Friday, February 6, 2015
2015 Topps: The Jumbo
A first look at the new year's brand new Topps product.
I made a mad dash to Target last night to check and see if the new 2015 Topps Series One had hit the shelves yet, but my plans were derailed. I know this is a common complaint, but I have found that the places I normally shop are a little behind the rest of the country when it comes to stocking their shelves. Strangely enough, I didn't even make it to Target last night because my train abruptly kicked all of its passengers off. If this hadn't happened, there's a decent chance I wouldn't have any of these shiny new cards in my hands, because I decided to pop into a Fred Meyer store instead. They had the new stuff in all sorts of configurations, and I ended up buying one of everything: a loose pack, a jumbo pack, a hanger box and a blaster. You can find the loosey over at APTBNL soon, but for now here are some of the cards I got the from the jumbo pack and my thoughts on said cards.
On first impression, I do think this is easily the best looking base set Topps had put out in more than a decade. The only thing that's preventing me from actually collecting the stupid thing, aside from cash and common sense, is that I still have too many hangups with the way these cards are cranked out. They're still putting out the same thin white carts with glossy coating and they still release their cards in three series, only two of which are numbered consecutively. They still favor flash and gimmicks over cards of role players and the overlooked. In my younger collecting days, I looked to baseball cards as a physical document of a player's season and career, but we only cards of the chosen ones anymore. (Bring back Topps Total!)
In any case, if I was going to collect any base set of the last decade, it would be this one, because they finally got away from the horrible blandness that has plagued almost every set since I started this blog.
I'm all for inserts of current players that are a throwback to something early in their career. I really like (and am still trying to collect) the 2008 50th Anniversary All-Rookie Team insets for this very reason.
I haven't warmed up to these yet, but how long has it been since Fernando had a (licensed) baseball card?
These league leaders cards are familiar. I guess that's all I have to say.
I'm not sure that Topps remembers how they are supposed to use the Future Stars tag. Back in the day, the Future Stars cards were of players that were still rookies and very green. Abreu already has a full and extremely productive season under his belt. Oddly enough, Evan Gattis also has the Future Stars banner, and he's essentially played two full seasons.
The card backs are really nice. I like the big numbers and the fact that it goes out of its way to tell you that it's "Series One". Topps even took care to include Abreu's Cuban pro numbers on the back and HOLY CRAP HE HIT A LOT OF HOME RUNS. And look at all those steals! I guess the international stats didn't quite import to the Topps computers correctly. I smell a data shift. Data shift!
Yet again... Topps can't let this concept go. Old guy and current guy, together at last. We get it.
You can't really tell by the scan, but this is a Rainbow Foil parallel. These are seriously underwhelming. They are the only non-serial numbered parallel as far as I know, so at least there's fewer colors of things to collect this year if you're a team collector.
And once again, there's a gaggle of new officially designated "RC" rookies with funny names that I've never heard of. Some of these guys will make it and others will be Wladimir Balentien.