Best Classic Baseball Card
I should have mentioned in my Card of the Year Post preceding this one, I picked a card somewhat the way Time Magazine picks the Person of the Year. That Angels Future Stars blast from the past Ohtani rookie is not my favorite card of 2018, not even close. I enjoyed pulling it and the thoughts it lead me to, in the 2018 baseball card hobby. But I enjoyed many 2018 baseball cards, as I always do. So here comes a whole bunch of them, and since I picked a Big League card to start, I'll roll some other faves from there first. I haven't finished that set (nor, with the abysmal state of retail collation, am I closer than about 85% on S1/S2/Update) yet, so I still might luck into some more choice ones if I can luck into some discounted packs as 2019 rolls along. I also didn't finish a set of the green bordered parallels that one could cut from the blaster boxes, so I might end up buying one online and ponying up for larger item shipping, which I hate - but I also appreciate, cuz it helps keep my baseball card spending under control, bigly. So here we go ->
Favorite Celebration Card
Normally, 'celebration' cards feature a bunch of team-mates on the card. They were a steady running insert set in Opening Day for several years as well. There is also no shortage of 'main set' (I will never warm to the term 'Flagship') Topps cards featuring a Pitcher celebrating a Win, usually a Closer, often with his Catcher.
This card is more of a brief, in-game vignette, most likely of Velasquez celebrating a single out as he returns to the top of the mound. This may or may not even be seen while watching a TV broadcast of a game. Since I rarely have a chance to do that, I depend on my baseball cards to help me "watch" baseball, and this card comes through for me.
Best Frame Break
It's a 'pizza cake', as my Spanglish speaking friends say, to have the bat break the frame. I like more creative efforts at such.
Favorite Bubble Gum Card
Salvy is one of those players who always seems to get good cards. And one of those players I probably follow and root for a little bit more largely because of that. Each passing window of likely trading in MLB, I am increasingly amazed that the Royals don't join the Rebuild Parade and flip him for 3 cards just released in Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects. I somewhat hope they do, largely because he has already achieved what he can achieve in Kansas City, as a perpetual All-Star and the 1-1 record in the World Series, with the heartbreaking loss and the perfect, there's-always-next-year redemption victory. Though perhaps his final achievement will be as a beloved, single franchise player that is so incredibly rare in the 21st century MLB. Let's just hope that if that becomes true, and it does seem likely sometimes, he doesn't fall off the cliff as sadly as his teammate out there in left field.
I think I have now probably definitely accumulated a permanent set of 9 Salvador Perez cards to keep in a binder page, if I could only find time to assemble them altogether (y'all will be the first to know). But this card makes me feel like it might have to be the first such true "Player Collection" page that will have to feature 2 cards in every slot, for a more robust 18 cards. And I was darn glad to find this card, because the only other Bubble Gum Card I can recall this year was for Manny Machado, who will make it onto the Bubble Gum Card binder page, again, but I hardly want one of his cards to make a 'Best Of' anything.
Favorite Card From Another Sport
You didn't think I would really stray from my love of baseball cards, did you?
Other Most Hated Card
No, I really do love that Mookie Betts card up there - 'Other' is cuz I also had to go negative in that Rookies post just previous to this one. There are probably other cards I really really didn't like this year, but not too many. And I would hardly want to rank them.
But this card seriously made me mad. I like 1977 Topps. That was the first year I started to pay attention to cards from the Detroit Tigers, because that was the first summer I lived in Michigan. This should be the perfect combo of retro design and team fandom, just for ... me.
And not only had I never even seen _any_ Hal Newhouser card before, nor even knew any even existed, this is a pretty darn good color photograph of a 1940s baseball player - you don't see those very much.
I will be keeping this card, and putting it in my Tigers binder. I might even pick up extra copies of it, given that any random "base" card now is considered to have essentially zero value, and nearly only one cost, really - shipping. And with those extra copies I will practice and practice my horrifying baseball card altering skills and color in that insanely stupid use of the color white in that yellow pennant, where we are supposed to read the word "Pitcher", but of course, we can't. And eventually some certain pen and some certain careful bit of penmanship will fix this card right up to be just exactly perfect, and the original, un-altered white-on-yellow FAIL of a baseball card will go straight into the circular file.
Most Puzzling Photo Selection
Maybe it is a good thing that A.J. Minter has a couple other 'base' RC logo cards to call his "Rookie" home later in his career, which looks promising. And maybe his seeming antagonistic pose on his '18 Heritage High Numbers RC explains this photo selection - perhaps he fought with the Topps photog that day in late February last year.
But I can't recall a live MLB action photo baseball card quite like this one. I never care for a picture of a player's butt, save for _maybe_some of the most dramatic action shots. This shot, snapped near the end of A.J.'s delivery of a pitch, somehow conveys the opposite of impending baseball action motion. It is weirdly sleepy.
At least we do get to see his face in profile, not totally uncommon on an action shot from live baseball. And I do think there has probably been a baseball card printed in the past featuring a player with his eyes closed. But I can't say I can specifically recall one.
Ahh well, I'll knock off the negative waves now. Let's dig how beautiful these Rolling Stones water slide baseball cards can be, and check out some righteous and hopeful ones...