A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Best Topps Set Countdown - #'s 35-31

For this segment of The Best Topps Set Countdown, I want to talk about the helpfulness of time.  By that I mean sometimes when a set comes out our first impression is that is an awesome set or that set is awful.  Sometimes, that first impression will stick with us and be an accurate representation.  However, there are some sets that get either better or worse with age.  This segment will give us a look at three representatives that have either moved up the list, down the list, or are literally still under the first impression.  Let's take a look at the next five entrants onto the Best Topps Set Countdown.

#35 1994

PLUSES - I like that the photo is cut into the shape of a plate, well somewhat anyway.  All relevant information is put on the front.  This is the first Topps set with a large color picture on the back.

MINUSES -The large color picture on the back does smash the stats into a very small and hard to read font.  Overall, just kind of boring set from a year that is full of weak offerings from every manufacturer.

#34 1980

PLUSES - This is one of the better card backs of the 70s and 80s.  I like that they went away from the usual baseball as the card number and went with the plate.  The flags on the front seem baseball-specific and fit with the times.

MINUSES - Very few action shots in the set.  I still don't like facsimile autos on the front.  The team colors are seemingly random, which works in theory but not in this case.

#33 2008

PLUSES - The bubble letters are very memorable.  I really like the baseball diamond on the "name bump" on the back.  The set gets better with age.

MINUSES -The bump on the front is very intrusive on many of the photos.  The player name would have been better in primary team color to give balance on the front.  I don't that the bubbles are reversed color on the back.  They would have been better as identical.

#32 1978

PLUSES - I like the most distinctive aspect of the set, the script team name.  The baseball position is also fairly nice, if a bit cliche.  The "Play Ball" on the back is a good idea and was probably fun for kids at the time.

MINUSES - Team colors are not stuck with in general.  Brown for the Blue Jays?  Blue is in the name, how hard is that?  I don't like the major information (name, team, position) being at the bottom on the back.  The orange back is not all that appealing either, but not horrible.

#31 2012

PLUSES - Very good photography in most cases.  I like the "surfboard" being used on the back as well.  No picture on the back is actually kind of nice after several years of crowding one in.  Generally a very appealing card back.

MINUSES -The black bar on the front makes the last name very hard to read.  Once again foil is the main culprit.  Several of the photos are too zoomed in, such as the above card with half the shadow cut off.  

In case you were curious 2008 was the set that moved up in my mind, 1978 was the set that moved down, and 2012 was the first impression of course.  When I initially set up the outline of this complete list, I had 2008 at #6 overall.  After reexamining, I believe I put it in a more deserving spot at #33.  Three years ago, 2008 would have been in my bottom 10 at best, but time does seem to change things.  I also thought 1978 was the best set of the 70's for the longest time as a kid, obviously that has changed.  It's not a bad set, but is kind of middling which is why it is set up in the middle I suppose.  The set I put in as the exact average set is also the newest.  Will time cause this years Topps set to move up or down?  Who knows?  All I know is that in 10 years my list will probably be a bit different than it is today.

Are there any sets that you changed your mind about in either direction after a few years passed?  I am really curious to see some comments on this one. 


night owl said...

I've come to like the 1978 more than I did when it first came out. I didn't like it at all when it first arrived -- I can't remember why now.

So that's why I would've put '78 higher on this list. And, as you know, I don't like '08 much so that would've been lower.

Cory said...

1988 Topps is getting better and better every year.
Some of the photos are framed so well in that set.

Cory said...

I have the same problem with 2008 Topps as Night Owl alluded to in one of his posts.

The Topps bump on the front made them shrink all the photos, making for a less than ideal card.

Without the bump it would be a top 10 set for me.

Potch said...

I'll admit that I find it very hard to lose my biases - and 1978 was the first set for me - so I love it.

One day I'll need to review and at least try to be impartial about the 1976, 1978-83 sets of my youth.

I do not like 2008 at all and I'm OK with 1994. I guess to answer your question based at least on the offerings in this post, I've warmed up some to 1994. I really hated it when I first saw it.