Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hanging out with 2012 Topps

This will probably be my last 2012 Topps analysis post. I'm running out of things to say about the cards, and I know how quickly people get bored these days. The cards have been out for -- what, four days? -- I could have tweeted about 7,000 different subjects in that amount of time.

But I've already purchased the hanger box, so I've got to show you what was in that. It's my obligation.

The key thing about hanger boxes is that you buy one. Only one. If you buy more, you're going to enter collation hell. Collation can be an issue no matter what packaging you prefer, but for some reason it seems much more condensed and apparent in hanger boxes. I almost live in fear of when the series of horizontal cards pops up because I know I'm going to get duped in the head.

Fortunately, I kept it to one box and I avoided doubles. Except one. One that you wouldn't expect.

But you'll have to wait on that. We must go in order. This here is exactly how I pulled the cards while just hanging out in the recliner watching some Netflix-provided '80s comedy. Good times.


#1 - Ryan Braun, Brewers

If Topps would use Matt Kemp for -- I don't know -- SOMETHING -- maybe it wouldn't have to deal with the uncomfortable PR problems it gets into when Braun/Clemens/A-Rod/Bonds end up on the front of their wrappers and card No. 1 in their sets.

#161 - Dee Gordon, Dodgers

One of two Gordon cards in Series 1. Nice card, but not as nice as Gordon's 2011 Update card. And, no, I don't care that Chipper is in the photo.

#93 - Skip Schumaker, Cardinals (stop thinking about the stupid squirrel)
#197 - Brendan Ryan, Mariners
#20 - Craig Kimbrel, Braves
#12 - Wilson Ramos, Nationals

#269 - Jason Vargas, Mariners

Great old-school uni, although I don't know why Seattle would want to remember those days.

#56 - Geovany Soto, Cubs

#143 - George Kottaras, Brewers

I should know who the Dodger is in this photo, but I don't. My tattoo identification system is on the fritz.

#104 - Brett Anderson, A's

#324 - Active A.L. RBI Leaders (Rodriguez, Thome, Giambi)

I'm not thrilled with these as I already am bored by the league leader layout and Topps goes and adds more cards that look just like the cards that bore me.

But I'm also confused. Thome is shown as an Indian and listed as an Indian on the back. But he also has played for A.L. teams in the White Sox and Twins. Are his RBI totals with those teams included in the list? The blurb at the bottom says "stats of active MLB Players while playing in the American League" so I think they are included. So why list him only with Cleveland? Why does Topps do nonsensical things?

#136 - Casey McGehee, Brewers

This appears to be everyone's favorite, along with the Reed Johnson seagulls card. But this card is only my favorite if punk-ass Gerardo Parra is OUT.

#130 - Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians
#239 - 2011 A.L. Batting Average Leaders (M. Cabrera, M. Young, A. Gonzalez)
#159 - Active N.L. RBI Leaders (Chipper Jones, Pujols, Helton)
#200 - Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
#246 - Bud Norris, Astros
#85 - Jason Heyward, Braves

#144 - Marlon Byrd, Cubs

#163 - Justin Turner, Mets

#152 - Chad Billingsley, Dodgers

I like this hanger box.

#270 - Starlin Castro, Cubs
#227 - Mike Minor, Braves
#321 - Jason Bourgeois, Astros
#96 - Grady Sizemore, Indians

#192 - Active N.L. Home Run Leaders (Chipper Jones, Pujols, Andruw Jones)

OK, I've been asked about this card on more than one occasion. How do I feel about Topps showing Andruw Jones as a Dodger on this card?

Well, I'm not ecstatic about it. But I'm not saying anything more than that, because I know that Topps just did this to get a rise out of Dodger and/or Brave fans, because why else would you do something like this? And I won't dignify this with any outrage. Good day, sir.

#108 - Albert Pujols, Game 3 of World Series

Kind of an odd photo with all the people featured here -- both on the field and in the stands -- but if there is a card of every game in last year's World Series, I'm a happy camper.

#220 - Jay Bruce, Reds

#5 - Desmond Jennings, Rays

That's a photo you don't see everyday. Pretty cool.

#225 - Michael Pineda, Mariners

#296 - Brayan Pena, Royals, Walmart blue parallel

I can't think of a better card to get the blue border treatment. And this is a Dodger fan talking.

#31 - Brent Morel, White Sox, Walmart blue parallel

Step aside, Carlos Lee. I think I pull more cards of this guy.

#13 - Vernon Wells, Angels
#155 - Matt Cain, Giants
#301 - Alexi Ogando, Rangers
#226 - Ryan Hanigan, Reds
#47 - Luke Hochevar, Royals
#126 - Eduardo Nunez, Yankees

#222 - Chris Coghlan, Marlins

I like the Marlins' new colors. I'm not ashamed to admit it.

#110 - Mark Teixeira, Yankees (fish face)
#48 - Wade Davis, Rays
#317 - Tyler Chatwood, Angels
#258 - Jon Jay, Cardinals

#39 - James Loney, Dodgers

50 doubles this year, James. Or you get sent to Seattle.

#323 - Jason Isringhausen, Mets
#212 - Active A.L. Wins Leaders (Wakefield, Sabathia, Buehrle)
#274 - Alex Liddi, Mariners (my first rookie I've never heard of -- I like this hanger box much better than yesterday's packs)
#33 - 2011 A.L. RBI Leaders (Granderson, Cano, A. Gonzalez)

#58 - Tim Hudson, Braves

Great card. I believe this is from Hudson's two-run home run on June 20 last year against the Blue Jays. He produced the only runs in a 2-0 win for the Braves. Hudson also pitched eight shutout innings.

#59 - Rangers, ALDS, Game 4

Small quibble. The ALDS is not the World Series. There is such a thing as an ALDS logo. Use it.

#263 - Steve Delabar, Mariners

#297 - 2011 N.L. Earned Run Average Leaders (Kershaw, Halladay, Lee)

Bam! My first Kershaw card of 2012. I love that he's above -- or to the left of -- Halladay and Lee.

#77 - 2011 N.L. Home Run Leaders

BAM! And Kemp is to the left of Fielder and Pujols. Life is sweet.

#85 - Jason Heyward, Braves (gold)

Uh ...

If you remember yesterday's post, I pulled the gold version of Heyward THEN, too.


What are the odds of that? What are the odds of picking up two random packs and then a random hanger box and getting the exact same gold parallel?

Or maybe the Heyward gold parallel is double-printed.

That would be ugly.

#GM-47 Carlton Fisk Golden Moments

Totally cool that it's Fisk and not a Yankee or a Giant. But still these inserts suck.

#TM-32 Tommy Hanson, Braves, '87 mini

These are sort of nice because I like minis -- even though the Topps minis from 1987 did not look like this. But '87 was a year of ignoring cards for me, so I have no attachment to these at all.

#GG-34 Mickey Mantle, Golden Greats

There's the Yankee now.

#GS-9 Willie McCovey, Gold Standard

And there's the Giant.

I can't get over how poor the inserts are. It reminds me of the inserts you used to get in 2007.

#GF-16 - Mike Trout, Gold Futures

I agree with everyone who says this looks like an Upper Deck card. Which means I don't like it.

#TT-22 Aparicio-Castro, Timeless Talents


#GGC-3 Miguel Cabrera Golden Giveaway code card

The back says this card "will allow (me) to unlock a unique online experience."

I'm scared.

#307 - Vance Worley, Phillies

#203 - Jeff Niemann, Rays
#140 - Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
#316 - Nick Blackburn, Twins
#18 - Colby Lewis, Rangers
#328 - John Lackey, Red Sox
#148 - Chris Getz, Royals
#327 - Mark Kotsay, Brewers
#78 - Erick Aybar, Angels
#217 - Rangers, ALCS, Game 6
#183 - Addison Reed, White Sox

Sorry, I got bored at the end there.

Thus ends the hanger box, and any other long blog posts about 2012 Topps.

From here on out if I talk about 2012 Topps, it'll probably be about some quirky little thing I've noticed, or news that I've completed the Dodger team set, or just because I've posted vintage for 18 consecutive days and I'm losing my 18-34 demographic.

But you guys continue to keep on posting 2012 Topps.

I'll be reading.

Really, I will.


  1. Nice recap, you could have shown the Chris Getz card! although in a month I'll probably have 10 of them!

  2. That mystery Dodger on the Kottaras card appears to be Dioner, if I'm not mistaken.

  3. my 2 hobby boxes arrived today. I ripped one today for the wrappers (and it will be officially posted to my blog at some point in the future but I need the wrappers right away for the redemption).

    Anyway, pretty disappointing this year. I don't know why Topps continues to have problems with name readibility on the front (why is the last name in foil on a black bar that you have to glint off the card to read the last name?)

    With all the big deal about "gold", why is the foil on the front silver? The inserts are very boring this year -- in 2011 Series 1, there are two inserts that I considered must keep cards. In 2012, I only find the Gold Futures a must-keep insert - the others are dull except for the gold sparkly parallel.

    I love the back with the easily readable name and card number - it should make sorting very nice.

    I also think the SP's are stupid when you need a list to keep track of them. They should have done something obvious so you could tell by looking at the card rather than compare it to the list of known ones (being all gatorade baths would have been nice to keep it simple). The only real obvious cards that don't need to be referenced against a list are the SSPs with Reyes and Pujols photoshopped into their new uniforms.

  4. Zakwin is correct. Fat Navarro is being tagged out at home. Of course, Navarro is out at home. He was so awful.

    Quick question, are the blue bordered cards only available in the 72 card hangers? Those look pretty cool.

  5. I believe they're only in the hangers at Walmart.

    Red borders in the hangers at Target.

  6. What Topps is saying with #297 is that Kershaw & Lee should be Halladay's wingmen!!

  7. I must admit that when the M's wore those uniforms they were a bad team. If they would include the stirrups, I would vote for them as the full time uni.

    If you want to send Loney off to Seattle, he would be more than welcome here. We could use him over some of the hitters we have now.

  8. Fish Face, lol. Someone at Topps must like that face because they've used a similar picture for Texeira's 2011 Marquee card.

  9. you can get the red borders at any packs at Target; loose packs, hangers and blasters all have the red border. I would assume Walmart blue borders are same.

  10. The 1987 Box Bottom cards were minis, and they did look like that. FYI. It hink you are thinking of the league leader minis, which were a separate set and did not look like that.

  11. Thanks jacobmrly. I was clueless to box bottoms in '87.

    I didn't know that Reivax. I read somewhere that those border colors were only in hangers, although maybe that was just 2011 Update.

  12. I could open an entire box/case of whatever it is that you just opened that I don't have access to and not pulled that many Braves.

    Well done sir. Well done.

  13. The Hudson card is from the game vs the Blue Jays. Very nice card, very painful memory. Hudson hit his HR off Romero & certainly enjoyed the hell out of hitting it. Actually, I'm not sure he's even crossed the plate yet.

    verification word: noump

  14. Why do so many of the card images look a little out of focus? Was your scanning less than ideal or are the cards actually the pieces of crap they appear to be in the photos?

  15. Wow, I bought one of the hanger boxes from Target today & I think I got about 75% of the cards that were in yours.

    I will definitely remember to stick with packs from here out if I decide to buy any more.

  16. They don't seem out of focus to me, Andy. But could be the scanner -- working with a new one and haven't figured it out yet.

    Every review I've read has said the card images look the best that they've ever looked.

  17. That Tommy Hanson mini would be so much cooler if it had the old Braves screaming indian logo that was on the actual '87 Topps set.

  18. Honestly I think the photos look absolutely horrible. While I give them positive marks for being interesting, they look flat, slightly out of focus, and poorly cropped to me. I am astounded.

  19. If you have a stack for me can you toss one of those gold Heywards in it for me?