Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mommy! Daddy! The Circus is coming to town!

Apparently Topps is no longer trying to hide the fact that they are run by a bunch of clowns. The Circus Poster cards have arrived. When I first saw these I thought they had lost their minds at Topps. Well, actually I didn't. I've known this for some time. But I digress.

After comparing them to other Topps offerings since the beginning of the dreaded foil era in 1994, I had a change of heart. No, I won't rank these among my all-time favorite Topps cards (unless you know who wins the World Series this year!), but there have been a lot worse looking cards produced over the years. 

While I'm not a fan of the circus poster look at the top, everything else about the look of these cards is top notch. Very clean, white borders, fairly easy to read player names (ENOUGH WITH THE FOIL STAMPING ALREADY!) and first look Tigers cards of Miguel Cabrera, Edgar Renteria, and Dontrelle Willis make up for that one huge flaw.

Here's the checklist of base set cards:

10 Miguel Cabrera
15 Ordoñez & Polanco League Leaders Batting Average
24 Ordoñez League Leaders RBI
45 Dontrelle Willis
76 Ivan Rodriguez
145 Magglio Ordoñez
288 Rodriguez & Verlander Classic Combos
290 Edgar Renteria
325 Jim Leyland
330 Curtis Granderson

Not a bad selection at all. It doesn't leave much for Series 2 in the way of Tigers' stars (Guillen, Bonderman, whoever they get for Inge....) but it's solid and I'm not complaining. Kudos to the Photoshopper who did the Cabrera card. I work in desktop publishing myself and that's an A+ job right there.

This year's parallels include the standard gold bordered cards, as well as an alternate version that uses gold foil stamping for the player's name instead of the silver used in the base set. Yeah, I didn't get too excited either.

On to the inserts.

After last year's debacle of some 800+ inserts (including 29 different Kenji Jojima cards. Why?), Topps appears to have revamped and actually come up with a different, if excessive still, large insert set.

Topps has come up with an insert that will eventually total 180 cards spread out over the three series which highlights each day of the 2007 season. I like the design (reminiscent of the 1969 Topps cards showing the 1968 World Series) and there are some cool Tigers in Series 1.

YR11 Craig Monroe
YR16 Ivan Rodriguez
YR48 Andrew Miller
YR50 Justin Verlander

They've also given us the same old crappy Own The Game subset. 

OTG12 Magglio Ordoñez

He's the lone Tiger in the set. Ho-hum...

A few other things I've seen but do not have.

A really cool set called Topps 50th Anniversary All-Rookie Team. So far as I can tell there is only one Tiger in that set as well.

AR17 Justin Verlander

Sheffield, Maggs, Pudge, and Dontrelle are in this set as well, but are pictured with their original teams. 

I have also seen a really cool looking jersey card of Verlander highlighting his no-hitter last year (on my birthday!)

HR-JV Justin Verlander

If anybody knows of anything I'm missing, please let me know and I'll get it added.

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