2013 Topps S2 – Packs 9 and 10

Rounding Home.

So, i was going to post the final two packs from my series two box last night but we had a nice family dinner night with my mother, mother in law and brother in law.  Where did we go you ask, well we went to Pok Pok.  If any of you ever venture up to Portland, it’s not to be missed.  The restaurant has received quite a bit of notoriety the past few years and a place that we love to visit whenever we get a chance.  If you do indeed make it to Pok Pok, you MUST get the wings.  They are unlike any other wings you have ever had, they are BETTER!  Just a little local Portland foodie plug for any foodies out there.  There is also a spot out in Brooklyn, which i’ve heard is not quite the same…guess you need that Southeast Portland flavor to make it great.

Back to cardboard.  I’ve only two packs left to share and there isn’t too much for gloriousness, as i’ve pulled the ‘hits’ already.  As has been the case with the previous posts, i like to show dueling or similar cards.  The two below feature great faces of intense physical exertion.  Joaquin and Jorge are both doing their ultimate lip pursing, almost to the point that their lips have disappeared…but they haven’t because that would be wierd.

13 T Joaquin Benoit Jorge De La Rosa

Next is the contorting Jered Weaver Cut to the Chase.  This photo gives you a great idea as to how much pressure pitching can put on your body…and of course there is more lip pursing.

13 T Jered Weaver Cut to the Chase

Enter Sandman Chasing History.  This is an open mouth lip pursing.  Something only legends can do.  Can you do it properly?

13 T Mariano Rivera Chasing History

Salvador Perez is super happy in this card.  I’m assuming it’s a walk off for the win…but no lip pursing.  Disappointing.

13 T Salvador Perez Black Border

Finally.  Tiny Tim Lincecum.  Look at those long flowing locks, splayed glove and a cream white ANTS jersey.  Does the MLB test for weed?  I know it’s not really a PED, but i can only imagine with this kid.  Inappropriate, i know…

13 T Tim Lincecum Chasing History

2013 Topps S2 – Packs 7 and 8

I feel like a dope writing about 2013 Topps series two, but i will manage to get over it sooner or later…plus i have another post to go!

I’m not really sure where I left off on the Topps post, but these two cards really caught my eye…plus they were in my to be organized scan folder.  So here they are, Trouty and Alvarez.  Both amazing photos and both are landscape cards, which i LOVE in base sets!  Both cards manage to get the player and ball in the shot…great photography to the photographer.

13 T Pedro Alvarez Mike Trout

This sideburn slash sort of neck beard is disturbing…plus he’s a Red Sox guy.  Not much for me to like about this card.

13 T Koji Uehara Gold

Ah jeez.  Jackie and the Babe.  The only problem with Topps pushing out these old school legend cards is the lack of photo variety.  I’ve got 5 other Jackie cards with that same pose…wish they had access to other images, you know, to spice it up a bit?

13 T Jackie Robinson Babe Ruth The Elite

Bryce Harper.  Love this kid.  He is the newest addition to my player personal collection and a reason i started following the Nats a few years ago.  He seems like he can be quite a jerk sometimes, but he’s intense and he goes all out each game.  That is how I would want my son to play.

13 T Bryce Harper Making their Mark

Rizzo – Italien – Cub.

13 T Anthony Rizzo WBC

Joey Belle.  Remember how crazy this guy was.  Dude had a serious temper and would go off over the stupidest crap.  I’ve said too much…

13 T Albert Belle Cut to the Chase

This guy.  Love the Cuban players.  Did you hear, he won the home run derby over the all star break…it’s been that long since i’ve been blogging.

13 T Yoenis Cespedes Making their Mark Jersey

Good night.

2013 Topps S2 – Packs 3 and 4

For the first couple of cards, I’m going to stick with the twofers…and it goes a little something like this, HIT IT!

As usual, I’m late for the bus on this one.  I just wanted to add my two cents on the whole celebration card that Topps seems to be putting out more and more each season.  I like the concept, and sometimes it works brilliantly as it does with the Francisco Cervelli card.  Then there are other times when it doesn’t work well, like this Derek Norris card.  It’s more of an Oakland A’s team card and I fully expected to see some team leader stats on the back of the piece of card stock.  If the camera man was a couple of inches to the right, nobody would know who this card is for, including the wonderful mlb-baby-making parents of Mr. Norris!  I would have thought it was for Reddick or that little dude squatting in the middle of the card.  Get it together Topps!

13 T Francisco Cervelli Derek Norris

Here are a couple more celebration cards.  Am I the only one that thinks Homer Bailey and Christian Bale are twins lost at birth?  Maybe they should be doing those cheesy State Farm Chris Paul commercials.  This is a good example of a celebration card.  You can see his Batman looking face and yet, he is still sharing a personal moment with Chris Heisey after his no-no last year.  The Ryan Ludwick card on the other hand is all kinds of terrible.  Not only is his face nowhere to be seen, his nameplate on the back is blurry!!!  At the very least this should have been a Jay Bruce card because his unbridled enthusiasm is…unbridled (first time using that word on the blog and i drop it twice!).

13 T Homer Bailey Ryan Ludwick

Alright, enough whining.  These making their mark cards are nice and the player selection is great.  I love that they went with the young future superstars for this subset.  Both of these guys are great players…and I kind of have a baseball crush on Manny Machado…the kid is all kinds of awesome.  I’m no Orioles fan and have no idea when he will make the move to short, if ever, but he is going to become their rock for the next 10-15 years like Jeter has been for the Yankees.

13 T Manny Machado Yoenis Cespedes Making their Mark

Bryce Harper.  Stud.  Kind of want to do a player collection of him.  I think this kid is great and i’m sure i’ve mentioned it here before, but I would love for Bryce to be my sons favorite ballplayer.  If everyone played all out each play like he did, the game would be so much more fun to watch day in and day out.

13 T Bryce Harper Chase it Down

Here is a nice little cut to the chase Ernie Banks card.  You can’t ever go wrong with Mr. Banks and some die cut action.

13 T Ernie Banks Cut to the Chase

Last card for the night was my autograph hit from the box.  Alex Cobb chasing history.  I’m going to chase some whiskey with a little sleep.  Goodnight collectors of the internets.

13 T Alex Cobb Chasing History Auto


2013 Topps – Packs 3 and 4

The pack a day thing wasn’t working for me, so i’m doing two packs every other day.  Same thing, just a slightly bigger effect on pack days!  Plus organizing 100 cards is a larger, but still simple task.

The first card i want to look at is Will Middlebrooks #64.  This is a pretty fantastic shot and an awesome card in general.  Topps did a great job of not cropping any of Will in the photo.  It’s too bad the ump is in the background, but i guess he is in position and just doing his job.  Will is from north Texas and played high school football with the one and only LaMichael James.  James is still kind of a big deal for the University of Oregon fans up here and did a nice job for the 49ers at the end of the season and their playoff run.  Not sure what kind of football player Will was, but it sounds like he has made a good career choice in playing baseball.  As my co-worker and huge Red Sox fan tells me, Middlebrooks is a big stud.  Ok, that’s cool, i guess.  I’ve never been a Red Sox fan…mostly a Yankees fan (i will get in to that later, briefly…) so i’ve never been too partial to any Red Sox players…ever.  I guess the only Red Sox that i’m drawn too would be Ted Williams.  That’s all i can think of, I do like Carl Crawford, but he never really played for them…so let’s say 1 1/2 players.

13 T Will Middlebrooks

The next card is Rajai Davis #311.  This card is fantastic.  Quickly, how many hands in the air can you count?  if you guessed 1,000 you are wrong, but there is still a lot.  This picture is great in so many way.  First and foremost, the celebration with the team after a walk off win and the ecstatic joy on Davis’ face.  Just priceless.  This is why people who like sports, love sports.  Pure enjoyment and a sensation that you’ve accomplished or achieved something with other guys that share your same passion.  I have tried for years to convince my wife that sports is the best reality TV she could ever watch.  The other thing i love about this card is the way the editor blurred out his teammates and focused the photo on Davis.  If they didn’t do this than it would look like a team checklist card or team stats card rather than a card for Rajai Davis.

13 T Rajai Davis

Next up, Ryan Zimmerman card #80.  As i stated earlier, i am mostly a Yankees fan and have been since 1985.  And, as you know I am a Redskins fan…from Texas.  Not sure how these two teams mesh together eh?  in one sentence, i’m a Redskins fan because i hated Dallas so much and I’m a Yankees fan because Rickey Henderson played for them when i really became a baseball fan.  So they don’t really mesh together, i picked them “just because”.  That said over the last 5 or 6 years, my attention has been drawn to the Washington Nationals.  I tend to listen to a lot of sports talk radio from DC, thanks to the internet and podcasts and have by default become a DC sports fan.  I even care about the Capitals and Wizards, but not that much.  The Nats have become a team that has finally got something special and it all started with this Ryan Zimmerman guy.  He has been the cornerstone of the franchise for years and is just now hitting his statistical prime.  Most fans are expecting greater things from the Nats this year after the heartbreaking loss to the Cardinals last year.  Zimm should be in the center of the teams dominance for years to come.  Kinda like what Chipper Jones to the Braves.

13 T Ryan Zimmerman

Now for a non base card.  Ryan Braun Cut to the Chase.  Most of you have been following the whole PED thing and it’s not looking too good for this guy.  I have no idea whether or not he did anything illegal and personally, I really don’t care.  These guys are professional athletes and their job is to perform at a physical and mental level that most men cannot, each and every single day for 6+ months.  I understand the negative long term affects of the users and the physical health, but these guys careers are so short so they tend to think in short terms rather than 30 years from now.  It’s a difficult dilemma for MLB and they always seem to be picked on rather than the NFL.  It will be interesting to see what happens with all of the fallout in the next few weeks.  Either way, Ryan Braun is a fantastic player and has had a great start to his career.  Let’s hope he can keep it up and not go down with the PED ship.  By the way, i would love to hear some opinions on the whole PED thing.

13 T Ryan Braun Cut to the Chase

Now for the first hit from the jumbo box.  Yovani Gallardo Chasing History White Jersey card.  YoGa is a pretty good pitcher.  I had him on my fantasy team a few years ago when he first came up and he did me well down the stretch.  I don’t really follow the Brewers, so I don’t know that much about the guy.  But i do know that he has a FANTASTIC head of hear, or at least what’s busting through the boundaries of his hat.  The chasing history card is for his third 200+K season, surpassing Teddy Higuera’s record of two 200+K seasons.  Good job to you Mr. Gallardo, here’s hoping you make if four seasons.

13 T Yovani Gallardo Chasing History Jersey

That’s all for now kids.  I have some other boxes i’m attempting to open, but just can’t seem to do it.  I like the idea of saving them for when i feel the need to open something, rather than buying another pack or box.  Plus i picked up $7 of Redskins cards today that i want to discuss, that was the intention of this blog anyways, right?

2013 Topps – Packs 1 and 2

It’s been difficult of late to get in front of a computer and complete a post for the blog.  The last few weeks have been overwhelming for me with late nights and weekends at work which is about to come to an end.  My deadline is nearly complete at work and i should have a few moments at night for some new posts after the child has gone to sleep.  My lunch breaks have been the only time i can do some blog writing, but eating and typing on a smart phone ain’t that easy, plus a little messy.

So, to get back posting i wanted to open a pack from the 2013 Topps jumbo box i ordered a while ago from Dave and Adams card world.  In the past, i would get the box and just rip through it, sifting through each card so quickly and not taking the time to enjoy each card.  I have decided to follow the self controlled approach of fellow Portland metro area blogger Basketball Card Blog and open one pack every day or two.  My initial attempt failed, so i opened two packs.  Hey, it’s been a while.  I will exhibit some self control and open just the two jumbo packs for tonight.  100 cards.

I know the flagship card set from Topps has caused some heartache from the die hards, and i get it.  This is a set that all of us have put together at some point.  My first set was the 1986 Topps set which i still love to this day.  Being the collector that i am, i feel the urge to continue collecting and building the sets each year and continue with the tradition.  I can understand some of the negative energy about Topps, but i feel that if you are that opposed to it, don’t collect it.  Collect something else.  It will be alright.  This hobby should be fun and enjoyable.

As most of you have already started to tear in to the ’13 Topps cards, i won’t bore you with scanning cards you have already seen but rather focus on a couple of cards that stood out to me in the packs.  I may post a card you have seen a thousand times though…who knows…

The first one is the Jose Reyes card #331.  I never understood the desire to photoshop a players new team on a card when he hasn’t even played a game for them, not even a spring training game!  If the set came out in May and they wanted to show Reyes in a Blue Jay doctored jersey, i’d be cool with that.  It may make sense then.  We all know he played one season in Miami last year where he had a decent season on a crappy team, let’s see him in a Marlins jersey one last time!  Maybe i’m being overly picky on this one, but just a minor pet peeve for me.  I know companies have done this for a while and will continue to do it.  The one thing i can add is the photoshop work is pretty solid.  As someone who works with photoshop on occasion i know how difficult these things can be, luckily i have my wife to teach me new tricks…about photoshop that is…  The real issue though is the back of the card and A-Rod’s claim that Jose Reyes is “the world’s greatest player playing shortstop…and the most exciting…”  who knew?  Also, love the Career Chase stats on these cards.  Kind of snarky and fun.  Reyes is 996 SB away from Rickey Henderson’s all time record of 1,406.  Funny that this is the first card i chose as Rickey Henderson is my all time favorite player and childhood athlete idol.  I wear 24 in softball because of Rickey!

13 T Jose Reyes

Next up, Jose Altuve.  The problem with this card is the freakin jersey.  I HATE these mid ’80’s Astros jersey…that sounds really negative.  I grew up in San Antonio and was forced to watch endless amounts of Astros and Rangers games on TV.  I remember when these jersey weren’t trendy throw backs, just some ugly ass shirts the baseball club from Houston wore.  When i heard they were going to an old school look for the 2013 season, i thought for sure this is what they meant…luckily that didn’t happen and they went with a more subdued and honorable retro look.  Although, i’m sure they will whip these sherbert gems out every once in a while.  Sunday home games?  Back to the Astros and Rangers quickly.  I never became a fan of either team and never really bought in to the fact that you had to root for the local team.  I’ve always been a contrarian by nature so i picked my teams as i saw fit and avoided all affiliations with Texas teams, not hate, just not loving them.  Apparently Jose Altuve is short and he plays second base.  Seems about right i guess, most second basemen are vertically challenged.  He overcame his shortcomings in height and is a pro ballplayer, more than i can say for myself.

13 T Jose Altuve

The last two cars are the Adam Jones Cut to the Chase and Kenley Jansen parallel number to 62.  Ok, here’s a thing.  I have always had a color deficiency, not color blindness, but a deficiency.  All of these parallel cards confuse the hell out of me.  I never know what the color of the freakin card is.  I wish companies would put the color on the back under the serial number stamp or maybe a G for Green and R for Red because honestly i can’t tell.  If it wasn’t for the serial number i would have no idea what i have in my hand right now.  Two anecdotes on Kenley Jansen.  He has a ways to go to catch Mariano Rivera and he played baseball at Inland Empire…which i find to be a fascinating name for a town or city or whatever it is.  That could make a great road trip.  That Adam Jones card is quite nice and super easy to pick up with all the edges.  It’s glossy and shiny.  Has some visual texture to it as well.  I’m kind of diggin’ these.

13 T Kenley Jansen Black 3:62 13 T Adam Jones Cut to the Chase

Oh wait, one more card.  This guy, Adeiny Hechavarria.  Spell check hates his name and it took total concentration for me to spell it correctly, still not sure i got it right.  Anyways.  This kid is from Cuba.  A couple of summers ago, my wife and I ventured down to the island for 14 days and had a fantastic time.  Unfortunately we went during the baseball off season…summer…so i didn’t get to see any games.  Everyone there though loves Baseball and talking about the game.  I ended up meeting a guy there that was a big Phillies fan and ended up sending him some cards…no idea if he ever got them though.  that’s another post.

13 T Adeiny Hechavarria