Topps was officially awared the exclusive license to produce baseball cards featuring Team USA players in early 2010. USA Baseball issued an official press release on March 3rd, 2010, effectively ending their ten year relationship with Upper Deck who produced the annual box set from 2002 t0 2010, as well as other USA insert sets dating back to 2000. Topps was now the exclusive license-holder for MLB, MiLB and USA baseball cards. Topps took immediate advantage of the new license and announced the inclusion of the 2009 USA Collegiate National Team and 18U National Team players as chrome and chrome parallel inserts in their 2010 Bowman set that was released on May 10, 2010. For the first time in history USA players could now be found on chrome technology. Topps proceeded to include the 2010 USA squads in several products throughout the year.
BOX SET BASICS
Topps released their first USA Box Set on December 22nd, 2010, with an MSRP of $84.99/set, with cases consisting of 6 sets. A retail version of the box set was also released (MSRP $9.99) that contained only the base set with no inserts. No official print run has been announced yet. Each hobby set contained a 65 base card checklist consisting of the Collegiate National Team, 18U National Team, and 16U National Team, as well as 5 inserts from one of 5 insert lines ( triple jersey cards, autographed triple jersey cards, autographed base cards, autographed triple patch cards, and 1/1 printing plates to include black, magenta, cyan and yellow variations for each player). The typical box yielded 2 triple jersey cards, 2 autographed base cards and an autographed triple jersey card.
Each set (both hobby and retail versions) contained a 65 base card checklist consisting of the 2010 Collegiate National Team (23), 18U National Team (21), and 16U National Team (21) squads. With the exception of Anthony Rendon, these players had all been featured on base cards and inserts in prior Topps products during the year. But with Rendon being widely projected to be the #1 overall draft pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, it was a very significant card exclusive to this set.
The insert lines were drastically reduced with Topps’ version of the box set. Gone are the Q&A autographs, Big Sigs, professional team inserts, dual autographed cards, etc. This made for somewhat of a bland experience for set busters who had become accustomed to multiple insert sets.
The numbering scheme for the base card autographs had also changed. Red autographs were now numbered to /99. Green autographs numbered to /25 in place of the traditional /2, which was first introduced in the 2005-06 Upper Deck USA box sets. A new Silver autograph line was added, however, and these were true 1/1′s.
*With the next update to this page, we will delve further into the inserts and post examples of the various cards in the set…
Filed under: 2010 Topps USA Box Set