Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2011 Topps Lineage Baseball Box Break Recap and Review

Topps newest offering, 2011 Lineage Baseball, could be in the running for one of the better sets they’ve put out this year if you only look at the front of the cards.  Flip them over and you have an entirely different scenario.  Base, mini and cloth sticker cards have the same short write-up with a single color background while most inserts, that pay homage to cards of the past, have completely blank backs. Otherwise, Lineage provides the kind of elements normally reserved for premium cards with multiple auto cards, a high quality checklist and fun retro inserts.

2011 Topps Lineage Baseball falls under our classification of trading cards.  Hobby boxes contain 24 packs with 8 cards per pack.  Each hobby box yields three hits with 2 autograph cards, with at least one 1 on-card auto and 1 relic card.

To give you an idea of what to expect, here is a look at the cards we found in our box, front and back.

From the base set.

 Mickey Mantle, front and back

Here are some more base cards, front and back.
 Sandy Koufax, Frank Robinson, Josh Hamilton
Brendon Belt, Johnny Bench, Ichiro
Willie McCovey, Nolan Ryan, Buster Posey
Jackie Robinson, Cal Ripken, Jr., Ryan Howard

Other base variations include
Rookie of the Year
Willie McCovey, Joe Morgan, Cal Ripken, Jr.
Chipper Jones, Ichiro, Tom Seaver

 Diamond Anniversary (Like Chrome Refractors)
Buster Posey, Reggie Jackson, Jason Werth
Pedro Alvarez, Hank Aaron, Franklin Gutierrez

Platinum Aniversary
Carlos Beltran, Carlos Zambrano, Michael Young
Joe Morgan, Frank Thomas, Andre Dawson

Cloth Stickers based on the 1972 set - Ty Cobb and Stan Musial (same backs as the base cards)

To the left, 1975 Mini cards based on the 1975 set, shown with the base card for size comparison.

Again, same backs as the base.

Our box yielded six minis
Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia
Freddie Freeman, Roy Halliday, Gordon Beckham

 From the 25 card Venezuelan parallel, based on the Venezuelan League cards of 1960,1962, 1964, 1966, 1967 and 1968.  Big difference here, only one Venezuelan player in the 2011 set.
David Price and Chipper Jones, front and back

Those were all from the base set, here are the inserts.

 3D cards based on 1968 set.  True to the set, the backs are blank.
 Troy Tulowitzki and Buster Posey, front and back

 Stand-Ups based on the 1964 set.  True to the set, the backs are blank.
 Ryan Braun and Joey Votto, front and back

 Rookies based on sets from the '80s and '90s
Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Hank Conger
Dominic Brown, J.P. Arencibia

Topps Giants based on the 1964 set, found as a boxtopper.
Miguel Cabrera, front and back

Sam card shown up against Cabrera's base card for size comparison.

Now for the hits.

Elvis Andrus '75 mini relic

David DeJesus '52 style autograph card

Pablo Sandoval reprint on-card auto

Overall Look
Base card design is works well on the fronts, but is minimal on the backs.  Inserts are based on previous releases.  Love the 1975 style mini on the front, but wish Topps would have carried the theme all the way to the back of the card, duplicating the ’75 look for the entire card.  All of the Autograph cards and Giant boxtoppers look great.   Nice choices with the Stand Ups, based on the 1964 set, and 3D cards, based on the 1968 set, which have blank backs.  This wouldn’t have been as noticeable if it weren’t for the backs of the base set.

Quality and Variety of Players and Subsets.
This checklist is excellent.  Not prospecting here.  Just Legends, Stars of today and top rookies. 

Do the hits hold up?
Autographs.  That is were these hits excelled.  Auto reprints and ’52 styled autos featuring both modern and past players are excellent.

Will you want to collect them all?
You might want to, but putting together a master set is going to be a real challenge.  Even if you defy the odds and never pull a double, you would be looking a minimum of 1000 packs just to build the 200 card ’75 mini base set, none of which are SPs. Other cards are inline with set building norms.

3/12 out of 5

2011 Topps Lineage Baseball is a set that runs hot and cold.  There is a lot that is good here and with some adjustments, Lineage could become a powerhouse of a set in the future.  While there are some excellent autos, inserts and a great checklist, the set will be best displayed doubled up, back to back in 9-pocket protector pages held in a 3 ring binder.

Review box provided by Topps

1 comment:

  1. Great review. If I see a reasonably priced master set on eBay... I'd buy it. I'd love to throw all of those insert sets into a binder and flip through it (mainly looking at their fronts and avoiding the backs).