Another year and another set ripped from the vaults of yesteryear. I do like the retro sets, but I'm hoping that Topps will raid some of its other properties for untapped set potential.
This set is a beautiful disaster. It mimics the original tobacco sets as inspiration, but the effects are mixed. Some cards turn out simply stunning, as the Carlos Quentin pinup with the tasseled hair demonstrates. There is a perfect expression on his face and there is a quizzical and playful look about the card. Jake Peavy's card looks amazingly perfect. Both Beckham cards look fine. The short print card (#307) looks like someone hit the "sharpen more" button a few more times than necessary. Other than that, it is a fine example of bringing retro into a modern set.
Other cards don't fit well with the retro look. The cards are fine, but the images chosen look out of place. Alexei Ramirez seems like a well hydrated zombie on his card. Gavin Floyd looks like he's getting over the flu. On Mark Buehrle's card, the background is outstanding, but the subject looks a little off. Not bad, just off. John Danks reminds me of the character "Francis" from the Bill Murray movie Stripes. This card makes me think that he might someday inherit the "Psycho" nickname from Steve Lyons. Alex Rios is technically fine, but he ends up looking like he's straight out of a rejected Coneheads baseball concept shot by Edie Baskin.
The White Sox have nine cards in this set; eight base cards and one short print.
37 - Gordon Beckham
46 - Carlos Quentin
108 - Alexei Ramirez
155 - Jake Peavy
177 - Gavin Floyd
186 - Mark Buehrle
214 - John Danks
217 - Alex Rios
307 - Gordon Beckham
Not a bad effort from Topps. I've certainly seen better, but it could have been a lot worse. The eight base cards have a bronze parallel and six mini parallels. Collect what you will.