10 February 2015

Pack of the Day 86: 2015 Topps Series 1 Hobby Box: The Inserts

In my last post I showed the base cards and parallels I pulled from my Hobby box of 2015 Topps Series 1. This will probably be about all the packs I buy from Series 1, as I have a base set and a First Pitch insert set on the way from eBay-land. I may still pick up a few parallels of players I collect, but that's about it for me. Most of my PC guys have fallen out of favor with the masses, so they don't show up in insert sets anymore.

The Highlight of the Year set features various individual highlights by year. I don't know how big the checklist is, but I pulled more cards from this one than any other. I guess the card that really stands out from this group for me is the Verlander, featuring him with his No-Hitter newspaper in-hand.

I got six of these Archetypes inserts, featuring star players from various eras. I guess for me the highlights here are the Griffey and the Trout. If you like Catchers there are a couple of stars up there.

I also got six Inspired Play inserts which, as many have mentioned, is Topps' 'old guy-new guy' set for 2015. I guess that McGwire-Musial card is more of an 'old guy-older guy' card. Nothing here really does anything for me, ecept maybe for Smoltz' nasty Mustache Starter Kit.

I pulled five of the First Pitch cards. I already have a set of these on the way, but it was cool to see some of them first-hand. Biz Markie has got some good Ugly Pitching Face (UPF) going on here. He's halfway to being a Major League hurler. The Jeff Bridges card has been getting a lot of play on the blogs. I have a confession to make. I have never actually watch The Big Lebowski. I've almost watched it a few times and even quote it from time to time, but I've never seen the movie.

I also got Tom Morello and 50 Cent in this box. The back of 50 Cent's card stops short of calling his First Pitch the worst of all time, but it does mention that it went astray and nearly hit a photographer. Good thing Vladimir Guerrero was there to track it down. That dude could hit anything.

I am not sure that video will ever stop being funny to me. I guess I should thank Topps for giving me an excuse to use it again.

This set pairs up moments in world history that match up approximately from moments in baseball history. I went back to look at the pack odds, and apparently the set is called Baseball History. The cards I got didn't match up with each other, but in the scan you can see how they are in matched pairs so the design forms a butt-ugly two-card puzzle.

I like the Free Agent 40 set a little bit. My opinion is probably swayed by the fact that I pulled a Nolan Ryan in an Astros rainbow uniform. Dawson looks like a beast in that picture. I think his quads are about to rip his pants.

I pulled two Gallery of Greats inserts and one Gallery of Greats Gold parallel. The Gold parallels are a 1:974 pack hit, or about 1 in 2.25 Hobby cases. That makes this a pretty decent box, especially after pulling a 1 per case card in the Pink parallel I posted about yesterday. The Cal Ripken Jr. is numbered # 98 / 99. Rivera and Clemens are good players, too, but I do like that Ripken card. I might know of someone who is collecting this set, so I will probably be shipping the base cards out at some point.

I thought I did all right with the buyback cards. Fred Whitfield comes from 1966 Topps, the set design that will be highlighted in this year's Heritage set. I am not sure, but it might be my oldest sports card, although technically with that stamp on it the card has been reborn as a 2015 issue. I love getting cards featuring the Astros' rainbow uniforms, and this 1977 Ken Forsch is certainly quite colorful. These cards were in much better shape than the buybacks I've pulled from previous years. They weren't Gem Mint, but the corners were pretty sharp and the cards were free of massive defects. I guess the Forsch card has some pretty bad centering, but that's about it.

The final card from the box is a Career High relic card of Josh Donaldson. There's not a lot to say about it, I guess. He's a pretty good player who was traded from a team I like to another team I like, so at least I got a card that fits pretty well in my collection. I also got a couple of those Babe Ruth Call Your Shot scratch-off code cards, but I didn't win anything when I put the codes into the site.

And that's it for the box. I did pretty well odds-wise, so as far as flagship Topps boxes go it was a pretty good box. I would have liked to pull something epic like one of those Coin & Stamp cards or an autograph, but if all I wanted were hits I'd go and buy Topps Dynasty. I got a pretty good overview of this year's design and scratched the pack-busting itch for a while. If I do wind up putting together a Master Set of something this year it will probably be Opening Day.


  1. I keep going back and forth on whether or not I like the buyback foil stamped cards. If I ever saw one of a player I collected, I'm sure I would change my mind in a hurry. I think getting a '66 card is a nice coincidence.

  2. I know that I'm about 8 months too late but I'd love to trade for those Braves inserts, if they are still available. bwvjones@gmail.com http://goldenrainbowcards.blogspot.com