Monday, February 4, 2019

The First Phillie of 2019 #ToppsBaseball #FirstPhillie

My wife Jenna finally found packs of 2019 Topps at the third Target she visited on Thursday afternoon.  I open way less packs of baseball cards these days, given that it's easiest for me to head to eBay to buy the Phillies team sets or inserts I want.  Still, I don't think I'll ever abandon the tradition of finding and opening those first packs of Topps' flagship set every year.

The first Phillie was found within the first pack I opened, a few cards from the top.  Ranger Suarez gets the honors this year, although I was slightly surprised to see him appear given he only pitched in 4 games last season for the Phillies.

My immediate impression of 2019 Topps is that I like the design a lot more than I have in recent years.  The one-sided and team colored borders are reminiscent of the 1982 Topps design, and the modern gradient found on the right side of the cards isn't too intrusive.  I would have preferred the player's first name to be on top of the last name, but that quirky feature is slowly growing on me.  The backs are clean and easy to read with the standard Topps write-up and some statistics.  It's odd that Suarez's card contains his minor league totals from 2018, and not his Major League totals.

Ballpark cards are included within Topps flagship this year, and I liked that the Phillies card features their new primary logo for 2019 (quietly announced a few months back) and their logo from 1992 to 2018 on the scoreboard in the top left corner.  Quality control issues continue to persist at Topps however, as the team's starting catcher on the back of this card is listed as "Jesus" Alfaro.

Past First Phillies


Brett Alan said...

Topps has been putting only minor league stats on rookie cards for years. I've never known why.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Until people have a choice of other card manufacturers, Topps will do what they do.

Steve F. said...

I agree with you that I like the design, and I hadn't noticed the 1982 look until you mentioned it, but there it is--a little less hockey stick-ish though. Coincidentally my first Phillie was also Ranger Suarez. I got Seranthony Dominguez too. I bought one of the 67-card boxes for $9.99 (about 15 cents per card--and a real bargain compared to the blaster boxes at about 20 cents per card if you don't ascribe extra value to the patch card included). Not sure I would do that again though for my first pack of the year--first, it doesn't have the same thrill or ripping open a pack; second, it didn't have anything special in there that I wouldn't have gotten in a regular pack (except two Gleyber Torres specials that I don't care about and won't try to collect the rest of); and third, my son was getting bored as we got near the final third of the box and he could tell we weren't getting any good hits and only two Phillies.

Single packs went up to $2.99--they were $1.99 last year. There were also 16 cards in the retail packs I found at Target, which is up from 12 last year--so 18.7 cents per card versus 16.6 cents--about a 12% increase. Although it's a 50% increase if you just want to buy a couple packs and aren't looking at card count. I still remember when packs went from 10 cents in 1977 to 15 cents in 1978 and thinking how I used to get 10 packs for a dollar bill and now I could only get 6 and 10 cents change--I think that may have been the last time Topps pulled off a 50% pack increase.