Sunday, November 6, 2011

It's the same, but ... the same

I lost interest in the ring-trading aspect of Topps' Diamond Giveaway site a long time ago.

At first, I didn't know what the heck it was. Then, I found out you could end up with Topps mailing you a ring, which -- I'm sorry -- is really not my style. And don't tell me I can sell it. I don't like it when my "prize" puts me to work.

When I realized that you could also accumulate rings to get a complete factory set of 2011 Topps cards, I was momentarily intrigued, until I it dawned on me that I would have most of the cards already.

It turns out those cards from the special 60th anniversary factory set aren't exactly the same as the cards I've been buying from stores. True to the tradition of the worst kind of parallels, dating back to those gullible days of the early '90s, the cards are the same in ever way except for a foil stamping of the Topps diamond anniversary logo in the left corner and the "factory set limited edition" notation over the name line.

So the future National League MVP is still completing his slide into home, except besides dirt, he's kicked up a bunch of letters that have assembled randomly into a phrase touting the card's exclusivity.

Casey Blake is still going to be safe at home because that "factory set limited edition" doesn't even have the ball.

Russell Martin is still in the process of producing his last noble act -- throwing out a Giant -- before plunging into an existence of evil Yankeedom.

And Rafael Furcal is doing one of his final good deeds -- retiring a Giants -- before getting lucky and stumbling upon a World Series ring.

You get the idea. All 18 of the Dodgers in this anniversary set are the same except for some strategically stamped foil. I received the Dodger team set from Baseball Dad at All Tribe Baseball, as he's been kind enough to break up the full set he received and distribute cards to team collectors.

But he also sent me a pack of cards, probably guessing that the anniversary cards might get a little repetitive.

It's a pack of 2003 Donruss Estrellas. I grabbed a couple packs of the 2002 version of this set at the Dollar Tree several months ago, so I know each of these packs has an insert card and a mini poster. And all of the text is in Spanish so I don't understand a thing.

Here are the poster possibilities. The scan was filched from Baseball Dad's post of his pack on A Pack To Be Named Later.

I could pull a poster of anyone from Jeff Baker to Rod Carew. That's quite a difference there.

Let's see what I get:

#71 - Miguel Tejada. Final year as an Oakland A. He was dumped by the Giants in early September.

#61 - Derek Jeter. Thankfully, I can't understand a word of what it says in the back. I have a feeling it'd make me queasy.

#88 - Freddy Garcia. Another Yankee. I am endlessly amused watching the Yankees try to assemble a pitching staff each year.

#LP-10 Tony Perez, Leyendas de Pasado. There's my insert. Probably the best insert series in the set. As usual, this card looks so much better in person than this.

#38 - Lance Berkman. He wasn't respected enough by the Rangers in the World Series and they paid.

#97 - Juan Gonzalez. The beginning of his second stint with the Rangers, which didn't go nearly as well as the first.

OK, it's mini-poster time!

Let's see what I get.

Please, please, no Jose Vidro.

Or Richie Sexson. Nothing like that.

Or Joe Mays. I barely know who he is.

And, please, no Yankees. I may not be able to toss cards, but I sure can rip up a poster ...



Well, all right!

That's about the best poster that you can get out of this set.

Thanks, Baseball Dad, for the pack break! And, er, the limited edition cards.

We team collectors are a strange bunch.


  1. You are quite welcome ! Sorry you didn't get any Dodgers, I guess maybe the Clemente helped ease the pain.

    I got a whole box full of loose spanish packs for about a quarter a pack, so I figured I'd share them too.

  2. One of these days, I want to bust a whole box of Estrellas if there is even such a thing. I bought two packs at Dollar Tree and pulled a Piazza so that was a good night for me.

  3. I wonder if those posters are retail exclusives (if retail even existed with that release).

    I busted a box of Estrellas i bought from an online wax dealer and all I got in the box with regards to posters were posters of current players of the time and no "old timers".

  4. oh wait. You got 2003 estrellas. I only opened 2002 estrellas. That might be the difference right there - 2003 might have had additional poster inserts than 2002 did.

    wow, didn't know 2003 Estrellas existed. I thought it was only a one year product. I guess I'll have to round up and rip a box of 2003 as I had fun with 2002 (and could pretty well understand the cards because spanish is fairly prevalent where I live).

  5. That pack had a poster???? I have to go look at mine again.

  6. Yay Estrellas! Those Leyendas de Pasados are sweet! Will be adding that insert set to my wantlists. :)