It is time for part 2 in this post. I am sure there will be a part 3 in not too long, considering how frequently Topps is releasing new series. Just in the time since I decided to write about this (part 1), they have announced the Mayor series and the Father’s Day dual series award cards. This past week, they launched the Topps Aces, Before They Were Great, Tribute, and International Series. That is 3-4 series every week! You essentially have to be a black or diamond VIP to chase the “advanced” series.

More in more, you have to choose which series to chase. Part of that choice is based on the quality of the award card, though you also have to factor in how realistic it is that you can complete the collection and the value of the cards for you.

Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the rest of the award cards that have been handed out (or are coming this weekend):

Mascot Series

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Player Choice Rating: 1/5

Design Rating: 3/5

Value: 2/5

Card count: 399 (and climbing)

How you get it: collect the 5 mascot cards that were released.

Notes: I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t understand the appeal of mascots. I think I would say the same thing for managers. I wouldn’t mind owning the card for my favorite team (the Reds) but I am not interested in other mascots. I think the design of this card is fun but that doesn’t save the value for me.

1974 Archive Series

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Player Choice Rating: 4/5

Design Rating: 3/5

Value: 2/5

Card count: 1490

How you get it: collect all of the 1974 Archives which was initially tough but then folks started trading the cards around and they gave out the award every day for a while.

Notes: The high card count makes this pretty uninteresting even though Carew is beloved.

Sig Series

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Player Choice Rating: 5/5

Design Rating: 5/5

Value: 5/5

Card count: 41

How you get it: you needed to collect the first 10 sigs they released (not including the dual sigs).

Notes: Not sure if this card is as valuable as the Trout or Jeter sigs that you needed to have in order to get this, but just based on rarity, it is very valuable.

Heritage Series (2nd Series)

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Player Choice Rating: 4/5

Design Rating: 4/5

Value: 4/5

Card count: 65

How you got it: you needed to collect all of the cards in the Heritage 2nd series.

Notes: There were numerous hard-to-get cards but the Utley was the hardest. Also the Bunt folks decided to only give folks a few hours notice before handing out the award, which meant not many people were able to trade for it.

Don Zimmer Memorial Card (collecting all Dodger and Yankee cards)

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Player Choice Rating: 4/5

Design Rating: 4/5

Value: 4/5

Card count: 76

How you got it: you needed all of the Dodgers and Yankees cards.

Notes: Because, again, Topps gave short notice and there were a couple of challenging cards to get (Kershaw gold), very few of these were given out.

League Leader Series (2nd Series – May)

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Player Choice Rating: 3/5

Design Rating: 3/5

Value: 2/5

Card count: 1019 (and climbing)

How you got it: collect all of the League Leaders for May. They generally made them pretty available and the League Leaders pack was not very expensive.

Notes: I think they might still be giving this out. That just kills the value but then again, it makes it easier to complete the series. More in more, for series where they are giving the award for more than two days, it seems like you could trade for the cards more easily after the first wave of awards are given out.

Bowman Draft Series

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Player Choice Rating: 2/5

Design Rating: 3/5

Value: 3/5

Card count: 344

How you got it: collect all of the Bowman Draft cards. The Strasburg and Harper were the toughest to get — 150 of each released.

Notes: I guess I would have saved Harper or Strasburg for the bonus card. Card is plain but slick.

Gypsy Queen Series

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Player Choice Rating: 4/5

Design Rating: 3/5

Value: 4/5

How you got it: collect all 10 Gypsy Queens. They only gave the award once, which was nice. The rarest cards were the Tanaka and Adam Jones — between 400-500 of each.

Card count: 279

Notes: This was one of the tougher ones to get. They ended up releasing a fair number of Tanaka and Jones (the Super Rares) at the end, which I hate because you pay a lot in trade for the cards earlier in the week.

Turkey Red Series

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Player Choice Rating: 5/5

Design Rating: 4/5

Value: 5/5

Card count: 143

How you got it: collect 14 Turkey Red cards. There were a few that unexpectedly sold out with ~100 cards (not the super rares) which created a scramble.

Notes: I bet these look better in real life. The colors just don’t come through digitally. That said, because some of the cards were hard to get and they only gave the award on two days, it was really tough to get and rewarding to complete.

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