Well, I bowed to public opinion and opened the box of MLB Series 2 cards first. The first four packs were a mixture - I got the infamous Domonic Brown "twink that isn't really a twink" card. I got a Pirates diamond parallel card (shocker!) and a decent mix of Reds, White Sox and Orioles (including Paul Janish and Chris Tillman). I also got what has to be the worst card in the 2011 set. Number 517, Fred Lewis:
How to I loathe thee? Let me count the ways. First, the picture was taken at spring training, and Fred is wearing a hoodie. A hoodie! Not even a warm-up jacket. Frankly, I would have preferred a dodgy airbrushing job to a hoodie. And what appears to be slacks.
Secondly, the sky was very gray that day. It's probably why Fred was wearing the hoodie in the first place. But when you combine that with the white border that surrounds the card - it all blends together. Honestly, when I saw the card in the pack, I thought it was horribly miscut. Imagine the horror when I realised the card is as it's supposed to be. What a craptastic design job.
Finally, the picture just isn't great. It looks washed out (maybe because of the extremely gray sky) and you can't even see Fred's face that well behind the sunglasses, hat pulled down and side-on view. Not to mention he has two baseball bats in front of his head. The fact that he's even wearing sunglasses begs another question - if it was that overcast, why was he wearing sunglasses, anyway?
I refuse to believe that was the best picture Topps took of Fred Lewis in spring training this year. Even if it was, they should have realised the pickings were slim and trotted out the old airbrush. Fred Lewis, like all ball players, deserves a real baseball card, not a half-assed attempt. More importantly, so do we.