Leaf vs. Topps (NSCC Edition)

The match-up I’ve been waiting for all year happened at the National Sports Collectors Convention. It’s been a slow year for non-Topps, Jose Canseco cards in 2018 with the former ’88 MVP appearing in just one Panini America and Leaf Trading Cards product all year. You can imagine my surprise when Jose not only got a Topps NSCC exclusive card but also one from Leaf.

I, of course will start with my review of the Leaf card, which is not traditional in size and packs one hell of a colorful rainbow for those with the patience (and money) to grab them all. The card features almost no design effort, as well as lack of logos and team names but something about it works PERFECTLY. It’s basically a card relying solely on the player featured on the front and the technology (chrome + Refractors).

I truly believe a product of just these minis of current and retired players, full of Refractors and one autograph or game-used relic per box would catch fire despite their shortcomings (no logos). This card is still popular on eBay today with the Orange Refractor recently selling for $51. Not bad for a card without a “hit” and/or logos. Keep in mind I buy Canseco Panini #’d autos all day for $10 or less.

Now, we get to Topps Company and their NSCC exclusive. This is where Topps’ history with collectors helps seal the deal. Topps went and did something crazy, adding Jose to their ’18 Bowman line and it works for so many reasons. For one, Jose has not appeared on a Bomman base card in nearly two decades. That alone makes this card a must-have for any true Jose Canseco collector.

Another win is that with Bowman, comes lots and lots of beautiful parallels. For starters, a red Refractor sold for a whopping $67 dollars and the autograph version pulled in nearly $100. Unfortunately, the autograph version is a sticker and Bowman + Sticker equals an immediately FAIL from me. It’s just unheard of but in this case, I completely understand. A sticker is still better than nothing.

I love the Underdog but in this case, Topps proves why they have the MLB exclusive deal. Something as insignificant as adding my player to one of their premier brands (18 years since his last appearance) absolutely bowled me over. Even the sticker auto, which killed the design, didn’t hurt much. Personally, I will skip the autograph and go straight for as many color parallels as I can afford.

So there you have it. Two 2018 NSCC exclusives, 17 long years after my all-time favorite ball player, Jose Canseco, last played a Major League game. I am so thankful that this hobby has kept his name and legacy alive all these years because it has extended my Card Life and allowed me to pick up new cards year after year. I can only hope I am writing something similar a decade from now as well.

I have collected cards more years of my life than I haven’t, if that makes any sense. I am 38 years old and have been a baseball card collector for 28 years. All those 28 years belonged to just one player and even after so many changes in technology, growing up and becoming an adult, welcoming a child into my life, and much more … I always return to the hobby I picked up as a kid.

We go through so many changes but in the end, we will always collect.


2 thoughts on “Leaf vs. Topps (NSCC Edition)

  1. I’ve been a fan of the Leaf Originals design for a few years now. I think it works really well for their wrestling product, since there aren’t many logos to deal with.

  2. I assume the basic design is meant to echo the 1948 Leaf set. Probably the same size too.

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