A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Monday, December 24, 2012

Backstop's Top 10 of 2012, pt. 1

It's the end of the year, and that means...


I'm pretty sure that I've loved lists ever since I learned how to write.  Instead of drawing doodles when I'm bored, I write lists.  So, without further ado, here are my Top 10 base cards from 2012 Topps.  I guess this is my Christmas present to my readers.  Sorry, this is the kind of cheapskate that I am.

First up, Honorable Mentions go to...
Manny Acosta and Matt Carpenter for having cards with alternate jerseys on, which I thought looked cool.  Matt Cain and Jamie Moyer get mentions for having cool cards as well, but they lost points since they were checklists.  Last but not least, John Buck and Reed Johnson lost out because... I don't have those cards.  I've seen them on other blogs and think they look great, but I've never come across them, so they miss out as well.

Now, on to the finalists...

10. Carlos Quentin - The iconic "slugger holding a bat" look.  I've heard that CQ has been trimming down this offseason in an effort to stay free of injury.  We'll see how that goes.  Love the Petco Park seats and lights in the background.

9. Aaron Cunningham - A play at the plate card!  To be honest, there were more than a few of these in 2012 Topps, but Cunningham gets the nod because he's a former Padre that was a scrapper for all 105 games he played for the Friars (2010-2011)

8. Chris Denorfia - Deeeeeeeeenooooooo!  I don't love this card as much as his card from last year's Update set, but the high-five shot looks great with the horizontal format.  Plus, he's got that manly beard, so (insert something about facial hair here that will make people laugh).

7. Kyle Blanks - It seems like it's not showing up as well here, but this was the best Padre card from 2012.  The sun is setting and you can see it in the background, so there is some cool lighting here.  Seems to give Blanks a cool aura as he heads to the plate.  Unfortunately, he hardly played this year, so this seems kind of like a wasted shot.

6. Michael McKenry - I've seen a lot of catchers diving/sliding to catch that elusive foul ball, but I've never seen one captured in this position.  Looks like he could be doing some rudimentary interpretive dance number.

5. Victor Martinez - Looks like V-Mart was able to hold onto that one after getting bowled over.  I'm also a sucker for the orange and blue of the catcher's gear, brings me back to the early 90s Padre uniforms.  Show 'em the ball Victor!

4. Ichiro - I already liked this card before it became his "last" as a Mariner.  This card has it all: cool background (scoreboard), nice action shot, a focused superstar, and high socks.  Seems to be a fitting tribute.

3. J.P. Arencibia - This was one of the first cards that I got from 2012 Topps, and maybe if I'd found it later, it would've made it higher.  I still wonder how it is that the catcher is jumping up in the air to avoid the runner.  And how does this end for the sliding Oriole?  Is JPA going to land on top of him?  Great shot.

2. Tom Gorzelanny - This is a truly awkward looking shot.  Hard to tell if the ball is being knocked loose or if it's still en route to the catcher.  What really seals the deal for me is that Gorzelanny is a pitcher!  I have a few cards of pitchers batting, which are pretty rare.  A pitcher on the base paths is even more difficult to find.  But a pitcher in a collision at the plate?  Hard to beat.  This would've been number 1 if I hadn't liked the next card so much...

Ben Revere - Congrats Ben.  Show him what he's won!  It's... cardboard immortality!  Ok, ok, so that might be a stretch, but this is a great shot of Mr. Revere.  Continuing the tradition of outfielders mid-dive being (in my opinion) the best looking cards from the set, Ben takes the cake for the 2012 edition.

There were also inserts from the set that I thought were pretty cool.  The "Cut Above" inserts were cool, hard to go wrong with a die-cut.  The "Gold Futures" looked pretty slick, and included three Padres (although Anthony Rizzo was traded to the Cubs and Cory Luebke was injured for most of the year).  The "Classic Walk-Offs" were pretty unique, and a much more interesting history lesson than the "Golden Moments" inserts, which were pretty lame.  Not crazy about the design, but the subject matter makes up for it.  The Podsednik walk-off in 2005 was awesome, and Fisk's homer still give me goosebumps every time I watch it.

Anyways, that's my best of Topps 2012.  Part 2 will include other sets, and some other "personal" bests of 2012 that aren't baseball card related.


  1. That Blanks is a great card. I had to double take because I thought it was a misprint or blury when I first saw the card in hand. Then I realized it's just a stellar photo.

  2. I almost had that Quentin on my list but I kind of ran short of time! I love both parts of your Top 10!