Grand Cards: Tigers Checklist: 2009 Topps Tribute

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tigers Checklist: 2009 Topps Tribute

If anybody out there actually likes to peruse these gallery checklists, can you please tell me how this one stacks up to the others? I've gone back through and rewritten the html from scratch because I found the other one to be kind of buggy. Please let me know if you find this more buggy, nicer or don't notice any difference.

Topps Tribute is another one of those sets that I will never buy, simply because it is at a ridiculously high price point given what you're guaranteed to pull out of a pack. That being said, there is certainly some nice stuff to be had. For the Tigers this year, we have been given a heavy, heavy dose of Ty Cobb, which is all well and good, but man, there are other Tiger greats out there. Tribute gives us Hank Greenberg and George Kell, both of which make me quite happy, but only in the base set. I'm actually surprised that we haven't had more Kell this year, given his passing.

Anyway, as a set, Tribute has some good things going for it. Unlike many of it's high-end brethren, it doesn't feel particularly contrived. Cards in their "base" form are clean and classy and the parallels are simple, sensibly numbered and limited in number (Base, Blue, Black Gold, Red), all good things. Let's take a look, shall we?

Base Set This is the type of set that is underwhelming when scanned, but I'll bet dollars to donuts that these are gorgeous in person. Only four Tigers in the bunch, but I think that these are among the most excellent Tigers base cards of the year, without question. Love the addition of Kell and Greenberg.

#41 Ty Cobb
#69 George Kell
#71 Hank Greenberg

#96 Rick Porcello RC
Relics and Autographs No "inserts" in this set, just straight to the hits. Things get a little odd here. Porcello and Cobb have relic cards that are numbered the same as their base cards, which would be OK if they had just slapped a swatch on the base card, but these things are completely different looking--they should be numbered as such. In the category of "close but no cigar," Topps decided to make four different Porcello Autograph cards and numbered them differently, and used a different picture on each. Honestly, that's great that they're not just re-treading the same picture any more or claiming that a card is different because the window for the jersey piece is a different shape. Well done. However, do we really need four different Porcello cards that are still, in essence, the same? I'm showing the four Porcello's here in each of their parallel forms (not counting the red 1/1), so that you can see them in all their glory.

A final comment: "Home Plate" cutouts look fine on their own, but this circle/plate dual cutout looks really stupid.

#41 Ty Cobb Relic (#/99)
#41 Ty Cobb Dual Relic (#/99)

#96 Rick Porcello Relic (#/99)
#TDAR-RP Rick Porcello Dual (#/99)

#TAR-RP1 Rick Porcello (#/99)
#TAR-RP2 Rick Porcello: Blue (#/75)

#TAR-RP3 Rick Porcello: Gold (#/25)
#TAR-RP4 Rick Porcello: Black (#/50)

And that's really it. I don't really like any of these hits although I'm sure that they are refractory and nice in person--especially those parallels.  The single Cobb relic my be my favorite of the bunch, and the base cards seem to be the best of the whole set. Hmm...I guess that "anti-hit" mentality puts me on the outside though. Hopefully enough people will break this that some base cards can be had for a pittance.