Thoughts on 2009 Topps (Box Break)

2009toppsI hit the hobby shop today and purchased my box of 2009 Topps baseball like many others did and let me just say that I’m pretty pleased with what the products has to offer this year. The design is clean — thank god they stayed away from that nasty 2007 design — and the inserts I feel were actually interesting. In recent years Topps has bogged down its base product with so many inserts that they almost seemed to take away from what makes base Topps good — its simplicity.

I already opened my box — although I have not sorted the base cards to see how close I am to a set — and the inserts I received were nice looking. I absolutely love the Legends of the Game series. I think the design on those is amazing, and the set is a tasteful celebration of some of the game’s finest players.

The Ring of Honor series returned this year, which I have mixed feelings about. I really liked when Topps put them into the 2008 Updates & Highlights line, but now I feel like the set is being milked for everything it is worth. I guess I wish they had just left them out of the 2008 Update line and held them over for the 2009 release. I love the design and the idea of the set, but having already seen them in a recent release kind of ruins the luster for me.

I like the Turkey Red inserts, although I’m wondering if the hobby could have done without these for a year or two. I know Topps is killing Turkey Red as an entire line for ’09, but their inclusion here seems a bit forced. That being said, they are still good looking cards — I love the Christy Mathewson I pulled —  and are much better options than the following two insert sets.

I’m VERY happy that the “Own The Game” and “Year in Review” sets were dismissed.  I always felt like the OTG series was a complete waste, and the YIR set existed only for the sake of making the consumers of Topps feel like they were getting more value — more inserts. But all that did was clutter up boxes with cards that were not part of the base set.

I also like what Topps did this year with the checklist cards; they are incorporated into the set and feature actual players. In my mind they killed two birds with one stone: They managed to make the checklists and the combo cards — which I dispised in the past because I felt they were lame — some what relevant.

As for my box, there was no golden ticket. I didn’t snag that Babe Ruth cut auto, nor did I receive any of those manufactured patch cards, which I hate anyway. But I did get every insert at the posted ratios, including my relic — an Alex Rodriguez bat card.

The one wildcard of this set could be the World Baseball Classic redemptions. I wrote last week about still having not received my 2008 Topps Series 2 Red Hot Rookie, and here we are a week later and I am holding yet another redemption card. Instead of trying to sell it on eBay I decided to redeem it. Want to guess when I am expected to receive my card? September! The good news is I got card No. 3 from the set — they keep this a secret until you redeem the card — so there is a chance I could find myself with a Yu Darvish card by the time 2010 Topps comes out. Then again I could end up with some Australian player who’ll never make it to the Bigs. Oh well.

One final note, has anyone noticed the WARNING sign on the front of the Topps hobby boxes?


What’s up with that? What are these small pieces that may present a choking hazard to small kids? I hope they are not referring to the game-used swatches. You know that would be a national story if some kid picked up their father’s baseball card and accidentally swallowed the piece of wood or fabric.

P.S. — I’ll scan my haul a little later. I’m working on another piece for the 36 Times Dope series about the YO! MTV Raps box of 1991 Pro Set cards I broke. I’ll be posting the contents of Pack Four later. You won’t want to miss this one.

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