12 hobby packs of 2010 Topps Baseball courtesy of Free Stuff Friday

Say what you will, but I do indeed partake in Beckett’s Free Stuff Friday contests. Nearly every Friday I look at the Beckett Blog to see what goodies they are giving away. Sometimes it’s stuff that does not intrigue me, but almost anything baseball-related always gets my attention.

About  two weeks ago Chris Olds and company were giving away a hobby box of 2010 Topps baseball (three lots of 12 packs each) and I happened to be a winner. Here is the results of the 12-pack break, along with a little review I’ve been meaning to share.

The 12 packs yielded 36 insert cards if you include the one-per-pack Topps Town promotions. This ratio of three inserts per pack is about par for the course from what I can tell. The one issue with Topps that has drawn the ire of many a collector is the abundance of inserts. Some like ’em, other say they are take the space of another base card that collectors need. For the most part I am indifferent. Seriously, are we bitching about having one less base card when Topps is giving us value by adding an insert? Think on that for a minute.

I digress. The results of my 12 packs yielded five “Legendary Lineage” cards, four “Cards Your Mother Threw Out,” three “Tales of the Game,” six “Peak Performance” and one each o the “History of the Game” and “When They Were Young” insert. I also received the standard number of Topps Town cards and received four of the “Million Card Giveway” promotion code cards.

The base cards are what they are — base cards. They feature mostly attractive images set inside a pretty neat looking border. I dig ’em, but I’m not going to spend a lot of time discussing their nuances. Let’s get back to the inserts.

So yeah, this product is laden with inserts. As noted early, I’m indifferent on the actual number received. I suppose it would be nice to open a hobby box and be able to complete a set, but with the amount of inserts that seems impossible. It’s not the end of the world. Get over it. I am sure someone has an extra Brandon Inge or Pat Neshek base card that your box missed. It’s not a big deal.

As for the substance and design of the inserts, my opinions vary.

I very much dislike the “Peak Performance” cards. The design is bland and the subject matter is so played out. Seriously, do I need yet another card of Reggie Jackson reminding me of the three home runs he hit in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series?

The “When They Were Young” cards also leave me with a not-so-interested feel. It’s a great concept to show major leaguers when they were children, but the checklist probably needs to be refined. Thus far in all the packs I have opened I have received Charlie Morton, Scott Olsen and Yadier Molina. Really? No disrespect to these players, but most collectors don’t give a flying bleep about these guys. Give me cards featuring Albert Pujols and Ken Griffey Jr. when they were young, people whom youngsters idolize, then maybe I’ll care.

I like the concept of the “History of the Game” inserts, but the photos are kind of boring. The card I received in my “Free Stuff Friday” packs commemorates the first Hall of Fame class induction, which is great. Want to know what’s on the card? Have a look for yourself … bleh. Give me Ruth and Wagner up close, not from afar.

The “Tales of the Game” cards are intriguing to me. I love that it really mixes legendary acts from the entire history of the game, not just one era. The cards are pretty good-looking to boot.

And the ‘Legendary Lineage” cards are just sharp in my opinion. I love when companies do a good job of pairing two players together on a same card and then mix in a beautiful design.

But perhaps one of the most talked about insert sets in 2010 Topps is the “Cards Your Mother Threw Out.” This vast set is reprints highlights cards that supposedly were thrown out by collectors mothers. In theory I like it. I mean some can really relate to their mothers tossing their vintage cards of Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson and Warren Spahn. What I can’t get with is the notion that Topps wants us to buy into the modern cards being tossed by collector’s mothers.

Has it happened? Probably to a few 5-year-old kids, but even if so, none of the modern cards Topps features is really worth reprinting to give them their youth back. Want to find a reason to make yet another 1952 Topps Mantle reprint? Fine, I’ll buy into the concept yet again. But Topps loses me with reprints of Cal Ripken Jr.’s 1995 card, Tony Gwynn’s 1994, Ivan Rodriguez’s 1999, and as seen here, Randy Johnson’s 2000. And I know there is a reprint of the 2007 Topps Dustin Pedroia out there. WTF?

Having said that, I am intrigued by the 2006 Topps Alex Gordon reprint, which I pulled from my packs. But even then my interest in the card is merely based on the story of the original card, which Topps had to destroy and remove from production due to breaking the Rookie Card rules. With the card’s relative scarcity, it’s almost IMPOSSIBLE that someone’s mother threw this card out. Which begs the question: Why is it in this insert set?

All in all, it’s hard to hate entirely on 2010 Topps baseball. It is what it is, a basic card set for the average collector. The bells and whistles in this product do not really come in the form of relics and autographs, but more so in easily obtainable inserts that still bring a smile to some people’s face.

Does the product pack value? It depends on what you consider to be valuable. The experience of opening 36 packs for about $65-$75 a box is always fun, even more so if you’re a fan of the game and just appreciate pictures of players emblazoned on cardboard.

3 Responses to “12 hobby packs of 2010 Topps Baseball courtesy of Free Stuff Friday”

  1. Agreed on your take on the inserts… I actually am excited about a couple of them. I am trying to complete the Legendary Lineage, Turkey Red, and Tales cards… I kind of like the history of the game, but like you pointed out, they are bland.

    I got an Interleague play begins card that has a picture of the patch worn for Interleague play… boring.

    CYMTO has too many cards that suck… and who cares if they were thrown out.

    And WTWY reminds me of the mid 90’s triple play baseball players as a kid cards – neither of which I cared for.

  2. It’s a good-looking set. Base and inserts. Anytime you have that many inserts, some are going to fly and some aren’t.

    The Peak Performance inserts are glorified toppstown cards. They’re garbage. I can see value in almost all of them, although personally the Legendary Lineage cards don’t do it for me. Tales of the Game is the best insert.

    There’s an awful lot of talk about the When They Were Young cards. This is not a new concept! Topps did it in 1972! It’s mildly interesting.

    I just pulled the Gordon card today.

  3. Good point on the Alex Gordon card. You would think Topps would have thought that one out…

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