Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Big Topps Archives Surprise

One of my favorite products each year is Topps Archives.  Over the past couple years, as I've tried to pay more attention to my collecting habits and identify what I tend to target--and why--I've been learning that I like the fun factor in my baseball cards.  Opening Day and Archives fit the bill for me.  They're relatively inexpensive and both products tend to include some sort of fun insert set.  Though I always like the Archives product, I don't pick up as much of it as I would like.  First, my local stores don't carry a ton of it.  Second, I never seem to have any leftover money for it when it's released.

Last week I picked up a blaster and a hanging pack of Archives.  I was mostly excited to see the 1991 design.  I was also hoping for a Kevin Costner autograph, though I've never really like Bull Durham.   No, I didn't pull the Costner.  Still, I definitely left with absolutely no complaint.

Let's start with the blaster box.

Pack 1

My first look at 2016 Archives, and I like it.  I like the nostalgic feeling of the older sets, but I think part of the fun of the product is that the cards feel different.  No it's not the thickest card stock, but neither were the originals.  These aren't quite as grainy as the older cards, so they feel more modern, if that makes sense.  Plus, I really like seeing teams like the Rays on 1991 cards.

From this pack, Trout and Marichal go into my PC binder.

Pack 2

Here is an example of the fun inserts I like.  I'm fascinated by the lineage of baseball families.  The Father-Son set gets my attention.  I do wish that this particular card were Sandy and Sandy, Jr., though.  Ichiro will go into the binder.

Pack 3

I think Topps did a great job using photos that actually fit the set they were redoing.  The Bench card is great.  There are 3 pretty solid rookies in this pack.  But the highlight here is the Kris Bryant insert.  It's impossible to be a Cubbies fan and not be totally captivated by what he has done in his two seasons with the team.  I'm always happy to add something of his to my collection.

Pack 4

HOLY COW!  It's a Phil Rizzuto numbered to 199.  I think these blue borders come about one per blaster.  It's up for trade, if any Yankee fans out there are interested.

I'm not a Ryan Braun fan at all, but that is one attractive card to me.  The colors and the photo framing mesh together so well.

Nomar and Abreu will go into my binder.

Pack 5

Gooden and Fergie will go into binders. The Matt Kemp here exemplifies one more thing I love about the 1991 redux: teams that have changed logos have their current logos and colors represented on the 2016 version of 1991.  Again, I like the modernity it adds to the older design.

Pack 6

Here it is.  For just the second time in my life, I pulled a 1/1.  From a blaster box, no less.  And I've no intention of letting this puppy go.

Yes, that's a 1/1 black border of one of the biggest rookie names on my favorite team!

There it is, in all of it's serial-numbered glory.

Apparently, I was so stoked about this card that I forgot to get any pictures of the rest of the pack. Sorry.

Pack 7

Another insert, this one from the #1 Draft Pick set.  Hamilton is the only active player in this pack.  The rest are all retired, and I'm okay with that.

Pack 8

We'll polish off the blaster with the second Luis Severino, this one an insert.  There's a nice-looking Griffey and the newest member of my All-Star MVP binder, Eric Hosmer.  This is my first Corey Seager, believe it or not, but I expect I'll be chasing more of his cards in about a month or so.  All due respect to Trevor Story, but I think Seager gets NL Rookie of the Year and joins my collection.

Earlier I mentioned the new Padres look represented on the 1991 style.  Well, the Perry here shows the same concept in reverse.  An older Indians style for this card to match the player's era is a nice touch.

Hanger Pack

Now on to the hanger pack.  In just one blaster and one pack, I ended up with a few dupes, but here are the new cards.

Welcome to my binders, Mr. McCovey and Mr. Williams.  If I had pulled an Aroldis Chapman, I would have the Yankees' entire back end shut-down pitching armory in one pack.  Well, as it was constituted when the cards were made.

So there is my first taste of Archives.  Even without the Schwarber, I enjoyed ripping these packs.  I think I'm going to passively put this set together; I'll put my needs up on my wantlist here and see what happens.  As much as I liked the set, I already am working on two sets from this year and I'm pretty much all geared up for football.  But this set is definitely worth picking up to me.


  1. Wow - the perfect blaster for a Cubs fan, no doubt. Congrats!

  2. Great pull with that Schwarber!

    Is your '16 Archives wantlist up yet? I can probably dig up a few to get you back for the cards you sent me last week. (Thanks for those, btw.. will get a post up feat. them soon.)