2013 TOPPS SET
Bought a box of the new 2013 Topps baseball cards, and I thought I’d share some of the highlights. Forgive me in advance if this week’s entry is less Mets-centric than the average post. (I fear that this happy recap might even take a brief detour or two into the Bronx.)
I received 90% of the total set in my box, with not a double in sight. Such ruthlessly efficient collation is to be commended, but at the same time, it can’t help but feel a little mechanical and soulless.
A few weeks ago, I opened a pack of 1981 Donruss, and each of the 18 cards was either a Yankee or a Royal. Of course, this was maddening, frustrating… and a total laugh riot. I won’t soon forget that vintage Donruss pack– for better or for worse, I can’t remember the specific experience of opening a single pack of 2013 Topps.
FUN WITH BASE CARDS
Topps included a card of feel-good story Adam Greenberg, which is nothing but awesome. (For what it’s worth, this is not Greenberg’s first appearance on cardboard– he also had a slot in a couple of 2004 Bowman sets.)
The card backs contain a line of text titled Career Chase, and many of the entries are surprisingly snarky. Take Greenberg’s: “With 0 hits, Greenberg is 4,256 away from the all-time record of 4,256.”
In a testament to advances in photo-editing technology, Jose Reyes is depicted in game action wearing a fairly convincing Blue Jays uniform. Gone are the days when some intern in Topps art department would paint an approximation of a Mets cap on someone like Gene Clines and call it good enough for jazz.
Back in 2011, Topps included new versions of the 1975 mini cards in its Lineage set. Last year, the company inserted mini cards based on the design of the 1987 set. This year, they’ve pointed the shrink ray at the 1972 set, and while it’s clear that Topps is beating the concept to death, I do have to admit that the cards are pretty, um, cute. Can’t complain about the player selection either: I pulled nine of these in my box, including Willie Mays, Cal Ripken Jr, Roberto Clemente, and R.A. Dickey as a Met.
CUT TO THE CHASE
Once upon a time, a card with this much technology behind it (die-cut design, refractive chromium coating) would have been a high-dollar hit. Now you can pull three of them out of a box of base product. No complaints here, nor will I grouse about receiving Babe Ruth and Ryne Sandberg. (I have spared my scanner the relative indignity of Nelson Cruz.)
This is another insert set with a fairly unassailable checklist, as my two pulls will attest: Babe Ruth and (a somewhat blurry) Sandy Koufax.
CHASING HISTORY RELIC
I’ve reviewed the checklist for this insert set with a fine-toothed comb, and I’m fairly certain that I could not have done any worse than this Joel Hanrahan jersey card. This swatch of gray jersey commemorates the unforgettable moment in 2011 when Hanrahan set the Pirates record for consecutive saves. Like everyone of a certain age, I remember vividly just what I was doing when I heard the news…
In summary, this was a fun box to open, and if you’re not appalled at the idea of spending $50 or so on baseball cards, I’d recommend ripping one for yourself.