I spent part of my afternoon working, of course, but also checking out what Tim was talking about. I can't get the Bay at work, but thanks to Google, I could find other places that was selling these sets. And after a half hour of digging for information, I have to tell you that I can't wait to get my hands on these sets.
Since 2006, Topps has been packaging 14-card team sets for each of the 30 MLB teams. These sets include cards from series 1 that we've already seen, a preview of what the series 2 cards are going to look like, and cards of players who may have been on a different team in series 1 but are now pictured in the uniform of their new team exclusively for this set. These sets are great for any kind of collector, whether you are a team collector, a player collector, or if you're as crazy as I am, a set collector (and I should know, I have all 30 team sets from 2006, 2007, and 2008). And they can be found in many places, from your neighborhood big box store (Walmart, Target, etc) to your favorite ball park.
This year, Topps has added a couple of extras to each of the team sets. For starters, each 14 card set comes with a card case to hold all the cards together (which is an upgrade over the having the cards shuffle around in a flimsy plastic shell), and each set comes with a free BONUS EXCLUSIVE CARD that you can only get in these sets. All 30 teams have an exclusive card (and you can see what it is on the package...for the most part anyway. See picture below for a couple of examples:
Based on each of the 30 packages, the bonus card is either of the team's home stadium, their mascot(s), or their managers, with a couple of surprises along the way. Although I was not able to figure out what three of the bonus cards are (picture was to blurry, did not show the subject, or was just too hard to tell as to who it was), this is the list of extras. Check out what each team's exclusive card is:
- Angels - ???
- Astros - Minute Maid Park
- Athletics - Stomper the Elephant
- Blue Jays - ???
- Braves - Bobby Cox???
- Brewers - Bernie Brewer
- Cardinals - FredBird
- Cubs - Wrigley Field
- Diamonbacks - D. Baxter the Bobcat
- Dodgers - Joe Torre
- Giants - AT&T Park
- Indians - ???
- Mariners - Safeco Field
- Marlins - Billy the Marlin
- Mets - Citi Field
- Nationals - Teddy Roosevelt (portrait of President, not the mascot)
- Orioles - Camden Yards
- Padres - Swinging Friar
- Phillies - Phillie Phanatic
- Pirates - PNC Park
- Rangers - Captain (a horse)
- Rays - Raymond
- Red Sox - Wally the Green Monster
- Reds - Rosie Red & Mr. Redlegs (Gapper???)
- Rockies - Coors Field
- Royals - Kauffman Stadium
- Tigers - Paws
- Twins - HHH Metrodome (Final Year...commemorative logo on each card)
- White Sox - President Barack Obama (not the SP, but the picture is oh so similar)
- Yankees - Mickey Mantle
Plus, I hope you're hungry. Because the Cereal Boxes come back for Topps Series 2. And the cover boys are Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig, and Ty Cobb.
Opening Day is less than a week away. And Topps Series 2 is coming in May. What a time to be a baseball card collector.