The packs I opened today included the promised hit, the base card of one of my favorite players (and an insert card as well), a Diamond Parallel of an exciting young prospect, and a redemption scheme that has frustrated me to no end. But I'm not going to show you any of those cards.
Instead, here are two cards of the hottest young superstar in the game. He's got two base cards in this series, and I got both of them. In the same pack!
Yes, it's a Jason Heyward hot pack. The card on the left is his proper base card, while the one on the right is his Rookie Cup card. This year Topps decided to print separate Rookie Cup cards instead of just putting the logo on the regular card, as they did in years past. I'm not a fan of that decision, because it takes away another spot in the checklist that could be used for either an established major leaguer or player that made a roster out of spring training (or, more likely, the third lefty in the Yankees bullpen). Why do Heyward, Buster Posey, Austin Jackson and Danny Valencia, for crying out loud, need two spots in the 2011 checklist? In Posey's case (and Neftali Feliz as well), between the regular card, the Rookie Cup, and the Rookie of the Year card, three spots in the checklist are being used. I like Buster Posey and think he's a great player. But three base cards are overkill.
Okay, rant over. Let's talk about the cards. The Rookie Cup card is fairly generic, just a picture of him leaving the batter's box. Maybe if it was on the basepaths, it would have been more evocative. The base card, on the other hand, could have been a great card. The ball in the air, about to go into J-Hey's glove (just like the Hamilton card). It's a frontal view of Heyward (so Dayf's happy) and because of that, you can actually see his face and the look of concentration as he follows the ball into his glove. From his body language, you can get a sense of the game situation. There's an air of casualness in his stance, so you have to think that there's nobody on base, and he's quite possibly about to make the third out of the inning. Heyward looks like he's about to make the catch and just keep on jogging, straight into the dugout. He might not even throw the ball back in. There's just one huge, glaring flaw. Can you spot it?
That damn electronic advertisement that Heyward is standing in front of is ruining the shot! It's an awful background, and makes Heyward look like he's posing in front of the world's biggest Lite-Brite. Not even a good Lite-Brite - it looks like one that's missing half of the pegs. Time and time again, those electronic ads and scoreboards are ruining baseball cards. Topps has never shown any reluctance to airbrush or Photoshop their pictures. Why can't they do us a favor and airbrush in a normal outfield wall?