Friday, July 29, 2016

The One Card Team Set - 2016 Topps New Era + Bonus

A few weeks ago, maybe months by now, Topps partnered up with New Era for a 9-card set featuring some of their more popular spokesmen. The cards came as a free-with-purchase incentive when you picked up a New Era brand cap at a Lids store.

I'm not much of a hat guy. I have a couple of caps representing the Cubs and their various affiliates but they are mostly hat rack decorations. However, like most guys, I do have my tried and true, broken in, well-worn, trusty go to.

Long story short, I wasn't going to be buying a $35+ hat I'm 99% sure I wouldn't wear for the chance to maybe pull one of the two cards I wanted. Ask me how many Wal-mart pizzas I've had trying to pull the Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber Marketplace cards...

Anyway, as luck would have it, I stumbled across an auction lot that included both New Era cards I was after plus a bunch more. The auction was listed as a "lot" with duplicates, but in fact turned out to be a complete set with 3 duplicates. The picture showed all 12 cards, but the description and title were bare minimum. Listed correctly, it probably would have fetched quite a bit more than what I paid.

But enough frugal bragging, on to the cards.

Eight teams were represented among the nine cards. Kyle Schwarber is the sole member of this one card team set for the Cubs. (I like this theme, I may try to find other one-card "team" sets if I remember.)

Since I'm showing off the card, I may as well break it down. The source photo shouldn't be too difficult to find. I can narrow it down to Wrigley Field and with the Postseason patch on his right sleeve, sorting newest to oldest should put it near the top of the search results. And it was.

Getty Image #493664698
The photo looks good, Schwarber coming in to make a nice catch with the iconic ivy in the background. Unfortunately, the caption paints a different picture. This was off the bat of Wilmer Flores in Game 4 of the NLCS, and it eluded Schwarber for a hit. Other photos from the sequence:

Whoops. As we all know, the Mets would end up sweeping the Cubs even though they didn't capitalize on this particular play. This card may have been better left not broken down. Despite that, I am happy that Topps went with a different photo even from the flagship set even though they stuck with the same design. With that said, the back is the exact same except for the number, the New Era designation right above it and the New Era logo in the bottom right corner.

Wait a second, Matt. You said this is a one-card team set but also that you were keeping two cards from the lot? What's the other one?!

Busted, I'm keeping a card from another team. But for good reason!

A-ha! Another card featuring the Ivy at Wrigley Field. At #4, this slides nicely into my Ivy Frankenset that will make its official debut here shortly.

Another quick search over at Getty using "Joc Pederson Wrigley 2015" provided 44 results, including the source photo above. According to the caption:
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes a catch on a fly ball hit by Miguel Montero of the Chicago Cubs in the 4th inning at Wrigley Field on June 23, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
But according to the Baseball-Reference boxscore:

Somebody's falsifying information...

My guess is that this is the Starlin Castro flyball to deep centerfield that followed the Miguel Montero single. Assuming the 4th inning part of the caption is correct.

But the good news is that the Cubs won this contest with a walk-off sacrifice fly in the 10th inning by Chris Denorfia.

Available extras from this set include Bryce Harper, Dellin Betances, Josh Donaldson and Marcus Stroman.


  1. I thought that was the play, but I was too lazy to do the leg work to confirm it. So, thank you for being motivated! Also, way too many filters are being used on Topps cards this year... Waaaaayyyyyy too many.

  2. I didn't realize there were only 9 cards in the New Era set. I still haven't seen any of the "hits" or parallels from these that were originally advertised.

    1. Yeah, it's a fairly small set for something that comes 4 cards to a pack (if you don't pull one of the elusive hits). For comparison, I believe the Wal-mart Marketside set was 50 cards.