Thursday, February 12, 2015

2015 Topps Series 1 Review: Minnesota Twins

One of the first signs of the return of baseball is Topps Trading Cards release of their Series 1 Baseball set.

Every year near the beginning of spring training, Topps releases their flagship product with a new design, new inserts, and a fresh look on baseball. When a product is released this early in the year, it can be tough to get everything right.

So let's rip open some packs and see what's inside...

The base design has taken on a very different feel this year. One of the noticeable differences is the border being a variety of colors that fades from the bottom to the top. This takes the place of the more standard white border from previous releases.

There are over 350 cards in the base set, the largest Topps baseball set in quite some time.

The Twins base card checklist has some of the team's favorite regulars and a handful of players that are no longer on the roster. 

41.) Chris Colabello
55.) Trevor May- RC
128.) Anthony Swarzak
185.) Ricky Nolasco
197.) Glen Perkins
204.) Eduardo Escobar
219.) Kennys Vargas
259.) Brian Dozier
288.) Chris Parmelee
322.) Phil Hughes
330.) Brian Duensing

Besides the normal base cards, there are a variety of parallels for fans to hunt down. Rainbow Foil cards are new this year and come 1:10 packs. Gold cards (#/2015) are back and they have a little more shimmer. Snow Camo cards (#/99) are new and replace the Army Camo cards from previous sets. The other new addition is Silver Metal Framed cards numbered out of 20. Black (#/64), Pink (#/50), and Clear (#/10) also return. Printing plates and platinum cards are available but very rare and numbered 1/1. 

Kennys Vargas has a unique short print card that he's even touted on his new Twitter account. The front of the card has a photo different from his base card and it is harder to pull from packs. This is the first time Vargas has appeared in Topps base set but he had a couple rookie cards in their later releases last year. 

Joe Mauer gets most of the love in the insert department. He's included in the First Home Run insert set and the First Home Run Medallions set. Mauer is also featured on an Inspired Play card with Hall of Famer Rod Carew. The only Twins autograph is a Kennys Vargas and it's in the Spring Fever Promo set.

Because of his appearance in last year's All-Star Game, Glen Perkins had the letters taken off the back of his Home Run Derby Workout Jersey and put into the In the Name Relics set. Kurt Suzuki was also on the All-Star team but his jersey is not featured in this set. Even though Harmon Killebrew is no longer with us, he has a Strata Cut Signature autographed card. The Perkins and Killebrew cards are all numbered 1/1. 
Overall, the new design might take some getting used to. The classic white border gave cards a crisp look and it was easier to hide flaws along the edges of the cards. When three of the team's 11 cards include players no longer with the club, that's a little disappointing. Seeing Vargas included in such a big role after only part of an MLB season was defiantly an interesting choice. It also would have been nice to see some inserts from players besides Mr. Mauer. 

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