25 April 2011

topps panders to the team collector and serves up variations - a side by side comparison of the 2006 dodgers

for the most part, the blister team packs that topps has been selling for the past few years offer little other than a point-of-purchase distraction at the local target.  at least that was what i thought, although topps did start to market them as having an 'exclusive' card the past couple of years - be it a mascot or a manager card or whatever.  at any rate, i wound up buying the dodger sets more as a completist than anything else.  i am happy to say that there is more than just a different number on the back.  let's have a look at the 2006 dodgers.  i'll put the regular topps card on the left, and their topps dodgers team set card on the right.  we'll go in the order of the cards in the team set, starting with 'lad1', eric gagne.

eric gagne
the cards are the same, except topps, for some reason, moved their logo over to the right side of the card for the team set version.  what a variation!

rafael furcal
again, topps on the left, topps dodgers on the right.  but you can't really tell since they are the same.  right down to the airbrushing, which is actually an anomaly for topps as we shall see when we get to bill mueller.

jeff kent
here's another one where there is no difference.

cesar izturis
ditto cesar izturis.  at this point, i am wondering why i bothered.

kenny lofton
that's why.  lofton's regular topps card kept him as a phillie, and his topps dodgers version shows him nicely airbrushed into the dodger road unis, right down to the blue cleats.  topps did issue a card for lofton in the update & highlights set
which is different from the topps dodgers card.  i like it - the more variety the better.

jd drew
back to boring, which is fitting for jd drew.  just the movement of the topps logo on these cards.

bill mueller
here's another decent variation.  unlike furcal's card above, topps kept mueller in his former team's jersey (red sox) and just changed the team affiliation to the dodgers in the flagship set.  in the dodgers' team set, however, topps airbrushed the jersey and the hat to make it a little more official.  sadly, there was no update & highlights card for mueller as his career ended due to injury in may of 2006.

jose cruz jr
no difference.

brett tomko
here's the double variation - tomko is airbrushed (appropriately) into a dodger road uniform, and topps moved their logo.  tomko did pitch in the phone booth for the dodgers twice in 2006, but obviously this image ain't from either of those games.

like lofton, tomko got a card in the update & highlights set with a completely different image
i might actually like the airbrushed card better.

derek lowe
speaking of guys with card images from san francisco, here's derek lowe, whose subsequent topps cards were all about pitching on the road in at&t park.  sadly, there is no variation here.

brad penny
brad penny gets the topps logo treatment, and nothing more.

odalis perez
gets nothing, and probably doesn't like it, but nobody cares.  it's just noise at this point.

jayson werth
werth is also left out of the variation party.  on a side note, is there anyone other than don wert whose last name is in order on the standard 'qwerty' keyboard?  i will guess not thanks to most of the vowels being placed next to each other on the top row.

nomar garciaparra
finally, with card 'lad14' we get to the best of the bunch.  nomar goes from a cub in the flagship set to a dodger in the team set.  it's not as good of a job airbrushing as the shadows are different and nomar was put into the dodger home whites.  topps even airbrushed the cubbie in the dugout although they didn't put a red number on the guy's jersey.  it's basically the same card that was in the 2006 opening day set, but i still appreciate it, as it's one of the last nomar topps cards made.  he did get a card in the u&h set thanks to his all-star status
and that was it.  no more nomar.

so, of the 14 cards, we had 4 topps logo variations, 3 team variations, and 4 airbrushing variations. not bad.

we'll see what 2007 brought in a few days.


moremonkeys138 said...

This is a great idea. I haven't done this with my Jays team sets, although I may have to now... Can't wait for the rest of them.

dayf said...

I think there was a Charlie Yuiop that played for the old St. Louis Browns as a backup catcher for a couple games back in the Bill Veeck days. Might just be the booze talkin' though.