Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Making Their Mark

26 12 2016

I completed this set, 3+ years after its release, after getting a few cards from .  I finished this insert set from Sportlots last November.  Topps had the “chase” theme in 2013, and this one was of the defensive mindset.

Info about the set:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Set description:  “25 cards featuring future stars celebrating their first home run or win.”

That’s the description from the series 2 sell sheet.  There were 25 more cards in this set released as part of Topps Update.

These cards are full bleed with the background blurred.  The bottom is white with the team logo and the applicable date and team logo.  There is a colored nameplate in the middle that varies by the team.  Above the name is a silver foil logo with the sets name.  The back features a write-up on the back describing the player’s first career homer (for hitters) or victory (for pitchers).

Set composition:  50 cards, 1:6 odds (series 2 & update)

Hall of Famers:  None – all current players.

How I put the set together:

  • 16 cards from my series 2 & update hobby/HTA boxes
  • 3 cards from retail packs
  • 26 cards from trades
  • 2 cards from the 2015 NSCC
  • 2 cards from Sportlots
  • 1 cards from Beckett Marketplace

Card that completed my set:  #MM-44 – Jedd Gyorko

2013-topps-making-their-mark-gyorko

I got this card, and 6 others, from reader Bill last week.

Thoughts on the set:  This is one of those filler sets that I could do without.  It’s cool to flip through, especially seeing that guys like Todd Frazier and Yoenis Cespedes were considered prospects not that long ago.  But it’s filler.

Best card (my opinion):  #MM-2 – Mike Trout

2013-topps-making-their-mark-trout

Tough to pass on the best player in the game.  At the time this was released, he was the reigning Rookie of the Year.

My Favorite Reds card:  MM-23 – Todd Frazier

2013-topps-making-their-mark-frazier

Sigh.  Things were a little better in the ‘Nati when this guy was an up-and-comer.

Other tidbits:  I went through and counted up the number of players based on each debut year:

  • 2009 – 1
  • 2010 – 3
  • 2011 – 10
  • 2012 – 17
  • 2013 – 19

The 2009 debut was Kris Medlen.

It’s a little sad flipping through this and getting to the card of Jose Fernandez.  Baseball lost a great young talent, and 3 families lost young members, to what can only be described as an unnecessary tragedy.

Advertisements




Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Update Franchise Forerunners

27 07 2016

I said a few times that I’m catching up on these completed insert sets.  And I am.  But you wouldn’t think it on this one – I finished it up almost 2 years ago and am just not getting to the post.  It’s a quick one, though.

Info about the set:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Set description:  “10 dual-subject cards pairing current rookies with one of their franchise’s most famous rookies from the past”.  At least, that’s what the sell sheet says.  But that’s not really what Topps did – as I’ll show.

Set composition:  10 cards, 1:8 (2013 Topps Update)

Hall of Famers:  5 – Sandy Koufax, Cal Ripken, Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Rickey Henderson

How I put the set together:

  • 5 cards from my HTA Jumbo box
  • 3 cards from trades
  • 1 card from Sportlots
  • 1 card from COMC

Card that completed my set:  #FF5 – Wil Myers / Evan Longoria

2013 Topps Update Franchise Longoria Myers

I got this card from COMC on their Black Friday sale – in 2014.

Thoughts on the set:  It’s a good idea, but I don’t think the execution is great.  Out of all the Dodgers who have won Rookie of the Year – they pick Sandy Koufax and Matt Kemp?  Koufax had the greatest pitching stretch in history and Kemp was a great player when this set came out.  But with Jackie Robinson, Newcombe, Fernando, Piazza, Nomo – there’s just a bunch of better options.

At least the team was right there.  Nolan Ryan is paired with Yu Darvish, but the Texas Rangers didn’t even exist when he made his MLB debut.  Honestly, he’d have been a better pairing for Matt Harvey than David Wright (though Wright is one of the more correct pairings).

Basically, it’s an OK idea for a set but not executed correctly in a number of places.

Best card (my opinion):  #FF3 – Manny Machado / Cal Ripken

2013 Topps Franchise Forerunners - front

Unlike almost every other card – this one is perfect.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none

2013 Topps Update Franchise Forerunners

2013 Topps Update Franchise Forerunners Stanton Fernandez





Completed insert set – 2013 Topps 1972 Minis

4 07 2016

Sometimes, as a card collector, you think you’ve finished something.  And you haven’t.  Chalk this insert set up in that category for me.

In October last year, I was getting ready to post about the 1972 Mini set from 2013 Topps.  I thought I had finished it in December of the year before that (December 2014).  That was not the case.  I went through and realized I was missing card #69, Robin Yount.  

I’m choosing to be optimistic about this.  One of the good things about doing a card blog is that I catch scenarios like this.  When I do these completed insert posts, I take a look back at the insert set.  That involves a look through the set, which invariably leads to being sure that you do, in fact, have every single card of the set.

I finally got that Yount card in last year’s Black Friday sale at COMC.

Info about the set:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Set description:  “Mini cards featuring the 1972 Topps design.”  There are 50 cards in each series, though this set wasn’t continued in Update, so it’s a 100 card set in total.  The cards are in the groovy 1972 design, but in the miniature size that first came out in 1975 Topps.

Set composition:  100 cards, 1:4 odds (2013 Topps)

Hall of Famers:  12. Ken Griffey Jr., Brooks Robinson, Yogi Berra, Robin Yount, Reggie Jackson, Willie Stargell, Johnny Bench, George Brett, Joe Morgan, Ernie Banks, Ozzie Smith, Eddie Mathews

All the retired players are in series 2.

How I put the set together:

  • 18 cards from my series 1 and 2 boxes
  • 4 cards from retail packs
  • 39 cards from buying a full series 1 on eBay
  • 13 cards from trades
  • 17 cards from Beckett’s Marketplace
  • 2 cards from COMC

Card that completed my set:  #TM-69 – Robin Yount

2013 Topps 72 minis Yount

As mentioned, this was unexpectedly the last card I needed.

Thoughts on the set:  The idea of miniature versions of an older set never had me fully on board, though I did like it the first time Topps did it in 2012 as it was the closest thing I got to my request of the wood borders on the regular set.  This was the 2nd year they did it, they did it with 1971 in 2013 Update, and then in 2014 they did it with 1989 Topps.  Classic example of overdoing something.  If you take them individually though, these are nice cards.

Best card (my opinion):  #TM-4 – Mike Trout

2013 Topps 72 minis Trout

This, to me, was the best photo in the set.  By a lot.

My Favorite Reds card:  #TM-81 – Eric Davis

2013 Topps 72 minis Eric Davis

Can’t beat ED44.

Any other tidbits:  Ernie Banks has the one card that’s in the category of “Cards that Never Were”.  Ernie Banks retired after the 1971 season, and didn’t have a final Topps card with his career record.

2013 Topps Banks mini

There were 8 guys who had cards in this set and a card in 1972 Topps.  Here are the six that had the right team:

2013 Topps 72 minis correct era

The 2 that didn’t were Reggie Jackson and Nolan Ryan.

2013 Topps 72 minis wrong team





Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Spring Fever

3 07 2016

I’m going to move on and do a few completed insert sets from post-2009, which is kind of like “Anno Domini” for this blog – I started back up in 2010, and while I’m collecting every Topps Flagship since then, I’m only counting the project as 1980 through 2009.  At least for now.

This wasn’t an insert set per se – you got it as a redemption.

Info about the set:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Set description: “Celebrate the excitement by bringing this card to your participating local hobby store to claim a free Topps Baseball Spring Fever promo pack.”  Topps brought back an old promotion, in name at least, in 2013.  You could only exchange the redemption card pulled in 2013 Series 1 from February 20-27, though how well the dealers participated for this kind of thing can always be a bit spotty.  The cards themselves feature current and retired players, with a colored holofoil background with palm trees on the bottom.  The back has a write-up featuring what the player will work on (current players) or what the retired player’s spring training career was like.

Set composition:  50 cards, 1 per hobby box (2013 Topps series 1)

2013 Topps s1 box Spring Fever

Hall of Famers:  7 – Orlando Cepeda, Cal Ripken, Andre Dawson, Rickey Henderson, Ken Griffey Jr., Stan Musial, Ted Williams

How I put the set together:

  • 5 cards redeemed from local hobby store
  • 17 cards in a trade
  • 12 cards from Sportlots
  • 11 cards from a card show
  • 3 cards from COMC
  • 2 cards from the NSCC (separate years, actually)

Thoughts on the set:  I love the set, and am glad Topps has continued to do it up through 2016.  The design for this particular year is awesome – it really does feel like something you should get while at a Spring Training game.  Being colorful really works for this set.

Card that completed my set: #SF-7 – Jason Heyward

2013 Topps Spring Fever Heyward

One of 3 cards I got from COMC as part of their Black Friday promotion last year.

Best card (my opinion):  #SF-5 – Orlando Cepeda

2013 Topps Spring Fever Cepeda

Of all the retired players, this photo just looks the best with the design.  I really like the Rickey Henderson card, and the Heyward card shown above is great as well.

My Favorite Reds card: #SF-17 – Todd Frazier

2013 Topps Spring Fever Todd Frazier

Beats out Votto and Mesoraco.

***********

Here’s the completed set.  I’d almost never do a scan of a set this large, but I love the colors and definitely want to throw this out there!

2013 Topps Spring Fever complete

2013 Topps Spring Fever complete 2

2013 Topps Spring Fever complete 3

2013 Topps Spring Fever complete 4

2013 Topps Spring Fever complete 5

2013 Topps Spring Fever complete 6

Any other Tidbits:  Info from the backs of the retired guys:

  • Cepeda got his first Giants’ Spring Training invite when they spotted him in Puerto Rican winter ball.
  • Both Ripken and Griffey were used to Spring Training as they’d attended with their fathers as youngsters.
  • Dawson’s late signing to the Cubs in 1987 – after camp had started – is referenced on his card.
  • Henderson’s card referenced how much he’s done after retirement, helping the A’s and Mets as an instructor at Spring Training.
  • Coming to Spring Training as a special instructor after he retired is how Don Mattingly eventually landed his first hitting coach gig.
  • Musial was almost released as a pitcher at the Cardinals’ 1941 Spring Training.  A year later he made the club as an outfielder and the rest is history.
  • Teddy Ballgame was late to his first 2 Spring Training camps (while he was still a minor leaguer) – due to circumstances out of his control for a railroad closure and an illness.




Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Chase it Down

15 10 2015

Here’s another set I completed almost a year ago.  I finished this insert set from Sportlots last November.  Topps had the “chase” theme in 2013, and this one was of the defensive mindset.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “15 cards featuring stunning photography of players making some of the best catches of the year”.  This set contains horizontal, full bleed photos of players diving to make a play on the ball.  There’s a curved name plate at the bottom with colors based on the player’s team.  The back is black with a writeup of about 2 sentences discussing the player’s defensive abilities.

Set composition:  25 cards, 1:9 odds (series 2)

Hall of Famers:  None – all current players.

How I put the set together:

  • 4 cards from my series 2 hobby box
  • 1 card from a series 2 retail pack
  • 4 cards from a trade
  • 4 cards from Beckett Marketplace
  • 2 cards from Sportlots

Card that completed my set:  #CD-1 – Mike Trout

I got this card from Sportlots last November.

Thoughts on the set:  Love it.  To me, this is what an insert set is supposed to be.  It’s full bleed, so when you come across it in a pack, it contrasts with the base set and you know you’ve pulled an insert.  The photography is great, with minimal design to highlight the photo.

Topps has done quite a few insert sets that focus on defensive plays, but this one focuses on guys diving to make a play.  I really like the specificity there.  Finally, with all the inserts that have current and retired players, I appreciate one that just has guys who played at the time the set came out.

Best card (my opinion):  #CD-5 – Adam Jones

I like this photo the best.  Jones is completely laying out on this dive, and the photo captures it.  Josh Reddick’s card is a close 2nd for the same reason.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none.

2013 Topps Chase it Down complete 2013 Topps Chase it Down complete_0001

Other tidbits:  There has to be something said about Chase Headley being in a set with his first name in the title.

Most of the blurbs on the back describe the specific play on the front.  The cards for Trout, Mike Moustakis, Headley, Manny Machado and Giancarlo Stanton just describe their overall defensive prowess.

There are 4 players – Bryce Harper, Jon Jay, Machado, and Trout – in both this set and the Gypsy Queen Glove Stories set from 2013 that I just posted about yesterday.  None of the pictures on the front feature the same play.  Jon Jay does have 2 separate plays from the 2012 postseason, in the NLDS and 1 in the NLCS.





2013 Product of the Year

3 01 2014

Two years ago I did a post for my “set of the year” in response to a blog bat around by This Card is Cool.

First, I’ll note a couple of things.  Like any collector of baseball cards, I have a limited budget.  There are somewhere around 40 baseball products out this year if you count all the MLB-licensed things that Topps did, plus what Leaf, Panini and Upper Deck put out.  Because Panini really started to fully utilize the license they got with the Players’ union in 2013, this number is actually higher than last year.

If you go by order of release date, here’s what came out in 2013.  An asterisk means it’s a new set (I’m not counting Museum Collection or Archives as new because they replaced sets with similar themes).

Baseball “standard issue” sets (it’s a bit of a stretch for me to include Goodwin in here – but I did include it last year, and I collect it, so I’m going with it):

  • Topps (Series 1) – January 28
  • Topps Turkey Red – February 11*
  • Topps Opening Day – March 18
  • Topps Tribute – March 4
  • Topps Heritage – March 6
  • Panini Triple Play – April 1
  • Topps Gypsy Queen – April 3
  • Topps Museum Collection – April 15
  • Bowman – May 8
  • Topps Archives – May 31
  • Topps (Series 2) – June 19
  • Panini Golden Age – June 20
  • Bowman Inception – July 3*
  • Topps Tribute WBC – July 13*
  • Bowman Platinum – July 25
  • Upper Deck Goodwin Champions – July 30
  • Topps Mini – July 31
  • Topps Allen & Ginter – August 6
  • Panini Pinnacle – August 15*
  • Panini Cooperstown – August 25
  • Topps Tier One – August 28
  • Panini Prizm – September 18
  • Topps Chrome – September 24
  • Bowman Chrome – September 27
  • Panini Hometown Heroes – October 2*
  • Topps Finest – October 8
  • Topps (Update) – October 15 (includes Chrome this year)
  • Topps Triple Threads – October 25
  • Topps Heritage (High Numbers) – November 20
  • Topps Five Star – December 6
  • Bowman Sterling – December 20
  • Panini Select – December 23*
  • Panini America’s Pastime – January 9, 2014*

Panini Limited and Panini Signature are the only two sets that went away in 2013.

Minor league / Draft card sets:

  • Leaf Power Showcase – April
  • Topps Pro Debut – June 26
  • Topps Heritage Minor League – September 20
  • Leaf Perfect Game Showcase – September
  • Leaf Metal Draft – September
  • Panini USA Baseball Champions – June 10
  • Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Picks – November 8
  • Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects – November 13
  • Leaf Trinity – December
  • Panini Elite Extra Edition – January 9, 2014

“odd-ball” sets:

  • Topps Stickers – March 13
  • Topps Team Sets – April
  • Leaf Ichiro – August
  • Leaf Best of Baseball – September 10
  • Leaf Memories – November 18
  • Topps Supreme (Asian market exclusive) – December

If you count everything above, that’s an increase of 9 product releases from what I put on this post last year.  If you only count the major league “standard issue” sets – it’s still an increase from 28 to 34, which is primarily driven by Panini more fully entering the fray, plus a few more sets from Topps, too.  That’s quite a bit more options, and for me, a few of them are sets that I’d at least think about collecting (Turkey Red, Golden Age, even Hometown Heroes.

Out of those, this year I collected base Topps (both series and Update), Topps Heritage (including High Numbers), Gypsy Queen, Goodwin Champions, Archives and Panini Golden Age.  I didn’t collect Mini or Allen  Ginter this year, and the only things I added were Leaf Memories and Turkey Red – which are much easier (read: smaller) products to collect.

This is fine – I kind of want to focus on my Topps project.  If you consider that I also am collecting a bunch of earlier Topps base sets – which is actually the “mission” of this blog – this is still a fairly large amount of new cards for me in 2013.  I think next year I’ll scale it back even more, just because I don’t have the time I used to.

OK – so what was my favorite set of the year?  In 2011, it was Topps Heritage.  In 2012, it was – again – Topps Heritage.  This year?  Not Topps Heritage.  1962 and 1963 are classic designs in my mind – 1964 isn’t.

I won’t sugarcoat it – this wasn’t the best year of card products to me.  Some of this is that I’m pretty busy right now and don’t have the time I had for cards 1 or 2 years ago.  But that’s just a small portion of it – Heritage is not as good almost by definition because it had to follow 1964, and some sets I collect weren’t new – Gypsy Queen and Goodwin are both in their 3rd year, Archives in its 2nd year (3rd if you consider 2011 Lineage the same product, which I kind of do).  I did enjoy each of those products this year, and I think Archives made some improvements from its 2012 release.

But this year’s flagship Topps set was pretty darn good in my mind, and in a year where I didn’t particularly like the retro products – that makes it an easy pick.  Heritage would still probably come in second (with competition from Topps Archives) – which is a testament to that product.  Even in a down design year it’s still a fun product.

2013 Heritage Adam Jones

But it’s not the best product or set.  My set of the year isn’t Heritage – it’s the flagship Topps brand.  In what was a down year as I mentioned, Topps had a cool design (though I wish they’d get some guts and move away from the white border).  And the inserts were pretty cool, too.  They had a theme of “the chase” which was kind of cheesy but better than some of the stuff they had the last few years (Diamond, Gold, etc.).  And it produced some nice insert sets.  The die-cut “Cut to the Chase” is definitely my favorite.  “The Greats” and “The Elite” are super thick cards that are really nice.  And I like the Making your Mark inserts, too.  The 1972 minis aren’t bad, but I didn’t like the straight copy from last year’s 1987 minis.

The bottom line, though – I really like the base set.  It had some great photos, and was fun to go through.

2013 Topps s2 base cards

The design was the best of the last few years in my mind, though I’m hoping for 2015 to avoid the white borders!

2013 Topps s1 fave Pierzynski Barney Reddick Inge

The gimmicks (variations) and the parallels are a bit much – but it is kind of neat to put together a rainbow of cards like the Reddick one shown above.  Overall, the flagship effort from Topps was my favorite of 2013!





2013 Card of the Year runner-up

29 12 2013

2013 Topps Darwin Barney

I picked this card as my card of the year about a week ago when I first wrote this post.  I figured for the second time in 3 years, I’d be picking a base Topps card depicting a walk-off home run as my annual winner.  In 2011, Jay Bruce beat out the competition, and I’ll freely admit that my bias as a Reds fan went into that choice (Ken Griffey’s Gypsy auto last year was my 2012 winner).  This year, to be honest, there just didn’t seem to be as much competition from other notable new names to the Topps allotment of players.  But then I remembered one card from Heritage that, in my mind at least, beats out this great Darwin Barney card.

The Barney card, which is #299 from Topps series 1, jumped out at me from the day I saw it back in February.  I’m not a Cubs fan, but I do live in Chicago, and there’s something about Wrigley Field and the lovable losers.  This card captures a cool moment in a baseball game in a way that is hard to replicate.  You can not only see Barney’s reaction mid-stride in clear-cut, HD-type fashion, but you can also see the reaction of the fans.  Cards like Bruce’s walk-off and the one Topps had last year of Tim Hudson don’t capture the background quite as well.  Plus, it’s so clearly at Wrigley Field from the bricks in the stands.  I know, if it’s a walk-off homer by a Cub – naturally it’s at Wrigley.  But the point is – you can tell it on the card, you can almost feel the emotion.  This card makes me wish I was at that game.

The game, by the way was on May 30, 2012, which was a day game between the lowly Cubs and Padres.  The Padres had led most of the day, but the Cubs tied it in the 8th and Barney hit a two-run homer to win it with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th off of Dale Thayer.