If you've been collecting baseball cards for awhile, you realize that Topps has now produced their "Opening Day" line for more than a decade. And, you also understand that this is not a premium Topps line but one that is very important.
Most of the time, the photos are the same as the base card (A noted exception is the 2007 Derek Jeter card which was issued without Mickey Mantle and President Bush in the background). In addition, although autograph cards have been part of the Opening Day product for a while, they're not the focus of the product.
2010 Topps Opening Day is, of course, very similar to the basic Topps product except that the Opening Day logo is in the upper left corner. In addition, some of the players are from the second series, so there is also a preview of some of the upcoming cards in the base set of the company's Series II flagship.
Cards numbered 201 through 219 are all Rookie Cards with card number 220 as a checklist.
Other than the card numbers, the backs are virtually the same as the regular Topps cards. The boxes contain 36 packs with seven cards per pack. As this review is being written, the boxes are trading on-line for a very reasonable $30-35.
Topps does update some of the off-season transactions, putting players in their new uniforms through a little creative art work.
They try to cater this product more toward a younger audience and it includes Topps Town cards, a set of mascots and the popular Attacks cards along with the standard issue stuff.
If you're hoping to piece together a set, Opening Day really comes through. One box usually yields the overwhelming majority of a full set with little or no duplication.
So let's see what we pulled from our box:
Blue Parallels: David DeJesus, Roy Halladay, Tim Hudson, Josh Johnson, Mickey Mantle, Daniel McCutchen, Rick Porcello, Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval
Topps Attax: Matt Kemp, Ian Kinsler, Hanley Ramirez, CC Sabathia, Ichiro Suzuki and David Wright
Superstar Celebrations: Mark Buehrle, Andre Ethier, Alex Rodriguez/Mark Teixeira, Michael Young
Mascots: Wally the Green Monster (Red Sox), Slider (Indians), Paws (Tigers), Bernie Brewer (Brewers), Stomper (Athletics), Pirate Parrot (Pirates), Fredbird (Cardinals), ACE (Blue Jays), Eagle (Nationals).
Where'd you go, Bazooka Joe: Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, CC Sabathia, David Wright
Although no autographs (not that you expect them here), considering the price point, opening a box of Topps Opening Day is a fun way to get set for the season to come.