Wednesday, Oct. 18 brings the release of three new MLB trading card products from Topps.
October is the most exciting time of the year for fans of MLB. And as the playoffs bring in audiences that are indifferent during the regular season, it’s also the most important time of the year for companies who produce any product related to MLB. Topps has been in the business of baseball cards for decades, and they aren’t missing out on the postseason window either, releasing three new card sets on Wednesday, Oct. 18.
Topps Diamond Icons, Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball and Topps Update for 2017 are all now available online and in hobby stores. While released together, the three sets are very distinct from each other.
This is the inaugural season for Diamond Icons, a high-end product for collectors who are looking to skip the fluff and get only the good stuff. Each 10-card box guarantees seven autographed cards, two autographed cards which contain pieces of game-used memorabilia, and a memorabilia card. There is also a special incentive to buy boxes at hobby stores.
The autographs, which are all on-card, come in three different subsets. Diamond Autographs, Red Ink Signatures and Subjects all come numbered to 25. (There were only 25 copies of each card produced.) Going down the scale on that numbered to 25 frequency are parallels of the autograph cards, which come in three different colors. Purple parallels are numbered to 10, red parallels are numbered to five and gold parallels are one of ones.
The signed memorabilia cards come in four different subsets. Autographed Jumbo Patches, Autographed Relics, Dual-Player Dual Autographed Relics and Single-Player Dual Autographed Relics are also all numbered to 25. The Autographed Jumbo Patches have the same three parallels as the autograph cards, while the other three subsets only offer red and gold parallels.
Five different subsets compose the memorabilia card offerings, and these cards are numbered to 10 or less. Dual Book Cards and Single-Player Relic Cards are both numbered to 10, and come with red (numbered to 5) and gold parallels (one of ones). Primary Piece Relic Cards, which contain pieces of game-used cleats, are also numbered to 10. Primary Piece has a gold parallel which contain pieces of the spikes from the players’ cleats.
The final two memorabilia card subsets are Diamond Relics and MLB Silhouetted Batter Logo Patch Cards. As the name suggests, Diamond Relics contain pieces of actual diamonds and are numbered to three with gold parallels. MLB Silhouetted Cards are one of ones.
Cut Signatures are found only in hobby boxes, containing pieces of autographed material from legends like Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. These cards are numbered to four and have gold parallels as well.
Heritage Minor League Baseball
Released at the opposite end of the season from its MLB sister set, Heritage Minor League Baseball brings the exact same design to fans of MiLB teams across the nation.
The name of the set, which is produced on a yearly basis, refers to the design of the cards celebrating the heritage of Topps’ rich history of producing baseball cards. The 1968 design was brought back for this year, and it makes a great canvas on which to present the best MiLB talent of 2017.
Speaking of that talent, the set includes a short-printed Tim Tebow card. This is the second Tebow baseball card that Topps has produced. The set also contains cards which are entries into Topps’ Make Your Pro Debut contest, which has been running for nearly a decade. The winner of the contest this year will sign an honorary contract with the Fresno Grizzlies, the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.
Last season, the winner of the contest made his debut with the El Paso Chihuahuas. The winner got his own uniform, locker in the clubhouse, and participated in pre-game batting practice and warmups. Additionally, the winner presented the lineup card and threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
For collectors looking to compile cards of the best minor league stars, this set delivers. One on-card autograph and one memorabilia card are guaranteed in each hobby box. The autographs and relic cards both come with several parallels, which range in rarity all the way down to one of ones.
The most unique part of this set is a memorabilia subset which features United States currency from the year 1968. ’68 Mint Relics combine a nickel minted in 1968 with an active MiLB player. Gray Quarter Parallels feature a gray border on the card, with a 1968 quarter replacing the nickel. Black Quarter Parallels also feature a 1968 quarter, but have a black border. Gray-bordered cards are numbered to 25, while black-bordered cards are one of ones.
Topps also promises unannounced variations and short-printed autographs in the set, so collectors will have to rip some packs to get the full details on the product.
This is a set that collectors look forward to all season long because of the unique content tied to the progression of the MLB regular season it contains. That wait has finally ended with the release of Update, and just like the 2017 regular season, it doesn’t disappoint.
The cards in this set depict veteran players who were traded during the season, rookie cards of prospects who got their call-ups, and celebrations of the 2017 All-Star Game in Miami. At least one autographed or relic card is guaranteed in each hobby box, while hobby jumbo boxes certify at least one autograph and two relic cards.
The base cards come with 10 different parallels, ranging in rarity from 2,017 all the way down to one. There are also short prints, short printed autographed parallels and super short prints of the 300-card base set.
There are four insert subsets, which are found in one of every eight packs. The highlight of those subsets is 1987 Topps Baseball. The subset features the best 2017 rookies, traded veterans and rising stars in the classic 1987 wood-grained border design. A fifth insert subset, which is found in one of every 36 packs, showcases the best on-air talent from MLB Network. On-card autographed parallels of those cards are available as well.
The content in the set from the 2017 All-Star Game is rich, but the diamond in the rough is All-Star Stiches Dual Autographs. New to Update for 2017, these cards contain the autographs of two players who participated in the game in Miami. The base cards are numbered to 25 or less, while Orange parallels are numbered to 10 or less. Platinum parallels are one of ones.
The autographed and memorabilia offerings are many, but the highlight is the Hank Aaron Award Commemorative Patch Cards. These cards celebrate past winners of the Hank Aaron award, given out by MLB to the top hitter in each league each season. The cards boast autographed parallels of select players, along with three other parallels ranging in rarity from 99 to one.
For collectors and fans, these three new sets provide another way to enjoy the MLB postseason.