2019 Topps Opening Day: If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, Any Road Will Take You There

I want 2019 cards in my collection… Cards for as many different players as I can get.

After about 4 or 5 different attempts at writing out what passes for “goals” or “plans” with this year’s cards, it all comes down to that.  I enjoy having cards of current Major Leaguers, I enjoy opening packs, but I don’t plan on completing any of this year’s sets.  Will I be working on Mets and Orioles team sets?  Absolutely.  Player collections?  Of course.  All of the other Major Leaguers?  I’m not sure how that’s going to pan out, and at this point I’m fine with winging it.  As George Harrison sang on his final album, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”.

I bought a blaster of 2019 Opening Day, I haven’t seen a whole lot of blog coverage devoted to it, so I figured I’d give a quick tour to anyone who’s interested.

Here is the wrapper.  There are many players on the wrapper.

As you likely know, Opening Day is, in a sense, a parallel set to regular Topps.  Many of the cards are identical other than the card number, the lack of foil and the OD logo on the front.  Some cards, like Andrew Benintendi here, are not in Series 1, but we’ll probably see this photo in Series 2… it’s too good of a photo to be just OD.

Since Opening Day comes out later than regular Topps, they have time to photoshop some of the players into new uniforms.  Bryce Harper, of course, is shown with the Nationals because that just deal happened not that long ago. Interestingly, Manny Machado does not appear in the base set.  Maybe over the weekend I’ll try to figure out if any other notable names are missing from the checklist.

Paul Goldschmidt got traded to the Cardinals early in December.  He’s in Series 1 as a Diamondback, but he shows up in Opening Day with a different photo and a photoshopped uniform.  They did a nice job on the helmet;  The jersey… well…

A better job was done for Aledmys Diaz, who was traded from Toronto to Houston in November.

Diaz is kind of an interesting choice for this set… I’m not sure I’d consider him one of the top 200 players in the majors.

If two consecutive years makes a tradition, then Opening Day has a tradition of featuring press conference photos of Japanese stars coming over to MLB.  Last year it was Shohei Ohtani, this year it’s Yusei Kikuchi.

I saw a little bit of Kikuchi on TV yesterday morning;  he looked pretty good, and he’s got a funky hitch in his windup that I find appealing.

There are, of course, parallels.  I’m not much on parallels myself, but I thought some of you would like to see this shiny blue parallel (not the official name of the parallel, I’m guessing).

Shiny, shiny.

Opening Day also has mascots…  Last year, without trying, I got what seemed like several dozen Cincinnati Reds mascots.  Gapper, Mr. Red, Rosie Red, Mr. Redlegs, Mr. Redlegs’ Hipster younger brother Caleb Redlegs, Rosie’s stepfather Arthur, Gapper’s estranged sister Esmeralda and so on.  This year I got Mr. Reds, but it appears that he’s alone in the set.

Major League Baseball is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2019, and of course, Opening Day is not immune to the hype.  I like this Ozzie Smith card from the “150 Years Of Fun” insert set.

I was amused by this Ty Cobb from the same insert set.  Despite the smile, “fun” is not the adjective I think of when I think of Ty Cobb.

I know Cobb’s teeth look grey because it’s a colorized B&W photo, but it almost looks like he’s related to “Jaws” from that 1970’s James Bond movie.

Team Traditions And Celebrations is another subset.  The only card I pulled from that set is for San Diego’s Western Metal Supply building, which was incorporated into the ballpark.  I’m not sure this is technically a “tradition”, but it makes for a decent card so I’ll let it slide.

We have to be confusing whenever possible, so Opening Day has an insert set called “Opening Day”… and I know last year Series 1 had an insert set called “Opening Day”, I’m not sure if that’s the case this year.  Anyway, this is Kansas City’s opening day.

Other insert sets I have not pulled yet include “Dugout Peeks”, “Sock It To Me” and “Rally Time”, along with the various parallels, relics and autographs.

I just realized that there’s no “Opening Day Stars” this time around;  this is the long-running insert set which used to be 3-D (and I still miss the 3-D cards).

So that’s my quickie quickie Opening Day review-y post.  It’s not “The Set Of The Year” nor is it meant to be. I like it well enough and I’ll be busting more packs in the future.

The song “Any Road” comes from George Harrison’s posthumous 2002 album “Brainwashed”. It’s hard to believe that George has been gone over 17 years now.


2 thoughts on “2019 Topps Opening Day: If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, Any Road Will Take You There

  1. That Benintendi is fantastic! Love how he’s giving the shaka sign with his left hand. And nice Kikuchi. Sure hope he has a solid MLB career. I loved how he let his emotions loose after giving Ichiro a farewell hug yesterday.

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