Everybody's posting final checklists for the first series of 2015 Topps baseball cards, and I've taken a gander or two at the multitude of inserts to be found. I figure that while everyone is looking at the checklists and thinking about what they want, I'll add in my two cents for a few of the sets. Maybe you'll keep me in mind as you bust packs next month!
Let's start with the base cards. I'll get a full set at some point, but there is one card I'm anticipating more than any others: Buck Farmer, card number 193. I like the design with colored stone-style fading borders though, as it's a nice change from the plain white.
Buck (and the other 349 cards in the set) seem to have nine announced parallels (gold, rainbow foil, snow camo, black, pink, plates - which I count as a single parallel, platinum, framed, and clear). But of course there will be Target red, WalMart blue, ToysRUs purple, and probably a few other retail parallels like were issued last year. Keep me in mind if you pull Mr. Farmer from your Topps packs!
The Highlight of the Year set has some promise. It depends on what the unsigned cards look like. With nine per hobby box and only 30 cards in the first series, it should be very reasonably obtained if I take the plunge.
Many other inserts really don't pique my interest. Other than the throwback minis, there haven't been any stand-out sets in Topps' flagship set in the past few years.
However, I am somewhat interested in Gallery of Greats. These will be paper-framed cards similar to Gypsy Queen, but with only two per hobby box and a 25-card checklist, I think I'm going to pass.
There are a couple odd insert sets on my list, though. The Baseball/History insert set of 30 cards will have fifteen non-sport events paired with baseball events that happened on the same day. I have an interest in history and the linking of two facets of American culture is quite appealing. With four cards per box, I can probably get the full set without much travel.
Speaking of culture, here's a set I've been asking for since arriving in Japan. BBM has issued a First Pitch subset in its second series each year for about a decade. The checklist is full of has-beens and never-weres for the most part, but I like the effort and I will definitely build this set as quickly as possible. The checklist has fifteen cards but I haven't seen any odds. Again, if you aren't interested in these, I have a great home for them here!
There are some insert sets that I have yet to see - Robbed, First Home Run, etc. And Cardboard Connection lists two other retail sets that I could chase if they're obtainable and attractive: The Babe Ruth Story, and The Jackie Robinson Story.
So, for the first time since 2011, I'm actually excited about flagship Topps! It's only two weeks away.
What, if anything, are you going to collect from this year's release?