Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's Topps in My Book

I started collecting baseball cards when there was only one card company, Topps.  My interest in collecting started to fade just as two new companies started producing their own cards.  My interest eventually returned and I found even more companies had joined the fray.  At some point, it became impossible to follow how many companies were producing cards and how many different sets (and subsets) each company produced.
Topps has been criticized for sloppiness, gluttony and indifference to consumers, but Topps will always be my favorite. Maybe because I started with them or maybe because I am just old school, but old habits die hard.
I know Topps isn't perfect. Some of their airbrushed atrocities have become legendary.  Some late season trades are deemed "too late" to have them acknowledged on the regular set issued the next season (thus necessitating at least one update set).  They helped flood the market and are overpriced.
Back in the day, I was such a baseball card nut that my dad routed a short side trip to the Topps plant while on a family vacation.  Unfortunately, there really wasn't much to see.  They didn't even have tours (apparently their Marketing Department wasn't in full gear back then).  Still, I had reached my baseball card mecca.
Topps wasn't perfect then and they certainly aren't now, but they hold a perfect piece of my childhood and I will always love them.
 The Topps baseball card plant in Duryea, PA-Late 1970's.