This is the seventh pack, and in it were two of my favorite players, one all-time and one more recent. Who were they? All will be revealed:
Best three cards (in reverse order):
#3 – Reid Brignac (#284): Fundamentals are important. Teams that do the little things well experience success. The Rays, for the past three seasons, have experienced a good deal of success, certainly the most in the franchise's short history. That being said, I certainly hope that the baseball has already come off of Reid Brignac's bat and he is already heading down to first, because otherwise, that is horrible form.
#2 – Ramon Hernandez (#233): I'm not going to make the same mistake twice. Notice anything about the bat in Hernandez's hands? It's a little bit shorter than usual. The ball headed toward shortstop. The barrel of the bat headed down toward first base. The photographer snapped the shot at the exact right time.
#1 – Ichiro (#200): The New Hit King gets (and deserves) a marquee card number - it's the Topps equivalent of a primo parking space. No matter what his card looked it, he would have been featured on this post. But this card - it is a clinic. The best pure hitter in the game today puts on a swinging masterclass, showing exactly what your body should look like at the moment of impact. This card looks like it might be a night card, but don't be fooled - it's an indoor card, snapped at Tropicana Field.
Fausto Carmona (#151). It's not like this card is really that bad. Honestly, none of the cards in the pack were really that bad. It's just, well, kinda boring. It wasn't the only boring card in the pack. Just the boringest card in the pack.
Jamie Moyer Award for best card back:
Jim Thome (#253). Another lifetime stats card back. Other people have written about how Jim Thome's career has been unfairly tarred with the Barry Bonds/Alex Rodriguez/Sammy Sosa brush despite the fact that there is no evidence, anecdotal or concrete, that Thome ever took steroids. His 589 career home runs are all legitimate, and when he hits another eleven homers this season, they will be, too.
It sucks that some douchebag sportswriters who have way too much power over the Hall of Fame (they didn't ask for it, they were given it, and the Hall needs to take some of it away, but that's a different post) have already decided that they aren't going to give anybody from this era the benefit of the doubt. Because if there's anyone who's a throwback to the days when 500-600 career home runs was a legitimate accomplishment, it's Jim Thome.
Tommy Hanson/Mike Minor Diamond Duos (Not my favorite, but I guess Topps made no guarantees as to the legendariness of the Diamond Duos, nor their lineage)
1960 Stan Musial 60 Years of Topps
Lou Gehrig 1933 DeLong reprint (I can see how, if you were interested in very vintage cardboard, the CMG reprints and Kimball champions would appeal to you. I'm not, because I'm too cheap to ever collect this stuff. So all of my cards will be available for trade.)
Torii Hunter Kimball Champions (No, that's not a scanner mistake - the card is miscut)
Was there a hit? Is it available for trade?:
No, and with three already pulled I don't expect there to be any more.
Any Diamond Parallel cards?:
Yes! 2010 AL Batting Average Leaders (#109). At least it's 100% shiny.
Any gold parallel cards?:
Yes - Kurt Suzuki (#79) gold parallel (360/2011). I know there's a couple of Kurt Suzuki collectors out of there so if you're interested, let me know.
Card I was most happy to see: Brian Matusz (#177). Even though Ichiro was in this pack, I already had a couple of Ichiros thanks to A Cardboard Problem's case break, so the excitement wasn't really there because I already knew what it looked like.
That fell to this card. While Matt Wieters is getting a lot of love around the blogosphere (deservedly so), I actually prefer to collect Matusz cards. You see, I have this weakness for lefties - I'm a lefty myself (although not a pitcher) And even though I think Matusz mispronounces his own name (ma-TOOS would sound much cooler, IMHO), I think he's got a great future ahead of him, and I would love as many Matusz cards as I can. Consider this an unofficial PC (I've already got four official PCs) - but keep me in mind if you've got extra Matuszes, please.
Seven down, three to go, and another pack where the only dupes came from cards I acquired before I opened the box. Consider me cautiously optimistic that I will complete the set in the next three packs. But I don't want to jinx anything. Did I just jinx it by talking about how I don't want to jinx it?
Set Progress: 264/330 (80.0%)
Lyle Overbay sightings: 1 (which is weird, I attract Lyle Overbay cards the way I attract Pirates gold parallels)