Grand Cards: What's The Story with Topps 60?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What's The Story with Topps 60?

I thought that I was going to avoid this.

I like 2011 Topps, really I do. It's just that sometimes certain things that are supposed to be cool or are supposed to resonate or are supposed to mean something just, well, don't.

Take Topps 60 for example. What a concept! 60 years of Topps baseball, league leaders in major categories, a true chronicling of the greats of the game during Topps' existence.


LEAGUE LEADER baby. In HOME RUNS. That's some good stuff. And even the design, which I've heard some griping about, is neat. The 60 gives a window into the context of the picture and makes the player stand out, all while being neither obnoxious or boring. Oh and it gets better, look at what Tigers are featured in this series!

Al Kaline! Mr. Tiger Himself!

"The Bird," Mark Fidrych! (may he rest in peace)

Max Scherzer, the up and coming Ace in #2 starter's clothes!

Johnny Damon! Sure, he was only a Tiger for one year, but he was good, and nice, and my wife likes how he looks, and he's been a darn good player for a long time.

This, my friends, is a Killer Series 1 checklist for the Tigers. It gets my seal of approval many times over.

But, oh and there is always a but, it's not all rainbows and lollipops. The checklist is good, and I guess that is what matters, but just because you can slap a sticker autograph on something doesn't mean you're allowed to get lazy. AN AUTOGRAPH DOES NOT MAKE THE CARD, THE CARD MAKES THE AUTOGRAPH. If you think I'm wrong, then tell me why some autographed cards sell for many times more than other ones of the same player. It's about the card. If it wasn't, you'd spend your money on an 8x10 or a mini helmet or on some other memorabilia.

Why then, on these "hits," are we subjected to such elite records as:

"Most Consecutive 80 Run Seasons in the AL"
"Most MLB Strikeouts Per 9 Innings 2009-2010"
"Most Times Played in MLB All Star Game for AL"
"Most Single Season Complete Games, Last 35 Years"

Actually, now that I look at these a little more, I don't hate the category selection. All Star Games? Complete Games? Somewhat obscure records? With the exception of the (stupid) K/9 2009-2010 "record," I can deal with these. It actually makes them kind of fun, and more interesting then AL HR Leader (sorry Miggy).

Oh, but it gets worse:

3(t) :-/

4(t) :(

4(t) :'(

9 >:(

Weak. I'm so glad that I have an autographed card of the person with the 9th best K/9 ratio in 2009-2010. Or that the person tied for the 3rd-most complete games in the last 35 years has been recognized. I get it. You want a strong checklist and need to figure out some way to do that, but if you're going to just opt for the everybody's got a record route, at least make sure they have a record, right?

I guess I won't punch a gift horse in the mouth (Edit: Apparently I have the intelligence of some boob on Yahoo Answers but I wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth either. Thanks to my Johnny Damon-loving wife for pointing this out to me.), but I just have to ask. Why?

To make matters worse, I'm 99% sure that they don't fill out each category. In other words, each of the Top 10 in each category isn't featured on a card, making things seem even more arbitrary and random.


  1. You know what I noticed the other day about this insert? It only has 50 cards in it. Topps 60 only has 50. I realize that we are celebrating the 60 year anniversary of Topps but the set is called Topps 60. Not 60 Years of Topps, not 50 records for Topps 60th. Another fail. And your right some of the catagories seem contrived, much like the Diamond Duos insert with many of the connections between the two subjects being very thin. Maybe they had to stop at 50 cards because they couldn't come up with anymore topics to put on the last 10!!

  2. I was going to do a post on the lame categories, too. I've got a Randy Wells autograph card. His category: 2009 NL ERA leaders, and Wells was 10th! They must have had a bunch of his stickers left over from last year and came up with this two seasons ago category. Like you said, the categories are totally lame and random. They just made up a category to match with the players whose relics/autos they wanted to use.

  3. Excellent post. I don't throw excellent around much.

  4. Ten things I love about this post:

    1) Scans
    2) A blogger shows some cardboard love
    3) Viewpoint on the arbitrariness of this insert set. I've thought the same thing.
    4-10) Punching a gift horse in the mouth.