Skip to main content

Tight-lipped


Topps always gets me with its annual release date of the flagship set. By releasing it in late January, it's still fresh on the shelves during what I call the "second gift-buying season."

The first gift-buying season, of course, is Christmas. The second (or actually I guess it's the first if you're going by the calendar) is early February to the end of March. That season includes the holiday that we are celebrating (or dismissing) today and quite a number of birthdays.

I always find myself in stores at this time and some of those stores have card aisles. It's inevitable. I drift toward the cards as a reward for suffering through whatever section of the store that is overrun with hearts or crafts or clothes or that makeup/jewelry/purses, bags and scarves blackhole where I suddenly can't breathe.

At this time, flagship is still a little interesting, even for someone who isn't trying to complete the set.

So, last night, I grabbed a rack pack and shuffled through a bunch of not-so-interesting cards.

But I did find one thing to occupy my time.

These six cards came out of the pack consecutively:


Notice anything that they all have in common?

I picked up on it right away.

But maybe you need another view.



All of them are in the act of throwing. And all of them have the same closed-mouth expression on their face.

Apparently this is the expression that people make when they are about to throw and are focused on a target. But I don't think I need so many of these kinds of photos in a set that six cards in a row produce the same facial expression.


And I've already mentioned this card.

In fact, I've ragged on the same general topic before. The last few years, Topps seems so obsessed with zooming in on players' expressions that we get the same weird faces. Only now we're getting the same same weird faces.

I've read people comment on whether the photography is better or worse this year. I think it's basically the same. It's good photography, but I'd just like a little better mix, man.

This card was in the same pack:


Now that's a great photo. It doesn't look anything like the cards that I showed above. In fact, it doesn't look anything like any of the cards I've pulled from the set this year. OK, his mouth is closed in focused determination, too, but it's a whole different view.

That's what I'd like to see more of -- cards that are distinct on their own, rather than the same "oooh, look he's really TRYING" photo.

Hell, I'd even take some posed shots over the same tight-lipped picture over and over again.

In fact let's look at one of those again:


That looks like my expression when I'm in the makeup/jewelry/purses, bags and scarves blackhole.

I'm getting short of breath just looking at it.

Comments

JediJeff said…
"That looks like my expression when I'm in the makeup/jewelry/purses, bags and scarves blackhole."

Cuz you can't decide which goes with your current outfit?
Unknown said…
That's the problem with action shots, players aren't posing
Fuji said…
Mr. Nelson looks like a Cabbage Patch cartoon character... assuming that there was a Cabbage Patch cartoon at some point.

Popular posts from this blog

Stuck in traffic with Series 2

In the whirlwind that has been my life this month, I found myself going absolutely nowhere for a portion of Thursday afternoon. I was in the middle of yet another road trip, the third one this week. This one was for work, and because it was job-related, it became quickly apparent that it would be a waste of time. The only thing that could save it was a side visit to the nearby Walmart to see if I could spot some Topps Series 2. I found it right away, which was shocking as I was pretty much in the middle of the country, where SUVs share the road with tractors and buggies. Who knew that the Amish wanted Series 2, too? The problem was getting back into civilization to open the contents of the 72-card hanger box I bought. The neighboring village is undergoing a summer construction project smack in the middle of downtown. It's not much of a downtown, but the main road happens to be the main artery in the entire county. Everyone -- and by everyone I mean every tractor trailer ha

Heading upstate

  Back in 1999, Sports Illustrated published an edition at the end of the year rating the top 50 athletes of the century for every state.   As a lifelong Upstate New Yorker, I braced for a list of New York State athletes that consisted almost entirely of downstate natives, that is, folks from the greater NYC area and Long Island.   We Upstaters are used to New York City trampling all over the rest of the state. They have the most people, the loudest voices. It happens all the time. It's a phenomenon unique to this state. Heck, there are still people out there who, when you tell them you're from New York, automatically think you're from NYC. They don't think of cows and chickens when they think of New York. But trust me, there are a lot of cows and chickens in New York State. Especially cows.   So, anyway, when I counted up the baseball players that SI listed as the greatest from New York State, six of the nine were from New York City or Long Island. I was surprised all

G.O.A.T, the '80s: 30-21

  I often call this current period of the television sports calendar the black hole of sports programming. The time between the end of the Super Bowl and the beginning of televised Spring Training baseball games is an empty void when I'm looking for something to watch on traditional television. I don't watch the NBA and I find the NHL on TV holds my interest for maybe a period. College basketball I can't watch until the tournament. This didn't used to be as much of a problem back when I could turn instead to my favorite sitcoms in February. Do you remember when February was "sweeps month"? (Maybe it still is, I don't know). Networks would make sure that every top show aired original episodes that month, no reruns. So you'd always have something to view during the week even when the sports scene was boring. (I know, people have multiple streaming viewing options now. But I find myself going weeks sometimes before I see something I want to view on Netfli