Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2015 Topps Series 2 Review: Minnesota Twins

In the middle of the baseball season, Topps continues to pump out new sets for card collectors. Topps Series 2 is a continuation of their Series 1 set from earlier in the spring. It adds 350 more base cards to the set to bring the total to 700 cards between Series 1 and Series 2.

Minnesota had 11 cards in Series 1 and the release of the club sees an expansion on that total. Torii Hunter and Ervin Santana get the Photoshop upgrades to add on their new Twins logos. There's also a photo variation of Joe Mauer that shows him walking up the steps of the Twins dugout. Santana gets a sparkle variation card that can be tough to see if you're not looking for it.

373. Kurt Suzuki
399. Josmil Pinto
415. Ervin Santana
426. Trevor Plouffe
457. Aaron Hicks
499. Eduardo Nunez
504. Twins Team Card
509. Danny Santana- Future Stars
590. Torii Hunter
604. Jordan Schafer
632. Kyle Gibson
643. Oswaldo Arcia
700. Joe Mauer

Kennys Vargas continues to get shown love by Topps with a variety of inserts and autographs. Vargas is featured in the Birth Year Coin and Stamp set. This set includes either a quarter, dime, nickel, or penny and a stamp from the player's birth year. Vargas also has a quarter version with an autograph. One of the cooler looking cards in the set are the Strata Signature Relics including a Vargas version. These are limited to 25 so it will be tough to pull.

Like Vargas, Joe Mauer has been featured regularly in insert sets this year. He has a Career High Relics card for collectors to find. He's also featured in the unique Commemorative Patch Pins set with a Twins 50th season in Minnesota logo (#/199). Mauer's final insert set is the 'Til It's Over variety. He is not only in the base insert set but he also has a relic and a relic autograph version.

Two other Twins have autographs available in the Career High set. Trevor May continues this year's trend of having autographs in multiple releases including Bowman and Topps Finest. Josh Willingham gets a surprise autograph as he sails off into retirement.

In the Series 1 set, Mauer was the lone Twins player in the First Home Run and First Home Run Medallion set. Series 2 has a couple other familiar faces to Twins fans. David Ortiz has gone on to quite the home run career after he left Minnesota but his first home run was in a Twins uniform. Harmon Killebrew is also in the set but he's wearing a Washington Senators uniform because the Twins had yet to move to Minnesota.

Overall, I'm still not a huge fan of the design of this year's cards. Topps has put a lot of stock into Kennys Vargas this season as he has been featured heavily in Series 1 and Series 2. It's nice to see more currently players make this set after three of the 11 cards in Series 1 were no longer with the club. There's plenty of cards for Twins fans to collect and that can make Series 2 a little more fun for the collector that doesn't have a ton of money to spend on the hobby.

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