Skip to main content

It's a living thing

This is my first card from Topps' Living Set.

I think by now everyone knows about this year's online tactic by Topps. Every so often, it issues three cards of current players on the 1953 design for an outrageous price and we're all supposed to whip out our debit cards before the LIMITED SUPPLY DISAPPEARS!!!!

I'm too old to play that game.

I haven't done it for Topps Now. I'm not doing it for the Living Set. I do not collect cards under a deadline.

Fortunately, Ben from Cardboard Icons sent me the Clayton Kershaw Living Set card. Ben's a Red Sox fan and he actually watched the Red Sox clinch the World Series in Dodger Stadium. Feeling extremely sorry for me (as he should) he sent me this card. ... Well, I don't know if he felt sorry for me. He's always been a good egg regardless, sending me cards when I don't expect it.

So I have one of these cards now and finally I can give you my feedback that you've been waiting for lo these many months.

We'll start with my first thought: "Well, I'm glad I didn't spend $14.99 for this card plus two cards of other players I don't care about."

But you knew that one already. As for the card itself, it's fine. I've never been a big fan of the 1953 set. It's one of the reasons I was able to resist the Living Set, I'm over the '53 design, just as I've been over the '52 design, thanks to Topps' endless odes to '52. Now, if Topps issued a Living Set with the 1975 design, I might be tempted ... might.

The card is slightly glossy on the front and features a rougher cardboard feel on the back. It's certainly not as weighty as a 1953 card. It's as thin as your average card from the 1980s, I'd say.

This is the back, true to the look of '53 Topps, although '53 wasn't 2 1/2-by-3 1/2.

You can see the signature is Kershaw's latter-day autograph, no bump for the "h" in the last name, just a straight line to the end. So many signings for stars these days, I'd say they're asked to sign more than ever.

I know I don't appreciate the cartoon very much, slapping a George Springer postseason trivia question on the back of a Dodger pitcher's card is plain rude (at least Kershaw never gave up a homer to Springer).

This happens to be my 621st Clayton Kershaw card. Ben also collects Kershaw cards and I'm guessing he has one of these already.

In the early-going of this set -- the premise is it never ends -- there is an inordinate amount of Dodgers. But I won't be tracking down any others. I've done quite well at ignoring these kinds of cards. It doesn't bother me in the least that I don't have the other 7 or 8 Dodgers Topps has created.

But I'm thrilled I have this card. If there is one Living Set card to get, it would have to be Kershaw. Nothing else makes sense.

So, there you are, the latest and greatest from 2018, shown about eight months too late.

Oh, one final thought:

"Living Set" is no less weird a name than the first time I heard it.


Mark Hoyle said…
I would never pay the 14.99 either. I’ve bought a few. Paid 5 bucks on eBay. I like the concept. We will see what the off season brings for this set.
Commishbob said…
That's one of the better ones I've seen. In general I'm not a fan of the artist(s) they use for this.
GOGOSOX60 said…
The 53 is such a wrong demographic for most folks under 60, hell may 65. If Topps was smart they should have gone with one of the biggest post war era sets the 1975 set as you stated.

Can't think of any other Topps set that's still in high demand and popular with even younger collectors too. I guess we should be lucky Topps didn't give us Living Set 1987 Topps!!!!
Nick Vossbrink said…
Like the idea of a living set. Not keen on using *any* old design since the point is that it's a timeless set. Definitely not keen on things like "past year" stats and RC designations on a set which isn't supposed to represent a specific year. And like you, I'm extremely turned off by the distribution and pricing.

I do like this kind of post though where you receive a card that comes from a set you don't collect, don't want, and don't like but are thrilled to have it. I've had many similar posts and reactions and walking that tightrope between saying why you dislike this set while also saying that you're not complaining at all about the mailday and in fact deeply appreciate receiving cards that you'd never ever buy is a difficult balance to pull off.

In some ways these are the best maildays since they allow you to enjoy and handle cards that you'd otherwise never own.
Fuji said…
I've wanted Topps to produce a Living Set for a long, long time. I just wish they executed it differently. I would have bought into it had it been distributed in packs. Oh well. My debit card isn't getting pulled out for these. Maybe I'll pick up a single one day off of eBay... but I'm not willing to pay a premium.
Brett Alan said…
Did anyone beside me take the trivia question to be suggesting that an Astro has the all-time record for postseason home runs? Not well written.
madding said…
No thanks! If someone wants to trade me one of these cards (or Topps Now or whatever) for a few set filler cards... sure, okay. I'm not going to kick them out of my collection. But I am super not interested in this stuff. If you tossed these cards in a dime box, they would barely stand out. Topps Now looks about as special as Upper Deck Documentary. These just look like one of their endless permutations of Archives or whatever. I seriously don't understand how they keep suckering people with this stuff.
Defenders50 said…
Wait, they have another set that uses their old designs? And they charge $5 a card for it? Are they trying to take a sledgehammer to the nostalgia that animates appreciation of their vintage stuff?
Toy Junkie said…
Hey don't knock the '87 Topps set I love the wood gain look of them :P
BaseSetCalling said…
I’m waiting for my card
Twenty-six dollars in my paypal
Sent to Whitehall Street, number one
Feel bored and dumb, more asleep than awake
I’m waiting for my card

Hey old white guy, what you doin’ outside?
Hey old white guy, you look silly out on your porch
Oh pardon me, I’ve got something on my mind
I’m just looking for a big, big hero of mine
I’m waiting for my card

Here he comes, he’s all dressed in blue
Tight looking shoes and a stripe on his pants
He’s never early but sometimes he’s late
First thing you learn is that you always gotta wait
I’m waiting for my card, ah I can’t take it no more

Up to a split level ranch and in my driveway
The neighbors all see this, but they don’t care
He’s got the package, it’s got what I need
No time for goodbye, I gotta find my scissors
I’m waiting for my card

Buddy don’t you laugh, ah bro don’t you snicker and giggle
I’m feeling good, you know I’m gonna get that thing open
I’m feeling good, I think I might start to drool
Until tomorrow’s Topps Now is up on the web
I’m waiting for my card

Popular posts from this blog

The pop culture tax

This isn't really a complaint, just something interesting that I've been noticing.

I'm working on wrapping up a couple of '70s-centric sets right now, getting down to those last 10-20-30 cards, and the usual candidates are being evasive.

I wish I could pick up all the stars early in my set-building quests so the end of the build isn't quite so painful but it never ends up that way. The best of the best usually take the most effort. But I expect that.

What always surprises me is some of the other players that end up being the final few.

Take, for instance, the 1977 Kellogg's set that I'm now trying to complete. I picked up three more cards from that set from Sportlots. The Jose "Cheo" Cruz card was one of them.

The other two were Dodgers, already in my Dodger binders but that doesn't help me complete the set now, does it?

I would've liked to add more with this most recent order but most of the other wants simply weren't available. Here…

Vehicles in the background

The 2020 Heritage team set for the Dodgers has been a milestone moment in terms of cars in the background on baseball cards.

If there was a timeline for chronicling cars on cards -- or should I say "vehicles on cards," very few drive a mere car these days -- it would include the 1964 Philadelphia Jim Brown card, the 1973 Topps Luis Alvarado card, another card I'll show in just a moment, and several others.

The latest stop on the timeline would be the Dodgers in 2020 Heritage.

Those are just a few examples. Most of the Dodgers Heritage cards this year feature a vehicle in the background if you look close enough. It has to be the most vehicle-infiltrated baseball team set ever. Even the two short-printed cards that I don't own yet -- Walker Buehler and A.J. Pollock -- each show cars.

I love this and I've documented the reasons why a few times. I am a recovered Matchbox cars addict and vehicles were my obsession as a kid before baseball came along. It also reminds …

The last card

I swear I was already in the middle of constructing this post when Fuji's post about looking for the last card in a set popped up in my reader.

"Crap," I said. "Well, everything's scanned and cropped, no going back."

Besides, this post is more for me than anyone else.

I've long wanted to put together a post highlighting the final card I needed from sets I have completed. It seems that some of those cards are burned in my brain while others are completely forgotten. If I have a post for these cards, then I won't ever forget about these elusive birds. I will simply consult the post!

So that's what I'll do here. Much like this post, I will update it as I complete sets. But this time it will be a much less orderly exercise.

Searching for that last card is what all set collectors have in common. It is what bonds us together. Sure, team collectors must find a "last card," too, but the sets are smaller and therefore the final card isn…