2018 Opening Day Base Cards With Different Photos, Part 5

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts.  For those who missed the first four parts, this post features the Opening Day cards which I’ve confirmed as having a photo different from the Topps flagship counterpart.

For all of these pairings, the Opening Day card is on the right.

Anthony Rendon (Opening Day card #109)

Nomar Mazara (Opening Day card #104)
Remember when “Nomar” was an unheard of name?  It’s kind of like when the whole joke in the movie “Splash” was that Madison was a ridiculous name for Daryl Hannah’s character.

Whit Merrifield (Opening Day card #192)
I read something impressive about Whit Merrifield the other day… shame I can’t remember it.

Corey Seager (Opening Day card #59)
Thanks to the insert set in Target packs of flagship, I’ve officially had my fill of Corey Seager.

Jeremy Hellickson (Opening Day card #180)
Hellickson was only an Oriole from July 28, 2017 to the end of last season.  He’s pitched with the Nationals all year after signing as a free agent in March.  Oops.

2018 Opening Day Base Cards With Different Photos, Part 4

Series 2 came out this past week, and I was happy to find out that the photo differences with Topps Opening Day weren’t limited to Series 1.  Series 2 has them as well;  time will tell what the ultimate count will be for the photo variations list, but I’m just happy that it hasn’t stopped.  The fun continues!

For those who missed the first three parts, this post features the Opening Day cards which I’ve confirmed as having a photo different from the Topps flagship counterpart. This is a work in progress and I’ll post a new batch every time I’ve found enough for a new post.

I’ll start with two examples from Series 2, the remainder are from Series 1.  With the exception of the Ohtani card, all throughout this post the Opening Day card is on the right.

Shohei Ohtani (Opening Day card #200)
No surprise that a different photo was used for Series 2.  I screwed up when scanning this pair and inadvertently put the Opening Day card on the left,

Sonny Gray (OD card # 177)
I’m 80% of the way through a Series 2 blaster, and this is the other pairing I found where I have both the Opening Day and Series 2 counterpart.

Kendrys Morales (OD card # 105)

Parker Bridwell (OD card # 197)

Zack Cozart (OD card # 33)
The graphics artists at Topps couldn’t have asked for an easier photoshopping job than this one.  Angels logo on the helmet, another on the sleeve, boom.  Done.

Alex Verdugo (OD card # 128)

Greg Allen (OD card # 121)

Summary of findings to date:
Of the 200 cards in 2018 Topps Opening Day…
43 cards have a different photo
5 cards are photoshopped (Only Giancarlo Stanton has the same photo)
3 cards use the same photo but is cropped differently
9 cards have the same photo but are missing the “Future Stars” banner in OD
83 cards are essentially the same as flagship
57 cards from Series 2 remain to be determined

If you’re interested in the full series of these posts, click on the 2018 Topps Opening Day tag below.

2018 Opening Day Base Cards With Different Photos, Part 3

As with the first two parts, this post features the Opening Day cards which I’ve confirmed as having a photo different from the Series 1 counterpart. This is a work in progress and I’ll post a new batch every time I’ve found enough for a new post.

Brandon Woodruff (Opening Day Card # 122)
I’m a sucker for cards where the ball seems to be coming right at you.

Eddie Rosario (OD Card # 174)
Kind of interesting that Jorge Polanco almost takes up as much real estate as Eddie Rosario

Troy Tulowitzki (OD Card # 106)
The Series 1 card is more interesting, but not exactly a great photo.

Alex Colome (OD Card # 194)
This one is a toss-up.

Anthony Banda (OD card # 136)
This pairing is interesting because the OD card is much more interesting than the Series 1 card.  BTW, Banda is in AAA with the Rays after this past winter’s 3 team trade that also saw Brandon Drury and Steven Souza changing teams.

Summary of findings to date:
27 cards still undetermined
31 cards have a different photo
5 cards are photoshopped (and may or may not have different photos)
3 cards use the same photo but is cropped differently
6 Series 1 “Future Stars” cards are the same but are missing the banner in OD
63 cards do not have a corresponding card in Series 1
65 cards are essentially the same as Series 1

2018 Opening Day Base Cards With Different Photos, Part 2

As with Part 1, this post features the Opening Day cards which I’ve confirmed as having a photo different from the Series 1 counterpart. This is a work in progress and I’ll post a new batch every time I’ve found enough for a new post.

I have to say… this is easily the most fun I’ve ever had with Topps Opening Day (This, by the way, is not a bold statement).

With all of these it’s Series 1 on the left and Opening Day on the right.  I’ll start with three that I referenced in part 1…

Giancarlo Stanton (Opening Day card # 60)

Next to the Shohei Ohtani rookie, this is probably the best known Opening Day card.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. (OD # 116)

Ian Kinsler (OD # 163)

Andrew Stevenson (OD # 135)
At first glance this seems like Topps photoshopped him into a different jersey, but it’s really two different photos (look at the player in the background between Stevenson’s legs).

Chance Sisco (OD # 123)

Summary of findings to date:
68 cards still undetermined
21 cards have a different photo
5 cards are photoshopped (and may or may not have different photos)
2 cards use the same photo but is cropped differently
4 Series 1 “Future Stars” cards are the same but are missing the banner in OD
63 cards do not have a corresponding card in Series 1
37 cards are essentially the same as Series 1

2018 Opening Day Base Cards With Different Photos, Part 1

I’m not a huge fan of parallels… which means that I’m usually not a huge fan of Topps Opening Day base cards, which are usually pseudo-parallels of their Series 1 & 2 equivalents.

But when a set like Opening Day or Topps Chrome uses different photos than were used in the flagship Topps set… Well that catches my attention.  They’re like non-short-printed variations (with the corresponding non-short-print price).

It does seem like this year’s Opening Day set has more cards with different photos than it has in the past… or the recent past, anyway.

As soon as the Opening Day checklist was released, one of the first things I did was to bump it up against the Series 1 checklist to see which players are depicted with different teams (guaranteeing, at the very least, photoshopping into a new uniform).

This is that list:
33 Zack Cozart (LAA)
60 Giancarlo Stanton (NYY – confirmed this is the same photo)
163 Ian Kinsler (LAA)
184 Yangervis Solarte (TOR)
195 Marcell Ozuna (STL)

This was a somewhat disappointing start because it seems like there were more updated cards in the past… but this *was* an odd offseason so I won’t get all judgemental.  As I would find out, things would be better than I’d feared.

The “Future Star” cards from Series 1 don’t have that graphic in Opening Day… I mention this in case that type of variation floats your boat (variations such as this leave my boat in dry dock).

I bought two jumbo packs of Opening Day last week, and in that post I pointedly featured only one base card.  However, when I started putting the Opening Day cards into my “Current Rosters” binders, I was surprised to find that a bunch of the Opening Day cards used different photos… and that’s just the cards I happen to have.

I then found out, from the Twitter account of internationally-famous collector and all-around swell guy Mark Hoyle, that Jackie Bradley Jr. (Card #116) has a different base card, and Rafael Devers (#2) has the same photo but Opening Day is cropped looser and is horizontally-oriented.

Yesterday I found out from Once A Cub and his brand new 2018 Topps Opening Day Blog that Jose Quintana (#199) and Nomar Mazara (#104) also have different photos.  From what I’ve seen so far, I’m happy to pimp this blog.  Once A Cub digs deep into the set one card at a time, comparing the photos to Series 1, team sets, and also going out and finding the original photo plus info about the photo… Lots of great information, I recommend it.

Conversely, at this point i have confirmed 14 cards to use the same photo as Series 1.  I currently believe there are 62 cards which are “previews” of Series 2, plus the Shohei Ohtani…

…which I can’t believe won’t feature a different photo in Series 2.

So what follows are the Opening Day cards from my collection which, at this point, I’ve confirmed as having a different photo…:

Elvis Andrus (Opening Day Card #101)

Ryan McMahon (OD #115)

Nick Williams (OD #120)

Clint Frazier (OD #117)

Clayton Kershaw (OD #1)

Brian Anderson (OD #131)

Almost missed this one as it seems very much like the same play.

Daniel Murphy (OD #111)

I also found out about Willie Calhoun (OD #118) having a different photo, but I don’t yet have the Series 1 card (which has a similar photo but is a vertical card).

I’ll have additional parts of this at some point, once I’ve got enough cards scanned to make it worthwhile.

 

Getting On The Waterslide: 2018 Topps Is Better Than I’d Expected

…I know!!!!

I mean, I was hopeful that the cards would look better in hand than they did on Twitter… But I have to say that after buying a blaster at Target and opening 4 packs plus the “Commemoriative MLB Players Weekend Patch Card”, I am pleasantly surprised.

Keep your expectations reigned in.  It’s not the set of the year.  The photography isn’t award-winning.  There are things about it which annoy me a bit.

But as a flagship Topps set… Hey, this doesn’t suck.  Easily better than 2016 and 2017.

Flagship Topps:  It’s Not Just For Repacks Anymore!

OK, enough of that, let’s dive into my 4 packs.

First card I saw:

It’s kind of hard to describe, but these cards seem… darker than the last couple of years… but not excessively dark.  Just a little darker.  As with the recent past, the Topps logo is the only foil on the base cards.  Neither the “waterslide” graphics or the pixilization are as distracting in person as they are in the images.

Also from the first pack… First Oriole:

The faux-shiny effect on the team logo is particularly distracting on the Oriole Bird.

First Met… An Oriole and a Met in the first pack is a good sign for me.

Here’s the back. I’ll admit, as time goes on I care less and less about the backs. If they bring back cartoons… new cartoons, not “borrowed” ones from the past… then I’ll look at the back for more than the card number. Oh, and good news: The card number is pretty easy to read.

Minor kvetch: White numbers on orange (Orioles) or light grey (White Sox) still provides some eye strain, but it’s still better than a lot of recent sets. I sometimes wonder if graphic designers work on these humongoid screens and don’t fully realize how tiny certain type will be on the finished product.

Here’s a horizontal base card…

First major surprise of the pack busting… Hey… This team card… it’s kind of… interesting.

Sure, it’s the usual “Guys high-fiving each other”, but it’s at least from a different angle.

I have one comment about the design… I don’t care for the waterslide partially obscuring the first letter of the player’s name.  I understand the effect they’re going for, but I noticed that it doesn’t work all the time… witness “IREA” Turner.

And one last thing about the base cards…  ANOTHER not-uninteresting team card!

What is up with that?

OK, moving on to some inserts…  First the patch card.  I’m not big into patch cards, so I was hoping that I’d pull something that someone I know would be interested in it, or that I could sell it on COMC, but then tragedy struck:

Amed Rosario?  It’s a Mets patch card, and it’s pretty nice (as patch cards go), so as it turns out I’m gonna keep it… probably on my desk with the Cal Ripken Medallion card from a year or two ago which has been sitting there because I don’t know what to do with such a thick card.

BTW, I love the fine print under the patch:  “THIS COMMEMORATIVE PATCH WAS NOT WORN DURING THE 2017 MLB PLAYERS WEEKEND”.

To counteract my good fortune, I pulled two cards from this insert set.

To quote Eleanor (Kristen Bell) from The Good Place:  “Holy mother forking shirt balls!”

To paraphrase Indiana Jones:  “Jeets.  Why did it have to be Jeets?”

I mean, it’s a nice-enough card… but it’s not like I need MORE Jeter.  Hope all you Yankees fans out there go broke collecting this stuff.

Speaking of “It’s not like I need more…”

Nope, didn’t miss pulling Jose Canseco from packs.

Before I get too negative, here’s an insert I like:  1983 tribute!

The emblem in the top right is silver foil, it just scans black.  These seem relatively well done, and they’re not minis!  Yay!  They’re also on the same cardstock as the regular cards, which gets a small deduction from the judges.  Otherwise, it seems like a decent version of 1983.  Put ’em in a 9-pocket sheet and it won’t bother you.

The back is faithful to the original, but kinda weird:

It’s meant to look like 1983 cardboard, but it looks sorta orangey in person.

“Award Winner” insert.  Meh.  Not great, and the design overwhelms the text.  OK, for team/player collectors.

“Opening Day” insert… they couldn’t find a less confusing name?  I haven’t decided how I feel about this.

So, to wrap up… from what I’ve seen, this is the second-best Topps flagship design of the past five years.  Nowhere near classic and I don’t think I’ll be trying to complete the set… but it’ll be nice to buy packs of a flagship set for reasons other than “Well, there aren’t any other packs in the card aisle…”