|Bob D'Angelo's Books & Blogs||
Here's a story I wrote for Sports Collectors Daily about a photograph featuring Roger Maris and the fan who caught his record-breaking 61st home run in 1961, Sal Durante:
Topps ends another successful run with its flagship product with its 300-card Update series. The design remains consistent with the Series One and Two sets, and from my standpoint, I really enjoy when the cards fronts are displayed with a vertical design.
Certainly, there are horizontal layouts in the base set, but vertical is my preference.
The nice thing about the update set is that it emphasizes up-and-coming rookies and players who have been traded during the 2018 season.
I bought a blaster box, which has 10 packs containing 10 cards. There is also an additional card — one of 50 Jackie Robinson Day Manufactured Patches. The card I pulled was Dee Gordon.
Out of the 100 cards in the blaster, 73 were base cards. The rest were either inserts or parallels. There were two parallels — one gold and a foil — and one variation card of Lou Gehrig. As usual, Topps has SP variations and SSP variations to make the chase that much more difficult. There are 52 SP variations and 25 SSP variations for this set.
One interesting parallel was a vintage stock card of Craig Kimbrel, numbered to 99. This card uses the heavier, paper-like stock used in Topps’ vintage sets. It has a distinctive feel to it. It also has the vintage Topps logo from years ago, stamped in silver foil.
Topps has included a generous supply of inserts, retaining a few from the two earlier series while introducing some new ones.
Topps Salute returns with a 50-card set, and I pulled cards of Jackie Robinson and Ichiro.
Another carryover is Legends in the Making, a 30-card set that also comes in a baffling array of parallels in blue, black, gold (numbered to 50), red (10) and platinum (1/1). I pulled three base inserts, plus a blue parallel. J.D. Martinez and a black parallel of Juan Soto.
The 1983 Topps 35th anniversary set returns again with a 50-card offering. The cards bear the 1983 Topps design, and I pulled a pair of Cardinal – Marcell Ozuna and Jordan Hicks.
Some new inserts are introduced into this set, and there are some nice ones.
Storybook Endings is a 10-card set that features the swan songs of selected major-league greats. I pulled a card of Mariano Rivera.
An International Affair has 50 cards that showcases the grip major-league baseball has around the world, highlighting stars from many different countries. I pulled a card of Astros star Jose Altuve.
Don’t Blink is a 25-card subset that emphasizes players with speed. The card I pulled was of former Kansas City Royals star Bo Jackson.
Another blaster box exclusive is Postseason Preeminence, which summarizes the playoff and World Series feats of 30 different players. I pulled seven of these cards from the blaster I bought, including Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Chipper Jones, Kris Bryant and Randy Johnson.
As usual, Topps saves inserts that are exclusive to retail giants Target and Walmart.
If you buy your blaster boxes at Walmart, a 20-card 2018 Hall of Famers Highlights set awaits, with memorable moments from the careers of new Cooperstown inductees Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman.
Since I bought my blaster at Target, I received four cards documenting Bryce Harper’s career.
There were no autograph or relic cards in the blaster I bought, but I wasn’t expecting any. Such hot cards generally would come from hobby or jumbo hobby boxes.
Still for set collectors like me, the Update series is the perfect way to end the 2018 baseball season. There are enough inserts to keep me interested, and the base set is generally easy to complete.
Here's a story I wrote for Sports Collectors Daily about the story behind a 1924 bat signed by Babe Ruth:
Here's a story I wrote for Sports Collectors Daily about the 1952 Cleveland Indians Num Num set:
My podcast with JackGilden, author of "Collision of Wills: Johnny Unitas, Don Shula, and the Rise of the Modern NFL" via University of Nebraska Press on the NewBooksSports channel of the New Books Network:
Here's a story I wrote for Sports Collectors Daily previewing Upper Deck's The Cup hockey, which will be released sometime this month:
Here is a story I wrote for Sports Collectors Daily about the 1955-56 pro wrestling set:
I love to blog about sports books and give my opinion. Baseball books are my favorites, but I read and review all kinds of books.