Topps Series 1…The Sequel

The second part of the blog posts from my Jumbo box brings the hits and nice little slices of hobby cards that i’m happy about.  I’ve never been a guy that gets the great hits in a box, this is the main reason for me not typically buying a pack or box just to open.  I typically only buy boxes when i plan to put the set together and I rarely do any type of insert set building.  In the past, i’ve found ways of passing the parallels or minor hits off to eBay or sending them to someone in dire need.  That said all but one of these cards are up for trade if you likey…

I’m going to start with my favorite sub set/insert from this years production.

The Gallery of the Greats.  I think these cards are fantastic.  I love the smooth texture on the border and the recessed metallic foil photo of a great.  Now one of the guys i got from the box is hands down one of the greatest of all time, if not the single greatest player ever.  I understand that’s a huge can of worms to open up, but if i’m looking at top to bottom best of all time i have to put Willie Mays at the top of my list.  I’m loving this image of a young kid rockin’ the New York Baseball Giants cap.

15 T1 Willie Mays Gallery of Greats

The next guy though, maybe isn’t so great…or maybe he is in your opinion?

Steroid era or not, McGwire was a slugger and a respectable hitter…but far from a legendary baseball player.  I like my ball players to be more rounded in their game than donkin’ the ball over the fence…but again, that’s just me.

15 T1 Mark McGwire Gallery of Greats

Topps did the buyback thing again with the ‘Original’ foil stamp on a vintage-y card.  I’m not so opposed to this, kinda like it actually as i don’t see it ruining the cards since most of them are commons.  If they did this to a Mantle or Mays card, my words may take a different route.  Here are the two kids i pulled from the packs.

15 T1 Claudell Washington buyback 15 T1 Bob Moose buyback

I received one variation card…at least that i immediately noticed.  It’s a pretty cool one too.  I was a huge fan of Hayward when he came up with the Braves and thought he would be one of those guys that spent their career in the same town and won a championship or two the Bravos…but baseball being a business and teams wanting to move in different directions when things don’t work out, he’s a Cardinal.

15 T1 Jason Heyward

When i saw the next card on other bloggers sites i was crazy excited to see it in person.  Great young talent from a really fun team that I enjoyed watching make it to 90′ of tying game 7 of the World Series.

Yordano Ventura!

The only problem is that this card is hella grainy…or noisy as the camera people may say…plus it’s not TACK sharp, which is another thing they would say.  Complete shame because that pose on a card is fantastic.  Why isn’t this guy a Future Star card, especially if Gattis is?

I pulled a few first pitch cards and as i mentioned in the previous post, the Eddie Vedder was the one I really wanted.  Side note, Eddie will be making his way to work at some point this week and chillin’ with two mini RGIII’s and a Ganesh.  Back to the first pitches.  This one made my scratch my head a bit.  As i’ve mentioned here multiple times, i’m a huge fan of the rap music…i grew up on it.  But you see, I grew up on the greats like EPMD, Eric B. & Rakim, Boogie Down Productions, Big Daddy Kane (my personal favorite) and the Biz Markie!  Now, Biz is from Long Island but is tossing out the first pitch at an A’s game…I understand Oakland has had some legendary Hip-Hop acts (Too Short, Hieroglyphics, E-40) but other than that i can’t really see the connection, unless of course he lives in the Bay area?

15 T1 Biz Markie 1st Pitch

Some of you may love Biz for Just a Friend and that’s cool, to each his own, but for my money his best song is Vapors.  Also, not really sure about that form…seriously

Keeping in the Hip-Hop frame of mind, i love the B-Boy poses captured in this card.  So old school.

15 T1 Pittsburgh Pirates

Now for the hits.  One isn’t quite a hit to you maybe, but it is to me.  It’s a Rickey “hit”

15 T1 Rickey Henderson Archetypes

Ok, now to the real hits from the box.  I got your standard 1 auto and 2 relics but have seen some others get a bonus hit with the silver bordered cards…lucky bastards.  My hits were ok, but nothing to shout about.  Like this Kinsler…in a Rangers jersey.

15 T1 Ian Kinsler Career High Jersey

I also pulled this Brett Cecil auto.  This, i believe is the 4th Cecil auto i’ve pulled from various boxes in my rebirth of collecting.  If i was a Cecil collector i would be crazy happy…but i’m just eh about it.  Not really feeling that tattoo, but his ERA is nice.

15 T1 Brett Cecil Career High Auto

This last hit is quite cool.  It’s face value is 26cents, but i think it may have more value than that on the black market.  The stamp of Mt. Rainier is pretty cool, especially with the moon looming over the shy mountain.  Rainier is a stratovolcano for all you volcano enthusiasts out there and can often be seen from downtown Portland, but not this time of year.  It’s gray.  The card also has a penny which i flipped for the fun of it and it’s numbered 9 of 50.  I really like it and one of the better hits for me in a while.  Again, not outstanding, but i’m quite happy with it.  Bumgarner kinda looks like Eddie Vedder, no?

15 T1 Madison Bumgarner Penny Stamp

Topps Series 1…in 2 parts

Once again i’m late to the party, but that’s cool.  I’ve always lagged a little in life but always seem to finish ok.  I like hanging in the background a bit to see what else is out there before i really develop my own opinions or thoughts on something.  Especially baseball cards and extra especially the annual Topps flagship.  As most of the other folks out there have noted, Topps really busted out some nice new graphical elements with this years set.  The colored border with a gradient base and texturing is something that typically appears on higher end sets or short print inserts.  Topps took the opportunity to add a much more visually appealing card this year…and finally got rid of the white border…the freakin’ boring white border is gone…for this year at least.  The backs of the cards are fantastic and i’m in agreement with Night Owl on the left justified alignment of the player description text.  The player stats and personal information both align, but the couple of sentences about the player are centered…so close!  Graphically though, the card backs are wonderful and are the best i’ve seen in a while.

15 T1 Jordan Zimmerman Back

The first card of the year bit that Keith Olbermann is kinda cool.  It’s something that i’m sure a lot of folks do, but they don’t have a sports show on ESPN so maybe it’s not very original, but it’s cool right?  What was the first card of the year for the Cardboard Hogs?

15 T1 Brian Duensing

In the past i’ve opened a pack or two and wrote a post about it, pack or two write post, pack or two write post, but like Topps I wanted to change it up a bit and break outta the box.  So I’m gonna jump around and show some hits and show some base, and yes, I am all about that base.  Another thing that i’m all about is jumping around and ANOTHER thing that i’m about is Derek Jeter and the card that every blogger has posted.  It’s hard to not post this card though, right?  It’s absolutely fantastic.  The child like exuberance.  Arms up in the air.  Having just won another regular season game in a 20 year career and this is how Derek Jeter acts.  It’s a brilliant card and deserves to be at the start of the set…although, doesn’t it seem that the #2 card would have been more appropriate?

15 T1 Derek Jeter

Along with the Jeter card, the first pitch cards have been getting a ton of buzz.  When i saw the list, i really wanted one of two cards.  The Jack White and the Eddie Vedder.  I’ve loved Pearl Jam since Ten.  I was a closet PJ fan since i loved hip hop so much and my friends didn’t get the whole grunge thing…not me though.  Eddie spoke to me.

Everyone remembers Jeremy from the first album, but Black

and Alive were the songs that hit home…like really hit home for me.

So pulling this card was fantastic and made the all the other First Pitch cards less significant.  I didn’t get a Jack White, but got a couple other interesting cards that made me smile…but not like Eddie rocking’ the Ron Santo t-shirt.

15 T1 Eddie Vedder 1st Pitch

So, there has been some debate about which card is the best card of the set.  Some of the action photos this year are fantastic and show a lot of passion and grit like the Mike Trout card…which is beautiful and a terrific action shot with the infield dirt kicking up in Trouty’s face.

15 T1 Mike Trout

But I gotta go with the Michael Taylor fully stretched out to catch a ball that is super intent on getting a glove on.  I love the tight crop on the card while managing to get the ball, glove and both feet in the shot, plus you get a nice perspective of his location on the field with the warning track just a few steps behind him.

15 T1 Michael Taylor

Speaking of the Nat’s.  The team cards are pretty dope again this year.  I loved the team celebration cards, but think the cropping could be a little better on this one right, maybe just a little?  I love to see the hands in the air like they just don’t…I think i care too much about cropping on cards…seems to be a recurring theme with most of my posts.  But man, look at Werth’s hair…so fabulous.

15 T1 Washington Nationals

This next card is fun on so many levels.  The digiflauge.  deGrom’s flowing locks.  D’Arnauds’ blue and orange chest protector amongst the camp and the excitement of winning!

15 T1 New York Mets

More to come tomorrow kids!  Enjoy!