Pack number two, and I'm starting to feel like I'm making significant progress on the set. So much so, that I'm even starting to get some doubles. I now have at least two base cards available for trade. Here's the highlights of the pack:
Best three cards (in reverse order):
#3 – Garrett Jones (#171): It's ludicrous. Dude is getting interviewed after the game, and they snap a picture of him wearing the big broadcaster noise-stifling headphones. And Topps decides that's the picture to use. I love it.
#2 – Koji Uehara (#164): Pure joy, with a little bit of a fist pump. Although I don't think that picture could have been taken last season.
#1 – Michael Saunders (#252): Another outstanding defensive effort takes out the big prize, but, for me, it's the Mariners logo in the background that makes this card stand out. Others might disagree, and call the logo distracting. Fair enough, but it's my blog. And yes, I'm biased.
Ubaldo Jimenez (#270). Topps sure didn't do him any favors with this card. Not only is his comically oversized jersey number stealing focus from the rest of the card, but the photographer managed to capture him with an awful look on his face, one usually reserved for constipation. No respect for the man's accomplishments last season.
Best card back:
As soon as I saw Jamie Moyer's card (#232), I knew who the winner would be for this round. You had to see that one coming. In fact, I should just name this award after him.
Mark Reynolds Topps 60
Ryan Braun/Ike Davis Diamond Duos (Jews on parade! I should have seen this one coming - scroll to the bottom of that post)
1973 Carlton Fisk 60 Years of Topps
Bob Feller 60YOT The Lost Cards
Justin Morneau Kimball Champions
Was there a hit? Is it available for trade?:
Two-for-two on the hits. This is starting to shape up like my box of 2010 Ginter, where I found the hits in packs 1, 3 and 5. In this case, it's the top two packs in the box.
I found the glove card, which is available in every jumbo box. Ryan Howard. This is my second Ryan Howard pull from a Topps box (I have a bat relic from 2009 Series 2). It is available for trade, at the right price. Preferably, for a glove relic of one of the players on my PC list (Ichiro, Lincecum or King Felix).
Any Diamond Parallel cards?:
Yes, NL Home Run Leaders (#318). As you can see from the scan, this is one of those cards that is missing a third of its sparkle because of a printing error. Will Nachos Grande take it anyway?
Card I was most happy to see: Aroldis Chapman RC (#110). The first of three straight horizontal cards featuring Reds pitchers. Sadly, it wasn't a twinkle card. Wait a second, what am I saying? The twinkle cards are silly! But I am glad to get the rookie card of The Cuban Missile so early in the box. Maybe I'll get a second one now.
Edinson Volquez (#63) and Bronson Arroyo (#98) were the other two cards in the streak, in case you're interested.
Card I was least happy to see: Josh Johnson (#166). Nothing against Johnson personally, but this was the first dupe in the box, and in the second pack. I also got a dupe of Shin-Soo Choo, but that was a card I got from a loose pack so it doesn't count, somehow. Thankfully, those were the only two. In previous jumbo packs I could usually count on a run of about three or four dupes in a row (in the same order) so maybe this is a sign of improved collation.
I'm running out of hits, and quickly. I personally am not excited about a Ryan Howard, but at least I know there are a few people out there who would be. I am definitely open for a trade and am even willing to package it with some other Phillies hits for a super blockbuster.
Getting back to the cards at hand, the three Reds pitchers in a row was a fun little stretch. I hadn't gotten many Reds up to that point, so that couldn't have come at a better time. So far, I am enjoying this year's set more than last year's. It doesn't seem to have a lot of the technical problems that Topps got reamed for in 2010, aside from the Diamond Parallels with the missing third. And I like the way they designed the name and team logo. Completely unnecessary for the Michael Saunders card, however.
Set Progress: 84/330 (25.5%)
Lyle Overbay sightings: 1