|2016 Topps Wal-Mart Holiday Snowflake #HMW152 DJ LeMahieu|
Unlike many others, I didn't really mind the smoke effect that Topps gave to their base cards in 2016. Seeing snowflakes there instead doesn't make this any better for me, just different. And definitely more festive. This is more like a Topps base card than 2016 Opening Day, as the Topps logo is in foil. But that's the same Jake Lamb in a throwback Diamondbacks jersey, trying to break up a double play being turned by a 2016 NL award winner.
|2017 Topps #335 Jeff Hoffman (RC)|
I wrote about Jeff Hoffman earlier this month, but he still doesn't have a lock on a rotation spot as we near Opening Day. But even for the short time he's had in the majors, he did get a chance to get a great Coors Field card in 2017 Topps, probably with a blurry DJ LeMahieu in the background. I've only purchased one retail pack of the product so far, but sometimes these new sets show up in trades pretty quickly. And it's starting to seem familiar already.
|2017 Topps #81 DJ LeMahieu LL|
DJ and Daniel Murphy were neck-and-neck for the NL batting title as the 2016 season drew to a close, but the Rockies middle infielder edged out his fellow second baseman by a single point, hitting .348. I even snagged him for my 2017 Fantasy Baseball team in Monday night's draft. I'm certainly hoping for another strong performance.
|2013 Topps Chrome #71 Ryan Wheeler (RC)|
Various versions of it tend to pepper incoming trade packages, even this shiny and minimally curled one from Chome. But I've never featured it on the blog before. He played in a handful of games for the Diamondbacks and Rockies over three seasons, but never really made much of a splash. Pun not intended related to the Sea Turtle design.
2013 Topps was the year of the "Chase". If you flip this card over, you get a look at Wheeler's valiant attempt to eclipse Tris Speaker's all-time doubles record of 792. At the time, Wheeler had six. As of his most recent MLB appearance in 2014, he chipped away at that a little, leaving just 782 to go. I particularly like Topps highlighting that 792 number, a number that should be familiar to anyone who collected an overproduction-era Topps set.
|2016 Topps Archives 65th Anniversary #A65-AG Andres Galarraga|
All the backs from this obscure reprint set, one that I largely missed amidst the contemporaneous flurry of Topps snowflake cards (pun definitely intended on that one), are done up in the style of 1975 Topps. I imagine that's why Night Owl made a purchase of this set to begin with, as his love of the '75s is well-known across the Cardsphere. That card back calls out Galarraga for being a five-time All-Star, and for two each Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards, but they neglected to mention his batting title in 1993. Not only did his mark of .370 put the Rockies on the map in their inaugural year, but he did that at the height of Tony Gwynn's career. That's basically like being a leading goal scorer during Wayne Gretzky's heyday.
|1997 Select #127 Neifi Perez R|
Pinnacle, on the other hand, missed a giant opportunity by not making this a horizontal card. Or at least by chopping off the action that is obviously occurring at second base to make room for the herringbone foil. Try as I might, I don't think I'd ever be able to determine who got a cameo appearance on this rookie subset card. But it does hit the Coors Field mini collection nicely.
|1996 Fleer Ultra Rising Stars #2 Marty Cordova|
This is definitely an insert set I'll be chasing. I already had three cards from this set in my collection, and surprisingly, or rather alarmingly, somehow I never noticed that Coors Field was a key design element. It took a fan of an NL West rival to bring that to my attention.
|1996 Sportflix Hit Parade #11 Dante Bichette|
Perhaps the technology wasn't quite there yet, but an animated reproduction of one of Bichette's many home runs, such as his memorable 1995 Opening Day game-winner, would have really made this card incredible. With the pace of technological change, it's entirely possible that we'll start seeing highlight reels embedded in cards before too long. There's no reason the Topps Bunt app couldn't do that right now, but in the physical world, a little screen of some kind with a power source on a printed circuit board would make a set unlike any the Hobby has ever seen.
Topps already has us paying a couple hundred bucks a pop for the likes of Museum Collection and Tribute. How much more could it be to get a box with little computerized baseball cards?