit or HBP, but not also having no credit for any portion of an inning.  He has to be tied for the least innings pitched of any pitcher in MLB history!

2016 Topps series 2 HTA Jumbo box – hits

23 06 2016

When you buy a HTA Jumbo box, 1 of your 3 hits will be a manufactured relic.  That’s fine by me, though I always hope Topps keeps new ideas coming with these.  This is a Future Stars logo card of Jose Altuve.  These are pretty decent – it kind of reminds me of the material on an air hockey table.

2016 Topps s2 manu relic - Altuve

I also got a more “real” relic – of the Scouting Report variety.  Paul Goldschmidt, so while I never get too excited about a piece of jersey, at least it’s a star player.

2016 Topps s2 Scouting Report relic - Goldschmidt

My autograph was also of the Scouting Report variety – and he wasn’t a Diamondback.  It wasn’t a card of an All-Star player, however.  Brandon Drury is of the younger prospect variety, but he is having a good rookie year with the Diamondbacks.

2016 Topps s2 auto - Brandon Drury

2016 Topps series 2 HTA jumbo – inserts

22 06 2016

Here’s my insert post for Topps series 2.  Just like in series 1 – I liked that Topps didn’t go as overboard with the number of inserts as they had done in the past.  I just wish that meant that I had finished off the base set in my box – which didn’t happen!

As usual, I’m starting with my least favorite and moving up to the best.  That is easily Berger’s Best.  Same as series 1.  Another reprint set just isn’t necessary, and this one suffers from the problem that there’s nothing on the front designating it as “Reprint flavor of 2016”.  Which is why I’m showing you the back.  I got 10 of these – but there’s only room on the scanner for 8 and these aren’t worth a 2nd scan.

2016 Topps s2 Berger's Best

Next is Hallowed Highlights.  There’s just nothing standout about this set.  More than any other set in series 2 – it feels like filler.  I think this replaces the Back to Back set from series 1.  I got 5 of them.

2016 Topps s2 Hallowed Highlights

The rest of these are good insert sets to me.  First Pitch is back from series 1 (and from 2015).  I hope Topps keeps this up.  Craig Sager threw out the first pitch at Wrigley the other day and he’d be a good addition.  The reason this isn’t a bit higher is that it uses the 2016 base design and thus doesn’t stick out.  I’d rather the set have its own design and have 2016 build on the 2015 set.  Also, if you’re going to do an insert about the first pitch, showing more of the background would be better.

2016 Topps s2 First Pitch

Next up is the 100 years of Wrigley Field, which really should be 100 years of the Cubs at Wrigley Field, insert set.  This one is very cool, and as you can see there’s a former U.S. Prez in the mix.  I don’t know if there’s any historical errors in the write-ups like there were in series 1, but I’m mostly able to look past those anyways.  Cool set.

2016 Topps s2 100 years Wrigley

Replacing Perspectives and Pressed into Service are two single player sets – both of guys who will be going into the Hall of Fame as a Seattle Mariner.  The first one is for Ichiro’s chase for 3,000 hits this year.  I got 10 of these.  They list various milestone hits from Ichiro’s career.  It will be fun to go through the 30 cards Topps picked whenever I finish this set off!

2016 Topps s2 Chasing 3K Ichiro

Last of the regular inserts is the Ken Griffey Jr. card set.  This set is called Tribute to the Kid.  My favorite player, going into the HOF this year (and I’m going to see it). Him getting an insert set is appropriate.  This is a very similar design as the 2000 All-Topps Team insert set.

2016 Topps s2 Tribute to the Kid - Griffey

Last but not least is an insert that’s tougher to find.  This is Topps Laser, which was an old product from back in the late 90’s, early 00’s.  They’ve done the laser cutting in what I’d describe as either a web or a stack of see-through rocks on the front.  That then opens up into a booklet.  Inside is an HD-looking full-bleed picture.  I got Anthony Rizzo.

2016 Topps s2 Laser - Rizzo front

2016 Topps s2 Laser - Rizzo open

In person, this is a very cool card.

2016 Topps series 2 HTA jumbo – parallels

21 06 2016

Here’s my parallel cards from the HTA Jumbo box I bought for Topps series 2.  I got a few rarer cards, but nothing earth-shattering.  The rainbow foil cards are this year’s more common, non-color inserts.  I got 5 of those.

2016 Topps s2 rainbow foil

I got 8 Topps Gold cards, numbered out of 2016.

2016 Topps s2 gold

Here are the tougher pulls – I got one Topps Black card of Phillies youngster Cody Asche.

2016 Topps s2 black Cody Asche

I also got one of those Negative cards – this of Jace Peterson.  These are new in 2016, and they’re really cool.

2016 Topps s2 Negative Jace Peterson

Finally, I got one variation.  The series 2 theme is guys decked out in their Jackie Robinson Day attire.  I got Wil Myers, who has been the one pleasant surprise in San Diego.

2016 Topps s2 SP 42 variation Wil Myers

Up tomorrow – inserts from the box.