This is a 1995 Topps Finest card of Javy Lopez (or as my grandmother would say, Harvey Lopes). 2010 Finest is out now, with a Jason Heyward card I will have great difficulties getting my hands on. While I've seen complaints about the design, people have to remember that Finest has always had a bizarrely overdone design to it. 1995 had a green grassy background - with yellow pinstripes - and circular helicopter landing pads - and a diamond shaped swimming pool - with kiddie wading pools on the corners - and the center filled with hot molten lava. A nice simple team logo looks pretty good now, doesn't it?
The back is much like the front, with the added genius of putting stats on a pinstriped dark textured background for readability. The true weirdness is on the front though. You'll notice that there is writing over Javy's face. The writing says:
TOPPS FINEST PROTECTOR
PEEL AND REMOVE COATING
Someone at Topps must have figured out that the super shiny metallic cards were dope, but they could get skritched up pretty easily. To rectify this, they put clear plastic film on each card so you would receive it in 'uncirculated' condition, then you could peel it off at your convenience to enjoy the naked shiny of the card. Rrawr.
Two problems with this: One, the film is a bitch and a half to peel off. If you didn't get one with a bit that was already loose, you could spend an hour fiddling with a corner so you could peel the damn thing. The other problem was a question of collector psychology. The hobby was still reeling after the '94 crash and the people who were still buying these things were thoroughly indoctrinated in the idea that cards were extremely valuable investments and even the slightest condition flaw could eventually cost them big bucks. So even though they were ugly as hell with a bunch of words all over them, there was still that nagging voice in the back of your head saying "no! 15 years from now they'll be worthless unless they are in perfect mint condition with the film!" Well, it's fifteen years later and I can safely say that they are worthless with or without the film.
This one here has a tiny bit loose on the top right corner. If the Braves win tonight, I shall peel this sucka. Go Braves!