Friday, August 16, 2013

Your 2014 Topps Theme and Insert Lineup

For a number of years now, Topps has incorporated a "theme" when it comes to their flagship product. It is something that unifies a majority of the insert sets and gives fans something to think about when collecting that year's version of the cards. As the 2013 Topps set focused on "The Chase," the 2014 Topps set focuses on the sudden influx of young players that are making a lot of noise as the constant changing of the guard continues. The theme for 2014 is simply, "The Future is Now!!!"

Many of the players I grew up watching are seeing their careers begin to ride off into the sunset. The future has never been brighter with the ones that are taking the places of long established veterans. Change is a constant. It will always be there. The players change, the teams even change. We may never again see a player whose sole career was with one team ever again. But as the Jeters, Riveras, Heltons, Joneses, and Konerkos start their ride into the sunset and future immortality, Topps, along with everyone involved with baseball, are looking to the Trouts, Harpers, McCutchens, Puigs, and Strasburgs to pick up the slack and become the veterans and legends that will keep the game exciting.

Along with the future, Topps will be looking back at 50 years of future promises, hopes, and legends. Specifically, the MLB Draft. It will be 50 seasons since Rick Monday became the first player ever selected in the 1965 Free Agent Draft. One of the insert sets being issued by Topps in 2014 will focus on key players selected in the draft (and there will be many) in their 10-card, 50 Years of the Draft set.

Topps will also have insert cards featuring players "Before They Were Great," which according to the Number One Source in the Hobby is a 30-card insert set featuring active and retired players depicted both as a fresh-faced rookie, and what they looked like after a long successful career. This set will be a Hobby-only set, with a gold parallel limited to 99 cards. (Auto/Relic card shown below).

Another insert set will honor Topps' newest edition of their All-Time Topps All-Star Rookie Team. The ASRT program will be going on its 55th year (the program began in 1959) and the 2013 team will be the 55th such team named as All-Star Rookies. There are 18 players who were named to the team that have gone on to become Hall of Famers and Topps will once again select an All-Time Team (the third such endeavor since the 2001 Topps set albeit that team consisted of still active players). Thus far, based on the images from the article, three of the players on this team will include Johnny Bench as the catcher, Cal Ripken Jr. at shortstop, and Ken Griffey, Jr. as one of the three outfielders.

Concluding the rookies of the past part of the theme, there will also be a set of "framed rookie reprints" (Hobby only) and buybacks of the Topps 50 greatest rookie cards (as selected by Topps). Should be interesting as to who will be included in this set.

Now that the past has been covered, Topps will also have cards featuring the young players of the present and future.

First is the 30-card set called "The Future is Now" featuring ten players (each gets three cards) and their achievements thus far in their young careers. (Auto card shown below).

The next is Upper Class, a 50-card set featuring the best rookie classes in baseball's history.

The Hobby Shop Promotion Spring Fever set will return in 2014, and The Pennant Chase (wait...Chase??!) will feature all 30 teams. If the team you find wins the pennant, then you win a prize. It's that simple.

And finally, what will probably be my favorite insert set to collect in 2014, is this year's mini card set. In recent years, Topps has included retro cards as inserts from Turkey Red and Kimball's Champions, to mini versions of their 1987, 1972, and 1971 Topps designs. In 2014, there will be a bit of a twist. Not only will there be mini cards, but they will be die-cut as well, taking out the white border. What year's design will get the retro die-cut treatment? None other than my favorite design of All-Time...

The 1989 Topps design.


There will be autographs, relic cards, auto/relic cards for all of the above insert sets with the exception of the 50 Years of the Draft, but I don't collect them, so I'm not looking for them. Still, based on the images that have been released, plus the sell sheet from The Wax Fantastic (how in the heck did you find the sell sheet images for 2014 Topps when none of my usual sources has even put them online?) it looks like 2014 will be another great year for collectors of the eponymous product.

Now if we could just get the 2013 year out of the way...really...both Chi-town teams are just packing it in and it's been a long season...


JayBee Anama

1 comment:

Phil Bechtel said...

Don't usually like sigs on stickers but that Myers looks great. And it's good to see the '89 design relevant again, such a classic look.