Sunday, August 21, 2011

Approaching 2011 Topps Lineage

I figured I'd give you a break from the COMC hobby box for a day here and post about something else, 2011 Topps Lineage baseball. I think everyone's probably read dozens if not hundreds of posts about this recently released product, so I'll keep this brief.

Like many collectors I was enthused about this set before it came out. It seemed like it would have everything I look for in a good baseball set. A mix of current and retired stars and Hall-of-Famers. A chance to see today's stars on awesome designs of the past like the 1975 Topps mini cards. A nice small base set with no short prints (I think?), and a decent price point. More than anything, as the set name suggests, a chance for Topps to pay homage to it's storied past.

Unfortunately I think we can all agree that this set was a bomb. The base cards are underwhelming at best. The backs are atrocious, probably the worst I have seen since I started collecting again a few years ago. Even worse, they put those same horrible backs on the '75 Mini inserts, instead of recreating a back true to the original '75 set. I won't be buying a box, or even any packs.

Even poorly made sets usually do something right though. I'm interested in checking out the 3D cards based off of the impossible to find or afford 1968 set, as well as the stand-up inserts. Most of all though, I was intrigued by the Reprint Autos. 76 old-time players (according to Baseball Card Pedia) signed reprints of their Topps cards from the past, nearly all of them 1952 Topps. By my count there are 5 Red Sox in the set. Here are the first two, which arrived lightning fast after I won them on eBay:

Thankfully, Topps stayed true to the original design (for the most part) with these cards. The fronts are an exact copy of the '52 cards, with a nice blue hard-signed auto replacing the facsimile auto from the original. They did add a small Topps logo but I'm willing to forgive that. Topps gave collectors the original backs with these, rather than something that looks like it came from a child's board game:

Don didn't have the longest MLB career, but I would imagine is fondly remembered by Orioles fans as a member of the inaugural 1954 club. As a Red Sox fan this card is great, not only because it's a an on-card auto of a 50's Sox player, but because Lenhardt would serve in the Red Sox organization for nearly 50 years when his playing days were over. During that time he worked as both a scout, and a first base coach (in the early 70's), finally retiring in 2004.

The other card I picked up was Ike Delock. He was a mainstay on the Red Sox pitching staff throughout the 50's and early 60's, making well over 300 career appearances with the team. Coincidentally, Delock also played for the Orioles, finishing the final season of his career there in 1963.

So, there you have it. These are really nice looking cards, there's something cool about having an on-card auto of a player who was in the original 1952 Topps set. If you're a team collector and your team was around in 1952, I definitely suggest looking at the checklist to see who's included. If you're unsure on any, just do what I did, search eBay for the player's 1952 Topps card. These are a great addition to a collection and the lesser known players like these two can be had pretty cheap. I paid $30.81 for both of these, and that's including shipping.

I have a couple more Lineage cards to show off as soon as they arrive in the mail.


Fuji said...

nice pickups... haven't checked out lineage yet, but these on-card autographs look sweet!

Anonymous said...

The base cards are pretty bad - and I agree, the 75 minis would have been so much better if they put backs similar to the originals.

I really do like all of the inserts, though! OK, all of the inserts except for the Venezuelan set - they should have made those with a retro feel or something.

The 3D cards are really cool, the Topps Giants box-toppers are neat, the cloth stickers are cool (though 50 cards for a 2-per-box insert is alot), and the stand-ups and rookies are neat throwbacks to different eras. Oh, and the 75 minis are still very awesome - just could have been better.

Calling it a bomb might be a bit strong, but I did see a box at a card show this weekend for 65 bucks (when they were over 90 originally).

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