Inserts and Parallels: Gold Parallel (#ed to 2005) - Barry Bonds MVP, Doug Davis, Tim Hudson, Randy Johnson, Jose Mesa, Marcus Thames, Ryan Webb, Colorado Rockies team card Alex Rodriguez Spokesman - 1996 Hit Parade - Ken Griffey Jr., Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa All-Stars - Vladimir Guerrero, Randy Johnson, Manny Ramirez, Ichiro Barry Bonds Home Run History - 50, 78, 106, 132, 166, 199, 211, 288, 300
Relic Cards and Autographs: World Champion Relics - Doug Mientkiewicz bat Topps Autographs - Billy Butler
Review: I'll open this exactly the same way I opened my review of Topps Series 1.....Hey, it's the Topps base set. It isn't about relics or inserts or any bells or whistles. It's about the cards, plain and simple. And this set is a winner.
Big difference from that box to this one, eh? An auto and a relic in a Topps base card set? Amazing.
Everything I wrote in the review for Topps 1 about the base cards remains the same, so I won't repeat much of it. The cards are beautiful and among my favorites from all of the Topps sets.
As far as inserts, this time around we have All-Stars and Hit Parade, complete with hologram backgrounds (although the backgrounds are identical, save for the rotation of the card). The A-Rod inserts are great, with designs of past cards that he does not appear on (he didn't sign with Topps until 1998, so the sets before that did not include him). The star inserts of this set, though are the Barry Bonds Home Run History cards. Each of his home runs will be documented by Topps, with homers 1-330 in this set. The set is gorgeous and the milestone home runs are highlighted in gold foil. If you are lucky enough to pull an auto or relic, you truly beat the odds, as they each fall about one per three boxes.
This is a traditional baseball card set, with some pleasing tweaks to it. You don't buy this box for any reason than to put the set together. But my break was off the charts good (a relic, an auto, a milestone HR card and a gold parallel of Barry Bonds), so a product that would normally draw an "A" must get bumped up to my highest rating to date - I can't imagine there are many boxes that exceed expectations quite this much.......................