Monday, May 9, 2011

2009 Topps Cardinals Team Set: A Closer Look

The other day I solicited some input on one of those Topps team sets that a fellow blogger was kind enough to send me. The team set collector in me won out, and all of these cards will be going into my binder. Plus, I've just never been one to admire things inside a sealed container. I used to really like Hot Wheels as a kid, but you can be certain that I didn't keep any of them sealed inside of their plastic casings. Here's a look at the cards and how they differ from their regular Topps counterparts, with the team set cards on the right where applicable.

STL1 - Albert Pujols (Pujols was a Series 1 inclusion, though it's hard to imagine any series without Albert. Topps opted to use the photo from his 2008 NL MVP card rather than the regular one.)

STL2 - Chris Carpenter (Carp's team set card is a bit better than his oddly cropped Series 2 card, although I'm never a fan of seeing the spring training combo of red caps and grey road jerseys. I didn't dig them up to scan, but this photo looks like it was probably from the same shoot as his 2008 Bowman and 2008 Topps cards. )

STL3 - Ryan Ludwick (It's a crazy photo, but the team set card clearly outshines his Series 2 effort. It's clearly from 2008, which blows my theory of Topps recycling old photos for every card as you can see Aki Iwamura in his new style Rays jersey.)

STL4 - Adam Wainwright (Again, I love the team set photo. You can see how immensely tall Wainwright is. He was a serious pinch-hitting option off the bench especially during the lean bench years following the 2006 title which I clearly don't bring up often enough. It remains to be seen if Wainwright will be allowed to hit more than is necessary when he returns from his Tommy John surgery sometime in 2012, but I always enjoyed watching him bat.)

STL5 - Yadier Molina (Same as Series 1.)
STL6 - Chris Duncan (Same as Series 1.)

STL7 - Rick Ankiel (I don't really have a preference for either card, but I'm starting to find the pattern here. It looks like different photos are used for every Cardinal that eventually would end up in Series 2, like Ankiel.)

STL8 - Joel Piñeiro (The Series 2 action photo beats the posed photo usually reserved for rookies and players who just joined the team. Piñeiro was entering year 3 with the Cards when this came out.)

STL9 - Troy Glaus (Both photos are of the awkward, off-balance variety. I'll give the nod to the team set card again because it's of a fairly normal baseball move that you don't see captured on baseball cards all that often.)

STL10 - Chris Perez (The team set photo was taken at a much earlier time than the Series 2 card's, but I'm not sure I could pin down when exactly. The Cardinals don't wear their Sunday hats during spring training games and it certainly doesn't look like a spring training crowd, yet this looks like a pre-2008 photo and Perez didn't make his big league debut until 2008.)

STL11 - Brendan Ryan (I miss Boog's defense and his personality... maybe not so much his hitting, though. He's one of the reasons I'm keeping an eye on the Mariners this year. The Series 2 card gets the nod as his team set card is lacking the striped socks.)

STL12 - Todd Wellemeyer (Same as Series 1.)

STL13 - Skip Schumaker (I'm embarrassed to say that I'm actually missing Skip's 2009 Topps base card. If you look at this Amazon scan, you'll notice that his Series 2 equivalent is the same photo but with less cropped. If you want to talk about embarrassing, though, just check out how they bungled his last name on the team set card.)

STL14 - Khalil Greene (The team set card is Photoshopped.)

STL15 - Fredbird (And Fredbird's always a nice way to end things, as the "Bonus Card".)

If anyone has that pesky Skip Schumaker (#534), please let me know.


cubsfan731 said...

I have Skip Schumaker. Is the Mike Maddux card over at APTBNL available?

joe said...

khalil looks like he's missing a leg.

this may explain some things.

madding said...

Sure thing. Mike Maddux is always available.