First look: 2013 Topps Tier One baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Tier One is back for Year Three.

Topps released the first images and basic product information for this high-end brand on Friday, which will be back for a third season in 2013 after a bit of a revamp this year.

Set to arrive on July 13, Tier One will include two autographs and one Relic in every pack. The packs will include one On the Rise autograph and one from the following — a Tier One auto, a Crowd-pleaser, a dual or triple auto, an auto Relic or a cut. Every fourth pack will include a bonus Relic and there will be three of those per case. Each case also will guarantee a Tier One auto.

Among the signers for Tier One autos are Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey Jr., Rickey Henderson, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Nolan Ryan and Cal Ripken Jr. for starters.

All autographs will be signed on-card in this one with standard Tier One autos limited to 199 or less. On the Rise autos, which will showcase younger talents will be limited to 399 0r fewer copies. They also will have red-ink parallels as well as silver-ink and 1/1 gold parallels to chase. The Crowd-pleasers will be limited to 299 or fewer copies.

Back again for 2013 will be the acetate reprint autographs, which will take memorable cards from the past and place them on clear plastic with a signature. They will be limited to just 25 copies. New will be over-sized versions limited to 10. Reprint autos will be found for Hank Aaron, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Bob Gibson, Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Evan Longoria, Stan Musial, Paul O’Neill, Buster Posey, Nolan Ryan, Mike Schmidt and Frank Thomas.

The dual autos will be limited to 25, while the triples will be limited to just 10. A total of 25 players will appear on cuts — all 1/1s.

On the Relic side, there will be no more than 99 copies of the standard autographed Relic cards, while dual patches (/25) and 1/1 triple patches will be found as parallels. Also t be found are Prodigious Patches limited to 10 and 25 1/1 bat knob Relics. For booklet fans, there will be dual autographed Relics, each limited to 10.

For unsigned Relics, there will be no more than 399 per card with dual parallels limited to 99 and triples limited to 25. Legends Relics will be 99 for standard cards, 25 for duals and five copies for triples. These also will have Prodigious Patches — all limited to 10. There also will be unsigned bat knobs, all 1/1s, and jumbo All-Star Relics that are also one-of-a-kind cards.

Among those on On the Rise autos will be Matt Adams, Manny Machado, Mike Olt, Michael Pineda, Jurickson Profar, Tyler Skaggs, Brett Lawrie, Todd Frazier, Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cesdedes and Dylan Bundy to name a few.

Among the Crowd-pleasers will be Albert Belle, Jose Bautista, Robinson Cano, Will Clark, R.A. Dickey, Tim Hudson, Al Kaline, Juan Marichal, David Wright and Mike Moustakas for starters.

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.


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  1. Chris 21 December, 2012 at 18:16

    Getting tired of the same auto subjects in every one of Topps’ releases. Going to pass on this stuff. Make some new deals, Topps.

  2. rick 22 December, 2012 at 14:40

    I bought three boxes from the same case from the same card shop and my best cards were a brett gardner auto and mitchell boggs auto. At 125.00 per pack I will never do that again.

  3. Joey 22 December, 2012 at 14:44

    I agree topps needs to cut back on the sets with the same autos it’s watering down the hobby. Nice Ted Williams bat knob. It’s about time they reached out to Williams estate and got him in the redsox don’t have anyone left since they traded everyone away.

  4. jostens 23 December, 2012 at 10:13

    kaline, musial, and mattingly? what do they have in common? card companies are dumb..take mattingly off and put another hall of famer on there instead. i hate when companies make a triple auto of joe montana, dan marino, and doug flutie. put 3 hall of famers on there, not just 2 and some scrub. i’m not saying mattingly is a scrub, he just doesn’t belong on a card with kaline and musial

  5. Matt 23 December, 2012 at 19:03

    Looks cool, but too expensive, like most all Topps sets now. Why? Because they have nobody to compete with. Therefore, they can put their prices at whatever they desire because collectors and dealers have no other card manufacturers to go to. Upper Deck and the MLB need to see this and work out a new licensing deal. This is getting ridiculous

  6. Phil 24 December, 2012 at 18:48

    Oh, right, like Upper Deck put anything better in half their stuff…Tom Glavine Jersey, that’s what I want. How about autographs of guys we never heard of and never will…I’d take “scrubs” like Mattingly any day over Upper Deck and Panini’s junk.

  7. nyyankeesfan28 25 December, 2012 at 18:12

    I like the look of the cards in the preview, but I’m not taking my chances when I know that I’ll most likely not pull anything close to any of those.

  8. Jeff 2 January, 2013 at 13:36

    The comments seem pretty consistent…Tier One is too expensive and Topps should get new signers because the Autos all seem to be the same every year.

    While I concur that the product is expensive and the Autos seem to be the same guys every year, let’s keep in mind there are only 64 living Hall of Famers. In fact, there is only one living Hall of Famer who was inducted prior to 1970…Stan Musial. I would love to see Topps do more Hall of Fame cut signatures for their products. There are plenty of lesser known members who we never see in products. (Burleigh Grimes, Joe McCarthy, Ted Lyons, any of the Negro Leaguers, etc).

    Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to see Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams cut autos and I am appreciative of the opportunity to get Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Stan the Man. But it is beginning to feel like same old, same old.

    As for Mattingly, I’m not as bothered seeing guys like Mattingly and Murphy make appearances in these sets because though they are not Hall members, they are at least borderline and may get in through the Veteran’s Committee one day.

    Lastly, for those who are disappointed in products like Tier One and are looking for autos of decent players we never get to see in product, I highly recommend Topps Archives. For $75 a box, you get two on card autos. Sometimes a Hall of Famer, but more typically an All-Star or interesting player from the past that will always get a laugh or a smile. My recent Archives packs yielded autos of Willie Wilson (I’m a huge Royals Fan), George Foster, and Sid Bream. I would never thought I would own a Sid Bream auto card, but there’s something about seeing his auto and picturing him chugging around the bases for the Braves in the postseason that makes almost every baseball fan chuckle.

    On a side note, my youngest daughter hit a redemption for a Ted Williams signed Topps Contract! (Odds 1:196,000) So, this probably makes me even more biased toward Archives. :-)

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