Thursday, June 30, 2022

2022 Topps: The Sequel

A #CrackinWaxMailDay from @CrackinWax shows that sequels are rarely better than the original.

It practically became meme-worthy to dog on Series 2 when the second installment of the Topps flagship set dropped this month. The second series can never hold up to the excitement of opening a pack of cards for the first time in a brand new year. And with the continued production delays that contributed to a checklist running on empty, this year's version makes a strong case for Topps dropping the concept entirely and just issuing a single release. Would this be such a bad thing, even if the set had to be delayed until, say, March?

Let's check out who made the cut in the Cardinals portion of the checklist, courtesy of a group break from Crackin' Wax.

You can't fault Topps for this one. There was no reason to know that Paul DeJong would be smack in the middle of the Memphis Redbirds lineup for the foreseeable future when it came time to put this set together. The Cardinals have had a lot of injuries, but none of them have been in the middle infield spots.

Topps saved some star power for Series 2 and included this Saturday road game shot of Paul Goldschmidt in the blue jersey alternate.

Things get a bit weird here with J.A. Happ, who was a free agent at the conclusion of last season's World Series and has since retired. It has a nice photo, though, and will likely be the only Cardinals card of Happ's (aside from the parallels.) It wasn't until Happ was with the Cardinals that I learned that you are supposed to say his name "J. Happ" and not "J. A." for some reason.

Here's another really nice shot. This is the only Cardinals RC on the checklist. It's too closely cropped for my taste, but you can say that about most of the cards in this set.

Oof, well, this is awkward. Like Happ, there was absolutely no reason to put him in Series 2 when he became a free agent as soon as the World Series concluded. Unlike Happ, Carpenter eventually found new life as a mustachioed Yankees masher. Expect to see his first Yankees card in the Update Series sometime in 2024.

It took me a really, really long time to "get" this one. Does anyone use the word overarching in their everyday dialog? Oh, oops, I guess there is an Arch in St. Louis.

More star power here, although last season's 8th-in-MVP-voting outfielder has a ton of work to do to live up to the expectations of his previous season. It's a nice action shot with cool shades, tattoos and muscles... you know, the usual.

Here's the rest. Jack Flaherty's tricky shoulder is making me sad. Edmundo Sosa probably needs to play more, but the Cardinals infield is a crowded, talented place. Dylan Carlson is starting to hit, and hopefully he'll have more trophies to put on his shelf next to his Topps rookie cup.

I only ended up with one insert in the break, because it was a hobby box break and they are usually pretty light on the inserts and parallels. It's one of the omnipresent 1987 tributes. There's also a Goldy All-Star version of this, plus the silver pack thing and oodles of parallels of each.

I also ended up with a similar amount of... the horror... Brewers cards. This one heads to the trade boxes. If anyone is looking for a complete(?) Series 2 set of the Milwaukee team, let me know!

1 comment :

  1. Carpenter had a Topps Now card recently. I considered buying it on an eBay pre-sale for $5, until I realized I still don't need to spend $5 on a Matt Carpenter card. I'll wait until he's in 2025 Topps Series 2.


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