I mentioned in my Topps Mini post that I’m not a fan of the shiny cards. This remains true, but since I’m now producing a sports card blog I figured I should overlook my personal biases so I can discuss the new stuff. So without furthe ado, 2012 Topps Chrome baseball.
Chrome adopts the design of the Topps base set, so no need to go into that, and makes it shinier. If you like the Topps base design or regular things made shinier then this product will suit your fancy. Personally, I don’t see myself buying more than the two retail packs I picked up but that doesn’t make it a bad product, it’s just not a product for me. It does have a solid autograph list, including all of this years relevant rookies and Mike Trout. The rookies are signed on-card, which is always a plus. There is also an autograph insert set called Chrome Encounters that has a really nice design, too bad neither of my packs yielded one.
There is also a limited number of autographed buybacks, featuring players like Robinson Cano and Prince Fielder autographing their Chrome rookie cards. There is also a die-cut insert that is everything I hate in cards, gimmicky, shiny, and takes the emphasis off of the photograph, I will discuss it no further. As usual there are a plethora of different refractors, which are always popular amogst the completists and the obsessive compulsives (just kidding, I love all collectors and their goals). In the end 2012 Chrome is exactly what you would expect: it’s shiny, it has a good rookie autograph checklist, and its heavy on paralells. I’m not buying anymore but I’m not saying that it’s awful, 2.5/5.
My packs yielded a few rookies and a Kevin Youkilis refractor. I also got a Madison Bumgarner base card, which I mention only only to talk about the fact that Madison Bumgarner is a great pitcher (and is killing it for my fantasy team this season). Given the fact that Bumgarner has to share the spotlight with Cain and Lincecum, I sometimes think that he doesn’t get his due, but he’s sporting a low 3’s ERA, a 1.04 whip, is strikig 8.31 per 9. He’s an ace on most staffs, even my beloved Yankees. The advanced stats back up solid play, pegging him at a 3.35 xFIP, meaning that he’s ERA is right about where you’d expect it given his strikeout and walk rate. He’s also only 23, so gievn the common conception that players tend to get better as they move into their mid to late 20’s, we should be seeing some improvement from the guy. What I’m trying to say is that I want the Yankees to pull some strings and get Madison Bumgarner soon. Trade Dellin Betances for him, do something. Dave Cameron agrees with me, what else can I say.
Check out the Chrome checklist over at Cardboard Connection.