2019 Topps Hobby Jumbo Box Break

Judging from the promo image Topps released last Summer of that one Yankees player, I've been semi-excited for the release of 2019 Topps Series 1 a week or so ago. The design had potential to look really nice as a set, and Topps is the only game in town (that can print logos).

I miss Upper Deck...

At the same time, the Polar Vortex (TM) left the Midwest in sub-zero daily high temperatures, so the third party sport card vendors hadn't made it to any local Targets. (The WalMarts around me don't bother much with cards anymore, so I never looked there.) This past Saturday (February 2nd) was enough above zero that it didn't make running Aarons an absolute torture, so I added a stop at the local card shop.

They deserve a piece of my card budget much more than Targets or WalMarts do.


I went with buying a Jumbo Box, with the hopes that I could wipe out a set in one shot, plus the lottery ticket chances of a mega-hit. As of writing this, I haven't figured out how close to the set I got. That will be a project for later.


There's just something cool about a full wax box, open to display the packs inside.

For sake of describing the box break, I'm not going to list each base card. That's way too much typing. Instead, each pack gets 9 cards that I feel like talking about. Because my scanner fits 9 cards.

And that makes sense...

Pack One
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Garrett Hampson

Garret Hampson was my first card of 2019!*

Last year it was Nomar Mazara of the Texas Rangers, I'll mention the year before later, and those were the only other years I kept track of it. Needless to say, this was the first first card from a team I collect. I took that as a good sign for the collecting year to come.

*First card from a pack. I also bought some 2019 Topps singles at the same time as this box. But I looked at them first...


Antonio Senzatela

The first pack yielded a second Rockie. So that's pretty cool. The morning of the day I'm writing this part, I was listening to MLB Radio. The subject was how the 2018 Rockies starting rotation led Major League Baseball in total Value vs cost. Not going to try to explain it because I couldn't understand the formulas they were discussing.

Point being... If the collective unit doesn't regress in 2019, I think Colorado goes deeper in the playoffs. Bold prediction, but the Rockies could be very dangerous with good pitching. 2018 showed the potential is there.


Russell Martin

A quick flip of a base card over revealed something very important to me. FULL CAREER STATISTICS ARE BACK! I don't know how Topps could justify removing the players career statistics from their cards, but that killed a lot of my interest in buying them. Topps can print whatever they want on the backs of their ridiculous inserts and lottery ticket sets, but the base set needs to be a solid written record of baseball.


Gregory Polanco

From the 1970's retro uniform to the deep green of the scoreboard, this quickly became one of my favorite cards in the set.


Matt Chapman

An Oakland A for my friend Rob in New Mexico! Also with a photo I really liked.


Danny Duffy - Rainbow Parallel

Not the greatest scan, but the rainbow parallels look cool. The foil works better on cards with a solid design element. In this case, the white and team colored bars add enough contrast to make the refractory parts stand out.


Nolan Ryan & Justin Verlander - Greatness Returns

Topps always has loved the pairing of legends and current players. Sometimes they work better than others, In this case, these two fit on one card. Both are Astros aces, I get it...


Jose Abreu - 1984 35th Anniversary

I'm still not sure why Topps decided on the 35th Anniversary of older card sets as a running theme. Though I did like the tribute to 1983 Topps last year, and 1984 Topps has long been a favorite set of mine, it just seems random and arbitrary. If not redundant. Since we'll soon be seeing Topps Heritage's salute to 1970 Topps and Topps Archives will be out this Summer, featuring 3 (or more) other previously used designs in Topps history. There comes a point of overkill Topps...

Yet I am looking forward to Heritage, as I also love the 1970 Topps design.


Mitch Garver

I really liked this card, as there's some great action frozen in the shot. Bonus points awarded to Topps for not Photoshopping out the advertisement for WCCO 830 AM Radio behind the Umpire and Angels catcher. Other than a few year blip, WCCO has carried Twins games on the radio for their entire history. I have fond memories of listening to Twins games on WCCO as a kid, and it's nice to see it honored on a card.

Pack Two
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Albert Almora

Leaping catch and a face mask... That's pretty cool...


Ronald Guzman

While I don't know if he actually is one, I like Topps use of their Future Stars logo on the Future Stars subset. Think this is a Target Field shot too...


Yan Gomes

I like catcher photos. I also like that Cleveland traded their top catcher to the Nationals, weakening the Indians, thus helping the Twins. Who need everything they can get to try and overtake Cleveland in the A.L. Central in 2019.


Blake Snell

Almost some Topps Pitcher Face, another few hundredths of a second...


Tyler Anderson

Another Rockies starter, this one with subdued Topps Pitcher Face.


Kyle Seager - 1984 35th Anniversary

I never understood why Topps chose orange for the Seattle Mariners team colors in 1984, but I liked that this poor choice was followed through in 2019.


Avisail Garcia - 150 Years Gold Home Plate Stamp Thingy

If the 35th Anniversary of a random year of cards isn't enough for you, Topps has also decided this year to promote the 150th Anniversary of baseball. Which is kind of a running theme through the set. Problem being, they didn't explain this one either... So have a gold foil stamp and shut up!


Bryce Harper - Greatest Seasons

Did you know Bryce Harper played a season in the last 150 years? Word is that it was great! A little more background and depth in the description would go a long way Topps...


Joey Votto - 150 Year Anniversary Commemorative Medallion 150 Year Parallel

Come on Topps, this is getting dumb. I get that you needed another insert set to show off these heavy medallions you had minted, but then made those cards have their own parallel by stamping that 150 Years Gold Home Plate Stamp Thingy on it. (Oh, and serial numbered the parallel cards as well.) There are also autographed versions of them because there has to be...

And I need to become a Joey Votto collector because I always seem to get his cards as box hits. If any Reds fan has Twins, Rockies or Expos minor hits, I'll gladly trade!

Since I had to scan the Votto separate due to it's insane thickness, you get a tenth card from this pack!


Miguel Cabrera

And I'm going to once again thank Topps for bringing back the full career statistics to the backs of the cards. Miguel Cabrera's lifetime statistics tell me what I need to know about his future Hall of Fame career a lot more than an uninteresting blurb and a giant advertisement for Topps' social media presence. This fronts are nice, but the card backs are the biggest improvement Topps has made in the last few years.

The man won the Triple Crown in 2012! I want to see those numbers, not a sentence saying he won the Triple Crown!

Pack Three
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Nolan Arenado - League Leaders

Congratulations on the massive $26 million one year contract for the 2019 season. Now the Rocks need to step up and keep their franchise player beyond 2019. Arenado (like Todd Helton before him) IS the Rockies, and should play his entire career in Colorado, just as Helton did. And at some point in the future, a Hall of Fame plaque with CR on it.


Charlie Blackmon - 150 Years Gold Home Plate Stamp Thingy

Arenado's co-star in Colorado is already signed long-term, giving the Rockies a very solid piece going into their future. Not living in Colorado any longer makes me miss watching that one-two punch of the Rockies offense and defense. I didn't get the Topps short printed card of Blackmon wearing his wacky American Flag suit from the 2018 All Star Game, out of this box. But it will absolutely be in my collection some day!


Miguel Sano

Be in shape, healthy and motivated this year Sano, Minnesota needs you in top form...


Blake Parker

Recent Minnesota bullpen acquisition is one of many low key/zero fanfare additions the Twins have made that could either work out great, or fall flat on their face. The Twins are a tough team to pick this season. They have the potential to be pretty good, but they also have the potential to be pretty bad. Parker's performance (or lack thereof) will be a factor in either direction.


Ramon Laureano - 1984 35th Anniversary

I remember watching the Oakland A's play the Twins last Summer, and the commentators were raving about Laureano's skills. He did put up great numbers in his rookie season at 24 years of age. I will be interested in seeing how his 2019 season unfolds.


Zack Godley

Godley was the first Topps card I pulled out of 2017 packs. Nice to see his career has lasted a few seasons now, and this is a pretty cool shot of his toss at Coors Field. Well, I'm pretty sure that is Coors in the background...


Ronald Acuna Jr.

Man, I hate the Braves...


Justus Sheffield

Been following Sheffield's progress since being drafted by the Indians, his trade to the Yankees, and now his newest trade to the Seattle Mariners. Where he should finally get a decent shot at pitching regularly in the major leagues.


Gleyber Torres - Topps Now Stroke-Fest Insert

I HATE these cards! Topps tries, but this is barely above the old advertising cards they put in packs in the late 1980's about buying Topps merch and limited card sets via mail order. This is nothing more than a series of insert cards for Topps to pat themselves on the back for printing cards and selling them online.

Yay! You made a super rare autographed card of the Yankees top prospect. Did you really need to make a card to celebrate your selling it?

******

I need a break from this break...

Let's look at the wrapper these came in.

There's more Yankees on it, just in case you forgot about them...


2019 Topps Jumbo Pack Wrapper

Yup... Cards come in here...


And here are the odds for some of those lottery prizes in 2019 Topps... Showing just how fruitless spending the big cash in search of hits really is...

Pack Four
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All Smiles

Minor quibbles aside, I've not been disappointed with the box. It hasn't exactly been "All Smiles", but it hasn't been "Steamy Turd" either. And I like Albert Pujols a lot, and it's good to see him playing in the field on cards in 2019.


Didi Gregorius

This is a great photo!


Seattle Mariners - Safeco Field

I really liked the use of stadium shots for each team's team card this year. It's a lot more fun to see a decent stadium shot than a collection of players celebrating a home run, over and over in the set.


Jose Berrios - 1984 35th Anniversary

I was hoping for some Twins inserts out of the box, especially one of the 1984 tributes. Of the three I found out there are in Series 1, Berrios was my top want.


Paul Goldschmidt

As a Rockies fan, I say hooray to Goldschmidt leaving the N.L. West. As a Cardinals hater... Well, I don't have to start liking Goldschmidt now either...


Roberto Alomar & Francisco Lindor - Greatness Returns

One a second baseman, one a shortstop. Alomar didn't play for very long with Cleveland, so this one isn't as good of a pairing. But, they could've done worse.


Chris Iannetta

I do think the Rockies could have used an upgrade at catcher. However, I do not want them to mortgage a mega-prospect like Brendan Rodgers, or one of their excellent young starting pitchers to acquire a star like J.T. Realmuto to put behind the plate for two seasons. Iannetta did a good job guiding those young starting pitchers through a successful 2018 season, and I'm okay with seeing him do more of the same in 2019.


Dan Straily

Some of the best news of this offseason for me was that the Miami Marlins are ditching a lot of the identifying signatures of Jeff Loria's ownership reign. That horrifyingly tacky water shooting statue in left center field of Marlins Park, has been banished to the outside of the stadium. The ugly Miami block lettering on the jerseys is gone. The gaudy orange that was made so prominent in the teams' color scheme, has been diminished in the new black, white and aqua uniforms.

Doing whatever it takes to erase Jeff Loria from baseball, makes me a bigger Derek Jeter fan than I ever was while he was still playing.


Kolby Allard - 1984 35th Anniversary Autograph

This would be my big hit of the box. Well... He's a young, top rated left handed starting pitcher, and a former first round draft pick. But he's also an Atlanta Brave...

I guess I could have done worse...

Kinda crappy signature Kolby... Show some effort...


Pack Five
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Kohl Stewart

I was happy to see that Topps made a card for Stewart, the Twins first round draft pick (4th overall) in 2013. Bonus points for using a photo from his major league debut in Detroit, vs the Tigers. Stewart pitched much better in the major leagues than I'd expected, in comparison to his minor league numbers. While solid, his career to this point had been pretty underwhelming. But his performance at the game's highest level proved there may be something to build off of for 2019.


Jose Berrios

Stewart piecing it together accompanied by another step forward by this guy, would really help Minnesota.


Jorge Polanco

Along with this guy laying off the P.E.D.'s and becoming a solid shortstop bridge to Royce Lewis in two years.


Jake Odorizzi - Black Parallel

A near Twins hot pack culminated with a nice rare Odorizzi parallel. A Topps Black, serial numbered 44/67, was a nice surprise for the box. I listened to an interview on MLB Radio the other day and found out he just had a kid. Congrats! Hopefully Odorizzi can bounce back from a down 2018 season and help lead the Twins iffy rotation.


Jon Gray

Just as this needs to do in Colorado...


Nolan Arenado

We known Nolan will be doing above and beyond his share...

Sign long term with the Rockies, you know how much sense it makes!


Shin-Soo Choo

Not a Rangers fan by any stretch, but this Choo card stood out to me. Likely due to the contrasting red jersey and socks against the blue, green and brick backdrop. Just looks cool to me. And I don't even like the color red.


Josh Donaldson

This Donaldson card is something I like to have in my collection. Despite only playing 16 games with Cleveland, he gets a card showing him with the Indians. Unless this is a Photoshop painting on a old Blue Jays picture, in which case, they did a really good job. Now he gets to play for Atlanta, and I will not cheer for that...


Shohei Ohtani

We wrap up this pack with 2018 hobby darling Ohtani. Whose 2019 season is shrouded in mystery. Tommy John surgery will keep him off the pitching mound, but at some point will allow him to come back and DH for the Angels. As a team, the Angels are a mess and don't even have a logical place for Ohtani to hit. Aging mega star Albert Pujols should take the DH slot, but Ohtani cant play in the field, so Pujols has to man first base. They have no pitching and little to back up having the best player in baseball (Mike Trout) on payroll.

Years of bad baseball decisions have caught up to the Halos.

But this was my favorite pack of the Jumbo Box.


Pack Six
*******


Francisco Lindor

Where will Lindor end up after he doesn't re-sign with fading Cleveland? He appears to be shrugging in this picture, so not even he knows... Boston? New York? Tampa Bay? 

Lindor as a Pirate? 

Yeah, right...


Pittsburgh Pirates - PNC Park

Well, I'd sure love to play in this stadium, with this sort of view for every game. Sure looks nicer than the Pirates Expos game I saw at Three Rivers Stadium in 1995 did...


Dee Gordon

There's also a whole lot to like about this picture too... Retro uniform, Gordon looking at the ball he just bunted, the blurry Mariner in the dugout grabbing his crotch...


Touki Toussaint

Still hate the Braves, but you gotta love a guy named Touki...


Kyle Barraclough - Rainbow Parallel

Mmmmmm... Bear Claw...


Logan Morrison

Why did the 2018 Twins underperform? Morrison forgetting how to hit sure didn't help. Towards the end of the season, Logan admitted he was hurt all season, and that was why he sucked so bad. Which also sucks. I remember being excited by his signing last February, thinking he would be an incredible bargain for the Twins. After his lost season, Morrison is still looking for a baseball job in 2019. It may be the end of the road for Logan.


Wade Davis

Davis didn't live up to his lofty contract in 2018, but wasn't the reason the Rockies didn't make it out of the National League Division Series. It's not Wade's fault the Rockies couldn't hit Brewers pitching in the postseason. Hoping for a bounceback in 2019...


George Brett - 1975 Topps Iconic Cards

Once again Topps can't resist showing off cards they made years ago. 

I wish I could trade all of the various 1975 Topps George Brett reprints I've pulled out of packs over the years, for an actual 1975 Topps George Brett rookie card. My 1975 Topps set is missing only two cards, the Brett, and Hank Aaron's #1 card in the set. This was one of my favorite purchases from Mike at the former Mike's Sports Cards in Englewood, Colorado. A set of 1975 Topps (most of the commons and semi-stars are in mint condition), just missing the Brett, Yount and both Hank Aaron cards for $150. Finishing this set has been a long term project, and I'm now down to just two cards. Maybe I should just slip this into that binder and see if anyone notices...


Todd Frazier - Topps Gold

The Topps standard gold parallel (serial numbered to 2019 this year), is a tradition dating back to the 2001 set. Some years efforts look better than others, and I think this years looks pretty good.


Pack Seven
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Adam Ottavino

I knew there was no chance of the Rockies re-signing Ottavino as soon as the 2018 season ended. With so much money spent on various free agent bullpen pieces over the last few years, there simply wouldn't be enough left for Ottavino. Of course, the Yankees found enough millions in their couch cushions to allow Ottavino to throw his frisbee sliders to Red Sox batters. He will also become the first Yankee to wear the number 0. A gimmick he started in Colorado, wearing his last initial as his uniform number.


Max Scherzer - League Leaders

The Nationals alternate script jersey looks good on cards. 


Marcus Strowman

Is Topps replacing it's patented Topps Pitcher Face for Topps Uncomfortable Pitcher Freeze Frame? That's not as catchy of a name, but I found a whole lot of painful looking body contortions in the 2019 cards. Strowman's in particular stood out to me.


Chris Iannetta - Rainbow Parallel

My plan was to not show duplicates in this post, but I'd scanned Iannetta's base card, forgetting that I wanted his Rainbow card instead. By the time I got to this point, I didn't feel like going back and replacing the base. Sorry for cheating you out of seeing another 2019 Topps common.

Pretend this was Aaron Judge, because I'm NOT showing his card...


Al Kaline - Greatest Players

While Bryce Harper's card in this series (wait, that was Greatest Seasons) didn't interest me, I love the Al Kaline card! Perhaps it's just seeing someone "new" featured in an insert set that I'm not completely sick of...


Javier Baez - 1984 35th Anniversary

I like this card.


Dansby Swanson

My hatred of the Braves notwithstanding, I'm still waiting for Dansby to develop into a top tier shortstop at the major league level. He has all the potential. And this is a really cool photo, with the bouncing helmet that hasn't yet rested on the ground in the cloud of dust his slide caused.


Eddie Rosario

Someone's happy about hitting a double!


Shohei Ohtani - Topps Now Stroke-Fest Insert

Hey, remember that time last year when we made 839,243 Shohei Ohtani cards? Wasn't that cool of us? Give us more money!

******

I mentioned that in addition to the box of jumbo packs, I also dug through the 2019 Topps singles that were placed in a shoe box on a table at the card shop. My goal was to get a complete set from the packs, but I wanted to make sure I had an extra team set of Twins and Rockies for their respective binders. In addition to hundreds of commons, a good variety of 2019 Topps insert cards were also available in the shoe box.


Rod Carew - Greatest Players

Not turning down a new Rod Carew card. Especially one with a great shot of Metropolitan Stadium that I haven't seen before.


Todd Helton - Greatest Seasons

Also a nice flashback to see Todd Helton on a card again.


Vladimir Guerrero - Greatest Players

Guerrero shows up in a few 2019 Topps insert sets wearing Expos colors. Unfortunately, this was the only one I was able to find today... I've seen a picture of his autographed 150 Year Anniversary Commemorative Medallion Gold Stamped 150 Year Parallel with The Crusts Cut Off, and I really want it.

Sure it's only numbered to 10...


Pack Eight
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Ty Cobb - Greatest Players

Keeping with the theme of Greatest Players/Greatest Seasons cards... I don't care if Ty Cobb was a giant bag of dicks, this card rules!


Aaron Nola

Damn, Nola would have been a good fit for the Twins... Much better choice than Nick Gordon was for the organizations needs.

Nothing against Gordon...


Juan Soto

Bryce who?


Kevin Gausman

After years of seeing Gausman cards in Baltimore Orioles colors, it's always kind of a double take seeing familiar players with new teams. Ignoring the fact he was a Brave in 2018 Topps Update. I guess I forgot about that.


Khris Davis - League Leaders - Rainbow Parallel

This scan really works for the rainbow foil. Green and red against this photo makes this card look like a whole lot more than the 25 cents I could maybe sell it for.

But I'd give it to Rob before I tried to sell it...

Doesn't matter though, I'm keeping it.


Brett Phillips

I'm assuming that Phillips caught the ball... But you can't tell for sure. Great action shot regardless.


Lewis Brinson

Yeah, Marlin Orange needs to go...


Nick Burdi

Flamethrowing relief pitcher and former high draft pick of the Twins, moved on to the Pittsburgh Pirates via the 2017 Rule V Draft. Burdi was dealing with an injury that would cost him most of the 2018 season, but was still drafted on his potential alone. He came back from his injuries to pitch in a few games late last year for the Pirates, but not enough to satisfy the Rule V obligations. So there's still a small chance his rights could be returned to the Twins in 2019...

I wouldn't be against it...

I'd even let him keep those sweet socks with the bridge embroidered on them!


Bert Blyleven - 1984 35th Anniversary

Nice! I got 2 of the 3 Twins in the Series 1 1984 35th Anniversary insert set. Just need Eddie Rosario. Blyleven had a very good and lengthy career, well deserving of his Hall of Fame induction, even though it came much later than it should have.

Let's flip the card over and look at those numbers...


Damat Topps!

Blyleven started his major league career in 1970! Not 1978! How Topps? How do you not put full career statistics on the card back of a Hall of Famer? On a card that is a tribute to cards that did have full statistics. You put a great deal of effort into making these look very similar to 1984 Topps, both front and back, then you get lazy... Attention to detail Topps!

I really miss Upper Deck...


Pack Nine
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Sonny Gray

Gray was one of the first 2019 Topps cards I saw in the shoebox at the card store, and his tiny head stood out to me. And over there is my car insurance company!


Oakland A's - Oakland Coliseum

Man did football (and time and raw sewage) ruin this place. I really hope for the Athletics (and Rob's) sake, that fascinating looking greenhouse style stadium can be built in the next couple of years. The A's really do deserve a nice place to play.

That doesn't flood with poop...


Kyle Tucker - 1984 35th Anniversary

That's a really blue jersey...


Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Another Future Star.... I hope this one pans out. When he signed with Toronto (and his older brother, Yulieski, signed with Houston), Gurriel was rated as a top prospect at shortstop. The Blue Jays need a strong shortstop to pair with all the talented infielders they have coming down the line.

Like Vladimir's kid...

And Biggio's kid...

And Dante Bichette's kid...


Fenway Park - Ballpark Evolution

I like this. Of course I would like it more it wasn't Fenway, but the concept is solid. Showing old ballparks on one side of the card, with a more current photo on the flip side. Give me a card with Metropolitan Stadium on one side and Target Field on the other and I will be happy. Since I know a Jarry Park / Olympic Stadium card is out of the question. I guess a Mile High Stadium / Coors Field combo is more realistic, but just as doubtful...


Ervin Santana

Santana finished his 4 year Twins contract last October. Turning in a couple of good seasons, one 80 game P.E.D. suspension, and nearly one full season nearly lost to injury. Not exactly what I would have hoped from Minnesota's biggest free agent pitching acquisition in team history. But they've spent lotsa money in far worse ways...

Santana was no Rickey Nolasco...


Brian McCann

Great action shot...


Adam Engel

Even greater action shot....


Mitch Haniger - Major League Material 150 Years Parallel

I've never been a fan of the plain jersey swatch that doesn't match the jersey worn in the accompanying photo. While I'm pretty positive the greenish teal square of fabric isn't from the Mariners jersey that Haniger is pictured in, this card at least gives the illusion that it could be. And the green/teal square is much better than just plain white or gray. Unless the white has a pinstripe in it. Those are cool.

******

In addition to all of the 2019 Topps, I picked up two cards that were not of the most recent release year... Going all the way back to 2018 Bowman Draft, the Twins bin had a couple I needed, mixed in with the 2019 team set I picked out.


Royce Lewis

I got the base card out of the jumbo packs I talked about here, now I got the Chrome. Too bad it's not refractory... Lewis was recently ranked the 5th best prospect in the MLB.com Top 100. Minnesota only had three players ranked in the Top 100, but the Twins were the only team to have two prospects in the Top 10 (Alex Kirilloff came in at #9).


Brusdar Graterol

My first Brusdar was the base out of those same jumbo packs. My second Brusdar is the Chrome parallel. Not very diverse, but I'm certainly not complaining. For those keeping score at home, Graterol was the other Twin to make the Top 100, ranking at #68. I think he moves up on next years list, the guy is too talented to be #68...


Pack Ten
********

So we move on to the last pack of the box. I've already pulled my promised three hits, so anything else would be gravy. Let's hope for decent savory gravy instead of cold, congealed, lumpy gravy with week old cracked skin on top...


Jorge Soler

At least it started off with a really great photo...


Mike Trout

And you can always reel Trout in for a fantastic catch....


Buster Posey - Gold parallel

I also wont turn down a low end parallel of a major star. Even if the shine is wearing off... Posey's had a great career, with three World Series rings earned, but the fatigue of catching for close to a decade is starting to show.


Dale Murphy - 1984 35th Anniversary

Seems appropriate to get an actual star from 1984 on the 1984 tribute cards. And it's a photo I haven't seen before. Thumbs up Topps! I'll pretend he's not a Brave...

Though it would have been kinda funny if they chose a photo from his brief 1993 cameo as a Colorado Rockie.

Man, I wish Topps would have done that...


Warren Spahn - 1953 Bowman Color - Iconic Cards

When you do a Google search for Warren Spahn, this picture is the first to come up. I guess that would be a good example of iconic...


Christian Yelich - League Leaders

Gotta love the Brewers throwback uniforms... And screw that M with wheat, the glove shaped MB needs to be the Brewers logo forever period.


Chad Bettis

The last Rockie of the box would be their least reliable starting pitcher in 2018. But it's always nice to see even a small piece of Coors Field on a card.


Addison Reed

And we finish up with a pair of Twins. First up being a disappointing relief pitcher, who earned a big payday with subpar numbers in 2018, on the first season of a two year contract. Minnesota could really use a better season out of Reed in 2019. With the state of Minnesota's bullpen, he could even stand a chance of being named their closer.

But I don't know what that would say about the state of the team if he is...


Byron Buxton

However, no Twin is a bigger key to the team's success or failure in 2019 than Buxton. Easily the most important player on the roster. If he plays well, the Twins do well. If he fails on a 2018 level, the season will likely be lost. Hard to put that kind of pressure on a 25 year old, but his talent is generational. And it's about time Buxton plays up to it.

And that's it for my 2019 Topps Series 1 Hobby Jumbo Box!

But wait! There's more...

Bonus Packs!
***********


Topps Hobby Exclusive Bonus Pack

Since I bought the Hobby Box at a Hobby store, I was given two free packs of 4 exclusive 1984 Anniversary Chrome Refractor cards. Which I have to admit was part of the motivation in buying the box. I really wanted to see what I would get out of these two packs.


Don Mattingly - 1984 Refractor

Nice! The most recognized card from the 1984 set, updated with new photos. Mattingly's rookie is still the top card from 1984 Topps, and I was very happy in getting this version.


Javier Baez - 1984 Refractor

Not a Baez fan... Not a Cubs fan... But this is a very nice looking card.


Francisco Lindor - 1984 Refractor

Not a Lindor fan... Not a Indians fan... But this is also a very nice looking card.


Juan Soto - 1984 Refractor

I will be very interested to see how Soto's career advances. He hit amazingly well for a 19 year old, playing in the Major Leagues. At the least, he will lessen the blow of losing Bryce Harper. If that indeed happens...

I'm starting to think Harper will just retire from baseball since he just can't find a team that will pay him what he wants... If you can't make $40 million a year, why bother playing at all?


Darryl Strawberry - 1984 Refractor

Much better photo than the one that was used on the actual 1984 Topps Strawberry. 

And this one sparkles!


Bo Jackson - 1984 Refractor

Special shout out to Gracie (on her birfday) for somehow getting a piece of cat fur on the scanner to slice off Bo's torso.


Corey Kluber - 1984 Refractor

And he's still an Indian! Not a Red, Not a Dodger, Not a Yankee! 

Yet anyways...


Cal Ripken Jr. - 1984 Refractor

Very nice! Along with Mattingly and Strawberry, I managed to pull all three of the big stars of 1984 Topps. Now in Chrome Refractor form!

******

So now that all the fun of tearing these jumbo packs open has been completed, what's my final verdict on 2019 Topps Series 1?


I still have no clue how close to a complete set that I got from the box. I found a few obvious doubles along the way, but not an unreasonable amount. So there's no immediate loud complaint about poor collation like I usually have.

The decrease in needless and worthless insert sets is a welcome sight. (Although those Topps Now things can go straight to hell!) Not too many years ago, a hobby jumbo pack of Topps could contain more than 10-12 cards that were not part of the base set. Existing just to add pointless bulk in the name of value. And thanks for cutting back production of the "short prints" and the "super short prints". I don't want a "short print" in every other pack...

Looking at you 2017 Topps! 

Now those were definitely pointless...

I also think Topps did a poor job in explaining their "150 Years" gimmick, and why it's featured so prominently. I get it in concept, just do a better job in tying it into the current cards. Topps does like to half-ass it's history...

And I do like the base design a whole lot. The last few years of borderless cards were kind of off-putting (the 2018 design was nice, but the 2016 and 2017 base cards way underwhelmed), so a return to borders was nice to see. Topps also didn't go overboard here either. The 2019 design has a little of both. Border on two sides, full bleed photo on the other two.

It's a compromise!

Overall, the photography is above average for base Topps. The color isn't washed out like it was in 2017, or too dark like in 2016. This year is just a notch below the crispness of 2018 Topps photos. But I'm definitely happy with what I've seen so far.

Will I buy more?

Well, I'm going to complete the Series 1 set, and will likely do the Hobby Jumbo Box in June, when Series 2 hits the market.

So yeah...

I need a Nelson Cruz Twins card!

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