Alumni from Bru

I received a nice card from Marc at the end of last week with a handful of cards inside. No Giants this time, just Stanford Alumni but all from sets that I’ve never purchased.

First one in the stack is a Simone Manuel 2018 Sport Kings card. Aside from a Sports Illustrated for Kids card this was the only trading card of Manuel until this year.* I’m assuming this is related to her being an amateur (there are no non-SI cards of Katie Ledecky either) and that if we’d actually had an Olympics this year things would be different.

*She’s in 2020 Goodwin Champions.

Is a shame though. Manuel is especially worth celebrating for her accomplishments in 2016 where she became the first African-American woman to win an individual swimming gold medal.

The Sport Kings design and artwork is intentionally retro. Looks a bit weird to me to see it in modern card size instead of the more-square size of the 1933 set but it’s a decent homage and the kind of set I’d like to see more of nowadays with its mix of athletes.

A couple Topps Stickers. One of Nico Hoerner showing the front sticker design and one of Stephen Piscotty showing the sticker back design. Is interesting what Topps is doing with these. I appreciate them being card-like even if these designs are doing things that cards don’t usually do. The stickers feel like they need some of the album context and the backs are a nice way to make something from the throwaway portion which feels kind of like an insert.

Definitely a fun product though at the same time the sticker album is only like four cards per team and this is the kind of product that to my mind should feature way more players. But then I’m kind of expecting something approcahing the gigantic Panini World Cup albums.

Last card of the batch was a 2020 Diamond King of Nico Hoerner. Actually this is an Artist’s Proof though I have no idea what that actually means in trading card world. I didn’t notice this with my previous Diamond Kings but the difference in white points on this card is super obvious.

It makes for a nice contrast between his leg and the paper color but it also calls out the artifice of printing a cream color on the paper stock. I don’t mind it when companies do this (I’ve done it plenty myself) but I’ve never understood why you’d do this and then call attention to it.

Thanks Marc!

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

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