No matter the design, photography can make or break a card. That’s why some cards over the years with minimal design elements and full-bleed photography have been favorites.
In 2015 Topps Series 1 Baseball, there are a number of cards that stood out because of the picture. The design is cool this year because of the color-changing borders depending on the team, but I was immediately drawn to the image of a few cards – borders were an afterthought.
Admittedly, I had a hand in selecting some of these images, but certainly not all. Once the cards were released, I found myself gravitating to some of the cards because of the image used.
Here are my favorite images from Series 1 base (in number order):
#1 Derek Jeter
This is an obvious choice, but what’s great about the card is that it captured a moment that no matter when you look at this card, you know exactly what happened. The picture is from Derek Jeter’s last at-bat at Yankee Stadium where he had one magical moment left.
# 12 James McCann
I’ve always had a thing for catchers. Maybe it was because I was a catcher when I played softball, but usually they are my favorite players on the field. This picture just embodies what I love about the fluid movement of a catcher.
#52 Fernando Rodney
Similar images have been used of Rodney on cards in the past, but I still love his move.
#67 Hunter Pence
That’s just Hunter Pence. There is nothing else to say.
#71 Adrian Beltre
Even though this is a checklist card, I still like it because the image came from that moment. There was Beltre’s reaction after getting his 2,500th hit.
#78 Yordano Ventura
I like his body lines, but what gets me most is this is the moment just he has let the pitch go waiting to see what is going to happen.
#80 Adam Wainwright
Love the intensity.
#102 Gordon Beckham
#141 Cory Spangenberg
The action. The focus. I love everything about this card.
#168 Colorado Rockies
All the team cards have their team celebrating in some way. The Rockies looked so happy here.
#177 Paul Konerko
The moment that says goodbye to Konerko. Even if you didn’t know anything about his career, this picture speaks to the love the fans had for him and he had for them in return. Also, how cool is it if you are the people in the background of this photo.
#247 Aaron Hill
There is a theme here and it’s called ACTION!
#271 Pittsburgh Pirates
Easiest the coolest card in the set.
#300 Mike Trout
So this is my favorite card in the set. To me, nothing beats this close-up action shot of Trout sliding. The dirt spraying, the intensity on his face is majestic. The fact that the photo coincided with the design of the card was purely coincidental despite some speculating otherwise.