If you are like me you have noticed that the final number in a particular set has a bit of a determining factor in whether that set will be good or bad. This year, for example, is a 2 year. 2012 Topps will always have something in common with 1952, 1972, 1992, etc., for better or worse. While the "2 year" is not a good example of this phenomenon since there are very good sets and very bad sets, there are a couple of prime examples of this working. I'll preface this with the obvious statement that this is my opinion only. I'll start with the bad one which, surprisingly, happens to be the "0 year." On this countdown, the highest "0 year" set is 1980 at #34 and 3 of the bottom 4 sets are "0 years" as well. On the opposite end of the spectrum there is one year that give me hope for the near future. The "3 year" has never delivered a horrible set and in most cases, great sets were produced. The lowest "3 year" is 2003 at #28 (and some would say that was TOO low). Is this merely an anomaly or is there something to it? Either way it leaves me with sufficient hope for next year's offering of Topps baseball cards. For now let's show off the next five sets on the countdown featuring 3 of the "3 year" wonders.
PLUSES - Clean, simple front design which really accentuates the photo. The back is the star of this show with the first ever appearance of the full color head shot in a Topps set.
MINUSES - Not all about the back is perfect though. The vertical orientation is once again a pet peeve of mine. The large Topps logo on the back is also not very appealing.
PLUSES - Really bright and colorful, always a plus in my book. The inset photo (not shown here but you know what it looks like) is very iconic and probably the best aspect of this set.
MINUSES - The last name is in a bigger font than the first. I don't know exactly why, but I never liked that. The back is unremarkable at best and flat out boring at worst.
PLUSES - Absolutely beautiful painted card fronts in most cases. The logo on the front is also great, especially for those teams that have drastically changed them over the years. The Dugout Quiz is a great card back addition.
MINUSES - Once again the vertical card back rears its ugly head. Aside from that, the completely unnecessary red facsimile auto is just odd, especially over the text.
PLUSES - The first ever appearance of the logo on a card back which should have never taken 32 years to happen. A really good looking card back for the era as well. Although I usually hate vertical writing, I like the vertically oriented team names in this case.
MINUSES - The front design is a little too similar to the prior year knocking it down a few spots.
PLUSES - Fantastic photography in most cases on a very clean design. I really the use of the plate with the rarely used alternative logos as well. I like the oddball stats above the arch in most cases (excluding the six degrees of Mickey Mantle).
MINUSES - The Mantle stat mentioned above. I don't really get the circular "arched" shape of the back. Most of the time the back mirrors the front, but this one seems odd somehow.
What did you think of this grouping? Some too high? Some too low? Did I forget a better example of the "decade phenomenon"? As always yours comments are highly encouraged, because without them I am just writing a diary. Tune in next week for the start of the Top Ten.