It's about time for a fresh start in 2011. It's also time to look back at 2010 and reflect on what an awesome or bizarre year it was. In 2010, Topps got their exclusive chokehold over the baseball card market back. Did they do good things with it? Ehhhhhh.....I'd question that. Panini obtained a license for making hockey cards and hockey stickers. Upper Deck went to hell without a baseball or a football license. And there were many other interesting moments during the course of the year. So, now I present to you: Henchmeister's Best and Worst of 2010.
Best Overall Baseball Set: Upper Deck Baseball
WHA???????!!!!!!! THE COMPANY THAT DIDN'T HAVE A BASEBALL LICENSE GETS SET OF THE YEAR?! WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?????!!!!! That's correct folks. UD had to give this set a good jolt because of the lack of license. And despite the lack of one, I think they put out a really good product. They had to put effort into making it, and came up with some good ideas for inserts, plus the excellent photography. The "double-take" variations are a waste, but that didn't hinder it much, UD Baseball was a real winner. Oh fine, you want an actual licensed set?
Best Licensed Baseball Set: Topps Heritage
There. Happy now? I just got back into the hobby this year and Heritage was a very nice find. The whole complete concept of the product is well thought out and (people will disagree with this) but I like the '61 design.
Worst Overall Baseball Set: Opening Day
Is it that difficult to make a good low end product? Same design as base Topps, really small checklist. The only redeeming part of this product? Mascot cards. Everything else: Garbage.
Worst Product I Haven't Busted Yet: Bowman Platinum
Strasmania was gonna carry this product. Then he blew out his arm. Then we realized when this hit retail shelves that the QC for it completely sucks. And I still can't understand the checklist. I will have a blaster to bust when I return to college.
Best Design: Bowman (any of them except Platinum)
For some reason, I just like it. Not exactly sure why. I just do.
Worst Design: Topps 206
Don't mind the set itself. It's just the design is boring as hell. Plus it doesn't look like 206. I guess you have to change something when you release the same tobacco era set 2 years in a row.
Worst QC Problem From Topps: Collation
We can complain about the chrome bow, miscuts, and surface defects. But, collation is the first thing in my mind that needs to be improved upon. My first box of Updates was riddled with doubles and quintuple of Jason Bay. People have been continually getting shorted out of promised hits in boxes. Worry about the other stuff later, and just figure out how to properly collate a box or a case.
Worst Gimmick: Pie In the Face
Waste of cardboard
Hobby Rookie of the Year: That Strasburg Guy
Seriously, who did you think was going to take that title?
Best Box Break of the Year: 2002 Topps Series 1
Loved that set when I was younger. And I got to tear into a hobby box of that stuff before I graduated from high school. Pulled most of the base set and a Mickey Lolich autograph. Take notes from this set Topps.
Worst Box Break of the Year: 1st box of Updates
Lots of doubles and a Yankee for the hit. Not the best break...
Here's to hoping that 2011 can continue to improve upon 2010, or be a hell of a lot better for that matter!