Change of Address

Holy moly. When it rains it pours. Four mailday posts in a row now reflecting four different days of mail over a week.
Something about that fourth mailday kicks things up a notch. Maybe we’re all feeling that beginning-of-the season excitement. Games are finally occurring. Packs of Series 1 are in the store. Time to start firing up the trades and getting unneeded cards off of our desks.

Mailday number four came from Peter who distributes most of his first packs to various team collectors. In this case, since he has recently moved, this small mailday also served as a way of updating my address book so I can send him the extra 1995 Fleer Darryl Strawberry that Robby just sent me.*

*I kid. I’ve already sent Peter a 1995 Strawberry and at least that one was tempered by being part of a batch of a bunch of 1995 Strawberrys from multiple brands.

Peter’s packs yielded two Giants who are polar opposites. Crawford is the resident All Star who fans love. Strickland… Oof. Pretty sure fans were happy to see him go. He was fine but always felt like a liability Did I need these two cards? Not really. For the price of a retail hanger pack I decided my money was better spent entering a half-case break which netted three team sets—enough for me and both boys to enjoy.

But having such a small mailing means I can actually write a bit more about the 2019 design here. I’m not a big fan. Backs are great with full stats making a triumphant return. Fronts have a bit too much going on for my taste with transparency effects and half-borders and drop shadows photoshopped onto the players so that the backgrounds look more like backdrops that have been dropped in after the fact.

I appreciate that the photography appears to be zoomed out a bit compared to previous years but things are still being cropped so that players’ feet disappear. This isn’t a huge problem on these cards but in 2018 Topps had a ton of Shortstop and Second Baseman cards featuring plays at second where the interesting part of the play was being covered by the design elements. Seeing the base and the ground is hugely important to a lot of these photos and Topps doesn’t seem to be allowing for that.

Another thing that jumped out to a weirdo like me is that this is the first set in at least a decade to be printed using a traditional line screen.* The big bold grey last name is a single black screen** and I didn’t even need a loupe to see the halftone. This suggests that Topps changed its production this year and I’m now curious if other sets will follow suit.***

*I only went back to 2009 and aside from the weirdness where 2010 Update is printed traditionally and 2010 Flagship is printed with a stochastic screen I didn’t find anything printed traditionally.

**Note, the darker greys on the backs are 4-color mixes but the light grey is single black.

***I’m going to hit that grey border in the 1970 design with my loupe as soon as I get my hands on some Heritage.

Anyway, I haven’t mentioned that Marichal insert yet. Peter will be pleased that I didn’t have it. I’m not big on insert sets but they’re definitely great ways to pad mailings. I’m very happy to put Giants inserts in my binder and I’m just as happy to get non-Giants inserts out my door to someone who will appreciate them.

Thanks Peter! It’s not Spring yet but it sure feels like it’s coming.

Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at, and the web at

3 thoughts on “Change of Address”

    1. Yeah Topps did this in Big League last year (one of the things I didn’t like about it) and it looks like they’re hooked on the effect.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.