I have never purchased Topps Opening Day with any sense of urgency. In fact, any pack of Opening Day that I've ever bought has come with a customary sigh.
(*sigh* well, there's nothing else here. I guess I'll see what Opening Day looks like this year. *sigh*)
But this year is different.
This year there is actually something I want in Opening Day. Something I NEED very badly. I wrote about it already. But if you're allergic to clicking on links, here is the image.
I MUST acquisition these cards. Not only is it an entire insert set devoted to night cards (I think the last was the Upper Deck Vintage set from earlier this century), but the cards glow in the dark. Topps certainly knows how to make Night Owl happy.
But the only way I was assured of getting one of these cards in my first purchase of Opening Day packs is by buying a blaster. I know that some friendly collectors will send me these cards when they have one to spare, but I need to have one NOW.
So, I grabbed a box of Tiny Tim for a mere $9.99 and prepared to secure my first Under the Lights card. Just to be safe, I looked at the odds on the box before buying it. Odds on the Lights cards are 1 in 9 packs. There are 11 packs in a box (or, as Topps prefers to say it, "10 plus 1"), so I've got me a glowy glow worm night card for sure.
And, what the hell, let's see what else is in one of these things.
#57 - Zack Greinke
Ah, yes, photoshopped uniforms is the domain of Opening Day. This one isn't too bad. Topps even got the uniform number correct.
#70 - Freddie Freeman
#TTOD - Desmond Jennings
Opening Day has exclusive Toppstown cards?
Uh oh ...
#UL-1 Joe Mauer
Well, that certainly killed the suspense, didn't it? Fourth card in the box.
Excuse me for a moment. I must place this card under an energy-efficient bulb and shut myself in a closet. I'll be right back ...
Back. The card definitely glows in the dark. All of Mauer glows. The stadium lights glow. The bottom name plate glows. The Topps logo glows. The "Stadium Lights" heading glows.
But you've got to put it under a light or it won't perform like a monkey for you.
That's the back. I just love me some night game statistics.
I think I've gotten what I came for. Do I need to go on with the rest of the blaster?
Oh, all right. I'll do the whole thing. But it won't be pretty. There are Giants and Yankees and presidents all over this thing. Prepare the gag reflex.
#155 - Cole Hamels
#145 - Ubaldo Jimenez
#218 - Ryan Howard
I suppose I'll use Howard here to go over the "finer points" of Opening Day. Just like last year, the only switch Topps has made between OD and the base set is the Opening Day logo and the lack of foil. If there were no Under the Lights cards in the set, I'd be bitching about how that's not enough of a change to encourage people to buy this set. But me and Topps are best buds with the whole nighty night cards thing.
Oh, and the OD logo is different. Whatever.
#126 - Brian Duensing
#54 - Ian Stewart
#46 - Yadier Molina
#SC-15 Superstar Celebrations. A-Rod. It's really more of a photo of Derek Jeter. Regardless, I want it out of my collection.
#142 - C.J. Wilson
Photoshopped as a Baltimorian.
#205 - Carlos Quentin
#119 - Alexei Ramirez
#91 - Andres Torres
#35 - Vladimir Guerrero. Still a Ranger.
#41 - Aubrey Huff, blue parallel.
OK, I take back every nice thing I said about Topps because I know they intentionally placed this card in my blaster. I know it was on purpose. I know they followed me to Target and used whatever mind-control device they have to convince me to select this particular blaster. I know Topps is having a good laugh about this because I hate the Giants, I hate Huff and his disturbing thong, and I can't even trade it because NOBODY LIKES THE GIANTS. I guess it's chew toy material.
Spot the Error #8 Buster Posey.
More Giants. Third one in this pack.
I'm terrible at this error-spotting business, which is not good because I kind of spot errors for a living. The other side of the card is the same as the front. So I don't know if it's a "what's different about this picture" error or just simply an error in the photo. If you see something askew, shout it out.
#187 - Brandon Phillips
Fourth Giant in the pack. That is so, so wrong. And look at that tiny rookie cup buzzing around Posey like a gnat. You need glasses to see it.
Photoshopper had a bad day on this one.
#92 - Nick Markakis
#3 - John Lester
#M-2 Braves Mascot "Homer."
I didn't know the Braves had a mascot. The back basically says that "Homer" looks identical to Mr. Met or Mr. Red, except for the very important addition of eye-black.
#163 - Chad Billingsley
Oh, thank goodness, a Dodger. I suppose this is what Billingsley's Series 2 card will look like, except all foiled up.
#183 - Jacoby Ellsbury
#190 - Elvis Andrus
#84 - Brian Matusz
More photoshop work for Miggy. He's never looked worse.
#78 - Garrett Jones
I have no interest in these cards. I know there are political fans out there. I'll be happy to ship this off.
#153 - Kendry Morales
#140 - Derek Jeter
#216 - Jose Reyes
#67 - Johnny Cueto
#11 - Jaime Garcia
#90 - Chase Utley
#SC-23 Superstar Celebrations - Ryan Braun.
He's the guy on the left. Again, not really central to the photo.
#154 - Dan Haren
Photoshopped as an Angel. This guy sure does change teams a lot.
#148 - Kevin Youkilis
#143 - Jeremy Guthrie
#80 - Jeremy Hellickson
#94 - Jimmy Rollins
#14 - Ben Zobrist
#M-23 Rangers Captain
#ODS-1 Roy Halladay
These are 1 every 12 packs. I guess they continue the 20/20 theme from last year's Topps, but they look more like Sportflics to me. Halladay hops from one side of the card to the other when you tilt it.
#210 - Drew Stubbs
#200 - Robinson Cano
#100 - Miguel Cabrera
#24 - Andrew Cashner
#79 - Heath Bell
#10 - Spot the Error, Derek Jeter
I think the marquee says "Welcom to Yankee Stadium," leaving out the "E." Is that the error?.
#191 - Corey Hart
#172 - Jorge Posada
#164 - Grady Sizemore
#104 - Victor Martinez
Magically turned into a Tiger
#81 - Jay Bruce
#3 - Jon Lester, blue parallel
Doesn't make up for the Huff card, but it'll come in handy.
#SC-8 Superstar Celebrations Vladimir Guerrero.
#144 - Brett Gardner
#159 - Dan Uggla, as a Brave
#150 - Matt Cain
#1 - Carlos Gonzalez
#103 - Jose Bautista
#27 - Andrew McCutchen
I think Play at the Plate wants this card.
#170 - Logan Morrison
#179 - Prince Fielder
#194 - Delmon Young
#45 - Desmond Jennings
#43 - Jered Weaver
#120 - Roy Halladay
He has a crown for a head. That is a little disturbing.
#212 - Vernon Wells
#138 - Chris Young
#156 - Ryan Zimmerman
All right, I've determined it was totally unnecessary for me to continue after Pack 1. Nothing but discouragement and Giants the rest of the way.
I will have to rely on getting the rest of the Under the Lights cards through blog trades, because I won't be purchasing more than a couple of packs of Opening Day the rest of the way.
It's funny how a blaster will dampen your enthusiasm, even after you get the card you want.
So, let's all look at the Under the Lights card again.
Totally worth the $9.99.