There are few constants in the baseball card business, but one of them involves Topps Update Baseball. At this point, this is one of the most consistent products Topps makes with the emphasis on rookies, players who switched teams and a recap of the All-Star game. For Topps Update, that means there will always be a large cadre of star cards as so many really good players participate in the All-Star game each year.
The other important aspect I always like to bring up is the Update set is in some ways the logical successor to the high number series. For example, the Roy White 1968 Topps card has this as the back text: “Roy led the Yankees in stolen bases during the spring training season of 1968.” Meanwhile future Hall of Famer Jim Palmer’s first sentence reads: On March 30, 1968, Jim was sent to the Orioles farm club at Miami to get his arm into shape”. The message to collectors was to show how Topps was paying attention to current events and updating its cards to reflect the latest information. Today’s update series are in the same vein as the old Topps high number series.
Topps used to produce its update set in complete factory set form, but nowadays you have to put one together it box-by-box and sort out all of the inserts and parallels if those aren’t your thing.
Just as with series 1 and 2, the box prices are very reasonable and collectors also know they will receive one “hit” per hobby box in each series. The design of the update series, is obviously, the same as the basic set and the current box prices from leading on-line retailers are in the $45-50 range. Meanwhile, my local card shop (Triple Cards, Plano, TX) reported steady sales at $64.95 per box. He also mentioned that several better autographs include Bo Jackson, Ryne Sandberg and some combos came out of his boxes.
Base Cards: 309 of 330 which is more than 90 percent of the set. We did not notice any duplicates but I did receive a Wade Boggs SP card and an Andrew McCutchen All-Star variation. In a minor ironic twist, last year we also received an Andrew McCutchen variation from our Update box.
Gold Parallel (#d to 2013) Shin-Soo Choo, Stephen Drew, Don Kelly, Alex Sanabia. Jose Veras, Scott Van Slyke
Chasing History: Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCutchen, Mike Mussina, Jim Palmer, Hyun-Jim Ryu, Tom Seaver, Justin Upton, Mike Zunino
Franchise Forerunners: Matt Harvey/David Wright, Manny Machado/Cal Ripken Jr., Yasiel Puig/Matt Kemp, Nolan Ryan/Yu Darvish
Making their Mark: Matt Adams, Wei-Yin Chen, Evan Gattis, Jedd Gyorko, Carlos Martinez, Mike Zunino
1971 Minis: Johnny Bench, Yoenis Cespedes, Will Clark, Felix Hernandez, Bo Jackson, Derek Jeter, Evan Longoria, Manny Machado, Andrew McCutchen
All-Star Stitches: Jason Grilli
While obviously we would have liked our hit to have been something better than a soon-to-be 37 year old reliever honored for the best season of his life, we got what we expected from our Topps Update box. A near complete base set, the one hit and a pleasant little grouping of insert cards honoring players old and new. Topps Update continues to be part of the very consistent Topps brands and while it’s not flashy, I hope this tradition continues for a long time. See what’s available on eBay here.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]