Thursday, March 17, 2011

Box Break - 2011 Topps Opening Day

I know that the new Opening Day product is so yesterday now that 2011 Heritage has hit stores and everyone is busting packs and boxes looking for the inserts and autographs, but when you collect on a budget sometimes you have to forgo the more expensive releases and go with the more affordable pack/box.

In my book I'm not settling though as I love the base design for this year's Topps flagship brand and the lack of silver foil on the cards' front is appealing to me.  Sure the silver ink makes it hard to read the player position on some of the cards and others cards featured photo shopped pics of the players in their new uniforms, I love this year's Opening Day set.  I believe for a first time ever there is also a hobby version of the set - which I busted a box of.  One of the best part of this year's set in my opinion are the various insert sets.  There is a nice variety of insert sets with the glow in the dark Stadium Lights and the pseudo 3-D Opening Day Stars being my favorites.

My hobby box did an ok job with the base cards if you're a set builder.  Since it's a rather small set (220) cards I'm going after it so look for my want list in my sidebar to the right after I complete this post.  I did notice while collating the cards that the doubles I got were in multiples - sometimes 3 or 4 of the same card.  All of my doubles will be listed under the Trade Bait Baseball link.

As far as the inserts go some of them are carry overs from last years set such as the blue bordered parallels (#'d to 2011) and Mascots.  There are plenty of new inserts however to chase and we'll look at each one.

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The aforementioned blue bordered parallels are serially numbered to 2011.  Notice the numbering is actually stamped with gold foil.  The base set of Topps had the serial numbering stamped with that crummy black ink.

Other blue bordered parallels I pulled:
- #052 Placido Polanco (0228/2011)
- #063 Manny Ramirez (0142/2011)
- #105 Roy Oswalt (1029/2011)
- #162 Gordon Beckam (0976/2011)
- #178 Joe Mauer (0477/2011)
- #198 Adrian Gonzalez (1802/2011)


The Mascot cards feature each team's goofy mascot.  I didn't even know some of these teams had mascots!

Other Mascot cards pulled:
- #M-03 Baltimore Orioles 
- #M-04 Wally the Green Monster (x2)
- #M-06 Capper
- #M-10 Billy the Marlin
- #M-18 Pirate Parrot
- #M-20 Mariner Moose
- #M-23 Rangers Captain
- #M-24 Toronto Blue Jays
- #M-25 Screech

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Opening Day Stars features the same 'technology' Topps used for their 2020 set in last year's base set.  They have a pseudo 3-D, old school Sportsflic look.  Some people hate these, I personally love 'em.

Other Opening Day Stars cards pulled:
- #ODS-03 Alex Rodriguez
- #ODS-06 CC Sabathia

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Presidential First Pitch cards highlight various U.S. Presidents throwing out the first pitch through the years.  Some people hate it when politics are mixed with baseball, but at least these cards have more of a baseball tie-in than in past political insert sets.

Other Presidential First Pitch cards pulled:
- #PFP-01 Barack Obama (July 14, 2009)
- #PFP-02 Harry Truman (April 20, 1951)
- #PFP-03 Calvin Coolidge (October 4, 1924)
- #PFP-05 Richard Nixon (April 7, 1969)
- #FPF-07 George W. Bush (April 14, 2005)

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Spot the Error cards have you searching for the error.  The cards are basically the same on the front and back with the exception of the one error.  I've stared at a few of these until my eyes hurt.  I was easily able to spot the error on the Chase Utley card, but I'm really not good at these sort of things so I'm no surprised I haven't found most of the errors.  I can see these being a hit w/ the kids.

Other Spot the Error cards pulled:
- #01 Mark Teixeira
- #04 Chase Utley
- #05 David Ortiz
- #06 Ubaldo Jimenez
- #07 David Wright

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Stadium Lights (or Under the Lights as they were called on the sell sheets) are probably the best and most popular of this year's inserts.  When these cards are held under a light source and then placed in the dark you'll see the majority of the card glow in the dark!  I know its gimmicky, but it works.  The back of the cards list some night game facts which is a nice touch.  I know fellow blogger Night Owl was very excited about these cards when they were first solicited and he's right to be excited because they are very nice.

Other Stadium Lights cards pulled:
- #UL-02 Troy Tulowitzki
- #UL-06 Chase Utley (x2)

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Superstar Celebrations are also a holdover from last year's set.  Of course I was excited about the above Jason Heyward card.  I already have a full set of these coming so everything listed here will be available for trade with the exception of Pujols.

Other Superstar Celebrations cards pulled:
- #SC-03 David Ortiz
- #SC-06 Evan Longoria
- #SC-10 Carlos Pena
- #SC-11 Jimmy Rollins
- #SC-13 Albert Pujols
- #SC-14 David Wright
- #SC-20 Ichiro
- #SC-22 Cliff Lee


And yes even ToppsTown cards make an appearance here.  Yawn.

Other ToppsTown cards pulled:
- #TTOD-03 Hunter Pence
- #TTOD-14 Brian Matusz
- #TTOD-18 Desmond Jennings (x2)
- #TTOD-21 Austin Jackson

All in all it was a fun box to open.  Don't expect a whole of lot return on your purchase if you plan to resell these cards however.  I believe the set is made for kids since packs carry a MSRP of $.99.  Just like with my other hobby (action figures) kids are the life blood of the hobby and without them it's hard for some of the companies to continue on.


  1. At least the Topps town aren't one per pack. Imagine how much that would have sucked having one of those count as a card in every pack!! Hey if your going to try and put this set together let me know I have a ton of extras.

  2. I think you sold me on getting a box of this! There are some fun looking inserts for such a cheap price.

  3. I have a question. Obama gets an insert set in '09 Magic, a SP in '09 Topps, a SP in '09 UD, a SP in '09 Chrome... You see where I'm going with this? It just doesn't seem right.

  4. Hey, if you want to trade the blue border Mauer, I have just the item to send to you for it... ;)

  5. You got it Rhubarb. I'll set it aside for you. After I get my group break packages out I aim to get back to doing some trading.

  6. I would be interested in the Presidential First Pitch and the mascot cards.