First Look: 2012 Topps Tier One baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps unveiled the basic product information and preview images for the sophomore release of Tier One on Thursday, a second installment of the high-end brand that will arrive in June.

Each pack will include three hits — one Crowd Pleaser autograph or one of three other options — a multi-signed autograph card, an autographed Relic or a cut signature. In addition, every pack will include one On The Rise autograph and a Relic numbered to 399 or fewer copies when it hits hobby shops on June 18.

Every fourth pack will include all of that and a bonus Relic, while every 12-pack case will include a Top Tier autograph.

New for 2012 will be 1/1 bat knob cards, autographed Relics and Clear Rookie Reprint cards — cards printed on clear plastic stock. Also new to Tier one this year will be autograph parallels for all cards signed in varying colors of ink — White (limited to 25), Silver (10) and Gold, which are 1/1s

On The Rise will be the most plentiful sigs at 399 made, while the Crowd Pleasers will be limited to 299. The rest? No more than 99 copies signed with duals limited to 25, triples limited to 10 and cuts being, of course, 1/1s.

Over on the autographed Relic side, all cards will be limited to 99 copies of less from a mix of Top Shelf, dual and triple patch and Prodigious Patches cards. Top Shelf are the most plentiful with 99 of each card, while  all others are limited to 25, 10 and one.

The Relic checklist is a bit deeper with Top Shelf showcasing more than 60 current and past stars limited to 399, while duals and triples are 99 and 25. Prodigious Patches will be limited to 10, while Bat Knobs will be 1/1s.

According to the preliminary checklist, some of the Top Tier signers will include Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, Ken Griffey Jr., Willie Mays, Albert Pujols, Nolan Ryan, Ernie Banks and Reggie Jackson, among others.

The On The Rise autograph list — which may include as many as 85 signers — are Anthony Rizzo, Michael Pineda, Freddie Freeman, Carlos Gonzalez, Aroldis Chapman, Dustin Ackley, Eric Hosmer, Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout and many others.

Crowd Pleaser signers will include Prince Fielder, Buster Posey, David Wright, CC Sabathia, Evan Longoria, Chipper Jones, Joe Mauer, Andre Dawson, Boog Powell and many more.

The Rookie Reprint signers will include Mays, Griffey, Don Mattingly, Ryne Sandberg and more, while Relic autographs will be found for Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, Gary Sheffield and many more.

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 below (twice) for a closer look.


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  1. Dan C. 19 January, 2012 at 19:08

    Hey, Topps realized that having autographs with a higher print run than the base cards is completely asinine. This year’s was a product with great potential but there were too many people who landed a pair of 5 dollar autos in their 100 dollar box. Increasing the checklist while decreasing the print run for each card should help that. It would be nice if Topps could figure out these seemingly no-brainers before many a collector throws their money away. But at least they are trying to fix their mistakes for this year’s version (in this product anyway). Love the different ink colors, that gold ink on black background will be sweeeeeeet.

  2. Mike McGovern 19 January, 2012 at 19:25

    nice to see that the highest #’d auto’s are to 399. Looks to be an improvement over this year, but Im skeptical. I’ve been duped by teasers and sell sheets one too many times…

  3. Joe 19 January, 2012 at 20:16

    Looks good. Let’s just hope it lives up to the hype and no repemptions (I hate redemptions). My only problem is on a high end product the jersey pieces should be patches. The sticker autographs don’t bother me that much as long as it doesn’t take away from the design of the card and these stickers don’t appear that they do.

  4. Ron 20 January, 2012 at 08:25

    How come topps doesn’t show all of the simple one color swatches that come out in this product! That is what we kept seeing at our local in 2011. It would be nice to actually see some of the cards you show here!

  5. Jeff Shultz 20 January, 2012 at 12:50

    As a Cardinals fan that Pujols auto patch card is heart breaking! Not so much that Pujols is gone, but that such an awsome card features any departed star. Hope 2012 is better than 2011 was. I bought a few boxes and just got junk more or less.

  6. Trevor Small 20 January, 2012 at 17:41

    what’s the big deal with Mike Trout, how come Topps makes him seem like a big superstar, is he really good? Sorry, I rather hear from collectors than going on google to find the answer

  7. Brian 23 January, 2012 at 11:51

    Where is all the auto’s of Cueto, Erving Santana, etc as those will be the same pulls we all get…so done with Topps.

  8. Jerry Hufnagel 12 April, 2012 at 05:02

    I’m so done with the rip-off company named Topps they straight ripped me off in 1999 when I won a redemption of a Vince Carter rookie auto. The only reason I went everywhere in the state trying to buy more box’s was to try and win the Carter redemption because he was supposed to have a contract with Fleer and I thought this would be the only card of Vinsanity ( he was hot then ) Guess what I won ! Yes impossibly I pulled the Carter redemption card and got busy photocopying and certifying the redemption. I got… a bowman rookie auto of a Bulls player whom I can’t even remember now … and a Lawyer, their answer ( Topps ) . Because they didn’t say they couldn’t substitute then they can .. right try me again ? I so don’t think so buyer beware

  9. JimJones 13 May, 2012 at 15:27

    Nobody cares about 1999 and some crappy Vince Carter card. Topps have been doing alot better this year than last. Product should be an improvement.

  10. jun 19 February, 2015 at 09:44

    I have notice that some of the clear reprint card have blue, silver and gold ink. I know that there are only 25 copies of each player. Are this card have different ratio to be pulled?

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