I just don't understand the overall consensus on this year's crop of Topps inserts. As far as I can tell, the Classic Walk-Offs set isn't very well-liked.
Meanwhile, I've read praise for some of the "Golden" inserts, which I detest as the most "mail-it-in" group of inserts I've seen since the days when Topps was counting Mickey Mantle home runs. I'm also not all that fascinated by the '87-style minis.
To me, the only redeeming insert in 2012 Topps is the Classic Walk-Offs set.
I agree that the design of the insert stinks and a card should never be designed for the sake of an autograph or relic unless it is actually going to include an autograph or relic. But aside from that, there is so much more that could have been done with an insert set like this ... besides repeating the same image, I mean.
Because the concept is awesome. Famous walk-off home runs throughout history? Baseball? History? Dramatic home runs? You're speaking my language.
OK, Bobby Thomson isn't included in this set. (You think I'm going to complain about that?) Joe Carter's not here either. Or Kirk Gibson. Yet there are four different cards of Yankees. That's not so great. I suppose the set is based more on whether Topps could get an autograph/relic from the player than the most memorable walk-offs.
So, yes, the set isn't perfect. But I'm a concept guy and the basic concept -- before it got mucked up -- is perfect. It's simple, yet strikes at the core of why people love baseball. There needs to be an insert set like this every year. Memorable No-Hitters. Longest Home Runs. Crazy Inside-the-Park Homers. Greatest Pitcher-Batter Confrontations. Greatest Umpire-Manager Confrontations. Memorable Plays at the Plate. Fantastic Catches. I mean, The MLB Network is all over stuff like this with its relentless countdown shows.
There is no end to the categories that you could create. All of these sets would be sets I would think about completing. They would be compelling and could include great photos.
I'm not going to try to complete this particular set. There are too many flaws. But it'd be cool if this was Topps' first try on the theme of great baseball achievements of the past.
Now that would be an insert series that is golden.