Sunday, February 7, 2010

2010 rack pack challenge, part 2

Consider this your alternative Super Bowl Sunday entertainment. All of you can't possibly be interested in a bloated spectacle can you?

When I last left off, Topps and Upper Deck were locked in a death grip after the first 18 cards of the rack pack challenge. I'm surprised that it's all tied at 9, considering how agonizingly dull I find Upper Deck's contribution. But Topps kind of dropped the ball by handing me doubles in the first group of cards.

Let's see if Topps can step up its game (it's Super Bowl Sunday. I need to be in peak cliche form).

Card 19: Topps, Ivan Rodriguez; Upper Deck, Brandon Allen

Once again, Topps is doing an excellent job of hiding logos -- a much better job than UD, which is supposed to be hiding logos. But aside from that, I don't know who Brandon Allen is.

Topps 10, Upper Deck 9

Card 20: Topps, Victor Martinez; Upper Deck, Ryan Garko

That is a super colorful card in Martinez. And Garko is, well, a Giant.

Topps 11, Upper Deck 9

Card 21: Topps, Jason Marquis; Upper Deck, Brian Tallet

I have to go with the retro pitcher, despite yet another profile. I'm digging the red cap, too. Was it Canada Day?

Topps 11, Upper Deck 10

Card 22: Topps, Jose Guillen; Upper Deck, Robinson Tejeda

The Battle Royale goes to Tejeda, just because the super-close shot is something different.

Topps 11, Upper Deck 11

Card 23: Topps, AL HR leaders; Upper Deck, Kris Medlen

Ugh, more leaders cards with Spoiled Baby Face dead center. Upper Deck wins easily.

Topps 11, Upper Deck 12

Card 24: Topps, AL RBI leaders; Upper Deck, Edgar Gonzalez

Topps, you're killing yourself here. More Teixeira. I NEVER want to see that guy.

Topps 11, Upper Deck 13

Card 25: Topps, Vernon Wells; Upper Deck, Mike Lowell

Hoo-boy. I like the Lowell card better. This is getting scary.

Topps 11, Upper Deck 14

Card 26: Topps, Jose Valverde; Upper Deck, Kevin Kouzmanoff

That's more like it. The Valverde card is one of my favorites of the year already. Kouzmanoff should keep his cap on.

Topps 12, Upper Deck 14

Card 27: Topps, Alex Rodriguez, Cards Your Mother Threw Out insert; Upper Deck, Josh Hamilton tape measure insert

This one is tough, but I'm going with the Hamilton card, just because receiving a reprint of a 1998 card is stupid.

Topps 12, Upper Deck 15

Card 28: Topps, Tim Lincecum, Cards Your Mother Threw Out insert, original back; Upper Deck, Chris Young

All right, the Lincecum card is the more rare original back. But since the card is a reprint of a two-year-old card, I can tell you the difference between the 2008 Lincecum card and the 2010 Lincecum reprint is practically unnoticable.

The fronts of the cards are identical. Here are the backs:

The only difference between the cards is the teeny tiny copyright date and the "tracking number" reference. Topps basically just gave me a 2008 double. Gee, thanks, Topps.

Topps 12, Upper Deck 16

Card 29: Topps, Curtis Granderson, Turkey Red insert; Upper Deck, Anthony Swarzak

The Turkey Red cards look nice again this year, even though it's about time Topps retired them. Meanwhile, Swarzak has the honor of being the first guy that I have pulled out of both Topps and Upper Deck. And last week I had no idea that he existed.

Topps 13, Upper Deck 16

Card 30: Topps, Ozzie Smith/Jose Reyes, Legendary Lineage insert; Upper Deck, Miguel Montero

I have an issue with the Lineage cards. If the players aren't from the same team, then where is the lineage? Sure, Smith and Reyes are both shortstops noted for the fielding. But they played for different teams. Smith didn't hand anything down to Reyes as far as I know.

However, it's still better than a card of a Diamondback.

Topps 14, Upper Deck 16

Card 31: Topps, Roy Halladay, Peak Performance insert; Upper Deck, Carlos Marmol

The early contender for most useless insert set of 2010.

Topps 14, Upper Deck 17

Card 32: Topps, Zach Duke; Upper Deck, Efrain Valdez

I'm tempted to give this matchup to Upper Deck, because it appears to be a night card. But the Duke card is cool. A nicely framed card.

Topps 15, Upper Deck 17

Card 33: Topps, Yunel Escobar; Upper Deck, Maicer Izturis

Everyone appreciates a good double-play turn don't they?

Topps 16, Upper Deck 17

Card 34: Topps, Million Card Giveway promo; Upper Deck, Astros checklist

I'll change my vote if my giveaway code yields a 1956 Jackie Robinson. Otherwise, UD gets the vote.

Topps 16, Upper Deck 18

Card 35: Topps, Matt Gamel; Upper Deck, Chris Dickerson

Toss-up. I'll go with Gamel. At least he's actually moving.

Topps 17, Upper Deck 18

Card 36: Topps, Magglio Ordonez; Upper Deck, Diamondbacks Stadium

Wow, that's one boring-looking stadium shot. Ordonez has a much more interesting card.

Topps 18, Upper Deck 18

Well, that means the Rack Pack Challenge ends in a tie. How ... unsatisfying.

I think I got a bum Topps pack. And I didn't pull a single Dodger out of 72 total cards.

But at least I got that Million Dollar Giveway card. Topps could win this yet.


  1. Superb Owl Sunday!

    I have yet to see a single Upper Deck card that I've liked this year.

  2. There are some issues on a couple of their inserts, but overall,I like Topps much better.Maybe one rack pack each isn't a broad enough spectrum to get a true comparison.

  3. Many of the Lineage cards show players from the same team, but it did a few mistakes like that Reyes. I like the design actually.

    Peak Performances are REALLY boring, and yes, it would be sweet to win something nice in that Million Card Giveaway.

  4. Topps failed in one important area for me. If I buy series 1, I expect to be able to pull base cards of the best players for my team. As a Mariners fan, I can't get a Felix base card (of his own). I can get league leaders where he shares the card with 2 guys or inserts. Also no series 1 cards of Gutierrez or Aardsma.

    Sure I will probably be able to get them in series 2 but making you wait on top players like Felix seems stupid to me (and sneaky). The only series 2 cards I even will want (if a series 1 set is put together nicely) would be to add cards like Cliff Lee in a Mariners uni and other offseason moves where it was not able to make it in series 1.

  5. I say Tejeda, you say Tejada. Check your spelling.

  6. UD did surprisingly well. The Inserts seem to hurt Topps. The Valverde is the best card out of both halves.

    nice analysis.

    I think you will need to pick up another set of RackPacks to break the tie.

  7. No problem, Mr. Goy. Wait, what? You don't like it when people just substitue vowels in names?

    On my blog a while back I posted about my surprise upon discovering major leaguers with the names Oliveras and Olivares.

  8. You haven't heard of Anthony Sleestak before?? Shame!

    I like the UD better, but you'd best dock them a point for having Jetes on the wrapper.

  9. Excellent post Owl, I really enjoyed reading! If you would like to trade any of the mets you got, I have a few dodgers from 09 heritage high numbers if you want

  10. Looking at the B&W shots of Kouzmanoff and Swisher...wouldn't it be great if UD, in an effort to eliminate logos, Photoshopped hairstyles on those guys. Kouz had a Padres hat, now he's bald.

  11. Hey Owl, Sent you an email, let me know if you got it!

  12. don't be suprised - UD is better than Topps! UD FOR THE WORLD!