2003 Topps League Leaders: AL ERA
I’ve mentioned before that I understand the idea behind league leader cards. I know that they’re an easy way to get more star cards into a set. I also know that there’s only so much you can do with a card showing several players. So, the unimaginative design of three players in a line is fine. It especially works on this card since it allows two Red Sox players to take up most of the space.
A few problems with the card, though. First, the gold foil lettering has got to go. Why do companies insist on making me tilt the card left and right in order to read the front? It’s getting really old.
Second, they don’t have the stats on the front of the card. That’s annoying. I want to be able to look right at the card and see how dominant Pedro was that year. Did he just squeak by Derek Lowe? Or, was his number half of his nearest competitor again? I need to know.
Of course, my biggest problem is that guy on the right of the card. Notice how he’s all the way over to the right? That’s because he finished third in the league. But, somehow he was able to steal the Cy Young award from Pedro. An absolute shame. (Yes, I know, the Cy Young isn’t given to the pitcher with the best ERA. Nor should it be. But, Pedro beat him in just about every other category too.)
Maybe when I put this card back in its binder, I should black out the right third of the card. I can just color over it right on the page. Pretend like it doesn’t even exist. That would have to be an improvement.
The other two thirds are pretty nice.