The once, and future, Cy Young winner; shown Cuttering the shit out of some poor National League donkey, on a die-cut insert (I'm assuming this is an insert) that has a bit of a late-90s vibe to it. Mmm, Guy Like!
I guess since this is the 60th Anniversary, we should get use to every-other insert having the word "Diamond" in it.
Hey look kids, a letter patch that's from the back of an actual uniform! (Albeit from a batting practice shirt.) Again, you'll probably have to rip twelvity five hundred waxboxes to find one, but AT LEAST IT AIN'T A STUPID MANU-PATCH!
For the uninitiated, the card on the left is a reprint of Babe Ruth's first trading card. This card (the real one, not the Topps reprint) is actually rarer than the T-206 Wagner and has been valued at $500,000. The one on the right is a Ryan Braun card done in the style of the 1888 Kimball Champion's set -- Mr. Burdick refers to it as "N-184."
2011 Topps is supposed to commemorate Topps' 60th year in baseball cards, right? Then tell me what the hell are cards like these doing in a set like this? If you're going to make 2011 Topps a celebration of 60 years of Topps Baseball, then make it A CELEBRATION OF "TOPPS FUCKING BASEBALL!" NOT OF CARDS YOU NEVER MADE!
Besides, I think we can all agree, we could use a break from the pre-war/19th Century retro stuff for a year.
And it wouldn't be a Topps product without reprints of ACTUAL Topps cards, right?
For those of you scoring at home, this is now (by my count) the twelfth time Topps has printed this particular Jackie Robinson card.
1983: 1952 Topps Reprint Set
1997: All-Star Fan Fest
2001: Topps Through the Years Reprints
2001: Topps Chrome Through the Years Reprints
2001: Topps Chrome Through the Years Reprints Refractor
2001: Topps Archives
2001: Topps Archives Reserve
2002: Topps '52 Reprints
2002: Topps Chrome '52 Reprints
2002: Topps Chrome '52 Reprints Refractor
Speaking of reprints, wouldn't it have been great if Topps waited until 2011 to unveil "The Cards Your Mom Threw Out" and "Million Card Giveaway" promotions? I know, I know, I'm thinking long-term viability -- a prerequisite not required for employment in the trading card industry.
Chris Olds and I had a Twitter-debate as to what the borders of these cards are supposed to be. Olds thought it was Dufex, I think it's etched-foil a la 1993 Bowman. Either way, they look pretty damn cool. But I do find it curious that the serial-number is on the front of the Gold Ichiro, but not the Silver Jeter.
For the Record: There's also a gray-bordered David Wright card that I assume will inherit the "numbered to 2011" parallel, and a black-border of some broken-down, washed-up, pitcher that should be numbered to 60 copies.
Of course, Topps has yet to release the composition and structure of 2011 Topps. Until then, any further judgments will be withheld.