2011 Topps Tier One
This is a new offering on the baseball side from Topps, and it takes the place of Topps Sterling in their lineup. On the positive side, the checklist for this product is far less convoluted and much easier to understand than Topps Sterling. On the negative side? Most other things. I'm just not seeing much that is really good in this product. It isn't terrible, but it just seems like a very mediocre offering taking the place of a pretty good one.
The base set cards here are on thick stock and feature a relatively clean design. I think the design is pretty plain, but not ugly. They do have an effect that I'm not in love with on any card design, that being that the photo kind of fades into the border instead of having a clean split between photo and border. In this case, I actually think it hurts the design a lot. I think the design would look a lot better with normal square borders.
None of the insert sets excite me that much either. A few of the sets have decent designs (relics, On the Rise autos), but nothing special. A few are not very attractive (Crowd Pleasers autos). And the Jumbo patch cards obviously have great patches in some cases, but offer nothing from a design standpoint. Blah, blah, blah.
The player selection doesn't do much for me here either. Castro, Sandberg, and Dawson represent the Cubs in the base set, with a smattering of lesser stars making appearances among the inserts. The only thing new or interesting in my eyes are the jumbo patch cards of Carlos Marmol, which would have to rank among his best cards.
The breakdown of everything from this issue is below.
Base Set - 5 Versions - Base (#/799), Blue (#/199), Black (#/50), Purple (#/25), Gold (1/1)
#12 Starlin Castro
#46 Ryne Sandberg
#68 Andre Dawson
Top Shelf Relics - 3 Versions - Single (#/399), Double (#/99), Triple (#/25)
#TSR-12 Aramis Ramirez Jersey
#TSR-46 Ryne Sandberg Bat (available via redemption only)
On the Rise Autos - 2 Versions - Base (Varied Numbering), Gold (#/25)
#SC Starlin Castro #/99
#TC Tyler Colvin #/999
Crowd Pleasers Autos - 2 Versions - Base (Varied Numbering), Gold (#/25)
#AR Aramis Ramirez #/50
#FJ Fergie Jenkins #/50
#MG Matt Garza #/75
#RS Ryne Sandberg #/50
Tier One Dual Autos (#/25)
#CG Starlin Castro & Dee Gordon
Tier One Triple Autos (#/10) - No Cubs Included
Top Tier Autos - 2 Versions - Base (Varied Numbering), Gold (Varied Numbering)
No Cubs Included
Prodigious Patches (#/10)
#PP-6 Carlos Marmol
#PP-14 Fergie Jenkins
Tier One Cuts Autos (all 1/1) - No Cubs Included