By Rich Klein
Each year, Topps Series II baseball has a difficult act to follow. For long-time collectors and Topps loyalists, the company's first series is the most anticipated product as a new baseball season dawns.
The challenge for Topps is to produce a viable series two product so collectors want to finish the work they begun with their series one boxes. The advantage for series two is that many of the off-season moves can be acknowledged and if collectors liked what they saw in the first series, they usually don't forget to attack series two as well.
Thanks to promotions like the million card giveaway and a simple, yet solid design, the first series did extremely well. Series two aims to continue the momentum.
The design of these cards, are obviously, very similar to series one as are the prices for the 36-pack boxes (ten cards per pack). Interestingly at both my local card store (Triple Cards in Plano) and online, the box was selling for $57.95; thus you can expect to pay between $55-65 for a box at this point. Each box promises one autograph or "relic" card per box.
I really liked the "2020" inserts. The 3-D images bring back memories of the 1970 Kellogg's issue; a bonus for those who appreciate the vintage issues.
Already, the hype has begun for more "pie in the face" cards and there are more SPs of all-time greats interspersed into the set as "variations". We had no luck with the extreme rarities, but let's see how the rest of the box broke down:
Base Cards: 225 out of 330 cards with 22 duplicates--pretty good ratio
Gold Parallels (#d to 2009): Astros team; Clay Buchholz, Drew Butera, Marlon Byrd, Eric Chavez, Jeff Mathis, Red Sox team Card
Cards your Mom Threw Away: Jim Bunning, Dennis Eckersley, Whitey Ford, Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter (The 2007 card but without Mantle and President Bush in the background), Al Kaline, Juan Marichal, Eddie Murray, Gaylord Perry, Mariano Rivera, Mike Schmidt, John Smotz, Duke Snider, Robin Yount, Ryan Zimmerman
Cards your Mom Threw Away Original Back: Ken Griffey Jr.; Joe Morgan
Vintage Legends: Jimmie Foxx (we got two of these); Rogers Hornsby, Walter Johnson, Willie McCovey, Eddie Murray, Nolan Ryan, George Sisler, Ozzie Smith
Topps Attax Code Cards: Jason Bay (3 of this card), Lance Berkman, Billy Butler, Stephen Drew, Yunel Escobar, Yovani Gallardo (2 of this card), Zach Greinke (3 of this card), Matt Holliday, Torii Hunter, Josh Johnson, Matt Kemp, Ian Kinsler, Derrek Lee (2 of this card), Jon Lester, Tim Lincecum, Justin Morneau (w of this card), Alexei Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Pablo Sandoval (2 of this card).. Max Scherzer (3 of this card), Grady Sizemore, B.J. Upton, Chase Utley, Justin Verlander, Ryan Zimmerman (2 of this card)
Turkey Reds: Chad Billingsley, Alcides Escobar, Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter, Eddie Mathews, Jake Peavy, Jose Reyes, Joey Votto
Legendary Lineage: Luis Aparicio/Hanley Ramirez, Johnny Bench/Joe Mauer, Lou Brock/Carl Crawford (2 of this card), Lou Gehrig/Albert Pujols, Dale Murphy/Matt Kemp, Jackie Robinson/Ichiro Suzuki, Mike Schmidt/Alex Rodriguez, Honus Wagner/Andrew McCutchen
History of the World Series: Cole Hamels, Derek Jeter, Brooks Robinson, Mel Ott, Babe Ruth, Nick Swisher, Chase Utley
2020: Chris Coghlan, Andre Ethier, Tommy Hanson, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Upton
Red Hot Rookies: Redemption Card for #10
Million Card Giveaway: The five cards we "redeemed" out of this box were: 2007 Eric Chavez, 1991 Will Clark, 1991 Carlton Fisk, 1982 Jerry Koosman, 1968 Woodie Held.
Peak Performance Autograph: Chris Volstad
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]
Check eBay prices for 2010 Topps Series II