When one thinks of “gilded,” images of the turbulent years between the Civil War and the 20th century emerge. It’s an era that conjures up ornate designs, wealthy tycoons and mediocre presidents.
Ornate is a phrase that will apply to Topps Gilded Baseball, which makes its debut in September 2022.
Every hobby box of this higher-end product will contain one pack with five cards — three chrome-etched Chrome base cards, one Gold Framed Autograph and one Gold Etch Chrome Rookie Autograph.
The base set will be limited to 150 cards: 50 veteran stars, 50 rookies and 50 former greats on a gold-embellished version that utilizes the elements of Topps Chrome.
As Topps notes in its sell sheet, “Elegance and class reign supreme in this all-new premium product, 2022 Topps Gilded Collection Baseball, as the game’s royalty of the past and present get to shine with a beautiful arrangement of golden flourishes.”
It’s worth noting that the Gilded Age was noteworthy for flowery language in its literature. Topps does not disappoint.
The base cards have Gold Etch Refractors versions that are numbered to 99. Parallels include Mini-Diamond Gold Etch cards, numbered to 50; RayWave Gold Etch Parallels (25), Lava Gold Etch Parallel (10) and a 1/1 SuperFractor Parallel.
The Gilded set will have several autographs.
Gold Framed Hall of Famer Autographs puts the spotlight on members in Cooperstown with a gold finish. As the title suggests, the autograph is gold-framed, and the number is varied. Parallels can be found in Emerald, numbered to 25; Onyx (10), Ruby (5) and Platinum (1/1).
Gold Framed Hall of Famer Plaques Autograph is a mouthful to say, but the concept is easy to swallow. It is a tribute to the iconic Hall of Fame plaques in Cooperstown; anyone who has visited the shrine can attest to one’s first impression of the room containing the plaques of baseball’s all-time greats — breathtaking.
The Plaques auto cards, which also have varied numbering, have parallels in Onyx, numbered to 10; Ruby (5) and Platinum (1/1).
Topps Chrome Gold Etch Autographs, also with varied numbers, pays attention to the game’s top veterans and rookies and has the same design as the base set. There are more parallels for this subset, including Blue, numbered to 50; Rose Gold (25), Red (5) and 1/1 SuperFractors.
The Topps Gilded Collection Cut Signatures are 1/1 cards that feature not only prolific athletes, but also historic and pop culture figures from the past. Among the names that Topps includes in this subset are Babe Ruth, Jim Thorpe, James Madison and Ernest Hemingway.
The Gilded Age might seem a bit old-fashioned now, with baseball players in handlebar mustaches and horse-drawn carriages. But the first edition of Topps Gilded baseball is aimed at capturing the elegance of that era without the pretentiousness.
About Bob D’Angelo
Bob has been a sportswriter and copy editor for more than 35 years and a blogger for a decade. He is celebrating his 50th year of card collecting, and still counts his 1965 Topps Mickey Mantle as his favorite. You can reach him at [email protected].