Sunday, January 6, 2013

Chasing 2013 Topps Series One

Pink Parallel
Topps Series One is just a couple weeks away; scheduled for release at the end of January. The 2013 theme is nothing more but “The Chase”, focusing on historical events, legends, and record setters.

Desert Camo Parallel

Emerald Parallel
The initial glance at Topps teaser checklist release provides a little insight to what the “The Chase” is all about. The base set is 330 cards and a handful of parallels to include Emerald Foil, Gold (#/2013), Desert Camo (#/99), Pink Parallel (#/50), Platinum Parallel (1/1), and the Printing Plates. The base set seems pretty straight forward and even the new design is appealing; Topps drew up a abstract baseball diamond/home plate separating the player's picture and name - but we really need to see the backsides to get a better idea.

2013 Topps Border Design of a baseball field

The Emerald, Pink, and Desert Camo are a pleasant change of pace – collecting Gold and Diamonds was getting a little old - but before I give Topps too much praise, I want to address the parallel design. The Emerald and Camo are the same thing we saw rolling out during 2012's Gold Rush ( See Jay Bruce below). I was already under the impression this design looked more like my Army ACU trousers than a raw chunk of gold.

Gold Rush to ACU Camo design

Lets talk about “The Chase” a bit; The idea is pretty cool and well deserving after 2012 season ended with a Triple Crown Winner and seven no hitters – and that just scratches the surface. Miguel Cabrera's 2012 season was truly a record setter; the last American League Triple Crown was adorned by Carl Yastzemski in 1967 – the NL hasn't seen the goods since 1937's Joe Medwick of the Cardinals. To be fair, Frank Robinson snatched it up in 1966, the season before Yastrzemski, but Robinson did it as an Orioles, sorry National Leauge.

The 2013 Topps Chasing History Inserts and Chasing the Dream Inserts don't even include Cabrera or any of the No-no hurlers – though the checklist is incomplete at the moment, Topps hopefully considered including the fore mentioned history makers – In Topps defense, they did include a Roberto Clemente and a few other well-deserved Chasing History players, and justifiably so; but the majority of this list include the rooks that will be part of the "Chasing the Dream" set. Chasing the Dream is a really cool set and will be amongst the favorites to build.  

Lance Berkman St. Louis Cardinals
Yonder Alonso San Diego Padres
Mark Buehrle Miami Marlins
Jose Altuve Houston Astros
Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates
Trevor Bauer Arizona Diamondbacks
Adam Dunn Chicago White Sox
Yu Darvish Texas Rangers
Ken Griffey Jr. Cincinnati Reds
Bryce Harper Washington Nationals
Tony Gwynn San Diego Padres
Drew Hutchison Toronto Blue Jays
Roy Halladay Philadelphia Phillies
Casey Kelly San Diego Padres
Rickey Henderson Oakland Athletics
Brett Lawrie Toronto Blue Jays
Reggie Jackson New York Yankees
Devin Mesoraco Cincinnati Reds
Derek Jeter New York Yankees
Will Middlebrooks Boston Red Sox
Ian Kinsler Texas Rangers
Tom Milone Oakland Athletics
Paul Konerko Chicago White Sox
Jesus Montero Seattle Mariners
Evan Longoria Tampa Bay Rays
Matt Moore Tampa Bay Rays
Don Mattingly New York Yankees
Mike Moustakas Kansas City Royals
Willie Mays San Francisco Giants
Jonathon Niese New York Mets
Hanley Ramirez Los Angeles Dodgers
Jarrod Parker Oakland Athletics
Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
Drew Pomeranz Colorado Rockies
Mariano Rivera New York Yankees
Josh Reddick Oakland Athletics
Alex Rodriguez New York Yankees
Addison Reed Chicago White Sox
Babe Ruth New York Yankees
Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs
Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers
Chris Sale Chicago White Sox
CC Sabathia New York Yankees
Drew Smyly Detroit Tigers
Johan Santana New York Mets
Giancarlo Stanton Miami Marlins
Mike Schmidt Philadelphia Phillies
Mike Trout Angels
Frank Thomas Chicago White Sox
Jacob Turner Miami Marlins
Brian Wilson San Francisco Giants
David Wright New York Mets

Cut to the Chase Inserts are pretty much a 2013 rendition of last year's A Cut Above inserts - a set that was hit or miss with many collectors. This set is also available with serial numbered relic, autos, and auto/relic inserts. Personally, a cut card of a legend is a little tacky for this collector - I won't be building this set.

Cut to the Chase Insert
Johnny Bench Cincinnati Reds
Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates
Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates
Nelson Cruz Texas Rangers
Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle Mariners
Yu Darvish Texas Rangers
Rickey Henderson Oakland Athletics
Carlos Gonzalez Colorado Rockies
Derek Jeter New York Yankees
Derek Jeter New York Yankees
Willie Mays San Francisco Giants
Adam Jones Baltimore Orioles
Alex Rodriguez New York Yankees
Willie Mays San Francisco Giants
Babe Ruth New York Yankees
Andrew McCutchen Pittsburgh Pirates
Mike Schmidt Philadelphia Phillies
Dustin Pedroia Boston Red Sox
David Price Tampa Bay Rays

Another set includes Calling Card inserts - pictures of famous player poses, such as Pujols and Babe Ruth (I bet he'll be calling a Home Run). I'm hoping for a Jay Bruce walk-off pose in this set - here is my pose, fingers crossed.

Calling Card (Pujols)

Manufactured Relic cards to include Cy Young Award Winners and MVP Award Winners- These manufactured relics are said to be in Hobby only - The hope is that they show up in blaster boxes as we've seen over the year with historical stitches and patch cards.

Manufactured Relic (Smoltz/Cy Young Award)
Proven Mettle Coins set - this set includes copper, wrought iron, and steel coins set in cards. The set is serial numbered by coin: Copper #/99, wrought iron #/50, and steel will be #/10. Luckily Cabrera gets a coin card, finally some real merit to "The Chase" theme. I like this idea - especially since it doesn't involve Gold, Diamonds, or other fancy things; steel, copper, and wrought iron are some pretty noble metals if you ask me - I once pulled a Tom Seaver commemorative gold coin in a 2012 set and I hope the luck rubbed off to my next slew of pre-order hobby boxes.

Proven Mettle
2012 Topps Tom Seaver Commemorative Coin

Again, we get a Greats insert set, this set is pretty much the same guys we've been collecting in last year's Golden Greats. The list includes A-rod, Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken Jr, Jeter, Ernie Banks, Bench, Griffey Jr, Schmidt, Ricky Henderson, Clemente, Willie Mays, and more to be announced. I would look up the 2012 Golden Greats checklist, but I would probably be rewriting the above names all over again.

1972 Mini Inserts - The 1972 throwback minis will be more of the same - the relic and auto minis will be a nice addition and some serious cards to get your hands on.

(2013) 1972 Mini Insert- Votto Relic-

Drawbacks- More of the same in this set - Topps didn't even bother to mix up some pictures for some of it's Greats - Just look at the below Johnny Bench Cards from 2013set and 2012. Hopefully this is the only example 2013 Topps can give me. Seeing a checklist that focuses on the legends of the past more so than the legends of today - after the historical 2012 season, I expected Topps to focus on the record breakers and up-and-comers. This is why I think the Chasing the Dream cards will be a great set, however they'll be watered down by all the Willie Mays and Mike Schmidt inserts; unless I pull an auto or relic, I will be spending my time with the rooks like Mike Trout, Jose Altuve, Giancarlo Stanton, ahum.. Bryce Harper, and the other fellas - and as for 2013, it seems as though Topps has unlatched itself from Mickey Mantle's teet and has full-on sealed it's jaws around Bryce Harper the Boy-wonder.

2012 Topps Timeless Talents (Bench/McCann)

2013 Topps Greats (Johnny Bench)


  1. I think Topps' biggest problem right now is the fact that they only want to look backwards with retired players and old designs. I am as big of a fan of baseball history as anyone, but all it does is show me that Topps did much better work in the past. Have a secondary set or two with a mix of retired and current players, but Topps needs to start living in the present and looking toward the future.

    1. I agree - Topps releases Heritage and Archives for a reason; let series one, two, and updates be about that season. Good point.