Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Remedial" Collecting

Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to take in the Braves v Brewers in some of the more crazy retro negro league uniforms, I believe that is was the Crackers vs the Bears if I am not mistaken. Tommy Hansen and Yovani Gallardo when blow for blow until Tommy finally broke down a bit in the later innings and gave up two runs. Really though, he was fighting off runners in scoring position all evening, and was dealing with the flu bug, so all in all he had a magnificent outing.

Yovani on the other hand was just phenomenal through 7.0 innings of work and allowed no earned runs (when you have both guys on your fantasy squad, these are exactly the numbers that I was hoping for).

During the game I decided to crack open my box of 2008-2009 Topps basketball and rip a few packs...eventually this turned out to be ripping the whole box because I had a theory that I needed to confirm. I bought this box to see if it grabbed my attention and kept me interested. Here is a somewhat review of the product.

Look: These follow suit with the goofy team name lettering that Topps baseball 2008 implemented. While not overall a detractor, that is a lot of white border and a major problem is that in many of the shots, the cameraman is trying to fit as many players into the frame as he can (which makes sense, because some of the best plays in basketball take place in a scrum of people). The result, therefore, is much smaller images of the players so they all fit on the card. There are a few nice horizontal shots that take advantage of the landscape dimensions, but overall these cards were mostly underwhelming.

Sub-Sets: There were a few different subsets to work with, but the most interesting was a variation from the 58-59 card variety. There are thirty of these and I have most, so I might as well finish it off. The other subsets did not do it for me. Retirees: These are actually kinda cool, but just part of the base set:

Relic: Well, in this instance there is one per box. This years set promises three, but honestly, if this is the best they have, do I really want three of these?

The main problem: You might notice from the title that I mention the word "remedial", as I labored through collating this set that is the word that kept popping into my head. Let me explain. You see, the way Topps packed this set, I magically have every base card and exactly 1/2 of the rookie cards! Granted the rookie cards are worth it because 1) they are actually rookie cards) and 2) there was a nice class last year)...

...but come on, WHY would I spend so many hours collating a set if at the end of the day the entire veteran set was going to be there anyways? I might as well have just gone out and bought the factory set and saved myself the trouble.

Another example: I realized late in the game that there was a variety of cards that I did not notice that had gold lettering instead of silver. So when I had all the cards in the binder, I went back through and pulled out the gold-lettered cards, and guess what? I had the silver variety for EACH ONE in my doubles stack! So now I have the entire set (minus the 13 rookies) in silver format in my binder.

I guess at the end of it all I just assumed there would be more of a challenge to this set. Yeah, I need to find 13 rookies and also about 5 58-59 variety cards to complete that set, but mostly I am going to be stuck with a bunch of useless doubles...I might try TTM.

Upon further pondering, I can actually see a relevent use of this type of product. You can purchase this hobby box for your kid, and with chores and good behavior, feed them a pack or two at a time, and eventually they will collect the entire set and get all jazzed up. So there is merit to this product, and maybe down the road I can do this with Jacoby.

So lesson learned, which is exactly why I bought this box at a steep discount before blowing some cash on this years set. Which puts me back to square one on what I want to collect next. Somebody recommended Topps Chrome so I may head down that path and get me some shiny! Or I may just chill for a bit and work on bits and pieces for my personal collection. Either way I am giving a moderate thumbs down to Topps Basketball.

On the other side of the coin, I thoroughly enjoyed my UD Icons blaster and Goudey 3-packs. I will post something on that a bit later!


  1. Mike,

    I bought blaster of this product and may have some of the rookies you are needing (and I may need some of the Goudey you busted). By the way, I think the reason you got shorted on the rookies is because they were short-printed in the set...

  2. Cool deal. I will post my entire Goudey pulls later today. Send me an email at so we can talk about the rooks (your name is not linked up to anything).


  3. Mike - sorry, its Nick, your Ginter Code partner in crime :)

  4. The Chris Paul card in particular does him no justice! What a terrible photo none the less card in my opinion of the player they chose to feature on the cover of the box! I bought a hobby of this when it first came out and was rather disappointed, but wow Ryan Gomes jersey piece... ouch! I was lucky to get a auto in my box as my hit and it was of Mo Williams still in a Bucks uniform.