Thursday, June 6, 2019

My decade design votes


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 votes:

1950s


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?


1960s


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.


1970s


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.


1980s


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."


1990s


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.


2000s


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.


2010s


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.

15 comments:

  1. I actually have the 2004 Topps set in pages. I guess I will have to live with all that chrome for the rest of time!

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  2. Tops says that the winning *designs* will appear, right? I don’t think it will be original cards. I think it will be new cards in those designs, the way they have 1984-style cards this year (and 1983-style last year). As long as it’s not reprints! I do feel obliged to make the joke that with all the trimming scandals lately, maybe that’s how they get 50s cards into packs.

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    1. And now that I’ve voted, can we talk about the players shown on the voting site? How does Dave Stewart get in with all those all-time legends? I mean, he was a fine pitcher, but just about everyone else is at least close to HOF caliber. And why are so many players repeated, but no sign of Seaver, Mantle (I guess they don’t want to use him because of the Panini deal?), Musial, Mize, Bench, Pedro Martinez, Gary Carter, Mariano Rivera, Wilhelm, Kiner, or Frank Robinson? How are there two Glavines and no Maddux? I realize this is a bizarre thing to care about, but...well, I don’t know, I notice these things.

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  3. Hmm..I'm skeptical that Topps will include original cards from the '50s in packs of 2020 flagship when it is so much easier for them to use recycled pictures of said cards as inserts. Best case scenario? We get seven decades of stamped Rediscover Topps buybacks with authentic '52 singles a tough but theoretically possible pull (though I dare say it would be a crime to stamp such cards.) Worst case scenario? Rediscover Topps "inserts" like this.

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    1. For what it's worth, 2011 Topps included buy backs from the entire Topps run and that included early 1950's cards in their packs. You'd just get a redemption card for anything from 1952-1956.

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    2. 2006 Topps also included old original cards in its rack packs. I realize that was 13 years ago, but it's been done.

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  4. A few things that come to mind. I think 1971 might put up a good fight with 1975 Topps. 2011 might win out over 2015 just because of the parade of amazing rookie cards in the update set that's highlighted by Mike Trout.

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    1. Agreed on 2011 now that I think about it. Never underestimate the power of rookie overkill.

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  5. Great subject. My votes 1950s - 1957 1960s - 1963 1970s - 1975 (no contest) 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s - They are all kind of a blur. I agree with Brett and Chris, don't think there will be any original cards.

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  6. 2011 > 2015.
    That was my first year in the hobby, I love the design, and 2015 is my least favorite design (that has a border) in the 2010's.

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  7. You and I see eye to eye from the 50's to the 80's... although on any given day the 1972 and 1976 designs can give the 1975 design a run for their money. I'm not really a fan of any 90's Topps design, but if I had to pick one... it'd be 1991. 2000's would be 2008. And as we make our way into the 2010's... we're back on the same page with the 2015 design.

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  8. There's no way these will be original cards. The Topps suits got together for a special meeting because they are out of ideas and Heritage, Archives, rookie card inserts, and the annual overblown tribute insert set aren't enough avenues to recycle old designs.

    Having said that,...Bat Around!

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  9. Does anyone have any expectation that Topps is going to do something right with this shimmy-sham?

    Imagine what involves the least expense on their part and the most revenue gain from you, and think if "original cards" plays into that concept whatsoever.

    Here, I will save you the trouble........ NO!

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  10. I think we voted for four of the same sets. We'll see what Topps does with the winners but I thought it was cool.

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  11. I agree with almost all of your choices. I have no affinity to any 2000s set, but I picked 04.

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