Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Knob Hunting in Tier One Twins

After a couple of weeks off from Topps pumping out product, a new offering is ready to hit the collecting market in 2019. Tier One has been a product with a longstanding hobby presence, and it’s most notable for chase cards including bat knobs and barrels. Including game used pieces of lumber from some of the biggest names in the sport, it’s generally been a set that the big cards are void of Minnesota Twins. In 2019 that isn’t the case.

With a suggested retail price north of $120 for a three-card product, there’s no traditional base cards to be had here. The main set in the product is the “Tier One Autographs.” With single player images, and on card signatures, the design has a few different signing parallels.

Given his youth, Fernando Romero is an easy inclusion into the “Break Out Autographs” checklist. He has been a popular addition to Topps products over the past few years, but this will be his first Tier One offering. Torii Hunter finds himself in the “Clear Ones” checklist, and a host of Minnesota players make appearances on the “Prime Performers” list.

Many usual subjects can be found in this product for Twins fans, including Eddie Rosario, Jose Berrios, Byron Buxton, and Max Kepler. Hunter has been signing more in 2019, and he’ll be joined by fellow retiree Bert Blyleven.

The single card only dual autograph of the product for Minnesota is a good one. Featuring both Byron Buxton and Torii Hunter, serial numbered to 25 or less, the Twins pipeline in centerfield gets recognition. Buxton and Rosario are both depicted on a Tier One Relic book card as dual signers.


Offering a lower end hit, there’s a 91 subject relic checklist in the product as well. It’s nice to see Joe Mauer continue to be included among 2019 Topps products, and he’ll have a game used swatch in this group. Rosario and Kepler help to round of the trio of Twins available here.

Chase Cards

Two of the biggest cut signature subjects in recent Minnesota memory have been both Kirby Puckett and Harmon Killebrew. Numbered as a 1/1, Puckett is a part of the 25 card Cut checklist in Tier One.

Over the entire lifecycle of Tier One, the grails come in the form of game used bats. For the first time in a while the Twins land an offering on the checklist. Limited to one copy each, both Byron Buxton and Joe Mauer make an appearance here. Buxton has both a bat knob and a “Limited Lumber” card, which is normally the nameplate of his barrel. Each of these offerings will be autographed. Mauer’s bat knob and barrel cards are also both 1/1 but will not be signed.