I still get excited for the release of Topps' Series 1 flagship set every year. It marks the start of the new baseball card year and the baseball season. Sure we get a lot of players that have moved on to other teams in the off season still featured with their old team, but it's new. I ended up stopping by my LCS, Boscos, here in Anchorage on my lunch break and decided to splurge on a jumbo pack. What really surprised me was how few inserts were in the pack. Usually the jumbo packs have 8 to 10 inserts and parallels. I have a vague recollection of some twitter chatter about the subject, but it kind of bums me out. The main reason for me to grab a jumbo pack was to get a nice sampling of the inserts. So while I had hoped to do a nice run down of the set I'll be pretty limited with what I pulled.
I will say I wasn't sure what to think from the preview images, but in hand the cards don't look half bad. There is some really great photography and I'll highlight some of my favorite cards in the pack. There is still plenty of basic shots of pitchers pitching, guys throwing, and batter's hitting. Topps also brought back full stats on the back of the cards! Looks like enough collectors complained and Topps finally listened.
Here's a look at the backs. Overall the basic design works really well on the back. I'm still not sold on the last name first and Topps didn't really need the Series 1 under the card number, which would have allowed them to make the card number larger for us older guys. Basic bio info, a small blurb, and full MLB stats for the vets. Topps included minor league stats for the younger guys.
Here are some more of my favorite shots from the base cards.
The other thing that jumped out at me are the great stadium shots Topps used for the team cards. It would have made for a great insert set, sure would have been better than the Topps Now Review insert.
The other reason I opted to snag a Jumbo pack for my first taste 2019 Topps was the better odds for hitting one of the hits. I actually was hoping for one of the manufactured relics if you can believe that. The 150th anniversary medallions look sweet and so do the manu-hat relics. But I wasn't going to complain about hitting the auto in the box.