Topps Big League baseball scratched an itch for collectors when it debuted its 2018 set. With a large base set and a kid-friendly product at a reasonable cost, the product apparently appealed to a decent share of the market.
Those elements will remain in place when the 2019 edition hits the shelves the week of May 8, although Topps has made some design tweaks that are aimed at improving on the first edition.
2019 Topps Big League Basics
On average, there will be 24 packs per box, with 10 cards per pack. Each pack will contain nine base cards and a gold parallel base card. Once again, the base set checks in at a sizeable 400 cards.
The biggest change to the design is a wood background on the card front, as opposed to a frame-like look in the 2018 set. The player’s photograph is also slightly tilted to an angle, giving it a jaunty look. Some shots will be posed, while others will depict some action with the background put into a soft focus.
The bottom of the card sports a wavy-like pennant with the team logos nestled inside. The player’s name will parallel to the banner in large black letters, with his position in smaller type underneath.
Parallels and Inserts
In addition to one gold parallel per pack, Topps is promising four blue bordered parallels per value box. Other possibilities include rainbow parallels, which will be numbered to 100; an Artist Rendition parallel will be numbered to 50, while some collectors might pull a 1/1 red foil parallel.
The base set’s 400-card set will include specialized subsets like Veterans & Rookies, Stat Kings, Award Winners and Highlights.
Two insert subsets return from Big League’s inaugural set — Players Weekend Nicknames, which features images from this year’s games; and Star Caricature Originals & Reproductions, a colorful interpretation of the game’s top stars.
The three new insert subsets include Ballpark Oddities, which feature interesting and unusual plays or events that took place at MLB stadiums in 2018; Blast Off, which pays tribute to the longest home runs hit during the ’18 season; and Wall Climbers, which showcases the best catches near or against the outfield walls, including home run-robbing grabs.
As Big League is a lower-end product, the emphasis on autographs are not great. However, some collectors will pull cards from two distinct sets. Big League Autographs highlights the signatures of veterans, retired players and personalities. Rookie Republic will feature the top rookies of 2019. Both signature sets will contain parallels in Gold Border, Black & White Image (numbered to 25) and Red Foil (1/1).
With a fresh look and an affordable price — packs should be less than $2, and a box will probably run a little over $40 — 2019 Topps Big League might be a worthwhile alternative in light of increased prices for some of the company’s main products set for release in the first part of the year.