Recently, I have read a lot about the 2015 Topps flagship product, which is funny, as we haven’t even completed this season and already there is talk of next year’s product. But it is next year’s product that leads me to the point of this post: What if Topps asked for submissions for an insert in their flagship product. In other words, a contest to be held for the best idea for an insert.
Now, maybe something like this has already happened in years past; I was absent from the hobby for the better part of 20 years. However, I have seen or heard nothing about such a contest, nor have I read about this on another blog. So my intention is not to steal from anyone; at least I don’t want to get caught at it.
With that in mind, I have decided to challenge all bloggers that cover baseball to design your own insert for 2015 Topps. If you read this blog, respond to it and challenge all others that follow your blog to do the same. For too long has Topps put out a below average flagship product. Let us give them some ideas, so they can openly ignore us and continue to cash in on our addictions.
There really are no rules to this challenge, except that you need to actually attempt to show your design. At the very least, provide a photo and describe what the insert would be called. In my mind, the more detailed, the better. For instance, would there be parallels or variations, etc.
As I am the first to respond to this challenge, I get to have two designs. Yes, I know that isn’t fair, but neither is life.
My first design is one that would never be created, although I think everyone that follows baseball would run out and buy packs in order to complete the set.
2015 Topps Base-brawls
This insert would focus on some of the greatest fights in the history of the sport. I would like to limit this set to less than 30 cards, which means the fights would have to be historic. No regular, everyday skirmish would be included. It needs to be something that the baseball and sports world talked about; one that impacted the game.
Card one in this set would definitely be the fight between Pedro Martinez and Don Zimmer.
What a sad and misguided occurence this was. Yes, I know it wasn’t really full-on fight, but it still fits the criteria, and I can think of no other fight that was as polarizing: How dare Pedro throw that poor man to the ground, or What the hell was Zimmer doing?
Card number two would have to be of one of the greatest on field-fights in the history of sports: Nolan Ryan vs. Robin Ventura
I was still in elementary when this happened, and let me tell you, I was blown away. Nolan Ryan did more to solidify his reputation in this fight than any other moment in his career. This image is fantastic. Ryan has Ventura in a headlock, pounding away on his face, while Pudge tries to separate them. Nolan was a 46-year-old man, besting a man 20 years younger.
Card number three would be show that fights have long been a part of baseball, and the legacy of some its greatest heroes: Thurman Munson (and Gene Michael) vs. Carlton Fisk (and half the Red Sox team)
This is what baseball is all about: Red Sox vs. Yankees at its very best. Fisk and Munson were two of the best catchers in the American League, and neither of them would back down. This is another fight that is polarizing. For Yankees fans, Fisk started it by shoving and kicking Munson. For Red Sox fans, (and we are right) this was Michael and Munson trying to keep Fisk from doing his job. Regardless, this is a classic fight.
For the remaining 20 or so cards in the set, images from fights and brawls would be used. Yes, some would include entire teams, though those are never as memorable as these three altercations.
Parallels would not be part of this set. However, autos would be. And I can think of no better use for those sticker autos than this set. Ryan and Ventura would never sign this card, but a sticker auto would fit nicely.
For my second, and much more likely, and therefore, unappealing insert, I have looked to a skill that befuddles me, one that makes me jealous to no end, switch-hitting.
I have not done a lot of research on this, but in my collecting, I have not seen an insert that truly captures the brilliance of switch-hitting, at least not like this.
2015 Topps Switch-Hitters
This set would feature a horizontal layout, as I can see of no other way to capture the images needed. Each card would show a switch-hitter, connecting with the ball from both sides of the plate. Hopefully, the images would be from different at bats and not mirror images, as I have shown here.
I looked and looked for images and angles that would line up. The best images for this type of insert would come from behind the pitcher, showing the hitter making contact with the ball. While I wasn’t able to find two images that would line up, Topps has a plethora of images to choose from, and with a little foresight, they would be able to get some great photos.
As far as parallels, I am not a big fan, but I think variations would be really cool. What comes to my mind would be for players who played for more than one team. The variation on the original would be for one of the images to be of a different team. So the above images would be the base insert, while the parallel would show Eddie Murray on two different teams.
Well what do you think? Will you respond to my challenge? Repost this and see how many insert ideas we can come up. Who knows, maybe someone from Topps will listen.