Wednesday, August 31, 2011

1983 Topps

Can you say....1963!!! Again, another set made by Topps where it's nothing more than a rehash of a previous set. Don't get me wrong, I like both, but originality here this is not. Not only do both sets look the same, but both years end in 3! Maybe Topps was starting to toss around the idea of Heritage at this time with using old card designs for current players. The world may never know. What I do know is that I wish for originality and creativity, which Topps had a little during the 80s with the 1985 set, but not when you look at the 1980, 1983, and 1987 sets in particular. I do like the fact that in the 1983 set you'll see Seaver and Bench wearing the Reds uniform, but it's a little bittersweet especially since this was Johnny's last year in the big leagues. Time marches on, and waits for no one.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2012 Topps

OK, so there's a lot of talk out there concerning the 2012 Topps product that's slated for release next year. Honestly, I think it's a nice product. Looking at some of the photos posted on Beckett, I think the base set is nice and clean with the white borders and I like how the info is displayed on the bottom left of the card with the team logo and player name. I just with Topps would have included the player's position within that area. I like the Bruce card showing him tipping his helmet to the camera. Inserts though, I'm not a big fan of and again, the 2012 set seems to be loaded with them. From Golden Greats to Golden Moments to Gold Parallels, there's more Gold in this set than what Glenn Beck would know what to do with! Anyway, I'm anxious to get my hands on these cards next year for my Reds Team set. Who knows, maybe this will be Topps next Gold Standard.

Friday, August 26, 2011

1982 Topps

Not a whole lot to say about this set. Pros and Cons, as I always do regarding any Topps set. I do like the facsimile autographs on the front of the card and the fact that Topps again used their "In Action" subset this year. The photography could have been better (especially from a Reds fan perspective...Johnny Bench portrait!) Standard white border as with any Topps set around this time period. Not that it's a bad thing but white borders year after year do get a little boring. I do like the green on the card backs, although I guess any color would do except for maybe black, but I'm no expert. It's funny really to look at the quality of these early 80s sets and then see how everything changed in 1989. Sometimes I think that if Topps were to take a year and print their base set on the stock they use to and package their cards with a stick of stale gum in an actual "wax" pack that many of us old school collectors would be willing to buy a box or two of the product for the chance of taking a trip down memory lane once more.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

1991 Topps

Were any of you like me when Topps announced in 1991 that they would be giving away cards the company had produced for the past 40 years by seeding them in packs of their latest product? I knew I had to buy boxes of this stuff hoping to get a Mays, an Aaron, or even a Mantle card. Needless to say, I didn't get anything except maybe about three complete sets from the boxes I busted open. But it sure was fun! I like this set. From the simple clean white border to the "40 years" logo on the front and back of the card. All in all, I think Topps did a great job with this set compared to Fleer, Donruss, and Score at the time (although they couldn't touch Upper Deck...but then again who could?) In addition, Topps sent some of these cards over to our troops in the Gulf during Desert Shield, although the only difference with those cards and the regular issue are the gold leaf Desert Shield logo that graces the front of the card. Not sure if I want to try and complete that team set or not. Anyway, I still think about going on eBay one weekend and buying a box just to bust and see who I get. Sure, there's a ton of it out there and it's not worth much. But isn't that what makes this hobby fun? Just opening a pack of cards and seeing what you got.

Monday, August 22, 2011

2007 Topps

You can't go wrong with black! This set reminds me of the 1971 Topps set for some reason...probably because of the black border. But nevertheless, I like this set. Sure, there are those that argue that it's plain, bland, boring, or just an afterthought compared to Topps other products. But I see something totally different: smooth, suave, sleek, sophisticated, stylish. Need I say more? I do get a tear in my eye though whenever I look at this set and see Josh Hamilton in his Reds uniform and think about what might have been. Especially looking at the hot mess Volquez has become. Kinda reminds me of the Frank Robinson / Milt Pappas trade back in the 60s. For once I wish the Reds would come out on top when they decide to trade someone away. We can all hope, can't we?

Friday, August 19, 2011

1991 Topps Stadium Club

This is one of the few sets that I've ever had a desire to complete, and it's my favorite set ever produced by a company. When this set came out in 1991 (the year after the Reds won their last World Series) I knew I had to have it from the moment I opened my first pack of Series I cards. Sure it was expensive (around $10 a pack at my local card store) but I had never seen cards that were like this. Just look at the Chris Sabo card from this set. Full bleed kodak photography, gold foil, glossy finish on both the front and back of the cards, miniature picture of the player's rookie card on the back, and the list goes on and on. Sure it took a bit of money to put together and it's not as valuable as it was back in 1991, but I wouldn't trade my 1991 Stadium Club set for anything.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

2006 Topps

I love chrome. I love it on classic cars. I love it on household fixtures. I love it on baseball cards. I guess that's why I love the 2006 Topps cards as much as I do...for the chrome. I think Topps did a great job with this set from the red white and blue border, to the great photography, to the use of chrome in the team and player name. Not only that, but the set does have "The Kid" still as a Red. Next to Rose and Larkin, Griffey is my third most favorite Red even though he was banged up a lot and wasn't able to post numbers in Cincinnati that he did in Seattle. No matter. I think the only other way this set could have been better would have been to have Mr. Redlegs as part of it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

1972 Topps

What's not to like about big bold letters in a psychedelic sort of way? I like how Topps used a funky and fun design for this set. I love the "In Action" cards that accompanied many of the great player cards in this set. It's a nice change of pace from the 1971 black border set. And for a Reds fan, this is our chance to grab the first Joe Morgan card in a Reds uniform. Sweet! I have nothing to complain about the 1972 Topps set (which is itself amazing since I always seem to complain about something no matter how small it may be). I will say this, the 1972 Reds should have won the World Series against the Oakland As! Stupid Gene Tenace! Oh well, guess the Big Red Machine had a few gears loose leading up to their momentous 1975-76 season.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ultimate Reds Room

So, I'm in the process of coming up with designs for MY ultimate Reds room and I noticed a couple of postings out there of some other Reds fans hoping to get an idea of what to do. I do have a lot of memorabilia collected, but still have a few things left to get. I'll share what I have on some upcoming blog posts, but for the time being, I've decided to share a couple of pictures. Probably the greatest inspiration is the Ultimate Reds Room in the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. The way that the collectibles are displayed is just amazing! In addition, they do a great job using old team photos, pennants, and posters that makes it look great but not too overwhelming.

The other photo I found is a fan room where someone had a TON of jerseys and some really cool framed posters that I would like to have (especially the 1975 Champion poster). Again, not too cluttered and enough cool stuff that say's "Hey, I'm a Reds fan and I'm proud to show it!" Not sure if I want to display some of my best baseball cards like my Rose and Bench rookies when I finish my Ultimate Reds Room, but I've got plenty of time to decide. Of course, I won't be able to have my fan room until my basement is finished, but hopefully this time next year I'll be kicking back and watching the Reds in my own little Reds Man Cave!

1995 Topps

Not much to say about this set, except that it's another boring Topps set from the 1990s. Since there was so much product out there during this time period I guess I'm not surprised that the name of the game was quantity and not quality. What I do find fascinating about this set is that it appears that the card design resembles a fuzzy dream in that there's no real border on the card, at least from my perspective. It just kind of fades into the picture. The one bright spot is that I love the photo Topps used for Barry Larkin in this set. Barry's one of my all time favorite Reds players and the way he's squared up to bunt, but decides not to in this pic is very sweet. Not only that, but 1995 was his MVP year. Here's hoping that he'll get the call from Cooperstown after the next vote!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

1981 Topps

I know there are a lot of people out there that like the design of the 1981 Topps set, but I'm not one of them. The photos are ok, from the cards I've collected anyway, but the green border is less than desirable as is the Topps baseball that graces the front of each card. Yet, these complaints pale in comparison to my biggest gripe about the set...the large ball cap on the front of the card.I hate the fact that it's not just ugly, but it's hideous! Topps could have (and should have) done a better job with the design by using a replica of the team's actual hat instead of one that spells out the team name and the player's position. So much potential, but what could have been something with a "Wow" factor is nothing more than a "Ugh"! (Unlike the 1981 Reds season) I'm just happy they redeemed themselves with the 1982 design.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shout Out for the Card Contest at the Daily Dimwit

Sweet contest going on at the Daily Dimwit. Best of's FREE! Need I say more?

1992 Topps

So here's another set that helped to add to the glut of baseball cards in the 1990s. I will say that I do have a soft spot in my heart for the 1992 Topps set. The photos weren't too bad and I liked how on the back of the card a picture of the team's stadium was posted below the stats. Although the era of the cookie cutter stadium was coming to a close, seeing my first baseball game in Riverfront Stadium was nothing short of spectacular. The 1992 Topps Reds set had a lot of competition, especially from it's pristine brother Stadium Club. Regardless, the simplicity of the base product sets will always have my loyalty than the super supreme high end sets that made their debut in the early part of the decade. So here's to you 1992 Topps Barry Larkin! I still love you no matter how much of a plain Jane you may be.

Friday, August 5, 2011

1967 Topps

Another set from the 1960s, another set that I like. Topps kept this design simple with a white border around the card, the team name in big letters at the bottom, facsimile autograph, a colorful green back and descent photography.This set has my favorite Pete Rose card produced by Topps. I love the old Reds pinstripe uniform that Pete's wearing along with his stance and a beautiful shot of Crosley Field in the background with a nice blue sky. This card is as close to photo perfection as possible (at least that's my opinion and I'm sticking with it). Some of the other highlights are the high number cards of Tony Perez and Vada Pinson, a couple of my other favorite former Reds players. I just wish Cincinnati would have kept Frank Robinson instead of trading him to Baltimore a year earlier....then this set would be one of my favorites of all time.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

1974 Topps

Since I mentioned in my 1980 Topps post the other day about the 1974 Topps set, I decided to follow it up today. I do love this set from the 1970s as one of my favorites. Not sure exactly why, maybe the design or it could be the photography. It might also have to do with the fact that the 1975 set was a little too colorful for my liking. Nothing worse than a rainbow of colors exploding onto cardboard as it does for the 1975 Topps set. My most favorite card from the 74 Topps Reds set would have to be the Concepcion card. Very sweet shot of him fielding the ball. On a side note, I found out the other day that Concepcion used the astroturf to his advantage in Riverfront Stadium by one-hopping the ball across the field to first when throwing a hitter out. How cool is that? Just about as cool as the 1974 Topps Reds team set.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

To Relic or Not To Relic

That is the question. And the more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to stay away from purchasing relic cards for my collection. It helps to know that I'm not the only collector out there that has this feeling. In fact just today I read an old post from SportsCollectorOz. While I do admit that I think Relic cards were cool when they first came out, I think they're completely out of hand now and destroying numerous artifacts that would be best left alone and completely preserved. The other thing that troubles me about recent relic cards are their authenticity, as mentioned in a post I read by The Mojo Beard. What the hobby learned from the 90s was that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing when it comes to production and now I think the same can be said for relics.

Monday, August 1, 2011

1980 Topps

Just getting back from a week of vacation, so this post is a little late. Back to the 80s, when collecting was in it's heyday and everyone thought that collecting baseball cards, or hoarding more like it, would lead to a world of riches beyond belief. I remember going into a Coins+ shop in Beechmont Mall in the late 80s and seeing the 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson rookie cards and being in awe at it's beauty...and price! $50 for a card back then for a teen was serious business and though I wanted that card badly, I settled for a 1974 Dave Winfield rookie instead for $10...what a steal at the time! Anyway, I digress. I love this set even though it does resemble the 1974 Topps set in many ways and you can't go wrong with Bench AND Seaver in this set for the Reds. I guess the only complaint I have about the 1980 Topps set was that I didn't care much for the blue backs since it made reading the stats a little difficult. But hey, nobody's perfect.