If you’re like me, you can’t resist picking up a pack (or three) of Topps cards every winter when they show up in the stores. Actually, every winter I’m at least mildly surprised when they do show up in the stores, since I don’t know who actually buys baseball cards any more. You know, aside from people like you and me.
Make no mistake: I used to buy a LOT of baseball cards. Mostly Topps, but also Upper Deck and (in what must have been a year or two of weakness) Donruss, Fleer, and even Score.
Yes. I had a little bit of a problem.
Eventually, of course, I moved along to other pursuits. But I did keep buying a pack (or three) of Topps cards every year, and one year I even wrote the little essays on the backs for a few pitchers. Which was a thrill, and now I’m wishing I could actually remember which year it was, and which cards.
Anyway, it’s not like I would still be collecting full sets any more, regardless. But I’ve been disappointed in the design of Topps’ basic cards for … well, for a long time. A couple of years ago, Cee Angi wrote a great piece that pretty well encapsulates my feelings. On the other hand, I absolutely love Topps’ Heritage sets … and no, it’s not because they remind me of my youth; I wasn’t collecting cards in the 1950s and ‘60s! I just prefer clean designs and vivid colors.
Of course, I did pick up a few packs of the new Topps, the last time I was at Target. And was pleasantly surprised by a relatively clean design. But it did occur to me that I wasn’t really buying the cards to see what they look like – I could have done that on the Web in about three seconds – and I’m certainly not collecting them. What I realized is that I just wanted that little jolt of adrenaline that comes when I see who I got. Which has always been the best part of getting a pack of baseball cards.
The good news is that the 2015 cards are relatively clean, and they’ve returned to the traditional numbering system (as near as I can tell, anyway). The images are crisp; my only complaint is that the shots are monotonous, nearly all of them depicting pitchers about to pitch, hitters having just hit, all shot with hyper-expensive zoom lenses. There’s a sameness to the photos that makes the cards less interesting than they might be.
One still gets that little jolt, though. The only problem being that after the little jolt, you’ve got this little pile of colorful cardboard that, without a real collection or an interested child in the house, doesn’t really have a good home. So what does someone like me (and maybe you) do, if you want the jolt but not the little pile of cardboard?
Well, there’s more good news: Topps has an app!
In retrospect, of course Topps has an app. It’s called BUNT. But I didn’t know that until last week. As near as I can tell, the idea is that you’ll collect cards on your phone, cards that allow you to play games and win coins – not real coins of course because nothing’s real any more – and then you can get more cards, and I’m pretty sure you can actually spend real money of your very own and buy even more, better cards. Which you can trade for other cards that live on your phone.
One note from a press release: “Topps BUNT players have collected over 150 Million digital baseball cards.”
Another note: “Topps BUNT 2015 is available for free from the App store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or in the Google Play Store for Android devices.”
I have to admit, I probably won’t play any games. Or spend any real money. But the little jolt, though? If you’re like me, you have odd moments every day with nothing to do except think. Or play with your phone. Usually I look at Twitter first and think second. But now I’ve got another option: little jolts of colorful baseball goodies. Just this morning, I got Alcides Escobar, Travis Wood, Shane Greene, and Josh Harrison. And all it cost me was 5,000 not-real coins. Which seems like one hell of a good deal.
Rob Neyer’s a little disappointed that he didn’t “collect” this Paul Rudd card last year, since it has everything.
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Look, Ma: no cardboard! have 943 words, post on www.foxsports.com at April 6, 2015. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.