Grand Cards: Tigers Gallery Checklist: 2010 Topps National Chicle

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tigers Gallery Checklist: 2010 Topps National Chicle

Well, it took me about a month but I did it. I got around to picking up all but one of the cards that I want from 2010 Topps National Chicle. I must admit, that is a strange thing for me to say. Usually I'll take the following approach

Set X is released
I look at Set X and either like or don't like
If "Like" either Like Enough or Don't Like Enough
If "Don't Like Enough" keep cards as they come but don't actively pursue
If "Like Enough" Complete entire team set (excluding parallels).

With National Chicle, I changed the end game. I liked it enough (or thought that I would) to chase the team set, and decided that I'd go after the autographs and relics too. The one thing that I decided not to chase was the "Rookie Renditions" SP. I hate it. I think it is stupid. And it doesn't match the rest of the set at all.

So, that's what I mean when I say I've gotten almost all the cards I want. I could take or leave the Cobb SP, but since there are 8 base cards, he would make an even 9 and fill up a page nicely. I picked up the relics and autographs--not caring what kind of back variation they had and am now quite happy with how things have turned out.

This set was made on two things: On-Card Autographs and Hank Greenberg. Beyond that, the Tigers pretty much fail to impress.

Base Set I've talked about this ad nauseam, but the more I look at the cards the more flaws I find with the Tiger base set. I'm just going to flat out say it: It's not good. Sure, there are good bits here and there, but I'm really disappointed about how it turned out. I think the Tigers got the short end of the artist stick. The big exceptions are the Greenberg and the Kaline. The Porcello is pretty good too and everything else upsets me. sigh.

The one thing that I've said before and will say again: I hope that Chicle did well enough to warrant a 2011 re-do. I think that it has so much potential and has a uniqueness that is difficult to replicate. A mulligan could go a long way, especially if Topps decides to employ someone who has stricter design sensibilities and can nix some of the poorer artistic attempts.

As for the checklist: 8 base cards, 1 "Retired Stars Revisited" Short Print of Ty Cobb looking "Modern" with a helmet and batting gloves, 1 "Rookie Renditions" Short Print of Brent Dlugach in a card made up to look like Al Kaline's 1954 rookie card. It is stupid and horrible and I'm being to hard on it but I don't care.

#26 Rick Porcello by Mike Kupka

#40 Johnny Damon by Dave Hobrecht

#47 Brandon Inge by Jason Davies

#71 Miguel Cabrera by Dave Hobrecht

#85 Justin Verlander by Jason Davies

#206 Hank Greenberg by Brian Kong

#224 Al Kaline by Monty Sheldon

#271 Brent Dlugach RC by Paul Lempa

#287 Ty Cobb SP by Dave Hobrecht

#327 Brent Dlugach SP By Brian Kong

Relics There is only one and it is fantastic on all levels without exception. I love it so.
2010 Topps National Chicle #NCR-HG Hank Greenberg

This here version is the Bazooka Back (#/99) which has some nice paper-pulp granulations for that premium tactile experience.

Autographs They are On-Card, which is good. Really good. They include a picture of a deformed Brent Dlugach, which is bad. They also include Rick Porcello, which is good. His Bazooka Back version lacks sodium benzoate the same rich graininess of the Greenberg card. That's bad.
Update: There is a dual autograph Miguel Cabrera & Ryan Howard card that I just saw for the first time. Numbered to 25 copies, it is very nice minus the aforementioned horrible Cabrera drawing.

#NCA-BD Brent Dlugach

#NCA-RP Rick Porcello

#NCDA-2(?) M. Cabrera/R. Howard (#/25)

Why is the back different from the Greenberg? Why is the serial numbering in a different spot? All questions that are never to be answered (and don't really matter)

Inserts etc. The inserts in this set are basically non-existent. (YAY!) The only exceptions are the Topps Logoman continuity patch set that is running across all product lines and the set's oversized Box Topper Cabinet Cards. Ty Cobb has one of each.
2010 Topps Logoman Continuity LM-30 Ty Cobb (from National Chicle)

2010 Topps National Chicle #NCC-TC Ty Cobb Cabinet Card

And that's all she wrote! Close but no cigar. Good effort. Nice Hustle, and so forth. This is a set that had warning track power. It looked like it had a chance to knock one out of the park, but really, it was just a fly out. Hit the weightroom Chicle and you'll be able to get it over the fence next year.


  1. I run a blog called Ultimate Baseball Card set and posted a link to this site because I did an entry on the 1982 Detroit Tigers today. My blog is at

    I am actually a big Tiger fan, but if you know of any regional sets I may not be aware of, let me know so I can add them to my checklists.

  2. Why do Tiger fans always get the short end when it comes to baseball cards, and why do they include just a few players...where's Heilmann, Schoolboy Rowe, "Whahoo" Sam Crawford, Willie Horton, Mickey about a Trammell & Whittaker duo card...where's Mickey Lolich, Cecil Fielder, Rusty Staub...the Tigers always seem to take a back seat when it comes to cards, why...??

  3. It's both as bad and not as bad as you say. Sure, the Tigers have a very rich history, but so do lots of other teams. Yet in recent sets, the same retired stars are featured over and over again. No teams, not even the Yankees, are digging very deep into their archives.

    There are a few reasons: The first is that Topps acquired the rights to a ton of deceased major leaguers last year and is using all of them in every set. A second is that they need to get rights from every player that they want to feature, a potentially expensive and time consuming process. If they're going to do that, they want those cards to have appeal beyond the team collector. By pretty much limiting themselves to Hall of Famers, they ensure another subset of collectors (HOF collectors, of which there are many) have cards to go after.

    I would love to see a Topps Fan Favorites or Topps Retired set come back again, because Tram and Whitaker and Freehan and Lolich and Horton etc. are all cards that I want to see. At some point, I think that we'll see more and more of them. In a sense it's already happening. In one year we went from Cobb only to Cobb, Kaline, Greenberg and Kell, with appearances by Bunning and Newhouser.

    I'm not saying it's perfect, but it's a start.