There is something very appropriate about writing a review of Topps Opening Day 2014 on…well…opening day. Here in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, tailgaters start arriving at 7 a.m. and don’t leave for many hours and for many folks, the whole day is a party where people play hooky from work and school to enjoy the experience.
What better way for a card and baseball geek to spend part of his evening but by writing about this set, which is aimed at youngsters, but enjoys a following among adult collectors who like a lower priced, base-oriented type set. There are parallels, some pose variations and a few inserts here, though, to keep those who like the chase at least somewhat interested.
Losing by a football score of 14-10 is not the best start to a season but unlike the Rangers on Opening Day, Topps appeared to cook up a real value winner with this year’s Opening Day issue. When I stopped into Triple Cards to ask about his sales as I knew the price point from his weekly email blast, I was shocked to hear he had sold two cases worth already and was getting more which had already been spoken for by his customers. My local card store was selling boxes at $34.25 while the on-line price point from major hobby retailers were in the $35-37 range.
There are several reasons for Opening Day’s success. The boxes consist of 36 packs with seven cards per pack, for a yield of over 250 cards. Even at store retail, that means you are barely paying 14 cents per card.
The card design is in the 2014 Topps format and include poses we saw in series one and will see in series two.
When I was going through the cards I noticed there appeared to be a lot of younger players in the set and my thought was that was a great idea as the kids who would are the target audience would identify with the younger major leaguers.
Here’s what we pulled:
Base Cards: 200 of 220. I did not notice any duplicates. That is about 90 percent of the set. We did not receive any pose variations.
Blue Parallels (#d to 2014) Nolan Arenado, Travis d’Arnaud, Josh Donaldson, David Freese, Carlos Gomez, Hiroki Kuroda, Junior Lake, Manny Machado, Sterling Marte, Brian McCann, Yadier Molina, Chris Sale
Between Innings: Prank the Opponent
Breaking Out: Yoenis Cespedes, Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Hayward, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, Justin Verlander, Joey Votto
Fired Up: Jason Grilli, Eric Hosmer, Craig Kimbrel, Brett Lawrie, Yasiel Puig, C.C. Sabathia, Justin Verlander
Mascots: Baltimore Orioles, Dinger, Fredbird, Gapper, Kansas City Royals, Paws. Toronto Blue Jays
Stars: Ryan Braun, Yu Darvish, Matt Kemp, Evan Longoria, Joe Mauer, Andrew McCutchen, Troy Tulowitzki
Superstar Celebrations: Jose Bautista, Chris Davis, Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Bryce Harper, Aramis Ramirez, Justin Upton, Barry Zito
Relics: Torii Hunter
Even without the bonus of the hit, one can see why Opening Day was so popular as there are more than 50 insert cards including 12 numbered cards for the low price point. Whenever you hear collectors talk about value in higher dollar boxes it means they feel they need to be satisfied with a big hit or two. However, on the lower price point, it’s the quantity and variety that matters. Opening Day has been around nearly two decades now and with results such as this should be good for another two decades at least.
You can see Topps Opening Day 2014 sets, singles, inserts and boxes here.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]