If you don't read Chris Harris's Stale Gum, then you're missing out on about half of your daily allotment of baseball card-related reading (The Baseball Card Blog being the other half). Harris recently answered my post "The State of the Hobbyist" with a post on Stale Gum asking collectors to assume the role of Baseball Card God and create the brand lineup for 2008.
It's a fun idea, one that got me thinking less about what I would or would not include in my set lineup and more about the sets that the companies should be making. Here's one for the Topps Company.
OK, hear me out: Topps has pretty much exhausted the 'Let's Make Money Off Our' Archives product line, right? Wrong. OK, here it is: Topps Archives: The Commons. I'm thinking this set would be just like the jumble of cards that is Archives, only without stars. Or even semistars. And maybe not even minor stars. Well, maybe some minor stars. Just think how great it would be to rip open a pack and get Joe Sambito, Rey Quiones, Dave Ricketts, Ike Delock, Daniel Cabrera, Haywood Sullivan and Bruce Bochte. Now that's a helluva pack right there.
And the beautiful thing about this set (for Topps) is that you could literally produce this set for five or ten or twenty years without ever repeating a card. They wouldn't even need to reproduce the cards. They could just go to their warehouse, scoop up a random bunch of cards and send them through the foilstamper. Or, they could be hand-stamped with a rubber stamp. How could you lose? And I've got the insert set and parallel all worked out (not that you'd need them, since a set like this would practically sell itself):
• Insert set: Flags of the World (60 flags from the 1960s) (10 per box)
• Parallel set 1: Creases: creased cards (50 per box)
• Parallel set 2: Tape'n'Tacks: cards marked with distinction (and with tape and tacks) (3 per box)
Oh, I almost forgot--autographs! What's a Topps Archives set without a billion autographs? Well, here's where this set will be really special: Instead of randomly-inserted autograph cards, there will be redemption cards featuring ex-major leaguers. Each redemption card will be for an afternoon with the pictured ex-major leaguer.
Just think of all the fun to be had! Your afternoon could possibly include:
-A Visit to Family Court
-Picking Up Dry Cleaning
-Drinking at a Bar
-Waiting in a Doctor's Office
(Your afternoon will most likely be spent Sittin' n' Spittin')
I'm thinking Topps would initially greenlight two series of 1,000 cards each. Boxes would look like shoeboxes and there would be 500 cards per box. I don't know how many packs that would be, but the packs would be wax, not foil. Hell, maybe the cards wouldn't even come in packs. Maybe they'd just be loose. That might make it more fun.