We have mentioned with Topps having an exclusive license for both major and minor league baseball one of the trickiest issues is what to do with the minor league license. We all understand that most fans and collectors usually have some working knowledge about the major leagues but unless you are either a devoted prospect collector or live near a city with a minor league team, the odds are most cards of players not in the big leagues will not mean much to you.
Since Topps has to use players who have not yet reached the majors at production time, it does make for a bigger challenge in building the checklist. Then one has to hope nothing derails the prospect on their way up the ladder.
So far many of the top 10 prospects have been plagued by injuries including Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa, who fractured his ankle and won’t play again in 2014. However, don’t panic too much about Correa. Sixty years ago a rookie outfielder with the Milwaukee Braves fractured his ankle and missed the last few weeks of that season. His name was Henry Louis Aaron and you know him better as the home run king of his generation.
With each box of 24 packs and eight cards per pack not to mention the two autographs and two relics in each box, collectors feel like they have a fighting chance both today and in the future when they purchase one of these boxes. Pro Debut uses the same design as the regular 2014 Topps issue.
When I stopped in Triple Cards (Plano TX) he mentioned he had to re-order this issue as his collectors have asked for more. The boxes are $74.25 in his store while leading on-line retailers are between $60-65 per box.
Base Cards: 180 of 222 or about 80 percent. I did not notice any duplicates nor any photo variations
Gold Parallel (#d to 50): Brandon Nimmo. When I was opening this box, I thought perhaps one or two more parallel sets would help break up the pack opening monotony since there are only five better cards in a box.
Mascot (#d to 99): Big L
Manufactured Hat Logo (d to 99): Greg Bird
Autographs: Chadd Krist, Jeff Urlaub
We did not get any big autograph names (as far as prospects go) but there is always hope for the future and if you can snag a box at the lower price point of some of on-line retailers and pay only about 30 cents per card your odds of feeling good when you open Pro Debut are reasonably positive.
With only a couple of minor adjustments in terms of adding a slightly easier to pull insert set and perhaps an extra autograph in the box, it appears Pro Debut has certainly found its way from where it began a few years ago.
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