First look: 2015 Topps baseball cards


2015Topps base cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The new year is here.

Topps released the first glimpses and basic details for the 2015 Topps Series 1 baseball card set on Thursday, a base set that is the largest for the company in years with 350 cards in the initial release.

Set to arrive on Feb. 4, there will be 36 packs per hobby box with 10 cards per pack, while jumbos will have 50 cards per pack and 10 packs per box for HTA. There will be one auto or Relic in each hobby box and a guaranteed auto and two Relics in every jumbo as has been the pattern in recent years.


Each of the 350 cards in the set will have eight parallels while the standard cards will be found with borders accented with the player’s team colors. The parallels are Gold (numbered to 2015), Snow Camo (/99), Black (/64; hobby- and jumbo-only), Pink (/50), Rainbow foil and 1/1 Platinum and printing plates. Also to be found one per case will be new silver-framed parallels that have a metal frame.

Among the insert cards will be Inspirations, a 15-card set pairing past and present players found four per box. Also to be found are Gallery of Greats cards two per box with a Gold parallel limited to just 99 copies. Also found four per box will be Free Agent 40, a look at some notable names in the 40-year history of free agency.

Another 25-card insert set will be Archetypes — players who were the model of consistency — found six per box, Highlight of the Year cards (nine per box), and stamped buyback cards two per box. A new crewation will be Baseball/History, a 30-card set that has baseball achievements linked to notable historic news such as the 1969 moon landing and what the Miracle Mets did that day.

Among the manufactured Relics, which will be found one per hobby case or one per jumbo box, will be three different types of cards. First up is the MLB Silhouetted Batter Logo Pin card, a metallic logoman card. Then there will be Future Stars Pins showcasing 10 players with the 1987 Future Stars logo. These will be limited to just 99 copies per player on its vintage parallel. Then there will be Birth Year Coin and Stamp cards with five versions to chase — a quarter, quarter with auto, a dime, a nickel and a penny version.

Autographed Relic cards will only be found in hobby and jumbo packs and there are eight different sets for collectors to chase. There are Archetypes auto Relics limited to 10 copies each as well as Highlight of the Year, Inspirations and Free Agent 40. Each of these sets will also be limited to just 10 copies per card. The Gallery of Greats auto Relics will be signed on-card and limited to just five copies per player. Also waiting to be found — and these will be a bit easier — are World Series Champion auto Relics and Postseason Performance auto Relics. Those will be limited to 50 copies per player, while Strata Signature Relics will return and be found with 25 signed-on-card copies per player.

For standard autographs, there will be 10 sets to chase — Career High, Archetypes, Highlight of the Year, Inspirations, Gallery of Greats, 1/1 Baseball/History Cut Signatures, Free Agent 40, World Series Champions, Postseason Performance and 1/1 Strata Cut Signatures. These sets will be limited to either 25 or 10 copies per card.

For Relics, the same lineup can be seen — Career High, Archetypes, Highlight of the Year, Inspirations Duals, Gallery of Greats, Baseball/History Stamps, Free Agent 40, World Series Champions and Postseason Performances. These will be limited to no more than 100 copies for all but the Career High cards with some limited to just 50 or 25 copies and some only found in hobby or jumbo packs.

Also to be found are 1/1 In the Name Relics with letters from MLB All-Star workout jerseys displayed on the card.

Last but not least, there will be two promotional programs coming with the new set. There will be online code cards found six per hobby box and a Pennant Chase program where every team will have 50 cards printed good for a prize if that team wins the pennant.

A preliminary checklist was not released.

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

First impressions: 2015 Topps baseball cards

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  1. Hollywood42 14 August, 2014 at 14:10

    I’m usually not very excited about the yearly Topps release, but these look really good. Love that they jazzed up the base cards bit instead of sticking with the boring solid white background all the way around like they have done for the last few years

  2. phillies_joe 14 August, 2014 at 14:37

    Though I really like the white boarder, I can live with theses cousins of 2013 Inception (boarder) as it makes the picture pop. Inserts look nice also. Pennant Chase cards could be (should be) fun. Should keep the history cards in Hertiage / A&G unless this is the beginning of product consolidation. Awesome…..

    What is SNOW CAMO?

  3. David Johnson 14 August, 2014 at 14:43

    I am so happy that they didn’t do another white bordered set. Finally some variety. Hopefully they change again next year.

  4. chrisolds 14 August, 2014 at 14:49

    Snow Camo parallel is the Abreu seen above. It’s just a camo card with a lighter palette of colors.

  5. chrisolds 14 August, 2014 at 14:52

    Larry: Subsets and inserts help sell a lot more packs. Products without them often don’t do as well. With base Topps, though, there are options with factory sets and other types of packs at retail.

  6. phillies_joe 14 August, 2014 at 14:55

    Thanks Chris…kinda figured it out when I was re-looking at the pictures. Better than Brown-ish Camo IMO……

  7. colin 14 August, 2014 at 16:14

    these look like garbage. reminds me of 1995 fleer and 2002 donruss diamond kings jersey bat pieces as well as topps gypsy queen inserts…..ill finally save money on topps in 2015

  8. Corey 14 August, 2014 at 20:19

    Looks like Panini finally made it’s way to baseball…this is why quit basketball cards, because the designs had too much going on! Topps Inception was junky and this too is junky.

  9. Rick 15 August, 2014 at 00:24

    Sad again. I’ve been in this game for a long time. When regular topps came out it was like christmas. Since oh about 2010 with all the bs inserts, variations and so on…. The design….. I weep inside what had become of reg topps. AND a lot of old heads argee.

  10. Jim 15 August, 2014 at 10:07

    Chris: You say products that don’t have subsets and inserts don’t do well. Do these even exist. I am an old guy and we loved our cards in the 50’s and there were no subsets or inserts. The thrill of finding the new series back when there were six or seven cannot be matched in the hobby today. A factory set is not collecting it is just buying. Would like to see Topps issue just one set like the old days.

  11. chrisolds 15 August, 2014 at 10:10

    They tried it with Topps Total — very sparse on inserts and parallels. It didn’t last.

  12. Keith S 15 August, 2014 at 18:56

    Chris, Topps Total was awesome and it did have a fair amount of parallels and inserts just about the same as the Topps sets did back then. I agree that the parallels and inserts have become way too much. Basically they make the base set so over produced that the only thing worthwhile is if you can pull a short print or the game used or autos. The rest aren’t worth the space they take up in the cabinet from a value perspective. I understand Topps reasons for doing it because the collectors want it, but could they just do it in their other set instead of destroying the collectability of the historic set? I will continue to collect the base set cause I love collecting and have done so for 40 years now. but when you can pick up a base set on ebay that is hand collated for $10, it hardly seems worth spending $50 plus on a box. But to each his own.

    I do like the change up in the design this year of the base cards. Inserts, parallels and the rest really don’t matter cause the average collector isn’t going to buy the amount of boxes it would take to complete those anyway.

  13. Scott 17 August, 2014 at 18:09

    First, I was a collector from 1983 to about 2000. For me the best Topps designs where the 1980’s and early 90’s. Looking at the 2015 design I kind of like them. Remind me of 1990. For me 1984 was my favorite design by Topps. It was simple and there was no mistaking who the player was or what team he played for. I just started collecting again in 2014. I did buy Topps but the design was boring and looked like the last several years. I will definately be looking forward to 2015 design.

  14. Zeprock 18 August, 2014 at 18:32

    I like the base card design. I have been so tired of the plain white borders from the past years preceded by the plain gold borders from the early 2000s. About time the shook it up a bit.

  15. Wayne Koch 18 August, 2014 at 21:37

    Nice to see new base cards, but I still miss the innovation of the 90’s and early 2000’s when there was some competition. MLB and Topps have killed the great looking cards we used to see. For Topps, this looks pretty good.

  16. matthew clement 20 August, 2014 at 04:21

    It looks great. Love the new look and its something different as appose to the same look every year… Keep it up :)

  17. Steve 20 August, 2014 at 06:00

    I’m not sold. I may be one of the few that actually like the simplistic white borders. Then again, I also need to hold something in my hand before I know if I like it or not. We’ll see. Maybe it’ll mean I collect something different next year. I’m almost done ’12, ’13 and will complete ’14 flagship, so we’ll see.

  18. DrMitchJ 25 August, 2014 at 17:22

    Every year, I look forward to the ‘First Look’ announcement pertaining to the Topps flagship line! It’s usually a mix of emotions for me. I’m a little sad, since it means that the current baseball season is drawing to an end, but a little excited, looking forward to the future season and the possibilities of things to come, new stars to emerge and current players to improve upon their last season. Who is going to be the next hot rookie? Who is going to be the surprise long shot, or 1st round draft dud?
    This upcoming set will be no different, except it will contain the last playing year card of Derek Jeter’s long and glorious career, so there will be more of a melancholiness to the upcoming release than usual (at least for me). As far as the design, I’m never truly happy, until I’m ripping open new packs and seeing them for the first time in person. The color borders vs. white borders issue? As long as there’s no ‘chipping’ issues associated with the color borders, I’m good.

  19. john s. 26 August, 2014 at 05:37

    Looks great, would love to see a sample back. Hope they continue with full statistics. NOT like 14 football that for some reason they decided to drop the career stats in favor for the last 2 years. Think the chromies will look fantastic.

  20. Leif Gilner 28 August, 2014 at 18:03

    The 2015 Topps Baseball Cards are really amazing and awesome cards to get for the 2015 baseball season.

  21. Gary H 31 August, 2014 at 06:25

    Topps takes a step in the right direction. This design looks to be the most creative in years but that’s not saying much as the last few have been really boring. I can’t wait to rip these open. Finally I can look forward to Heritage AND the annual release.

  22. Scott D. Kilhenny 4 November, 2014 at 22:40

    Used to have a collection from 1964 to 2008, unfortunately I sold them, DO MISS IT TERRIBLY BUT LIFE GOES ON, I personally put a combination vintage and Topps image combined the two that any kid can ask, that’s enjoying chasing yesterday past, boys of summer past, that grandpa can reflect on childhood!!! Topps does lack it’s trademark that faces mile autograph on the card!! Man up, got to CATCH THE KIDS, “MR.BERGER, sent my ideas to him, he KINDLY wrote back to me! Topps should have one SET that it’s all autograph by all the players and umpires too! Topps drifting away from it’s imagination so wake up here before you lose ALL THE CHILDREN to X games! Sincerely P.S. couple ideas if your interested in!

  23. Dave Corson 12 January, 2015 at 07:33

    Chris…Do you have any pull with Topps? If so, can you ask why they can’t release a checklist for their products BEFORE they are released. Working in a manufacturing environment for the past 35 years, I know that you have to know what it takes to make something before you build it. You would think the same thing applies to a set of sports cards. But, Topps historically releases their checklists after the cards hit the marketplace.

  24. Alan Merritts 19 January, 2015 at 11:16

    I agree with Dave. I think that within a month the checklist should be available. I wish Topps executives would read some of these posts instead of relying on their “geniuses” for everything. After all, who is going to buy them!!!

  25. mwbelair 22 July, 2015 at 09:50

    To me the single most important element of a baseball card set is the design of the base card. For years this has been ignored by Topps. Every year for about six years Topps has given us a base card with a metallic name, white border, and some type of “color swirl.” I cannot remember the last time a players name was in anything but an annoying silver or gold. There have been very few portrait photos, which leads to endless photos of players either pitching, batting or fielding. I very much like the design of the 2015 set. Thank you Topps for finally coming up with a design that is distinguishable from the previous year. I especially like the return to the white name on the front of the card and the complete lack of silver or gold. My only complaints would be not enough portraits and players in series 1 on the wrong team (come on Topps, the free agency list is known to all so save those players for series 2.) I am actually going to buy the set this year!

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