Monday, November 8, 2010

Really, Topps?

So Topps wants us to vote for our favorite cards that they selected. Um, OK. I'm in a voting mood.

I see 15 Mickey Mantle cards out of a possible 100 choices??? Sure, the 1952 Topps card of Mantle is iconic, but we have been bombarded with that image for the last few decades. I think it may be time to retire the use of that image for at least a few years. The more cards that are in tribute to the 1952 Topps Mantle, the more the iconic image becomes diluted and void of meaning.

It once was the epitome of all that was good with Topps and what a collector should strive to collect. Now, anyone can own a watered down version of that card directly from Topps. If you don't like that, it's also available in different backgrounds, like snow! If anyone that has been collecting for a few years can honestly say that they have never held some type of Mantle card in their hand, raise their hand. Just as I thought... no one.

We get that Mickey was a "legend" of the game. Just because you have the licensing to do so, doesn't mean that we want Mickey Mantle included in EVERY SINGLE RELEASE with MULTIPLE CARDS. There are a couple of collectors that do, but the majority of us are sick and tired of the Mantle-lust from Topps. I have chosen to not vote for ANY Mickey Mantle card in this voting opportunity. I voted for Roger Maris on the Indians and Bob Gibson, among others. Yes, I voted for Fisk as well.

When looking for iconic Chicago White Sox cards to vote for, did I run into Minnie Minoso (who is Mr. White Sox), or Frank Thomas, or Luis Aparicio? Nope. How about Mark Buehrle or Ron Kittle? Nope. Wilbur Wood or Nellie Fox? No, on all accounts. I ran into Sammy Sosa and... that's it.

The Sammy Sosa rookie card of Sammy Sosa in a White Sox uniform. The same Sammy Sosa that made his debut with the Texas Rangers and was considered a common when he was with the White Sox. The same Sammy Sosa that came to national attention with the other Chicago baseball team. The same Sosa who battled McGwire for Babe Ruth's record as part of the Chicago Cubs. The same Sosa who left Chicago in disgrace. I did not vote for Sosa either.

Maybe if Topps wasn't so concerned with assuring that at least a dozen Mickey Mantle cards make the cut, they would have had room for iconic cards featuring other players and other teams. I can think of one White Sox card that would have been better suited to represent the team from 1990. Topps already used it extensively in their "Cards Your Mother Threw Out" insert set.

5 comments:

Johngy said...

Well said!

mmmrhubarb said...

I decided not to be upset by their lame choices. I guess all those Mantles are just cards that Twins (or White Sox) collectors don't have to worry about collecting. I've long gotten over the incessant kowtowing to the Yankees.

Matthew Glidden said...

It's amazing how many New York-based players show up in that list. From the Mick's 1958 All-Star to his 1969 finale, Mantle ALONE is 11 of Topps' 16 "best" choices and only one of the other 5 is a legitimately nice card (1964 Rose). The tired-eyes Roger Maris All-Star is one of their WORST photos!

Without actually voting, here's what I'd pick from Topps' list of 100.

52 Robinson
53 Robinson
53 Mantle
56 Clemente
56 Williams
64 Rose
71 Munson
78 Murray

1960 McCovey is OK and maybe 1980 Henderson, but when they're both outdone by 1975 Herb Washington (HERB WASHINGTON!), you've cheapened a notion of 100 "best" cards.

One of my trading partners keeps a list of his "coolest" card for each year. That's an idea to get behind!

Coolest Topps baseball cards (according to Sean)

longlivethewho said...

I see your Mantle arguement... but not sure about the White Sox one. The White Sox haven't been on many iconic cards... cards that almost every baseball card collector has seen. Don't get sour grapes because your team isn't featured in the top baseball cards of all time.

White Sox Cards said...

No sour grapes here. I would argue that more people know what the Frank Thomas rookie in 1990 Topps looks like (especially with the no name on front error) rather than the Sammy Sosa rookie.

As for Mantle, yes his 1952 card should definitely be in there, but the majority of the other 14 cards have no business being on that short list. I guess that's why I don't decide these things. :-)

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