Monday, February 5, 2024

Thoughts On The 2024 Topps Design And Red Sox Checklist

With the latest Topps base set scheduled for release later this month, I thought I'd take a look at the Red Sox players in Series One and see how well Topps did representing the team.

Here's the list (via Beckett):

13 Nick Robertson RC
17 Nick Pivetta
22 Rafael Devers
73 Chris Murphy RC
97 Alex Verdugo
104 Connor Wong
108 Jarren Duran
187 Joe Jacques RC
193 Brandon Walter RC
202 David Hamilton RC
228 Masataka Yoshida
267 Kenley Jansen
288 Boston Red Sox – Team Card
300 Enmanuel Valdez
313 Ceddanne Rafaela RC
316 Kutter Crawford
OK, out of the 15 players listed, 13 are still with the team! Not too shabby. Nick Robertson and Alex Verdugo were both traded in early December, so no fault to checklist-makers for those ones. Robertson gets the quirky honor of having a Red Sox despite appearing in only 9 games for the team last year.

Robertson is joined by 5 other players who will get the RC logo. Of the group, Rafaela is the only one expected to make any real noise. Hamilton is your typical "fast, but you can't steal first" type of player, while the last three are young bullpen arms that will probably shuttle between the AAA team and Boston throughout the season. With the off-season the Red Sox have had, I suspect quite a few "rookies" to be showing up in future sets...

That leaves the veterans, led by Boston's face of the franchise, Raffy Devers. He's the only starting infielder on the list, with Valdez likely taking a utility bench role. Our starting catcher (Wong) gets a card as well. Two out of the potentially 12 outfield options are represented in Yoshida and Duran. The back end of our rotation is represented in Pivetta and Crawford, and all those bullpen rookies are led by the Red Sox lone All-Star representative, Kenley Jansen (who may or may not have been traded by the time this publishes...sigh)
All in all, not a bad collection of players for ye olde team set, although I'm hoping for some great photography to level out the lack of star power.
With that in mind, I'm going to take a shot at guessing the Red Sox players that will appear in Series 2. I'll assume another 15 names make the list. We'll start off with the 3 biggest names the Red Sox acquired this off-season: Lucas Giolito, Vaughn Grissom, and Tyler O'Neill. Trevor Story and Triston Casas will round out the infield, along with backup catcher Reese McGuire. Outfield will probably see cards for Wilyer Abreu and Rob Refsnyder. I'll throw out one final hitter as a wild card in Bobby Dalbec, who remarkably is still with the team. On the pitching side, Brayan Bello is a lock, and we'll probably see starters/bullpen guys Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houke.The rest will be filled with rookies. I'll guess recent acquisitions Cooper Criswell and Justin Slater, along with minor leaguer Bryan Mata. I'll have to see how I do when the checklist is released. 

Whew, that's a lot of text without any graphical elements. Let's break things up a talk about the design.
It's been discussed throughout the internet awhile back, but I'll still chip in: I like the look of this set! The neon really stands out and gives this set a chance to be one of the most recognizable sets in the hobby's history!

Topps does a lot of things right here. The two-toned border, reminiscent of the 1986 design, allows the neon to stand out and still allows the company to produce the endless color parallels that no one asked for. The neon is expertly used, with team matching colors. I especially like the neon diamond behind the team logo. I haven't seen anything regarding the backs yet, but I'm optimistic there too. This seems like a set I could see myself purchasing the complete set later on this summer.

OK, I'm excited for this set! Are you?


  1. This is the most excited I can remember being for a new set design. Looking forward to getting my first 2024s . . .

  2. 2024 looks good to me - at least a nice change from the last nine or so monotonous sets. The only set I've liked since 2015 is 2019. May Topps/Fanatics be turning over a new leaf, at least in the area of flagship graphic design.

  3. It looks pretty good. They've definitely had some misses in recent years and this is a clear upgrade over those.

  4. That design is epic! I especially like the team name in the neon colors. I'm excited to see the design and anticipating getting my own 2024 cards.

    I also like the fact that the card shown is Evan Carter, because he's one of my favorites.

  5. I agree that the 2024 design is great looking. I'd love to see Topps shrink the size of series one down a bit and then adjust in series 2...

  6. I really like the design and look forward to start collecting my sets

  7. It's a solid design. It doesn't make my Top 10 Topps baseball flagship designs of all-time... but it might crack the Top 20. Gotta sit on it a little longer.

  8. The design looks a little unusual from the neon, but it grew on me.