Utz and Oddballs

Last week I got a fun envelope from Mark Hoyle. He lives in a location where he’s able to buy lots of the Utz chips that came with cards inside. While the rest of the hobby has moved on from this promotion, Mark’s still working through stock of chips from this spring.

Which is good news for me. I’d sort of given up on finding the Buster Posey (or Nico Hoerner) from this set since the window had sort of closed. Card sales online are operating in a mode where the only cards worth selling are the hot new product and everything else isn’t even worth listing. But Mark found a Posey and knew I needed one.

Seeing this card takes me back to spring before Covid hit and we were all looking forward to the season. A much more innocent time and the fact that Buster elected out of playing this year just drives the point home.

I very much appreciate that Topps used a completely new design instead of just slapping the Utz logo on the base design like they did last year. It’s kind of a perfect oddball design in that it’s slightly garish but also doing a lot without a lot of design elements. I don’t think this would work as a full-size set but it’s great for what it is. The only interesting thing to me is that the Utz logo is completely absent from the front.

Mark packaged the Utz card with a handful of 1983 Big League Collectibles cards that commemorate the original All Star game. The team card is a nice who’s-who of the National League that year. It’s a bit of a shame that the 1980s printing is a bit too coarse for the details in the photo

The other four cards are the four Giants in the team. Carl Hubbell, John McGraw, and Bill Terry I’m all familiar with. Hal Schumacher I was not. This was a good Giants team though which went on the win the 1933 World Series.

Image handling of these is interesting. Clearly colorized but, for the most part, finding that sweet spot between looking like a fake photo and looking like Beast Jesus. Hubbell’s card is particularly nice. The only weird part is the retouched teeth on Shumacher and Terry which feels almost like the source images still had 1930s pre-press contrast painting on them.

So two fun things to add to the binder. Thanks Mark!

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 njwv.wordpress.com, and the web at vossbrink.net

3 thoughts on “Utz and Oddballs”

  1. I feel like it’s a blessing in disguise that I don’t have access to those specially marked Utz bags. I totally would have been eating a ton of those chips trying to build this set. Even more so in 2019.

  2. Schumacher attended college at St. Lawrence University, which is an hour away from me and one we cover regularly at the paper. I should have at least one of his cards in my collection because of that reason but I’m somewhat conflicted, due to his tenure with the Giants, and because SLU has been the most challenging college to cover in my time.

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