Saturday, November 19, 2011

2012 Spirit - Team MVP

Here is the first insert to the 2012 Spirit set. Team MVP inserts were common in the late 80s and early 90s. Donruss would traditionally mimic their base card design but include some sort of 'MVP' designation in the design. I remember the 1990 set as the first inserts that I recognized as being 'special' with the 'BC-' numbering on the back. "Bonus Cards" as they were known back then. Upper Deck started including Team MVP inserts in the baseball, football, and basketball sets. The designs were different than the base and usually included some sort of flashy printing technology such as holograms or foil.

I always liked the idea of a Team MVP set as it would traditionally depict the team's most popular and sought-after player but also make way for some debate on teams that were stacked with talent. Or in the case of teams like the Twins, the players with the best production get traded or become free agents while the 'Franchise' guys are on the DL. For the most part, there are clear-cut winners.

Now on to the design. As you can see, the team color sections from the base set make it onto these cards as well. You HAVE TO have the team colors prominently featured on TEAM MVP cards, right? There are 2 images of each player; a smaller black & white action shot in the corner and also a larger, full-color cutout layered between the 2 color shapes. There's room for the team logo in the corner as well as the player's name in thick curved line. The Spirit logo and 'TEAM' are both in a silver foil because why not?

Oh yeah, I forgot the most prominent feature on the front: the letters M-V-P cut out to reveal a game-used relic. Personally, I really like uniform swatches, whether they're 'game-used,' 'event-worn,' or 'player-gazed-upon.' I think they add depth to the card and make them more than just 'a piece of cardboard.' Now, I do prefer when the swatches are more than just a solid white or solid gray, but I had a hard time finding more interesting swatches big enough to use here so gray is what we get. If these cards were really produced, they'd be full of a variety of colors and such.

The back of the card features another full-color player photo as well as a small write-up about their 2011 season. The team logo is screen behind the text but the team colors are represented in the 3-sided border.

Below, you'll find my checklist for who I think the 30 Team MVPs are after the 2011 season. What do YOU think?

Angels - Jered Weaver
Astros - Carlos Lee
A's - Gio Gonzalez
Blue Jays - Jose Bautista
Braves - Brian McCann
Brewers - Ryan Braun
Cardinals - Albert Pujols
Cubs - Starlin Castro
Diamondbacks - Justin Upton
Dodgers - Matt Kemp
Giants - Tim Lincecum
Indians - Asdrubal Cabrera
Mariners - Felix Hernandex
Marlins - Mike Stanton
Mets - Jose Reyes
Nationals - Michael Morse
Orioles - Adam Jones
Padres - Matt Latos
Phillies - Roy Halladay
Pirates - Andrew McCutchen
Rangers - Josh Hamilton
Rays - Evan Longoria
Red Sox - Adrian Gonzalez
Reds - Joey Votto
Rockies - Troy Tulowitzki
Royals - Billy Butler
Tigers - Justin Verlander
Twins - Joe Mauer
White Sox - Mark Buerhle
Yankees - Robinson Cano

1 comment:

  1. Match the swatches to the uniform in the picture and I'm in Heaven.

    These are much better than anything I've seen recently.