I've heard of, and even come across a time or two, people who collect only Topps cards.
The reason seems to be that Topps is the premier card company in the land and their cards are superior to any competitors in their eyes. Some, I think, decided they can't be collecting other kinds of cards, it's too much.
I wish I could have done that. I sometimes wish I was around 29 when I saw Donruss and Fleer cards for the first time in 1981. I think I'd be resistant to their charms if I was, and I'd be one of those "only Topps" guys to this day.
But I was 15. I wanted new stuff and I thought I could collect everything. It was released, I needed to have it! That was my perspective at the time. And I'm paying for it now.
My "m.o." ever since 1981, for years and years, was to try to get it all, or at least all the Dodgers. As the number of releases multiplied, I started to get burned out and I was done collecting by the mid-'90s. Even when I resumed 10 years later, I still tried to accumulate what I could, from Topps and every non-Topps issue. Then came Panini, and their god-awful baseball sets and, yup, I was too far into my habit to ignore those. Was it released? Need it!
So, I'm paying. Still paying.
I received an envelope from Cards On Cards recently. I showed the Kershaw cards from it last week. Outside of one Kershaw card and one other card, all of the others were non-Topps and, honestly, there is not a lot that I like about those cards. Let's see them.
This is what the rookie subset in Diamond Kings looks like this year. I should enjoy this, given how brightly colored it is. I hate it. It's on the level of "I wish I could get this card out of my collection but I can't." Just an ugly card and that lame "Artist's Proof" stamp isn't helping.
Bowman is Topps, but for this exercise, it's not. It certainly doesn't look like Topps. I can't remember the last time I liked a Bowman design. Combine that with the players I don't know and the shininess that prevents me from taking a decent picture, and cards like this are hopeless. There's also an excellent chance that this card barely registers for the rest of the time it's in my collection.
More Bowman except it's Best, which is the Best kind of Bowman. But we're still featuring cards of players who may never make the majors. This is just my sixth Jeren Kendall card -- I could've sworn I had 20 already -- but he's still hitting .160 in Double A.
I'm a bit of a sucker for the Contenders line, at least the baseball portion (not that college stuff). But these are pretty dull.
Dullness continued. I know I'm supposed to like cards of legends no matter what, but I have issues with B&W cards -- it's my issue, I know -- and you erase the logos and what am I looking at here? Panini's Absolute brand these days is pretty mind-numbing. I realized that in my most recent Dodgers binders update. Looking at the Absolute pages is like looking at pencil sketches.
More B&W and please stop with the repeated photo, I didn't like it in 1994. Chronicles falls into the same trap that so many sets do where the base cards are exceedingly boring so they can coax collectors into finding the parallels.
There's the Topps card! I've said before that this is one of the most awkward postseason celebrations I've ever seen.
Donruss is the chief offender of the boring, logo-less base card. Even the wild design for 2022 that I initially enjoyed is not doing it for me anymore.
Final card. It's telling that my first two Freddie Freeman Dodger cards were Panini Absolute cards and not exciting at all.
As dull as Panini's products are, they seem to be the only one releasing cards now. They're pretty cheap and they're available and for bottom-feeders like me, that's what I need.
Panini will be disappearing from baseball soon, which is exactly what I need to save me from myself. I keep hoping I'll wake up and stop the knee-jerk reaction to "ooh, new product -- I need the Dodgers!" but I don't see myself able to turn away anything but Topps.
Wish I could. I mean that's a motley crew of cards I'm collecting.
RIP to Maury Wills.
I never saw him play but he was an inspiration to many of the players that were favorites -- Davey Lopes in particular. Wills was always one of "my favorite players from before I knew what baseball was."
I still hope to one day see him in the Hall of Fame.
It's been an honor to collect his cards.