Friday, December 12, 2008

Late to the party, again

In the process of Christmas shopping yesterday, time suddenly stopped as I watched myself buy a blaster of the ridiculously long-titled Heritage high number series. It really was kind of an out-of-body experience, for three reasons:

1. I had made a vow not to buy any blasters until after Christmas. 2. I've been warned by multiple bloggers that the "2008 Topps Baseball Updates and Highlights presents 2008 Topps Heritage High Number Series," or TBUHPTHHNS for short, was a disappointment and a fiasco. 3. I'm still trying to collect the low numbers, so why take on this project?

A day later I have no idea why I bought it. I guess to serve as a four-weeks-too-late public service announcement. And that announcement is, buy Stadium Club or Masterpieces (although you may get that freakin' Whitey Ford card for the ninth time), or A&G if you're still working on that. Or get your kid a Christmas present. Because I could've done that Wednesday, and now I'll be doing it tomorrow.

Still, there are cards to show. Here goes nothing:

PACK 1

#600 - Miguel Tejada, Astros
#670 - Joakin Soria, Royals
#680 - George Sherrill, Orioles

#566 - Bryan LaHair, Mariners. He had 136 at-bats last year and is apparently the reason why Seattle got rid of Richie Sexson (well, one of the reasons), but I had never heard of him. Seattle is such an outpost. What is that line New York Giants manager Bill Terry said about Brooklyn, "Are they still in the league?"

#539 - Kelly Shoppach, Indians
U&H #326 - Kevin Mench, Blue Jays
U&H #119 - Ken Griffey Jr. 6th player to 600 HRs

PACK 2

#616 - Brian Schneider, Mets
#571 - Gerald Laird, Rangers (now a Tiger)

How is Laird a rookie? He had 147 at-bats in 2004, then 243 at-bats in 2006 and 407 at-bats in 2007.

#608 - Ben Francisco, Indians
#606 - Brian Moehler, Astros
#592 - (black back) Mike Hampton, Braves (now an Astro)

Are the white name lines a variation, as most of the black cards have yellow name lines? The low numbers Phil Hughes card I have has a white name line.

#638 - Jose Arredondo, Angels (likely successor to the departed K-Rod)
#614 - Russell Branyan, Brewers (now a Mariner -- geez, maybe Topps should reconsider issuing a set right before the winter meetings.
U&H #254 - Jose Castillo, Giants
U&H #137 - Evan Longoria hits his first MLB walk-off homer. Well, la-dee-frickin'-da, as Chris Farley's Foley character used to say.

PACK 3

#632, Tyler Yates, Pirates
#589, Emmanuel Burriss, Giants
#569, Josh Fields, White Sox

So, what's the deal with Joe Crede? Is he officially done with the White Sox? Is Fields the guy now? Man, I liked Crede. Sure wouldn't mind having him on the Dodgers, although L.A.'s already got a third baseman now.

#548 - Glendon Rusch, Rockies (Is Rusch still in the league? I see he's a lefty. That explains a lot).
#662 - Jorge Campillo, Braves
#693 - Ramon Hernandez, Orioles (now a Red)
U&H #286 - Aaron Cook, All-Star
U&H #113 - Justin Morneau, All-Star

PACK 4

#501 - John Danks, White Sox (a lot of White Sox and Braves in this box)
#511 - Jair Jurrjens, Braves (there you go)
#650 - Evan Longoria, Rays

How long before they make Longoria an official spokesman for Topps? I say we see his picture as the sole representative on the wrappers of 2009 Topps Series 2

#580 - Kosuke Fukudome. I know some people are pulling Fukudome cards like weeds, but this is my first. Well, kind of. But you'll have to stick around for the year-end countdown for that.

#582 - Florida Marlins team. Such a sweet card. No fences! Teams cards with no borders rule!
#607 - (black back) Kevin Millar, Orioles
#694 - Mike Fontenot, Cubs
U&H #88, Classic Combos, Dan Haren and "Russ" Martin

Riveting photo. Apparently, the first one to blink has to watch the entire "Christmas Story" marathon on TBS.
U&H #58, Scott Kazmir, All-Star

PACK 5

#515 - Chris Volstad, Marlins
#513 - Darin Erstad, Astros
#618 - Matt Diaz, Braves (someone needs only this guy to complete the A&G set. Can someone help them out?).
#541 - Jon Rauch, Nationals
#555 - Jeff Keppinger, Reds
U&H #62 - Matt Albers, Orioles
U&H #29 - Ryan Ludwick All-Star (I am numb to the All-Star, HR derby and combo cards, It's all borderline filler to me)

PACK 6

#656 - Pablo Sandoval, Giants
#604 - Fernando Tatis, Mets (Chan Ho Park made him).

#564 - Chris Burke, Diamondbacks
#716 - Clayton Richard, White Sox
#563 - Doug Mientkiewicz, Pirates
#641 - Omar Infante, Braves
FB 4 - Ken Griffey Jr. belts HR No. 600

I don't think you need to recognize this achievement in two different sets. It's cool in Heritage. Not so much in U&H.

UH #182 - Sidney Ponson, Yankees. Do you think the fact N.Y. started this guy last year had something to do with the almost panicky way in which the Yankees corralled Sabathia?
UH #268 - Alfonso Soriano, All-Star

PACK 7

#610 - Kerry Wood, Cubs (now an Indian)
#549 - Jeremy Sowers, Indians
#570 - Geovany Soto, Cubs
#590 - Brian Wilson, Giants
#537 - Blue Jays team
#655 - Angel Berroa, Dodgers

Finally! A Dodger (after pulling five Braves and four White Sox).

C260 - John Bowker, Giants, chrome variation (the 95/1959 designation is stamped recklessly over the top of the cartoon on the back)
U&H 120 - Angel Berroa, Dodgers (*facepalm*)
U&H 23 - Cristian Guzman, All-Star

PACK 8

#550 - Ryan Dempster, Cubs
#530 - Mike Mussina, Yankees (now retired. Now, THAT'S why the Yankees got Mayor McCheese)


# 520 - Cliff Lee, Indians
#510 - Joe Saunders, Angels

In the spirit of the season, Joe and Rudolph have something in common.

#639 - Mike Redmond, Twins
#557 - Dallas Braden, Athletics
#617 - Gregorio Petit, Athletics
#648 - Ian Stewart, Rockies

U&H 226, Brian McCann, All-Star. Everytime I see photos like this, I can't help but think how much better the photo would look if the camera was pointed at the player's FACES.

U&H 210, Joe Saunders, Angels (*facepalm with the other hand*)

There you go. I guess it's not too bad of a box if you go in knowing what to expect: a lot of nobodies, a lot of rookies and a lot of U&H cards that nobody wants. I'm actually a fan of the nobodies, who at least have established themselves as major leaguers. I'm just not interested in the rookies, which is why I'll never buy Razor products and have only faint interest in Bowman.

And then there's the gum. After reading both positive and two negative reviews of the new gum, I tried some. I have to say, I agree with dayf and morineko, although I'm not as vigorously against it as they are. When you first put it in your mouth it's OK, but after a couple of minutes, you begin to become aware that it has a consistency that isn't really gum-like. Then you get this taste in the back of your throat that I can't really describe, but it's kind of a sickly-sweet burning sensation. Meanwhile in the front of your mouth, the taste is now cardboard. I've never been so aware of the gum I was chewing since I was about 10. It's definitely not an improvement, I'll tell you that.

So, in short, I won't be buying anymore of this. I'll happily go back to my low numbers. I'll get back to you when I complete that. Sometime in 2014.

12 comments:

  1. you can NEVER get too many Braves.

    N-E-V-E-R

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  2. I'm getting a blaster of this on Saturday or Sunday. I just feel like I'm forced to. If only they hadn't made the set a continuation of the regular set. Plus, there's lots of Cardinals in the checklist (although half of them are SPs I think.)

    It looks like they really screwed up the rookies, though. The whole thing feels kinda rushed. In the regular series, if I'm not mistaken, all rookies had the "Rookie Stars" design but in this series some rookies do not, and then you have that Gerald Laird card... strange.

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  3. You can never have too many White Sox either!

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  4. I really like Heritage High Numbers, and as you noted, I like the gum too. Burning in the back of your throat? Wow. My gum has been absolutely fine. I've been chewing and enjoying it every day! That Laird card is very messed up though.

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  5. I have Hampton too and the letters are white. I'm pretty sure the only variation they did in Heritage is the black backs. I'm not buying a blaster. I figure in a few months I can buy a hobby box for $40 or less and get a box topper and a relic. I'm not bothering with he SPs in this set, although I think I'll eventually get the base cards just for continuity's sake.

    And thank you. I'm not the only person who tastes that weird aftertaste occasionally right on the back of my tongue. I'm NOT going crazy, at least not because of the gum.

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  6. i disagree with your view on junior's 600th - i think it is an accomplishment worthy of as many cards as they see fit, since he hit the first legit #600 since hank aaron...

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  7. Jacobmrley,

    If the Griffey U&H card wasn't part of an endless series of U&H "accomplishment" cards that include all-star nominations, HR derby participations, random "big moments," (i.e. walk-off HRs,) then I wouldn't mind the accomplishment being in two sets. But in U&H, all that extra stuff, plus the "combo cards" just seems to take the place of more substantial stuff -- like cards of middle relievers, role players, managers, etc.

    If they had a single 6-card subset of the best accomplishments of the season, that would be great.

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  8. I like all of the "accomplishment" cards in U&H. It makes the set much nicer because it adds cards of star players to a set that features rookies and lesser-known players on its regular cards. If it wasn't for the "accomplishment" cards, I wouldn't want to buy any U&H cards, but because of them, I'm collecting the set.

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  9. HOld on.

    Chris Burke - Astros?????

    They traded Burke back in 2007. WTF.

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  10. That's my bad, houston collector. Living in the past again. I fixed it.

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  11. Would you have any interest in trading the Soria from the first pack? I'm sure I could round up some Dodgers from your want list for you.

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  12. Sure, I'll trade the Soria. I'll see if I got a few other items from your wants, too. I'll shoot you an email.

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