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My Top 5 of 2024 Topps Series Two

Updated: Jun 28

Topps Series Two baseball is out now! It has caught attention throughout the hobby with new additions being made to the set this go around, sprucing up a typically lackluster checklist. Two cards that have gained notoriety are the Cj Stroud and Victor Wembanyama dual auto, and the Daddy Yankee and Juan Soto dual auto. While these cards, take the release to the next level and accomplish the goal of reaching new fans, they aren’t my personal favorites. So here are my Top 5 favorite cards that are a part of 2024 Topps Series Two Baseball in no particular order…

Jackson Holliday “Fun Face” SP Rookie

In Series Two this year, Topps is taking a familiar approach to making some of the key rookies an SP in this release, with their flagship rookies to come later this year in Topps Update. We’ve seen this a couple times in the past, most notably in 2018 with Ronald Acuna Jr.’s infamous “Bat Down” SP.

This go around there are four total rookie SPs are in the checklist, featuring Jackson Chourio, Jackson Holliday, Jackson Merrill, and Wyatt Langford. There are photo variations that are available as well, and that’s where an homage takes place.

In 1989 Fleer, Billy Ripken has arguably one of the most iconic baseball cards of all-time! On the knob of his bat, the words “F*** Face” were present. This story is well-known now, with it being Ripken’s BP bat, and originally it wasn’t caught and put in the initial release. After it got noticed, they released alternate versions of the card, with a black box, scribble, white box, and a card slit. 

Topps did something similar this year with Holliday’s rookie SP. In a photo variation, Holliday is shown holding a bat that instead features “Fun Face” on the bat knob. All the same parallels/variations were kept as well.

The Kevin Hart SP 

Introduced in Topps Series One earlier this year, the Kevin Hart SP parallel became one of my favorite innovations Toppps has introduced. Documented in a Facetime call between Kevin Hart and Michael Rubin, Hart got his “own” card in a baseball product! Well kind of…

Hart is featured with the Philadelphia Phillies players on their cards, as a mini version of himself. From throwing alongside Zack Wheeler, to taking a selfie with Kyle Schwarber, it’s a fun little easter egg to hunt for. In Series One, each Hart SP was numberede to /52, because of Hart’s height being 5’2. In Series Two, they are now numbered /53.

My favorite one that I’ve seen from this release has to be the Matt Strahm version (Shoutout to a collector on Facebook who posted his pull). In this version, Hart is holding onto Strahm’s hair, after his massive postseason shutout. Man… I love baseball.

Hot Dog Parallel

A new parallel made its way into Topps Series Two this year, and I’m all for it. Introducing the Hot Dog parallel. Now, I think this one speaks for itself, but if you don’t agree, I raise you this question; What goes better with baseball, than a hotdog?

It seems Topps is taking a different direction with this parallel, stepping outside of the box that existed for parallels in the past. I think this although gimmicky, brings upon new collectors; younger ones, that may find joy in new innovations. It never hurts trying to bring in new collectors to the hobby.

“Superstar Greeting” Mike Trout, Bobby Witt Jr.

Whoever chose to feature this image on a card deserves a raise! Well I personally think so anyway*

Both Mike Trout and Bobby Witt Jr. are avid collectors and have been sharing pieces of their collections on social media. Not only that, they were also teammates on Team USA, in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, so this card features a reunion as well. 

Witt Jr. has applauded Trout’s collection in the past, and even said their shared passions in collecting came up as a topic of conversation during the WBC. Personally, I enjoy seeing players that are on the cards we are all collecting, be just like us. I think this is the way we 10x the hobby.

Mallory Swanson First Pitch Card

There have been a handful of “First Pitch” cards in Topps Flagship previously, most notably in 2016, featuring a range of celebrities from Tony Hawk, to fellow hobbyist, Steve Aoki. This rendition is a personal favorite of mine.

The card features an image of Mallory Swanson (Pugh) and her husband Dansby Swanson. Dansby is well known in the baseball world, being a standout at Vanderbilt, before being drafted No.1 Overall in the 2015 MLB Draft. Dansby won a World Series with the Atlanta Braves in 2021, before hitting free agency and signing a seven-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.

Mallory is known in the soccer world, as a powerhouse forward, who’s made an impact at every level. Mallory is a striker for the USWNT, making both an Olympic roster and a World Cup roster by just the age of 21. Injuries sidelined Mallory from making an impact for the US in the 2023 World Cup, but previous to that she was in great form. Now fully healthy, scoring twice in her first start post-injury, Mallory is now poised to make an impact at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Personally, there are a couple reasons I love this card. Firstly, being both a MLB and a women’s soccer fan (Both the USWNT and NWSL), I’ve followed both of their careers separately for a long time. Secondly, after playing both their careers separately in different parts of the country, they both now have long-term contracts to remain in Chicago. Lastly, last weekend the Chicago Red Stars made history by being the first women’s sporting event to take place at Wrigley Field in nearly eighty years. I got to attend that game, and to watch Mal take the field in the same place as Dansby, in a place like Wrigley was super cool, and a moment I’ll never forget. I’ll definitely be adding this card to my collection.

1 Comment

I also see the Trout/Witt Jr card as a passing of the torch of sorts. Witt Jr has taken over as the best all-around player in AL and one of the best young players in the game along with Ohtani

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