Monday, September 3, 2007

Some of the 2007 offerings

Right now, I do not have a lot of 2007-based Indians cards. There are a couple reasons for that, though the main one is that I have been concentrating on filling out past years of my collection, so the current year(s) suffer for it...

What I do have (or the sets I can pass along to ya), though, I will share: Topps Regular, Topps Opening Day, Topps Heritage, Topps Finest, Upper Deck Regular, Upper Deck First Edition, Upper Deck Artifacts, Fleer Regular, Bowman Regular, Bowman Gold, eTopps Regular, eTopps RRO, Allen & Ginter.

Sorry to say, I do not have checklists for many of these sets yet. I will post the checklists as I get them/compile them for you though!

(I am going to be lazy today. I hate Blogger tables, and it takes too long to hand-code it, so I will present the picture followed by my comments for each brand/style...)

eTopps Regular Issue - The only offering (so far) this year from eTopps is the C.C. Sabathia card. In past years, eTopps has done fairly well with representing the Tribe. For as well as the Indians have played this year, eTopps really missed the boat. I'm sure there will be more to come, but for this late in the season to only have ONE Indians card is ridiculous. Where are Sizemore, Hafner, Westbrook, or even a card featuring Kenny Lofton would be cool. I guess we'll just have to see what the rest of the 2007 season holds for eTopps cards.

Bowman Gold - These cards look like the regular Bowman issue but have gold borders (surprised, aren't ya?) and the facsimile auto on the front is in gold foil, too. I only have the card shown in my possession, but I am working on that.. .:-) Honestly, right now, I'm not sure if this "gold" card is part of the base set or if it is a parallel/insert... A lot of good I am, huh?

eTopps RRO - Though technically not separate from the eTopps base set, the RRO is a different kind of eTopps card. This year, eTopps went with the 24-hour RRO instead of the "Hey, I just happen to be on the site at the right time" method of last year. In any case, the only RRO Indian they are offering (to date) is Ben Francisco. I was pretty excited to see a Tribe card offered as an RRO, and even more so when I snagged one for my eTopps portfolio. :-)

Upper Deck Regular - The regular issue of Upper Deck have silver (gray) borders. The names of the players are silver foil on the front. On the back, a little blurb and some stats with a mini picture. I don't know the significance, but on some cards, the mini pic is tinted red, while some are black-n-white and some aren't tinted at all... Whatever... At the bottom of the cards are either "Series 1" or "Series 2," depending. The Kevin Kouzmanoff card is included in my collection, though he is listed as a Padre. Why? Because he is *IN* an Indians uniform on the card. Besides, how many other players in the league have ever had their very first pitch go for a walk-off grand slam? Uh, none. Exactly. And if I can "claim" Kouzmanoff as a Triber, I'm doin it! :-)

Upper Deck First Edition - These cards are like the regular issue, but they have gold borders and say "First Edition" on the front. The names are not foil, just printed on the card. The backs feature the same backs as their regular counterparts. Frankly, I see nothing special about the set, and think Upper Deck could have issued some other kind of set instead, but that's just me.

Fleer Regular - The 2007 Fleer regular feature the player on the front with the logo and team name in script at the bottom. The upper right corner is rounded on the image (though not on the card). On the back, the player's name is in script in a red section with personal info and a blurb. Below that is a gray section with some previous stats. Fleer does have an insert set that is the "die cut" version, which DOES have the rounded corner cut out. I have the Grady Sizemore in the "mini die cut" version, but forgot to grab a pic of it in my haste to post.. LOL... I actually like this set a lot because it reminds me of older sets (though, not sure why that is).

Bowman Regular - These cards feature strong red borders around the player on the front with a facsimile autograph near the bottom. The player's name is done is silver foil, as well as their position. On the back is a mini picture with bio and stats. To me, Bowman cards are always easy to pick out of a stack of cards because, for the most part, the brand (er, Topps) has stayed true to the general layout and format throughout the years. I know companies are trying all kinds of things to make every year's cards more appealing, striking, etc, and Bowman is no different. But, you can tale a pile of Bowman cards and look through them and see the consistent styling. I like it...

Upper Deck MLB Artifacts - I have yet to understand the word "artifacts" in the title of this set. The layout of the card is okay, kinda vintage-looking... A brownish marble frame surrounds a stitched parchment style back with the player's photo done in an artistic fade. The player's name is written in black, such as to appear as though someone hand-wrote it on there. The team name in the lower left corner uses a 'typewriter' font to give the whole thing a "doesn't this look like it is circa 1960?" look. It's okay, but as I said, I don't get the "artifact" part. When I saw "artifact," on the pack, I assumed it meant "materials inside." After all, what are artifacts, if not pieces of things, right? Well, not according to Upper Deck. Again, Kouzmanoff appears as a Padres card in an Indians uniform, so he is in my collection of Tribe cards.. :-)

Allen & Ginter - I liked the 2006 A/G set because I was not familiar with the set/style before that. Though I have been collecting Indians cards for many, many years, I am not any kind of card "expert" (which I'm sure you have figured out by now if you've been reading along). Anyway, I thought the A/G throwback was a cool idea. In 2007, Topps continues to ride the A&G Express with this year's issue. As with last year, this year has short prints, minis, minis with black borders, Perez inserts, etc etc. I just purchased the regular A&G Indians set on eBay, so I'm anxiously awaiting its arrival... :-)

Topps Regular - I love Team Cards. I always have. In the "glory" days, it represented just what it was - the TEAM. Yes, players moved around, but it seems like many players stayed with the same team longer than they do now. I'm sure that is manufactured nostalgia, but that's how I see teams of the past. For many years, card companies dropped Team Cards, checklists, etc. I'm not saying 2007 is the return of those, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the set included Team cards. Even if the "team" isn't the band-of-brothers it used to be, the fact that you can still get everyone together for a nice group shot is a welcome sight in my nostalgic eyes. Like I said, it is not that team cards haven't been 'back' for a while, but it is that they are STILL HERE that moistens my eyelashes... :-) On top of that, I like the look of this year's card from Topps. To me, it is retro without flat-out stealing a past design. Bold, thick borders, colored squares on the front... I likey! :-) There is, of course, the now-obligatory mini pic on the back with stats and bio info.

Topps Opening Day - These cards have the same photo as their regular counterpart, but instead feature a white border and the "Opening Day" logo on the front and back. Everything else about the card is the same. Well almost. The Opening Day set has different card numbering than the regular set. For example, Jake Westbrook's regular card is #72, while his OD card is #3. Seems to me that if they were going to have to print all new cards (colors, numbering, etc) they should have chosen different photos as well, but that's just me...

Topps Heritage - Topps Heritage, Bowman Heritage, Fleer Heritage... Heritage, Heritage everywhere... Frankly, when these first came out a zillion years ago, they were retro-cool. Now, they have the same look they always have (in the Heritage flavor), and it has been beaten to death. So much so, in fact, that looking at the Topps Heritage card, you have to look at the logo to make sure it is NOT the Bowman! Stupid, and shows complete lack of originality. I know, I just said earlier that I liked the Bowman consistent look and feel, so how come I am complaining here? Because I am tired of the "hey, doesn't this look like a 1952 card - AGAIN" set-up. Do Heritage, I like the idea of Heritage, but you know, the 50's were a WHOLE DECADE. You have TEN YEARS of card styles to choose from... Please, for the love of Pete, pick another....

Topps Finest - Remember when Topps Finest were the coolest card out there, with the protective film over them and all? What happened to that? I mean, these are nice enough cards - bright white, silver accents, thick card stock - but "finest?" Are we saying the PLAYER'S are the finest, or the CARDS are the finest? Back in the day, the card themselves WERE the finest - very cool. I do like the "2006 Finest Moment" blurb on the back, though. A little highlight from the player's previous year. Yes, there is a mini pic back there, too... One thing I do like about the card's style is the "out of the frame" appearance (see the bat and helmet extend beyond the card's "border?"). Nice touch!

Happy Labor Day! Hope you enjoyed the run-down... :-)

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