Another one of the great baseball card brands is coming to stores in the next couple days. Topps just released 2007 Turkey Red and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a hobby box.
These cards mimic the old Turkey Red cards from back in the day. They feature the artwork of Dick Perez, who is probably the leader in baseball artwork. I've read that Perez actually studied old Turkey Red cards from 1911 and tried to find consistencies in the artwork that he could bring to the '07 set.
I would recommend all collectors to check out Turkey Red because it's right up there with the Allen & Ginter set in terms of fun. You can tell a lot of thought and creativity went into developing this set.
The first thing I noticed in this year's box is that Topps has apparently scrapped its numbering system for the brand. The new Turkey Red cards first came out in 2005. Last year, Topps began numbering the cards where the '05 cards left off, trying to bring year-to-year continuity to the brand. Unlike the 2006 set, '07 Turkey Red begins with No. 1.
Also new for this year is the bordering system. Instead of gray, black, white, gold and red borders, the 2007 set looks to have a wood-like finish in different colors. After buying a lot of Turkey Red boxes last year, I was pretty excited to open up this year's version to see what they look like.
The basics: There are 24 packs per box, eight cards per pack. There are 200 cards in the base set, plus 35 short prints and 15 different variations, two relics or autographs per hobby box, one "box loader" per box and six parallels.
The box reminded me of the Allen & Ginter cards in that it's like a cigar box. My top-loader is a cabinet card of Chris Carpenter.
I was skeptical at first. I really didn't see the point of changing the borders. But after a couple packs I warmed up to the idea, and by the time I was finished opening the box, I had decided it was a cooler set than last year.
One thing I noticed right away was that there's an abundance of fresh rookie faces in the set. For some, it might be the first time they appear with the MLB rookie logo. I was pretty impressed seeing the wide variety.
The second thing I noticed was the high amount of doubles I received. I think about a quarter of the cards I opened were doubles. Not a bad thing, just something I haven't experienced in a long time.
The last thing, and this one really annoyed me, was that I was supposed to get two relics and/or autographed cards in my box, but I only opened up one jersey card. I wasn't too happy about that. You owe me, Topps!
Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised, though. I liked this set more than I anticipated. I expected the same old gray cards but instead was wowed by all the color and fun images. Seeing all the new faces among rookies is definitely a big plus, and some of the subsets were pretty cool.
I enjoyed seeing some of the poses on the players and some of the variation cards. One insert set I might try to go after is the insert set of all the Presidents of the United States. In my box, I found a Bill Clinton.
If you want another fun box of cards similar to Allen & Ginter, then this is the box for you.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.