By Rich Klein
Having been in this hobby from what feels like the very beginning of time, it is rare that I look at a product and just go ‘wow, this looks like a product I'm going to enjoy opening and playing with’. That was my reaction when I saw an opened box of 2011 Topps Lineage and its contents at the company booth at the 2011 National. This product seemed instinctively to mix the best of the baseball card world of 2011 with those cards from the past.
My opinion didn’t change when I secured a full box not long after that. It is rare when my wife and I agree a product is fun albeit for different reasons. She liked the product because there were some "hits" and sparkly inserts. I enjoyed the product as much as expected because of the great mix of old.and new and the homage to previous sets that plays out in the insert sets.
The base set has its own design but it’s the rest of what’s inside that puts a smile on the face of long-time collectors of Topps vintage cards.
In addition to a very attractive group box toppers modeled along the lines of the 1964 Topps Supers, Topps pays tribute to a variety of its past sets including the rare 1968 Topps test issue, 1964 Topps Stand-Ups, 1977 Cloth and others. Autographs adorn cards created in the fashion of the company’s first issue in 1952.
We opened a hobby box which contains autographs; retail blaster boxes offer a game-used relic card. There are 24 packs in each hobby box with eight cards per pack. Each box promises you’ll receive two autograph cards and one relic card in each box. My local hobby shop in Plano, Texas is at $108.50 per box and the owner is down to his final case (he started with eight). Leading on-line retailers are currently between $75-85 per box.
1964 Topps Giant Box Topper: Evan Longoria
Base Cards: 160 out of 200. No duplicates. 80 percent of the set
Diamond Anniversary Refractors: Johnny Damon, Curtis Granderson, Chipper Jones, Nelson Liriano, Mel Ott and Babe Ruth
Diamond Anniversary Platinum Refractors: Johnny Bench, Trevor Cahill. Jason Heyward, Sandy Koufax, Jon Lester and Justin Morneau
2011 Rookies: Aroldis Chapman, Jeremy Hellickson, Brent Morel and Chris Sale
Cloth Stickers: Robinson Cano, Bob Gibson
3D: Ryan Howard, Hunter Pence
Venezuelan: Starlin Castro; Adrian Gonzalez
75 Minis: Pedro Alvarez, Trevor Cahill, Shin-Soo Chin, Carl Crawford, Dan Uggla and David Wright
75 Minis Relic: Todd Helton
1952 Autographs: Michael Morse
Autograph: (On Card): Pablo Sandoval
Some of the photos uses of the retired players looked as it they had been used in previous Topps products while other retired player photos looked like they had not been used before. In addition, we'll let the owner of Triple Cards have the final word in which he says: everyone including set collectors seem to be enjoying breaking this product. Decent price point, nice mix of old and new and enough to interest even the newest collectors. Topps Lineage looks like it will make this a nice product addition to the Topps line.
What do you think of 2011 Topps Lineage? Let us know in the comments section below.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]