Showing posts with label Bryce Harper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bryce Harper. Show all posts

Sunday, April 2, 2017

2017 Topps Opening Day is a worthy kickoff to the season

Topps is reading to ring the bell on the start of a new season with the releasing of its appropriate titled 2017 Opening Day baseball set. Emblazoned with their classic Opening Day logo, this 200-card set serves as a celebration of when baseball fans around the country can do more than stare out their windows awaiting the start of the regular season.
2017 Topps Opening Day / Topps

Condensed from the 2017 Topps Series 1 version, Opening Day provides collectors the opportunity to have a fun and focused product, without having to worry about chasing short prints or open multiple boxes to complete a set. The 36-pack box sent for this review yielded a complete set amidst an array of inserts with about 20 duplicates of the base set to spare.

This year’s Opening Day set is rather kid friendly with inserts of each MLB team’s ballpark food staple, as well as Mascot cards for each team, with some lucky fans unearthing signed ones. While traditional collectors might scoff at the idea of a signed Mascot card being one of the hits, plenty of youngsters will enjoy this niche in 2017 Opening Day.

2017 Topps Opening Day Bryce Harper / Topps
In addition to the box yielding a complete set, more difficult inserts such as a Bryce Harper National Anthem card (1:244 packs) and an Opening Day Stars Kris Bryant card (1:27 packs) were other bonuses that added to the excitement of this product. The blue foil tinged Opening Day inserts have a nice finishing touch with the April 2, 2017 or April 3, 2017 commencement specially placed on the card.

A sampling of 2017 Topps Opening Day Inserts / Topps
With a price point around $30 per box and the opportunity to pull autographs of some of the game’s top young stars, as well as a tremendous variety of enjoyable inserts, 2017 Topps Opening Day is a family orientated product designed to engage fans of all ages.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Ryback's athletic roots trace back to baseball

With his hulking figure manning the third base coach’s box, WWE superstar Ryback appeared to be out of place at MCU Park in Brooklyn; however, the current Intercontinental Champion couldn’t have been more at home than on the baseball field. Ryback, aka Ryan Reeves, played baseball in college at the College of Southern Nevada, the alma mater of Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper, before a leg injury derailed any hopes for him following in the family trade.

“That was the first real skill I learned sport wise as a kid growing up coming from a baseball family,” Ryback said at MCU Park.

Ryback at MCU Park / N. Diunte

His baseball lineage is traced to his mother’s side, as both his maternal grandfather and uncle played in the major leagues. His grandfather Ebba St. Claire was a catcher for the Boston Braves in the 1950s, and his uncle Randy St. Claire pitched for five major league teams in nine seasons. Ironically there was a family connection for Ryback at MCU Park, as New York Mets Hall of Famer John Franco who was also in attendance, was his uncle’s teammate in 1988 with the Cincinnati Reds.

Ryback was at the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones as part of MCU’s Second Annual Civil Servant / Celebrity Softball Challenge, which benefited WFAN’s morning radio show host Craig Carton’s Tic Toc Stop Foundation. While fans wanted to see Ryback relive his old glory and swing for the fences, his recovery from a recent injury and preparation for Sunday’s SummerSlam limited him strictly to coaching duties.

“Unfortunately with SummerSlam around the corner, just coming back from a serious staph infection, and having shoulder surgery years ago, Sunday is where my focus is at. Coming out today, showing face, and letting all the kids have a good time out here today is all in the name of a good cause.”

*Note - This piece originally ran in August 2015 on

Saturday, August 20, 2016

2016 Topps Bunt making a bridge between traditional and digital collecting

Topps has been searching for ways to connect their digital card platform with traditional physical baseball cards. Their quest for a solution has arrived in the form of 2016 Topps Bunt.

The 200-card set is the perfect format to get multiple generations excited about baseball card collecting, no matter the platform. Imagine a young child and their parents sharing the joy of opening a pack of baseball cards and both teaching each other about the nuances of preserving baseball cards while building a collection that lives at your fingertips on your phone.

Even the players included in the set warrant a bonding experience, as the likes of Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Andrew McCutchen, are right alongside Cal Ripken Jr., Ted Williams, and Willie Mays. While the younger collectors will gush about the accomplishments of their current heroes, the inclusion of the sport’s legends allows for the conversation about the history of the game to continue.

The box provided for this review yielded 36 packs, allowing for a complete 200-card set to be collated with the purchase of one box. A variety of inserts in 2016 Topps Bunt trump the designs of those included with the Opening Day series earlier this year and rival those in the Topps flagship set.

Sampling of 2016 Topps Bunt Insert Card / Topps

The digital component comes in the form of Bunt Loot Packs, which are ten-card redemptions via the Topps Bunt App. Collectors have the opportunity to unlock a bevy of inserts that run in a similar limited fashion as to what one would find in a physical box.

Topps has been integral for the past 65 years in preserving the game through iconic cardboard images, and continues to do so with 2016 Topps Bunt. With a price point of under $30 a box, 2016 Topps Bunt is a fun and inexpensive way to share the joys of collecting and the narrative of the National Pastime no matter whether it is analog or digital.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

2016 Topps Series 1 Baseball Review

With pitchers and catchers making their way to spring training camps, it is official that baseball season has arrived. One of the exciting rituals of spring training is the release of Topps’ classic baseball cards. Just as teams are formulating their rosters, fans of all ages can follow the newest acquisitions and hottest superstars with Topps’ 2016 Series 1 Baseball set.

2016 Topps Baseball Series 1

Click here to read the entire review of Topps' first release  of the 2016 season in my column on

Sunday, October 11, 2015

2015 Topps Supreme Baseball Review

2015 Topps Supreme is being billed by the famed baseball card company as one of their premier products for the year. Each two card box retailing for $75, guarantees two autographs, making Topps Supreme a big dice roll for collectors.

Topps has made a major improvement from last year’s release, placing on-card autographs in the 2015 Supreme series, upgrading from 2014’s exclusively stickered set. The list of potential autographs in this set is impressive. With the likes of Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, Reggie Jackson, and Cal Ripken Jr., as well as this generation’s stars of Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout, the possibility of snagging one of these prized signatures makes for an intriguing play.

Click here to read the full review about the mystique of 2015 Topps Supreme and why the risk might not outweigh the reward.