Regardless, Topps has stuck with the same formula through the years, and it works.
The base set includes 100 cards and features a nice sprinkling of current stars, promising rookies and Hall of Famers. There are parallels, of course, with amethyst (numbered to 340), emerald (250), amber (150), gold (99), onyx (50) and sapphire (25). There also are 1/1 ruby parallels and 1/1 printing plate cards.
The base card design showcases a cutout action shot of the player (although some are reminiscent of the posed shots Topps used during the 1960s), with a gold background. The Topps Triple Thread logo is at the top of the card, either on the left- or right-hand side, and the player’s name is near the bottom of the card, flanked by his position and the team logo. Card backs feature a “Triple Take” that lists three key facts about the player.
The memorabilia card was a Unity Jumbo Relic of Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran, gold parallel numbered to 9. It’s a nice, generous swatch, mostly black with a white pinstripe.
The autograph card was a timely one, as it was a Triple Threads Autograph Relic card of Cubs pitcher John Lester, who lost Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday and hopes to rebound tonight in Game 5 to keep Chicago alive in the best-of-seven series. The card was numbered to 18, and the uniform swatch was behind a die-cut rendering of Lester’s name and uniform number.
The relic card was true to the product name, as it was a Triple Threads Relic Combo card of the Mets’ Curtis Granderson, Matt Harvey and Michael Conforto, numbered to 27. Parallels for this subset can be found in emerald (numbered to 18), gold (9) and sapphire (3). There are 1/1 parallels in ruby, wood and White Whale Printing Plates.
The signature card was another Unity Jumbo Relic. This one pictured Yankees first baseman Greg Bird, numbered to 99. The swatch was much more “Yankees” defined than the Beltran card — this card had a pair of blue vertical pinstripes set against a generous swatch of white.
One of the special additions to this year’s Triple Threads product — actually, it is a continuation of Topps’ yearlong promotion — are autographs from Crash Davis. Davis, of course, is actor Kevin Costner, who starred in the baseball movie classic “Bull Durham.”
There are plenty of rookie autographs to be found (although I didn’t pull any), but honestly I prefer the veteran and Hall of Fame signatures. Some collectors will be lucky enough to pull 1/1 bat knob, laundry tag and bat nameplate books, too. But once again, Triple Threads delivers a nice-looking product.