2011 Topps Update Baseball Review

by Rich Klein

Some of my colleagues and I may be considered dinosaurs in today’s collecting world because we happen to like and appreciate base cards.  Sometimes collectors who haven’t been around that long forget that this hobby was born before “hits”.  It was once based on collectors completing sets.  In products such as 2011 Topps Update Baseball, the company does a terrific job of showcasing today’s players with a nod toward the past.

Topps Update 2011 BaseballThe other really neat aspect of Update is collectors can appreciate these cards as being part of “living” sets. There are some really neat photos of players who either were called up later in the season or moved in mid-season trades. Those two aspects combine for a nice experience in documenting the game through cardboard.

One other part that is fun about products such as Topps Update is you feel as a collector you get your money’s worth with the volume of cards. Each hobby wax box has 36 packs with 10 cards per pack. That is 360 cards per box with boxes currently selling online in the $50-60 range.

That means the average cost per card is 15 cents each which helps to guarantee that most collectors feel good when they finish opening up a box. Each box promises either a relic or an autograph card from a box. However, what makes products such as this interesting is that most collectors do not look at products like 2011 Topps Update for “hits”.

It’s about baseball cards, plain and simple.

Safe to say we had a blast opening this not-so-sexy but still relevant product.  Here’s what we pulled.

Base Cards: 255 of 330. That is slightly more than 75 percent of the base set. No duplicates.  Awesome.

2011 Topps Update Koufax SPShort Print: Sandy Koufax

Diamond Collection Parallel (Some collectors use the term sparkle)  Carlos Beltran, Jay Bruce AS, Robinson Cano AS, Lonnie Chisenhall Debut, Gio Gonzalez AS, Eric Hosmer Debut, Cliff Lee, Chance Ruffin, Michael Young AS

Canary Diamond Collection (This set is interesting as all the cards from the previous two series as well as the Update series are included. I thought that was a nice twist so one can remember which cards were issued earlier in the year: Roberto Alomar (SP), Yonder Alonso, Rick Ankiel, Baltimore Orioles, Blake Beaven, Peter Bourjos, Rex Brothers, Brian Bogusevic,Chris Carpenter, Brandon Crawford Debut, Chicago Cubs (Tyler Colvin, etc), Hank Conger, Kyle Drabek, Kyle Farnsworth, Dillon Gee, Roy Halladay/Adam Wainright/Ubaldo Jimenez LL, J.J. Hardy, Gregory Infante, Desmond Jennings, Ubaldo Jimenez HL (Checklist Back(, D.J. LeMahieu, Cory Luebke, Brent Morel, New York Mets Team (Jose Reyes, etc), Juan Nicasio, Juan Nicasio Debut, Hector Noesi, Carl Pavano, Chris Perez, Albert Pujols/Adrian Gonzalez/Joey Votto LL, Chad Qualls, David Robertson, Alex Rodriguez HL (Checklist Back), Chris Sale, Gaby Sanchez,, Kyle Seager, Stephen Strasberg, Michael Stutes, Julio Teheran, Jim Thome HL (Checlist Back), Mark Trumbo, Joey Votto AS, Neil Walker

Gold Parallel (#d to 2011): Heath Bell AS, Erik Bedard, Robinson Cano AS, Lonnie Chisenahll Debut, Jacoby Ellsbury AS, Doug Fister, Paul Goldschmidt, Curtis Granderson AS, Josh Hamilton AS, Matt Holliday AS, Jair Jurrjens AS, Tim Lincecum AS, Mike Moustakas, David Ortiz HL (Checklist Back), Mariano Rivera HL (Checklist Back)

Topps 60 Hank Aaron 2011 UpdateHope Diamond Collection (#d to 60): Andruw Jones, Gil Meche (This set also combines all three 2011 Topps series)

Topps 60: Hank Aaron, Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Freddie Freeman, Steve Garvey, Reggie Jackson, Paul Molitor, Tom Seaver, Drew Storen

Diamond Duos: Eric Hosmer/Brandon Belt; Brandon Phillips/Howie Kendrick, Ricky Romero/Kyle Drabek, Mike Stanton/Logan Morrison

Topps Town: Ian Desmond, Prince Fielder, Francisco Rodriguez, Brian WilsonMichael Young

Kimball Champions: Trevor Cahill, Gary Carter, Carl Crawford, Joe DiMaggio, Curtis Granderson, Cliff Lee, Tom Seaver, Tris Speaker, Justin Verlander

Matt Holliday 2011 Topps Update All Star StitchesAll-Star Stitches: Matt Holliday

Topps also continued its Diamond Giveaway with the Update series.  I have been active in this program this year as well as last year and overall it’s been a lot of fun…even though I’m still waiting for some traders to offer anything resembling a fair trade. Overall though, there are a lot of neat cards to be had from these drawings. And right now, I’m waiting for my ring set to be delivered. Yes, I was fortunate enough to pull the 1 in 5000 Mickey Mantle ring!

Here’s what I unlocked in the Diamond Giveaway:  1974 Gene Tenace, 1976 Gene Tenace (What are the odds in a six player pull of getting the same player twice), 1976 Red Sox Team Card, 1979 Dan Schatzeder, 1981 Jim Gantner, 1993 Andres Galarraga.

No big score from the Diamond Giveaway and no autograph, but a nice relic card.  It’s also a lot of cards for the money. A good start on a set, a lot of parallels and a few other surprises came out of the box.  For the price, 2011 Topps Update provides some of the best value one can procure from a box.

Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]