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This is the 2018 Topps National League team set

While I was out getting some cards at Rite Aid yesterday, I also swung by Target and purchased Topps' National League team set that it puts out every year.

There is almost no point to this set -- and the accompanying American League team set -- and it's getting more and more pointless by the year. The only thing that made it stand out each year was the placement of the NL or AL logo on each card so you could distinguish it from the flagship card with the same photo.

Well, there's no NL or AL logo this year. Apparently there wasn't one last year either (I didn't bother getting the set). So to separate these cards in your brain from the other cards that look almost exactly the same, you'll have to turn the card over and check out the card number.

This may seem like a trivial topic for a blog post, but it gets a bit frustrating deciphering the cards available these days. Topps doesn't exactly go to acceptable lengths to get the word out. A couple of weeks ago, I actually confused the AL and NL team sets hanging in my local Target with the "other" team sets, the individual team team sets. I thought I was looking at the Yankees and Nationals team sets, because -- again -- no AL or NL logo.

Then one of those lovely online people who only emerges when it's time to correct someone set me straight. Such an attractive quality, online person. But the point is, it seems like nobody is providing information unless they get to tell someone they're wrong!

I know that's not entirely true. My apologies to Ryan Cracknell and the like, but there just isn't enough information out there about cards sometimes.

So let me give you the obsessive, totally unnecessary lowdown on the 2018 Topps NL team set.

NL-1 - Bryce Harper, Nationals

Have we seen this image before?: Yes, it's Harper's Opening Day photo. Expect to see this in Series 2.

NL-10 - Michael Conforto, Mets

(That's right, "NL-10," I'll get to that).

Have we seen this image before?: Yes, it's Conforto's flagship photo.

NL-3 - Charlie Blackmon, Rockies

Have we seen this image before?: Yes, it's Blackmon's Opening Day photo.

NL-8 - Stephen Strasburg, Nationals

Have we seen this image before?: Yup. It's Strasburg's flagship photo.

NL-15 - Justin Turner, Dodgers

Have we seen this image before?: Yup. Opening Day.

NL-12 - Yadier Molina, Cardinals

Have we seen this image before?: Yes. Opening Day.

NL-5 - Daniel Murphy, Nationals

Have we seen this image before?: Yes, Opening Day. It's a different image than his flagship card, which is always nice.

NL-14 - Joey Votto, Reds

Have we seen this image before?: Yes. Opening Day.

NL-7 - Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

Have we seen this image before?: It's his Opening Day photo, which is different from his flagship photo.

NL-9 - DJ LeMahieu, Rockies

Have we seen this image before?: Opening Day.

NL-4 - Buster Posey, Giants

Have we seen this image before?: Flagship.

NL-13 - Corey Seager, Dodgers

Have we seen this image before?: Opening Day

NL-2 - Cody Bellinger, Dodgers

Have we seen this image before?: Flagship

NL-16 - Max Scherzer, Nationals

Have we seen this image before?: Opening Day

NL-6 - Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals

Have we seen this image before?: Flagship

NL-11 - Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks

Have we seen this image before?: Opening Day

NL-17 - Nolan Arenado, Rockies

Have we seen this image before?: Flagship

That's the whole team set. It's 17 cards. I showed the cards in order of how they came out of the package. Only cards 1, 3 and 17 were in order. Everything else was scattered throughout.

This set has a "we'll put in whatever players we want to and call it a 'team set'" feel to it, which I'm sure is the way these NL team sets have always been. Outside of every player being named an NL All-Star last year there is no other connection. I believe these were called "all-star team sets" before, I wish they'd go back to that. And back to putting the league logos on the cards.

Outside of getting the Dodgers in this set, because I have the addiction, there is absolutely no reason for me to buy this or for it to be made.

The only reason I can think of why it's made is this:

I actually went to Target to get the American League team set, so I could send the Aaron Judge card to Sports Card Collectors. But the AL team set was sold out, probably because Judge was the first card showing and I live in Yankee land.

So that's the reason why the AL team sets are there: for impulse buyers, some of whom may have no idea what they're buying.

But maybe someone will see this post and figure out what's going on. Someone's got to tell people.


  1. Wait, so Topps is being vague in an effort to confuse unsuspecting buyers into spending money on product that is essentially the same as what they already bought?

    Say it ain't so! ��

  2. Thank you for sharing these... Now I know to skip on by these

  3. Wow, there is no rhyme or reason to the player selection of this set. What kind of All-Star roster would have 4 players listed as first basemen and only 3 outfielders? Yikes!

  4. Base set, team set, chrome set, opening day set, holiday snowflake set, now this. How many times do they make the same damn card over and over again? That's not even including parallels.

  5. This is the innovation and creativity that was promised when the exclusive licenses happened. Aren't we all happy???

  6. As an oddball guy... I'd probably grab the AL set for the Altuve. I recently purchased the Angels team set. It was an affordable way to add an Ohtani oddball rookie for my collection.

  7. The lists have been right here for months!

    1. I believe I mentioned you in the post. The intent was to focus on Topps' inability to inform consumers.


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