Card Porn

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The name. The trident. A bad airbrush job. That look that penetrates the soul. The mustache. It’s a sexy card, no doubt.

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The recent release of 2018 Stadium Club baseball brought with it a lot of discussion on Twitter- some of which seemed to be centered on the question of why can’t every release feature the great kind of photo selections as those used in TSC. Topps has gotten lazy, the thinking goes. Collectors have gotten tired of action photos and want to spice things up with a little variety.

I get it. The photos found in flagship tend to get a little stale and Stadium Club photos tend to be… sexy. And collector’s love sexy.

But have products like Stadium Club become porn for the collector?

Experts almost universally agree that pornography affects (among many things) the way men view women, how it distorts our idea of beauty. We begin to set our standards so high that our expectations become unrealistic. We forget that that women on those pages are the product of (formerly, airbrushing) photoshop; enhanced for our pleasure.

Look, I like variety in the photos found on my cardboard but the last thing I want to see is Topps flagship to become Stadium Club. Would I like to see more variety? Absolutely. But traditionally the set has been more the evening newspaper than Playboy.

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I started an Instagram account a few months back, thinking I would use it to post content that wasn’t put up on the blog. So I started to follow some card-related accounts and soon discovered that Instagram is porn for collectors. It seemed like every account I was following was showing me their hits and made my modest little collection look rather boring.

It also made me realize I’m glad that Dick Pole pitched in the 70s and not today.

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3 thoughts on “Card Porn

  1. Honestly, I don’t want Stadium Club type photos in flagship. There are risks there with non-baseball-card type photos and I like that pushing of the envelope. I do however want a more 1980s/90s mix of photos (posed, candid, action, etc.) in flagship rather than having show just show up as SP variants.

    Liked by 1 person

      • The larger complaint I have is that Topps has silo’d the photography between sets now. Action–>Flagship. Posed–>Heritage. Artsy–>Stadium Club. And my chief complaint here is Heritage since I feel like Topps has pushed Flagship to be as distinct from Heritage as possible (tightly-cropped action photos, coated paper, full bleeds, truncated stats, website tie-ins) and as a result left a lot of us dissatisfied with the product. (I’m on record on Twitter as stating that I love everything about Heritage except for the design reuse and SP BS)

        Like

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