When Topps released preview images of 2015 Archives, one image showed Vinny Castilla in the 1976 design (a personal favorite), and the bottom of the card said “COLORADO ROCKIES”… Not just “ROCKIES” like the 1976 cards would’ve had if the Rockies had been a baseball team in 1976.
“Oh, fer Pete’s sake!” I exclaimed (or something to that effect). “Can’t they get anything right?”
After this transgression had time to settle in my brain, I came to the conclusion that Topps can’t possibly be THAT incompetent, there must be some reason (legal or otherwise) why they don’t want to make Archives be exactly like the originals. With that in mind, and with several of my favorite sets being featured, I decided that when the time came when Archives hits the shelves, I would just relax, not worry about the inaccuracies, wrong fonts and wrong colors and just go with it.
I tried to embrace these ideals yesterday when I found hanger-y value packs at a local Target.
I bought two, took them out to my car (while the theft prevention devices beeped at me because the cashier didn’t properly swipe the packs) and opened the first one while intending to save the other for later.
The first card was of George Springer…
…and I reacted with a small amount of delight because I like that photo and it works well with the 1976 design. Not only is it a slightly ridiculous fake batting pose, but if you look at the background, he’s not even on the field. It looks like he might be in the upper deck of whatever Spring Training complex he’s at.
“Not bad”, I thought, “Not at all bad”.
And you know what? The card says “ASTROS”, not “HOUSTON ASTROS”. This is one of the more notable differences I remember between preview images and the actual production.
The 1983 design (another favorite) also turned out pretty well, even if the fonts and some of the colors aren’t right. Again, not going to nitpick, just enjoy it. I know Fuji would enjoy this card of Kurt Suzuki.
I’ve always been on the fence about the 1957 design; when it works, it works really well, but when it doesn’t work it ends up being a mess. I got this Robin Roberts card that has a nice 1950’s photo, and the text is largely legible, so this falls into the “it works!” category.
Yes, the bottom of the card should say “PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES” instead of “PHILLIES”, but the photo outranks the nitpick.
Something I noticed; Topps didn’t add their logo to the front of the 1957 cards. I don’t know why they get a waiver while 1976 doesn’t (not that I care… Going with the flow, going with the flow…)
Then the pack started throwing Mets at me…
…and more Mets…
…and still more Mets…
…And my favorite current Oriole…
And it seemed like Topps was gunning for me.
I think it was around this time that I decided to go ahead and open both packs, “later” be damned.
I’m sure my different attitude helps, but there’s something about this year’s Archives that just strikes a chord with me… and not just all the players I like. I think part of it is the more-interesting-than-usual photos used, but that might be more indicative of something else going on here – I think Topps may have actually –
— put a small amount of EFFORT into this one!
Say it ain’t so, Joe! Say it ain’t so!
Sadly, I didn’t get a “1968 Game” insert. I also didn’t get a Will Ferrell insert, which I don’t care much about because Ferrell isn’t my sense of humor (and I’m sure I caused spit-takes the world over with that statement).
I did get this nice-looking silver Jose Altuve parallel #’ed to 199.
It looks grey in the scan, but it’s silver… Sort of. The same kind of “silver” that was used for parallels in Topps Total, for the handful of people who know what I’m talking about.
I also got a few of these All-Star Rookies in the 1990 style:
I think they did a slightly better job on these than they did when 1990 Topps got “Archived” a few years ago. Or maybe I’ve just successfully blocked those out of my memory.
This card made me say something stupid:
My immediate reaction was “Those aren’t the right colors for a 1976 Mariners card!” until I realized the stupidity of that thought (the M’s started in 1977).
I kinda liked this Lucroy card:
…And this Harmon Killebrew card, although I thought it would’ve been cool if they’d featured Killer during his career-ending stop with the Royals… but I would’ve been one of the few people who would’ve liked that.
According to the back of his card, Killebrew’s career ended after 1967. That will come as news to a lot of people.
Have they done this type of thing before in Archives? I don’t really look at the backs of these cards very much.
So those are the highlights of my two packs.
Something I rarely say: I’m going to buy more Archives.
Something I’ve never said before: I think I might buy a blaster of Archives.
For those of you who were hoping that I’d trash Archives, I will say that the wrapper is tremendously boring. All that artwork sitting around in the Topps offices, and you go with a boring boilerplate 1980’s design? Whatever.