First look: 2011 Topps Tier One baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps unveiled the basic product information and preview images for its newest debut baseball card line, Tier One, on Wednesday, and it’s a product that it says it “the definitive on-card autograph release for 2011.”

So what does that mean?

It means two autographs and one Relic in every pack along with three base cards and a parallel inside as well. Every 12-box case of the hobby-exclusive product will include one Top Tier on-card autograph, too.

The product also includes signatures from present players, Hall of Famers and other retired legends along with a selected crop of rookies. It also includes dual and triple autographs along with cut signatures and jumbo patch cards along with four tiers of parallels for each basic card.

It will arrive in mid-November packing plenty of punch — and apparently even an autograph of boxer Manny Pacquiao, though he does not appear on the preliminary checklist for the product.

Learn more and see images after the jump.

The Top Tier autographs will include what Topps says are 20 outstanding active and retired stars. These one-per-case inclusions also will have parallels limited to just 10 copies. Meanwhile, the On The Rise autographs will showcase 55 young stars and rookies with their parallels limited to just 25. The batch of Crowd-pleaser autographs will include 55 fan favorites with their Golds also limited to 25.

The Top Tier guys? Hank Aaron, Albert Pujols, Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, Bob Gibson, Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, Sandy Koufax, Frank Robinson, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, Felix Hernandez, Roy Halladay, Prince Fielder, Josh Hamilton and Evan Longoria.

There will be a small selection of dual (15) and triple autographs (five cards) limited to as few as 10 copies, while there also will be 25 1/1 cut signatures to be found in the high-end product. The only announced name among the cuts so far is the newly signed Joe DiMaggio.

The Relic lineup will include 25 players on Prodigious Patches — jumbos limited to just 10 copies — while Top Shelf Relics highlight 50 players with jersey pieces. Dual Top Shelf cards will be limited to just 99, while triples will be limited to 25.

The base set will consist of just 100 cards — retired players, veterans and rookies — while the parallels will include Tier One (1/1s) down to Tier Four, which will be limited to 199 copies.

Some of the On the Rise signers will include Brandon Crawford, Danny Valencia, Dee Gordon, Brandon Belt, Drew Storen, Daniel Hudson, Carlos Santana, Michael Pineda, Jeremy Hellickson, Aroldis Chapman, Starlin Castro, Logan Morrison, Eric Hosmer, Mike Stanton and Jason Heyward.

The Hosmer autograph would be his first on an MLB-authorized card.

Some of the notable Crowd-pleasers will include Pablo Sandoval, Clayton Kershaw, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, Paul O’Neill, Albert Belle, Andre Ethier, Al Kaline, Fergie Jenkins, Willie McCovey, Joe Morgan, Ozzie Smith, Hanley Ramirez, Ryan Braun, Don Mattingly, Chipper Jones and Ryne Sandberg.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

(Click on the images for a full view.)

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


  1. danny
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    honestly i am not that impressed.
    wheres the wow factor

  2. Todd
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Wow how many products is Topps going to flood the market with this year? They’re burning up those printing presses over there…

  3. brick and mortar
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    would be nice except this will come out when there are another 6 prodocus from topps on the shelves. If they had any brains, they would be a new product out and space them properly. I guess the next person they hire can try it!!!

  4. JC
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I don’t care how many products they have out, this set look beautiful. The Marquee set also looks great! That Halladay patch pictured above is absolutely SICK.

  5. Richard
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Except it won’t matter unless its priced right.
    What will the MSRP be?

    Are the tier one auto all the same production or will they further SP Koufax, Pujols and Aaron?
    Many of the top tier players have auto cards on the market, including hard signed ones, that
    sell very cheaply as it is.

    I’m guessing they will want $100+ per pack, which makes it pretty much a fail for me.
    That said, I’ll be happy to pick up the cards cheap from the people trying to hit the lotto.

  6. Jon Chuckery...Atlanta
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Just what we need…another $300 a box product from topps at the end of product release season. Whats next…a $1000 a box product with one card per after every product for the year has been released

  7. darrell
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    hopefully they are just pumping products out to finish taking advantage of their monopoly, which im hoping is comeing to an end soon, because im so tired of topps, i for one will not be buying any of their new monopoly products, hell theres a new brand for ya topps, call it topps monopoly baseball, have several different series with all the different sub brands inserted in the packs.

  8. steve
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    were suppose to be “wowed” by on card autographs ?!?!?! They should be on card all the time !!! WHAT A JOKE THIS HOBBY HAS BECOME

  9. Bobby
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    It looks like it will be a nice product. Don’t know that I will buy any, probably just pick up some singles of favorite players. Topps has put out a lot of product this year. I don’t mind though, I just collect the sets I like and leave the rest alone. I am sure it is nice to have a variety for those that are player/team collectors.

  10. jim
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful cards… But.. Odds of pulling a tier one auto… WTF?? it’d be cheaper to buy the auto itself, then to buy the wax itself… STUPID TOPPS!!!!!!

    Posted July 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Topps go to HE LL

  12. Adam Shoemaker
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Just what we need–another version of Triple Threads/Five Star, etc., etc., etc., that will be sooooo hit and miss that most people will only miss their money. Topps needs to stop this nonsense. They basically had a monopoly they could run with, instead they are cranking out more (sub-standard but higher priced) products than the hobby had before they got exclusive rights. I haven’t bought a single MLB box since 2009 and that wasn’t even a Topps product. They are destroying the MLB card hobby for me with all the junk they are producing AND focusing SO much on prospects. I want cards of current players, not prospects and not legends. I can get legends cards from when they actually played anytime I want to and I can get the prospects actual RC cards when they become a rookie. Topps is creating WAYYYY too much filler to try and sell products that I don’t really want anyway. Sorry for the rant, I am done now!

  13. JeffB
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    “The only announced name among the cuts so far is the NEWLY signed Joe DiMaggio.”

    How’d they manage that? He’s been gone since ’99.

  14. chrisolds
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Topps just recently signed a deal with his estate, allowing it to show him on cards. Without it, you can’t show his face on a card or even on a cut autograph card.

  15. Jon Maus
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, unsure about this one. Combine Sterling with Tribute and add a few “Rising Stars,” lets go Topps you can do better than that. Panini needs to start putting its foot in the door for MLB products, my opinion, begin the fight for that liscense!

  16. Chris
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    This is going to fill the space left by Ultimate collection. $85 or so for 3 hits, 2 being autos. Sounds reasonable to me. Funny that people are asking for Panini back here, yet can’t wait until their exclusive with the NBA is up.

  17. Posted October 5, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    don’t like it…

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