Monday, July 8, 2013

Complete Set: 2013 Topps Series 2 Cut To The Chase Set

I have been a little bit slow in assembling some of my cards for the second half of my 2013 Topps set.  There have been several new card releases over the past several weeks and I guess that some set had to take a backseat to the others.  It would not be a calendar year without a Topps set, so I have started looping back to finish up Series 2.  One of my favorite parts of the set this year is the Cut To The Chase set which was also featured in the Series 1 of the 2013 Topps set.  

This great looking die cut set features another group of 24 cards.  The second series goes back and picks up the first card in the set, Mike Trout, who was oddly left out of the first series, and then adds cards 24 and 26 through 48.  A bit confusing with the card numbers, but high on style points.   There are some great cards here, so let me pick out two cards to talk about during this post.  I will go with my top card and the card that I would replace.  Best card first:

2013 Topps Cut To The Chase Rickey Henderson 

There are actually several Hall of Fame cards in the second series of the Cut To The Chase set, but for my money this Rickey Henderson card is the best of the lot.  Topps really does a great job focusing on the history of the game and produces a lot of cardboard with Hall of Famers.  However, Rickey seems like he does not make too many appearances.  He's one of the best players from my lifetime, and while I saw him as a Padre and Met, it was still fun to see him play.  

Further, this Rickey card does a great job of capturing him as a player.  He's wearing an A's uniform and he is running.  Sure Topps might have upped the card a little bit if they had found a shot of him sliding into a base, but that's hard to do on a vertical card.  I also have noted that Rickey is pictured wearing white batting gloves and not neon green.  Still a cooler card than Seaver, Koufax, or the other Hall of Famers in this set.  

2013 Topps Cut To The Chase Matt Holliday 

I am going to shock people a little bit today and say that Matt Holliday probably does not belong in this set.   I know that collectors will point out that Yoenis Cespedes is also included in this set, but he still gets a little break for being a highly sought after younger player in the baseball card world.  I am sure that someone at Topps probably thought it would be nice to make a Holliday card since he has generally been a pretty consistent performer at a high level for the past decade with the Cardinals, Rockies, and A's.  I agree with the sentiment, but if I were assembling a set with the top dozen current players or so, half of the players in this set are retired, I think I could choose someone a little bit better than Holliday.  

So, I do I propose replace Holliday in this set?  The best player on the Cardinals: Yadier Molina.  Similar to Rickey Henderson, Molina is often greatly underrepresented in the world of cardboard.  While the Cardinals are committed to Matt Holliday for the long term, the team has also recently signed Molina to a new five year contract.  Further, Molina leads the National League in hitting with a .346 average and ranks 10th in the league in WAR.  All while playing Gold Glove caliber defense.  Sure, I love Matt Holliday and have posted plenty of his cardboard on here during the past year and a half.  Sometimes it would be nice to see Topps branch out a little and give credit where credit is due.  Now, if I had the photoshop skills of some of those bloggers who post their own custom cards I could show you how the Molina card would look, until then you will just have to imagine.  

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