Last week, we had a number of our customers calling us asking if we had received the new 2023 Topps Big League Baseball product. We hadn’t and to some degree, I wondered what all the fuss was about. I’m fully aware that many of our customers are price sensitive and to get a product for a full sealed hobby box for under $60 is really something to look forward to. That coupled with the fact that there hadn’t been a ton of baseball products currently hitting the market definitely creates some demand.
I was excited just from the sight of the box, as it had a higher end feel than I was expecting with a nice foil design and popping and electric graphics. It certainly presents better than it has in the past.
Hobby boxes offer 18 packs, with eight cards per pack. The set features a now substantial 315 cards with five tears of rarity, including a number of color, increasingly rare parallels.
This is definitely a product aimed primarily at kids, but if you’re not the ultra serious type of adult, Big League has provided some low cost smiles no matter your age. If you judge products based on hit count, it’s not for you. It’s one to open just for the sheer fun of it–and better still if you’ve got a young person in your house who loves the lighter side of baseball.
Right out of the pack the cards struck me with a nice, clean basic design. We only got a few cards into the pack before we hit an amazing green parallel autograph of future Hall of Famer (with a Hall of Fame autograph) Adrian Beltre. The boxes make no mention of autographs and to pull one out of the first pack was a nice surprise.
Don’t expect to hit one in your box, but it’s a huge bonus if you do.
Each pack we ripped contained a nice mix of base cards, subsets and parallels. Right out of the box there was a good quantity of rookie cards with some of the better young players in the game.
We saw a few of the unique City Slickers inserts early on. There also appeared to be one foil parallel in each pack.
Our fourth pack and we hit our first what appeared to be a graffiti card with the text ‘Hello my name is..’ of Albert Pujols, who made the checklist despite his retirement at the end of the 2022 season. These horizontal cards are done really well with a base nametag looking design you would find anywhere in public with the underlying graffiti of the player’s last name and an action shot of the player on top. The insert set is actually called Roll Call Wild Style.
We uncovered a beautiful super rare red foil of Baltimore Orioles rookie Gunnar Henderson.
These aren’t numbered but they’re sharp looking and as one of the best rookies in the set, this one would pay for a decent chunk of our box if we were to sell it. Later, we also pulled a Hunter Brown rookie foil (see below).
On it went and out popped a Roll Call Aaron Judge card. That beautiful art could probably could be found on a building or bridge somewhere in New York.
In the next pack was an 8-Bit Ballers insert which made Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. appear as if he were playing as him on RBI Baseball on my original Nintendo. That’s another unique insert in this very affordable product.
More subsets and inserts followed including an 8-Bit Ballers of Rafael Devers.
We harken back to childhood with the Topps Kids inspired Topps Big Leaguers cartoonish subset. We found a nice Mookie Betts featured bowling (another game in which Betts is a legit baller), a Mike Trout who is pictured fishing and the muscular Juan Soro who was squatting some real iron on his cartoon card.
Shortly thereafter we had a nice Wander Franco foil parallel.
Then we got to the point in the box where we started pulling mascot cards. This is a really fun touch for young collectors in a lower end product and will definitely add some smiles to faces.
We then pulled the Great Bambino for throw (way) back Roll Call. It was neat to see Babe Ruth up against some graffiti. It is a unique look.
We continue to pull the very fun 8-Bit Ballers, Roll Call and Mascots to round out this really fun and affordable box.
We pulled our Become a Big Leaguer scratch card in the last pack of the box.
Now I see what all the fuss was about. This was one of the more fun Brief Box Breaks we’ve done in quite some time.
As we were opening the box I thought it would be to piece this set together and I can’t tell you the last time I thought that about any product we opened. This is one I would like to work on with my daughter if she was a few years older.
Hobby boxes are available for $49.99 via Fanatics, which reports that it’s among the company’s top selling MLB products. To say I was pleasantly surprised with Big League Baseball would be a big league understatement. This is a really fun and entertaining rip for literally the cheapest price you could get a hobby box.
Check out sports card boxes of all kinds in Sports Zone’s online store here.