For several years now the Topps Opening Day set has been mostly considered an entry-level baseball card set ideal for collectors on a budget. And that has been an accurate description for the most part as they are not the most valuable or highly sought after cards. What they HAVE done is present to collectors an inexpensive way to build a set or chase the many insert sets. However, the 2012 Topps Opening Day baseball card set just might begin changing a few perceptions.
As with most years, the card has a simple 220-card base set that mixes veterans and (a few) rookies, with the greatest focus being on the game’s biggest names. Giving this set a bit of a “push” is the fact that several players who changed teams in the off-season are featured with their new uniforms for the first time in this set.
A nice looking blue bordered parallel set is found serial numbered to 2012, and all the base card printing plates have been randomly inserted as 1/1. The Mascot cards return, and there are ten (10) different autographed cards to find. Players on the autograph checklist include World Series participants Jon Jay and Neftali Feliz.
Of course, as in past seasons, there are several different insert sets to chase. And it is in the quality of these insert sets for 2012 that the biggest (and, we think, best) changes for Topps Opening Day can be seen.
At MLB Memories the favorite is the 3D Opening Day Stars insert set. The 25-card set includes super collectible players like Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Josh Hamilton. But the cards are equal to the players going beyond the Toops 3D cards of the past in style and clarity!
Some of the other insert sets (cards fall one per pack) include:
Elite Skills: the picture and write-up not only demonstrate the skill, but explain why it’s important as well.
Superstar Celebrations: these cards highlight some of 2011′s most memorable moments and feature a player in the midst of his teammates.
Fantasy Squad: these cards feature three players at each position and encourage collectors on the back to use the set of 30 cards to “mix and match to create the ultimate lineup.”
This set is not likely to “make” anyone’s collection, but it is certainly a set well worth building and collecting. The cards are of a nice quality, the colors and print are clear and bright. Frankly, a lot can be learned by reading the cards in this set. We took a box and ripped through it and, in conclusion, we share the overall results with you! Enjoy!
One box, 36 packs with 7 cards per pack
205 of 220 of the base cards with NO duplicates (that is 93% of the set!)
One (1) Carlos Lee card with NO NUMBER on the back (likely a purposely done card, perhaps a short-print)
Four (4) Opening Day Stars 3D cards (Felix Hernandez, Carlos Gonzalez, Joey Votto, Mark Teixeira)
Six (6) Blue Bordered Parallels (Ike Davis, Michael Pineda, Orlando Hudson, Mike Trumbo, Victor Martinez, Domonic Brown)
Nine (9) of the Fantasy Squad cards (numbers 19-27 to be exact)
Nine (9) of the Elite Skills cards (numbers 17-25)
Nine (9) of the Mascot cards
Nine (9) of the Superstar Celebrations