I still don’t know how I feel about digital trading cards. Those being the cards Topps has put out under the Topps “BUNT” brand that exist only on an app or whatever and are purchased at the App Store of Google Play. Baseball cards were always a tactile thing for me just as much as a visual thing, as the rounded corners of so many of my cards attest. For that reason, seeing graded and appraised cards under hard plastic cases seems wrong too. Let me stack them and sort them and feel them, please.
But it is always, ALWAYS wise to question any impulse you have which inspires you to reflexively assert that things were better when you were a kid. Or, rather, to feel things were better. Yes, some things were better. But lots of things weren’t and nostalgia, I have come to believe, is one of the more toxic and progress-impeding impulses around. It’s like a drug, actually. Enjoy it in moderation — there are highs to be found with it — but don’t turn your life over to it and become dependent. If you do, you’ll become cranky and insulated and you’ll miss a lot of good things the world has to offer. And it’ll be a totally self-inflicted wound.
So for that reason, I’m going to chuck my love of actual hard copy baseball cards to the side for a brief moment and note that Topps has come out with the first Jon Lester baseball card portraying him as a Chicago Cub. It’s digital only, natch:
I like the idea of a “Departures” set. It covers much more ground than the old “Traded” sets used to. And with 100% less airbrushing of caps and things. Though, honestly, an airbrushed picture of Lester pitching for the A’s, changed to a Cubs uniform, might be more fun than seeing a ballplayer wearing a jersey over a shirt and tie.
Dang. There goes that nostalgia again.