Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for TBO.com on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.
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Topps previews baseball Update series
Posted May 22, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated May 22, 2013 at 11:34 PM
Here’s an update about Topps’ flagship baseball set.
No, the fact that Topps Series 2 is coming out next month is not breaking news. However, Topps provided details Wednesday on its final standard set of the season, Topps Update. And that’s breaking news.
The Update set is expected to be released on Oct. 14. A hobby box will contain 36 packs, with 10 cards to a pack. Topps is promising one autograph or memorabilia card in each hobby box, and the base cards will be a typical 330-card set. As always, the Update set will highlight trades, rookies, All-Star Game heroes and even players from the Home Run Derby. All-Star Stitches will feature event-worn memorabilia.
Topps continues its mini-card issue from the first two series with a nod to the venerable 1971 design. I can call it venerable now; it was vulnerable 42 years ago. Those of us who actually collected that series will remember how difficult it was to keep that set pristine, as it was so prone to chipping and bent, mushy corners. It’s fun now to collect cards that look like the 1971s, because the card stock is so much nicer. You’d really have to work at it to get a chipped card now.
Some of the minis will be autographed, too.
Other inserts Topps will showcase in Update include Chasing History, Making Their Mark, Postseason Heroes and Franchise Forerunners.
Some of the relics a collector will be able to find, aside from jersey swatches, are league leader pins, record holder pins and pennant chase coins (the coins are embedded into the cards). The coins, numbered to 99, also will have iron parallels numbered to 50, while steel parallels will be numbered to 10.
Each card will have seven parallels — gold, black, pink, emerald, desert camo and 1/1 platinum. Plus, there will be four printing plates for each of the 330 cards — that’s 1,320 1/1s.
An interesting chase set for the obsessive collector — and this is going to be extremely tough to complete — will be 990 blue sapphire foil cards from the cards of Series 1, 2 and the Update set. The tough part? Each parallel will be numbered to 25.
Another parallel to chase will be 100 framed mini silk cards, numbered to 50.
The Ultimate Chase subset returns with 10 cards (numbered 1/1) featuring current and retired stars. Each card will have an on-card autograph or relic, or, in the case of deceased stars, a cut signature.
If you cut your teeth on collecting Topps’ flagship set as I have, completing it is always a goal. The sets are much larger now because of the three sets, but it’s still a pleasant challenge.