The annual release of Topps' flagship baseball product is a sure sign that Spring is right around the corner.
On February 4th, Topps Baseball, Series One hit retail outlets with good marks all around. Conversation in hobby news outlets have centered around design updates, the new "First Pitch" and "Inspired Play" sub-sets and that auction for the final Derek Jeter card.
For the first time in years collectors have seemed to embrace the release - save for a few detractors here and there. Without a stark-white border, the design for this year's base set is noticeably different than what we have come to expect. The marble-esque pattern that frames the base-card photos is a nice switch-up and provides the release with an updated feel.
I skipped the retail packs this year - instead, I chose to buy the 12-card Phillies team set online and am slowly working on picking up the many parallels. Since I am really only interested in collecting the Phillies cards, it is much easier to spend the money directly for those cards I want. I am sure I'll be more active in the retail market with Heritage and Archives later this year.
Also see: 14k Phillies Cards Checklist of Phillies Cards in Series One