Sunday, November 11, 2012

Drawing comparisons

Before I start, I'd like to wish all the veterans out there a very happy Veterans Day.

Thank you for your service!

Topps' "Distinguished Service" insert set was the basis for one of my first major "quests" after I got back into baseball cards. I still rank the 30-card set as one of the best pieces of my non-sports collection.

I figured that today was as good a day as any to show one of 'em off.

Again, thank you, veterans, for everything you've done.

Is there a way to transition from Douglas MacArthur to Casey Kotchman?

If there is, I sure haven't found it.

I recently completed a quick, easy, one-for-one PWE trade with Jeff from "2 by 3 Heroes".

Jeff is a fellow Illinoisian (if that's even a word) and a longtime "friend of the blog". He even notified me of a local card show that was taking place this weekend. Due to budget constraints of next week's show, I wasn't able to attend that one.

Judging from what Jeff found from some dime boxes over there, though, I'll definitely have to mark it on my calendar if they ever hold another one.

If this magnificent gold parallel of Mr. Kotchman is any indication, PWE trades can sometimes be the greatest of them all.

Although I could've done without Topps releasing all 990 of them at once, I've always been a fan of their serial numbered gold parallels.

One thing I've always enjoyed doing is comparing the current "season" of cards to the one before it.

Naturally, I wondered which of the gold parallels I liked better.

2011 or 2012?

Let's take a closer look.

Here's another Cleveland specimen from the previous year.

One thing I noticed is that Topps decided to omit the "60 Years of Collecting" label on the front of this year's golds, something they hadn't done since '01.

That's definitely a point in 2012's favor.

While I understand why Topps does it, the label on this card of Justin Masterson just gets in the way of an otherwise fine shot.

Except for that, there's not much difference. Topps has been remarkably consistent with these over the years.

As a result, I'd have to give 2012 the edge here.

Besides, I can't choose against the newest addition to my Casey Kotchman collection.

In the last few years, Topps has hit upon something big with their flagship sets.

Collectors have a tough time turning down anything shiny.

I know I can't.

These two 2012 Topps Update "gold sparkles" were generously sent to me from Adam, author of "ARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession".

I've lost count of how many times Adam and I have sent cardboard to each other. It's a lot, I'll just say that.

These two are both self-dubbed "half-year" cards, as "Francisco Bros." Cordero and Liriano were dealt to their respective teams at the trading deadline.

The "Coco" Cordero is an especially neat addition, considering he only pitched in six games with the Astros last year. (Going 0-3 with a 19.80 ERA in the process, I should add.)

Now for the million-dollar question.

Do these beat out last year's sparkly parallels?


Not even close.

I'm sure most would agree with me there.

It's been a year since we last saw these in packs, and I still haven't had my fill yet. I'll still take all the shiny diamond and Cognac "liquorfractor" parallels I can get.

Sorry, 2012.

2011 has you beat all day long with these.

Will Topps be able to better themselves in 2013?

We'll just have to wait and see.

I'm already looking forward to it.

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