Another 50 cards, or 48, or 46, or 44. At just over 25 percent of the set completed after two packs, I'm well positioned to weather the onslaught of duplicates that is no doubt coming. Of course, I've already found two of the three hits in the first two packs - will I make it three for three? And if I do, what do I have to look forward to for the other seven packs?
Best three cards (in reverse order):
#3 – Casey Blake (#158): You know the "God kills a kitten" meme? That's what this card reminds me of. Every time you masturbate, God kills a Casey Blake.
#2 – San Diego Padres (#126): Two words: throwback uniforms.
Collecting baseball cards is largely about nostalgia. We do it as adults to re-connect to when we did it at kids. That's why, I think cards featuring uniforms from the '70s and '80s, or reprint cards from those eras, are so popular. That's our time. If this card featured the players wearing old San Diego Padres PCL uniforms from the 1940s or '50s, it wouldn't resonate with me even half as much as the brown and mustard yellow.
And if you don't believe me, you probably haven't been paying attention, because just about everybody's baseball card blog as some sort of nostalgia-related regular feature. We may make fun of junk wax, and we may dismiss it, but we'll never stop loving it.
#1 – Brett Wallace (#329): What's going on here? An Astros card as my top pick? Well, yeah. This card is damn good. It's a night card, so the picture is sharper, and the lines are crisper. It's an action shot, and not one of those spring training staged action shots. This picture was clearly taken at Minute Maid Park. It's a snapshot in time - every single person in that photo is doing their job. Not a one is even looking at the camera, and they don't realise that the shutter snapped. And if all that wasn't enough, look at the baseball. The photographer snapped the shutter at the exact moment the bat hit the ball. That, my friends, is great timing. That's how good this card is.
Was there a diamond sparkle parallel of this card, with the twinkle replacing the baseball? If not, there should have been. If so, then that's the only one of these cards I'm interested in acquiring.
We have a tie! Melvin Mora (#286) and Chris Narveson (#92). Tongues have no place on the front of baseball cards. Didn't your second-grade teachers tell you not to stick them out?
The Jamie Moyer Award for best card back:
Trevor Hoffman (#277). The career statistics of baseball's all-time saves leader.
Michael Young Topps 60
Rickey Henderson/Desmond Jennings Diamond Duos (A completely ridiculous statistical comparison in a set full of ridiculous comparisons)
1979 Eddie Murray 60 Years of Topps
Jimmie Foxx National Chicle reprint
Hanley Ramirez Kimball Champions
Was there a hit? Is it available for trade?: Nope, no hits this time, sorry.
Any Diamond Parallel cards?:
Yes, Cleveland Indians (#68). Another printing error, except this time it's the right-hand third that's missing its diamond foil. I'm seriously considering asking for some sort of replacement from Topps. I understand that printing errors happen, but a 1:3 success rate (so far) is unacceptable. We'll see what happens with the rest of the box.
Card I was most happy to see: Oakland Athletics (#204). There were any big-name cards in the pack, but this team card of one of my five teams but me in a good mood. The green, the fresh, crisp, white, and the beautiful sunny day - this card is what baseball is all about.
Card I was least happy to see: Zach Duke (#96) Gold Parallel (214/2011). First gold parallel, and it's a freaking Pirate. I am a Pirate gold parallel magnet. Does anybody know any Pirates collectors? Maybe I can bundle them together in an eBay lot and get like 50 cents for them.
A workmanlike pack that served its purpose: to get me even closer to completing the set. Only one duplicate, and, again, it was a card that I got from my bonus pack, so it wasn't really a duplicate as far as the box itself is concerned. There were a few laughs (Casey Blake), a few tears (Zach Duke and the second broken diamond parallel) and a lot more cards put into the binder. I can't say that I'm overjoyed, but neither am I displeased.
Set Progress: 123/330 (37.3%)
Lyle Overbay sightings: 1