Sunday, February 21, 2021

Golden Age of Parallels and Retro Designs

If you like vintage themed baseball cards, you're in luck.

Even before Topps Heritage became a yearly release, card companies would use modern players on retro designs.  I remember getting old issues of Tuff Stuff and inside would be retro designs of Then star players like Ken Griffey Jr and Frank Thomas.

Now there are at least 3 releases a year that focus on Flagship Topps designs.  Topps Heritage is about 50 years apart from the original design to current year.  This year Topps will be utilizing the 1972 design for the 2021 release.  

Topps has also be using a 35th anniversary since 2018 as an insert set in their main flagship release.  This year features the 1986 design.

Topps also releases their Archives brand that shows off 3-4 designs for active and retired players.   

Topps is celebrating their 70th anniversary this year and they have an insert set in Series 1 showing players on older designs.  One of my goals is to get Andrew McCutchen on a baseball card design from 1952 to his retirement.  

Topps has goofed this up for me by not including him in the 2020 Archives release and "doubling up" on older designs.

With Cutch being part of the 70 years of Topps Baseball insert and being shown on the 1955 design, I am one step closer to completing that goal.  You can revisit a post I made in 2017 about Cutch being on older designs from the 80s here.

Like everything Topps produces, there are parallels to chase too.  Below you will see the 5x7 Gold parallel numbered to only 10 copies.
I received this 5x7 before receiving the standard size card.
The back just discusses the original design and release information.

Above is the 5x7 pictured in scale with a standard trading card to give the magnitude of how big it is.

Do you like any large format cards?

Have you tried collecting a single player on other designs that weren't from their playing career days?


  1. Cool idea. Knowing Topps you’ll get all 70.

    Tino got the first few years of Heritage, and has a 1986 design auto this year. But he won’t be in that many overall.

    I bet one could probably do this with Jeter. Interesting. Maybe I’ll give it a try!

  2. i believe brian from hsca is keeping tabs on joe mauer in this way, and night owl does the same for clayton kershaw. i am just hoping that topps brings steve garvey back to archives and puts him on a new-to-him card design. whenever he's been featured in the set in the past, he gets a card design from his playing days.

  3. Size doesn't matter to me when it comes to guys I collect. I won't necessarily hunt all over the place for them, but if they pop up in front of me and they're affordable... I'll grab it.

  4. I had given some thought to doing something similar, but from a reverse angle, picking someone from before my time (i.e. Ted Williams) and seeing how many "modern" designs he appears on.

    1. I actually have a side PC of Roberto Clemente doing this

  5. Nice new card. And a 1/10, too. Do you place significance or value on the SN number? I have some oversize cards, yes, but they're not my favorite as storing them is harder. Good luck on your Cutch project. Sounds awesome!