Now in their third year as the exclusive licensee of both Major League and Minor League Baseball, Topps has just released information regarding 2012 Topps Pro Debut Baseball – their nationally-distributed MiLB-licensed card set. And as has been the case with the previous two years, Pro Debut will have a look and feel similar to collectors of Topps’ Major League flagship, but with players and teams that are anything but.
The base set will consist of only 220 cards – the absolute cream of the Minor League crop – using a design recycled from this year’s Topps Major League set. While not well-known to the casual baseball fan, many of the names should be familiar to MiLB fans and especially to collectors of the various Bowman Baseball sets. Curiously, one name NOT appearing on the provisional checklist submitted by Topps: Bryce Harper. But with only 135 of the 220 cards listed so far, we can be rest assured that Mr. Harper will be included in this product – provided he doesn’t start the year in Washington. Each base card will also be available in Gold (serial-numbered to 50 copies) and Printing Plate (set of four for each player) parallels.
Each 24-pack box is expected to yield two autographs and two “Relics,” and judging by the images on the sell-sheet, all autographs in this product will be on stickers. The Pro Debut Autographs will feature a minimum of 25 different prospects on a single-signed card. Side By Side Dual Autographs pair-up a set of Minor League teammates with a pair of autographed stickers. Both the Pro Debut and Side By Side Autographs will also be available in Gold (serial-numbered to 50 for the Pro Debuts; 10 for the Side By Side), Red (one-of-one), and Printing Plate parallels. The sole game-used set in 2012 Topps Pro Debut Baseball is the Minor League Baseball Material Relics. Over 50 different Minor League stars have had their game-used jerseys and bats sacrificed for this set, with Gold (serial-numbered to 50 copies) and Jumbo Patch (numbered to five) editions also produced.
Finishing up 2012 Topps Pro Debut are two insert sets: a 50-card Minor League All-Star set and 50 Minor League Hat Logos. The Hat Logos all sport a manufactured “Relic,” and it is unclear if this will replace one of the box’s “hits.”
2012 Topps Pro Debut is scheduled for release the week of May 30th. Each Hobby box will contain 24 packs of eight cards and Hobby boxes should retail in the $75-$80 range. Check out sample images below. Click here to see what’s available on eBay from all years.