Was browsing blogs today and saw the first post about the new 2023 Topps Flagship cards. I really haven't read very many posts about them, but a couple other people said there had been a whole lot of hype around the new issues. I guess it's all on social media now instead of across dozens of blogs, so that's why I haven't encountered any.
I've said it a lot - I stopped caring about the flagship set after 2020. When the pandemic messed up the season, and then even when they could play, there were no fans, I really lost interest in watching baseball. It just got weird.
Another contributing factor was that my two local teams weren't very good. The Orioles did make impressive progress this past year, but I still didn't keep up with them. And the Nationals have purged all but a couple players from their championship season, so I couldn't tell you who plays for them now.
That statement is true for the rest of the league as well. Since I don't watch, I don't know the players very well anywhere. Except for the stars and some of the regular starters.
Got me to thinking - How many players in Series 1 do I recognize by name?
|Hmm, not bad. They're getting closer to real LL cards|
So I found a checklist that I could paste into a spreadsheet and then went through and separated the team cards, the league leaders, and the special combo cards. Those account for 35 cards of the 330 in Series 1.
Of the 295 players that are left, I kept the ones I knew well - the stars like Juan Soto, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, etc.
And the names that I recognize from years before, either watching games or on the cards. The Marcus Stromans, Darin Rufs, Alex Verdugos of the world. Guys I recall names, but might not be able to pick out of a lineup.
I made a third column of names that were sort of familiar, but I wasn't positive. Guys I may have heard of, but have no clue about otherwise. Tyler Stephenson, Kendall Graveman, Matt Chapman, and three guys named Duran. (Only one of which I probably have heard of - most likely via rookie hype in cards.)
|I got nothin'. Cool uni though...|
The rest I deleted from the list. Sorry, never heard of you...
My totals look like this:
Known players = 105
Unsure players = 31
Team/LL/Special cards = 35
So basically, the conclusion is that I only know about 30% of Series 1. Maybe 40% if you fudge the numbers for the uncertain ones. Now I do understand that Series 1 is only half the set. And they sometimes keep the bigger names for Series 2.
But in the end, it's still way too few to be spending time & money chasing their cards. And I even like the design for once. Guess that's why I can't relate to collecting stuff like Bowman.
It was even more pathetic for my favorite teams. I recognize four guys (out of 11 + team card) from the Orioles and a whole ONE guy from the Nationals (out of 10+ team card). Sheesh! I kept seeing O's & Nats as I was deleting a lot of the rookies. I killed almost all the listings with "RC" next to them.
How many of the players in Series 1 do you recognize? And does it affect your enthusiasm for the cards?