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, May 25, 2012

The Best Topps Set Countdown - #'s 15-11

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.

15. 1993

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.

14. 1963

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.

13. 1953

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.

12. 1984

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. 

11. 2009

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.


night owl said...

I've always noted the decade thing -- years ending in 3, 4, etc., and I've observed the "3" years as being pretty good, too. (This was a future post idea at one point).

But I thought '93 was the weak link amid the rest of them. Don't like that set much.

Marcus said...

I really liked the '93 set, but that was one of my first years of collecting baseball cards, so there's some nostalgia for me there. I'm also partial to the '84 set because it's the year I was born, and when I was a kid, I thought it was cool to have a card that was the same age as me. I still think it's cool.