For collectors it’s a sure sign that spring is in the not so distant future. 2017 Topps Series 1 Baseball will take its traditional place as the first product of the new year when it debuts February 1, about a month in front of Heritage. The company has released preliminary information on the annual flagship product. What’s interesting to note is that Topps has completed the full bleed design it initiated in 2016. The difference is that there are no smoky borders.
The 2017 design also will employ sharp angles to enhance the player’s name and team near the bottom of the card. The team’s logo will be anchored in the bottom left-hand corner of the card, with angled lines extending toward the top and across the bottom of the card.
2017 Topps Baseball Basics
Topps is promising one autograph or relic card per hobby box and one autograph and two relics for a jumbo box.
Price for a Hobby box should be in the $50 to $60 range, depending on the retailer with Jumbo boxes likely falling between $85-$95 retail.
Base Set and Parallels
The 2017 Topps Series 1 set will include 350 base cards of current stars and key rookies. There will be short prints, and several parallels also will be offered. The traditional gold parallels will be numbered to 2017. Rainbow parallels will fall every 10 packs. Vintage Stock will have cards numbered to 99, while hobby and jumbo exclusive Black parallels will be numbered to 66. Hot Pink will signify the Mother’s Day parallel, numbered to 50. Father’s Day gets into the act, too, with Powder Blue cards also numbered to 50. A camo-style parallel to commemorate Memorial Day will be numbered to 25.
Hobby exclusive Clear parallels will be numbered to 10, and a Negative parallel will be restricted to hobby and jumbo boxes. Platinum and printing plate cards will be 1/1 offerings.
2017 Topps Rookie Cards
The group of 30 players getting rookie cards in the first release of 2017 feature recent first-round draft picks, international stars and future stand outs.
Some of the bigger rookie cards in the set include Dansby Swanson (2015 No. 1 Draft Pick), Yoan Moncada (Cuban star), Alex Bregman (2015 No. 2 Draft Pick), Aaron Judge (2013 first-round pick), Andrew Benintendi (2015 first-round pick), and David Dahl (2012 first-round pick).
Players who were traded in the offseason (like Moncada) are featured on a card with their original team. Rookie cards with their new teams will be in 2017 Topps Update Series Baseball, which comes out in October.
Topps will offer a mixture of old and new inserts. One of the more interesting and popular inserts will return. First Pitch, which recaptures celebrities throwing out the first ceremonial first pitch at games, should fall one per eight packs in a hobby box. Topps Salute should fall nine per hobby box and will key on special uniforms and holidays like Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.
Topps is bringing back the the 1987 design it’s used a few different times on various products. Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the wood-grain design and collectors can expect to find nine parallels in every hobby box.
Another retro idea is the Bowman Then & Now subset, which will fall once in every eight packs. These cards will feature today’s top players in their original Bowman debut.
The Five Tool insert will debut and borrow from the Topps Fire design, put together by company artist Tyson Beck. Expect to pull between four and five of these inserts from a typical hobby box.
Autographs and Relics
Generally, Topps autographs are basically parallels of base cards or low-end designs. But for the 2017 Series 1 set, Topps Reverence autograph patch cards will be a high-end offering with an on-card signature that will be exclusive to hobby and jumbo boxes.
Other offerings include Topps Salute autographs, along with Postseason Performance and World Series Champion autographs. Major League Material Autograph relics will add a piece of memorabilia to an autographed card. Other relics are Major League Material, Postseason Performance and World Series Champion.
Those 1987 designs will have autographed versions too, either on card or on stickers. Parallels will include numbered Maple and 1/1 Birch cards.
Some collectors will pull some 1/1 gems: In the Name Relics (exclusive to hobby and jumbo boxes) will feature a letter patch, while cut signatures will feature the player’s signature from a document or canceled check.
Another exclusive product found in hobby and jumbo boxes will be the MLB Spring Training Logo Patch and the MLB All-Star Team Medallion. Both will be featured with parallels in gold and black, along with a 1/1 Platinum card and an autograph card.
The 2017 Topps Series 1 baseball set follows the tradition of hitting the shelves just as spring training begins. It’s a rite of spring: pitchers and catchers report, and collectors report to their favorite sites or retail outlets to pick up Topps’ first product of the season.
It’s a longtime tradition. The 2017 Topps Baseball design looks to have a crisper design and continues the path Topps has taken to move away from bordered base cards.