Monday, June 13, 2016
I'm not a complicated man when it comes to this hobby. I'm complicated and irrational in regards to a great many other things, but I think I'm pretty practical when it comes to sports cards.
Thus, I've never really been all-in on A&G minis or '89 Bowman or Topps Big or Topps Super or anything outside of your standard 2 1/2 by 3 1/2-inch card. I'm a meat 'n potatoes kind of guy and oddly sized cards equal clutter in my book. A real OCD nightmare, if you catch my drift.
But, since I've taken on the mantle of ravenous team collector, many of those shackles have been cast aside. It certainly helps that there are specialized binder pages suited for these varied card sizes nowadays, thus bringing some semblance of order and balance to one's collection.
With that being spelled out, I present to you the 2016 Topps MLB Collection '87 Tribute team set for the Mets. These are oversized 5x7 cards, serial numbered to /99 and are available via Topps.com. Apparently only a select few teams were chosen for this motif, with each set consisting of nine card. [Ed. Note: There is a special, more limited 10-card set that includes a "retired player" but the price is nearly double.] Price tag for this set: $19.99 plus shipping.
I wasn't looking for this product, mind you, but over Memorial Day weekend the Topps website was having a half-off sale on custom cards. Since I'm making a custom card for my son each year, I figured it was a good time to act. While browsing the site, I stumbled upon an image of Noah Syndergaard set against the 1987 Topps wood grain border with the "Future Stars" logo strewn across the bottom.
It was love at first sight.
I rationalized that since my custom order was going to be half off I could afford to splurge a tad on the over-sized nine-card set for the price of a blaster. Besides, the '87 set is the alpha point of my lifelong collecting journey, and to just look the other way would haunt me in the long run.
Okay, well, without any further blathering, I present to you the cards...
Is that not a beautiful card? Whether mini, standard or extra-large, I couldn't pass up this set based on this card alone.
Additionally, I must note that the image you see in this post's lead-off spot is the standard card-back for each of these. The cards are not individually numbered on the back. And, as you can see, the serial numbering appears in the bottom left corner on the card's front.
Okay, sorry, more cards...
The Syndergaard card was the only one pictured on the Topps website. Thus I was a little worried that the majority of the remaining cards would possess recycled images, but they're mostly fresh from what I can tell. I believe this Harvey photo was used for the 2016 flagship, but in a closely-cropped version.
Another Future Star! This Matz card is just tremendous!
Not only is this a fresh photo of the Mets' Captain, but it's an image from last year's World Series!
Nice to gain another Michael Conforto card for my collection. The kid has cooled down considerably from his hot start, but he's just a rookie and he'll figure it out.
I'll betcha this one is from last year's Fall Classic, also. At the very least it's from the postseason. Just a hunch.
I was quite surprised that Wheeler -- who did not pitch a single inning last year due to Tommy John surgery -- was included in this particular release. Considering they had other obvious candidates such as Familia, Duda or d'Arnaud, this was a bit puzzling. BUT, I'm not complaining since Zack is on schedule for a post-ASG return and still figures greatly into the team's future.
Grandy's card concludes the set. Not from the World Series, but this image is from last year's postseason as the arm patch attests to.
I really, really, really like this mini set of big cards. I can't wait to find a minute or two to slide into my local card shop and grab a few 5x7 album pages to protect these bad boys.
Anyone else have any experience with these over-sized Topps cards or card sets? I'll certainly be on the look-out for future Mets-centric releases!