30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Old Glory and a Survey

It's easy to create a list of favorite cards, but choosing an absolute favorite just isn't that simple.  That's one of the things I learned from participating in Tim B's 7 Day Trading Card Challenge.

The one exception would be choosing a favorite baseball card.  The 1956 Topps Jackie Robinson claimed that spot a few years ago and it doesn't have any plans to relinquish it anytime soon.  But you already know that, right?  I've written plenty of posts professing my love for that card.

Today... in honor of America's birthday... I present another 1956 Topps trading card, but it's from a completely different set.  It's not even a baseball card.  It's Old Glory on cardboard:

1956 Topps Flags of the World #1

In 1956, Topps released an eighty card set featuring flags of countries from around the world.  Although I won't say it's my favorite non-sport set... it's one of them.  The hand drawn flag with thirteen stripes and forty-eight stars (remember Alaska and Hawaii didn't join the union until 1959) is paired nicely with illustrations of Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, and the Capitol Building.

The back contains the nation's capital along with some statistics from back in the day.  The U.S. population has doubled since 1956, while the number of cars has quintupled during that time.  The bulk of the back contains a few common phrases in the Hopi languageHow cool is that?  They sure don't make cards like they used to.

But Topps tries.  In fact a few weeks ago, they used the 1956 Topps Flags of the World design for one of their Throwback Thursday sets.  I honesty didn't pay any attention to these sets until I saw someone show off a Vida Blue card with a 1971-72 Topps basketball card design... which I thought was really cool.

Anyways... while browsing the Topps website, I stumbled across this set and picked it up:

2020 Topps Throwback Thursday #139

They've swapped out the national landmarks with a baseball player, which works for me.  The card backs are kinda boringNick Vossbrink pointed out in the comment section last weekend, that Topps wastes the space with their silly advertisements.  He's right.  It's pretty lazy of Topps.

2020 Topps Throwback Thursday #140

2020 Topps Throwback Thursday #141

I found it interesting that they used the forty-eight star flag again, instead of the current one.

2020 Topps Throwback Thursday #142

2020 Topps Throwback Thursday #143

2020 Topps Throwback Thursday #144

Although I'm happy to add all six of these cards to my collection, the Ohtani was the main reason I was willing to pull the $19.99 out of my wallet.  As a budget card collector, it pains me to admit that I bought into this trend.  I won't say that I'll never do it again... but it'll definitely have to be a design that I really, really enjoy.  A design that is considered to be one of my all-time favorites.

Survey time.

Have you ever bought any of Topps or Panini online exclusive cards (like Topps Now, Project 2020, or TBT) directly from their website?

Obviously the results of this survey's sample size will be small, but it should be interesting to see how many of us buy into these "cash grabs".

Happy 4th of July!  I hope all of you are enjoying your holiday weekend.  Stay safe and sayonara!


  1. I have yet to buy any such online exclusive cards....yet.

  2. one Topps Now card featuring Alex Bregman World Series grand slam

  3. Man, I wonder if Topps was consciously aware that they re-used the 48 star flag or not?

    I buy Project 2020, Living Set, and Topps NOW right from the website every once in a while, just to reward them for making a good decision, but most of the time I buy from eBay to save a few bucks.

  4. Yes. I've bought Topps Living Set cards, Star Wars Living Set, the Proje t 2020 cards, and Topps Now. All baseball cards have a place in someone's collection. Happy 4th!🇺🇸

  5. I bought topps total last year, some boxes and Topps now cards. I have bought some Gwynn Project 2020 cards on the site, cause it is usually cheaper to get them there than ebay, but that will change eventually.

  6. Only thing I’ve ever purchased from them online were some customs in 2009.

  7. I've bought a few of these cards on COMC after the fact, but I've never bought anything from Topps directly (and I still don't have a single Topps Now card)

  8. I bought a couple of the Topps Now cards the first year they did them. Then I figured out that it was cheaper to buy from bulk buyers on eBay. Bought one or two that way.

    I thought the Living Set artwork was generally hideous and never looked at those again. The rest I'm not familair with although I'm sure they are in the many emails I get from Topps.

    BTW..I love that Flags of the World set. I put a lot of it together just grazing through my friend's non-sport boxes at the hotel show through the years. I really need to see what I'm lacking.

  9. I bought Ohtani's first Topps card. Actually 5 of them. I bought the 52 card game thing, and I buy the current 2020 Wacky Packages. Although that may come to an end soon.

  10. No haven't bought anything direct from them.

    I have enjoyed some of the TBT designs, including the ones you show, but yeah the backs are super lame.

  11. Never have, and probably never will. Just not my thing.

  12. I've made assorted purchases off Topps.com to buy on-demand cards like Topps Now or Topps Project 2020 but I'll look to see if eBay sellers have any particular card I want for a little cheaper.

  13. I've bought a few Topps Now cards in the past but not (yet) for a game that I've actually attended. One day... Nice cards!

  14. On occasion if they really jump out at me like some Topps Now and the 71-72 basketball style Vida Blue and Brooks Robinson.I love those flag cards just wish Topps wasn't so lazy and would proof check the flags and make them 50 stars before they release them.

  15. I have purchased from both Topps and Panini. In fact, I recently named the Topps NHL stickers the best trend of 2020 in this same project.

    All cards are made solely for sale to collectors so I don't understand why some people call these a cash grab. It's just a product. Some of them are too high priced, some are not...just like packed out issues you find at any card shop or retail store. This just eliminated the middle man and the risk of getting searched packs or badly handled damaged cards from retail shelf jockeys.

  16. I haven't bought anything like that yet but I did see the flag set and ALMOST pull the trigger since I, too, love that set (and it had a Red in it which was an added bonus). Ultimately though, I passed as the price tag was out of my budget.

  17. Topps Now for sure. But significantly less year over year.

  18. I bought a couple during the Cubs World Series run in 2016. One was of the clinching NLCS game, which I attended... so, I had to by that one! The other was a David Ross autograph commemorating the HR he hit game 7 of the WS. I haven't bought any straight from the website since. The Vogelbach Topps Now cards I have came from 3rd party seller.

  19. Not from their website but from eBay I have

  20. I haven't bought any of them directly, no. I bought one Pete Alonso Topps Now from eBay when it was live last year, and found two others in a dime box. (Yes, Topps Now cards in a dime box!) And funnily enough right now I have two of those 582 Montgomery cards in my eBay cart, waiting to hear back from the dealer about combined shipping. But generally they're just too pricey for me.

  21. I've purchased a single Topps Now card from their website. Nothing else.

    Any other Now/Living/Throwback cards have come more cheaply from alternative sites or free from generous mailers.

  22. I get that those are throwback designs but the 348-star flag is still a weird choice.

    And I bought a pack of 3Ds a couple years ago and have gotten a couple boxes of Archives Snapshots. So none of the on-demand sort of stuff but definitely some online exclusives.

  23. Yrs, I've purchased some cards directly from Topps, but have acquired most of these types of cards on the secondary market.

  24. I've bought one of the Topps 2020 Tony Gwynn cards. These flag cards are lovely. I wish Topps would put cards like this as inserts in their sets.

    Are there any players who would qualify as Welsh, do you know?

  25. Nope. I have a handful of Topps Now, Throwback Thursday, etc. cards, but they all came (way cheaper) on the secondary market. I really like the Throwback Thursdays, but buying them directly from Topps is way too rich for my blood.

  26. I've bought a handful of Topps Now but that's been it.

  27. As of Sunday evening at 7:17pm, survey says...

    No - 10
    Yes - 17

    brian - not sure. it wouldn't surprise me if they just didn't take the time to check the flag carefully

    rod - i'm planning on buying at least one topps project 2020 gwynn card. waiting on one specific artist and hopefully it's a design i like

    jeremya1um - i'll go ahead and mark that down as a no, but i went back and forth with your response

    commishbob - when it comes to topps now, i'll usually just buy it on ebay too. best of luck with that flags of the world set. it's gorgeous

    sg488 - oh... maybe that's where i saw that awesome vida blue card.

    billy kingsley - i call them a cash grab, because there's not a lot of thought and effort put into them. quantity (the number of products produced, not the total number of cards produced) trumps quality. i wish they'd invest some of the time they dedicate to these weekly card sets and put it to creating, designing, and proofreading their packed out products.

    nachos grande - yeah... at $4 a card it's kinda pricey.

    brett alan - wow. i'm not the biggest fan of topps now cards, but i couldn't even pass them up for a dime

    nick vossbrink - i should have bought some of those 3d cards. they're really cool

    jongudmund - hmmm. not sure. you could check baseball reference. they seem to have a filter for everything

  28. For the most part I've only picked up Topps Now and TBT cards that were related to the World Baseball Classic although I got a Topps Now card celebrating Bryce Harper's first home run as a Phillie because I had been at the game.

    On the other hand, I've gotten a bunch of Epoch One cards, the Japanese equivalent of Topps Now so I'm not averse to the online cards. It's just that since I don't collect MLB there's not much I want from Topps.

    1. npb card guy - i'll have to check out the epoch one website to see what their version of topps now looks like.