Wednesday, December 12, 2018

My card of the year

The last two years, I've done with a Topps NOW card as my card of the year in P-Town Tom's excellent yearly contest.

In 2016, it was the debut duo of Tyler Austin (now a Twin), and Aaron Judge.
In 2017, it was the Rookie of the Year celebration for Aaron Judge.
In 2018, I'm changing it up a little. I had a weird relationship with cards in 2018. I didn't buy as many. I was, and still am, unenthusiastic about many of the releases and the lack of creativity on inserts, and sets in general. My best pickups weren't even from 2018, such as my Ty Hensley Superfractor to complete my 2013 Bowman Draft Rainbow.

I've been harping a little on it on Twitter, but during my card sorting process recently, it's so hard to look at inserts of the '90s and early '00s versus some of the current releases. They are an afterthought; often a way just to shove more legends in a set and celebrate things like first hit or first home run. Which is all well and good, but the insert sets over the last few years have all blended together into a forgettable mass. Even the ones that stray a little and have some design element to them feel lackluster, such as 'Legends in the Making' or 'Don't Blink' from 2018. I think part of it is a lack of texture or interesting printing techniques.

Aside from the ramble above, cards were hard to find in 2018! I went to Target a bunch of times in search for newer releases, and my Target was usually pretty empty. Sure, there is a little thing called the internet, but the day I order a blaster online will be a first.

Regardless, I did have a favorite insert set this year. It dawned on me that in a few different posts, I consistently said that I thought the 1983 Topps Chrome Refractors were the nicest cards this year. Because while most inserts may stink, especially ones that continue to beat old sets into our brains, Refractors are the same awesomeness in 2018 as they were 25 years ago when they first debuted.

Side note - how was there not an 'Ode to Refractors' insert set on their 25th Anniversary??? (1993-2018)

So with that, my card of the year is this Giancarlo Stanton 1983 Topps Chrome Refractor:
Why Stanton? Well, I think 2018 will always be remembered by me for his debut season with the Yankees. It was right at this time last year when ninja Brian Cashman made the move to obtain Stanton. I remember watching coverage late into the night, hardly believing it was a reality. It definitely defined the 2017 offseason and 2018 season for me. Giancarlo was a Yankee.

He had a fine year, with 38 homers and 100 RBIs. He was a good teammate and I think he enjoyed being in a winning environment after his years in Miami. Sure, it wasn't his 59-homer MVP season from 2017, but it was a good year. And part of me thinks his year 2 will be even bigger, just like Alex Rodriguez's second year in New York.

1983 is also the year I was born, so we've got the whole birth-year set going for me. I've never really had an attachment to 1983 Topps, but still, just an added element to this card.

So there you have it, my personal nominee for my card of the year.


  1. Great card. I liked seeing the 1983 design though I prefer the original cardboard to this newfangled technology. But you didn't ask my opinion. Sorry. Great post. You've reminded me that I have to finish mine entry.

    1. No no, I'm actually with you. I thought the glossy '83s from flagship weren't great. But much better when Chromed and Refractor'd up.

  2. I feel much the same way you do about cards in 2018 - I hardly bought any myself and it's making this exercise difficult for me. Although, at least you were still able to come up with an excellent selection, even if you broke your Topps Now trend!

  3. I picked up a lot of new cards in 2018 but none of them are card of the year material. I'm still struggling to narrow down the choices (finally got it down to a top 5).

  4. I'm also on the "Bought way less cards this year" bandwagon. Still enjoy the hobby, just doing it much differently than before.
    That's quite a beautiful '83 Stanton. Nice choice.

  5. Good choice! So you're a year younger than me, that's good to know... I guess?