This year, I’ll sink my teeth into two hobby boxes of the mediocre-logoed brand. Since I have no personal experience with these cards in-hand, I thought it would be a good idea to see what I’d be getting myself into. I’ve seen Topps tweet out preview images. I’ve seen breakers show off their pulls. That’s not enough. I need to dig just a little deeper. I need to know what to expect in my two boxes of 2017 Topps Gold Label.
What makes Gold Label its own unique cardboard monster is its format. While each base card features two images of the same player, it also comes in three classes. That means each card essentially has three tiers or variations. Thankfully, the checklist is short, which makes things slightly less overwhelming. Ya know, way unlike Moments and Milestones. Yikes.
So, how do I know which Class I pulled? Topps helps out with that little problem. Firstly, the player image on the left of the card is different with each class, however the smaller player image on the right does not change. Secondly, the Class designation is listed vertically along the left side of the card. Don’t be fooled by the wallpaper pattern in the background on the right side. You may notice some cards come with different colored wallpaper. This is to indicate parallels.
Oh, crap. Three different classes AND parallels? This is where things may get a little overwhelming. You see, while there are the same types of parallels for each base card and class, those parallels have different odds in each class. That’s due to the fact that base cards in each Class are harder to pull than the previous Class. That means Class 2 base cards are harder to pull than Class 1 base cards. Therefore, the same can be said for their parallel counterparts.
With base card basics out of the way, let’s move onto the inserts. Oh, wait. There are no inserts. Okay, let’s move along to the hits, then! While there are a plethora of different types of base cards to chase, there are only two different kinds of hits. They include MLB Legend Relics (with parallels) and Framed Autographs (with parallels). The relic cards are new to the brand and are actually harder to pull than the autographs. In fact, the relic cards are the case hit! The framed autographs are what everyone is familiar with, and fall one per box. Typically, these autographs are on-card, although I have heard of some being sticker autos. That, to me, is a big fat framed no-no.
2017 Topps Gold Label seems to be geared more towards player collectors. With a checklist of 100 cards, building a basic base set shouldn’t be very difficult. Being a hobby-only product, however, limits your purchasing options. The real fun chase comes with tracking down the higher Class cards. Now, just imagine pulling a Class 3 Gold Parallel. Of anybody.
As for my two boxes, I’ll be ripping into them live at 5pm C on Friday September 22 2017. I see a lot of potential in this format, and I actually wish I had ordered more boxes. I can’t wait to rip open those packs and finally see those cards in person. Please, join us then to watch and chat, or come back later to catch the replay!