I received a big ol' box from my buddy Dave a week or two ago. Dave's mailings defy conventional blogging traditions. There's no way I can fit the contents into one post. So I'll have to break it up into themes, as usual.
Today's theme is, gee, golly whiz, didn't Topps do a bang-up job on 2015 cards?
What you see above is two stacks of 2015 product that came out of the box that Dave sent. Each one is a set I am collecting -- Stadium Club and flagship (flagship stack contains Series 2 and Update needs).
I'll repeat: I am collecting two 2015 sets.
Actually, I am collecting three 2015 sets. The fact that you never read about the third set that I am collecting (Allen and Ginter) gives you an idea of how good of a job Topps did in 2015. I can't even focus on (nor devote money toward) all the sets I want to complete.
To underline exactly what Topps accomplished, I'll mention that just under three years ago, I was so annoyed with Topps that I said I didn't think I'd collect another modern set again. And, you will find on this very blog, statements in 2015 in which I say that I won't collect 2015 flagship and I won't collect 2015 Stadium Club.
Wow, Topps, you're good.
When I wrote those things, I really meant them. I was mad, I was broke, whatever. But it is the prerogative of a collector to change his mind, to find new things to appreciate, to switch gears. And it helps that Topps issued sets that are actually collectible.
Stadium Club is an insanely attractive set and nothing gets in the way of trying to collect it. No hobby only. No short-prints. The inserts and parallels aren't even a concern for me. Yeah, the set is a little pricey, so much so that a 300-card set seems more like a 600-card set, but it turns out it wasn't enough for me not to collect it. I have people like Dave to thank for that.
The Topps flagship set simply appeals to what I like in a card set. It is colorful, the design is interesting but not strange, and the photos are respectable. There are still too many closeups and sameness in many of the pictures, but this is a set that will look spectacular in a binder and I can't wait to get it in there. And that's a sign that Topps has done good.
Often times, if I am trying to collect a flagship set, I'll collect series 1 and series 2 and then spend the update set collecting casually. This year, I've put up want lists for all three sets.
Collecting is back, baby.
So, anyway, I can't possibly show all of the 2015 cards that Dave sent, but I will show the top 6 of each, starting with Series 2/Update:
6. Massive arm tat aside -- Kolten Wong apparently thinks he's in MMA -- this is a nice action/reaction shot. The rookie cup doesn't hurt.
5. The first card of a new star in a new uniform is always a thrill. This was the original thrill of the first Traded sets. Good to see it's still a thing.
4. Catchers make great cards.
3. I'm trying to decide if this is a "guuuuuuuh" moment or whether Davis just got to the ball a little too late. Probably the latter.
2. The second catching Perez on this list! What are the odds?
1. Sadly, Heyward's cards will never look as good now that he's a Cub.
Just one more thing before moving on to Stadium Club:
I really have no desire to put this in my binder. I don't collect pictures of Gatorade.
6. Baseball is goofy as hell. Guy in a suit and tie with a monstrous fake baseball looming behind him.
5. I'm not 100 percent sure that this photo appeared in Sports Illustrated, but it screams "Sports Illustrated."
4. This reminds me that I want to be the first to tell you that the new Star Wars movie appeared in theaters today. Almost nobody is talking about it. You're welcome.
3. Nice photo, but Wheeler is being completely overshadowed by not one but two people on this card.
2. If Bo Jackson never climbed a wall or carried a football, he'd still take a good photo.
1. SCOREBOARD! SCOREBOARD! SCOREBOARD!
Oh, one more thing on Stadium Club, too:
How could I not collect this set?