Friday, August 1, 2008

Dear Topps: Please put away the die cutter

Topps Triple Threads, and all the colors and variations that complement it, is already a confusing set for many collectors. Has anyone ever noticed that some of the excessive die-cutting around the relic pieces makes some cards even harder to decipher?

When I look at a baseball card that is commemorating some event from the past season or other time in baseball history, I want the card to explicitly state that somewhere. I don't want to have to look at the card and think it over for a minute before I figure out what the card is all about. Take the Tony Gwynn card pictured above. The three relic pieces are cut into the letters HOF, the commonly used abbreviation for Hall of Fame or Hall of Famer. That's easy.

But this year, Topps got a little overzealous with their die-cutting abilities. For example, the two cards pictured above depict the top three vote getters in the American League Rookie of the Year balloting and the National League MVP balloting. While it is easy to figure that out, the fact that the words are split into three sections and cover three different colors, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what the card says at first.

However, once Topps started producing the book-style cards, all simplicity was left at the door. Being a Ryan Howard fan, I understand all parts of the above card just fine. But, if an avid baseball fan were to pull this card, they wouldn't have a clue what it meant. For those who don't know, let me explain.

1. The top line says Howard
2. The second line commemorates his ROY and MVP selections
3. The third and fourth lines combine to say Howard hit 100 home runs in 325 games

Why all the extras? Not to mention, the minuscule picture of Howard on that card.

So please Topps, limit the die-cutting next time around would you?

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