You've seen a couple of cards I really liked over the past two days but which one beat them all out as my official entry into P-Town Tom's contest for my favorite card of 2017?
There are a lot of photos in this post so I won't drag it out. My favorite card of 2017 is this seemingly innocous Jose Quintana card out Topps Update.
I know this particular design isn't widely liked but I think the photo selection and crop job Topps did is very good here. The empty green seats and orange splotches looked very familiar to me the moment I saw it. Why?
Although the photo is different, that same background shows up on his Topps Now card from earlier this year! And if you saw my post yesterday where the Topps Now card made my short list, you know that I was at this game! I was there with my two sons and the first time I had been to Camden Yards since the Nationals came to DC.
Here is our view of Jose Quintana's very first pitch with the Cubs from the cheap seats. An anticlimactic ball, haha.
A little later we moved down and to the other side of the field. Here's Ian Happ in the batter's box and a view into the Cubs dugout. Two years ago we saw him in low Single-A ball (South Bend) shortly after he had been drafted. Crazy. Earlier this year the Cubs had their previous five first-round draft picks on their 25-man roster at the same time. Javier Baez was selected 9th overall in 2011. Albert Almora 6th in 2012, Bryant 2nd in 2013, Kyle Schwarber 4th in 2014 and Ian Happ 9th in 2015. Pierce Johnson was a late first round supplemental pick in 2012 and made his debut this year as well. But I digress.
A little bit later we shifted to the Cubs dugout side. Check out this shot of Kris Bryant on first, Anthony Rizzo in the box and Willson Contreras on deck. I forgot how much better the views are at Camden than Nats Park. Too bad the Cubs only come here every 6 years...
As noted on the Topps Now card, Quintana threw 7 scoreless innings and struck out 12 Orioles. The Cubs would go on to win 8-0.
I know what you're thinking. Matt, you had a great time at the game. Quintana had a spectacular debut. But if you like horizontals so much, how did this plain ol' vertical base card beat out the horizontal Topps Now card for your favorite?
One of the things I like about Topps Now is the immediacy of having a card from a game I've attended. But of all my "I Was There" cards, just two of them were not Topps Now cards. The other was the New Era Andrew McCutchen card and none of these had anything to chase after I got them. And that's something I've missed out on with my current collecting situation. The chase.
It's been a long time since I sought out parallels other than the plentiful golds. So after discovering the connection between the plain ol' Topps Update card and me being at the game, achasin' I went. Including the base card above, I now have 8 different versions.
Vintage Stock #/99
Mother's Day Pink and Father's Day Blue, both #/50
Unnumbered Negative and Rainbow Foil
But I wasn't done yet. The Jose Quintana card was also featured in the Topps Chrome Update release. There were fewer parallels in the Update version than the Chrome Base but I managed to snag five variations. I'm pretty sure I just need the 1/1's here.
Chome Update Base Version
Chrome Update Refractor #/250
Chrome Update X-Fractor #/99
Chrome Update Gold #/50
Chrome Update Red #/25
Let's go smaller?
Topps also released mini cards again through boxes on their website. There are only a handful of these parallels so I just have a mini base and a mini orange so far. The orange is #01/25. The red, blue and gold have yet to show up in the usual places.
Bigger, you say?
There is a seller on ebay with the 5x7 versions sold individually. I believe these were only available through buying a complete set so thank goodness for resellers (sometimes). The base on the left above is # 01/49 while the gold on the right is # 01/10.
While I encouraged a few of you player collectors to go even bigger with the 10x14's Topps sells on its website, I myself showed restraint. Unfortunately, I missed out completely on the gold 1/1 but the base version numbered to 99 is still available. Maybe the next sale...
And a last minute addition, the
Base Card Magenta Printing Plate 1/1
So there you have it. My favorite card of 2017 and his 17 parallel siblings. The hunt so far hasn't been too difficult or even expensive, but there are still some "gettable" cards that I'm waiting for to show up. A Memorial Day camo parallel sold before I started my chase and another hasn't emerged since. And there is a waaaay overpriced Chrome Update printing plate out there that I'm waiting for the price to drop. Here's what else I'm still looking for.
Camo/Memorial Day /25
Printing Plates (3 more) /1
Super Refractor /1
Printing Plates (4) /1
This is probably my last post for the year so Happy New Year! I've got a few things in the draft folder ready to go so see you in 2018!