Friday, January 19, 2018

2017 Topps Now Player's Weekend Cubs Team Set

I dialed it way back on the Topps Now cards in 2017. I was content with the lightning in a bottle that Topps managed to catch with the magical 2016 Cubs season and didn't feel the need to chase down all of the autographs and relics (for sometimes seemingly manufactured moments) last year. However, I did pick up all of the base cards including the Player's Weekend set that was sold in August.

Each team set was five cards and were presold in August, with the player selection and photos sight unseen, much like the Road to Opening Day sets from Spring Training. All five of the Cubs ended up being position players.

While Topps Now is usually reserved for some kind of accomplishment, Topps went with a generic "Player X Wears Nickname for Player's Weekend" to describe the feat. And in the little diamonds in the upper right corner where the date goes, Topps put the player's number and position. If Topps Now wasn't a specific date focused card set, I'd support that change permanently.

I can't speak for the others, but for this particular set overall, I think Topps did well with the photo selection. Among the five cards, you get a sense of what the Cubs jersey looked like, both front and back. I guess I'm a little more traditional so I wasn't really a fan of the uniform design though. My son really liked the hat. Maybe I'm getting to old to be the target demographic. When did that happen??

Again, like the Spring Training set, there was an incentive based bonus if you purchased this directly from Topps. If your team won six consecutive games between August 22 and the end of the season, there would be a free bonus card. This time the Cubs were able to meet the criteria, not once, but twice with two separate 6-game win streaks.

All of the bonus cards have the yellowish tint in the background, I guess to distinguish them from a regular set card. This might be Rene Rivera's only Cub card?

The set was $19.99 so those two bonus cards brought the per-card cost down a bit, which is nice. The print run of 454 sets was second only to the Yankees' 834, which included Aaron Judge so there's no surprise there. The Red Sox were the only other team over 400, barely squeaking by with 401. Twelve teams sold less than 100 sets, with the Padres bringing up the rear with 52. The World Series Champion Houston Astros sold just 122 sets, but also earned two bonus cards, the only other team to double up.

It might have been fun to do a post and have people guess the player based on the nickname. Some are pretty easy but how many non-Cubs fans would have pegged Javier Baez as "El Mago" or AKA, the "Magician" for his fielding? I probably would fail miserably at other teams.

*EDIT* I'll do that tomorrow, posting the Cubs players who participated.


  1. I liked that they pictured the back of the jersey on the back. Good decision there.
    I think you are right about that being Rene Rivera's only Cubs card. Tony Burbs will have to track that one down for his all-time Cubs roster project. :)

    1. I didn't realize what these bonus cards were going for on secondary market. Crazy.