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2018 Topps Series 1 baseball cards review

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The latest edition of Topps baseball cards were shipped to stores this week, with the 350-card 2018 Series 1 set marking the 68th year of the franchise.

Included in this set — the first half for 2018 — are 17 Dodgers cards. Thirteen of those are standard player cards, including Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig as well as rookie cards for both Walker Buehler and Alex Verdugo.

Four other cards are league leader cards, two featuring Kershaw and one each for Bellinger and Justin Turner.

Bellinger’s card includes the iconic gold trophy symbol to signify he was a Topps All-Star rookie, as well as the “Future Stars” designation across the top.

Stars are usually given numbers on the 50s and 100s, with Kershaw given No. 350 in this set. Others on the 50s include Anthony Rizzo (50), Giancarlo Stanton (100), Nolan Arenado (150), Andrew McCutchen (200), Buster Posey (250) and Mike Trout (300). Aaron Judge is card No. 1.

I am a sucker for the old style of cards with borders around the photos, but the recent trend in cards lends itself more to photograph-style cards, with the pictures all the way to the edge of the card. The photos themselves are vivid and blow those old cards out of the water.

Nowadays Topps shows up to the last five years’ worth of statistics for players, which allows for more consistent and readable type. For years Topps would show an entire career, no matter the length, which created some minuscule type for certain veterans (Nolan Ryan comes to mind).

Players leading the league in a category is signified in red ink, with a red diamond added for ties. Look at all that red ink for Kershaw.

There are fun facts and trivia on some cards, including this tidbit about Brandon McCarthy that can only be described as a Ross Porter statistic:

Here is that Ken Sanders game, for the Red Sox at Fenway Park against the Orioles in 1966.

and also space for each player’s Twitter and Instagram handles, if applicable, an addition that seems to have been added in 2017.

Series 2, another 350-card set, will be released on June 13.

2018 Topps Dodgers Series 1 checklist

Card # Player/card
Card # Player/card
2 Kershaw league leaders (wins)
35 Logan Forsythe
42 Cody Bellinger
59 Kershaw league leaders (ERA)
65 Alex Wood
89 Yasiel Puig
108 Turner league leaders (AVG)
114 Bellinger league leaders (HR)
121 Rich Hill
124 Julio Urias
159 Joc Pederson
177 Walker Buehler
263 Chase Utley
281 Alex Verdugo
320 Yasmani Grandal
338 Brandon McCarthy
350 Clayton Kershaw