Day 2 of the challenge: a card from a current year release with a unique photo.
I made this one tougher than I originally intended. How? Instead of selecting one card from any sport, I decided to show off one card from each sport! For some sports it was tough to pick a unique photo to go with while in others it was difficult to even find one. I only own 2 of the 4 cards I'm going to feature, but I really like them all. So, even if you haven't opened much current year product, don't let it stop you from tackling this topic. Up first, baseball!
Stadium Club would usually be my 'go to' set to find unique photos on cardboard. Since this year's set hasn't been released(fingers crossed it doesn't get scrapped) yet, there's really only Topps flagship, Opening Day, Donruss, and some higher end products to choose from. Donruss and the higher end products don't really produce anything that fits this topic for me. Flagship contains some cool pics, but most of the really unique photos lie in the SP/SSP(SSSSP?!) section of the release. That narrowed my search to Opening Day. Since it's mostly a rehash of Flagship, I didn't really expect to find anything great here. However, when I went back and flipped through the packs I opened, a few really stood out.
The Spring Has Sprung insert set contains some interesting views of the game that collectors don't get to see very often. This Juan Soto is my favorite of the 5 I've pulled. For me, there's something awesome about seeing a young star being instructed on one of the fundamentals of the game.
The card backs even detail what is happening on the front! I'd like to complete the set at some point, but it's probably going to be a passive exercise since my hobby energy is focused on other pursuits right now. Let's move on to football.
This is one of the ones I don't own. These days, I don't buy a lot of football, but what I have from current year products is all pretty boring. Yeah, some of them are shiny or sparkly but the pics are all pretty similar and don't really show anything resembling 'action'. This one doesn't knock my socks off, but compared to most of Panini's offerings, it's full of emotion which certainly makes it unique. NBA anyone?
Ditto everything I wrote about Panini football products here. Prizm and higher end products all have player silhouettes against some solid background that lends itself to creating the plethora of colored parallels that are all the rage these days. Even in NBA Hoops and Donruss, most of the images are pretty standard(dribbling, rebounding, holding the ball...). Even the action shots involving shots or dunks are from similar angles and really don't capture anything besides the player with the arena's rafters or roof in the background. Something about he composition of this one is cool. You can see George's eyes focused on the rim above and the crowd all decked out in orange serves as a much more interesting backdrop. It just feels alive. Let's close out by heading to the ice.
Let me just say that I miss Upper Deck's offerings in the other sports. Each year there are some really awesome pics on hockey cards! This is definitely one of my favorites from this year's product. The low angle along the goal line, the opposing player behind Bishop, and his teammates scrambling to make sure the puck is secure under his glove all make for an action packed image.
Looking back at all of these together, I suppose there is a common theme that ties these all together for me. They all bring the game to life. I don't have anything against a posed shot here and there, but they are becoming more and more prevalent. Even most of the 'action' pics these days are so mundane and repetitive. I'd love to see a movement from the card companies to incorporate more and more of these types of images across their various sets. Making these unique pics a regular fixture in packs would certainly make out hobby more interesting. Thanks for reading.