Every year, Topps Series 1 is highly sought after due to it being the first release of the season, and it being the release that contains the RC cards of the prior year’s late season call ups. The awkward early June release date of Series 2 usually makes for a challenging rookie checklist. The cutoff for inclusion usually means only rookies who make the team out of camp or get April call-ups even have a chance for being included.
In 2018, some big names were early season rookies and Topps issued surprise short print cards of Gleyber Torres and Ronald Acuna Jr. which pleased some collectors and frustrated others. This year, Series 1 was light on rookies since the big names of 2019 were not expected to make their debut until the start of the season. Fernando Tatis Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr, and Eloy Jimenez were the names to watch, and Pete Alonso got off to a great start and made his way onto the radar of collectors everywhere.
Who would make the S2 checklist? Who would get an SP? Who would have to wait for Update? Well, we have our answer. Tatis, Eloy, and Alonso all get pack issued flagship RC in 2019 Series 2, and Vladimir Jr. gets an SP!
The 350 card base set is numbered 351-700 as has been the case over the last several years. Short prints and super short prints are back with 75 and 16 cards respectively. For reference, the final three numbers of the code on the back of the card can confirm what type of card you have.
Code 032 = SSP
Code 031 = SP
Code 962 = Base
SP and SSP variations are a combination of player photo variations and retired superstar substitutions.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, eleven different parallels exist from un-numbered rainbow and 150th versions to printing plate and platinum 1/1s.
Nine different insert sets make their way into packs. Series 2 continues the 150th Anniversary celebration and adds another 100 cards to the insert series. Another 100 1984 inserts will highlight All-Stars and Rookies. The “Evolution Of” set continues from Series 1 and is a challenge to complete as those cards will only fall 1:56 hobby packs and 1:8 jumbos.
Faces of the Franchise is a new Series 2 insert set and will fall 1:46 hobby and 1:7 jumbo, and Gary Vee gets his own insert set as well! Gary Vee’s Top Entrepreneurs is a 10 card insert set that should fall about 1:18 packs. The Historic Through the Lines set features 50 combinations of 2 stars with some current players and some legends. Home Run Challenge and Iconic Reprints are back as well. Finally, Significant Statistics is another insert set which will be challenging to complete falling 1:56 hobby and 1:8 jumbo.
Several retail only insert sets are also available in the variety of retail packaging options.
Hobby boxes will contain either one auto or one relic card, and Jumbo boxes will once again contain two relics and one auto.
I opened two hobby boxes, and you can check out one of the two below!
I was fortunately able to put together a base set out of my two boxes, and most of the doubles and inserts will be available or Sportlots shortly! My hits were not that great, but at least the Blackmon was numbered /150. I also opened 12 Silver Packs. I got 4 colored parallels out of 12 packs, which is pretty good, but I also ended up with triples of some cards. That’s not so good.
The checklist for Series 2 ended up being pretty strong and excitement was high at release, but some collectors are holding back funds for 2019 Topps Update which looks to be absolutely loaded with rookies and stars. The youth movement is in full swing, and 2019 looks to continue the strong run the hobby is experiencing. As the National Convention approaches, it will be interesting to see if the momentum continues.
If you’re headed to the National, hit me up! You can also check out the Ultimate Guide to Attending the National!