Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Who's Playing in the Big Leagues? I Am. (And Mike Trout, Too, Apparently.)

My most recent box break was this current year's edition of Topps Big League. I know that everybody has seen this product by now, so I don't feel much of a need or desire to introduce it. So I just want to break down some of the spoils of my box.

I picked up a box way back on National Baseball Card Day, not knowing when I would actually have time to crack it open. I kind of thought of having it available for my birthday, but then that date came and passed with the box still sitting untouched. Last week, I was able to create some down time in my classroom after I had gotten ahead in my lesson plans and my term grades were finalized. With nothing to grade and nothing to plan, I had some time to open my box.

We'll start with some Cubs. I love the images on the Schwarber and Baez cards. I honestly don't know how many of these players will be back on the North Side next year, and I don't want to talk about it. Moving on.

How about we look at some other cards to stay in my collection: these Rookie of the Year winners. I love the Alvarez and Alonso cards, showing them receiving said award that I collect. And I think it's a cool addition to the binder to have Bellinger with the MVP award after beginning his career as the top rookie. It's inspirational for these other players in this photo, I'm sure.

So I started to gather together all of the All-Star MVP award winners, and I noticed something. In this photo there are no fewer than 5 Mike Trout cards. One of them is an orange parallel, but it is unique from the others, so there are at least 5 Mike Trout cards in the base set of this year's Big League. Three of them are Award Winners, which to me is an argument against having a subset featuring the award winners from the previous year. I don't know how many League Leader cards he appears on, but this one player seems over-represented in this set, even if he is the face of the game.

Each pack included an orange parallel. All of these cards shown are available for trade, so I tried to choose some that might attract interest. Tom, do you need this Vogelmonster?


I beat the odds and pulled a different parallel, too. This Tommy La Stella Rainbow Foil is numbered to 100. Also available for trade.

Fun inserts are part of Big League's MO. There were three insert sets that I liked this year. As of now, I'm tentatively putting them on my wantlist to try and build them. Even though I may be ambivalent about bat flips, I kind of like these cards, so it might be fun to complete it.

While I have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude about bat flips, I am a fan of defensive wizardry. These cards have a weird mix of basic blah, heavy-border design and fancy CG work. Right now I think I like them and will probably chase this set down, but I may change my mind later. With 2 Astros and a Yankee, I'm off to an unpopular start to this set.

As far as designs go, the Roll Call is probably my favorite insert of Big League this year. For that reason alone, I plan to collect this set. The downside is that it is a bigger set than the other two and there are no Cubs. Also, I don't think I understand the meaning of the Roll Call. But it sure is appealing to the eye.

Caricatures are a staple insert of Big League, but I don't care for them. I definitely am not going to collect this set, and all of these cards are available for trade.

This year, I'm not building the Big League base set, so I have some trade bait for anybody who is. Here is my tradelist for the set, courtesy of my TCDB account. If I can help you with your own set build or team collection, just let me know.


  1. I'd like the Defensive Wizards a lot more if they were verticals. I guess the caricatures are my favorite of these insert sets.

  2. I didn't build the set but certainly like the design. Nice lot of Trouts from that box!

  3. Five cards in the base set is excessive. Maybe just have Trout posing while holding all three awards?

  4. I thought this years Photography and design.were solid