Skip to main content

Awesome night card, pt. 222: filler is a killer


A couple of people have weighed in on the recent Topps announcement that it is extending the 2015 base set by 20 cards per series. Instead of 330 cards, as has been the case since 2006, I believe, Series 1 and Series 2 will be 350 cards.

Of course, there is a lot of speculation about what Topps will do with those extra 20 cards. I don't really care what Topps does with them because I don't collect the base set anymore. If Topps surprises me and produces a 20-card "turn back the clock" subset, then you will hear some giddy noises from me. But throwing in 20 extra relief pitchers isn't going to bring back Topps Total. And expanding so there can be a fourth card of Mike Trout or a 20-card Derek Jeter tribute is merely what everyone expects.

Where my "concern" -- and I use that word lightly -- lies is in what Topps does with the Update set. Will that set, which also has been 330 cards the last few years, be 350 cards, too? Because that thing is already bloated at least 100 cards beyond what it should be.

Update is Topps' version of a fast food buffet. Yes, you can have as many cards as you like. Multiple helpings of cards. Go ahead! Gorge yourself! But you don't really need them. They serve no purpose beyond the 230 calories ... er, cards .. that really need to be there.

Since Topps can't fill the Update set without filler now, what is it going to do with the set with 20 extra cards?

In recent years I have been relieved to see that the lame combo cards disappeared out of Update. Now my quest is to get rid of the useless Home Run Derby cards.

The Home Run Derby should represented by one card. See that Ryan Howard card from 2006 Update? That's the only mention of the 2006 HR Derby necessary. Put a nice little write-up on the derby on the back with the results -- doing it in tabular or graphic form would be more interesting than a simple paragraph, by the way -- and you're done. With one card.

Instead of doing this:


What a waste of good artificial cardboard.

I believe every participant is represented there. Normally, I applaud being thorough, but not only is this pointless and overblown, but it's really, ugly. Only a lover of '91 Fleer could enjoy these cards.

Once I returned to collecting, I attempted to complete Update only in 2006. After I saw what was involved, I bought less and less of it in ensuing years.

I don't know if the set represents the HR Derby as thoroughly as it did in '06, but I know that there are still too many cards devoted to it. I still buy some Update packs because I like to see people in new uniforms -- shocking view of Update, I know -- and too many HR Derby cards fall out.


This is what I ended up with from last year's Update purchases. That's four cards too many because none of them won the HR Derby. Also, it's way too many opportunities to show people swinging a bat without wearing a cap, which should never be allowed.


There's the guy that did win it, and that's not technically a HR Derby card, but a checklist card, because there's another card of Cespedes (in basically the same pose) that's his HR Derby card.

Got all that?

The Update set would be so much more succinct, so much more collectable, if there was just one card celebrating the HR Derby. A nice posed shot with the winner and the trophy, like ol' Ryan up there, would be just perfect. Remember the card of Kurt Bevacqua blowing the bubble? That was a meaningless tournament, too. And Topps confined it to a single card, now one of the most popular cards in the entire 1976 set.

I can only imagine how useless that card would be today if there was a card for every player that competed in that bubble gum blowing contest. Yeah, I know that sounds cool right now, but trust me, it'd get lame very quickly.

So, that's my "concern" with expanding the set -- that is, if Topps is going to do that with Update, too.

But I won't be trying to complete it, so, you know, don't listen to me.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Night Card Binder candidate: Ryan Howard, 2006 Topps Updates and Highlights, #UH283
Does it make the binder?: It does (and I shudder to think how many HR Derby cards are already in the binder).

Comments

deal said…
Dammit I really want a Johnny Oates Bubble Gum competitor card now.
Unknown said…
Speaking of the Bubble Gum card, I just picked it up at a Local card show this morning for .....wait for it....wait for it.... yes a Dime.
Ana Lu said…
When Topps lose the 'exclusive' tag we see what they come up with. They have to change something. They are getting too much into routine and do nothing out-of-the-box.

Popular posts from this blog

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 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 Netflix or Am

The return of COMC and a ridiculous collecting quest

  For the first time in exactly a year, I received a shipment of cards from COMC last week. I wouldn't say COMC is truly back back. I did pay extra for the express shipping so I wouldn't have to wait however long we're waiting for COMC shipments these days. But the cards arrived in short fashion and it was nice to see something in the mailbox from my preferred online card site for over a decade until last year. I had waited a year to order what was in my cart. I didn't want to be one of those people who paid and then waited nine months for shipment. I mean, what if I ordered them and COMC went under? Those were the kind of questions that were floating in my head last year.   That meant that I did lose a couple of items out of my cart, but no big deal. Nothing in there was anything highly sought-after and I merely replaced whatever I lost with a new version or something else I liked. Many of my collecting interests are not high on anyone's radar, especially 2020 fli

Say hey, you guys

  One of the most significant cards in my collecting history arrived at my door today. The 1956 Topps Willie Mays card ties my formative collecting days to my current collecting existence, confirms what I believe in in this hobby, and realizes dreams from long ago I never thought possible. It also sets a couple of personal records. It is the most I've ever spent on a single card. Yet it didn't hurt my wallet nor cause any regret. In terms of a cardboard acquisition it is about as perfect as it gets. No guilt. All power and beauty. It removes a considerable road block in my quest to complete the 1956 Topps set. It was one of the Big Three that I fretted over for years. "How would I ever obtain that card?" And now it's here. I don't have to remind you that baseball legends from the 1950s (and '60s and '70s) are departing at a rapid pace. That wasn't a top consideration in landing this card. But with Willie's age (he will be 90 in May) and the way