Yesterday, I posted what I thought was the worst card of 2011 Topps. And yes, Dayf, I was serious. The choice of a white-gray background on a card that has a white border is an inexcusable decision on Topps' part. Had the series featured full-bleed photography, or a colored border, then the background might have looked good, because I agree that there are too many generic shots in cards today. But the hoodie is still a deal breaker. Call me crazy, but I like to have the players on my baseball cards wearing, oh, I don't know, baseball uniforms!
But today I am not here to bury Topps, but to praise it. Because I have found one of the better cards in the series. It's certainly good enough for inclusion in the Uniform Back Series. I present card #650, Josh Hamilton:
The photographer captured Hambone in mid-stride, and I can say with absolute certainty that this picture was taken a split-second before he made the catch. I mean, look at that ball - there's no way it didn't go in the glove. Sure, we're talking about the Rangers, but this isn't a Jose-Canseco-ball-off-the-melon situation.
That it's an action shot instead of a "just-standing-around" picture is just one way that this card succeeds where the Fred Lewis card fails. Another is the colors. The predominantly black (with a touch of dark blue) background contrasts well with the white border. You don't get the feeling, if only for a second, that the card is horribly miscut or a printing flaw. And speaking of contrast, look at how well Hamilton's uniform, particularly his bright white pants, stand out from the outfield wall. Even the "404" marking the center field distance complements, rather than competes for attention.
Of course, this is a Uniform Back card, and a fine example at that. You can clearly see the player's name and number. The fact that uniform number and the distance on the outfield wall are in the same font ties it all together nicely. A big thumbs up to Topps for this card.
In other business, I don't know if I got a 60 Years of Topps "hot box" or if I'm just uncovering my allotment early, but I like the results so far. In eight packs, I've gotten four 60YOT cards, which is a good return for someone collecting the set. The best of the bunch? Well it's really no contest:
A 1965 Frank Robinson, in his last season with the Reds. I'll be back again tomorrow with some more from Series 2. Please be sure to vote in my poll if you haven't already. How do you organise your player collections?