Back on the horse. My intermittent Internet service made it hard to post these past two weeks, but so close to the end of this box, I have to get the last two packs in. I can't give up. It's been a while since I scanned these cards, so let's hope I remember what I was going to say. And even if I don't, I can probably fake it.
Best three cards (in reverse order):
#3 – Jose Bautista (#216): For me, this is the enduring image of 2010. Jose Bautista, the Brady Anderson of the 21st century, hitting one of his 54 home runs from last season. Or is it? The more I look at this card, the wonder I don't wonder if this was just a long foul ball. The angle that his body is turned at (extremely closed off), his line of sight (down the left-field line from my estimation) and the general lack of urgency (kinda of hard to tell from a still photograph, but check out the body language) makes me think not is all it seems.
Yes, it could very well be one of his many taters from last year. But something tells me he was right back in the batter's box five seconds after this photo was taken.
#2 – Scott Hairston (#221): Another card that shows the power of the Padres throwback uniforms. I particularly like how the brown and yellow of the unis match the brown and yellow of the infield. I know for a fact that the Padres didn't pick those colors to save on laundry bills (or in honor of brown hamburger patties and yellow cheese) - in fact, they wore brown because it was the favorite color of original Padres owner C. Arnholt Smith. What that says about a man whose favorite colors were brown and yellow, on the other hand...
But now, it's time for a word about Scott Hairston. Unfortunately, Scotty isn't with the Padres anymore. He's moved on, this time to the Mets. It's his fourth team in three seasons (if you count his two stints with the Padres separately). Brother Jerry has moved on, too - gone to Washington. It's his sixth team in six seasons, and seventh overall. I don't know what the record for most teams played for by two brothers actually is, but the Hairstons have to be making a good run at it.
#1 – Jonathan Lucroy (#105): My favorite card of the whole first series. The first thing that popped in my head, looking at Lucroy sitting on the bench, staring into the distance with his shinpads still on, waiting for the next inning to begin, was the title The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. This picture captures what being a catcher is all about - you're with the team, but not one of them.
Catchers are a breed apart. Other teammates rarely socialise with them, at least during the game. They usually sit alone, watching the game, thinking about the situation, what pitch they would call for, what they are going to do when it's the home half of the inning. At the same time, catcher is the only position that affords a view of the entire field. They are the leaders, and they take precedence over anyone else. No wonder so many of them end up becoming managers.
Call it The Loneliness of the Second String Catcher.
Jason Kubel (#4). Seriously dude, are you whistling? You just seem too pleased with yourself.
Jamie Moyer Award for best card back:
Mariano Rivera (#42). You might think this might be another lifetime achievement award, showing all of Mo's sure-fire Hall-of-Fame stats. But you'd be wrong. The reason this card gets the Jamie Moyer Award is there in the upper right-hand corner. Card #42 for Mo Rivera. Classy move, Topps.
Frank Thomas Topps 60
Evan Longoria/Ryan Zimmerman Diamond Duos
1955 Ernie Banks 60 Years of Topps
1953 Stan Musial 60 Years of Topps Lost Card (a lot of these cards seem to feature Stan Musial, thanks to the Bowman lawsuit)
Pee Wee Reese Kimball Champion
Was there a hit? Is it available for trade?:
Yes! Another hit, that makes five for the box:
Randy Wells sticker autograph. Available for trade.
Any Diamond Parallel cards?:
Yes! Russell Martin (#114). Oh dear, another printing error. I've gotten more printing errors than I've gotten hit. Not even Night Owl wants this card.
Card I was most happy to see: I thought it was going to be this one:
Joey Votto NL MVP (#211). Why wouldn't it be my favorite card in the pack? It's the card that commemorates the best player on my team winning an MVP award, the first Cincinnati MVP since Barry Larkin in 1995 (you forgot about that one, didn't you?) It's a great moment in Reds history. The only problem is, there's a greater moment in the same pack...
Jay Bruce (#191) ...namely, Jay Bruce's NL Central-winning home run against the Astros. Again, the first time this has happened to the Reds since 1995. What's more, this is only the fifth time in major league history that a player clinched his team's trip to the post-season with a walk-off home run. Can you name the other four?
Card I was least happy to see: Alex Rodriguez Checklist (#155): The second of two A-Fraud cards in this pack, almost undoing all the good work the pack did earlier. However, I think Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Scott Hairston's mustard yellow uniform and Jonathan Lucroy's pensive stare make up for this congratulatory wankfest of Rodriguez's 600th steroid-aided home run. (*barf*)
I really don't like Alex Rodriguez.
Set Progress: 309/330 (93.6%)
Lyle Overbay sightings: 2