Sunday, June 7, 2015

gearing up for 2015 Archives

I ate French Toast Crunch today for the first time in like a decade! I used to love it back in the late 90s. Then they changed the shape from mini pieces of toast to boring squares. Then it was discontinued for several years until General Mills brought it back a few months ago with the classic little-toast shape. Good stuff.

The blasts from the past continue for me this week. 2015 Topps Archives is coming out!

I know the current incarnation of Archives is an incredibly divisive product among collectors. A lot of guys hate it, with many prominent bloggers such as Night Owl, Dimebox Nick, and Zippy Zappy likely to identify it as the worst set Topps has going at the moment.

But yeah, I credit 2012 Archives for pulling me back into the hobby. I remember taking a curious look at what was up with cards at the time, and being drawn to the nostalgia of those familiar old designs. While I don't attempt to complete the sets, and I've never gotten a really good hit out of all the Archives I've ripped, there's still something about it I love, and I'd probably say it's my favorite current product today.

2015 Archives comes out this week and the checklist was released a few days ago. I was a little underwhelmed when I saw it. Topps had talked up paying tribute to Tony Gwynn, but looks like he only has a base card.. no inserts or anything cool along those lines. And the Fan Favorites Autographs list is heavy on 90s guys without many names that perked me up.

One name I was happy to see though, was Marquis Grissom. He recently got his first certified auto in this year's Bowman, so I figured he had a good shot at being in Archives too. Several months ago when I ran a post asking, "Who would you like to see autographs of in Archives?," he was one of the guys I named, and tweeted it to Topps when they asked for suggestions a few months later. (So yes, I take full credit for him being included. lol)

Here's the 2015 Fan Favorites autos list:

FFA-AJ Andruw Jones - Atlanta Braves (1989)
FFA-AL Al Leiter - New York Mets (1973)
FFA-ARU Addison Russell - Chicago Cubs (1957)
FFA-BA Brady Anderson - Baltimore Orioles (1973)
FFA-BB Bret Boone - Seattle Mariners (1989)
FFA-BD Bucky Dent - New York Yankees (1980)
FFA-BW Bernie Williams - New York Yankees (1989)
FFA-DOW Dontrelle Willis - Florida Marlins (1989)
FFA-DW Devon White - Toronto Blue Jays (1976)
FFA-EA Edgardo Alfonzo - New York Mets (1980)
FFA-EK Eric Karros - Los Angeles Dodgers (1989)
FFA-FV Frank Viola - Minnesota Twins (1986)
FFA-FVI Fernando Vina - St. Louis Cardinals (1989)
FFA-GP Gaylord Perry - Cleveland Indians (1973)
FFA-GS Giancarlo Stanton - Miami Marlins (1980)
FFA-HB Harold Baines - Chicago White Sox (1986)
FFA-JC Jose Cruz - Houston Astros (1976)
FFA-JCJ Jose Cruz Jr. - Toronto Blue Jays (1986)
FFA-JCO Jeff Conine - Florida Marlins (1980)
FFA-JD Jacob deGrom - New York Mets (1973)
FFA-JF John Franco - New York Mets (1989)
FFA-JKE Jason Kendall - Pittsburgh Pirates (1980)
FFA-JO Joe Oliver - Cincinnati Reds (1989)
FFA-JR Jose Rijo - Cincinnati Reds (1989)
FFA-JS J.T. Snow - San Francisco Giants (1976)
FFA-JV Jose Vidro - Montréal Expos (1983)
FFA-KB Kris Bryant - Chicago Cubs (1976)
FFA-KT Kent Tekulve - Pittsburgh Pirates (1980)
FFA-MB Mike Bordick - Baltimore Orioles (1989)
FFA-MG Marquis Grissom - Montreal Expos (1989)
FFA-MGR Mark Grace - Chicago Cubs (1989)
FFA-MP Mark Prior - Chicago Cubs (1989)
FFA-NR Nolan Ryan - Texas Rangers (1989)
FFA-OG Oscar Gamble - New York Yankees (1980)
FFA-PI Pete Incaviglia - Texas Rangers (1986)
FFA-RCU Rusney Castillo - Boston Red Sox (1976)
FFA-RJ Reggie Jackson - New York Yankees (1980)
FFA-RK Ryan Klesko - Atlanta Braves (1973)
FFA-SB Sid Bream - Pittsburgh Pirates (1986)
FFA-SG Shawn Green - Los Angeles Dodgers (1980)
FFA-SH Scott Hatteberg - Oakland Athletics (1989)
FFA-SL Sparky Lyle - New York Yankees (1976)
FFA-TF Tony Fernandez - Toronto Blue Jays (1989)
FFA-VC Vinny Castilla - Colorado Rockies (1976)

Mostly under-the-radar "semi-stars" type guys, plus a few big names to chase. Last year there were only 3 active guys in the Fan Favorites autos. That seems to have doubled this year. I think it kind of misses the point to have currently players in that particular insert set, but whatever.

Here was my tweet to Topps last October when they asked who we wanted to see Fan Favorites autos of in 2015 Archives:
@toppscards Vin Scully, Dick Allen, Julio Franco, Nate Colbert, Eric Owens, Marquis Grissom, Reggie Sanders, Tekulve, Bip
Hey, I nailed two! Marquis Grissom and Kent Tekulve.

And like I said above, last May when 2014 Archives came out, I asked my readers the same question. The only reader's choice to actually become a reality this year was GCLR picking Eric Karros.

Anyways, when I get my couple hobby boxes, I hope to have the time to do another fun "Adventure" narrative break with my old toys like I did last year. But we'll see if I'm feeling up to it. (Been kinda stressed out lately.)

I should mention Nachos Grande has an Archives group break going with 3 slots left as of this writing, so check that out if you're interested.

Word on the street (Twitter) is that Topps ramped up production this year, and the odds of pulling non-base cards (other than the 2 guaranteed autos per box) are considerably tougher than years past. So that's a bummer. Last year the hype was around the Major League cards. This year it's Will Ferrell cards. Fingers crossed I pull something exciting this year! Stay tuned.


  1. I'm looking forward to Archives more than I have since the first year. Part of that is looking forward to cards in the 1976 design that I love, part is wanting something different to bust, and part of it is having a new attitude about Archives. They're going to get details wrong about the design, maybe intentionally, so I'm just going to enjoy it for what it is.

    1. Yeah, you can't expect them to be lovingly faithful to the original designs or you're asking for heartbreak. And I agree 1976 is one of the few designs that hasn't been driven into the ground yet, so it'll be nice to get some cards in that design. 1983 is a good one too. I like 1957 a lot, though feels like it's not that far removed from being used in Heritage.

  2. Oh man, Vin Scully would have been an awesome "fan favorite" auto! Does he have any certified Autos floating around out there?

    1. I think Vin has a very small number of certified autos out there, but they sell in the hundreds. Even lame cut autos are really expensive. Would be great if he could get some autos in Archives or Ginter or something. Not sure what the holdup is.

  3. I'm really only excited for the Tekulve. It seemed weird that Sid Bream is a "fan favorite" for the Pirates. He was in last years set as a Brave.

    1. Yeah, sometimes the player/team choices are a bit odd. I appreciate them trying to give variety to guys who had good years with different teams, though. I would've liked to have seen Gaylord Perry or Bret Boone as a Padre. San Diego got the shaft in the Fan Favorites this year. :(

    2. Oh, and Ryan Klesko or Tony Fernandez could also have been shown as Padres without incurring too much public outrage.

  4. They also brought Surge soda back. I remember consuming a ton of both in the late '90's.

    I like the concept of Archives as more of a fan-favorites set without current players (like in '03-'05) but would really be excited if Topps made it into a 'Lost Cards' set featuring cards that Topps failed to make ('51 Mantle, '51 Mays, final cards for Hank Aaron, Carlton Fisk, etc....).

    1. Yeah, that's a great idea. I would love to see (either as base cards or perhaps an insert set) a Better Late Than Never Cards That Never Were series. I know Topps has done a couple things like this over the years, but to make it a regular feature of Archives would probably be a big hit with collectors.

  5. I apologize if I left a ton of comments. My phone is screwing up. I have a list of 300 cards Topps could make as a base set as well as a few ideas for insert cards. One of these days I want to post a fake sell sheet with what the set could look like if Topps ever gave it the green light as well as some previews of the cards. Who knows, maybe someone with a brain at Topps will see it and give us what we are wanting.