I was finally able to spend a little bit of money on my hobby today. I wrapped up a few card packages ready for shipment and then headed out to the card aisle, where I haven't traveled in more than a month.
Though weeks have passed, there was still very little that I cared to buy. I settled on a blaster of Archives just because I've been itching to document all of my issues with this product.
Here they are in handy, bite-size form:
1. It ain't 2001-02 Archives or 2003-05 Fan Favorites: Nothing about cards disappointed me more than when I found this out last year. I really wanted to like this product and it spit on me. All Topps had to do was use all of its classic designs in the base set, as it's done before, and everything would be forgiven. But, nope, instead it randomly chooses four designs for the base set -- like 'em or not -- and basically turns the set into four different sets. It's disjointed and annoys me.
2. Flimsy card stock: I guess it's the way of the card world now to print photos on index cards. Only high-roller sets can get decent card stock. This fact just sealed my opinion of the set as the hobby's biggest disappointment last year.
3. Anything good is a high-number, insert or hit: This set is designed solely for insert- and hit-chasers. Fan Favorites autographs and the like. The best ideas are included only in the odds on the side of the box. Good luck, sucker.
That's the only card I loved in last year's Archives, and it's a high number. And I had to get it at a card show. Because people who don't live near card shops aren't good enough for cards like these.
So, this time I bought a blaster just to make sure I found something decent.
Let's see what fell out:
#15 - Mike Morse, Mariners
Always have to show the first card. Last year the Topps designs selected out of a hat were from 1954, 1971, 1980 and 1984. This year, they are 1972, 1982, 1985 and 1990. Topps is beating the '72 psychedelic tombstones design to death this year. I'm pretty numb to the design now. Not numb to the actual '72s, though, they still get me giddy.
#58 - Cole Hamels, Phillies ('82)
#107 - Kendrys Morales, Mariners ('85)
#GH-YB - Yogi Berra, Yankees, Gallery of Heroes insert
See what I mean? You want nice stuff, better pull an insert, son. These are 1:34 packs.
#50 - Miguel Cabrera, Tigers ('72)
#59 - Joe Morgan, Reds ('82)
#115 - Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks ('85)
A couple of things about this card: Why are we choosing Miami Hurricanes colors for the Diamondbacks? That is a lot of ugly there.
Also, the cap is photoshopped to look airbrushed for some odd reason. Goldschmidt played 145 games for Arizona last year. Don't know why this is happening.
The '85 tributes feature card backs that are just as difficult to read as the actual 1985 cards.
#183 - Scott Diamond, Twins ('90)
#180 - Buster Posey, Giants ('90)
#8 - Roy Halladay, Phillies ('72)
#75 - C.J. Wilson, Angels ('82)
#118 - Brandon Belt, Giants ('85)
#213 - Juan Samuel, Phillies (SP, '87)
The back interested me:
The back is a reprint of the actual 1987 Topps Samuel card, which happens to mention Pete Rose on it. You remember that flap in 2013 Series 1 about Topps not being able to mention Rose's name? Well, they're mentioning it here in a 2013 product.
#34 - Dwight Gooden, Mets ('72)
#90 - Matt Cain, Giants ('82)
#109 - Sergio Romo, Giants ('85)
Did you notice that four of the cards in that pack were Giants?
I sure did.
This is one of the reasons why I'm not buying a lot of current cards this year.
#191 - Mark Teixeira, Yankees ('90)
#43 - Starling Marte, Pirates ('72)
#80 - Jered Weaver, Angels ('82)
#69S-THBK (this is the weirdest card number I have ever seen) Mike Trout-Bryce Harper-Ryan Braun-Matt Kemp stickers insert
The fact that Braun and Kemp are next to each other is what's going to eventually make me separate this card. Kemp stays with me. I take no responsibility for what happens to the others.
#185 - Stan Musial, Cardinals ('90) (strange card)
#31 - Brock Holt, Red Sox ('72)
#99 - Joey Votto, Reds ('82)
#120 - Ted Williams, Red Sox (the career stats on the back of this card are impossible to read)
#135 - Adam Wainwright, Cardinals ('85)
#190 - Dave Winfield, Yankees ('90)
#10 - Matt Kemp, Dodgers ('72)
#71 - Darwin Barney, Cubs ('82)
There is not one thing in that signature that says "Darwin Barney".
#83-NR - Nolan Ryan, Astros ('83 all-star insert)
#192 - Adam Eaton, Diamondbacks ('90)
#46 - Justin Morneau, Twins ('72)
#91 - Brandon Beachy, Braves ('82)
#103 - Mike Minor, Braves ('85) (Almost guessing on the card numbers, I can barely see them)
#182 - Andre Ethier, Dodgers ('90)
Odd man out ... if the Dodgers ever get healthy.
#35 - Adam Dunn, White Sox ('72)
#MT-DP - Dave Parker, Pirates (football tall boy insert)
This is what I like in Archives this year. I like the concept, the retro bright colors. Pretty cool.
#128 - Mark Trumbo, Angels ('85)
#177 - Starlin Castro, Cubs ('90)
Some of the 1990 cards are hideous.
#39 - Lance Lynn, Cardinals ('72)
#98 - Jesus Montero, Mariners ('82)
#74 - Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks ('82)
#117 - Carlos Santana, Indians ('85)
#160 - Felix Hernandez, Mariners ('90)
#22 - Alex Rios, White Sox ('72) (exact same image as in his 2013 base card)
#233 - Vince Coleman, Cardinals (SP, '86)
#113 - Jake Peavy, White Sox ('85)
#159 - Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies ('90)
#20 - Albert Pujols, Angels ('72)
#79 - Josh Willingham, Twins ('82)
#112 - Kris Medlen, Braves ('85)
#60R-NM - Nick Markakis, Orioles, relic
Now you know why I got a blaster. If I bought one pack and it was that Giants-palooza pack, this post would have been a lot, lot angrier, and not very helpful.
#82 - Tom Seaver, Mets ('82)
#150 - Jose Bautista, Blue Jays ('85)
#188 - Mat Latos, Reds ('90)
#176 - Jose Altuve, Astros ('90) (more 2013 base photo duplicating)
#26 - Jayson Werth, Nationals ('72)
#83 - Jim Johnson, Orioles ('82)
#123 - Jean Segura, Brewers ('85)
#83-DE - Darrell Evans, Giants, '83 Topps all-star insert
#14 - Yoenis Cespedes, A's ('72)
#66 - Tim Hudson, Braves ('82)
#125 - Kyle Lohse, Cardinals ('85)
So, obviously, I'm not collecting this set.
However, I have ideas of where most of these cards are going already. After all, I'm massively behind in sending out card packages (and yet another reason why I bought a blaster). But I plan to keep the Parker until I can figure out what to do with it.
I'm still down on this set. Whatever I don't distribute or trade off will go in a box to be forgotten. But it's not as depressing as it was last year. I think I've gotten over that a little bit.
Still, the best part of the set is this:
Yeah, the wrapper.
What can I say?
I watched this as a kid.