Wednesday, December 6, 2023

New Archives


Temporarily jumping back into the group break fold with some Topps Archives. 
Traditionally a summer release, the past few years have seen Topps Archives tacked on to the end of the calendar year after the baseball season is already well past complete. This year's version features the usual dip into the past design templates. I picked up an Archives group break slot from Crackin' Wax over at District. (FYI, you can use the code CARDS24 for your first purchase from the Crackin' Wax marketplace at District for $5 off anything priced at $10 or more. Nice, huh?)

The 2003 Topps design is one of the few that hasn't been completely done to death (looking at you, 1987) and so the burnout hasn't set in. In fact, the original set is such a favorite of mine that I built the flagship set from scratch (and am only two cards away from completing the Rookie/Traded set.)

The 2003-style cards actually feel a bit cheaper/flimsier than the real thing, which is odd because that set pretty much used the same card stock and gloss that today's flagship sets use. Of course, these have a matte finish to them.

The 1956 set is another of the three main design inspirations. When people complain (okay, that includes me) when one of these things doesn't quite look like the original, I have to keep reminding myself that they're supposed to be "inspired by" the original set. They don't have to look exactly the same.

This Rogers Hornsby insert is inspired by (there, I said it) the 1957 Topps Hit Stars set, which featured various big time stars of film and stage of the day. It's pretty cool, although I think this is a colorized version of the most overused photo of Hornsby in existence...

... which makes it all the more disappointing that the same photo is featured on Hornsby's base card, on the 1965 Topps design that makes up the remaining third of the set. I realize that there's a finite amount of decent photographs of old retired legends of yesteryear, but c'mon Topps: please try a little harder.

My group break bunch did result in this fantastic on-card auto of Jordan Walker, with a special green border. It's numbered to just 99 copies. Since Archives is typically known for its lower cost Fan Favorites autographs that tend to feature a lot of players that never got the typical superstar treatment, hitting this high-powered rookie was a pretty big surprise.


  1. Congratulations on your hit. I don't really have a connection to any of the three designs, but from what I've seen on the blogs, the '03 seems to look the best.

  2. Anytime you can pull an auto of a rookie you like from your team, that's a win. Usually I get an 80s or 90s bench guy.


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