2019 Topps release and the World Series relics

Today sparks the beginning of the new card collecting year as 2019 Topps is released in most hobby shops and online. And like every year for the last 10-plus years the set will feature an insert set honoring the World Series champions complete with relics and autographs

There should be some excitement for Boston Red Sox fans as once again they have championship cards to collect. But in some ways, the relics in the new Topps release feel second-rate based on what was offered months ago directly from Topps.

The reason I say this is because while the 2019 cards themselves commemorate the champions, the relics within the cards are not from the World Series. Hell, they even say as such on the front of the card.

Now, this is NOT breaking news. Over the last decade, Topps has refrained from identifying the year in which the items was used, and sometimes even don’t identify the fabric embedded in the card. And my point of this post is not to complain, or to poke fun at Topps. Rather, this post is to highlight the greatness of the Topps Now program.

Because if you as a Red Sox collector wanted a legitimate piece of the World Series, there were pieces available directly from Topps a day after the Red Sox claimed the title at Dodger Stadium. Topps made available a team celebration card that featured a small chunk of a base from Game 5. It was limited, but it does in fact feature a piece of baseball history.

The 2019 Topps World Series champions cards do indeed look nice, and I’ll reiterate that this post is not to disparage them. Heck, if I can get a few of them at a decent price at some point I will probably pounce on them. But for me, the smarter money was spent in October after the title when I secured my piece of the game. And to my surprise, the card arrived in relatively quick fashion.

My specific card is the Purple version, serial numbered 10/25. It features a white base swatch bearing hologram number JC698628  the authentication certificate via MLB then refers to the original hologram for the entire base
JC334202 which indicates the base used in this relic card was second base used during innings 5 through 7 of Game Five of the 2018 World Series, which means the base was actually stepped on by League MVP Mookie Betts and JD Martinez, who both homered in that game, in innings 6 and 7, respectively.

Of course, this relic from Topps Now is a bit more special to me than most. I managed to attend Game Five and see my favorite team of more than three decades hoist the World Series Championship Trophy before my very eyes.

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