- Card Design:
It is a shame that the costs of products just continue to skyrocket which makes it difficult for a set builder (like me) to find an affordable product that just isn’t about chasing hits but actually chasing base cards to achieve completion. Topps Big League happens to be that affordable product that can usually be found readily and has a decent size checklist to fulfill that set quest. This year’s design actually is one of the sharpest I have seen from Big League and I actually like it compared to many of this year’s releases. It has the typical large action shot over most of the card, but I like the black bottom with the player name in yellow with the position strip above it. The team logo is in the lower right corner and the Big League logo is in the upper right. Not a design that most would expect from a product in the lower tier of cost.
- Checklist Review:
Big League combines an affordable price tag and a deep enough checklist for a set builder to feast on. Many hit-driven products cannot say that. The base set is 300 cards of current players. There are 24 rookies with the “RC” rookie card designation including Luzardo, Aquino, Bichette, Alvarez, Lux and Robert. 30 cards of the set are devoted to League Leaders of all the key stat categories. Another 20 cards cover all of the awards given out to players to end the season. Finally, there are 15 Highlights cards devoted to the key stars in baseball.
Not all collectors may flock to get into Big League due to the cost and the stigma of a moderately priced product not delivering on major hits, but Big League is a solid set. It actually has some collectability since those that acquire Big League are devoted to it because of its good size base set as well as wanting to acquire and build numerous sets. Plus, look for an addition that will not be found anywhere else: Super7 Action Figures in hobby collector boxes.
- Favorite Parallel/Insert Set
Parallels are not as prevalent in Big League as some releases but there are still a few to chase or for the rainbow collectors to go after including Blue, Orange, Rainbow Foil (numbered to 100), Black and White (numbered to 50) and Red Foil (numbered 1/1). Big League also has a few Insert sets to chase to break up the base set monotony. Look for the following sets: Roll Call (30-card set of young stars), Star Caricatures Reproductions (30-card set of top players with art by Rich Molinelli), Star Caricatures Originals (same 30-card set with the original artwork by Molinelli all numbered 1/1), Defensive Wizards (15-card set of top defensive players), Flipping Out (15-cards set of top hitters) and Ballpark Oddities (10-card set of unique stories).
Big League does have its collection of Autos, but no Relics are found which is rare these days with any product. That lack of Relics fuels the fire of those that say this a low-end product. To somewhat compensate, there are 6 sets of Autos including: Base Autos (45-card set), Big League Autos (35-card set with Parallels), Opening Act Autos (21-card set with Parallels), Roll Call Autos (15-card set numbered to 25), Defensive Wizards (10-card set numbered to 25) and Flipping Out Autos (6-card set numbered to 25).
Big League is not high on many a collector’s lists and you will tend to find it in the Clearance bin eventually at your local bigbox but it has a place. It is a great product like Opening Day or even Flagship to get younger or beginning collectors in the hobby. It also is a cheaper set build for those that do such. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it but at the same time, don’t bash it either. To each their own……
Overall Score 3.93/5.00