Best three cards (in reverse order):
#3 – Hunter Pence (#45): What the heck? Two Astros in my top three picks? Look, when a card's good, it deserves mention, even if it is an Astros card. In this case, Pence's leaping catch, his concentration, how he's following the ball into the glove with his eyes, and even how it almost looks like he ran out of his shoes (he didn't, by the way) all make for a top-three card. I'm even willing to overlook the tongue.
#2 – Chase Utley (#214): It should be fairly easy to pinpoint the day this picture was taken, it's a daytime interleague game at Fenway Park and the scoreboard could be used to figure out, via the other games, which day it was. Maybe someone can figure it out. As for me, I picked this card because it's proof that Chase Utley can levitate.
#1 – Magglio Ordonez (#181): Another picture snapped at the exact right moment. Magglio definitely didn't swing and miss on this pitch. A beautiful sunny day, the strip of green grass sandwiched between the batter's box and the warning track, and even the white ball contrasting with Mags's brown bat. A winner all around.
Mark Trumbo (#57). A heavily image-adjusted card that makes it looks like he's standing in front of a painted backdrop. It reminds me of one of those home-made baseball cards that you could get with your little league team photo package. I half-expected to flip the card over and see his season statistics printed with a dot-matrix printer, along with such nuggets as "Favorite Food: Ice Cream" and "Favorite Teacher: Mrs. Pinsky".
Jamie Moyer Award for best card back:
Chris Sale (#65). Not only for the use of the word "yeses" (ok, it was in a direct quote, but I'm still pretty sure that word doesn't exist), but also for Topps making a point about how Sale made it to the majors last season, yet only included his minor-league stats on the back of the card. Whaaaaa?
For the record, here's his big-league stats last year, which were much more impressive:
G: 21 W: 2 L: 1 IP: 23.1 H: 15 R: 5 ER: 5 BB: 10 SO: 32 SV: 4 WHIP: 1.07 ERA: 1.93
Barry Larkin Topps 60
Ryan Howard/Jason Heyward Diamond Duos (The guy whose manu-glove I pulled, and someone who I'd rather have pulled instead)
1969 Tom Seaver 60 Years of Topps
Mickey Mantle 60YOT The Lost Cards (I'm enjoying this sub-subset more than I thought I would. Having three of the ten cards already probably helps with that)
Vladimir Guerrero Kimball Champions
Was there a hit? Is it available for trade?:
Yes, there was a hit. My third of the box. I guess that means I'm done.
Fausto Carmona, looking suspiciously like a Yankee in this card. I guess this was taken at some sort of turn-back-the-clock day, commemorating when the Indians wore navy blue and white and Chief Wahoo was but a gleam in some marketing director's eye. This card is available for trade.
Any Diamond Parallel cards?:
Yes! Cincinnati Reds team card (#192). Completely sparkly! No printing errors! A card I wanted all along! Which leads me to...
Card I was most happy to see: Cincinnati Reds team card (#192). I also got the Joey Votto base card, and that was going to be the card I posted here right up until I pulled this one. I'm just happy to have this card in great shape. Winner!
Card I was least happy to see: Eight-way tie for all the dupes I pulled, seven of which I got in the first jumbo pack. The doubles begin. Saying that, I'm still well ahead of completion schedule - let's hope that continues.
Set Progress: 154/330 (46.7%)
Lyle Overbay sightings: 1