2015 was a year that didn’t suck.
While there wasn’t anything in particular which knocked me off my feet and made me lose every item of clothing, like Charlie Brown on the receiving end of a comeback line drive, it was a year full of many pleasures and a couple of mild surprises. This post is about one of those surprises.
…and it even comes with its own custom, Bob Dylan-inspired artwork:
In previous years, Topps Archives was an exercise in disappointment, too many cards like this:
Too many card where I said “You can’t even put fake clouds in your wrong-shade-of-blue sky? C’mon, dudes, I do this stuff for fun and I can do way better than that.”
But when this year’s Archives set came out in June, I actually enjoyed it. Not “Complete the set” enjoyed it, but “Fun distraction” enjoyed it… “Buy a blaster” enjoyed it… “Raid a dimebox in December” enjoyed it.
I know the set got savaged over the summer, and there are good reasons for savaging it. Thin card stock, relatively high price point, mega-hyper-short prints. Not insignificant issues, but I wasn’t looking for a set to collect, I was just looking for wax to bust, for some vintage designs in my “Current Rosters” binders. An Archives set into which Topps put a moderate amount of effort. And I did get that.
I also wanted at least some of the insert cards based on the 1968 Topps Game insert (a set I’m just a couple of expensive cards away from completing)
They did a nice job on these inserts… not that they’re all that hard to replicate.
This is a durn nice photo of The Wizard. And it’s not impossible to read the yellow and white text over a powder blue uniform. Moderate effort, I’m telling you!
Another reasonably nice 1957 replica featuring a legend.
You can tell it’s an old photo of Cal because he’s got hair.
This Don Sutton isn’t the greatest, but I appreciate the late 1960’s? Early 1970’s? photo.
Trevor Bauer gets it… or at least worked with a photographer who gets it. There’s nothing like a fake follow-through that shows you still holding the baseball.
I’m not a fan of Will Ferrell, but these inserts were an inspired addition.
…although they may have contributed to the high price point of the packs…
Robinson Cano didn’t have a smile on his face for much of 2015. Robinson Cano may have spent a good part of the season wondering if he made a mistake in going for the big paycheck and listening to the Mariners’ promise of contending teams.
But there’s been a major shakeup in the Seattle front office, so maybe, maybe there’ll be more smiles in Safeco this season.
So that’s a quick revisiting of 2015 Archives.
Is it the set of the year? Not even a nominee.
…But was it one of the more pleasant surprises of 2015? You betcha.