Wednesday, November 16, 2016

One Last Batch of Topps Now Red Sox

Well, the last of my 2016 Topps Now Red Sox cards finally came trickling in through the mail recently, let's put this series to bed already.  I'll pick up where I left off back at the end of September...

I remember this pretty impressive catch being replayed about a thousand times on all the local sports stations back in August.  As impressive as it was though, I am not convinced that a single out deserves a Topps Now card.

Later in the month of August, David Ortiz became the oldest player to record 30 home runs in a season.  The numbers that Ortiz was able to put up in his final year were really remarkable, and as a result he received what seems like about two dozen Topps Now cards.

Here's one where being a team collector bent on completing this team set kind of hurt.  This is only half a Red Sox card, and the only reason Wade Boggs is even on it is because he was surpassed on the all-time hits list.  A prime example of why I will not try to be a completist next year when it comes to Topps Now.

I was pretty excited that my hometown team received a Topps Now card referencing a game that occurred on my birthday.  While I think it's more than a stretch to give someone a card for recording a walk and a run in their debut, this will still be a cool reminder that the team's current #1 prospect began his MLB career on the day I turned 34.

This Rick Porcello card is well-merited if you ask me.  I know wins are more of an old-school stat, but I'm old enough that a 20-win season for a pitcher still feels significant to me.  Not only that, but I can't imagine what the Vegas odds were prior to the start of the season for Porcello to hit the 20-win mark.  I don't think any baseball fans at all saw that coming.

I don't mean to be disrespectful with my comments here, but this September 11th tribute seems like another desperate attempt to force the Red Sox onto a card.  I find it hard to believe that they couldn't have found another image of a team that was actually playing on US soil that day?

Here's another David Ortiz, or half of one anyway, commemorating his moving past slugger Jimmie Foxx on the all-time home run list.  I feel like I've seen this same Jimmie Foxx image on many Topps cards in recent years, though I'm far too lazy to go verify that.

Hanley Ramirez made the checklist in September courtesy of a walk-off home run against the rival Yankees.  This card made me realize something that I think I'd overlooked previously...

...and that is the fact that I prefer the cards where Topps went with a second full-bleed image on the back in lieu of a write-up.  I don't know what rhyme or reason there was to selecting when they would do this, but in my own humble opinion it's something they should consider doing more with the 2017 set.

Here's another one that I think was well-deserved.  Making an impressive outfield catch, or having a walk-off hit might be questionable, but averaging less than 10 pitches per inning in a complete game effort seems significant to me.

Drawing towards the end of September here with yet another Big Papi.  There's no way he should have gotten the number of cards he did, but I don't have any gripes about this one in particular.  It won't be the last though, just keep scrolling...

I like this one as well, as it highlights two of the better offensive seasons by any player since I became a fan of the team.  I am really, really hoping that Betts wins the AL MVP this season.  He had a monster year, as evidenced by the stat line on this card, and he's the only one of the three AL finalists whose team actually made the post-season.  We'll find out tomorrow!

The Sox clinched a post-season berth on September 24th, and Topps treated the fans to this card featuring the stupid dance routine that the team's outfielders would perform after every win.  I don't even know what to say about this one.

Here's another one that I think makes total sense.  23 strikeouts in a game is beyond impressive, and this is a team record that I don't see being broken anytime soon.  Couldn't have found a better photograph though?

At the end of the month the team formally clinched the AL East and...surprise, surprise...Topps chose David Ortiz to grace the celebratory Topps Now card.  This is not even the first card in my collection featuring Ortiz with ski goggles on.  I'm not sure what that says about the hobby.

You knew Topps wasn't going to let the season end without one last David Ortiz push, and when he hit a late-game home run during the final homestand they had their chance.

This is another example of why I like the cards with a second photograph on the back so much better than the ones with write-ups.  An awesome fan appreciation shot right there.

Of course they included one for his last regular season game at Fenway Park.  The image on the reverse is actually much nicer if you ask me:

Yup, I'm convinced.  This should have been the front.

Topps extended this wildly popular release into the 2016 playoffs.  Thanks to the team crapping the bed against the Indians they received only two post-season cards; Andrew Benintendi got one for becoming the youngest Red Sox player to hit a home run in the post-season...

...and of course David Ortiz saying goodbye to the fans after the team was eliminated made the cut as well.  Very fitting that this would be the final Red Sox Topps Now card of the season (sort of).  I like this one quite a bit, I think it might be my favorite out of the dozens of Red Sox cards in the series.

Once again a great image on the back, with David tipping his cap to the fans and photographers for one last time as a player.

Well, that's it for me.  Topps has kept the Now series going with "Off-Season" cards featuring things like award winners, but I'm drawing the line at the end of the regular season and playoff run myself (though if Betts wins the AL MVP I'll likely bite on that one).

I like the concept quite a bit, but the fact that the Red Sox got 42 cards over the course of the season is just ridiculous.  I think I would have been pleased had they maxed out around 30, but it is what it is.  It was fun chasing these, but the total overload of Red Sox cards made it start to feel like a chore at times, so next year I'll be cherry-picking select cards instead of chasing an entire team set.

1 comment:

Angus said...

Not that I expect to see many Browns with their play this year, but I haven't even bothered to look at Panini Instant football cards after the first couple of weeks of the NFL season. And since football doesn't seem to have many bloggers, I don't think that I've seen any written about unlike various blog posts that I see about Topps Now baseball cards. I wonder how they are doing, but not enough to actually go look anything up.

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