I'm not going to do any history lessons or catching up. We're just talking about today, right now. 2013 Topps Baseball Series 1 has most of the answers as to why I love collecting baseball cards.
These cards came from 2 rack boxes on Walmart shelves.
You see the card at the top? It is known as an insert card. You may remember these from such decades as the 1990s and the 2000s. They come in all shapes, sizes, varieties, colors and rarities. I have a particular fondness of inserts as I was a child growing up in the 90's and weird, whacky, colorful inserts were all the rage.
That may be a little too complex for starting out though. For example the above card is quite a bit more than an insert. It's also a gold foil parallel and it's design elements appear to borrow from both Bowman Platinum and Topps 5 Star.
More appropriate for a beginner in my opinion is the base card. The base card for some is a complete waste of time and money as they don't really carry much monetary value unless it's of the vintage variety.
And for others they are the be all end all of this hobby. Lower end collectors and set-builders in particular have a strong affinity towards the humble base card.
The base card set in 2013 Topps is astounding. With excellent photography and a simple yet colorful design, Topps really hit a homerun. When I think of the current year and what a baseball card should look like, this is absolutely it.
When I said "astounding," I really meant it. From the time I returned to the hobby in 2010 until now there hasn't been a better base card design, in my opinion, than this years.
Topps has also included many photos featuring throwback uniform's that adds a very elegant touch. Mets fans can certainly rejoice as their orange, blue and white cards look simply amazing.
Like the first card I mentioned as being a parallel, this Scott Hairston is a parallel as well. It's a Walmart exclusive and you can only find these in packs and boxes that are on the shelves of the retail giant.
I am a collector that loves parallels.
First they are a genius move on the part of Topps, as player collector's often chase any and all cards of their favorite player. The appeal to me however is in the card itself. A simple background or border change can drastically alter the way the card makes me feel. And yes, cards do make you feel things.
Dodger cards look very nice in the powder-bluish border as well and would assume Royals, Cubs, Blu Jays and any other blue team would look nice as well.
Speaking of parallels, you may also find a few of these on your 2013 Topps journey. If you were a collector last year you may have came across something similar to the Wainwright you see here.
In person, these parallels look fantastic. That beautiful emerald color makes you wonder if you would rather collect stone gems instead of card gems. It shimmers. It shines. I wan't more. They are not the easiest to pull but opening a couple blaster boxes will net you a couple at least.
Back to the inserts again, Topps included another great looking and great feeling insert called "Calling Cards." It has a "Ye Olde Timey" saloon type feeling, which is just awesome. Also, the backs have no gloss which gives it a very nice touch.
Did I mention that I love baseball cards? Well I really do and Topps keeps doing a great job in my opinion at putting out quality material for young and old. If you're looking to start a hobby, then look no further. I have a few other hobbies but none are as rewarding as this one.
You get "stars" young and old too! You know stars, the ones that sell tickets and put butts in seats! The ones that everyone comes to see. The ones that end up in the Hall of Fame! The ones that keep the game of baseball popular.
Does this design look familiar? You're right, it was back in 1972. Are you feeling the nostalgia yet? I'm not, but I would if I were alive during that time. Still, a nice gesture to include in a modern set.
So if you're a guy that stopped collecting Griffey when he signed with the Reds, don't worry you can still find plenty of "Old School" Griffey in modern sets.
And your current stars like Kemp....
Alright, that's enough. Just go buy some. See for yourself. Jump right in, you won't be disappointed.
If you go out and buy a pack today than I say:
Seize The Day!