Saturday, February 5, 2011

Second thoughts

Don't get excited. I'm not going back on my plan to skip collecting the 2011 Topps base set. That's still the plan. It's just after staring at the cards again, I have a few more very minor thoughts.

I did pick up another rack pack and a couple of loose packs. But I wasn't in Target on a card mission. It was a mind-numbing family outing for clothes. After a riveting discussion over the height of socks (you people with only sons and no daughters -- you have no idea), I really, really needed some cards to emerge from the store without brain damage.

So, I think I have enough cards now to produce several "firsts" for the 2011 collecting year.

Here we go:


The Dodgers' No. 6 starter for 2011.


Tremendous. I like the look of these cards. Classy. And take a peek at the back ...

Most RBIs in the '50s. Not Mickey (he's 7th). Not Willie (he's not even on the list). It's all Duke. And don't be throwing your B-R stats at me. All I see is one-oh-three-one.


Not surprised at all.


I suppose it's only a 50-card set, but that still hurts.


We all know and love these legendary lineage/diamond duo things, right? Well, at least I've come to grips with them. Some of the pairings are wacky, but whatever.

Where it gets too stupid is on the back:

The stat comparison for this pairing makes sense. Similar players, one career finished, one close to being finished.

These other stat comparisons are the template for "pointless":

If I were ever to put something like that in the sports section of the newspaper, I'd be fielding phone calls while checking my overloaded email, while sitting in my boss' office explaining why I was such a dumb-ass.

Are cards and newspapers the same? No. But does Topps have to illustrate that so CLEARLY?


I have two Rookie Cup cards, Buster Posey and Mike Stanton. On both of them, the type for the write-up is tinier than it is on all the other cards. Is it like that for all the other rookie cup cards? And if so, why? And did Roger McDowell (a.k.a. "the second spitter") have anything to do with this?


You've all seen this card. Why is the Topps logo so far down? On every other card, the Topps logo is in the top left corner. But that's not good enough for Mick. Did he kick the logo down the card with his acrobatic, one-handed slide?


What? You thought I was going straight to the First Biggest Mystery? Nah, I thought I'd bore you first.

Normally, I think history is cool, but any baseball card that mentions the NASDAQ exchange is automatically the dullest thing I've ever read on cardboard. I'll read checklist cards for days before I read the back of this again.


It's going to take something impressive to top Chris "Never Give Up" Narveson.

That. Is. Impressive. It's like one of those old cards from the '70s. I almost expect to see a few Mexican League teams in there.


Perhaps you read Eggrocket's comment on the previous post, wondering why Topps italicized the word "could" in the write-up on the back of the Andres Torres card.

Perhaps you thought in your head "I could care less."

But you would be wrong. Because the proper phrase is "I couldn't care less." Learn it. (It is the most irritating thing that I hear people say). You'll sound like you know what you're talking about.

Meanwhile, I actually DID care, because I looked through the other cards I have. Note the Johan Santana card back:

The "could" is italicized. I can see placing emphasis on that word in that sentence.

But what about this one?

There is no reason to emphasize "could" here at all. Yet it is italicized.

Same here.

And here, the word "could" is italicized in the middle of a quote by manager Edwin Rodriguez. Huh?

Every write-up that used the word "could" had the "could" italicized. All I can think of is some copywriter misspelled the word "could" and a search-and-replace function fixed the spelling but italicized all the words.

Or maybe I've just stumbled onto a Topps base Crack the Code puzzle.

Ah, forget that. I'll never figure out one of those things.


I know you have a chance to win some amazing, unattainable card or the Shinest Card of All-Time So Full Of Diamonds That You'll Have To Hire Around-The-Clock Security To Guard Your Home. But what about the rest of us? Is this like the Million Card Giveaway where most people will get cards from the '80s and '90s? Or is it like some lottery scratch off game where chances are 99.9 percent that you're going to win nothing?

I see each code unlocks "diamond digs." What are we digging for? Yeah, I know, a diamond ring. But is there anything for the rest of us?

I really need to stay informed.

But at least I can tell you all about the different heights of socks.


  1. Re: DIAMOND DUOS... I look at them and read "DIAMOND DUDS". I need new glasses.

    Re: could. I thought some secret Topps code / contest might be happening. Probably not.

  2. Have one daughter now, finding out this Monday what baby #2 will be. Discussions over sock height? Is this really what I have to look forward to?!

  3. I originally thought "Diamond Duos" was "Dynamic Duos" and wondered when DC Comics was going to slap Topps with a lawsuit.

    I noticed the could on Ian Kennedy's card. They should have italicized the word puking on Strasburg's card instead.

    AND I agree on the stupidity of the stat comparisons. I have the Heyward/Freeman card for the time being, and it's just idiotic.

  4. Well maybe those career comparisons will stop people from paying stupid amounts for the next big thing and concentrate more on the classic big things.

    What am I saying? Of course it won't.

    But that's okay if I pull a Freddie Freeman autographed diamond gold superfractor patch 1/1 this year maybe I can trade it for a car.

    Not bad for someone that has only hit one more major league home run than me.

  5. "Could" - some copy writer probably used some word that didn't quite convey things in simple terms, so a proofer probably said "I would consider using the word "could" in that sentence. I'll italicize it for you so you can check it out and return the font to normal font before sending it to the printers" and the word forgot to be unitalicized.

    As for Torres, I also find the copy funny in that he won an award for his "guts" despite part of them taken out in the surgery.

  6. The Could comments are a mystery. Diamond Duos are dudes but Jim THome reminds me of Killebrew more than anyother player in history

  7. They are doing that diamond giveaway because nobody had all those Pudge cards shipped.

  8. I've avoided almost every blogger post about 2011 Topps baseball... but I'm glad I took the time to read yours. You saved me a bunch of money... not I can grab a factory set and be content.

  9. I also read "Diamond Duos" as "Diamond Duds". It's good that Torres and Narveson get cards in Series 1. They are both going on my want list.

  10. I just think that the Topps copywriter is a big Friends/Chandler Bing fan.

    The way that I understand this year's code promotion is that each code will unlock on of the special die-cut diamond cards that look just like the red and blue diamond cards you find in Walmart and Target packs except... well, they're die-cut. There will be some other prizes available as well.

    The big prize (the 60 or so diamond rings) is available to those who collect all 60 of the "diamond digs." This is how I thought Topps had explained it, but I could be wrong or they could have changed it since then. I guess we'll see when it's online.

    How ridiculous is it that these websites are never ready in time for the promotions?

  11. I never understood the problem with "I could care less." It's just an abbreviation for "I could care less, but I don't." As in, "It's technically possible for me to care less about what you're saying...but for practical purposes you've really hit the bottom level of things I care about." In other words, "I could care less."

  12. Thanks for explaining why people say it.

    It still seems a lot less direct and effective than saying "I couldn't care less."