Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Just 5 packs, like the old days.
For the 7th consecutive year (and 11th out of the past 12th), Topps has issued a white bordered glossy design for its flagship set. I can't say that I will be collecting this set, but like many others, I will probably buy my fair share of packs to look at things that are shiny and new. In the process, I'll work towards finding things for my Cardinals binders and acquiring bits of trade bait. Here are the first five packs that I picked up, all from Target.
99 - Melky Cabrera - Here's my first card of 2014. I scanned it crooked, just like Melky.
15 - Paul Goldschmidt - So the big change to the still-sideways card backs this year is that Topps has gone and added WAR to the stat line. I'm a fan of the stat and am always interested in advanced stats, but I have to say that it's a bit of a curious step for them. Whose WAR is it, anyway? There is still no uniform formula for it, and while there are some popular ones out there (the one Baseball-Reference.com uses, Fangraphs, etc) it's not clear to me what formula Topps is using. The first player I looked up (Mike Minor) seemed to match B-Ref's numbers, but Goldie has a 7.0 WAR for 2013 on the back of his card. The website says 7.1. Hmm. At any rate, it's still fun because you can see just how terrible of a player Ryan Howard really is, juxtaposed with all of the allocades he (used to) gets.
116 - Hiroki Kuroda
261 - Michael Brantley
192 - Pedro Alvarez
UC-22 - Matt Cain Upper Class - Classy. This is a good time to remind you that pretty much everything in this post is up for grabs aside from the Cardinals cards.
101 - Chris Nelson Target Red - Exclusive Target red parallels are back! Exclusive Target... okay, yeah, not so exciting.
238 - Alberto Callaspo
216 - Ubaldo Jimenez
26 - Josh Phegley - I expect the players I've never heard of to come with RC logos, but this isn't always the case.
181 - Jim Henderson - First Rookie Cup of the year. This is one of those unis that should only be brought out once or twice a year.
30 - Mark Buehrle
235 - Jason Kipnis
25 - Troy Tulowitzki - This is one of Erin's guys.
157 - Matt Adams - First Cardinal! Nice! Adams had a nice year last year as the Rookie Cup shows, but I'm not quite convinced he's an everyday player. Yet.
104 - Kurt Suzuki
38 - NL Home Run Leaders Alvarez, Goldschmidt, Bruce
FN-5 - Jurickson Profar The Future Is Now - Jurk for short? His card made me think I actually won something for a second.
260 - Zoilo Almonte
3 - Jarrod Dyson
310 - Neftali Feliz
81 - Anibal Sanchez
280 - Everth Cabrera - Time to scan the back of the card to see if there's any mention of his drug suspension last year... nope. Good job, only and only licensee of the MLB!
171 - Trevor Rosenthal - Bad things seem to happen to anointed Cardinals closers, so let's cross our fingers for Rosie here.
208 - Dayan Viciedo
324 - Elvis Andrus
142 - Zack Greinke
274 - Jonny Gomes
42 - Mariano Rivera
TM-32 - Chris Davis '89 Mini - This one is creased all the way through the middle, just like a lot of crappy '80s cards. Seriously, who was the genius that decided to pay tribute to the design of one of the crappiest sets that ever crapped?
151 - Bruce Chen
1 - Mike Trout
176 - Alex Cobb
275 - Nolan Arenado
303 - Andres Torres
169 - Nick Franklin - Night Owl had a nice write-up about the history of Topps Future Stars today.
51 - Kyle Lohse
105 - Ryan Howard
320 - Hector Santiago
98 - Edwin Encarnacion
253 - Todd Helton Highlights Checklist
193 - Ricky Nolasco
SV-7 - Carlos Beltran Super Veteran - This is my (admittedly early) favorite insert. It's a throwback to 1983 Topps among others.
273 - Mark DeRosa - And then sometimes you get Mark DeRosa catching a football.
87 - Tyson Ross
40 - Hyun-Jin Ryu
144 - Joakim Soria
311 - Chris Young
300 - Yu Darvish
70 - Marcell Ozuna
239 - Jeff Samardzija
47 - Chris Davis Highlights Checklist
218 - Matt Dominguez
SV-13 - CC Sabathia Super Veteran
296 - Domonic Brown
243 - Ryan Cook
69 - Jhoulys Chacin
167 - Jeremy Guthrie
11 - Mike Carp
137 - Boone Logan
My Cardinals wants for 2014 should be up to date by the time you read this. Now excuse me while I go look for stupid sparkles on my baseball cards.