Sunday, March 2, 2014
Let's talk one more time about 2014 Topps and then never speak of it again
I'm trying to wrap up any last thoughts on 2014 Topps here and then drop it until Series 2 comes around. I'll probably fail miserably on this and start babbling about something I saw on the back of Cody Asche's 2014 card on the next post, but that is the plan.
Let's face it. People have moved on. Heritage is coming out and some folks are actually buying Panini Donruss. So 2014 Topps is history.
But first a few things:
1. A number of collectors, including myself, have mentioned how closely cropped the photo images are this year. It's been a general trend the last few years, but it seems especially noticeable this year.
After going through the 2014 cards I have -- I have accumulated 164, I have no idea how -- I noticed that there is an absence of advertising in the background of this year's cards. Out of the 164 cards, I couldn't make out a full advertising image that was not blurred in 163 of the cards.
That's the only one that advertised something that was not baseball related. It's a free promotion for the Oakland Raiders.
But even that is not what you would think of as traditional advertising -- promoting a hardware store or a restaurant or a consumer good you can pick up at the store.
This is certainly different from what I found in 2013 Topps, even though I theorized then that the close-cropping in THAT set was to show only the advertising that Topps wanted shown. Something along the lines of what was in 2011 Topps.
But through little photo tricks like blurring, obscuring and cropping, the ads just aren't there this year (again I've seen only half the set).
This was the only other card where I'm sure people could figure out quickly enough what was being advertised on the outfield wall. Some kind of insurance (auto?) from someone. But Seager, the leaping catcher, and some blurring obscures the full ad.
I'm not sure why Topps would go out of its way to obscure advertising when even a year or two earlier it seemed to go out of its way to make sure collectors saw the advertising.
But before I go down that rabbit hole, the Seager card brings me to the next thing:
2. Is that an off-center card???
Look at the Seager card again. I cropped it to the outer reaches of its edges. That is like 80-20, maybe 85-15 centering! I rarely see that on cards these days. It's probably been a good four years since I pulled a drastically off-center card out of a pack.
Here are two other ones, both horizontals:
I don't remember, but I am assuming that all three of these cards came out of the pack consecutively, as Topps' horizontal cards often do.
I don't have the outrage for off-center cards that some younger collectors do. I collected in the '70s. Off-center cards were a way of life and in virtually every pack. Unless they were massively miscut, you just accepted them like all of the other cards.
Even though I stopped and stared at the Joe Kelly card when I opened the pack, I'll do that with these cards, too. No need to get a replacement. I just didn't think this happened anymore.
(And for the cost of a pack, it shouldn't).
3. Let's come with a Define The Design name for this set.
I know this design draws its inspiration from something. It's been on the tip of my brain from the time I first pulled the cards out of a pack (for some reason, the red-bordered cards really bring out whatever it is I'm supposed to remember).
But it's obvious I'm not going to be able to remember it without two weeks of vacation and maybe a trip to the therapist.
So I'm giving up and calling it what everyone else is already calling it.
Congratulations, 2014 Topps, you are the "File Folder set."
I know it doesn't work with the horizontal cards.
But March is much too busy for taking vacations. You're going to have to live with it.
And I'm done talking about 2014 Topps.