Monday, February 10, 2014

Finally My Take on 2014 Topps - Jumbo Box Break and Want List and Goals

I am behind on the 2014 Topps release blog posting.  Even Night Owl has posted 2 breaks since the cards came out.  I am usually one of the first to indulge and post but the delay in my LTS (local Target store) acquiring 2014 Topps and the 2 weeks of work travel it just didn't happen. As usual I picked up a Jumbo box and I will share the contents here along with my thoughts on this years issue.

I am going to skip posting any base cards, so many have been posted that I don't think there is anything more to show.  I will say that I don't love the design but I am okay with it.  I do see the touch of Bowman and do believe the borders make the colored parallels look great.  My Jumbo box produced a complete base set and a nice stack of duplicates that I will try to disperse through trades.

I thought I would share the inserts that I pulled.

The Before They Were Great inserts follow suit with the 2013 The Elites and The Greats - thick card stock that are tough to pull and expensive on the secondary market.  I only got 2 in my Jumbo break but have a few others on the way from eBay and Sportlots.  I like the design and the high end feel for the cards and will work my way through figuring out how to finish this insert set without breaking the budget.  This is a 30 card set.  I got two nice players and Topps seems to have gone with appropriate photos for early in their career.  This isn't a bad scan job, the Brett is actually a little bigger than all the other cards.

Next up is the 50 Years of the Draft.  Not overly excited with the design but the overall idea of celebrating draft moments.  My favorite part is the observation that Dan Marino and John Elway were both drafted ahead of Donnie Baseball - I am sure I had heard this before but it was a good reminds.  I only pulled 2 of these as well but it is only a 10 card set.  The other 8 cards are already on the way.

 This insert set is titled The Future is Now, a not so great design input to get the hottest young stars more face-time in the set.  I believe most, if not all, the players have multiple cards in the set.  I pulled 10 (didn't scan a second Shelby Miller - at least they used different pics) so one per pack.  I only need 3 of these after my other purchases to put this insert set to rest.

 This set is titled Upper Class, it features a mix of yesterday's and today's stars. I really like the appearance of some Expos units, especially on the Big Unit.  This design goes after an upper class feel and I would rate it a B-.  Not terrible but not great, especially with a 50 card set.  I picked up 1 per pack of these as well plus pulled some in a couple of loose packs I scored at the LCSs (still haven't bought a retail pack).  After jumping on some cheap Sportlots prices, I need 10 of the 50 cards.

This isn't the best design but I really like the idea behind it, celebrating the All Time Rookie Cup Team.  The inclusion of my favorite player didn't hurt my opinion of the set!  That McCovey actually came from a group break I will highlight later but I decided to include it to balance out the scan.  This is only a 10 card set and my incoming order will allow me to finish it.  I hope this one continues into other series.

Last but certainly not least are this year's mini patterned after the 1989 design. I really like the die cut design, it really gives these a different look and feel.  My Jumbo gave me 5 of these and I scored Buster in a loose pack.  I like the selection of players I got as well.  I only have one of these on the way so I am needing a robust 43 to finish this 50 card set. If you have extras for trade, I will make it worth your while!

Now for the parallels...

I have to admit I am not that big of a fan of this year's red parallels.  I was wowed when I saw the emerald last year, this year was more of an "eh?".  The Vogelsong was a nice pull but then I got a copy in my group break.  The pair of Machados is kinda nice and it is always cool to pull a black parallel.  All 18 of these are for trade, looking at the team selections I am guessing I won't have too many people knocking down my door.

A surprise to me was the inclusion of some vintage buy back cards, I pulled 2 in my Jumbo:
 I was super excited to pull a card of a Giant, not to mention one from 1958.  The little foil stamp somewhat alters the vintage cards but I guess they needed to do something to differentiate the cards.

Now for the "hits"...
 I have to admit, I had never heard of Andrew Lambo before pulling this card.  I did some research and apparently he was a former Dodger prospect who was in the top 50 of all of baseball at one time before leveling off in AA ball.  He is currently the Pirates 14th best prospect - a waste of a hit in my opinion.
Next up is a Commemorative Rookie Cup for PED user Ryan Braun - this pull ranks right there with Lambo on the oh crap this card will most likely be stuck in my collection forever category.  I don't hate these hits, as a matter of fact I need to track down a McCovey, but I am not a fan of Topps still hyping this guy when few want to collect him.

This is an SP of Cards SP Adam Wainwright.  I consider this a hit, typically they can go for more that a relic of auto if you get the right one.  Not sure this is one of those but it is a cool photograph.

 I decided to save my best hit for last, a bat relic of Ivan Rodriguez.  I like the inclusion of retired stars in the insert sets and this Pudge card is nice to have. 

The Jumbo Box didn't pay off and it rarely does.  I could have picked up a complete set and all these inserts/hits for probably 50-60% of what I paid for the box ($100) however I will continue to pick up a Jumbo of each series. It is my tradition and I have so much fun opening the packs and organizing the set 3 times/year.

With regards to my collecting goals and want list, I am going after all the insert sets yet again.  Assuming my cards on order come in as expected, here is my want list:

2014 Topps
Upper Class - 2, 8, 9, 26, 32, 34, 37, 45, 48, 50
The Future Is Now - 15, 19, 25
1989 Minis - 1-4, 6-9, 11-13, 15-21, 23-27, 29-37, 39-41, 43-50
Before They Were Great - 1, 3-7, 9, 12, 14-16, 18-20, 22, 24, 25, 27-29 

I will keep this updated on my Set Want List tab.  Shoot me a note or comment if you have some to trade.  Whether it is a PWE or large stack, I am open to trade.

I will be going after quite a few Giants as well.  I already have the 10 card base set and all the inserts from my participation in a case break.  I want to go after all the Gold and Red Foil parallels, even though the Red don't look great, and at least one of each of the other colors if possible.  If I can find them at a reasonable price or a decent chunk in trades I will go after the Red Target and Blue Walmarts as well.  I already have a Camo from a trade I will share soon.  The Clear look interesting though they are only numbered to 10.  I haven't seen a Yellow in hand but they intrigue me. I am not sure how rare they are but would like to track down as many of them as I can.  

I do want to pick up all 5 Power Player Giants cards.  I would like to get at least of the 3 versions of rookie reprints of Mays and Buster and all 3 McCoveys if possible.  I also want both McCovey Rookie Cup commemorative cards and would like a Buster cup and Buster Manupatch as well.  One of the Mays Class rings would be cool.  The other Mays relics and autos will be out of my range but I should be able to pick up the other Trajectory relics (Belt, Posey and Sandoval) and maybe the Trajectory Auto of Matt Cain.  The Upper Class autos are limited to 50 and feature Posey, Bumgarner and Cain - probably not gonna happen.  I might be able to score the relics of the 3.  The Auto/Relics of Bumgarner and Cain are completely out of reach.  I definitely will get the Zito Super Veteran but the relic, while cool, will probably be out of reach - it is numbered out of 25 and only 1 has popped up so far on eBay.  I won't go hard after the Sparkle parallels (can't believe they brought those back - ugh!) or the Silk cards.  The Silk are pretty cool but always sell for more than I want to pay.

Well there you have my goals for Series 1, I would like to get all this complete before Series 2 comes out.  Last year is proof that if I don't get it done early, it won't get done.

Happy Collecting and welcome 2014 Topps!


  1. I have two of the Giants Power Player cards - Posey and Sergio Romo (I think he's the second). I've already put in the codes, but if you don't mind that, I will certainly send them to you. You can e-mail me to let me know. judsonmeeks AT gmail DOT com.

  2. I've got a Verlander 89 Mini. I may be crazy, but I'll take Brewers for it...let me know at off(dot)hiatus(dot)baseball AT gmail (dot) com.

  3. Solid Review. For whatever reaason the new Blood Red parallels are worse than last years green er I mean Emerald. To many teams already have red in their colors or someting. And for a lot of cards it makes the team name on the tab thing hard to read.

    no Super Vets in Hobby?

  4. Hey Adam, could you put that Leake red foil parallel aside for me? I'm not sure if I have any of your 2014 needs, but I'll take a look and see what I can find for you.

  5. I should have a few inserts to send you and maybe a Giants parallel or two -- I'll have to check. I'd love the Yadier Molina red parallel if it's up for grabs. (The Wainwright would be great, too, but I'm assuming you have other plans for it.)

  6. I wish I could help you out w/ your want lists, but it looks like you've got what I have to trade (for now).

    So I guess we'll both be looking for Tim Hudson's Giants debut card when Series 2 hits, huh?

  7. I would like all of the cards that you have left. I don't have any of your needs right now, but I'll try later. Please email me at