Today’s Card of the Day comes from the 2014 Topps set. It features Mark Melancon, who was a closer for the 2013-16 Pittsburgh Pirates. He is celebrating his 38th birthday today, currently pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Melancon has only appeared in this series once before. That was for his 2016 Topps Archives card. I never look through card choices before picking a card to use because of what happened here.
I scrolled Ebay for a card that caught my eye and I landed on the 2016 Topps Archives card of Melancon. Then I checked to see which card I used for him in the past. Obviously I must really like that card because I wanted to use it again. I have repeated a card here once by mistake, but that mistake was putting the first one in the wrong category, so when I searched the Card of the Day section, it didn’t show up. I’m trying not to do that again, though it was interesting seeing the comparisons of the articles. What I saw the first time vs what stood out the second time. Once was enough for me though.
The second card that stood out for Melancon was today’s Card of the Day choice. It’s the yellow version of his 2014 Topps card. The colors go well with Pirates colors, much better than the standard white border, or any of the other variations. So let’s look at this second choice card.
Here’s the front of the card:
This definitely looks like a card that Topps used to match-up with the team colors, and this is the Pirates variation. They even have a gold border between the outer border and the photo. This goes great with the jacket being worn by Clint Hurdle, who is making a guest appearance on the Melancon card.
Here’s a question for collectors. Pretend for a moment that you collected all Clint Hurdle cards, putting together a master set of his cards throughout the years. Would you add this card to your collection? It doesn’t have to be Hurdle if he’s a mental hurdle for you in this scenario, but if your player to collect was this prominent on a card, would you feel the need to add it?
Besides the yellow color here, I like the setup of the front. Adding the team logo is always a plus, even if it’s the yawn-inducing current Pirates logo. The name/position at the bottom, the Pirates going down the side. It’s an overall good look, though I must admit the yellow makes it look better. The blue version that can be found in packs from Walmart does nothing for me, and I saw a lot of those while scrolling through options for today.
Here’s the back of the card:
The back is a better representation of what this card looks like without the yellow border. It’s fine, nothing special. No second photo, no team logo, only big league stats. They did the minimum to satisfy my collecting needs. I always appreciate the black writing on a white background look. That’s especially true since I gravitated towards older cards when I was a young kid and strained by eyes on many old Topps cards, like the 1982 set was a big one that I read a lot. Awful color choices.
If you are interested in this specific variation, it can be had on Ebay for $3-$4 delivered from four sellers. Only five total are listed. If you want a 2014 Topps card of Melancon, the variations are endless. I won’t go through them all, but just scrolling the top choices as far as cost, there’s a camo version numbered to 99, a pink version numbered to 25, a gold mini version and a black border version. There’s also bronze, blue, green and red among the next tier of prices. Nothing is over $15. You could really pile up a collection of the variations available. Topps went overboard, but I guess it’s good if you find a player you really collect.