Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Best of... This Decade (so far)

I'm a person who likes to compare and contrast, especially when it comes to baseball cards.  And most especially when it comes to the year-to-year Topps base card designs.  I think we all like to do this to some degree.  It satiates our need as a species to place things in a rank and order.  Or maybe that's just me?

Anyhow, I've been meaning to blab about which of the Topps designs from this current decade is the king of the hill.  I did it last year when 2013 Topps debuted and it seemed like a lot of folks leaned towards 2011.  At the time of that post, I think I was in favor of 2010 or 2012.

But, how about now that we've thrown 2014 Topps into the mix?  At first glance, I was both intrigued and let down by the design.  It seemed the blogging community came to a consensus in regards to the look of the cards: very Bowman-esque.  Whether that is a flattering commentary depends largely on how much you fancy Bowman cards these days.  I'm pretty ambivalent towards them.  Or maybe indifferent is the more appropriate word?  Well, however you want to say, they aren't a 'must' for me.  Thus, the root of my disappointment with the newest design.

However, like the new album from your favorite band that may require a few spins before becoming an essential listen, I think the '14 Topps card has grown on me.  Maybe not to the heights of an epic, but certainly not a throw-away effort as I had initially feared.  The vertical team name on the right edge doesn't even bother me anymore.

What's more, I definitely like '14 more than last year.  And maybe even more than '11.  I still think 2010 is pretty great and I'm an army of one when it comes to '12 insomuch that I like it quite a bit, also.

So, how about you?  Which of the five Topps designs from this current decade stands out as the best of the bunch?

Okay, here's my ranking of the decade's Topps releases:

5 -- 2013
4 -- 2011
3 -- 2014
2 -- 2012
1 -- 2010

So, which is the best?  Feel free to take a second to cast a vote in the poll in the upper right column of the home page.  And, if you really want to share an in-depth analysis in the comments section below, that would be tremendous, as well!  I'm always interested to know what you think!



  1. I really like 2011 followed by 2013. I suppose 2012 is next as it is pretty low-impact compared with the 2010 design which makes me claustrophobic with that imposing swoosh along the side apart from which I really like the design.

    So yeah: 2011, 2013, 2012, 2010, in that order. Sorry :-(

  2. My vote? In order best to worst: 2011/2013/2012/2010/2014. I loathe the release this year.

  3. 2013 is still the best. It's the only one that looks like it was put together with thought -- rational thought.

    After that 2011. Kind of nice and doesn't get in the way.

    The rest is according to my whims: 3. 2010 (love the swoosh but ouch the photos); 4. 2014 (still don't know what's going on with that and I usually hate Bowman designs); 5. 2012 (much inexplicable hatred for this design/set).

  4. 1. 2011
    2. 2013
    3. 2014
    4. 2010
    5. 2012

    I keep flip-flopping between 2014 and 2010 for the third and fourth slots. 2011 was one of those sets that took a while to grow on me. One of the cleanest Topps designs in recent memory and some excellent photography to go along with it.

  5. I like the 2010 design far and above any of the other releases. I don't mind the "Swoosh" and they just look better to me. After that, the 2011, 13 and 14 releases are about the same. They are there and I have to collect them because that's what I've done since 1977. 2012 definitely finishes last.

  6. Good comments, guys, thanks. Looks like our tastes are varied, which is a good thing. I think the '13 design loses big points for the cartoonish home plate and base paths thing. Not feelin' that, for sure. As for '10, it stands alone because Topps opted to go with the team name on the front rather than the cap logo/team emblem.

  7. Surprised by how different we feel about these releases! I like '13 best, just ahead of '11. '10 is my least favorite, and I'd say '12 and '14 are pretty equal for me.

  8. I'm going strictly by card design, since I don't feel that there's a standout in the photo section or other "intangibles".

    2010, 2013, 2011, 2012 and then a loooooooooooooooooooooooong dropoff to 2014. I'm still working my way through the 2014 factory set I bought a few weeks ago, and there's very little to recommend about it. I wouldn't have even bothered with the factory set if there were an alternative that also featured 600 or so players.

  9. 1. 2013
    2. 2011
    3. 2014
    4. 2012
    5. 2010

  10. 1/2. 2013/2011 2011/2013 (too close to call)
    3. 2014
    4. 2012
    5. 2010 (one of my 5 least favorite Topps sets of all time)