Tuesday, March 19, 2019

2019 Topps Opening Day

It's pretty standard fare that after the hullabaloo of Series One and Heritage, the lesser priced Opening Day sneaks by like a thief in the night. The no frills, kid friendly release is always a bit of a letdown. A solid release that is mostly a repeat of the flagship release, just pared down.

The exciting part of this set is the few players that aren't in series one, but will be in series two. This will theoretically whet the appetite for series two. While this tactic does accomplish that goal, it also has an unfortunate side effect. It sets in design fatigue. By the time series two rolls around in June, I'm sick of the design. I tend to not pick up as many packs. When the update series finally drops, I don't want to see that design anymore, so I pick up even less packs. It's a vicious cycle that happens every year without fail.

Still, there is a place for Opening Day in the cycle. I tend to look at it more as an unannounced parallel with some different inserts, at a kid friendly price point. That makes it a tad bit more exciting of a release, but I'm usually underwhelmed at the set. Not because it isn't a good set, but because it feels like a rehash. I would feel better if Topps used all the elements in Opening Day but used new pictures. It would feel fresher that way.

The White Sox have nine cards in the set. Seven base cards and two inserts.

37 - Jose Abreu
57 - Carlos Rodon
63 - Avisail Garcia
66 - Matt Davidson
89 - Yoan Moncada
99 - Daniel Palka
131 - Michael Kopech
TTC-SP - Scoreboard Pinwheels
YOF-16 - Frank Thomas

This could be a chance to update a few team changes for players, but Topps opts for carbon copying the existing card, slapping the Opening Day logo on it and calling it a day. Garcia and Davidson have been on different teams for awhile. If Topps can make last minute changes to Heritage to update player destinations, then it's possible for Opening Day to have more current information available. Even if they went the O-Pee-Chee route and added a line of text saying that the player was traded or signed with a new team and changed the team logo to reflect that new team, it would be something cool.

I would have more respect for Opening Day as a card line, if Topps treated it with more respect. I appreciate the little flairs like mascots and ballpark food. It makes the set worthwhile to get these little moments that bring you closer to the aspects of being there without the benefit of sweat stained "relics" or tablecloth pieces. I enjoy learning about features of different parks and rituals of different teams. I just appreciate more care into the final product.


Bulldog said...

I'm a big Opening Day guy but I get it isn't for everyone. I appreciate the smaller base set and as you pointed out it likes to have fun with the inserts. I also like the logo of all things. Hopefully it will grow on ya some time but you make good points that are shared by many collectors. Good post.

Bulldog said...

And I love the Moncada card!

Steve Gierman said...

Don't get me wrong. I like Opening Day a lot. I just wish Topps would treat it with a smidge more respect. The logo is pretty cool!

GCA said...

I think of Opening Day as a backup set to flagship. If I don't like the flagship set, I can just do the shorter version without the unreadable foil.
And the inserts still contain some of the originality and collectability that has drained out of the flagship set completely.

Last year, I did the base flagship set with no inserts except a couple from Update, and Opening Day with inserts. I counted that as my 2018 complete set.

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