I finally finished archiving my complete 2015 Topps set yesterday. It was a long process, a process that makes me consider never completing another modern-day flagship set again (like there aren't enough other reasons), and it took so long partly because of the bloated Update set.
I grew up with the 132-card Update set ... although it was called the "traded set" then. "Update" might make more sense, given all the various features in that set currently, and it's certainly better than previous incarnations -- "Traded & Rookies" and "Updates & Highlights." But I still prefer "Traded". Because even though this hobby is all about rookies now, I looked forward to the Traded set to see players in their new uniforms above anything else.
It was mind-blowing then, to see Cesar Cedeno, someone who I knew only as an Astro for almost a decade, show up as a Cincinnati Red, bordered by the same design as the Astro Cedeno.
After years of Traded/Update/Rookies&Highlights sets, the thrill isn't as high as it was in the early 1980s. ("Reggie Jackson as an ANGEL! And the card back is RED!") The appearance of other card companies and things like super shortprints also diminished somewhat the interest in seeing a player in a new uniform.
But it's still the reason why I buy Update cards. I still want my updates! Players in new uniforms! Gimme! I don't care about the all-star cards and certainly don't want the home run derby cards, but let's see those trades and free agent signings reflected on cardboard!
It still means enough to me that after completing the 2015 cataloging, I went through and tried to find as many guys in new uniforms as I could. I then tracked their previous card in Series 1 or Series 2 and matched them up with each other.
With a little assistance, I came up with 76 instances of players appearing in two different uniforms in the 2015 set. I'm sure I missed a couple (more on that later), but like I've said many times, nobody is paying me for this.
I'm going to show all 76 cards here now, with very limited commentary (that was a lot of scanning, man!).
Oh, and here is another example of why Topps may want to cut down on the Traded/Update/Rookies&Highlights bloat:
There is a card of Eric Sogard in Series 1 and in the Update set. He did not change teams. And there are many other versions of this same story over recent years.
Anyway, the 76 players in two different unis in no particular order:
B.J./Melvin Upton Jr., Braves to Padres
Dexter Fowler, Astros to Cubs
Scott Kazmir, A's to Astros
Jose Reyes, Blue Jays to Rockies
Rick Porcello, Tigers to Red Sox
Chris Young, Mariners to Royals
Cameron Maybin, Padres to Braves
Didi Gregorius, Diamondbacks to Yankees
Mark Reynolds, Brewers to Cardinals
Matt Kemp, Dodgers to Padres
Tyler Clippard, A's to Mets
Howie Kendrick, Angels to Dodgers
Johnny Cueto, Reds to Royals
Matt Joyce, Rays to Angels
Mike Leake, Reds to Giants
Mark Trumbo, Diamondbacks to Mariners
Ike Davis, Pirates to A's
Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays to A's
John Jaso, A's to Rays
Josh Hamilton, Angels to Rangers
Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies to Nationals
Jesse Hahn, Padres to A's
Shelby Miller, Cardinals to Braves
David Murphy, Indians to Angels
Zach Duke, Brewers to White Sox
Kendrys Morales, Mariners to Royals
Gerardo Parra, Brewers to Orioles
Alexi Ogando, Rangers to Red Sox
Marlon Byrd, Phillies to Reds
Conor Gillaspie, White Sox to Angels
Carlos Gomez, Brewers to Astros
Brandon Moss, A's to Cardinals
Steve Cishek, Marlins to Cardinals
Justin Upton, Braves to Padres
Chris Colabello, Twins to Blue Jays
Kendall Graveman, Blue Jays to A's
Juan Uribe, Dodgers to Mets
Neftali Feliz, Rangers to Tigers
Yasmani Grandal, Padres to Dodgers
Gordon Beckham, Angels to White Sox
David Phelps, Yankees to Marlins
Nathan Eovaldi, Marlins to Yankees
John Axford, Pirates to Rockies
Travis Ishikawa, Giants to Pirates
David DeJesus, Rays to Angels
Shane Greene, Yankees to Tigers
Evan Gattis, Braves to Astros
David Price, Tigers to Blue Jays
LaTroy Hawkins, Rockies to Blue Jays
Michael Morse, Marlins to Pirates
Mike Fiers, Brewers to Astros
Brandon Finnegan, Royals to Reds
Mike Foltynewicz, Astros to Braves
Ross Detwiler, Rangers to Braves
Rene Rivera, Padres to Rays
Andrew Heaney, Marlins to Angels
Jonathan Broxton, Brewers to Cardinals
OK, I'm not done yet, but I think I need a bit of a break. (You probably do, too).
A couple of notes: I featured the difference in B.J. Upton/Melvin Upton Jr.'s name in an earlier post. ... This exercise really underlines that inferiority of the Update set in terms of photos. Lots of photoshopping and plain dark or blurry photos .... I don't know how players like David Phelps and Travis Ishikawa get two cards. Relievers are overlooked constantly in sets and Ishikawa I don't think has ever been a starter. ... The Chris Young comparison is fantastic.
All right, on with the comparisons that feature a horizontal card. I'm not really one of those collectors who hates the mix of vertical and horizontal images. But it does make this particular exercise more complicated.
Here we go:
Jake Diekman, Phillies to Rangers
Joakim Soria, Tigers to Pirates
Ben Zobrist, A's to Royals
Jason Heyward, Braves to Cardinals
Cole Hamels, Phillies to Rangers
Ben Revere, Phillies to Blue Jays
Yoenis Cespedes, Red Sox to Mets
Tommy Hunter, Orioles to Cubs
Eric Young Jr., Mets to Braves
Craig Kimbrel, Braves to Padres
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies to Blue Jays
Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks to Cubs
Aramis Ramirez, Brewers to Pirates
Alex Wood, Braves to Dodgers
Josh Donaldson, A's to Blue Jays
Anthony Ranaudo, Red Sox to Rangers
Martin Prado, Yankees to Marlins
Vidal Nuno, Diamondbacks to Mariners
Daniel Norris, Blue Jays to Tigers
And those are the 76 players to appear in new unis in the 2015 Update/Traded/Rookies&Highlights set.
Good thing the Oakland A's exist, huh? If it wasn't for them, the Traded set would be nothing but home run derby cards!
I'm not sure what this exercise proves other than to relive the excitement that I felt when I was first pulling those 1982 Traded cards out of the little cardboard box. I suppose if you're a team collector only with little interest in set-collecting, seeing your player in another uniform here might be interesting.
When I wrote this post originally, I was lacking 13 players. With the help of Chris (@sruchris on Twitter), of baseballcardpedia and of doing computer things for a living, he found the missing players. A couple of things threw me off in my research. The most perplexing was Topps putting the rookie card logo on a player's card in Series 1 or 2 and then leaving it on for Update. How do you have two rookie cards in the same set?
I really hope there is always a Traded set. I firmly believe it can be done in 132 cards without missing anything critical. But I suppose that's not going to happen soon.