MLB's exclusive trading card partner will shift its focus away from diamond and gold themes in 2013. That doesn't mean there won't be a theme, though. Topps 2013 baseball got its first push on Friday with the announcement that the company's flagship brand would be celebrating "The Chase", as in chasing records, pennant chases and the chase for special insert cards that has become such a big part of collecting cards in the modern era. The Topps 2013 baseball checklist for series one is now complete (see below).
Packs of 2013 Topps will contain 10 cards with 36 packs in a box for a dealer cost of around $44. Jumbo boxes will be produced again as well. Each jumbo pack will contain 45 cards including one online code card, which indicates the company will again have an internet redemption component in 2013.
Again, Topps will produce a 330-card first series base set, with white borders and foil stamped lettering. In fact, the font is similar, perhaps identical, to what was used in 2010. There will again be several levels of parallel cards including gold bordered versions numbered to 2013, blacks numbered to 62 and printing plates and platinum (1/1). New this year will be pink numbered to 50 (breast cancer awareness, we assume), desert camo (# to 99), emerald foil (one card in every six packs) and a 100-card partial parallel "framed mini silk" set.
The 'chase' theme pops up in many of the low pop relic and autograph theme cards. 'Chasing History' will offer cut signatures from baseball 'and beyond', according to the company. Cut to the Chase will consist of five different historic cut signatures numbered to 10.
Major hits will include 'The Greats' relic cards numbered to 25 and 'Cut to the Chase', numbered to 10.
The big prizes, though, will be 'Ultimate Chase' cards -- 1 of 1's featuring 30 current and former superstars on cards containing a relic and autograph. The Babe Ruth card will be the major prize with a bat card along with a clean Ruth cut signature according to the sell sheet. Roberto Clemente, Stan Musial and Willie Mays are also part of the Ultimate Chase set.
There will also be case hits featuring MVP, Cy Young cards featuring little trophy replicas and 'Proven Mettle' cards with commemorative coins embedded into them with copper, iron and steel variations.
Minis return--this time in the form of a 1972 Topps design. There will be 50 in the first series with 10 relic versions numbered to 25.
Topps 2013 baseball is scheduled to be released in hobby shops January 30. See the image gallery, preliminary 2013 Topps checklist and sell sheet below. 2012 Topps Series 1 and 2 boxes are still selling fairly well on eBay with prices holding steady at about $35-40 for Series 1 hobby boxes and about $50-55 for Series 2. Click here to see what's available.