Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Monster Trade Package

Bo over at Baseball Cards Come to Life! posted a comment on my blog asking if I wanted some 2008 Topps Baseball.  I love the design of 2008 Topps and I had only a few from this set so I was absolutely interested.  After some e-mailing back and forth we were able to settle on a trade. Fortunately he needed a lot of base cards from sets within the past couple years so I was able to offload a lot of duplicates.

A whole lot of cards
The trade package arrived on Monday.  As I write this on Tuesday night, I have a big interview on Wednesday I should be prepping for but I'm too excited about this trade.  I went from own 9 cards in the set to a whopping 374, for a net of 365 cards!

I have not written about this set for this blog, mainly owing to the fact that I had only 9 cards. However, I did write a review for TCDB before I started this blog.  (As a side note, I hope to get back to fuller set reviews as I did enjoy that).  I'm going to toss up the review up below:

Title: A Unique Team Lettering Makes This Card a Standout

I only own one card in this set but the first time I looked at that card I was immediately impressed. I'm always a fan of clean, uncluttered designs and the front fits that description. A bright, large image takes up most of the front side real estate. The bubble letters for the team name are the real standout of these cards. This is a unique design that required Topps to take a chance on something outside standard card designs. The gamble paid off. The bubble lettering successfully incorporates the alternating team colors to give each card a distinguishing feature, while not looking amateurish. The silver Topps logo and player name also gives the card an extra element of class. However, Topps could have done without the player signatures. I'm guessing it's supposed to make a card feel more authentic and "valuable" but I think it looks tacky. Especially when it's on every card.

The back of the card contains the standard information such as stats and brief blurb, in a typical top-down format. The back of the card also makes nice use of the team colors, peppering the colors into select background spots. What detracts from an otherwise respectable back, is that the back banner image is stock for every player card. While blank space would not be an improvement, it's disappointing that there is no difference in the back images especially since that is typically the standard for back images. The small banner space does not leave much room for a unique image but what about a skyline image for each team's stadium? Or that space would have been great for the player autographs.

Despite the flaws, Topps did an excellent job designing this set and I'm excited to add more of these to my collection.

Rather that re-hash my thoughts on the design, I'm going to take a quick look back at the state of baseball in 2008.  

First up, the 2008 World Series Champions were none other than the Philadelphia Phillies.  Making their first World Series appearance were the Tampa Bay Rays.  Not bad for their season after changing their name from the Devil Rays.  

The MVPs were Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox and Albert Pujols of the Cardinals.  Tim Lincecum won the NL Cy Young Award with the Giants and Cliff Lee won it with the Indians.  

The All-Star Game lasted a lengthy 15 innings, with the American League pulling off the win.

Who else was playing in 2008?  Quite a few notable players.

Braves Legends

It's hard to believe the Braves only won one World Series in the 90s.  At least when I watched them on TBS (along with every kid in the country) they always seemed so dominant.  By winning one ring they didn't let their talent all go to waste.

What was most surprising about the 2008 was how many Braves greats were still playing.  As of 2008, Jones and Smoltz had not played for any other team.  Glavine spent a few years with the Mets but had returned to the Braves in 2008.  Maddux never had a homecoming with the Braves

It wouldn't be a baseball post if I didn't check up with the Mariners.  McLaren was in his first season with the Mariners after taking over the job the previous year after Mike Hargrove unexpectedly quit.  McLaren wouldn't even make it the whole season as he was fired.  In all fairness to him, he wasn't given the best talent in the world.  He did provide a great rant about the team:

Torre was also in his first season with the Dodgers.  He was looking pretty good for being 68.  Torre led the Dodgers to two consecutive playoff appearances.  I bet McLaren wished he could have said the same thing.

More Mariners players, of course.  Albeit a couple former Mariners.  Sweet Lou always provided some great entertain with his rants.  However, as an Mariners fan, he'll always be remembered for presiding over as manager during the Marienrs' most prosperous seasons.  Thanks Lou.

I was still shocked when I heard that Randy Johnson was traded to the Houston Astros in 1998.  I don't know if it made sense at the time (I was only 13 so I don't remember) but maybe it was the right move.  Either way, I'm glad Johnson had continued success even after he left the Mariners.

What a powerful outfield.  Griffey in center, Sheffield in right and Alou in left.  These guys all started around the same time and both had long careers.  The quality of those careers certainly varies, with Griffey being the only Hall of Famer.  Nonetheless, each were stars in their own right.  

Thanks again to Bo for providing some great baseball cards!

I'm up to about halfway completing this set so I still have plenty more to go.  I know I will finish this set out, though.  

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