Monday, May 19, 2014

Were cards that lousy 7 years ago?

The year 2007 was not a shining example of the greatness of baseball cards. Out of all of the sets that were released that year, I think the only one that stood out as memorable was Upper Deck Masterpieces.

The year also marked the real start of the variation plague that we're still dealing with today. The most famous incident is the Topps Derek Jeter card featuring a photoshopped George Bush in the stands and Mickey Mantle in the dugout. It turns out it wasn't a variation at all as Topps didn't issue a later "correction." This means that Topps had tricked collectors into spending crazy amounts of money on what was, and still is, a base card.

Because of that, and other trickery foisted on the 2007 Topps set, I don't have a great opinion of it. It doesn't help that the inserts in the set (excluding the "Distinguished Service" series) are among the worst ever. Alex Rodriguez Road to 500 and Generation Now can die in a fire. I will supply the accelerant.

However, I will not criticize the base-set design.

I know some -- probably a lot -- don't like it. Those black borders are murder, you know. And what's with the wasted border space? And the random colored squares?

But I prefer to view each card as film strip. That helps make the photos emerge as if you were viewing them on a movie screen. To me the cards are sleek, and very different. You know how much I love 1971 Topps. As far as chipping, I'm not 10 years old anymore. I can protect my cards enough to avoid chipping.

It was with all that knowledge that I encountered the 98-cent rack packs of 2007 Topps at Walmart a couple of weekends ago. They were overshadowed by the 2013 Opening Day blasters for $2.98, but I got around to them eventually.

I bought eight rack packs the other day. The All-Star rack pack exclusive cards are headed to Paul, but I was looking forward to what base cards I could find that I needed.

I wasn't expecting too many as all of the rack packs are from the first series and I did a considerable amount of purchasing the first series that year (I still remember sitting in the car waiting for my daughter to get out of school and opening '07 Topps). But, who knows? Maybe I'd get that Jeter card that has eluded me for so long.

As I opened the packs, I did find some cards I needed, maybe about 4 or 5 per rack pack.

 Those are all needs. Still don't know why Topps began the set with John Lackey.

Those are needs, too. Ah, the days when Andrew Miller was a thing.

I also pulled some team cards I needed. I miss base set team cards.

Look, it's the "rookie card" of Troy Tulowitzki!

Fielding poses in the stands are kind of ridiculous, and very 2006-07. But I like it.

He's got to find his hitting stroke. Psst, Hanley, it's a contract year!

The Tampa Bay "fog" photos from this time are so bizarrely creepy. If people are still collecting cards 50 years from now, I think these will be some of those "what the hell were they doing" cards.

And there it is.

This came out of the last rack pack that I opened. The fourth-to-last card.

I looked online and I see that it's still selling for 5 bucks or more in a lot of places.

So paying 98 cents to get this is a nice little bargain for a set that I haven't given a thought to in several years.

2007 Topps should get a little more respect than it does. We clamor for black refractors and black-border A&G minis. But '07 Topps is all black borders all the time.

I think these rack packs may be enough to make me put my '07 cards in a binder and see what I need. I have no immediate plans to collect the set -- but I know they'll look killer in a binder. It's one of those sets that's pretty useless in a box.

Hell, I need to have something from 2007 in a binder.



  2. Yes. 2007 Topps was that lousy. I bought tons of it and it seems to spread like a plague through my collection.

  3. I was just getting back into the hobby at the tail end of the '07 year. I think a big problem of '07 and '08 is that they are like '89-'91. Some nice sets, but holy overproduction.
    It seems that they've got that under a wee bit of control now. Or at least the illusion is there.

  4. I have always had a thing for 2007 Topps as well. I like it a lot more than 2006 Topps and a whole lot more than 2007 Upper Deck or 2007 Fleer. Of course maybe it is that I got back into the hobby in 2008 and wasn't completely overwhelmed with this set. I do agree that the 2007 set had some of the worst inserts of all time.

  5. Hey! That Ryan Braun is the only player that features my hometown on it as the location where the player was born.

    And that's all I know about that Ryan Braun.

    1. As someone who missed out on *that* Ryan Braun because he was an AL player on the Royals, I was very, very confused when I saw it.

  6. one black sharpie = bye-bye chipping. of course if the little white chips bother someone that much, permanently defacing a 5 cent baseball card is possibly too much for them as well.

    I've been thinking to match up all the players I want from '07 with the strange white parallel in Opening Day that year.

    I think I'm going to add Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin cards to my Cabrera PC…would that be mean?

  7. I have the Jeter without the Bush/Mantle. I think I pulled it from a pack in 2007. True that on the worst inserts ever in 2007 Topps.

    1. I believe the non-Bush/Mantle Jeters were issued only in factory sets.

  8. Don't forget the red numbers parallels - exactly the same except the back numbers etc are red. Didn't collect the normal set, but liked the white OD set better. Then I came into a starter lot of the red numbers and am close to finishing those.

    1. I didn't know about these. I'll have to check and see if I have any when I get home...

  9. Do you have any wants for UD Masterpieces? I've got a 2007 set to trade (as well as some singles) and singles of almost all of the 08 set to trade.

    1. I don't plan to try to collect/complete the Masterpieces sets.

  10. I personally like the 2007 Topps design. Although it could be because I'm not too fond of the 06 design and 08 design and 07 looks like a Van Gogh creation by comparison.

  11. That Bush card is awesome! I always thought they corrected it and that's what drove up the value. That's pretty shady of Topps.

  12. The Gooch nailed it and I agree, but...
    ...Braun looks like a thug...
    ...Cabrera looks stuck in time...
    ...and I never, ever want to see Jim Tracy walking towards me like that.
    But that Jeter / Bush card is incredible.

  13. That freaking Jeter card is the whole reason I didn't buy any 2007 in 2007. By the time I went to the my hobby shop to pick up a box the Jeter Frenzy had skyrocketed prices to crazy prices, but I hope Topps learned that black bordered cards are a terrible idea, terrible.

  14. they also have no signature variations as well as a Daisuke Matsuzaka japanese version of his rookie card.