Thursday, June 11, 2015

2015 Topps Archives Baseball Box Break

Topps Archives has been one of my favorite sets in the past few years.

Stars of today and yesterday printed on classic designs. Each box is ripe with nostalgic and modern players. Rookie cards are plentiful. And each year there are usually a few cool insert sets.

The main draw for me, with Archives, is the on-card autographs. Unlike most modern card products that feature high loads of prospect and rookie autographs, Archives features players from the past. I've pulled everyone from Howard Johnson to Gary Carter in Archives from years past.

So, let's break the product:

Our base cards come in a number of varieties. In the top row, you see Jon Lester in the 1976 Topps design, Brooks Robinson in the 1983 design, and Henderson Alvarez in the 1957 design.

For inserts, we have the Topps 1968 game card variety (Mike Trout shown here), the 1990 Topps variety highlighting famous draft picks and rookies, and Presidential Chronicles, showing here Jimmy Carter and Herbert Hoover. I have to admit the Presidential Chronicals seem a little out of place in this set.

Next, we have our "hits". Here are our parallels:

The first two silver bordered cards are serial numbered to 199, and the gold bordered Luis Gonzalez is serial numbered 50 of 50.

One of the fun elements of this year's Archives set is the inclusion of 10 Will Ferrell cards highlighting the 10 MLB teams he played on in this year's Spring Training. There are also serial numbered autographed Will Ferrell cards.

I have to admit, I would have been a little sad if I hadn't run into at least one Will Ferrell card in this box. I got the Padres version. Not an autograph but better than no Will Ferrell!

Another interesting hit series in Archives this year is the buyback Topps Original cards. I got this one:

This is a vintage 1973 card, with an added Topps stamp. Mike Kilkenny's only noteworthy accomplishments are giving up Frank Robinson's 500th home run, and playing on four teams in the same season. Cool to see true vintage in a modern box, though.

Finally, my two fan-favorites autograph hits:

Joe Oliver (shown here in the 1989 Topps design) was a solid, reliable backstop in the 90's, with 100 career home runs. He got a ring with the Reds in 1990.

Kent Tekulve (shown here in the 1980 Topps design) is something of a Pirates legend, pitching in their 1979 World Series victory and making the 1980 All-Star Game. He had 184 saves and a dandy 2.85 ERA.

Pretty cool break! I'd open another.

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