Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2013 Topps Finest Baseball Cards Box Break Recap and Review

Topps has been tweaking and refining Finest Baseball over the years.  For the 20th anniversary edition, 2013 Topps Finest Baseball has continued making changes, jazzing up the base cards, while throwing back to 1993 with Baseball’s Finest inserts to go with the returning die cuts while adding new Finest Masters in insert and autographed versions, All Star Autographs in addition to the returning Autos.  All of this added value is a good thing because from a design level, the base cards leave something to be desired which might alienate collectors who look to Finest for their multi-color refractors needs.

While Finest Baseball falls under our classification of premium cards, there is enough here to keep set builders interested so there is some cross over into our trading cards category.  Hobby exclusive master boxes contain 2 mini boxes, with each mini containing 6 - 5 card packs.  Each master box contains 1 On-Card Autograph Rookie Refractor and 1 Autographed Jumbo Relic Rookie Card.

Here are some of the cards we pulled.

Base Set

 Shelby Miller, front and back
 Yasiel Puig, Bryce Harper, Jose Fernandez
Mike Trout, Felix Hernandez, Carlos Beltran 
Freddie Freeman, Robinson Cano, Buster Posey 

 Jimmy Rollins 1993 Baseball's Finest, front and back

Base Card Parallels

 Adam Jones, Evan Gattis
 Jake Odorizzi, David Freese

Prince Fielder, CC Sabathia

 Color Refractor 
 Ryan Howard Green #/199, Giancarlo Stanton Orange #/99

The Hits
 Carlos Martinez Base Auto

Tom Milone Autographed Xfractor #/149 

Overall Look
The base design just doesn’t work for me.  The move towards a simplistic design last year is something that Topps could well enough have left alone.  It becomes worse with the color parallels as the dots are the only thing that gets the color treatment.  It really is too bad because the 1993 insert design actually holds up and would have made a much better choice as a throwback product for the year over this base card design.  Beyond the base cards, the rest of the set, mainly the inserts, looks great.  Unfortunately with the expectation of 1 or 2 inserts per master the box, that isn’t must consolation from a design level.

Quality and Variety of Players
Fortunately the one thing Topps has not changed is the checklist configuration.  At 100 base cards, which makes sense for this product.  63 of the cards are some of the best veterans playing the game today. 37 rookies account for the other base cards, which is a really nice ratio.  And yes, you will find Puig in the regular rotation.

Do the Hits satisfy?
This is where Finest excels this year.  With the addition of Finest Masters and All Star autos there is a lot here to pull that will make collectors happy. 

Will you keep coming back for more?
Since design is a matter of individual taste, there may be some that overlook the look and consider this for set building as well as Rainbow aseembly and hit seekers may go in for multiple box purchases but this year feels more of a secondary market pick you player kind of deal.

3 1/2 out of 5

2013 Topps Finest Baseball Cards still provides a good chance to pull some nice hits but the common cards and color parallel refractors feel a bit off base this year.

Review box provided by Topps

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