I had started to write several different introductions to this post - tying the new Topps online exclusive "Project 70" to the 1970s, but it all seemed ridiculous if not tone-deaf. I'll keep the lame post title though. The "70" refers not to the decade, of course, but to the 70th anniversary of Topps selling gum with cardboard pictures stuck to it. The new set is a variation on a theme. In 2019, Topps introduced "The Living Set" with new players added each week, all with the same card design, hand painted like the 1953 Topps baseball set. The Living Set continues to this day, with new releases available now. The following year came "Project 2020" that expanded on the art card idea even further- this time there would be 20 artists and 20 subjects. Each subject was a different Topps rookie card. Project 2020 ended after card #400, but the appeal was obvious.
Project 70 has 51 artists (1951 being the first year of Topps baseball cards, get it?), each getting to choose 20 subjects of their own. The cards are available for 70 hours on Topps.com, then on eBay forever! So far, the result has been a very unbalanced deck. New York Yankees, New York Mets, Brooklyn/LA Dodgers, and Oakland A's make up the vast majority of the subjects so far. Similar to Project 2020, the cards really are subjective in the eye of the beholder. That's a good thing, I'd say - subjectivity is kinda my jam.
I've purchased a few so far, two of which have been delivered. First up is this Blake Jamieson card of Andrew McCutchen, in the 1959 Topps design. The design is among my favorites, and the image is great, an homage to the fun that Cutch was having in the Phillies dugout appearing as his alter-ego "Uncle Larry."
Next up is DJ Skee's take on Satchel Paige from his last MLB appearance with the Kansas City Athletics. The design being used (loosely) is the 1965 Topps design, again one of my all-time favorite from all 70 years. Also, with Paige being a player I greatly admire, it made for an easy choice to add this card. Paige had a long tenure in Kansas City prior to his 3 innings with the A's- he famously resurrected his career pitching for the Kansas City Monarchs after a "dead arm" period in his early 30s that threatened to prematurely end his career. DJ Skee also includes a playlist of music to go with this card.
Have you taken the plunge into Project 70? Do you prefer the steady nature of The Living Set? Do you prefer Saturday Night Fever, or Dog Day Afternoon for a 1970s film?
Thanks for reading!