Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Fresh Value Pack of Archives

The Archiviest! 

Topps Archives seems like an unnecessary product because it doesn't really attempt to do anything different. If they could get the vintage card stock right, or take a sharper eye to the designs that they replicate, or just do something different to cement its status as a necessary product, I wouldn't be so dismissive of it. (Heritage does a better job with card stock, but at the same time Heritage cards always feel like Heritage and nothing else, save for 2013 when they were basically Allen & Ginter cards printed with the 1964 Topps design.) As with most years, I end up buying a pack or two out of curiosity and then eventually worry about putting together my Cardinals team set and forgetting about the rest of it. The Fan Favorites autographs are nice, but they also remind us that there was a superior product (called Fan Favorites, of course!) that existed more than a decade ago. The Archives name makes sense, but it also reminds us that there was a superior Archives product some 15 years ago. That being said, there were a few things to like about this pack.

141 - Stan Musial - Musial was showing through the front of the pack, which is what talked me into this in the first place.

4 - Bret Boone - Boone is an interesting choice for this set. It's also really strange to see someone who was in the 2002 Topps Heritage set on this design again.

101 - Babe Ruth - Are there actually any Red Sox fans who saw the checklist for this set and were like, "Hell yeah! The Babe!"?

25 - Kyle Schwarber - Here's the back of a card for a guy who plays for the Cubs, when not injured.

200 - Bryce Harper - Harper is officially Erin's least favorite player in the league (non-bicycle-kicking-Johnny Cueto division.)

83 - Satchel Paige - This will probably end up in Erin's unofficial Satchel Paige collection.

195 - Mark Melancon - Part of this makes think, ugh, Pirates closer? I guess that's how Pirates fans must feel when they pull a Trevor Rosenthal card.

92 - Bartolo Colon - Cult hero. He was also in 2002 Topps Heritage, looking a bit trimmer.

140 - Jung Ho Kang - It is nice to see the little loved 1979 designed used in this product. I had a bunch of cards from the 1979 set gifted to me when I just a touch too young to respect them properly, unfortunately.

66 - Shelby Miller - It's interesting that the big Shelby Miller/Jason Heyward trade has been reduced to a footnote in Cardinals history, barely worth a mention at this point.

188 - One of the San Francisco Brandons, this guy seems to sneak on to one of my fantasy teams every year for lack of better options.

67 - Lorenzo Cain Blue (168/199) - Blue parallels are a 1:10 pull. I am a big fan of this particular color, so I am sure I am going to want to go out and get the Cardinals blue parallels. According to the pack wrapper, there are also rarer red (more appropriate for Cardinals) and even rarer black versions. This is a better idea than the ugly foil parallels they've done in the past at least.

FS-AAL - Sandy Alomar / Roberto Alomar Father/Son - This 1985 Topps design is a welcome look for this insert set, if anything for its familiarity. Not pictured: Sandy Alomar, Jr.

282 - Lou Brock - Two Cardinals in one pack!

291 - Kaleb Cowart - I have no idea who this is, which explains why he has an 'RC' logo.

223 - Goose Gossage - The last five consecutive cards are done in the 1991 Topps design, which is some strange collation after the alternating '79/'53 thing that was going on.

271 - Ted Williams - Note the switch up of the logo from 40 Years of Baseball to 65. Wow, the '91 set is 25 years old? That's exactly how long gum has been missing from basic Topps packs.

212 - Gaylord Perry - This might be my favorite looking card of the pack overall. I'm not sure why, but I do like it.


  1. I like how Topps took the time to match the font on Perry's jersey on the '91 design. Well done.

  2. Heritage is nice but the pictures are very bland. Archives does a good job using past designs and generally being a fun product. That Perry is super cool, I picked one up for myself recently.

  3. Wow 25 years since gum was in packs? Excepting of course the few years they put the gum back in the Heritage sets wrapped in its own plastic so it didn't damage the cards.

    I like Heritage and like that they have been keeping on track with those. Archives I think they go too far with the four different designs for each year. It is confusing as to which years they are representing, and the connections don't seem to make any sense. What does 79 have to do with 53? and '91?

  4. If Topps really wants to change things up, change the ubiquitous Babe Ruth cards to the Braves or Dodgers once or twice. At least that would mix things up a bit.

  5. So this product features multiple random designs in one pack? I'm confused.

  6. I do like seeing all the retired players but it makes me miss all the old sets that were nothing else. I understand why they don't but I'd still like to see more second tier retired stars, someone like Glenn Beckert (4x All-Star).

  7. Pretty cool to see the Babe with the Bosox


Comments are highly encouraged, but then again, so is eating your fruits and vegetables.