Monday, March 7, 2016

Junk of the Month: January 2016

Time to bring back a fan favorite we haven't run in a few years - Junk of the Month!

 2016 Topps #170 New Order (Houston Astros)

Despite the use of the name of a Classic 80's Alternative Band I dislike this card. Checkers are a necessary evil in flagship which have been done a number of different ways. When I was a kid (1970s) they were a checklist, nothing more nothing less. No Player Picture, Not a Team card, not a manager card. 

This year Topps has taken a similar approach to the last couple of releases. A player or team photo of a Highlight from the previous season is on the front with the data on the back.

My Issue w/ 2016 Topps is that the cards are no longer highlights. This year they are multi-player shots. I have no problem with Multi-Player cards - we took a long look at the MPs from 1967 Topps last week. The big difference is that in the 1960s Topps the Multis had some interesting Bio info on the back.

At best it is a half-baked multi-player, at worst it is a throw a picture on a checklist. Regardless it is a downgrade from 2015T

By Definition checkers need to have a checklist on the back.

2016 Topps #170 New Order (b-side)

So No information on the players on the front of the card. In fact the player names for the Carlos' aren't on the card at all (Correa and Gomez).

And there is an oddity that Night Owl Cards brought up last year, for whatever reason the recent checkers are not part of the checklist that they present. This isn't really and issue, but I find it odd especially since the checkers are interspersed throughout the set.

2015 Topps #317 Clayton Kershaw (CL)

Here is an example of how a checker appeared last year. Nice Highlight of a significant baseball event. Player CLEARLY identified.

2015 Topps #317 Clayton Kershaw (CL - b-side)

I would like to see a one sentence summary of the event on the back. For others like me that would like that info Clayton Kershaw no-hit the Rockies in a Dodgers 8-0 victory in LA. The Dodgers Southpaw recorded 15Ks with no walks. A Hanley Ramrirez 7th Inning error was the only blemish on what was otherwise a perfect outing for Kershaw.

It might get a little crowded for a blurb on the back, the typeface is about as small as one would want. While most folks are averse to adding a checklist to the set, I think if it was a highlight card that wold be more acceptable. Highlight cards are good :)

FYI if things go as planned, folks who are fans of checklists will really enjoy this week. Others well maybe you will enjoy something funny I write.

Sources and Links
2016 Topps Index
Night Owl Cards
Baseball Almanac

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2008 World Champions