Monday, June 24, 2019

Breakin' Series 2: Electric Boogaloo

This #CrackinWaxMailday is rated G for Gold. 

Topps has been doing this phased rollout of its flagship set for quite a few years now, but the second series always seems to fall short of the initial excitement of the first. We already know the design, and we already know what most of the inserts are going to look like. Still, we need the rest of the set, don't we? Or, in my case, we need the rest of the team set, which is why I've been signing up for pick-your-team group breaks of late. Here are some of the highlights of my stash of Series 2 Cardinals, which came from another Crackin' Wax case break.

Dexter Fowler's photo is heavily zoomed in and laser focused on the player, which has been one of my chief complaints of recent years. I tend to like a variety of photos, okay? Fowler's arm seems to be in a weird position here.

Did I mention I snagged a small handful of gold parallels? John Gant has been one of the Cards most valuable pitchers since he was called up last season, and his success has translated well to the bullpen for this year (just don't look at last night's box score, please.)

Marcell Ozuna is putting up MVP type offensive numbers right now after an injury-weakened debut season in St. Louis. Maybe it's actually because he ditched this horrible neon compression sleeve.

Yairo Munoz has been a replacement level utility guy since he joined the big league club last year. I think that's about where you need a utility guy to be, to be fair. You get the feeling that he might string together a solid stretch of games if he just got consistent playing time, but nah, it's not gonna happen.

Speaking of not happening... RIP Jordan Hicks's maximum pitch speed. He was diagnosed with a torn UCL today, which means he's headed towards the dreaded Tommy John surgery that is so popular with the kids these days. While most pitchers seem to regain their original velocity after this surgery, it seems super doubtful that anyone will tell Hicks that it makes sense to try to throw 105 with some random replacement tendon in his elbow. Also, RIP my fantasy team. The Cardinals bullpen will probably be okay, though, with Gant in there along with Carlos Martinez and John Brebbia. (And sort of Andrew Miller.) It's the rotation that I'm worried about.

Anyway, this is a cool black parallel of an insert that is numbered to 299. Of course, I still need the base insert and probably a whole host of other color versions.

Like the Hicks card above, I missed noticing that this Big Mac 150 G-g-g-greaaaatest Moments is a black parallel numbered to 299 until I had taken at least a couple of passes through the stack of cards. Once again, I need the normal version of this and many other inserts from Series 1 and 2.

Crackin' Wax is super cool about including the extra hobby bonus packs in their breaks, which meant that I was able to add a couple more "silver pack" Chrome 1984 style cards to my collection. Daniel Ponce de Leon may actually be one of the answers to the rotation problem, but it seems like the team doesn't want to ruffle the feathers of the broken Wacha (or the ghost of Wainwright, or whatever's gotten into Mikolas...) and actually do something about it.

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