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Fresh off the successful Topps 206 release of a year earlier, the first series of 2003 Topps 205 was released in July, 2003. The base set consists of 150 cards with 15 (non-short-printed) variations. Each eight-card pack contained one mini-sized parallel, and one "Triple Folder" insert.
Just like the original 1911 T-205's, there are separate designs for the National League, American League, and minor league players. The first 120 cards consists of current Major League players. Cards numbered #121 through #144 feature prospects and first-year players, all using the ornate T-205 Minor League design. Among this subset is a rookie card of Hanley Ramirez.
Card number number 145 features the "rookie card" Louis Sockalexis, a member of the Penobscot Tribe, who was supposedly the player the Cleveland Indians named their team in honor of. Despite playing three seasons with the then Cleveland Spiders, Sockalexis never appeared on a trading card. Cards numbered 146 to 150 feature various "reprints" of some of the tougher T-205 cards.
Each 20-pack box yielded two framed "hits," a box containing an addition 20 mini cards, and a historical essay from noted collector Keith Olbermann. Also randomly inserted in packs were cards featuring "repurchased" tobacco cards. Those cards were inserted at a stated rate of 1:336/packs.
The second series of Topps 205 was released in February 2004. Originally, Topps planned on 205 being a single-series release. However, the tremendous reception 205 received caused Topps to reconsider.
The set consists of 165 cards and ten variations. Unlike the first series, 20 of the cards (mostly the rookies and prospects) are short-printed and seeded into packs at the rate of 1:5. Each eight-card pack contained one mini-sized parallel and one "Triple Folder" insert.
Each 20-pack box yielded two framed "hits," a box containing an addition 20 mini cards, and a historical essay from noted collector Keith Olbermann.
Previous Sets of the Month
2015 Panini Contenders is a 99-card set, released November 11th, 2015. As with all other Panini products, it is not licensed by Major League Baseball, and as such, none of the cards are considered "true" rookies. However, the set is licensed by the Collegiate Licensing Corporation (CLC) and USA Baseball and features players, primarily, in their college uniforms.
Each 24-pack Hobby box will yield six autographs with every third box yielding a seventh autograph. Every 12-box case will contain two autographs of Kyle Schwarber, Corey Seager and Yoan Moncada.
2015 Topps Chrome Update is a 50-card set released exclusively to Target stores starting the first week of November. Each $14.99 "Mega" box contains five packs of 2015 Topps Update and two packs of four 2015 Topps Chrome Update cards. Unlike last year, this set is skip-numbered using the same sequential numbers from the Topps Update set.
Interestingly, each card (base, parallel, insert, and game used) has a "Speckled" Refractor sheen.
2015 Topps Heritage '51 is a 104-card boxed set released October 28th. As the name implies, the set is based on the design of the 1951 Topps set, which was skipped over in favor of the more famous 1952 set when the Heritage brand was established in 2001. Not counting the "update" style Heritage High Numbers sets of 2012-14, this is the first Heritage set released in this form. Each boxed set will include the full 104-card base set, 21 parallels, and an autograph.
2015 Topps Update was released October 21st. At 400 cards, it will be the largest "Traded" set since 2002 Fleer Tradition Update. Each 36-pack Hobby box will continue to yield either an autograph or a Relic card while Hobby-exclusive Jumbo boxes will come with an autograph, a Relic, and a manufactured "Relic."
2015 Topps High Tek is a 112-card acetate set that was released September 14th. Just like the previous year's product, each eight-card box will contain one parallel and one autograph.
2015 Topps Heritage High Number Series was released September 25th, and consists of the final 225 cards in the 2015 Topps Heritage base set. For the first time since 2009, the Heritage High Number Series was released in pack form.
2015 Topps Five Star was released September 30th. The product was given an overhaul with each box reduced from six cards to only two -- although both cards will be autographed.
2015 Topps Supreme was released September 23, about a month earlier than last year's product. Just like last year, every card in the set will be autographed and each Hobby box will yield two autographs.
2015 Triple Threads is a 140-card released by Topps, exclusive to Hobby outlets, on September 16th. Once again, each seven card pack will yield: three base cards, two serial-numbered parallels, one Triple Relic and one Jumbo Relic, with one of the Relics being autographed.
2015 Topps Heritage Minor League is a 225-card set released September 18th. Each 24-pack Hobby box will yield two autographs and a Relic.
2015 Bowman Chrome is a 200-card set, supplemented by a 100-card Prospects insert set, that was released September 4th. Each 18-pack Hobby box will yield two autographs and each 12-pack Jumbo box will have five.
2015 Panini Immaculate is a 159-card set released exclusively to Hobby outlets the week of August 28th. Each six-card Hobby box will contain five autographed and/or game-used memorabilia cards.
2015 Topps Chrome is a 205-card set released exclusively to retail outlets the week of August 5, 2015. The Hobby edition, which was originally scheduled for release at the same time as the retail version, was pushed back to the week of August 19th. Each Hobby box includes two autographs, while each Hobby-exclusive Jumbo box will have five autographs.
2015 Panini Cooperstown is a 100-card set released the week of July, 22. The brand returns after a one year absence, but is formatted similarly to the previous year's Hall of Fame 75th Anniversary product. Each 12-card box will yield two autographs.
2015 Topps Allen & Ginter's is a 350-card set, scheduled for release the week of July 22nd. This is billed as the "Tenth Anniversary" of the popular product, although this is not accurate. While 2015 is the tenth "TANG" set, Allen & Ginter's tenth anniversary will be in 2016 -- ten years after the release of 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter's. Nonetheless, there are a number of Tenth Anniversary commemorations in the 2015 edition. As usual, each 24-pack Hobby box will include three of the following: Autographs, Relics, Rip Cards, or A&G Originals.
The set is notable for having the first certified autographs of Ichiro in a Topps product -- not to mention the first Ichiro Topps cards of any kind since 2012. The product will also include autographs of the cast of the Rocky films, signed in character, as well as autographs of selected 2015 NBA draft picks. Also, for the first time all 350 base cards were printed in equal quantities; however, the corresponding Mini parallels will have SPs .
For the first time since this brand's inception, there are no retired Major League players in the product.
2015 Topps Heritage Minor League is a 225-card set scheduled to be released September 18th. Each 24-pack Hobby box will yield two autographs and a Relic.
2015 Bowman Inception was released the week of July 8, 2015. As with the previous year's version of the product, there is no "base" set in the traditional sense. Each five card pack contains four autographs and an autographed relic card.
2015 Panini Elite is a 200-card set released July 1st. This marks the first standalone Donruss/Panini Elite product in ten years. Among the highlights is a 14-card subset featuring current players in their collegiate uniforms.
Each 16-pack Hobby box will yield four autographs and/or game-used cards.
2015 Stadium Club is a 300-card set, released the week of June 24th. The 2015 edition was reconfigured after the moderately successful 2014 relaunch. The dreaded mini-boxes are gone, the price point has been lowered, and the base set has been expanded by 100 cards. Each 16-pack Hobby box will yield two autographs.
2015 Topps Series Two is the second 350-card installment of the annual Topps Baseball flagship. It is was released June 17th.
2015 Finest is a 111-card set released the week of June 10. For the first time in five years, the base set will feature short-printed base cards and each six-pack mini box will yield an autograph.
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