Fascinating 5: 2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a Fascinating 5 and picking cards I’ll be chasing in a particular product. Probably too long. A new baseball card season is less than a couple of weeks away. 2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball is right around the corner. And with a checklist to look through and pour over (minus the card numbers for the base set), I’ve got a pretty good idea of my what I’ll be hunting beyond the tradition of a base set.

5 2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball Cards I’m Hunting For

1984 Topps Baseball Autographs Don Mattingly

I’m not the biggest Don Mattingly fan but there’s something about the combination of his signature on a card with the 1984 Topps Baseball design. And if the final card stays true to the mock-up, it’s a different image than his Rookie Card. I prefer it that way for this product. It’s about touching on the 1984 set, not recreating verbatim. Outside of the ultra rarities, this is the card I’m looking for in the packs I open.

Historic Homes Relics Wrigley Field

Do I put a lot of value in memorabilia cards with pieces of stadiums? Not overly. Do I think they’re cool? Absolutely. The Historic Homes Relics highlight a few of baseball’s legendary cathedrals. To me, Wrigley ranks in the top 3 alongside Yankee Stadium and Fenway. Seeing as how Wrigley is the only one of those I’ve visited, that’s my choice. Although, that changes if the Fenway card ends up having a slice of the Green Monster.

Safeco Field #???

Count me as a big fan of seeing stadium cards included in the base set. Although it’s a few hours away (not to mention across the border), Safeco is the home field I try to make it to at least once a year. Last year, my family and I made the trip to Seattle to watch Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani play. There also happened to be bobbleheads that weekend. And as luck would have it, I saw Albert Pujols get his 3,000th hit not long after eating some fried grasshoppers. So Safeco has lots of memories and baseball cards connect me to those memories.

It’s probably going to be a while before there’s another “Safeco Field” card as the sign out front is changing to something I’m probably going to have a hard time remembering.

150th Anniversary Commemorative Medallions Vladimir Guerrero

I know it’s not an opinion held by all, but I like manufactured relics. I see them simply as fancy inserts, just not in the same light as autographs and game-used memorabilia. But if you look at them simply as cards, some of these are consistently attractive looking cards.

Thanks to Vladimir Guerrero, I have a few Montreal Expos cards to chase in 2019 Topps Series 1. All are inserts. This particular medallion card is a hobby-exclusive so I suspect I may end up trading for one somewhere down the line.

Legacy of Baseball Dual Autographs Mike Trout/Hank Aaron

Every product needs a unicorn, that card that’s so rare you might not even see a picture of one, let alone finding one in a pack. My Wonka Golden Ticket in 2019 Topps Series 1 is the dual autograph with Mike Trout and Hank Aaron. But let’s be honest, I wouldn’t turn down any of the combinations. Give me a Nolan Ryan/Shohei Ohtani and I’m good. Same with Ohtani and Ichiro. Just go up and down the list. It’s a good one. But with print runs maxing out at five copies for any given card in the 13-card insert set, I’m not holding my breath.

One can dream.

What cards are you looking forward to chasing from 2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball? Have your say in the comments or let us know on Twitter

When you click on links to various merchants on this site, like eBay, and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission.

Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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  1. Barb 18 January, 2019 at 23:50

    Can you tell me what to do with my late husband’s baseball card collection?
    He’s been gone 17 years and he has a lot of cards some back to the fifties .
    Is there a place or a person who deals with this?

  2. James McCay 19 January, 2019 at 10:57

    Card companies NEED TO scrap the sticker autographs for good! No one truly likes them. The ONLY reason people collect the is that they are often significantly CHEAPER than On Card versions of the same player’s auto.

    You probably know as well as I do that the issue that started sticker autos in the first place was players who never returned the cards they were sent to sign, or they got lost in the mail, etc. Ignorant card companies didn’t make THREE printings of each player’s unsigned Certified Autograph cards (it costs practically nothing to print 6,000 cards vs. 2.000 cards) which would have covered ALL possibilities of loss.
    So it cost card companies $5,000 to have all four color printing plates made again and reprinting the cards to get signed (as was explained to me face to face with Ann Blake when I worked for Playoff).
    When Ann Blake hired me she said she wanted to fly me to watch all signings of key player autographs and return with the signed cards (therefore practically ending any chance of loss or damage). Plus she knew I met so many famous players doing charity work with sports cards & autographs, so I was perfectly calm around any players.

    I was a personal friend of Terry Bollea’s (Hulk Hogan) where I lived from Feb. 2000-Dec. 2002 when she was trying to lure me for a job for her as a Senior Manager. Plus just at the 1991 Foot Locker Slam Fest at FL Atlantic University as a volunteer, I was hanging out with Barry Bonds, Deion Sanders, Ken Griffey Jr., Gary Carter (we were already friends), and a long list of other semi-stars to stars. Once you hang out with Bonds, Deion and Griffey for a couple of hours; no other athlete ever made me nervous ever again.

    So sticker autographs are simply OBSOLETE at this point. If card companies made ONLY On Card autographs now it would greatly increase interest in collecting again!
    Also card companies need to look at what 2000’s autographs sell for the most. In baseball it’s obviously the 2005 Upper Deck Ultimate DUAL star autograph cards (with topical pairs like MVP winners, CY Young winners, etc.). Now they can add different topical pairs that they didn’t do in 2005 like Perfect Game winners pairs & Triple Crown pais (Carl Yastrzemski & Miguel Cabrera) and make (250) of EVERY card put in a Premium or semi-Premium product.

    Do you know what is the hottest product right now? I do, it’s 2013 & 2014 Golden Age factory sealed boxes for $29.99 a box (Steel City Collectibles). I bought three of each box and the autographs I pulled were ALL $25.00 cards to $60.00 cards!!! I ever pulled two autographs out of one box (Sam McDowell and Jackie Earle Haley out of the very next pack!). I was a bit upset when I pulled the McDowell, but then to pull a $60.00 auto out of the best pack & was the last auto I needed for the Bad News Bears Auto set (I now have the complete set with Tatum O’Neal as well)!
    I sold all autographs I didn’t need for my collection (four of them) which made me nearly break even. Then sold enough of the other SP inserts I pulled and broke even on all four boxes. I planned on doing this until I pulled two bum autos in both boxes. I’ve been buying a 2013 & 2014 box together each time. Even the EXPIRED Stan Lee redemption card sold on eBay for$100+ (I’ll never get that??? But I know expired redemption for expensive $200+ cards have been selling for $100+ for a few years now). So I know if I pull that expired redemption, I’ll triple the price of the box!!! THEN THE WORTHLESS USPS IN MY AREA LOST THE LAST TWO BOX LOT AND STEEL CITY MAKES YOU WAIT AS LEAST TWO WEEKS FOR A REFUND/EXCHANGE???

    You still need to contact eBay (USE YOUR BECKETT POSITION) and speak to a Supervisor in the Sports Collectibles area. Then tell them there are MANY sellers still selling ILLEGAL (use that word!) reprint cards, or reprinting vintage card designs which are also covered by Copyright Protection. Every penny spent on these illegal cards (that cost .10 cents each to have printed) and are being sold for an average of $4.00 each on eBay all take away from the sales of LEGAL cards! You also should contact the Legal Dept for each card company and ask if you have their backing to go after eBay to STOP them from allowing the sales of these cards!!!

    Thank you!

  3. Jarrett Galarza 15 May, 2019 at 07:23


    Hey Barb, if you still need help with your late husbands cards you can e-mail me at michaeljardin1987@gmail.com and I would gladly help you! I will treat you respectfully, won’t charge you, and I will make sure you do not get taken advantage of! If your still in need feel free to reach out!

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