Tuesday, June 23, 2020

2020 Topps Big League: A Quick Review

The last modern day set I chose to build from packs was the inaugural issue of Topps Big League in 2018. I didn't care of the design of the 2019 set nearly as much, but it still had the fun factoids on the back that attracted me to the brand in the first place. I eventually purchased a hand collated 2019 complete set and am currently working on the insert sets.

The 2020 design has a retro feel to it and I'm digging it big time.
I found some at the first Target I visited while at my in-laws, but all of the blasters had the same cut-out card on the side of the box so I only picked up one. I did grab two hanger packs though. Since then I have been to another Target and two Wal-Marts and haven't been able to find any retail Big League. In fact, outside of a half dozen 2020 Topps Series 1 packs in a lonely gravity feed box, I haven't seen any 2020 packs in the wild locally. (There are plenty of individuals on Ebay trying to flip retail for a quick profit. Sigh.)

I'd like to build this set and take my time doing it. The backs are so much fun to read! My local card shop has hobby boxes for $40, but I can pick them up online, with free shipping, for $33. I'd like to get a couple of hobby boxes to bust. What would you do? Support local business or save $14 buy purchasing online?

My first card from a 2020 pack this year is Freddie Freeman. That's a win in my book!
The design is just great. What I notice first is the clean white border and boy do I miss those in Topps flagship. 
Secondly, the rounded edges of the border were a good choice and the colors of the border, like the backs, are team-centric colors.
The backs. I could talk about he backs forever. The numbers are easy to read and you have all the normal biographical information. In addition, there are some statistical based facts above the player stat lines. My only complaint involves the lack of complete statistics, but that can be excused because there's only so much room on a card back.
The "Did You Know?" section is my favorite. I knew about Freeman's exchange with a kid dressed as him for Halloween, but I didn't know about how Didi taught himself piano. I just eat this stuff up.

Photoshop is alive and present in Big League. The Gregorius card is exhibit A and I found four more cards of players in new uniforms. Hmmm... Maybe the Gerritt Cole is from spring training?
The Schoop card is one of the three orange parallels I received in the hanger pack.

I believe this is my first rookie card of Yordan Alvarez. It's not a crazy parallel/auto/relic, but it's a great photo and I happy to add it to my collection.

The Polar Bear! The framing on this card is well done.

Here's my second orange parallel, and this time it's of one of the bigger rookies. The pre-celebration picture is most excellent!

Award Winners are present is this year's set again. Here's Christian Yelich receiving the Hank Aaron Award.

The yellow isn't that difficult to read on the card in hand, it's challenging here because of the setting I used on my phone scanner. Sorry about that!

I really enjoy the league leaders cards. Some collectors don't like multiple players on a card, but I'll take them all day. More to look at and digest!

I really like the backs of these. Again, nice design and some more statistical facts to read if interested.

My lone highlight card in the pack was of Mike Fiers.
"Fiers Fires"... Some headlines just write themselves! Side note: I didn't know Fiers had two no-hitters to his credit.

Defenisve Wizards is one of the main inserts sets to chase. I think the idea is great, but it's hard to execute an exceptional defensive play on a card. Often, it takes a video highlight to get the full scope of the play and one snapshot in time hardly does a entire play justice.
Matt Chapman may be the best defensive third basemen in either league, so it's hard to argue with his inclusion.

Superstar Caricatures make an appearance for the third consecutive year. Lots of color on this card!

Flipping out is a new insert and, much like a defensive play, it's hard to capture a bat flip with one still frame.
Casual bat flip? Huh, I need to find a video of a Kepler homer to see what that looks like.

Only second to the "Did You Know?" factoid as my favorite is the photography in this set.
The landscape choice here is interesting, but I feel it adds depth to the photo and helps demonstrate how far Acuña went for that ball.

The only thing that could make this card better was if the catcher and/or umpire was in the scene.

My favorite card of this pack was Robinson Cano. This is the last orange parallel and it goes so well with the Mets colors. Plus, again, a wonderful choice going with the landscape orientation and the framing of the card is perfect. Just a great looking card!

So, yeah, I'm working on building 2020 Big League. If you are too, the please leave a comment to let me know and maybe we can help each other out down the road.


  1. I have to agree on the design. It is a great design this year. I saw the Francisco Lindor caricature card on the Indians team list and said that is one I was going to defintely chase. Now that I see what it looks like, it is defintely on my list. It is a sweet looking card!

  2. I saw a video box break of this stuff a couple days ago. It looks great. It kills me how they call this set "low-end" but it's exactly everything I want in cards. I guess everything I collected in the '70s and '80s was "low-end".

    That said, I'm trying to ween myself off modern cards. I ordered the Dodgers team set online.

  3. Wow. Didn’t even realize these were out. They look kind of fun. Our Target has been down to ‘20 Topps, Opening Day, and Heritage lately, and although I haven’t been there in a month or so (my wife usually picks up packs for me), I have a feeling they all are running pretty low. I don’t think they have any Bowman, and I’m crossing my fingers that Big League will be there the next time my wife or I end up there. If I get some, I’ll take a look at your want list.

  4. I've spent so little on new cards. Easy to save money when you've not been anywhere that sells cards since mid-March! This design tugs at my purse strings a bit. Love the white border and simplicity of design. That plate shot of Correa is fantastic.

  5. I bought two boxes and they arrived yesterday. I opened one and will likely open the other next weekend. The design reminds me of 2009 ud opc which is not a bad thing. I am toying with the idea of completing the set so let's compare needs. I did find an orange vogelbach if you know anyone that might like it....

    1. I thought of '09 OPC, too, but there's another set that matches it even better. Can you figure it out? If not it'll be on my blog.

    2. Yeah, I know a guy who would definitely be interested in that orange Vogelmonster. He'll be in touch. Still have to track down more Big League packs first!

  6. These are great! Love the did you know facts, the photos, and the inserts.

  7. I love BLB. It's such a fun set and the inserts are fun too. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of other sets, but this set is so fricking fun.

  8. Set looks fun, that's for sure. I probably won't dabble with it, going to save my bucks for Ginter but if it weren't for Ginter I'd probably try for this set.

  9. I hated the 2019 design so so much. But 2020 looks great.

  10. I'm pretty sure I received a blaster of this stuff in the latest Topps monthly subscription club thingy I'm a part of. Haven't opened it up, but I will sometime this week. As soon as you get through your hobby boxes, let me know and I'll see if I can help.

    I don't intend on building this set. I might go out and buy a master set at some point though. The base card design and photography are nice.

  11. Design is a lot plain-er than previous sets. Reminds me of 2009 UD O-Pee-Chee too. Backs are nice though.

  12. This is my first look at this set. I'm sold. Best looking set so far this year!

  13. Came across my first 2 packs at Target after my shift. They're pretty nice!

  14. I hadn't seen that Freddie Freeman Halloween encounter, that's very cool. The 2020 BL design is certainly better than last year's IMO. I'd pick up a couple packs if I see any in a store, but I'm still working on the 2018 master set.

  15. I love everything about this set. The box I preordered should be here tomorrow, and I'm already getting excited! I'll definitely check your want list once I get everything sorted.

  16. I really love this set. Haven't been able to find any to open yet, but it's definitely on my list. I may decide to build the set after seeing the ones you showed off here.