Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2014 Topps Archives: Hotter Than Roger Dorn's Wife

It's rare that I get to showcase a set so soon after it's release; but I've been fortunate on the Griffey front with this set, so I thought "why not?"

First I should mention that I had to one-at-a-time these via eBay over a few weeks because there was no Archives left in the stores.  More than that, my LCS sold out of hobby boxes twice.  That doesn't happen here in New Orleans, guys, where baseball has about as big a fan base as the League of Scandinavian Chicken Wranglers (nothing against the fine athletes of the LSCW).  People wanted this product enough to pay attention to when it was being released.  That's huge.

I can't fault these folks for their sudden interest in a Topps product for two reasons.  First, the Major League insert.  It kills.  It's a home run of an insert of I ever saw one, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a sequel or perhaps a new insert with a different baseball movie from Topps.  Frankly I think it would be silly of them not to do something else similar.

Second, when I started collecting again a couple of years ago, Topps Archives was the product that I got most excited about.  There's something in the mix of my love for rehashed overproduction-era designs and my emotional attachment to those designs plus the fun, unique inserts and the general feel of the cards themselves that all combine into a perfect storm of wallet-loosening insanity.  I love it more than Ginter, Tribute, and Gypsy Queen all rolled into one.  If I had a little more expendable income I'd buy a case of the stuff (but try hiding that from the wife).

So yes, I am a fan.  Sure they repeat some photos and maybe some of us are thinking "enough already" with seeing the same few dozen retired stars on more and more cards year after year across multiple brands (I really shouldn't complain about that part: keep it going, Topps!), but it's still my favorite pack to bust.  They're just really fun.

When the rush was over to find these cards in the store, I finally ended up getting my hands on one blaster and a couple of rack packs.  From those I got a reasonable cross-section of cards to show you.

Of course I'm showing almost exclusively all those old retirees I was just kinda complaining about a minute ago.  What can I say?  Topps has my number.  Here are the 1980 and 1973 sets.

And the beloved 1986 set.  These look solid - faithful to the originals in every way.  That Larry Doby is probably my favorite pull from what little 2014 Archives I actually bought.

The lettering isn't perfect, but this is the design that hits me hardest in the childhood.  I love 'em, especially the Mattingly and McCovey.  I like the Bench OK, too, but I'd like it more had I not already seen that photo before.

Of course there are parallels which I really enjoy.  It's a fun take on designs you may have thought would never be printed in shiny holofoil.  Pretty neat.  These goldies are #/199.  There is also a silver version #/99 that doesn't look quite as cool.

I love this card!  I know it's a Puig and we're all a little tired of seeing him on cards by now but something about that rainbow over the full wood-grain border.  I get all verklempt.

These, too.  I have so many from the 80's and 90's - it's fun to see updated versions with dates to match.  I miss the gloss fronts which were kind of a big part of the original cards, but it's a great idea for an insert.

I have only one of these original 1969 deckled-edge cards, a Rusty Staub.  I could take them or leave them in terms of modern players reprints, but it wouldn't hurt to have a Griffey.

Here they are, the sought-after Major League insert cards.  A half-dozen other characters spring to mind that didn't end up on cards, but they got a few right including the guy on the only one of these I pulled from a pack:

I was excited about this pull, but I still like the Larry Doby best.  Those are the three I have, and yes I want the other two.  And I also want Cerrano, Willie Mays Hays, Bob Uecker and the rest of the gang when they come out in Archives 2015.

Topps made a set of 5x7's od this insert plus a bonus card that came in a fancy custom wax pack you could buy direct from them.  I wrote another post about those that you can see here.  It includes scans of all the cards and pretty much sums up how I feel about this insert as a whole.

Okay, let's look at some Griffeys:

2014 Topps Archives #75 Silver #/99, Gold #/199, Regular (1980 Design)

That, gents, is the rainbow sans printing plate.  I still like the gaudiness of the gold best despite the scarcity of the silver.  And I love love love that picture.  Great Griffey, Topps!

Here's the back:

They cut the guy off at 2005, but they made up for it with that sweet cartoon.  The pitcher looks freaked out.  I like that.

I've mentioned before that I am trying to get a Griffey card done in every single classic Topps design.  I'm really close, too, but I should mention that I already had one of this 1980 design:

I really love that picture, particularly the background.  This is one of many rehashes of old Topps designs done by a baseball card magazine of the 90's.  There were a lot of these, apparently, and it's actually pretty faithful.  Of course Topps did a much better job emulating their own card back design.  Here's the one from this oddball:

Now-defunct card collecting magazines are the most prolific provider of Griffeys on classic Topps designs second only to Topps themselves.  Here's hoping that future Archives designs will fill the holes I have in the classic Topps design timeline.

Here's all the Griffeys I am missing from 2014 Topps Archives:

#75 Printing Plate 1/1 (four, one per color)

Griffey had no autographs and no cards in the throwback hockey design insert (which I would love to have seen), but he got a pretty great base card.  I feel good about that.


  1. I enjoy buying some Archives. But it was only at Target this year I think. Kinda bummed I passed on the only blaster I saw for 2 rack packs…not sure I will get another chance to buy any.

  2. I don't know. Dorn's wife was pretty hot....