I have gone on record regarding my opinion of 2018 Topps. Really, the past three years of Topps cards have been disappointing. I don’t like change, and these cards have changed so much it’s disturbing.
There are a lot of effects that simulate television graphics—which would look cool as an insert set, but not for the base card. The lack of borders bothers me (and always will). So I decided to fire up Photoshop and “fix” Topps’ flagship issue this year. It’s a very rough draft, but I have added a border and edited the graphic-heavy name plates. I also tilted the Reds’ logo, because I don’t like cutting off the wishbone like Topps did, and nudged the name to the right so it’s not hiding behind the waterslide. Here is version 2.0:
I chose Bronson Arroyo as the featured player since he has retired, and Topps will likely not fawn over him like they do Derek Jeter. The dude was a workhorse until leaving Cincinnati, and once he got hurt in Arizona, he just couldn’t bounce back. I wish him the best in whatever his future holds, whether it is baseball-related or music-related or hey-let’s-go-fishing-because-I’m-retired-and-I-made-so-much-stinking-money-I-never-have-to-work-another-day-in-my-life-related.
Now, the waterslide is an issue in the above mock-up. By tilting the logo and scooting it to the right so the entire wishbone is visible, it reveals much more of the waterslide. I tried some hack editing and made it look even worse, so decided to remove it all together in version 3.0:
And then, after removing the waterslide, I decided the logo could be re-straightened. So, here is version 4.0:
I’m not crazy about any of these versions really, but I like it better (though it is in very rough form) than what Topps released. I would love to see a real graphic designer get a hold of it and fix the issues.
Sometimes, though, some things are just too broke to fix.
This phenomenal Joey Votto baseball card comes from the special “silver packs” available when you purchased a box of cards from a hobby shop. Or, if you don’t want to roll the dice and maybe get a player you like in that four-card silver pack, you can wait for them to hit the secondary market on eBay or COMC. I chose eBay because of a relatively low price and free shipping on this card. Ain’t it a wonder?
Look at those socks, man! LOVE IT. There should be an insert set dedicated to the great sock-wearers of the game.
Topps Series 1 has been on the shelves for just over a week. I couldn’t resist the urge to buy a couple of the hanger boxes (but I should have), and pulled three Reds cards from those packs. Despite not purchasing any more at the store, I’m only one card away from completing the base Reds set already…
Thanks to Tony of Off Hiatus Baseball Cards and PK of Baseball Every Night, the only card I lack is Billy Hamilton (and the pesky SP version, but I’m not counting that towards the base set). PK even hooked me up with the sweet Joey Votto Opening Day insert.
I’ve never heard anyone use the term “lidlifter” before. I will definitely have to start working that into conversation.
Second baseman Scooter Gennett! This one makes me happy because second base has been a sore spot for me for a few years now. Not a fan of Scooter’s predecessor, I’m happy that there is a different guy playing to the right of Joey Votto in the Reds infield.
Now on to the card itself…
I was not a fan of the 2018 Topps design when I first saw it. Several other collectors said they changed their minds when they had them in hand, but…nope. I still don’t like it. The design itself is not awful, but I think Topps should shoot for more than “not bad.” My main beef is the lack of borders. Second is hiding the first letter of the player’s name under the waterslide. What’s the point?
And then, when you flip it over…
The name isn’t hidden at all, showing that it doesn’t have to be hidden on the front!
The empty space to the right of the social media box and write-up doesn’t bother me as much as most, but it would probably look better centered on the card rather than all the way to the left. The lack of stats on the back doesn’t bother me either; that’s what baseball-reference.com is for, right?
So after opening two 72-card hangers, I’m not buying any more packs this year from Topps. Only three Reds out of 144 cards…not great. I did get two Aaron Judge cards, though!
So send me your Reds, I’ll send you your favorite team. Drop me an e-mail and let me know what team you collect…I love doing blind trades!