Grand Cards: Tigers Checklist: 2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tigers Checklist: 2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom

I've had a hard time gauging how people feel about Ticket to Stardom. The general consensus seems to be "meh", and I'm not sure that I can disagree entirely. However, looking over the Tigers from the set, I think that it is starting to grow on me a bit. I've even praised the cards in the past. The base set, which seems tailor-made for an early-90s insert is a bit dull, but is overall more interesting than I originally thought. The parallels on these cards are so bad that they're barely worth mentioning. The inserts add nothing and feel out of place. The "Hits" such as they are, are a nice idea. I really like the Opening Day Tickets, for example. If you're going to have a commemorative game ticket as a product hit, please make it mean something.

If you'll agree, this does an excellent job of that:
2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom #ODTS-MC Miguel Cabrera

Opening Day logo on the card, a ticket from Opening Day, low numbering, same player on the card and the ticket--all and all I think that this satisfies the mission of using a Ticket Stub as a collectable item.

Much better than, say, this:
2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom #TS44 Miguel Cabrera

Teeny Tiny picture of Cabrera, HUGE picture of Ichiro, random, inconsequential game in July. Granted, Miguel Cabrera did hit a Home Run in this game, but from what I can tell it wasn't a milestone or anything particularly significant. Meh.

In all, this is hardly the runaway set of the year--yet its many shortcomings are partially made up for by an ok concept and, frankly, a base set that grows on you over time with fairly interesting photography, and a good use of player photographs that pop and extend beyond the card's design frame. All the Tigers from the set are available for your perusal in the gallery below. Clicking the thumbnails will make them big, as always.

Base Set Take a look--the photographs aren't bad, and the players pop out from the frame, thanks to good placement on the card and rays of light that shoot up from the bottom. The parallel versions- Perforated Edge, Blue (#/99), Gold (#/50) and Red (1/1)- are nearly indistinguishable from the regular versions. Lame.

#60 Justin Verlander
#82 Brandon Inge
#84 Armando Galarraga
#101 Curtis Granderson
#123 Miguel Cabrera
#127 Magglio Ordonez
#149 Jeremy Bonderman
#203 Ryan Perry RC
#207 Rick Porcello RC

INSERTS Nothing to see here...

#BT12 Miguel Cabrera
#SV8 Magglio Ordonez

TICKETS & RELICS The so-called "hits" of the set are ticket stub, based which is great in theory. I think the Opening Day one is a winner, and the regular one a loser. I'm still waiting to find a picture of the Ordonez card, which promises little bat bits as well. Based on other similar cards I've seen (via Wax Heaven), I'm sensing a design disaster.

#ODTS-MC Miguel Cabrera (#/55)
#TS44 Miguel Cabrera (#/110)
#TSP21 Magglio Ordonez (#/90)