Players who were traded will appear in the uniforms of their new teams, and rookies who have made an impact will also be included in the 330-card set.
The 2022 version follows the same patterns as Series One and Two. The only difference is the numbering, which has a “US” in front of the card number, which runs from 1 to 330.
If you buy a hobby box, you can expect one big hit, either a memorabilia or autograph card. Jumbo boxes have an additional hit, offering one autograph and two memorabilia cards.
As for me, I remained with my usual pattern of buying blaster boxes. That could change, of course, if I ever hit a Powerball or other lottery game. But I am not counting on that.
The one I received was a batting helmet of Ozzie Albies that was embedded into the card.
The design of the 2022 Update set remains consistent with the flagship product’s first two series. The player is shown in action pose, with the background blurred. It’s a nice effect because it does put the player into sharper focus.
The design format varies between vertical and horizontal. I prefer the vertical look when solo players are involved, but horizontal does come into play several times in this set. Card No. US93, which shows Bradley Zimmer diving to his left to snare a drive, is a good example of nice horizontal usage. So are cards US156 (Tim Locastro) and US262 (Josh Harrison), which show both of them airborne while executing headfirst slides.
The blaster box I opened contained 80 base cards, which included a generous amount of veterans and rookies. Some of the rookie cards include the date the player made his major league debut.
There are also combination cards. Other cards, called Veteran Combos, combine several players with some clever tag lines. For example, card No. US83 is called “Picture Perfect” and shows Padres players Manny Machado and Jurickson Profar posing for a photograph.
“Desert Cool Off” (card No. US221) shows the Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte being doused with Gatorade by teammate Christian Walker after a victory. And card US168 is called “One Last Dance” and features Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina.
I pulled three of those cards, featuring Jose Altuve, Tony Bonsolin and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
There are several parallels for the base set. I pulled a foil parallel of Clint Frazier, a Royal Blue parallel of Steven Matz and a Gold parallel of Michael Pineda that is numbered 0827/2022.
Every retail pack also includes a Stars of MLB insert card. The 30 cards that make up this insert set have a foil-like, shinier look than the base set. I pulled seven of these cards, plus a Stars of MLB chrome card of Bryson Scott. The chrome cards fall once every 10 packs, so that was a nice pickup.
There are 50 cards in the insert set, and I pulled a pair of them — Hunter Greene and Mariano Rivera.
Collectors who pine for the mid-1990s can collect the 25-card Topps Black Gold insert, which returns again this year.
emember when finding a Topps Black Gold card was a rare, but fun occurrence? They really stood apart from the rest of the Topps cards.
Well, these cards still have that look and are a nice addition to the set. I pulled a card of Julio Rodriguez.
There are Hall of Famers, retired players who could arguably be in the Hall, and current players who are blazing a path toward Cooperstown.
The card I pulled was of Brooklyn Dodgers great Roy Campanella. I interviewed Campanella in the early 1980s at the Dodgers’ spring training camp in Vero Beach, Florida, and he could not be nicer.
t was a great interview and one that brings back good memories, since we talked about his past, the Dodgers future and how the team’s catchers were doing (he was a consultant and instructed catchers that year at Dodgertown.
The Topps Update set helps put an exclamation point to the baseball card season, although the Allen & Ginter set is arriving soon, much later than usual. It’s a clean set with good photography, and blaster boxes can give a collector more than 25% of the base set.