Usually, I do not collect baseball cards. Where I was once incredibly interested in the game that I grew up with, I grew bored with the sport, and therefore bored with the cards. Even more than that, my favorite team went from a perennial division winner to a cellar dweller, and that is especially hard to deal with. Overall, I found football to be a much more exciting sport, and my shift to football cards was complete. Being that I was never a card collector, but instead an autograph collector, baseball cards didnt have the same appeal that the autograph dominated football cards did.
Topps has made a shift over the last two years to include more chase content in a lot of their products, with the hopes of further cross pollination, and I bit hard for a few of them. This year, I am starting to get some of that chase with 2013 Topps, and I definitely like it (no pun intended. It has pissed off all the fundamentalists out there, but when are fundamentalists ever known for relevance? I understand why Topps has been reluctant, but the shift in collector favor towards high end will continue to be drastic.
Here are some of the bigger cards that have been posted:
2013 Topps Roger Maris Cut Auto Redemption – Redemption for a cut? WTF?
My favorite of all the cards that have popped up so far, is this Mike Trout auto SP that is done in the base design. Its not my favorite because of the way it looks (odd for me), but because it is an autograph on a base card. I would never buy this with the way it looks, but it signals that Topps might be starting to understand that they are missing out in this regard. I think that the Topps base design is the best of the best each year, and this type of card should be done more frequently to capitalize on that fact. The big white space for the auto is beyond awful, but its a start at least. Next time, I hope they just put it over the card and leave the design alone.
I really like the different manufactured award and coin relics, as I think that these types of cards are long overdue. There should always be celebration of award winners in every sport, and these types of cards are awesome. I have heard they are ridiculously thick, but that should only add to the space available to make the relics awesome.
I also like the commemorative World Series cards as well, as I believe that many collectors out there would gravitate to these types of examples for their favorite team. Even though the relics are not used in the actual series, the cards are selling for ridiculous prices. I would be a buyer too, if the Twins ever got around to being good again.
Lastly, the out of bounds photo variations could not be a more welcome addition to the Topps variation tradition. Instead of going for Pie in the Face, or sparkles, this year, it is a celebration of incredible playmaking and photography. BRAVO. BRA-VO. Love it. Hope we get a home run trot one next year.
The rest of the autograph content is pretty standard, but I think that the design has gotten significantly better over previous years. There is a futuristic feel to the Dream subset, and the chasing history subset looks great with the full bleed photos. I absolutely think there needs to be more autograph content involved, but done so in a way that makes it unique. I would hope more on card stuff is done next year, with a sincere focus on bringing the fundamentalists and the high end chasers closer to the middle.