Panini has long been the king of the case hit, most notably with its Kaboom! and Color Blast inserts. Finally, however, Topps has been trying to get into that lucrative game with the 2022 Topps Series 1 Home Field Advantage Cards. Their latest effort may turn out to be the most significant yet. We have the full story in our guide to Home Field Advantage cards.
The case hits are surprise inclusions in the 2022 Topps Series 1 flagship release. They are not included in the official 2022 Topps Series 1 checklist. It appears the oversight was intentional to generate buzz and excitement around this card series. The gambit from Topps has worked. But more on that later.
The cards are divided into two categories. The regular Home Field Advantage cards feature some of the biggest stars in contemporary baseball. And also Pete Alonso (kidding! I am a Mets fan, so it’s socially acceptable). Meanwhile, the Legendary Home Field Advantage cards feature a small selection of renowned former players, both living and deceased.
The design will look quite familiar to anyone, with even a passing acquaintance to Panini’s iconic Downtown cards. The cards show players with famous landmarks from their home city and artifacts associated with that location. Some landmarks may also be associated with the player’s home ballpark, thus justifying the name Home Field Advantage.
Honestly, yes. For example, the Bryce Harper card features the United States Constitution (or the phrase “we the people,” to be exact). It also has the hallowed form of Independence Hall as a tribute to Philadelphia. It’s a cool card, but a look at the Harper Downtown card reveals some striking similarities. So, this series is not the most original case hit ever produced.
As a fan of the Downtown inserts, you would think I would be displeased to see such a similar card from Topps. But honestly, the designs are great, and unlike the Panini baseball equivalents, the Topps cards are fully licensed. So, I have to admit I am a fan. I’m a big enough fan that I splurged on the Pete Alonso and Willie Mays cards.
As befitting a bona fide case hit, the Home Field Advantage cards are hard to pull. Here are the complete odds:
Home Field Advantage
Legendary Home Field Advantage
I find it interesting that the Legendary Home Field Advantage cards are somewhat more common in retail packs than hobby ones.
Topps has not released exact print run numbers. However, they do 2022 Topps Series 1 Home Field Advantage Inserts Print Run provide pretty detailed odds for cards. That includes the odds above for the 2022 Topps Series 1 Home Field Advantage inserts. Therefore, it is not that hard to extrapolate from the odds to the broader print run.
If we extrapolate from the odds to the number of packs in all hobby boxes, we get a grand total of 2,491,429 packs. So, divided by the odds to draw one, we have a total of 8,651 2022 Topps Series 1 Home Field Advantage inserts. Assuming that the players are divided more or less equally, that would be about 865 cards of each.
Although 2022 Topps Series 1 Home Field Advantage inserts function as case hits, they are also available in retail. Indeed, hobbyists have been reporting many incidents of hitting these cards in retail packs of various sorts. So if we take together the number available in retail, it is probably around 3 times larger. In addition, series 1 Jumbos are also believed to contain a similar number.
So, the best estimate for the overall 2022 Topps Series 1 Home Field Advantage inserts is about 3,892.
There is no doubt that baseball fans have reacted positively to the 2022 Topps Series 1 Home Field Advantage Inserts. As a result, collectors are already trying to complete sets.
And collectors pulling these cards are suitably enthusiastic, which is the primary purpose of having a case hit. So overall, Topps has succeeded in adding excitement to its flagship release. I have a strong feeling this will be a regular and welcome part of future flagship releases.
This video by Scottie B Cards, who declares that it “saved the set,” fairly represents the general reaction to this case hit. I believe we are all delighted it was included and that the designs are this appealing.
The 2022 Topps Series 1 Home Field Advantage cards have not been on the market long. Therefore, neither buyers nor sellers are exactly sure what they are worth. So do not take these prices all that seriously. However, to get an idea of how they measure up with the competition, I will compare these cards to their Panini Downtown equivalents.
All cards are raw because they are too soon for a significant amount of graded 2022 Topps Series 1 Home Field Advantage cards.
|Player||Downtown Insert||Home Field Advantage Insert|
The value of Downtown inserts right now is roughly twice as high as the 2022 Topps Series 1 Home Field Advantage cards. While that is undoubtedly a significant gap, considering how new and relatively unknown the new Topps cards are, that isn’t a bad performance at all.
What will be the future trends in the battle of the city landmark cards? I will get to that in the conclusion of the article.
Perhaps to increase the mystique of their big case hit, Topps has not published an official checklist of Homefield Advantage cards. So, I put together a list of those known to be out there. It seems like the list is comprehensive, but maybe more will pop up in the future.
Ronald Acuna Jr. – Atlanta Braves
Pete Alonso – New York Mets
Mookie Betts – Los Angeles Dodgers
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Toronto Blue Jays
Bryce Harper – Philadelphia Phillies
Aaron Judge – New York Yankees
Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
Juan Soto – Washington Nationals
Fernando Tatis Jr. – San Diego Padres
Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels
Roberto Clemente – Pittsburgh Pirates
Ken Griffey Jr. – Seattle Mariners
Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
Willie Mays – New York Giants
Cal Ripken Jr. – Baltimore Orioles
The main drawback for these cards is their similarity to the already popular Downtown inserts. However, in some cases, elements of the design are almost identical. As a reflection of fans’ familiarity with the Downtown cards, they are still more valuable than the 2022 Topps Series 1 Home Field Advantage cards.
But I am not at all convinced that Downtown cards will maintain their superiority in baseball. After all, the Downtown cards are unlicensed and will remain so. Therefore, I believe that Home Field Advantage cards will be worth significantly more than their baseball Downtown equivalents over the next year. Also, keep in mind that Fanatics now owns football and basketball rights. Therefore, these inserts may become the go-to cards for those sports as well, leaving Downtown in the dust. There is also room to grow since Topps has yet to issue any rookies from the Home Field Advantage cards. They almost definitely will.
And let’s admit it, originality in cards isn’t really rewarded. Upper Deck was the great pioneer of premium cards, and Prizm ripped off Topps Chrome. Topps invented the refractor, but Panini didn’t exactly refrain from making them. As we can see, the first guy isn’t always the winner.