Wednesday, January 4, 2017

my favorite card of 2016

2016 was a pretty good year as far as being a collector of steve garvey cards was concerned, so at least it had that going for it.

it all started with the topps anthology set - a set of 5x7 reprints that was available only online.  garvey's iconic 1971 topps rookie card was chosen to be a part of that set, which included base cards numbered to 499,
a silver version numbered to 49,
and a gold version numbered to 10.
i was able to get all three versions fairly inexpensively on the secondary market, thank you very much. however, the 5x7 format pretty much disqualifies these from being my favorite card(s) of the year.

there were other online exclusive cards to be had, but sadly this next one that topps created using the 1971 garvey card doesn't really exist.
i noticed during the holidays that topps was advertising a gift card with the design of garvey's card, but these were not physical gift cards. the recipient would only receive an email with (presumably) a code to apply to future orders.  had topps actually printed these things for mailing, i would have bought one for sure, but it wouldn't have been my favorite card of the year.

topps went for it with buybacks in the flagship release for the third straight year, and i lucked out and stumbled upon one using my favorite card of all time for a very reasonable price before any other garvey collector pounced.
the red just means that the card is 'limited' but not 'rare' or 'scarce'.  i love the 1978 topps steve garvey card, but i don't consider this buyback to be my favorite card of 2016.

that wasn't the only 1978 topps steve garvey 2016 buyback that i picked up, either.  this one is numbered 5/6, and comes from the 2016 topps archives signature edition release.
i picked up a couple other archives signatures from the 2016 release to go along with 3 or 4 from 2015, but i won't bother to show them here.  again, i love the 1978 topps garvey, and the others that i have from this set, but they aren't my favorite cards of 2016. 

garvey was also included in the regular ol' archives set, but as a high numbered short print.  
i appreciate the use of the 1979 topps design, but they robbed the garv of his all-star banner, and they used a photo from 1971 or thereabouts.  it's not my favorite card of 2016.  still, i dutifully picked up the base auto
and the blue parallel
it's a shame that the blues don't match.  there's also a red auto parallel that so far has gone for more than i care to spend.  

and then there was another topps archives release, this one an online exclusive call archives snapshots.  when i first found out about it, my understanding was that topps was using some photos from their archives, similar to the ones that they've been selling through their topps vault.  for garvey, at least, that was not the case, as they recycled the photo that they used for his 1976 topps card.
they even made a black and white parallel
that might have worked if they had gone with the deckled edge.  there are two autograph parallels in this set - one for the color version and one for the black and white - but i don't have either one. yet.  these are not my favorite cards of 2016.

staying online, topps included garvey in yet another release.  this was one of its 'throwback thursday' sets that honored players who had won two all-star game mvp awards, and it includes my two favorite flagship garvey cards 
which also represent the years that he was selected as the mvp of the midsummer classic.  however, it's not my favorite card of 2016.

and then, in a crazy twist, topps sold cards in retail stores of a release that was originally an online, digital only issue.  i am referring, of course, to topps bunt, which i think was a welcome addition to the card aisle at the local big box stores.  included in that release were the 'titletown' inserts, and garvey was featured on the dodger version, 
along with duke snider and sandy koufax.  this card is pretty cool - it reminds me of a fleer insert from the early 2000's - but it's not my favorite card of 2016.

switching gears now, panini has made cards featuring garvey every year from 2010 on, except for 2011 as far as i can tell.  in 2015, they included him in the donruss sticker auto set, but in 2016, they outdid themselves by including him in the pantheon release.

this is a 'metropolis monument' relic card that obviously refers to mount rushmore and the sports radio debates that raged in 2014
i don't know if there was an official padres mount rushmore defined at that time, but this foursome of tony gwynn, dave winfield, ozzie smith, and steve garvey is probably in the conversation.  in 2005, when donruss put out the 'team quad' cards in their playoff absolute memorabilia set, they used garvey, gwynn, rickey henderson, and willie mccovey to represent the padres.  i think this foursome panini uses is better, although i would replace ozzie smith (who really didn't do much as a padre) with trevor hoffman for sure.  i like the two-color jersey swatch of garvey's, but this is not my favorite card of 2016.

also in the pantheon release were some first-for-garvey glove relics, including this 'gallant gloves' auto relic
that celebrates his four straight seasons (1974-77) of winning the gold glove for national league first basemen.  it appropriately features garvey as a dodger, and the glove remnant includes the letter 'e' from 'glove'.  i know i saw the lettering on a photo of one of his gloves - pretty sure it was a louisville slugger, although he also used rawlings - but now i can't find the image.  anyway, the lack of an mlb license shows on this card, and combined with the sticker auto and the fact that panini continues to color the number on the front of dodger jerseys blue instead of leaving it red, it is not my favorite card of 2016.

another auto/glove relic from 2016 panini pantheon is this 'chronicled calligraphy' card
that features garvey as a padre in their pinstripes.  again, the lack of a license really shows.

this 'rudiarius' card, also from pantheon, is a bit better,
if for no other reason than it seems to refer to garvey as a gladiator, but neither it nor the 'chronicled calligraphy' card are my favorite card of 2016.

that brings us to the 'milestone scripts' set from 2016 panini pantheon
this card features an on-card auto that really shows nicely against the white background, and the photo selection brings a nice bit of color to the card, even if the interlocking 'sd' is missing from the helmet.  the milestone garvey is featured for is his national league record 1,207 consecutive games played, of which i saw quite a few, including his 1,118th game that broke billy williams' record.

there are parallels of this card, including a red version numbered to 10

yes, that's the red version, and this gold version numbered to 49.
that is my favorite card of 2016.


  1. Topps did a great job of including Garvey in their Archives Signature product. I've picked up two of his autographs so far. Can't wait to grab more.

  2. The actual fan-voted Franchise Four for the Padres was Gwynn, Winfield, Hoffman, and Randy Jones.

  3. Thanks for entering the contest. I'm a little shocked you went with a Padres card.

    1. alex wood's topps card might have won if garvey weren't in the picture. i was just so pleasantly surprised by the pantheon card when it arrived that it made me ignore all of the brown-ness.

    2. please... can we not mention Alex Wood? The wound is still fresh.