Topping Off 2017

Everyone’s pal and my frequent card-swapper P-Town Tom of Waiting ‘Til Next Year, is running a contest for your favorite card of 2017. Here’s the top of my list.

Honorable Mention, Non-Baseball Edition: 2017 Allen & Ginter World’s Fair #WF-16 – Biosphere
This one makes the list because I’m just enough of an architecture nut, and Bucky Fuller was amazing. I recommend reading up on him, but the first thing you should do is listen to this episode of 99 Percent Invisible about another geometric dome of his. Then you should subscribe to 99 PI if you don’t already. How cool is it that this is on a card?! I love it.
Honorable Mention, Pirates Division: Andrew McCutchen – 2017 Stadium Club #162
Gotta love the job that Sooz did with the photo selection in Stadium Club. This one is fan-damn-tastic, and it follows one of my favorite composition rules/rule breakers: using rule of thirds but leaving the subject looking outside the frame instead of across it. Plus, it’s McCutchen, who’s one of the coolest dudes in baseball.
Honorable Mention, Favorite Photo Division: Tim Raines – 2017 Stadium Club #151

Someone (I forget who, apologies) has already entered this as their selection for card of the year. For a long time, it was my favorite as well. I’m so glad Rock was finally voted into the Hall.

Honorable Mention, Sickest Hit Division: J.J. Hardy – 2017 Topps #529 – Black Printing Plate

Definitely my “best pull” of 2017. I mean, it’s the only 1/1 I pulled. I don’t have a deep affinity for Hardy or anything, but lifting a printing plate out of a pack is always cool.

Which brings us to the Top 5. They’re gonna be Astros cards, what did you expect?

5. Joe Musgrove – 2017 Stadium Club Autographs

Oooo-weee! When these puppies started popping up on eBay, I snagged a pair on the cheap. I actually bought several Musgrove autographs this year, but Stadium Club wins again for its photo selection. This shot is of Joe celebrating during his major league debut on August 2nd, 2016, striking out eight batters, tying the record for most in debut by a reliever, and retiring the first 10 batters he faced.

4. Alex Bregman – 2017 Gypsy Queen Autographs – #GQA-AB

I nabbed this Bregman auto – and filled my Astro-graphs need – in a massive 35-card 2017 Bregman lot on eBay several months back. There were some nice inserts in the lot, and a few dupes, but this was the highlight. I actually really enjoyed this year’s GQ – the border was nice, the photo selection was great, and the super-over-processed look was toned down a bit from previous years.

3. Jose Altuve – 2017 Heritage Clubhouse Collection #CCR-JAL

Topps nailed it with Heritage this year. The ’68 border looks great, the photos are awesome (and everyone has hats!), and the cardstock was impeccable. Print flagship on that, and I might even collect it. I tracked down this jersey relic from our second MVP in club history right when these started hitting eBay and nabbed it for something like 4 bucks shipped.
2. Jeff Bagwell – 2017 Stadium Club Blank Back 1/1

I finally broke down and bought one of these gimmick cards from the ol’ Topps Vault. I normally hate this kind of overt cash grab, but I was swept up in Hall of Fame mania and that’s a damn fine photo on there (again, thanks Sooz!). It’s also my first Bagwell 1/1 in my collection.

1. George Springer – 2017 Topps Now #800

The hits are cool and all, but when it comes to my favorite card of the year, it’s got to be this baby. Yes, I have my qualms with Topps Now – particularly the downgrade in this year’s cardstock – but there’s no denying that this is an awesome piece of cardboard. I’ve already talked at length about the reasons why I love this card. I was there, it was magical, the Yankee fans at Minute Maid Park all collectively collapsed in symbolic defeat when this catch was made, etc.

It’s my favorite card of the year.

What’s your favorite card from 2017?

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