Thursday, February 5, 2015


It's always something.

That was my initial reaction to the cardboard nation on Twitter this week (Tuesday, to be exact) as discussions were taking place civil discourse seem to be tossed out the window. No, it wasn't exchanges regarding Israeli/Palestinian relations, issues in education or (believe it or not) whether or not Pete Carroll made the correct play call in Sunday's Super Bowl. No, this is something far more worth getting worked up about. I'm talking, of course, about baseball cards. I guess my recent post on the lowest form of conversation should be revised and take on some of the silly arguments on social media. But I digress.

It didn't take long for me to jump into the excitement...of opening my first packs. One comment on twitter and three jumbo packs of Series 1 now leave me feeling like one of the cool kids. So let's get the party started, shall we?

1st Card of 2015...
#53 Nathan Eovaldi

1st Insert of 2015...
Archetypes #A22 Hank Aaron

This thing is a beauty!

1st Braves card of 2015: 
*the above Aaron, but do I count it as 1st Brave? No- for me, the flagship brand is primarily about the base set, so in this case, the honor goes to...

* #201 Tommy La Stella  Okay, we have a problem. Tommy boy ain't with the Braves anymore. Do I count THIS as the one? Yes. It pains me to have to do this, but it does show him as a Brave and it has the team listed on the card. So, yes, it counts. Just two cards later came the first 'Braves' card...Julio Teheran.

1st First Pitch of 2015:
Well, it also happened to be the only First Pitch card (so far). As one who listens to classic rock, this is probably the one card in this set that would appeal to me. I do enjoy some of Pearl Jam's music; just not a real big fan, and even less so of Vedder. Still, it should be worth something in the open market. Anybody interested???

First Impressions
I'll start out by saying that I applaud Topps for changing things up. After a long run of white bordered designs, the 2015 design is a breath of fresh air. I think it's reminiscent of a few sets from the 90s, and it will be interesting to see how some of those who complain about such sets view this one.

Now comes the 'but' for me- or, in this case, the *askerisk*. While the design and color works well on the cards in with vertical shots, it does not work well at all when the horizontal shots are in the vertical position (and thus will look bad in binder pages). This is just my opinion. Please don't shoot me.

Other things worth mentioning about the fronts: Foil. I think it's high time Topps dumps the silver foil logo and go back to a more traditional logo. The player names and team names are not in silver foil- so why the need to use it at all? The worst use of foil, however, is found on the 'Future Stars' subset. Horrible use of foil on that font.

Photo Filters: I guess Topps has joined the 21st Century and decided to use whatever type of filter Panini uses on their photos. Personally, I don't like it- whatever 'it' is (I'm not much into using such things on my photos, so I don't even know what to call it). Two cards in particular are good examples of what I'm talking about:

Well, I first noticed Topps use of this filter on last year's The Future is Now and then continued in Chrome, with the Topps Shelf insert. Not a big deal- I just like more of a more natural look in my photographs.


This is where Topps is at their 'finest' (sorry) this year. Gone are the '2088 home runs to tie Barry Bonds' type-stuff. No more 'rookie facts'. Add more color and just a clean design and you have a winner. Plus, I don't think they've ever put 'Series One' or some similar declaration on the back. So, that's interesting!

*note this guy's peculiar stat lines...

Of course, we get lots of inserts and parallels. 
One of my favorites so far has to be the 'Robbed' set. Although, I must say, it looks more like something out of their Bunt app than from a pack. The foilboard cards remind me of the Score foilboards from back around, what- '95? Very shiny- but sharp looking!

And finally... if ever there was a 'country boy' name, it's got to be...

Having given up set collecting, I"ll probably abstain from opening anymore packs of Series 1. I've ordered my team set and will try to pick up some of the inserts on the secondary market. As always, it was fun to open the first packs of the year.

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