Question for our old baseball card friends.

And by old, we mean wise. Certainly, none of us is getting older.

If you hadn't bought any baseball cards in, ahem, quite a while, what blaster box, rack pack, hobby box, or, for that matter, eBay deal would you pounce on right now in order to get yourself all happily back into the swing of things?

What set or current design rocks?--yes, that's part of the question, but sometimes even if it's not the bestest set in all the world, there's a compelling buy out there--such as a hobby box that tends to be weighted with cool stuff. That's what we are asking.

So: what should be our first baseball card purchase in a long time that will return us firmly to a cheery mood about cardboard?


--David said...

WAHOO!! Welcome back!! :-) As for cardboard, I say 2011 Topps Regular or Lineage. I like 'em both. :-)

Larry said...

2011 Topps Update would be my pick - cheap and plentiful, but entertaining with a handful of sparkly, multicolored parallels that come in every other pack or so.

Dan said...

Hi, welcome back to the collecting world. This year's offerings have some solid choices.

For sheer quantity of inserts and the diamond giveaway go with Topps series 1 or 2 (Topps Update has too many parallels for my taste).

Topps Chrome has been a spectacular break for many people....3 colored refractors per box, 2 rookie autos per box, some Heritage chrome cards....

Those would be my top two choices...too refractor or not?

Ryan G said...

The first thing I did when I returned in 2003 was go to a card show and pick up some stuff that appealed to me. It wasn't from any particular set, and I ended up going back the next day to buy even more.

Even after a break for pretty much all of 2010, when I returned in September I started with a local card show. I might have picked up a pack of Update for inspiration.

And that said, if I was to walk back into the hobby after being away for a while, I would probably start with something from flagship Topps. It's a fairly consistent standard so I know 10 years from now if I see a flagship Topps box I have a basic idea of what I'll get. Then again I would probably also pick up some rack packs, blisters, or loose packs of anything else laying around in Target.

Knowing what I know about this year's releases, I would probably go after some Allen & Ginter or Gypsy Queen (though you don't find GQ on shelves).

deal said...

Welcome back,

For $15 the big box stores have been running "Value Packs" the last couple of season. It gives you a little variety typically they are 5 packs of a low end retail product (Topps Series 1) 1 or 2 Hobby Packs of something a little pricier (Heritage) 1 limited edition blah blah card (Mantle, Jackie RObinson, latest hot topic prospect) and a code card that lets you play the Topps Diamond giveaway on-line

I think this is great if you haven't picked up anything for a while - you get a lil of a lot of stuff going on out there. shihwilin t
t picpt sT

FanOfReds said...

I enjoyed Gypsy Queen this year, but I don't know where you'd be able to find reasonably priced boxes any more.

Paul said...

Allen & Ginter was sort of fun, and I was amused by the different minor league uniforms in Pro Debut.

Really, though, I think I'd look around on eBay to see if I could find an unopened box of some interesting-looking wacky late 90s set that I didn't buy because I wasn't collecting at the time.

The Dimwit said...

I'd definitely recommend Gypsy Queen if you can find it. I'm a HUGE fan! If not, I'd go with Topps Chrome. Major rebound by Topps this year with a better overall product.

Dhoff said...

I don't buy new packs often, but I did buy some 2011 Topps Update and really enjoyed it. A ton of parallels and inserts. I would say to definitely buy hobby packs, if you can find a good deal. Retail just never gives me much satisfaction.

If you can find older discounted T206 blasters retail, those are solid fun, too.

the sewingmachineguy said...

Agreed. Gypsy Queen was sweet! It ain't cheap for sure.
Chrome ain't as bent as last year.
Stop saying ain't.

dayf said...


Oh wait, that's not very helpful advice in this case.

Um... I like the 2011 Topps sticker album a LOT and you can get a box of 50 packs online for about 35 bucks.

Allen & Ginter is not as good as years past but hobby boxes are really cheap comparatively speaking.

Base Topps is pretty good. Hobby boxes for Series 2 and Update are dirt cheap. I still see Series 1 packs everywhere I go too.

Gypsy Queen is probably my favorite product of the year but it's hard to find and pricey. If you want I can send you a starter lot.

Honestly, unless you just want to rip some wax, I'd pick a vintage set you really like and try to build it. You can go crazy and work on one from the 50's or chase a junk wax set.

Finally, Check Out My Cards is really good for player collectors. Go there, search for David Wright and go to town. You can even do that while watching ponies on Youtube!

(help me I have a problem)

night owl said...

Tough question. I've been buying rack packs of just about everything, but I'm hopelessly addicted.

Recommending something to someone who's been away awhile is a little difficult because if I look at it objectively, 2011 product really hasn't been great.

Topps Series 1, 2, Update is OK if you've really GOT to rip something. Chrome will satisfy your shiny fix as usual. A&G had a down year in my opinion. Gypsy Queen is good (I think it's overrated), but finding it, esp. cheap, is waaaay difficult. Lineage is cool for the bits of "oh wow, what is THIS?" But the card backs are an insult. Personally, I think Heritage is still the best of the bunch. The wood borders have a great look and feel when you stack all the cards in a pile.

Yup, that's what I'm going by -- which set looks the best when stacked in a pile.

It's been THAT kind of year.

Play at the Plate said...

Lots of good advice here...I love Topps Chrome so far this year. Gypsy Queen is nice, but very pricey. Welcome back!!!

Don said...

I would by a rack pack of Topps Linage. You can see through the plastic and tell what card is in the bottom section of the pack. I picked up a Reggie Jackson and Al Kaline that way. In each rack there is one insert (the 75 minis are really nice).

Or, you can find some cheap junk wax on Baseball Card Exchange and have a big time.

Bo said...

Agree with Paul. Unless having current players is important to you, there are literally decades worth or product to enjoy. I'm personally getting a big kick out of '80s and '90s minor league cards right now.

Dinged Corners said...

There's a pattern emerging here.

Over the weekend, we'll post how and with what we reenter. Thank you so much for the insights.

Colbey said...

In my opinion you can't go wrong w/ the base Topps...whether that be Series 1, 2 or Update.

I'm also fond of Gypsy Queen. Love the paper boarder parallels and on card autos. Minis are a plus.

A&G is a step backwards from last year, but is still a solid effort. I love the non-baseball parallels.

Lineage I have to say was fun to open. Not the best overall design, but a small set w/ no SPs! The 1975 Minis are really cool too.

Lonestarr said...

Welcome back! :D

lifetimetopps said...


It's the best this year in my opinion, and if their was one year to collect heritage - it's the classic wood border 1962 design.