I rarely buy hobby product, especially recently issued stuff, but I was facing an interesting budget dilemma this year. Prices of 2012 Topps Heritage hobby boxes dropped very quickly after release to around $50, so I knew that completely going the retail and trading route would prove to be very expensive and time consuming this time around. I finally got around to taking the plunge a couple of weeks ago and was rather pleased with the results. In the interest of not boring the crap out of everyone with a blow-by-blow account of 24 packs of current year product, I decided to just post about the most interesting 10% or so of the box.
Cardinals! I managed to pick off two Cardinals for my team needs. I'm down to just needing Yadier Molina's base card and one he shares with Brian McCann for the regular team set, plus all of the variations that they threw in the set and a single floating head Stick-On. Well, and then I need another copy of each for the big set.
Albert sticks out like a sore thumb on this card. Prince was kind enough to follow him to the wrong league.
Short prints! I received 8 out of the expected 8, all of which I needed.
If Bautista had been a star in the early '90s, I could see this photo being used on a poster somewhere. It'd probably have crazy colors and lasers all over it, though.
I don't know why anyone signs anyone to long term big dollar contracts. Bay had a few great seasons in his career, but there are far too many examples of bad contracts like his.
Is Cuddyer actually Jim Thome's cousin?
You know that if I scan a Greg Dobbs card, it's probably going to be for some other reason than his own notoriety.
I wish my name was Welly Wellington.
Gaby Sanchez got out before the fire sale truly got going, but he still had to wear those jarringly awful uniforms.
Kotchman's next team will likely be his sixth in five years.
Variation cards! I actually got two of these sort of things, which was rather shocking. When I pulled this, I thought it might be crazy rare because I hadn't seen one of the "photo swap" variety for myself. I also noticed that it was in the range of short print numbered cards. It turns out, according to Beckett at least, it's no more difficult to find than the regular Hamilton card.
This one is the doozy. Erin was helping me open packs and she happened to notice this variation, where "1962" is on the card in place of 2012, in a nod to the original set. This actually lists for $120 according to Beckett, and copies have sold from between $50 and $100 on eBay. Crazy!
New Age Performers! I got 2 and these are a 1:15 pull, so I slightly exceeded the average.
Technically, I should have received this Lincecum card with about 40% of the card sliced off, but I beat the law of averages!
Baseball Flashbacks! I asked for 2 and Topps gave me 2.
I didn't ask for one of my two to be a Juan Marichal, since I already had one. It's up for grabs.
News Flashbacks! I also got my expected 2 here, but I happened to have them both already.
I just watched the Mad Men episode that discusses Penn Station and Madison Square Garden a week or so ago, so it made me feel all the more stupid that I didn't know the history behind Penn Station's demise when I first posted about it.
Then & Now! These are a 1:15 pull. I did not receive any portion of a second card. Not even a speck of dust.
Floating Head Stick-Ons! I got 3, also hitting the mark. This is a very large set for a Heritage insert, so I have a feeling it's going to be a pain to get all of these.
Mariano Rivera is probably going to go out and save 40 games with a 2.20 ERA next year with his newly repaired knee because he's a bloodthirsty cyborg.
I usually get irrationally upset at the team that eliminates the Cardinals in the playoffs, but this year... I don't know. I just kind of shrugged. It just wasn't their year.
Chrome! These are hellaciously difficult to pull in retail packs this year for some reason at 1:22 packs (just barely better than one per box) but twice as easy in the hobby versions. Still, they're only 1:11 and I managed to beat the odds with 3. The Billy Butler is off-center a bit but not as bad as my scan would seem to indicate.
I use the Chrome cards as trade fodder unless they're Cardinals and/or players I collect, so these are all up for grabs.
This guy should be more of a superstar. Pittsburgh should be more of a team, though.
Here's the "hit". I have liked nearly all of the relic designs that Topps has created for Heritage, and this is no exception. Haren is in some sort of weird free agent/purgatory status right now. I would love to see him return to St. Louis if this was 2008 and the Cardinals still needed pitching. I bet he will bounce back for whoever picks him up, unless he's hiding an injury in which case he's a WITCH. WITCH! STAY FAR AWAY FROM DAN HAREN! (Dan Haren's card is available for trade.)
And last, but certainly not least, it's the box topper...
Not bad. Not bad at all. I opened this first, of course, but decided to show it last because I'm mean. The card is a bit off-center, but like the Billy Butler scan, it's not as bad as the internet would suggest. The corners aren't great and there are a few scratches but there are no creases. I tried to explain these cards to Erin and I'm not fully convinced she understands them. I'm actually not certain I understand why they exist, either. Her point was, if you happen to be a Vern Law collector, do you need this card for your collection? The answer, as any player collector would tell you, is that yes you do because you're a crazy player collector. I wouldn't put it in a 1963 Topps binder or, I don't know, any set really. But it's kind of a fun little standalone card to have that probably didn't cost Topps more than some pocket change.
Want list updates will be coming in the next day or so.