Monday, February 15, 2016

Looking for Optimism in a Rack Pack of 2016 Topps

I held off because I was afraid.

I usually go and grab a pack of the new Topps the second it's released. The second I know it will be there. But once it was released, everyone who DID pick it all said, in a unified voice, "NO."

It wasn't looking good. It, in fact, looked very unpromising, unoriginal, and some other uns. But, as a card collector, it was my solemn duty to at least pick up some packs, and try to find a silver lining.

I have a rack pack in front of me. 36 cards. Let's see if I can try to name some good things.

194- Chase Headley. Okay, so for for the first time (I think), my FIRST CARD OF THE SEASON is a Yankee, and it's a pretty good one, too. However, the design is impeding on what could be a pretty cool photo. This is close to 2008 Topps levels of a design interfering with perfectly good parts of a photo. If it was just the little MLB network crawl on the bottom, I'd be fine with this design. Not 100% happy, but fine. Instead, the smog on the edges are putting me off.
17- Billy Butler. The colorful smog on the backs of the cards is reminding me of 2015, and reminds me if this design wasn't so misty and over-elaborate, we could have had a pretty good extension of the 2015 ideologies, which were pretty refreshing.
300- Buster Posey, the poster boy. One of the plusses, like last year, is that there is VERY minimal foil. And I do like that, as it's very reminiscent of stuff like 1993 and 1994 Topps. Only thing is there's just too much going on design wise.
113- Aaron Sanchez. 41 games of relief work gets you an encore card, I guess.
9- Eric Hosmer, one of your World Series heroes.
267- Chris Heston. If you're going by patterns, Chris Heston could be one of your 2016 World Series heroes.
230- Ryan Vogelsong, who's back with the Pirates this season. Also, close cropping!
234- David Robertson. Okay, so every once and a while 2016 Topps can have a gem, and Robertson's is zoomed back far enough that it's pretty cool.
327- Anthony Rizzo. Man, Cubs fans must absolutely adore this guy. I even adore him; I snagged a Rizzo jersey-shirt while I was in Chi-Town.
337- HR Leaders. Jeez, even the leaders cards have the smog.
308- Brian Dozier. Okay, the sideways cards are a little better here, but there's more Miguel Sano on this card than Dozier.
156- Cameron Maybin. This is a pretty damn good shot too, also because it's zoomed out.
122- Melky Cabrera
248- Braves TC. Like everybody's been saying, the team cards have some awesome photography.
41- Josh Harrison. Another awesome card, and more zooming. Topps, do you see the pattern here?
Berger's Best Insert of 1996 John Smoltz. Eh.
Back to Back insert of Rizzo and Bryant.
One of the few consistently awesome inserts, First Pitch, with a Red Sox card of Mo'Ne Davis, which is pretty awesome.
mLB Debut of Ryan Howard. Yay, I guess.
Bunt insert.
43- Noah "Thor" Syndergaard. Future Stars are back. Dude, Thor's a pretty big star NOW.
20- Andrew McCutchen. 2016 Topps: The product that makes Andrew McCutchen look boring.
274- Ryan Goins
304- Charlie Furbush
347- Jason Grilli. Guy's turning 40 this year, and has made a late-stage comeback as a closer, which is awesome. Pretty sweet card, too.
104- Jeremy Hellickson. Phillies picked him up, which says a lot about where his career is at.
173- Jose Abreu. 2014 and 2015 Topps would combine MLB stats with Cuban/Japanese numbers. Here, we get two rows of stats. Beautiful.
4- Sonny Gray. Another cool card. Not saying 2016 Topps can't pull out some great ones, because they can, just not often enough.
103- Trea Turner.
143- Oliver Perez
219- Hector Oliviera. The big-time Cuban prospect the Braves got for Alex Wood.
129- Kendall Graveman
222- Homer Bailey
316- Jake Odorizzi 'FUTURE STAR'. Dude, he's been in the league since 2012. That's just degrading.
348- Seth Smith.
271- Kevin Kiermaier. This guy keeps it up, he'll be a bigger star than Longo.

So, that was a rack-pack of 2016. Not great, right? There are a ton of problems with this set, most of which can't be rectified in the same calendar year. I'm gonna be stuck with a lot of these problems until update, which is kind of sad.

I also got 2 hanger boxes of the stuff, which I will post later.

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