Monday, August 08, 2011

Delivery Time! Almost 1300 Words About 2011 Topps!

I recently completed a trade with blog reader Robert (who doesn't have a blog as far as I know).  Anyhow, I sent Robert some 2011 Topps base cards in exchange for some 2011 Topps inserts that I needed.  Thanks to Robert, my set is now much closer to finally being completed - there are still a few more inserts that I need but it looks promising.

Unfortunately, as I sat down to write this trade post, I realized that I don't think there is much else to say about the 2011 Topps base set that hasn't been said already - either by me, or more likely, by someone else with better writing skills...

So what I decided to do is to play a little game with the cards.  Robert sent me 10 cards, so let's have them face-off to see who is the best of the best (well, the best of the 10 anyhow).  Of course, all scoring is completely random...and to make things more interesting, each round the cards will be judged on different criteria (otherwise the Larkin would probably win without a fight).

Round 1:  Card Fronts - 3 groups of 3* - best 2 move on from each group (*one group will have four cards)

Round 2:  Card backs: - 2 groups of 3 - best 2 move on from each group

Round 3:  Photo - 2 groups of 2 - top card from each group moves on.  (Note:  In this round, only the photos will be considered, if a card has a photo on the front and back, both are considered).

Round 4:  Overall - 1 group of 2 - top card wins.
Which card has the best overall "feel."  There is no qualifier here other than my gut.

There's the rounds, let's get it on!

Round 1:

Group 1:  
60 Years of Topps - Duke Snider
60 Years of Topps - Ozzie Smith
60 Years of Topps - Jim Palmer
60 Years of Topps - Dave Parker

The trade with Robert was heavy with the 60 Years of Topps cards - I haven't quite figured out how I'll judge the back of the cards (maybe I didn't think this through) but luckily that's a problem that I don't have to deal with quite yet.  For the first group, only two of the four cards move on - so let's look at them carefully.

Of the four designs, the 1974 Dave Parker is probably the least memorable of the group, so he's eliminated first.  Despite the plethora of 1987 Topps cards in existence, I still like the set...but I also like the '63 and '81 sets...I think Ozzie draws the short straw here, he probably would have moved on if he were in either other bracket but them's the breaks.

Duke Snider and Jim Palmer move on to round 2!

Next group:

 60 Years of Topps - Eddie Murray
Topps 60 - Evan Longoria
60 Years of Topps - Original Back - Barry Larkin

 First up, the Eddie Murray card will move on simply because I like the '79 set quite a bit.  It's a simple design, but it works.  So, the real question is:  Does Larkin move on (despite being featured on one of my least favorite Topps sets of the 90s) or does the Longoria card move on (despite looking exactly like all the other cards in the insert set)?

I have to give the nod to Longoria.  For one, the Topps 60 is actually a nice change of pace from all the 60 Years of Topps cards, but in reality, the Larkin card was simply printed on the way-too-crayon-like set...

Longoria and Murray move on to round 2!

And the final group:

60 Years of Topps - Derek Jeter
60 Years of Topps - Warren Spahn
60 Years of Topps - Curt Schilling

This is the easiest of the three rounds - the Warren Spahn has a great front so that moves on automatically almost.  The Jeter isn't terrible but I didn't know Curt Schilling was originally an Oriole (or at least I've forgotten that fact).  Therefore, for teaching me something, the 1990 Schilling takes the last spot enroute to round 2!

Schilling and Spahn move on to round 2!

Round 2:

First group: 

60 Years of Topps - Eddie Murray
60 Years of Topps - Jim Palmer
60 Years of Topps - Duke Snider

By random draw, Snider and Palmer end up in the same group to compete against each other once again.   This time, however, it's the card backs that matter.  Obviously, all three cards are from the same insert set so their backs are basically the same.  Thus, I have to get a little creative when judging them.  Here's how I'll do it, I'm going to pick the five "best" words in each player's write-up and see who has the literary chops to move on to round 3.

Eddie Murray:  Rampant, inflation, burn, treasures, prescient.
Jim Palmer:  Tabbed, Fernandomania, gripped, must-have, spiced
Duke Snider:  Elements, vivid, strong, debuted, smorgasbord

Da-yum, Topps' writers really busted out the thesaurus for the card write-ups didn't they?  I don't recall seeing any cards with the words prescient or smorgasbord on them before, that's good enough to send Murray and Snider on to round 3!

Murray and Snider move on.

Group 2:
60 Years of Topps - Warren Spahn
60 Years of Topps - Curt Schilling
Topps 60 - Evan Longoria

Once again, Longoria is the benificiary of a relatively homogenous contestant pool.  He moves on almost automatically.  That leaves us with a pair of 60 Years of Topps cards, let's check their vocabulary out.

Curt Schilling:  Mashing, identifying, oddity, coveted, unknown
Spahn:  Commissioned, oil, attractive, nameplate, background

Honestly, both Schilling and Spahn would have lost against any of the cards in the first group, but in this group  one of them has to win.  Although Schilling has "better" words in his description, the vast majority of those words are actually used to describe Frank Thomas...stupid.  Spahn wins on an E1 by Schilling.

Spahn and Longoria move on to round 3!

 Round 3!

Group 1:
Topps 60 - Evan Longoria
60 Years of Topps - Eddie Murray

The third round is judged solely on the photo.  Neither card has a back photo so this should be relatively easy.  Either I choose a card showing the backside of a man (Longoria) or I choose a terribly boring posed shot (Murray).  I can't root for the arse, Murray wins!

Murray moves on to the finals!

Group 2:
60 Years of Topps - Duke Snider
60 Years of Topps - Warren Spahn

Once again, there are no back photos to consider so this shouldn't be too difficult.  The main photos (or painting) on both cards are boring head shots, but Snider is packing a secret green circular weapon to snatch victory away from the attractively commissioned art.

Snider wins and moves on to fave Murray in the finals!

The Final Round:
60 Years of Topps - Eddie Murray
60 Years of Topps - Duke Snider

For the final round, it's a "gut" call on which card is better.  For me, the overall design of both the '63 and the '79 sets is solid so I can't make any distinction there.  The main photograph on each card is adaquate, but I think Snider wins because, once again, he's green circular secret weapon knocks out Murray...Two photos are better than one!

The Grand Champion:
Duke Snider

And to think, I thought I couldn't come up with anything to say...  That's 1,292 words about 2011 Topps - take that!

Thanks for the trade Robert, and as always, if anyone else would like to trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

1 comments:

Robert said...

My pleasure for the trade Chris, appreciate the write up. If the last 6 spots in your Lineage break aren't claimed by tonight when I get home, I will take them on.

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