Monday, January 11, 2016

This Was the Whole Idea for the Topps 300 (and then some...): Debate!!!

(Before I begin, I'd like to express my condolences to the family and fans of David Bowie, who passed away last night after a long and private battle with cancer. He was one of the most iconic rockers over the last 40 years. I may have missed the formative years (Ziggy Stardust in particular), but was introduced to the man thanks to an album of his narration of Peter and the Wolf. I must have played that record...THAT'S many times. Must try and find that cd on eBay...maybe get the album even though I don't have a record player.)

The response to my last post was pretty good (considering that I haven't been posting on a regular basis for quite some time). I could have used a bit more, so if you could, please visit the original Topps 300 site, check out the original 60 years worth of cards, then come back to see my top 5 from each of the last five years.

Today, Topps posted their full checklist for Series 1 on their site. With the exception of the base set (which they're holding off on giving full details until they announce who's number 1), they have posted every card, retail exclusives too, that should be making their appearance in next month's eponymous product. The checklist for "Berger's Best" this year's reprint retrospective consists of the following subjects:

BB-1 Willie Mays New York Giants
BB-2 Satchel Paige St. Louis Browns
BB-3 Henry Aaron Milwaukee Braves
BB-4 Sandy Koufax Brooklyn Dodgers
BB-5 Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers
BB-6 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox
BB-7 Roger Maris Cleveland Indians
BB-8 Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates
BB-9 Willie McCovey San Francisco Giants
BB-10 Bill Mazeroski Pittsburgh Pirates
BB-11 Roger Maris New York Yankees
BB-12 Brooks Robinson Baltimore Orioles
BB-13 Whitey Ford New York Yankees
BB-14 Hank Aaron Milwaukee Braves
BB-15 Jim Palmer Baltimore Orioles
BB-16 Steve Carlton St. Louis Cardinals
BB-17 Rod Carew Minnesota Twins
BB-18 Reggie Jackson Oakland Athletics
BB-19 Johnny Bench Cincinnati Reds
BB-20 Nolan Ryan New York Mets
BB-21 Tom Seaver New York Mets
BB-22 Joe Morgan Cincinnati Reds
BB-23 Dave Winfield San Diego Padres
BB-24 George Brett Kansas City Royals
BB-25 Dennis Eckersley Cleveland Indians
BB-26 Robin Yount Milwaukee Brewers
BB-27 Eddie Murray Baltimore Orioles
BB-28 Ozzie Smith San Diego Padres
BB-29 Rickey Henderson Oakland Athletics
BB-30 Harold Baines Chicago White Sox
BB-31 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
BB-32 Tony Gwynn San Diego Padres
BB-33 Don Mattingly New York Yankees
BB-34 Dwight Gooden New York Mets
BB-35 Roger Clemens Boston Red Sox
BB-36 Bo Jackson Kansas City Royals
BB-37 Wade Boggs Boston Red Sox
BB-38 Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle Mariners
BB-39 George Brett Kansas City Royals
BB-40 Frank Thomas Chicago White Sox
BB-41 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
BB-42 Randy Johnson Seattle Mariners
BB-43 Mike Piazza Los Angeles Dodgers
BB-44 Barry Larkin Cincinnati Reds
BB-45 John Smoltz Atlanta Braves
BB-46 Livan Hernandez Florida Marlins
BB-47 Alex Rodriguez Seattle Mariners
BB-48 Josh Hamilton Tampa Bay Devil Rays
BB-49 Miguel Cabrera Florida Marlins
BB-50 Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals
BB-51 Joe Mauer Minnesota Twins
BB-52 Robinson Cano New York Yankees
BB-53 Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals
BB-54 Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers
BB-55 Hanley Ramirez Florida Marlins
BB-56 Daisuke Matsuzaka Boston Red Sox
BB-57 Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
BB-58 David Price Tampa Bay Rays
BB-59 Stephen Strasburg Washington Nationals
BB-60 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
BB-61 Bryce Harper Washington Nationals
BB-62 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
BB-63 Masahiro Tanaka New York Yankees
BB-64 Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs
BB-65 Buster Posey San Francisco Giants

This means that their reprint retrospective could consist of a card from...wait for it...2016!!! How about that? A reprint card from the same year and same product!!!


So no card from 1951, and did you notice Topps' biggest name is missing? I guess since they couldn't re-sign with the estate, we will be without the presence of Mickey Mantle for the fourth straight year (and that means no #7).

But take a look at the list. Of the 65 cards on the list, 33 (possibly a 34th one) were featured on the Topps 300 (and then some...). Most of the cards above are indeed rookie cards/first year. I also do wish they picked 65 different players for this set. Mike Trout appears here twice. So do Hank Aaron, George Brett, Roger Maris, and Cal Ripken. Maybe Series 2 will have more of my picks. I mean, I now have 325 cards they can choose from...well more like 290 (or 291...depends).

Now back to the point of the title. A comment from Matt Stupienski read,

"I must say that I'm quite partial to the 2015 Andrelton Simmons picture. Then again, I am a Braves fan, so perhaps I'm a bit biased. You must agree that this is a beauty though."

His comment regarding Simmons' card was seconded by none other than Fuji. (If you don't read The Chronicles of Fuji, you're missing out on a really positive voice in the Hobby. Then again, he's got a ton of readers already, so if you're reading this dog-and-pony-show of a blog, you already a fan of his).

"I second Mr. Stupienski's selection of Simmons. That's an awesome action shot."

Now for those of you who haven't seen it, here is the card in question:

Now it's a great action shot. He's literally parallel to the ground. And what better way to represent the two-time Gold Glove winner with this amazing picture. I'm sure Braves' fans were sad to hear that he was traded off to the Angels.

The whole idea of the Topps 300 (and then some...) was to create debate. My choices were mine, they certainly aren't perfect. While many people agreed with my picks, there are obviously people who would disagree and could probably choose cards that I wouldn't have considered. And this is an perfect example.

Now I didn't pick the Simmons card because in recent years, there have been so many similar shots of these kinds of plays that it's no longer unique. Put this picture in the 1991 Topps set, for example, then you have something groundbreaking. But in 2015, there's a shot of Jackie Bradley, Jr (#314), Lorenzo Cain (#516), and closest example, Aaron Hill (#247). Okay, so the first two guys are outfielders, but Hill is a second baseman. Different angle, but same idea.

But that's the point. You disagree with my picks? Show me a better one and talk about it. Why did you pick this card? You a fan of the team (like Mr. Stupienski?) You a fan of the player? You just love the picture? Would you have been able to place yourself at the stadium or at home watching when this picture was taken?

It's just another way to share the Hobby we all have in common.

How about you? What do you think?


JayBee Anama

1 comment:

Fuji said...

Thanks for the kind words! As for the Simmons... such an awesome card.