Now that we have all officially turned the page on 2008 and are scrambling to close the book on all of those sets we have 80% done (looks like they will join the almost complete 1990 Topps set in my closet) it's time to look forward to 2009.
While I know I am a small fish in this pond, Dave from Fielder's Choice (who is hosting this, the 3rd blog bat around) raises a good point. There is no doubt that our blogs/community does have an effect on how the card companies are doing business. We have seen exclusive rights given (of course, then taken away), large publications pilfering ideas (without credit no less), and many other small things that may not be so significant in the grand scheme, but that are affecting the hobby we all love. So here is our chance to let them know what we would like to see this year (although this year is already quite a bit set as far as the card companies are concerned).
The one thing that I love about baseball cards is that they seem so timeless - yes 1990 Donruss is ugly (as is 91 Fleer) but they were perfect to represent that era. The designs may not always age the best - but often times the sets we hated at the time they came out we ended up loving (does this mean that in 2029 we will be saying that UD X and Artifacts were great sets? I hope not).
What I am getting at is the kind of sets that I am interested in seeing produced would the kind that tell the story (not literally, I'm looking at you Upper Deck Documentary). I want a base set of at least 500 cards. I want to see some all starts, I want to see some rookies, and yes I want to see Greg Brock (or should I say Damion Easley to update this a bit?). One day hopefully I will have children to share this all with and I want to be able to grab by binder of 2009 Topps cards (the complete set of course) and be able to go page by page and tell them all about each player - give them my own oral history of the game.
I understand the niche that the high end products like Sweet Spot and Sterling fill - and I think its great that it's there for those of you who can afford to do it. If I had the extra paper, I probably would myself. What I don't get is the pointless stuff like Artifacts and X. There is nothing that set the sets apart from the rest as far as theme (an x? picture of a scroll?) that make them worth carrying. I think everyone agrees that if we want to see historic figures, that what A & G is for. I feel that if the set cannot hang it's hat on a good theme that brings something new to the table it should be not hit the shelves.
Here is what I would like to see return next - Stadium Club done right. I understand that the Topps base product will always be a little underwhelming. But I don't mind - it is what it has always been. 1000 cards that show what happened giving a lot of players cards and documenting the season. Let's see stadium club come back without the focus on the autogamers. Let's limit it to a few box hits and be up front about the short printing this time around.
Of course Heritage, Goudey, A & G (but lets change it a little this time), UD are all going to be in my collections. I wish Masterpieces would come back as I think its the best looking set produced all of last year, but we don't have that kind of pull - maybe 2010? One set that I missed out on a few years ago that I would love to see back would Topps Total.
As far as increasing the amounts of game used and autos, I think that it's a terrible idea. What ends up happening here is the SRP of these products ends up going way up to accommodate for all the sigs or memorabilia that ends up going into these packs just so you can get your Cory Doyne Auto'd card on a sticker no less. Let's make the hits... here is a novel idea... of players people want hits for!!!! Holy Shit! Stop the presses! What an idea. With less hits of better players it becomes special again, and the boxes will more likely retain their value for resale if thats your bag.
I am okay with short prints - They annoy the hell out of me when I need them, but I like the challenge and the fact that it can make a crappy Oliver Perez card a bit more desirable. As far as the parallels and insets - thats fine - just keep the parallels pertinent and lets trim the fat a bit. I love Masterpieces, but how many different borders were there? Overkill. And please for the love of god - kill the gimmicks. Waste of time and an insult to our intelligence.
Thanks for hosting Dave -