Hey everyone, Drew back here. So last season, Topps introduced "Topps Now", which basically recaps all of the big moments over the course of the season. Essentially, a MUCH better version of Upper Deck Documentary; if you remember that monstrosity back from 2008. However, there was definitely one flaw. Every card in the set costs $10 from Topps' website; which is a bit high for my liking.
Yet... I couldn't resist. I was working really hard last summer and making a lot of the money I spent abroad back, and I allowed myself to spend a certain amount of my weekly paychecks on cards in order to keep myself motivated to save up. While this was happening, the Baby Bombers came to town, and I had several opportunities to capture some of their most exciting moments on cardboard. I couldn't pass up.
I resisted Topps Now all season. Until August 13th. Just after A-Rod played his final game, the kids got their chance to prove themselves.
Tyler Austin kicked off the festivities by hitting a home run in his first at bat just inside the right field foul pole. It probably wasn't a home run in any other stadium, but who cares?
Aaron Judge followed up with what would have been a home run in EVERY stadium, a center field blast that flew 457 feet and probably still hasn't landed yet. He hit 3 more home runs in 2016, but struck out in literally half of his at bats. Hopefully he can correct those issues, because his power is scary, as we saw Friday in the Yankees spring debut. Grant Brisbee put it best.
Austin and Judge's moment was special, but Gary Sanchez stole the show shortly after for the remainder of the season. In fact, he was good enough to almost win the Rookie of the Year award despite only playing in 53 games! This card highlights his torrid 8 home run start in 19 games. Little did Topps know, there would be more to come.
On September 8th, the Rays and Yankees traded blasts all game, but Tyler Austin had the last laugh in the bottom of the 9th to win it! Austin has been through a lot of ups and downs on his way to the big leagues, so he's an easy guy to root for. Unfortunately, he was in line to be somewhat of a utility man this year but fractured his foot after fouling a ball off of it.
But back to El Gary, because, duh. My last Topps Now from the season recognized Sanchez's record home run pace. No matter how good Gary turns out, I don't think he or frankly anyone will ever be able to replicate the start he had. I don't know if there was ever a time in the regular season that I was more excited to turn on a Yankees game than I was during Gary's tear last September. It was a great sign of things to come, that's for sure.
But there was a surprise perk to spending as much money as I did from Topps. I; as well as others who bought into Topps Now, were sent a Christmas card from Topps that included a baseball card (front & back):
This card was quite the reminder of just how fun the 2016 season was for baseball fans. The Cubs won the World Series... does it get any better than that (besides a Yankees title)? Ichiro collected his 3,000th hit in this country, and Big Papi had a farewell tour after criticizing Jeter and Rivera for having farewell tours! Good times.
Sometime last week, Topps sent me yet another surprise celebrating the beginning of the 2017 baseball season!
To be fair, this Mike Trout card is more of a promotion than anything else, but it was definitely cool to get a first look at the new design. I saw people receiving the Christmas card on Twitter before I got mine, but this time I didn't expect it at all. Trout is a special player, and his career statistical comparisons to Mickey Mantle really blow me away. We need to realize what we're watching now and enjoy it for what it is. Now if only we could find a way to get him in pinstripes...
So, I like Topps Now. It's a neat concept, and I think Topps executed it really well! Unfortunately, I probably can't keep spending money on them in 2017 if they're going to be $10 a card. Even for $5, I would consider buying more of them.
What do you think of Topps Now, and how much are you willing to pay for one? Leave their thoughts in the comment section below.