Topps recently announced that it's looking for collectors to vote for their favorite Topps baseball design for each decade since the 1950s.
There is a site where you can go to place your vote. Topps says that the winning designs for each decade will appear in packs of 2020 Topps Series 1. It doesn't go into detail about what that specifically means so I don't know if we're going to see regurgitated reprints of cards from the design, or cards with buyback stamps on them, or actual old cards from those designs (the much preferred option).
This is all well-worn territory for both Topps and collectors who obsess about past designs like me. But since I like that stuff, I thought I'd go through each decade and make my selections and post them here for all to see.
Also, I'll add some extra stuff like those people do when they're handicapping the Oscar winners and I read it all the time even though I have no idea what the movies are.
My vote: 1956 Topps
What I think will win: 1952 Topps
What would be most useful to me (if Topps is actually inserting old cards into packs): Anything from the '50s would be useful, although I suppose I have most of the '56 Topps cards and unless Topps is throwing Roberto Clemente or Mickey Mantle cards in there I have a better shot of something I need from another year.
Other observations: One of the things I was pleased to see is you can vote for the 1951 Topps design. Topps often ignores that set and begins instead with the overplayed '52 design. Also, the '50s sets are what make me think that we're not going to see actual old cards in packs, or at least not '50s old cards in packs. How are you going to fit cards from '52-56, when cards were bigger, into standard packs?
My vote: 1965 Topps
What I think will win: 1965 or 1963. Maybe 1962.
What would be most useful to me: Just about anything, although chances of me having the card already is more likely for '67 or '69.
Other observations: My favorite design from the '60s is 1967 but I think the '65 design is too much of a classic and should be the decade representative.
My vote: 1975 Topps
What I think will win: Probably '75. I can't see a groundswell for any other set from that decade.
What would be most useful to me: 1970. Almost everything else is already in the collection.
Other observations: Even though I completed the 1975 set 15 years ago, the thought of finding '75 Topps cards in packs of 2020 Topps still makes me smile. I'd probably be thrilled with any of the '70s choices (provided, again, that they're actual old cards) because I was pulling those cards when I was a kid.
My vote: 1983 Topps
What I think will win: 1987 Topps
What would be most useful to me: I own the whole decade. I suppose a card from 1980-82 might meet upgrade needs.
Other observations: If '87 Topps ends up appearing in 2020 packs that might be enough to not bother collecting the set next year. I am sick into the afterlife of the '87 Topps set and all of its many, many, way too many odes. I think it's time to put the design in a lock box, bury it and include a message that says, "do not open until 2036 Heritage."
My vote: 1992
What I think will win: 1991 or 1992
What would be most useful to me: Anything from 1992-99. Although I have a difficult time categorizing cards from this decade as "useful."
Other observations: I probably like 1991 Topps' design better than 1992 but '92 is so bright and clean. Turning away from gray cardboard helps create that effect, but the colorful fronts are just too appealing. I especially like the horizontal cards in this set.
My vote: 2003 Topps
What I think will win: I don't really know. Possibly 2003. Maybe 2000?
What is most useful to me: Anything that's not from the back half of the decade, chiefly cards from 2000-03. Of course, I don't know if I want to see any butterscotch 2002 cards popping out of my packs.
Other observations: I almost picked 2004 but then I thought "all that foil!" Unfortunately, anything you choose from the 2000s will include foil.
My vote: 2015 Topps
What I think will win: 2015.
What is most useful to me: This brings up a good point: why am I voting for years in which I have completed the set already? Shouldn't I pick a set where I have a chance of pulling cards I need? (Of course if these are just reprints, who cares?). Most useful to me would be the 2018 Topps set as that really grew on me.
Other observations: Anybody who votes for 2016 Topps should have their collector's badge revoked and their name posted in every hobby shop like they do at the post office.
So, that was a fun little exercise, even if I knew what the results would be already.
I'm not expecting much from this. Anytime you ask the public for help you're going to get something unappealing. But even if that doesn't happen, I fully expect Topps to botch the execution.