Saturday, February 27, 2010

Contest Loot from First Day Issue

It's been almost two weeks since I posted but I just received my winnings from Bud's contest over at First Day Issue and I wanted to say thanks!

I got a nice tall stack of 2010 Topps which included a lot of stars (two Mantles even) and a nice mix of inserts.  It felt like I was opening a bunch of packs (without having to deal with the wrappers) which made my Saturday morning very pleasant.

Bud also included these two cards:

Not only is this my first 2010 Topps red back but it's also a mini.  I was not even aware they made a mini version of this card.  The greatest reliever in the history of baseball is very welcome here.

A game used Jim Palmer jersey from the fantastic All-Time Fan Favorites set!  What a wonderful card.  Bud knows I'm an Orioles' fan and Palmer is the king when it comes to Orioles pitching greats.

Thanks a ton for your generous prizes, Bud!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

12 More from the Million Card Giveaway

Better luck this time around but nothing much.  I like the old card (Hal Smith) and the Bonds card (I don't have it), but not enough to pay $3.50 to get them.

I want more lottery tickets.  I mean, I want more Topps packs.

Monday, February 15, 2010

12 Unlocked Cards from the Million Card Giveaway!

For the first twelve hours of February 15th the Topps site to unlock my cards was not working at all for me (and all others that posted in that time frame).  Then for the next five hours it would not allow me to complete registration.  But I'm in now and all is well.

I have 24 total to unlock.  I unlocked 12 and will save the rest for later tonight.  My virtual collection shall rule all virtual collections! Muahahahahaha!


What a brilliant idea by Topps.  A marketing campaign that costs them almost nothing.

There is a sliver of a chance you will pull a valuable card.  That's all it takes for us to keep redeeming.  Nobody in their right mind would pay to have these cards sent to them.  It seems 99.9% of the cards will never be called upon.  Basically we redeem a picture.  It's still fun, I admit.

Every card here is for virtual trade.  Gimme Orioles cards of a similar year and we have a deal!  I plan on building an Orioles empire of cards and then I will attack other virtual collections.  Like in that game RISK.  So far I don't see a combat option though. Weird.

Topps is no Keith Richards (and that's a bad thing)

Although Keith Richards loved to pour a Jack Daniels at ten in the morning while muttering "It's five o'clock somewhere," Topps has decided that it's February 15th nowhere.

The Million Card Giveaway has already become the butt of "I told ya so" jokes.  Note the ashtray.  Insert failure there.

Friday, February 12, 2010

2010 Topps Series One Hobby Box Breaks (4 boxes)

My brother and his family gave me a check for my birthday and Christmas with the caveat that the money must be spent on something fun.  Twist my arm why don't ya!?  So I bought four 2010 Topps hobby boxes.

I'll just show some of my favorite cards, inserts, and the hits.

I have to lead with this card for two reasons.  First, Bumgarner has pitched two seasons in the minors and accumulated some of the best stats in the history of minor league baseball (1.65 era, 27-5, 273 innings pitched).  And he was just a teenager.  I hope the Giants have him in the rotation all season.  I'm very curious to see what becomes of Bumgarner.  Having Lincecum around will no doubt help him learn even faster.  

The second reason I chose this as the first 2010 card to appear on my blog is that this picture of Bumgarner could fit into almost any era.  It could be 1958, 1968, or 1978.   Also, he looks closer to age 35 than age 19 in this shot.  Add to all this a very suspicious looking microphone and we have card perfection.

What a great photo!  Little Ichiro winning a game with a home run, presumably.

Fielder hit a walk-off home run against the Giants.  He jumped on home plate and pretended to "explode".  The force of the "bomb" knocked his teammates down.  This has the feel of football showboating (a bad thing).  It is also a reason purists could point at Fielder and say they dislike him.  The Giants certainly were not happy with the Brewers' behavior.

My feeling is although I generally hate showboating, I found this to be so alarming, original, and shocking, that I laughed like mad.  As they said on MLB Network that night, it was a clever and hysterical thing....once.  Two times or more and this funny moment becomes a terrible trend.  They never did it again.  They knew.  And from it we have one of the best cards ever.

This was the day Henderson eclipsed Ty Cobb in career stolen bases.  When he passed Brock, Rickey proclaimed himself the greatest player of all time (or that's how everyone took it).  Nolan Ryan threw a no hitter that day, stealing much of Rickey's thunder.  Rickey gave us a thousand goofy quotes.

Like others, I really enjoy the Tales of the Game inserts.  They picked out some unusual moments.  You get about six a box.

Wow.  I had no idea.  Pretty amazing.

Boggs ate chicken before every game.

The Legendary Lineage insert set design doesn't really do much for me.  It manages to be both plain and busy at the same time.  

Although the lineage info on the back of the Robinson/Guerrero card is lame (apparently both hit home runs and that scares pitchers), for the most part the ties prove interesting.  For example, on the Cobb/Granderson card, the back notes Granderson's 23 triples in 2007 were the most since Cobb's 24 in 1917.

Nine per box.  

The Franchise History cards really capture the romance of stadiums.

Doesn't Honus Wagner look five feet wide here?

Hmmm...I guess I didn't scan a single of the Peak Performance cards.  The mix ranges from today's stars like Sizemore and Utley, to legends of the past (even Dizzy Dean).  You get nine PP per box. 

The backs of these have some pretty cool information too.  I think Topps really put a lot of care and heart into what they wrote about this year.  I am impressed.  Also, the back of the Mize card uses the word penultimate, which is one of my favorite words.  Win.

Turkey Reds never leave me.  Never.  I pulled nine per box.  

When I was a kid (35) you used to be able to buy entire boxes of Turkey Reds.  Every card in the pack was a Turkey Red!  The Salad Days (2007).

You get about six History of the Game cards per box.  Who is that giant guy on the top left?  This is two pictures combined, I assume.  The Ruth shot is sublime.  The catcher and the giant man aren't needed.

The Athletics had first pick in the first MLB Draft in 1965.  "Hmmmm, we'll take...let's see...Johnny Benc---wait.  No, no.  We'll take Rick Monday."  

The Cards Your Mom Threw Out insert set is super.  I like reproductions of old cards.  The only problem I have is I hate the name of the insert.  It works fine for this Yaz and other old card remakes, but the set also includes newer cards such as Longoria from 2009 Topps.   Topps is either saying "Our cards are so worthless moms throw these out a year after their kids buy them," or they are saying moms are really dumb.

The original backs like this Yaz come about one per box.  The standard back cards come nine per box.  

These are the other three original backs I pulled.  Ripken and Murray!  Pretty lucky for an Orioles' fan.

Some of my favorites of the standard backs.

What a card!  The gold works perfectly with the Giants' colors (these are serially numbered to 2010).

The Giants sure have a handful of exciting players.  All very young too.

Six gold cards per box.  Click images for a larger look.

Black serially numbered to 59.  Utley!

Not bad.


Better still.

Ah ha!  The big hit.  S/N to 99.  A sweet card for sure.

I am a bit disappointed that four boxes yielded no autos, but that is my only complaint.

I think 2010 Topps is one of their best sets in years.  I love the base design and there's some excellent photography along with interesting inserts (and lots of them).  The packs are a lot of fun to open considering the cost ($45-50).  I'm also kind of excited to redeem my 24 'Million Dollar Card Giveaway' cards.  It adds another layer of intrigue.

Mr. Topps Company, I approve.  Brother and family, thanks!