Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Crackin' Update

The latest incarnation of Topps Update is a bit lacking. 

I've been on the Crackin' Wax mailing list for what feels like many years, but only recently was finally able to participate in one of their group breaks. Generally, what tends to happen is that whenever there is a group break that is even close to my price range, the Cardinals are already long gone, even if I click on the info seconds after getting the email. (Note to self: probably shouldn't rely on getting an email to do things.) This group break was a half case of 2017 Topps Update, which I knew would at least fulfill my quest for the second straight year in not purchasing a single flagship pack.

Before I go delving into the positives and the negatives as I like to do, I do want to say that the Crackin' Wax experience was great. The boxes were opened on Saturday and my cards arrived at my home just four days later. I can't even imagine the mind-numbing sorting and shipping processes that go into these sorts of endeavors as something I could ever deal with, so the timeliness is certainly appreciated.

Well, let's jump right in. This is the most problematic card in the team, if not the entire 2017 Update set. Topps forced some Rookie Debut cards into the set as they like to do these days, but Reyes not only debuted in 2016, but he failed to pitch an inning of professional ball anywhere this season because he tore his UCL. In Februrary! This card simply should not exist in 2017 Topps Update. If it was that important to get a second card of a guy whose rookie card was in an earlier 2017 set, even though no one will ever consider this a rookie card, put that stupid card in an earlier set! This makes no sense.

As I was preparing this post, incidentally, I found that Mitch Haniger has a Rookie Debut card in this set as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a team that traded him away nearly a calendar year ago. Again, if you want to document some potential future star's debut game, fine... just do it at the appropriate time.

John Brebbia was a key member of the Cardinals pen this season, despite the fact that he was a 30th round pick (Yankees) and even the local team's broadcasters had no idea who he was or what to say about him. In contrast to the last card, this is exactly what I want out of an Update set (minus the horrible card design, of course).

Brett Cecil's first Cardinals card depicts him in the increasingly rare navy blue road cap now only worn against teams that wear red (Phillies, Nationals, Reds?) I wish they would go back to this on the road on a full time basis.

Just as I suspected when Martinez got to pitch in the All-Star game, his weird blue hair phase was captured on a Topps Update card.

As Fox Sports Midwest broadcaster Dan McLaughlin reminded us nearly every time he came to bat in the waning weeks of the season, were it not for Cody Bellinger, Paul DeJong would have received serious consideration for Rookie of the Year. Having multiple Bowman cards in the past takes a little bit of the excitement out of this card. DeJong also played SS all season, but is listed at 3B here, unfortunately.

I'm missing a ton of the Cardinals 1987 Topps tribute inserts, so it was nice to get Fowler on one of these.

Luke Voit is a large (rookie) man. He took over the Matt Adams role of large human occasionally manning first base and dangerously swinging blunt objects at baseballs.

Like the '87 cards, Topps Salute continued on into the Update set. This commemorates Randal's walk-off hit that opened the 2017 season, which seems like years ago.

This is basically a filler card. The easiest problem to identify with this set is that there's too many filler cards, and not enough "updates". I suspect Topps has a much tighter deadline than they had in the (recent) past. There used to be a strong push to get cards of halfway significant players involved in any pre-trade deadline transaction into this set, and by "used to be", I mean in this current decade and not when they used to put gum in packs. They either don't have the time any more, or simply don't care.

There are a ton of variations in this release, but many of them are actually fairly obtainable. I should know as I got two! This is another take on Luke Weaver's rookie card from Series 1, only it was released in the Update set. It's a weird photo.

Magneuris Sierra is still probably a couple of seasons away from possibly being a big league player, but he was initially called up from AA under fairly unusual circumstances. He popped up now and again as a guy with speed who doesn't really know what he's doing with it. He's an intriguing player for sure, but if he's a regular in the Cardinals lineup in 2018, they are probably not going to win a lot of games.

Here's the rookie with the cool name, running.

Finally, here is my other short printed variation. As much as I liked the look of short printed "legends" when Topps first introduced the concept in 2009, I really didn't need to own an Ozzie Smith card in the 2017 design. However, I am super glad I own this card because I don't enjoy having to track down variations of cards featuring my all-time favorite player.

There is also something weird about the coloring of this card.

1 comment :

  1. I've never been a big fan of the update cards from Topps. That said I like the All-Star Game cards and I'm always a sucker for legend cards. Ozzie is a favorite so I love seeing that card. Good post. Thank you.


Comments are highly encouraged, but then again, so is eating your fruits and vegetables.