Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Itch to Rip - Late to the Big League Party

Since Topps Stadium Club, the one new release I seem to really enjoy each year, hasn't come out yet in 2020, there just hasn't been much out there that appeals to me in terms of new sets.  The one exception to that might be Topps Big League Baseball.  I've enjoyed the concept for this low-end set since its inception, but the design for the first few years hasn't done much for me.

This year seemed different though, at least based on the images I saw on other hobby blogs.  I was intrigued by the design.  As with this brand in previous years, I like the concept of a simple set, devoid (mostly) of hits and chase cards that is cheap, easy and, gasp, FUN to collect!

When I finished ripping my 2018 Topps Stadium Club blaster a couple weeks ago I decided I'd try to track down some Big League next.  Retail cardboard availability is an absolute joke still, and I'm not keen on spending time in big box stores if I don't have to due to COVID, so once again eBay it was.  Worked out great actually, as I found a seller with two blasters available for $32 with free shipping.  Not sure how that could be profitable for this particular seller, but anyway, let's crack open the first pack from the first blaster.

I'll try to keep my commentary to a minimum, as I'm sure you've seen (and probably collected) many of these cards by now.  What can I say, I'm a little late to the party.  Like I said, I love the simple design Topps used here, with the subtly color-coded borders and simplistic layout.

Your 2019 AL WHIP leaders.

The photography might not be "Stadium Club level", but that's okay.  There are some great shots, and the framing is very well done as you can see here.



Each pack in the blaster comes with one Orange parallel, and apparently this blaster was meant for me since my very first one is a Red Sox card.  Chavis may not be one of the more exciting players in Boston's line-up, as he swings for the fences and strikes out a ton.  Still, a cool card with a really nice photograph.

I have to be honest, these Roll Call inserts sort of make me snooze.  They're slightly better than what I've seen in other recent Topps projects, but just don't do much for me.  Off to the trade box with this Arenado.

It's never a bad thing pulling a Mike Trout card.  Never.

Fantastic action shot on Lorenzo Cain's card.  I can certainly understand his recent decision to opt out of the remainder of the 2020 season.

Actually, the first pack ends on back-to-back awesome horizontal photographs, with a great sliding catch here from Pittsburgh outfielder Gregory Polanco.

That was a lot of fun, so let's take a look at another pack.  Now would be a good time to mention another plus for Big League, which is that you get ten cards per pack.  Even with the obligatory insert and parallel, you still get what feels like a generous eight base cards per pack.  With ten packs in a blaster, you're coming out of one with a full 80 base cards.  Compare that to Stadium Club, where you get five cards per pack and just eight packs per blaster, and you're getting more than twice the number of base cards for the same price.

Second pack starts off with the NL RBI Leaders.




Again, keeping the commentary to a minimum here but really enjoying these cards.  At just 300 cards in size, and with no short prints, it doesn't feel like too daunting a task to take a stab at this set.

Orange parallel was a little less exciting for me personally this time, with D-Backs hurler Robbie Ray.

On the other hand, I actually enjoy the insert and may hang onto it.  I know a lot of people are creeped out by them, but I sort of enjoy the "big head/caricature" cartoon cards like this.  Maybe it's due to the fact that I was a kid collector in the early '90s when things like Topps Kids and those Score All-Star subset cards used this tactic.  Anyway, I'll hang onto this one for now.



That wraps up pack two.

Let's rip one more open in this first post, why not.

Another leaders card in the lead-off spot.



Two Trouts in the first three packs.  Not too bad, even if the "bro-hawk and a tux" look isn't the most desirable form of Trout card.


Sort of indifferent about these Flipping Out inserts.  Into the trade stack with this one.


Great Spider-man wall-climbing shot on Ramon Laureano's card.
Hanser Alberto is a player that had somewhat fallen under the radar as far as my fandom goes, but I thought he looked great when the Sox played Baltimore at the start of this odd 2020 season, and learned at that time about his impressive 2019 season also.  Happy to have this card, my first of his I'm fairly certain.

Well, that's a wrap as far as the first three packs of this blaster go.  An entertaining start to the rip, and I'm excited to get to the remaining packs soon.  These blasters come with a 5-card pack of blue parallels as well.  I'll likely squeeze two more posts from this in the coming days, one covering packs 4-7 and another with packs 8-10 and the blue parallels.

Thanks as always for stopping by, and enjoy your evening!

5 comments:

Elliptical Man said...

Voting for the Chavis orange parallel. The first Trout award winner, the Carrasco award winner, and the Laureano are also nice cards.

I thought Lourdes was a girl's name.

Fuji said...

Looks like people have blasters of this stuff on eBay for less than $20 shipped. I'm torn. I know I'll eventually buy a set when prices settle, but part of me just wants to open up one of these boxes.

Nick said...

2020 Big League is the best thing that's happened to the hobby in a long time. Stadium Club seems to be my perennial pick for Set of the Year, but Big League just might knock it off the perch this year.

Chris said...

I haven't ventured out to a retail store yet so I haven't seen any of these in the wild. Blog posts like these are peaking my interest though. The Chavis, Cain, and Gurriel stand out here. Looking forward to your next post(s)!

Shlabotnik Report said...

So I'm guessing that people scooped up all the blasters but demand dried up before they could unload them all?

Big League is easily my set of the year so far... but there hasn't been much competition so far. Make sure you update your TCDB wantlists after you open your blasters, maybe I can help with the small number of doubles I have.

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