Skip to main content

Define the design: 73T, 76T, 08T

First off, I would like to say, a hearty, long-overdue, much-deserved congratulations to ...

Heh, heh. Don't worry. I'm not congratulating them. They'll be patting themselves on the back long into next year. They don't need me. So, instead, I've decided to ignore them. And it may last all the way through 2010.

(However, if I happen to hear one more Yankee say, "it's been a long time," I am going to set out to play every lottery and visit every casino in the country for the REST OF MY LIFE until I win enough to buy a baseball team. Then I'm going to pool my vast cash-laden resources with a few richy-rich Cubs fans who really know what "a long time" means, rename my club the Antiyankees, and make the team's mission statement as follows: "We will do everything possible to make sure the Yankees don't win again until every other team has won 27 World Series titles.")

No, my congratulations are going to the 2008 Topps set, whose design will now be known as the "circus circles" design. The name reflects the colorful backdrop behind the team name, which resembles old-style circus advertisements.

I think that's a pretty obvious name for the design, but if someone has something better, I'm listening.

I'd also like to hear folks' ideas for a design name for this set:

The 1973 Topps set. It's a simple design, especially when you compare it with the set from the previous year. The '73 set is probably most identifiable by its position logo.

But that brings up the question: If we name the '73 design after its position logo, then what do we name the '76 Topps design?

It's also a design that featured a tiny drawing for each of the positions. Perhaps a name focusing on the two-tone bars at the bottom works better for this set.

But that's what I'm looking for: a name for both the '73 and '76 Topps sets. I haven't come up with anything myself, so I really need some ideas.

No prizes this time, since there's already a contest going on at NOC right now. But I'm thinking of adding the names of the people who came up with the designs to my "Define the Design" sidebar. That means you have the chance to be forever immortalized on "Night Owl Cards." You know, like those paper shamrocks with people's names on them that they plaster all over the wall at Kmart around St. Patrick's Day?

Yeah, I know. Whoopee.


  1. I called '08 Topps "Circus retro" when I first saw the design. That damn set has almost completely soured me on Topps' base set so now I'd call it mud.

    I could be cynical and call '73 Topps "Horrible grainy action photo set" but that's not nice.

    The first thing I think of with '73 is that circle behind the position logo. the first thing I think about '76 Topps are those stripes at the bottom. "Circle" and "stripes" are a little bland so howzabout "Silhouette position set" and The Colorful name stripes set".

    Eeech, those sound bad too. Someone improve on that. Have you done '83 Topps yet? That needs to be the kickass awesome set.

  2. '73 is the Avatar Set; '76 is the ASL Set*

    *American Sign Language; the image in the corner reminds be of deaf signers on a TV program

  3. I always thought of the '08 set as the "Dippin' Dots" set.

  4. As a former employee of Dippin Dots, I agree Nacho

  5. The bottom corner of 1973 Topps reminds me of the opening credits of a James Bond movie, so I am going with "Baseball Diamonds are Forever"

  6. I was going to say "Silhouette set", but dayf beat me to it....I do second his nomination though.

  7. I call 2008 the Circus Balloons set.
    After really looking at the 1973 design, I'd go for something like "Big Name Spotlight set" for the large last names and the position icon.
    1976's color bands have become one of my favorite vintage designs. But the color bands set is kinda lame. Maybe the "Firm Foundation" set because of the solid base to each picture.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Addressing the elephant in the room

A few people have noticed: I changed the way the blog looked with zero fanfare earlier this week.

I've changed my blog appearance, I think, six times now, although one was just a header swap. Just about all of those came with a bit of a warning or explanation.

I didn't think that was necessary this time, mostly because I've been doing this for over a decade, am pretty established, and don't think I need to justify my decisions here.

But also I thought that people were familiar with the general changes in web sites over the last two, three, four years and wouldn't be that affected by it. For the most part that seems to be true -- or, no one cares and they're all looking at pretty instagram pictures.

I've received a couple of questions though and just because I hate the feeling that some readers are lost, I'll explain what I can.

The changes, like many web site changes, are related to mobile phone use.

I've been irked by the way my blog looks on my p…

Not done with baseball but so done with 2019 baseball cards

I stayed true to my vow to avoid viewing most of the League Championship Series. After the NLDS debacle, my heart wasn't in another round of baseball.

I did sit down for a little bit of Game 4 of the Nats-Cards and, of course, I had to watch the highlights of Game 6 of the Astros-Yankees.

But that was about it, and I placed a "TBD" on the World Series, too. "We'll see how I feel," I said.

Well, the World Series starts tomorrow and I fully plan to watch it -- at least the portions that do not air when I am at work. I've decided that I'm just not done with baseball yet. The Astros-Nationals appeals to me a bit just because of all the fantastic starting pitching matchups. So, baseball, you're off the hook. I'll still watch you.

Your trading card sets, however ...

That's another matter.

I'm finished with buying 2019 cards. I knew that a few weeks ago, probably a few months ago. But it hit home when I was opening the five loose packs of …

Mind explosion: a different way to sort

This may have been one of the most tedious blog posts to put together in the history of this blog, but I think it's for a good cause.

The reason I'm not entirely sure is because I didn't have time to carry it out for a few more attempts, got to shovel that 7 inches of heavy wet snow plopped on my estate on Nov. 12th.

Anyway, a couple of days ago, Colbey from Cardboard Collections was sorting his Topps Holiday set by card number and asked a very common question that I've seen come up many times during my blogging career:

 This is always a satisfying question because this is how I organize my sets when I'm organizing by card number. At the top of the post I showed cards from the 2019 Topps flagship set being sorted in that manner -- stacks separated by hundreds first, then you create separate stacks by 10s within each hundreds stack, then finally order each of the 10s by card number.

I've done this since I was a kid and first knew the card numbers on the back me…