Does anybody really like Topps Chrome?
I ask this question knowing the answer: some like it, others don't. This depends on collecting preference, budgets, availability, etc. This is not a novel concept, as I have never personally met anybody who actually watched Two and a Half Men, but it is somehow making some people very very rich. It's all about personal taste.
Anyways, my answer is that I think it is one of the lamest sets out there, but still manages to have some of the awesomest cards around. How is this done?
Well, when I rip open a pack of cards of (most) other brands, I'm excited to see what kind of random luck I have. The possibilities seem endless.
With Topps Chrome, there are basically (at least in my experience) two outcomes.
Outcome 1: I get a boring old base card that is just a (much) shinier, glossier version of the flagship Topps set.
Outcome 2: I get some fancy parallel card that just has a different colored border, but is almost just as lame as the other base cards.
However, through the internet, I've found there to be a third option...
Outcome 3: Awesomeness
By far, the best cards that Topps Chrome has to offer are the Xfractor cards and sepia-toned cards. If I had an example of the Xfractor cards, I'd show one to ya, but since I don't, I'll just move on to the sepia ones.
Look at how awesome this is. Not just the border is changed, but the entire picture is changed. It's like I'm back in Mr. Wood's class in Photo 101 my senior year (which always makes me think of Mallory, the girl I had a major crush on in that class who I of course rarely ever talked to). I always thought that sepia made things look cooler. The throwback uni that Alonso is rocking adds to the greatness of this card.
I keep telling myself that I'm not all that intrigued by serial numbering, but I think I might just be in denial, since I think that these are awesome.
I also have Casey Kelly's card of the sepia variety. Not quite on par with Alonso's, but still pretty legit in my opinion.
I've read where people will seek out serial numbered cards that have a particular significance to the player, but for me it's all about price. Both of these were mine for under $3 each. Better than ripping a rack pack of Chrome and getting a bunch of Devil Rays (yeah, you heard me, I still call them by their original name, just like the Redlegs). I'm not sure if #67 means anything to Kelly or if #26 does for Yonder, but it does to me.
It means that I'm halfway to putting together the Sepia Padres team set. Only having four cards makes it an easier task, and I actually have the Chase Headley card in the mail already, so I'm really just looking for the Jedd Gyorko card.
If I can't find one for a good price, maybe I'll just try taking the regular card to a high school photo lab and find some toner. Do they still even have darkrooms at school? Everything seems to be digital now, and I'm not sure how high schoolers nowadays would handle a room like that.