As I continue to make my way through the 72-page frankenset, along the way, I'm also learning more and more about the cards I chose to put in. This page, #31, is no different. At just 5 pages away from the halfway point, the 31st frankenset page showcases cards #271-279 of the set, with cards ranging from the last 4 decades.
#271 2003 Topps Miguel Batista
From 2001-2003, Topps attempted to be creative with their Flagship sets, choosing teal, bronze, and blue borders for their sets. While 2001 Topps was decent and 2002 was a step above that, the blue borders of the 2003 Topps set, for me, was the worst of the 3 years. It seems like it should work since blue isn't too bold of a color but when combined with the set design, it simply didn't work.
#272 1999 Upper Deck Star Rookie
Although Angel Pena didn't progress through the MLB as a star after being labeled a "Star Rookie," the blue and gold color combination on his 1999 Upper Deck Star Rookie subset is one that works very well, especially with the classic Dodgers uniform. When you're talking about gold, silver, and the right shade of blue on a baseball card, it's hard to go wrong.
#273 2017 Topps Heritage Chris Owings
At the time in which I was creating this frankenset, 2017 Topps Heritage was still very fresh in my mind, having been released just 2-3 weeks prior. Therefore, a couple doubles from the set made their way to my frankenset, including Chris Owings' card, one of my images from last years' set taken in front of a bright blue sky.
#274 1998 Fleer Ultra Gold Medallion Edition
Even though the Gold Medallion edition cards from Fleer Ultra are rarer than the base versions, I'd almost rather have the base for a card like this, showing Tigers' outfielder Brian Hunter sliding into a base. In terms of cards showing action images like the one above, I always prefer a card that delivers as clear of a picture as possible.
#275 1985 Topps Harold Baines #1 Draft Pick
The #1 draft pick cards from 1985 Topps became so iconic that they were recreated for Topps Archives a couple years ago, featuring #1 picks dating back to the late 80s, presumably close to where Topps left off in 1985. One can only hope that they will resume with the same order once 2034 comes along, the year 1985 Topps is set to be the subject of Topps Heritage.
#276 1982 Donruss Lee Lacy
Although the uniforms that they rolled out in the 70s were nothing to sneeze at, the Pittsburgh Pirates uniforms definitely peaked once the 1980s came along. In addition to all-gold and all-black uniforms, they paired gold shirts with black pants as well and vice versa, resulting in colorful cards like this one of fan-favorite Lee Lacy.
#277 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen Henderson Alvarez
Part of me is a little disappointed that the Marlins are getting new uniforms next year because of how strong of a liking I've taken to their alternate orange and black uniforms and even their home jerseys as well. I don't know what prompted them to change their jerseys and logo other than the fact that the franchise is changing everything else, but you'd think 1 or 2 elements would be able to stick around.
#278 2015 Topps Stadium Club Omar Vizquel
Vizquel's Hall of Fame case is one of the more interesting ones that we've seen over the last few years. His defense was undeniably elite, but there remain questions as to if he did enough offensively to secure his spot in Cooperstown.
Personally, I just don't think someone can be in the hall solely for their defense unless they were the best of all-time at their position. While Vizquel's defensive ability is undeniable, I don't believe he's the best defensive shortstop to ever play the game.
#279 1991 Topps Jose Gonzalez
The 2nd Dodgers card of the page does an equally nice job of letting the classic uniform and logo standout while also pairing it with one of the best Topps designs of the last 25 years, 1991 Topps. Along with 2008 and 2015, 1991 Topps stands in a class by itself as Topps' finest efforts since the end of the 80s.