09 February 2015

Pack of the Day 85: 2015 Topps Series 1 Hobby Box: Base Cards and Parallels

I am ending my streak of non-sports posts, mostly because I ran out of stuff to post. I've also got a huge backlog of sports stuff in my post queue and my scan folder, even stuff going back to November. Just about anyone who blogs about baseball cards knows that 2015 Topps Series 1 came out last week. I bought a base set and the First Pitch insert from an eBay seller, and so I don't really 'need' anything else from Series 1. I considered going out and buying some retail packs from Target, but I got to thinking that by the time I buy three blasters at retail I might as well buy a Hobby box. So that's what I did. After work on Thursday I went over to the local card shop and grabbed a Hobby box. I considered a Jumbo box, but I couldn't justify the extra $30 it would have cost me just to get a manu-relic and an extra autograph or relic card. Most of the relics and autos I've seen coming out of this stuff aren't worth $15 apiece.

This post takes a look at some of the base cards and parallels I pulled from this box. In all I pulled 305 base cards, with 9 of those being doubles. So I got 296 different base cards, or 84.6% of the set.

I like the card design well enough. My main complaint is that the photographs chosen are largely generic torso shots, and even a lot of the action shots are zoomed-in too close. I feel like the 2014 set was a little more open to using dugout shots, silly shots, celebration photos, and things of that nature. I chose some of my PC players and a few cards featuring better photos to show here. I omitted some of the cards that I know everyone has already seen, like the Jeter card that leads the set off.

The group features a few beards, PC guy Josh Reddick, a couple of camo uniforms, and a couple of decent fielding shots (I'd like that Pearce card 5x more if it showed his feet).

I've seen a couple of mentions already of the Navarro card, which might achieve cult favorite status like Coco Crisp's afro card last year. It just looks like something bad is about to happen. Also the guy in the background might be scratching his junk. R.A. Dickey gets the nod because he's a PC guy. Arias gets into this post because he's got a case of extreme Ugly Pitching Face (UPF) going on. I think he might have learned that trick from Madison Bumgarner.

A couple of horizontal A's cards made the cut, although I'd like both of those cards better if I could just see the players' feet. Ethier and Kipnis have better cards because they are mostly all within the frame (Ethier is missing part of his hand). I especially like how the ball is hanging out in the background of Ethier's card.

Here are a few more horizontal cards that stood out to me while sorting through the stacks. I guess I don't have anything more to say about these. They're nice photos, but I wish Topps had included the whole picture.

I got four Gold parallels and four Rainbow Foil parallels. Both of these are seeded 1:10 packs, which I believe is more rare than last year's equivalent Gold and Red Hot Foil cards. People on the forums are saying that means there is a much bigger print run of 2015 Topps than there was in 2013 and 2014. I guess I can believe that. Arias and his UPF make another appearance. The Baez card would have got a spot in the base card group if he didn't appear here. On the parallels Topps should have used blue for the Dodgers logo, as on Puig's Gold card here you can't even see the logo in the corner. I imagine the Yankees and Padres might have the same problem.

In addition to the more common parallels I pulled an elusive Pink parallel of Dilson Herrera, numbered # 30 / 50. These cards fall only 1:527 Hobby packs, if the odds on the pack are to be believed. Again, it seems like these colored parallels are extremely rare this year, pointing to a much larger print run this year than in years past. I actually just went back and checked the odds for 2014's set, and Pink parallels numbered out of # / 50 fell at a 1:501 rate, which means they were more common, but not by a gigantic margin. I guess if you're opening 25 cases or something it would matter to you, but when you're just opening a box or so it doesn't change your odds of pulling one by that much.

And that's it for the base cards and parallels I pulled from my Hobby box of 2015 Topps Series 1. I'll post about the inserts soon.


  1. Actually, it's even worse because there are more base cards in Series 1 this year (which means that f the print runs were equal this year's pink parallels should be easier to acquire since there would be more of them - 50 per base card). Ultimately, despite having more pink parallels to print, it's tougher to actually pull one of them this year which certainly suggests a much larger print run (or else Topps is bad at math - either could be true I suppose).

    1. I too am bad at math; I didn't even consider the effect of the larger set size on the print run. Nice catch!

  2. Wow, I really don't care for the way some of these cards are cropped. You're right, many of them would have been better if we could see the players' feet.

    If I had to make a set I think I would crop it much differently.

  3. That Herrera is pretty cool. Former Pirate!