Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Blasterful of 2015 Topps Archives

Sorry I'm late.

I know, everybody had their two cents about Archives last week. Well, I was too busy Chicago-ing last week, so I couldn't join everybody's we-hate-Archives party. And while it's not all hatred, it's not looking too good. People complained about the card stock, the short prints, the inserts, and a whole bunch of stuff.

That doesn't mean I won't have my own things to complain about here.

So I bought a blaster, and here's what I got out of it:

192- Matt Barnes. Yeah, these cards are flimsy as all hell. Because old cards from the 70's and such certainly didn't do that. Honestly, they're not perfect, but Topps is trying to pay homage to how it was back then, warts and all.
261- Gary Brown. I still don't see the point of including the rookie card insignia on the Archives cards. The originals didn't have those.
82- Buster Posey. All that aside, the photography is pretty nice. This Buster Posey shot is pretty nice.
236- James Shields. This is obviously a spring training shot, but I appreciate it because it's not photoshopped, and there's not a hell of a lot of that in this set.
288- Gregory Polanco, one third of one of the best outfields in baseball right now.
13- Joe Mauer.
284- Jim Palmer. This works because this actually looks like a card in the 1983 set. The pictures are era appropriate. Plus, Palmer did indeed have a card in that set.
97- Juan Gonzalez. This doesn't work as well in a '57 design, BUT...the filtering they did to Juan's face DOES work, especially for a 50's design.
168- Mark McGwire. Two steroid abusers in a row. Another infuriating thing about this set- the 'legend' stats aren't full career. McGwire's end at 1998, which, yeah, I get it, but you have four more seasons to fill in. In the old days, if there wasn't space for stats, they made stats. SO DO THAT!!!
252- Luis Aparicio. The yellow they use for Pirates and White Sox '83 cards is WAAAAYYY too bright.

Pack 2- (yes, I've written a book and there's 7 packs to go.)
155- Brian Dozier. Is doing a lot of the work this season for the Twins.
232- Carlos Gomez, an ex-Twin himself.
74- Devin Mesoraco. This card is beautiful. The way the yellow sunlight contrasts with the Red uniform. This is how I would have done it. It looks like a still from the Wizard of Oz. Well done, Topps.
117- Jose Fernandez. He'll be back in a few weeks. He's gonna tear the place apart.
228- Jered Weaver. How did I not know he had 18 wins last season?
87- Kennys Vargas.
175- MASAHIRO DAMN TANAKA! I love pulling cards of this guy. Even better- FULL JAPAN STATS! I get to read about his 24-0 2013 season!!
11- Bo Jackson. Bo knows awesome batter's box shots.
115- Barry Larkin. Reminds me that a certain Reds lover just ripped a case of this product. And for that, I feel very sorry for him.
225- Bryce Harper, the most powerful man in baseball right now.

Pack 3-
129- Drew Smyly.
277- Edwin Encarnacion. Anybody suspicious about how he's gone from a little third baseman to one of the most consistent home-run hitters in the league- calm down. He hit 26 of them in '08. He's always had the potential for it.
67- Jose Altuve, one of the most fun players in the game right now.
257- Andrew McCutchen SILVER BORDER #'D TO 199! Very, very nice.
211- Kenley Jansen. Foreshadowing for tomorrow's post.
33- Oswaldo Arcia. What's with all the Twins?
173- Ryan Zimmerman. I think I'd zoom closer if I was a 1976 Topps editor.
32- Robin Yount. The shadows really aren't helping this close-up.
134- Duke Snider.
213- Brooks Robinson. The 'not-full-stats' thing hurts the most for mega-longevity players like Brooks- the card lops off another 10 seasons of stats.

Pack 4-
142- Khris Davis. Another BIG TIME boner by Topps- they used a photo of Carlos Gomez. Well done.
274- Jose 'basically done being relevant' Reyes.
86- Mookie Betts.
AAAAHHHHH! I pulled one of the few inserts I was looking for from this product!
Yep, this is a 1989 WILL FERRELL as a Giant insert. He's catching in this one. This is freaking awesome. I think this is gonna go with my Corbin Bernsen Major League card.
267- Nick Castellanos.
61- Tanner Roark, who's NOW getting some play, since Strasburg's gone.
188- Yoenis Cespedes, wearing a definitely-real Tigers jersey, and looking pretty intimidating.
35- Eddie Murray.
197- Bob Lemon. Not everyday you pull a Bob Lemon card out of a Topps product. Nicely done.
214- Orlando Cepeda. Or a Baby Bull card. I'm impressed with the 'legend' selection in here.

Pack 5-
118- Ryan Braun.
59- Yadier Molina. Still one of the best catchers in the NL.
298- Trevor Rosenthal. Two Cardinals in a row? Which deity did I piss off to deserve this?
25- YASIEL PUIG. I think all of LA wishes he was playing better this season.
187- Matt Harvey, the Dark Knight.
292- David Ortiz.
43- Alcides Escobar. Again, some of these 57 shots REALLY work.
195- Adrian Beltre. Another nice one. When Archives does put effort in, it's a pretty nice set.
272- Adrian Gonzalez, having another wonderful season.

Pack 6-
176- Zack Wheeler.
203- Yu Darvish. Both the guys I pulled are both out for the season. Imagine that.
64- Shin-Soo Choo, still a pretty nice hitter.
OOh, a 60's Game insert of...Joe Mauer, yet another Twin. Not complaining though. Mauer's pretty awesome.
8- Jayson Werth. The '57 design really compliments him, too.
199- Joey Votto, back in the swing of things this season.
280- Jason Kipnis.
89- CJ Wilson, still pitching pretty well this season.
116- Carlos Carrasco, FINALLY stepping up this season.
210- Carlos Santana. SO MANY INDIANS

Pack 7-
174- Trevor Bauer. GYAAAAH. INDIANS.
265- Starlin Castro.
21- Billy Hamilton. I've run out of nice things to say about this set.
73- Anthony Rendon.
164- Aroldis Chapman.
260- Andrelton Simmons.
28- Elvis Andrus.
245- Garrett Richards
44- A really cool shot of Jonathan Lucroy.

Pack 8-
140- Austin Jackson.
257- The regular version of Andrew McCutchen.
68- Aaron Sanchez.
a card of George W. Bush. Greeeat. Just what I needed.
15- Jason Rogers.
190- Daniel Norris.
208- Cory Spangenberg.
102- Ken Giles. Okay, at least they made a card of him. Giles is awesome.
291- Jose Bautista.
27- Lorenzo Cain.

So yeah, Archives has its upsides, but has a hell of a lot more downsides. Still, I am gonna collect the base set, because...I do that.

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