Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Crossing the Halfway Mark

Over the next few weeks, the majority of my Baseball card budget will likely be devoted to the 2019 Topps Heritage set, whether it's a hobby or retail box or individual cards. 

Although I'm highly anticipating the release, the product will likely prevent much progress from being made regarding my various want list sets, or at least stop me from purchasing set needs myself.

Thankfully, there's still the possibility of trading, and I was fortunate enough to receive a package filled with 1979 Topps singles right before the Heritage is set to be released. I completed this trade on Twitter, something that I'm not totally used to, but I can definitely say it was a very pleasant experience overall. 

Thanks to the generous Mark Hoyle's shoutout on Twitter, I was able to complete a trade with Yankees fan Mark Del Franco. Thanks in large part to my abundance of Yankees cards and a few needs for his '69 Topps set, I was able to even out a trade in which I received roughly 100 1979 Topps singles that took me over the halfway mark for this set.

Yeah, that's the stack of cards that arrived at my door on Monday, all cards that I needed for my 1979 Topps set, a product I seldom see available at the Baseball card show. I've always seen it as a transition set of sorts between the 70s and 80s, and maybe that's why collectors don't necessarily hold onto it. 

It's also helped by the lack of big-name rookies besides Ozzie Smith, yet I've always been a huge fan of the set design, nevertheless. Now, thanks to Twitter, I have over 50% of the set in my possession, and like 1961 and 1976, completing this Flagship set finally seems achievable.

As for the cards that Mark sent my way, there were multiple standouts that really screamed "1970s" even though the iconic decade was almost over by the time this set was released. Seeing color on 70s cards is most definitely a given but between the uniforms, banners, and backgrounds, there's definitely no shortage when it comes to 1979 Topps.

Also, I know I've mentioned this before, but I absolutely love the retro-style Baseball with the Topps logo shown on every card. It's definitely a design I'd love to see again, and it makes me excited for Topps Heritage in 9 years (but who's counting?).

1979 Topps is the best possible set to witness the changes that the 1970s presented for the game of Baseball. Brand new teams, a fresh wave of MLB players, and different uniforms were all introduced in the 1970s, causing it to be night and day between '79 Topps and one of the first few Flagship sets of the decade.

Although the Astros' rainbow jersey is an easy choice for one of the greatest uniforms of all-time, the all-black White Sox uniform, quite paradoxical, isn't anything to sneeze at either. 

It can be slightly odd, at first, to witness players changing teams, especially when that player is showcased on a Baseball card with their new ball club. This was even more prevalent in the 1970s when, for the first time ever, MLB players were allowed to become free agents.

Jim Lonborg spent 7 years with the Red Sox before becoming a Phillie for the final 7 years of his MLB career. Though he spent equal time in Boston and Philadelphia, I still don't completely recognize the 1967 AL Cy Young award winner unless he's in a Red Sox uniform.

While I don't mind the combo cards that Topps uses as checklists in their Flagship and Update sets today, the 1979 Topps set was able to accomplish something that's nearly impossible; make a checklist card seem interesting, fun, and appealing.

I wouldn't ever think that a bright pink checklist with an old-school logo and a green banner would be a fitting combination for a checklist card, but these look pretty awesome, as awesome as checklist cards can look, at least.

I may not have taken a long look at the 2019 Topps Heritage checklist, but I did not spot any team cards on the 400-card base set list or the 100-card SP checklist either. This likely means we won't see team cards in Heritage this year, and I'm not upset about that whatsoever.

After Series 1 switched to ballparks following Topps' "attempt" at a "team card" for years, it doesn't appear that team cards will be featured in Heritage, likely because it would get repetitive to feature the same ballpark shots in at least 2 different products.

To cap it all of, I received 2 All-Star cards in this extremely generous trade package as well that's helped me make unprecedented progress with the 1979 Topps set. Before receiving these cards in the mail, I was struggling to find these cards at the show no matter when I went, so any progress I can make with this product is an incredibly positive thing.

Not to mention, I love the All-Star cards in this set, and Greg Luzinski and Vida Blue are perfect examples of some forgotten 70s players who were, at one time or another, superstars. 

Having these 2 cards, along with all the others that I've acquired on my journey towards completing this set, affirms the belief that, eventually, 1979 Topps will be completed.

It'll just have to wait until after 2019 Topps Heritage is released. 

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