I’m not a huge fan of parallels… which means that I’m usually not a huge fan of Topps Opening Day base cards, which are usually pseudo-parallels of their Series 1 & 2 equivalents.
But when a set like Opening Day or Topps Chrome uses different photos than were used in the flagship Topps set… Well that catches my attention. They’re like non-short-printed variations (with the corresponding non-short-print price).
It does seem like this year’s Opening Day set has more cards with different photos than it has in the past… or the recent past, anyway.
As soon as the Opening Day checklist was released, one of the first things I did was to bump it up against the Series 1 checklist to see which players are depicted with different teams (guaranteeing, at the very least, photoshopping into a new uniform).
This is that list:
33 Zack Cozart (LAA)
60 Giancarlo Stanton (NYY – confirmed this is the same photo)
163 Ian Kinsler (LAA)
184 Yangervis Solarte (TOR)
195 Marcell Ozuna (STL)
This was a somewhat disappointing start because it seems like there were more updated cards in the past… but this *was* an odd offseason so I won’t get all judgemental. As I would find out, things would be better than I’d feared.
The “Future Star” cards from Series 1 don’t have that graphic in Opening Day… I mention this in case that type of variation floats your boat (variations such as this leave my boat in dry dock).
I bought two jumbo packs of Opening Day last week, and in that post I pointedly featured only one base card. However, when I started putting the Opening Day cards into my “Current Rosters” binders, I was surprised to find that a bunch of the Opening Day cards used different photos… and that’s just the cards I happen to have.
I then found out, from the Twitter account of internationally-famous collector and all-around swell guy Mark Hoyle, that Jackie Bradley Jr. (Card #116) has a different base card, and Rafael Devers (#2) has the same photo but Opening Day is cropped looser and is horizontally-oriented.
Yesterday I found out from Once A Cub and his brand new 2018 Topps Opening Day Blog that Jose Quintana (#199) and Nomar Mazara (#104) also have different photos. From what I’ve seen so far, I’m happy to pimp this blog. Once A Cub digs deep into the set one card at a time, comparing the photos to Series 1, team sets, and also going out and finding the original photo plus info about the photo… Lots of great information, I recommend it.
Conversely, at this point i have confirmed 14 cards to use the same photo as Series 1. I currently believe there are 62 cards which are “previews” of Series 2, plus the Shohei Ohtani…
…which I can’t believe won’t feature a different photo in Series 2.
So what follows are the Opening Day cards from my collection which, at this point, I’ve confirmed as having a different photo…:
Elvis Andrus (Opening Day Card #101)
Ryan McMahon (OD #115)
Nick Williams (OD #120)
Clint Frazier (OD #117)
Clayton Kershaw (OD #1)
Brian Anderson (OD #131)
Almost missed this one as it seems very much like the same play.
Daniel Murphy (OD #111)
I also found out about Willie Calhoun (OD #118) having a different photo, but I don’t yet have the Series 1 card (which has a similar photo but is a vertical card).
I’ll have additional parts of this at some point, once I’ve got enough cards scanned to make it worthwhile.