Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My very own team set

Back in 2008, I was still a regular in the toy department. As a parent of a young child, toy departments are a necessary evil. At first everyone is thrilled to be there because, for the young parents, they haven't been in a toy department in years. They finally have an excuse to relive their childhood. "Don't look at me all weird-like, I'm with the little one."

But after a few months of that, the only person still thrilled is the child who is begging -- the instant you step into the store -- for a party in the toy aisle.

During one of those "parties" three years ago, I spotted some Topps baseball card team boxes, similar to what you see here. I was momentarily thrilled because that kind of stuff -- different photos on a familiar design -- has fascinated me since the days of Burger King and Topps Traded cards.

To my disappointment, all that was available were Yankees and Red Sox team boxes. Whoopee. With that, I returned to my daughter hyperventilating over flying mermaids.

The local stores have sold smaller team sets just about every year since I've returned to collecting. But they're always the Yankees or Mets or Red Sox. And I've never worked up enough energy to order a Dodger team set online.

It wasn't until gcrl sent me this box that I had my very own full Dodger team set. So what if it's filled with cards of Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent and Derek Lowe? There are a bunch of photos I've never seen before!

The best part is comparing the team set card with the Topps regular issue base card. I know gcrl has already done this, but it's too much fun not to do it again. The Topps base card, on the left, wins out over stoic, posed Penny.

Plumpus Andruw is airbrushed into a Dodger uniform in his Topps base card, but proudly displaying his spider-web tattoo on the team set card. Hey, it's the best thing he had going for him with the Dodgers.

This is where we got robbed as base-set collectors. The base set Schmidt on the left is 2008 Topps at its worst -- the logo bump squashing Schmidt down with loads of empty space. The team set Schmidt isn't fantastic, but at least it uses the available photo space better.

I always appreciate getting an extra Matt Kemp card. Team set Bison is on the left.

This one cracks me up. The team set card on the right features the exclusive "turn to your right, Joe" photo.

Of course, another benefit of the team set are cards of people that never made the base or traded Topps sets:

I didn't scan them all, but there's Esteban Loaiza, Scott Proctor, Rudy Seanez, Yhency Brazoban, Mark Sweeney ...

... and coaches! Who doesn't need a bench coach card? (I neglected to scan the Mariano Duncan coach card. Sorry, this is proving to be a very sloppy post).

Then there are cards that make you say ...

Like this ..

I have found a new definition for "random."

But this is probably the best card in the whole set:

You'll see it pop up as an Awesome Night Card at some point.

Jim sent a few other night cards that will work their way onto the blog, as well.

Plus, he sent two other cards:

A 1972 Topps need, and a sick scoreboard card. But NOT a Dodger Stadium sick scoreboard card.

And a great purple signature of the Dodgers' current third base coach on one of my favorite sets (which is trailing badly in the set blog poll -- only a few hours left to vote).

As many Dodger bloggers as there are now, gcrl was the first -- at least that I knew. It's always a good time trading Dodgers for Dodgers. Especially if I can complete a whole set in one trade.

I wish Topps would throw us East Coast fans of West Coast teams a bone and send a few team sets of the Dodgers to my Wal-Mart all the way over here. But make sure they get stocked in the card aisle. I have absolutely no reason to be in the toy department these days.


  1. Hahahahaha...Hu and Loney is still making me crack up. What a great card.

  2. Just keep it off a baseball uniform.

  3. Gotta love the long-distance air-brushing on Cardenas' Twins uniform to turn him into an Angel.