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Topps publicizing Tier One on eve of release

Posted Jun 14, 2012 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Jun 14, 2012 at 09:49 PM

Topps is certainly trumpeting its upcoming realize of its Tier One set, which will be released next week.

In a news release Thursday, Topps announced that this year’s set will include Elevated Ink autographs of Seattle Mariners pitcher (and former Japanese league star) Hisanori Iwakuma and Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco. Each player signed cards in red, black, green and blue ink.

Topps Tier One is going to be a pricey set. Cost will run somewhere in the $70 range per box, and a box includes just one pack.  But the promise of pulling something big looms large. In the release, Topps noted that every pack will guarantee one Crowd Pleaser autograph — or a multi-auto card or autographed relic card or cut signature (lots of “or” here, wouldn’t you say?).

A typical pack also will include one On The Rise autograph and one relic. All of those cards will be numbered to 399 or less. In addition, every fourth pack in a case will include an additional relic card.

Crowd Pleaser autos will draw from 75 of the game’s top players , while On The Rise will pay tribute to 75 up-and-coming players. Both inserts will feature signatures in blue ink and on the card (no stickers).

There will be autographed parallel cards signed in gold (1/1), silver (numbered to 10) and white ink (numbered to 25). An interesting twist is the Clear Rookie autograph card: top stars sign their name on clear plastic versions of their rookie card. Those could be quite a pull from a pack; imagine,  for example, pulling a clear version of a Willie Mays 1952 Topps rookie card — with an autograph by the Say-Hey Kid himself. I’d be doing handstands. There will be 10 different cards, each numbered to 25.

Other autographs collectors can expect will come from Sandy Koufax, Henry Aaron and Frank Robinson. And let’s not forget the guys who have been gracing practically every Topps product this year, Bryce Harper and Yu Darvish.

Autographed relics can be single, dual and triple patch autographs, and collectors could pull Prodigious Patches with jumbo swatches.

The most exciting part of this set will be the 1/1 bat knob cards. There will be a 100-card set of 1/1 knob cards, including Hall of Famers and today’s current stars. To pull a card that has a bat knob of Roberto Clemente, Ty Cobb, Reggie Jackson, Ralph Kiner or Roger Maris would be a thrill.

The potential for a great set is there. We’ll know in about a week whether Topps has delivered on its promise.

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