Routines we used to take for granted have gone by the wayside during the past year, so it makes sense I'd need to mix things up a bit in order to open a few packs of the year's first Topps baseball cards. Back in the day, a trip to Wawa would suffice and my Dad would return from his daily newspaper and cigarette run with a few fresh packs of new Topps, Donruss or Fleer cards in early spring. In recent years, I've relied on my wife Jenna to scan the baseball card aisle at Target in late January/early February for the first signs of the year's new cards. Trips inside Target are few and far between these days, and during the few stops Jenna has made, masked up, the baseball card aisle has been empty.
Knowing that 2021 Topps cards were out there, and not wanting to wait any longer hoping Target would stock their shelves with new packs, I turned to eBay and overpaid for two blaster boxes. The boxes arrived on Thursday on a cold, snowy and dreary day and we waited until after virtual school and virtual work to open our first packs of the year. Our youngest son Ben had feigned interest last year, but this year he didn't even pretend to be interested, choosing instead to head back to his Roblox world with his friends. (I can't really blame him.) Our oldest son Doug was a good sport and let Jenna take a few pictures for posterity's sake of the first packs of 2021.
Doug landed the First Phillie in his first pack, coming across this Roman Quinn card. Yes, the card's design is way too busy for my liking but it is 2021 after all and I guess this is what a baseball card from 2021 looks like. Cards from the 1970s have bright colors, simple designs and easy to read player names. Cards from 2021 have multi-color diagonal lines with varying degrees of transparency, shadows and beveled edges, fading honeycombs on the borders, small white stripes up the side and along the top for no real reason, a silver foil logo and a teeny-tiny player's name. It's a step up from the 2020 Topps disaster in my opinion, and I'd even consider it a win if the player's name were a few font sizes larger.
I'm not going to rank the last 10 years' worth of Topps flagship designs like I did last year and I'll wait a few years before revisiting my rankings. In summary: busy design, tiny names, but new baseball cards are here nevertheless and that's a good thing. I'll take it.
Past First Phillies
2021 Topps #79 Roman Quinn