I wasn't going to write this post. I had already written about this pack on A Pack to Be Named Later, and I didn't really fancy writing two posts about the same pack. So I was just planning on throwing up a post linking to the post over there, and calling it a day.
But the number 8 is my favorite number. And this is pack #8 from the box. There were a lot of duplicates in the pack, so I've selected the best cards from the ten new cards I hadn't already pulled. Plus, there was something else in the pack, something that made me have to write a second post. It was compulsory.
Best three cards (in reverse order):
#3 – David Price (#61): I've really been focusing on the numbering in this set, particularly since Topps itself has been highlighting it on the back of every card. Topps's practice of reserving numbers ending in zero and five for star players, 25, 50 and 75 for superstars, and the hundreds for super-duperstars is well known. But this year, it seems like there is a disconnect in some of the card numbers. Stephen Strasburg getting a "zero" card (#10) was inevitable. But Gio Gonzalez at #30? Desmond Jennings at #80? Evan Meek at 125?
The downside is that deserving players like David Price get stuck with the "bad parking spaces." Price never should have gotten #61. After the year he had in 2010, he completely obliterated the idea of a sophomore slump. He should be on card #125, not Evan Meek.
#2 – Miguel Cabrera (#150): An easy way to make my top three is to be a picture of a fielder practicing his craft. I'm pretty sure that Cabrera will get his glove down in time to field the ball properly. And I'm going to resist making the easy joke that he should aim for the ball in the middle.
#1 – Boston Red Sox (#324): The best of the ten new cards in the pack. While I'm no fan of the Red Sox, I like the combination of Youkilis's bald head and Papi's big head. I have enjoyed how the team cards this year are all celebratory scenes. It's a nice touch - bravo, Topps.
Ubaldo Jimenez (#270). Sorry Ubaldo, you're still the worst card. Again. Topps really did you wrong. Even your duplicate card is the worst in the pack.
Jamie Moyer Award for best card back:
Justin Morneau (#293). Ballplayers' routines and superstitions are the stuff of legend. Wade Boggs and his chicken fetish are the most well-known, but Morneau's turkey sub is similar. Nice to see that he's manly enough to eschew the sprouts. But I'm more than a bit worried about what a Nick Punto "special slurpee" contains.
Billy Butler Topps 60
Carlos Gonzalez/Troy Tulowitzki Diamond Duos
1983 Ozzie Smith 60 Years of Topps
1957 Stan Musial 60 Years of Topps Lost Card (two seconds after scanning this card, I dropped it, dinging the lower right corner, so I now need another copy)
Aroldis Chapman Kimball Champions (there were four cards on that checklist that I wanted, and I now have two of them - Nick Markakis and Joey Votto, you're next)
Was there a hit? Is it available for trade?:
Was there a hit? Only the best hit of my life:
The first 1/1 that I've pulled, and it's a card of my favorite player of all time. When the news broke that Sandy Koufax reached a deal with Topps and his cards would be inserted into the 2011 set, I never would have thought that I'd get a hold of one of them. Yet, here this card is, sitting on my desk.
The card is based on Koufax's 1962 Topps card, pictured above. What's more, it's a true 1/1, not one of those lame eBay 1/1s. You know the type - they're the listings that say things like "Ichiro's uniform number is 51, and this is numbered 51/999, so 1/1!!!!!!!" I hate those cards.
But I love this one.
Any Diamond Parallel cards?:
Yes! Atlanta Braves (#319). Two fully-printed bedazzled cards in a row. I'm spoiled!
Card I was most happy to see: What do you think? Let's see it again:
Overall thoughts:I have never been more excited then I was when I turned over this card. It's a shame that I opened the pack at 11:00 p.m., because I couldn't yell like a fool and dance around the room for fear of waking my wife. So I had to settle for saying "HOLY SHIT" in a really soft voice over and over. It's been nearly 24 hours since I pulled this card, and I'm still in disbelief.
What a great feeling.
Set Progress: 274/330 (83.0%)
Lyle Overbay sightings: 2 (I told you I'm an Overbay magnet!)