Opening my first packs of 2021 Topps Baseball led into disappointment. Five hobby packs for $5 each with 3 San Diego Padres cards and 3 inserts. First, let’s take a look at the cards from the main set - Wil Myers, Joe Musgrove, and Adrian Morejon.
These cards look similar to the 1992 set for color quality and the 1994 set for the cheesy graphics. The photography is decent and I like the 70th Anniversary silver emblem that adorns the front of the cards. However, the italic font of the player’s names is too small. It gets even worse on the back. The saving grace that helps a collector read the cards is the black font on a grey background. The white accent also gives the cards a nice touch.
In evaluating the inserts, I’m happy that die-cuts made a return… not that they ever left, it’s just been years since I’ve pulled one from a pack. Getting a Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies is alright, but his pose of staring at the bat, the card’s cut and garish graphics leads to further disappointment in the 2021 set.
Reprints of cards from the past is a waste as I’d rather have the original card, and not one with a buyback stamp. This is the case for the 70 Years of Topps subset where I pulled Ryan Mountcastle of the Baltimore Orioles. It’s a modern card that recycles the style of old.
The Significant Statistics card of Devin Williams of the Milwaukee Brewers has the nicest appeal of all the cards in the set. I’m a sucker for a green / blue combination and this comes out well on the card. Nowadays, however, you can create a statistic on just about anything and make a player or a team look good. Don’t get me wrong, Devin is a decent pitcher with a 1.80 accumulated ERA and 11-2 W/L ratio over 3 seasons, however, I’d rather have this insert style represent something different about the game. The Brewers made it to the 2020 postseason, so it would be awesome if the insert subset was based on action shots of all the players who made it there.
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