Tuesday, July 17, 2018
The scan is a little off, but I think it will underscore the point I want to make about the All-Star game. Let me clarify, not the game itself, but the way it is represented on cardboard. Topps used to make a point of having a different design for the All-Stars, and we can look back 30 and 60 years to prove the point.
Red White and Blue dominate the design, with AL All-Stars getting a red background and Blue lettering. The NL All-Stars do the opposite, with a blue background and red letters. The photos are more conservative head shots rather than in-game action.
The backs have a relevant leaderboard with the All-Star somewhere in the top ten. Add in a little season highlight blurb, and you've got yourself a clean and classy tribute to the game's best.
Guess what? The '88 Topps set was no stranger to good ideas from past Topps sets. The base cards owed a bit of their look to 1967, with big bold colors for the team names. The All-Star Sub-set in '88 went back even further, with a nod to the 1950's.
The backs have a longer run on sentence / paragraph about the player, and then a breakdown of each player's performance by opponent, a grid that would resurface in 1989 with Topps' resurrection of Bowman.
The Topps Update All-Star cards of the last decade or so aren't terrible - I just think they could learn a bit from their past successes. It would be great for the cards to have a unique design (they could even be an insert, you know how Topps loves insert sets) compared to the base cards, and celebrate the event a little more than a logo. I do like the event specific photography, and I do like that the backs usually talk about what made the player an All-Star.
What do you think? Should the All-Stars get their own design?