Yesterday, Ryan from Beckett Media announced the old-school Topps designs chosen for this year's Archives set, which will be released in the summer.
The three designs selected for 2020 Archives are:
Yes ... 2002. More on that in a moment.
I don't think I'm saying anything controversial when I state that these are not three of the more popular Topps designs. In fact, with many collectors, these are three stinkers.
But I'm not one of those collectors. Two stinkers? Sure. But three, well that would mean you're underestimating 1974 Topps for about the bamillionth time.
I love the 1974 set. If you've been paying attention to this blog at all, you know that. I've written several odes, including this most recent one that I'm going to tell myself caused Topps to run back into its work office and exclaim "WE HAVE GOT TO PUT THE '74 DESIGN IN ARCHIVES NEXT YEAR!!!"
This is the first baseball card design I ever saw, on the first baseball cards I ever owned. You can imagine how often that design swirled in my brain on lazy summer afternoons in 1974 as all I had to do at that time is stare at my baseball cards and wonder where my next cookie was coming from. There was no internet, no gameboy, no cable. This was IT, people.
Topps, whether it's been Archives or with any of its old-design tributes, has neglected the '74 design something awful. No, not as much as it's neglected the '78 design, but I'm not going to complain about that now when '74 is finally getting some respect.
Now, as far as the other designs, they're not going to get me to buy Archives.
The only 1955 Topps cards that have found their way into my collection have been Dodgers. I own no other '55 Topps. I once was gifted a Warren Spahn from '55 and I traded it away. I once pulled a '55 Frank Baumholtz out of a vending machine at a card show and I traded it away.
To me, the '55 set and the design wasa trial run for the greatness of 1956, and I don't see modern players improving on the look of that set in Archives.
Plus one-third of the set is going to be horizontal and I know that's going to annoy some collectors (personally I don't care).
Now, this thing.
I already feel sorry for the players that will appear on the 2002 design in Archives this year.
The brown mustard design is so unappealing that I have somehow managed to accumulate only ... let me see here ... nine ... cards from the set.
That doesn't include the Dodgers, for which I have the entire 2002 set because design doesn't matter with the Dodgers, it's all just mindless accumulation. See blue, see interlocking L and A, collect.
The 2002 set is so meaningless to me that I have referenced it six times, as far as I can tell, on this blog. That is just about rock bottom when adding up how often I've written about past Topps sets.
I do admire the risk taken with using '02 instead of '03 or '97 or something a bit more pleasing and modern. This also marks the first time Archives has used a Topps design from this century so that's got to count for something.
The best part of selecting these three designs is that no matter which design that Clayton Kershaw appears on, it will be a new addition to my Through The Years collection as I try to accumulate Kershaw on every Topps flagship design.
So, there you go, Topps listening to me again!
But anyway, it looks like when Archives comes around, I'll be collecting just one-third of the set again.
I can't wait to see those '74s.
I mean look at that!