Monday, February 4, 2013

Topps 2013 - Breaking down two jumbos

My third pack of jumbo proved to be the charm - the pack that got me truly excited about the set - and all it took was a few cool Mets' cards.  As I had mentioned earlier, the insert sets (which often seem to me just a bit overwhelming) this year are varied and individually appealing.  By comparison, I had a gold headache pretty quickly last year.

First up are my favorites - and from what I've been reading in other blogs - are probably yours, too.  Talking to my LCS dealer today, he pointed out that Topps used the same colors from the team's cards in '72, so he liked that touch.  I guess that doesn't really apply to the Bauer card, huh?  I loved the '87 mini's last year, because they reminded me of the time when I had really started collecting.  He said the same about '72 - and although I don't have any personal connection to that year's set, it's such a striking design that I'm quickly intrigued by it.


If you are not a Met fan, you probably don't realize that the greatest moment of the 2012 season perhaps became the worst moment of the 2012 season.  Santana's no-hitter marked the culmination of 50 years of great pitchers who never managed to master the no-no.  Santana's effort that night, 130+ pitches, provided the season highlight - but then he never quite recovered; nor did the pitching staff which eventually had to deal with his (and Dillon Gee's) absence.  That said, Santana's no-no was as exciting a baseball moment as my team has had in a long while - and this card reminds me of that amazin' night.


I continue to be a fan of these - especially the hovering logo lurking in the background.

Is this Bob Gibson card a relic?  I only ask because it is very, very thick.  It kinda reminds me of the framed paper cards that you got in a blaster of Gypsy Queen last year.  My black parallel is Eric Chavez.  Eh, kinda boring.


Two great hitters of the baseball appeared for my green shinies.


Further evidence of why I loved these packs - another Met, and a great card to see him featured on.  While Santana gave us the one amazin' night in 2012, Dickey gave Mets fans a great reason to keep watching, even as the season went down in flames.  I was so happy to see him get that 20th win at the end of the season - and if you've read his book (as I did last Spring), you'd root for him even harder.  Winning the Cy Young was another great individual moment for both him and the team's fans.  The card itself is well-designed, and it's another nod towards Gypsy Queen in my mind.  Oh, and Teixeira.  Yawn.

Why am I scanning these?  I popped over to ebay and saw someone selling a lot of 240 of them.  I am curious what the bloggers think about this year's code contest.  I haven't formed an opinion yet, as I'm still thinking about the Mets season.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Topps Collation Catastrophe?

I am not someone who complains about Topps.  If you look at my past posts, I am not exactly a fanboy, but I'm also not that far from it.  I pretty much only collect Topps, and I enjoy - for the most part - every set they put out.  I like finding little things that I like about a set, and spend little time worrying about what I don't like.  Last year, I didn't love all the gold insert sets, so I didn't go crazy chasing them down - that's it.

So now it's 2013, and I'm liking (perhaps not loving, but that's okay) the new flagship offering.  I don't like the base design as much as the last three years, but I know that's a matter of taste and preference, so I'm not terribly disappointed.  And actually, I enjoy the insert sets much better this year, and may work a little harder to track some down.

Now to the point of this post... I ordered a Jumbo box this year, figuring I'll nail my base set, and grab a good number of inserts (and hits) to decide what I like.

Here's what happened, and bear with me while I share a lot of numbers... I opened my first jumbo pack, and  here are my 43 base card numbers:  1 3 5 11 17 33 36 39 42 50 55 57 61 65 76 80 93 94 106 115 123 126 140 142 169171 173 175 182 189 193 209 216 220 238 254 274 297 298 300 313 316 322.

A day later, I opened my second pack, and after looking at the second card, I realized something was very familiar - the same cards, in the same order.  Here's what I got: 1 3 5 11 33 36 39 42 50 55 57 61 65 76 80 93 94 95 106 113 115 123 140 145 169 171 173 175 189 193 209 216 220 224 238 254 297 298 300 313 316 318 322.

Now, I'm not a kid.  But I was still terribly disappointed!  In the each of the two packs, there were just FIVE unrepeated cards, and THIRTY-EIGHT cards that  were duplicates.  I guess I assume it will all even out at the end, and when I finish the jumbo box, I'll have my set - but still, doesn't this just LOOK bad?!?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Topps 2013 - Opening Day in January

One of my favorite things about the hobby is that on a cold, windy January day, I can get home and get the same "opening day" feeling that I will get in April - and months before a meaningful pitch is actually thrown.  I know that many have posted Topps 2013 impressions already, but I managed to resist the urge to pick up a blaster early, and waited instead for my Jumbo box to arrive.  And the first card of 2013 that I peeked upon was Tim Hudson, a man about to win his 200th game this season - a number to "chase" since 300 doesn't really seem very possible anymore!

My lone Met in the 50-card jumbo pack featured a very cool photo - even if I half-believe that Murphy probably wound up throwing this ball into the dugout.  Murphy played an adequate second base for the team this season, but unless he turns into the .320 hitter with 40 doubles that his best streaks suggest, he may not be long for the team.

I'd say I moderately like the "Chasing the Dream" insert set.  Design is better than average, and I like the oversized team logo in the background.  I'll probably feel more strongly after I see more of the subjects, but for now, I appreciate the variety of the inserts as opposed to last year's clubbing-over-the-head with gold.

These are probably my two favorite "special cards" - a green shiny Howard and the Chasing History Koufax.  The Koufax card has a nice shine to it, and the team logo really pops in that black box.  The green shiny is a nice twist on the shiny theme - still not as nice as those diamond shinies from a few years ago, but they still look good - maybe a bit better than last year's gold.

I was a little disappointed that my auto is one that I have to send in for - just a bit annoying.  And I don't really know about the Alonso card - would have rather had more of a name player.  I do love the retro mini, though, and I'm pretty sure I will complete that set.  Last year I made sure I chased down the '87 minis (though I still haven't finished the Update Series additions - my "dealer" at the card show missed the last few shows, so I may have to find a new strategy) - and I'm planning to do the same this year.

My other cards included a gold Jim Johnson (0454/2013) and a "Million Dollar Chase" Card.

In closing, I liked this Jumbo pack, but didn't really love it - and as a Mets fan, I didn't really get much of a team payoff... but I do have nine packs to go!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I am selling 33 unused Golden Giveaway codes on EBAY


Hello, all!

In a last-ditch attempt to raise funds to defray the cost of some Topps 2013, I have listed 33 unused codes for the Topps Golden Giveaway on ebay.

I have not sold cards (or codes) on ebay before, so this was not really that well thought-out...  I probably should have done it a week (or longer) ago.

But with the code cards expiring on 2-1-13, I figured I'd announce it here, as well.

I started the price at $9.99, with a buy-it-now option at $25.

If that is appealing to you, or anyone you know MAY be interested in this, please pass on the info as soon as you can!

Here's the listing, if interested:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/33-2012-Topps-Golden-Giveaway-UNUSED-UNREDEEMED-CODES-WILL-EMAIL-1-day-left-/111007190591?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item19d88b4e3f

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanks - 2011 Topps Update edition

When I was young, specifically in the early 80's, my best friend was a huge Phillies fan.  His favorite pitcher was Steve Carlton, and he frequently argued that he was the best.  As a Mets fan, I didn't really remember Ryan, he was long gone by the time I got to fan-dom.  But he was a former Met, and a name who actually had the stats to due battle with Carlton.  As they battled for strikeout supremacy, Ryan became my ace in the hole for any argument.

When I opened up my packs of Topps Update 2011, I found the face of a very young Nolan Ryan, pitching for my favorite team.  I'm not sure this counts as an insert - probably it is a Short Print - and one I am happy to now own.  I don't really get why Topps does this, but from what I read on some of the other blogs out there, Topps has enough other problems.

This is a cool card, and if I'm going to pull a short print, it may as well be a Met... AND a heck of a name!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Working Backwards - Favorite Insert Set


My apologies for the slightly sloppy scan, but here is my favorite insert set from the 2011 Update Set.  On these mini's, I definitely favor the old names - I sorta hate that they put the old-time guys together with the current players.  I wish the mini-set just focused on one group, either old-timers or some other niche set.  It just seems like such a haphazard collection of different players with little rhyme or reason.  That said, I do simply love almost everything about these cards:  the close up sketch-picture up top, the slightly hazy action shot below, and even the font of the player's name and italicized team name - it just all WORKS.  My only criticism is that the back is nothing more than a checklist - but I can overlook that.  I pulled a total of 18 in my two hobby boxes, and here are the rest:


I am probably not going to try to complete this set, but if you have any others that you have nothing to do with, I'd take them!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Working Backwards


I pretty much finished up my 2012 collection - which includes (for the first time in my collecting history) the completed topps update series.  That's 990 base cards, my largest single year collection - and several completed insert sets along the way.  While I still have some 87 mini's in the update series to track down, I am pretty happy with what I have.

My new plan, since I enjoyed collecting the Update Series, is to now work backwards.  I had completed Topps 2011, but ignored update, so a couple of weeks ago I picked up two hobby boxes of 2011 update (rather cheaply, too!).  I just finished opening and ordering, so I thought I'd share some of the pulls.

I know this is probably old news to most of you - but hopefully some will enjoy the look back at the recent past.

My hobby box hits were two all-star patches, and they are pretty well-designed.  Not players that I truly love - if you have a Mets patch who you'd like to offer, I'll take it!  (I need to step up my game with trades - I've been pretty weak, so far!)