Opening Day is a spring tradition, with a design that mirrors Topps’ flagship Series 1 set (with an added Opening Day logo) and inserts that emphasize some of the fun fans can experience at the ballpark. The price is reasonable, too; expect a hobby box to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 to $35. As always, Topps Opening Day is geared toward younger collectors, and the inserts certainly are evidence of that.
A hobby box contains 36 packs, with seven cards to a pack. Some (not all) collectors will pull either a relic or autograph card from a hobby box.
With a 200-card base set, it should be fairly simple for collectors to build an entire set. But to make things a little more difficult, Topps did throw in some card variations for certain players. Those photographs are more of a celebratory kind, or offbeat (in the case of Corey Kluber, the Indians’ ace is kicking a soccer ball), and fall every 256 packs. There also are parallels, with Rainbow Blue Foil, falling every seven packs. Some collectors might find 1/1 versions of Opening Day Edition and Printing Plates. True to the average, I pulled five Rainbow Blue Foils from the hobby box I sampled
Mascots is a 25-card subset that pays tribute with some really corny phrases in some cases. Example: The Oakland Athletics mascot — the famous elephant that has been a franchise symbol for more than a century — “is happy to work for peanuts.” Other mascots include such standbys as the Phillie Phanatic, Billy the Marlin, Mr. Met, Fredbird and the Rally Monkey. Even Raymond, the Rays’ mascot, has a card. Cards will fall about one in every three packs, and I pulled 10 from the hobby box I opened.
Incredible Eats is an 18-card insert set that showcases some of the unique food at different ballparks. Classic pastrami (Mets), South Philly Dog (Phillies), hot dogs and onions (Cubs) and bacon mac and cheese (Rangers) are some of the culinary treats. Topps does young collectors a service by not listing the prices for these delectable delights. I pulled eight of these inserts in the hobby box I opened.
Opening Day at the Ballpark shows the inaugural games of the 2016 season at selected venues. There are 15 cards in the subset, and collectors can expect to pull seven of these cards from a hobby box. Superstar Celebrations contains 25 cards and will fall every three packs. These cards show the joy and fun of a team celebrating a big victory.
The hobby box I opened also yielded a pair of inserts that are scarcer than the pack-an-insert offering in Topps Opening Day. Opening Day Stars falls one per hobby box; the card I pulled from the 44-card subset was of Kluber. The other card was a Stadium Signatures card of the Indians’ Francisco Lindor. This 25-card insert falls once every 420 packs, and don’t be misled by the reference to signatures. This insert merely shows players in the act of signing autographs. There is a parallel set with actual autographs too, but that occurs once in every 17,820 packs.
Topps Opening Day is a fun companion to go along with the opening of the baseball season. It’s easy to collect, inexpensive, and just plain fun.