Wednesday, September 20, 2023

a year late or right on time?

remember when card releases were delayed? yeah, i suppose it is still going on to some degree, but i think now we are experiencing the fanatics influence rather than production and distribution issues. aside from 2021 topps big league, the product i most associate with the covid-era delays was 2021 topps chrome platinum anniversary.

that 2021 product didn't reach us until 2022, and it brought the 1952 topps design to us with a score of shiny parallels. here's a mitch white prism refractor
and a mookie betts black & white mini diamonds refractor
to refresh your memory.

now, i was (and still am) of the mind that topps messed up with the heritage brand by debuting it in 2001 with the 1952 design. using the 1951 design would have made more sense if they had planned on inserting buybacks stamped "50th anniversary" all along. i am not sure they thought that far ahead, however.  with the 2022 release of this 2021 product, it truly became a platinum anniversary - 70 years. folks that got married in 1952 and were still around and together in 2022 celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2022. that is what anniversary means. in 2021, they celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary. according to some source on the internet, that is known as the chinchilla anniversary. ok i guess.

so, with it being 2023, i figured topps would cut bait and just skip 2022 with this product, and give us the 1953 design in chrome fashion as 2023 topps chrome platinum anniversary. it would be right on time!  but no, they did not do that.  

2022 topps chrome platinum anniversary, which uses the 1953 topps design, was released in the late summer of 2023, and it is kind of weird. i joined a dodger team break and received the entire team set:
i find the varied use of logos interesting. the current dodgers have the logo that is most similar to what was on the original 53's. the "b" and two different "la" logos represent different eras of the team, i guess, but the flying baseball has been their primary logo, in one fashion or another, since 1945 according to chris creamer's sports logos site. the skinny "la" on don drysdale's card is just nonsense, and here you can have a closer look at it via his refractor parallel:
i gained a few base refractors from the break in addition to big d, including clayton kershaw
will smith
pee wee reese
jackie robinson
and duke snider
here's a blue prism refractor of the duke of flatbush
and an xfractor of max muncy
the muncy card makes it pretty easy to notice the photoshop filter applied to the player faces to try to give the cards a painted feel like the original 1953 set. i think topps could have just chromed their "living set" for this release and called it a day. some of the images are not good here.

i picked up a blaster of the stuff just to get some variety, and lucked in to a new big daddy vladdy
for my pc and a barry larkin card
for the dodger stadium collection. it's easier to see the old dodger stadium seats when looking at the card in person.

in case you didn't notice, among the 19 dodger subjects in this set is one steven patrick garvey. that gives me more parallels to chase, and i've done a fair amount of chasing.

black & white mini diamonds
prism refractor
blue prism refractor
aqua wave refractor
numbered to 299
blue mini diamond refractor
numbered to 199
speckle refractor
numbered to 150
platinum cream toile/fuchsia atomic refractor
numbered to 100
red atomic refractor
numbered to 100
rose gold refractor
numbered to 75
that last one came to me in the break, so i was pretty pleased with myself. i don't think i picked up any refractors scarcer than 99 last year, and i don't expect to do the same this year unless the price is way right.

a couple of quick comments before we move on - two bullet points for garvey's career seems lazy. also, the toile parallels are only slightly better than the emoji and star parallels that panini and topps have churned out in recent years. still, it's just old-timey ballplayer wallpaper images. please stop.

back to my blaster...

i was happy to find a babe ruth card
but i didn't realize it was a photo variation until after i got rid of it. who knew there were photo variations in this set (mookie and jackie robinson each have variations, i guess)

one of my guaranteed prism refractors was a blue prism of don mattingly
check out those tremendous sideburns.

i found a blue atomic refractor of dansby swanson
and and aqua autograph of whit merrifield
always fun to find an autograph in a blaster.

those last two cards are fine examples of the impact delays have on a set and its subjects. both of those guys have spent all of 2023 with different teams. still, this card that accompanied my garvey aqua wave refractor takes the cake
syndergaard is now three teams removed from the angels.

i really hope that in 2024 we are treated to the 1954 design and the set is called 2024 topps chrome platinum anniversary. it only makes sense. 


  1. Have fun with those. If it wasn't for this year's Big League, this might be the worst Topps product of the year. Feels like AI made them.

  2. It's amazing how quick you were able to get all of those Garvey's. Did you end up getting the mini blue from Sportlots, or did you find a better price elsewhere?

    1. for that one i was actually patient enough to get it for a lower price somewhere else!

  3. I like how they matched the team logos to the era of the player on the card... but that's not enough to lure me into buying this product. I'd rather buy more packs of the 2021 product in an effort to build that set.