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You haven't seen 2012 Topps quite like this

I refuse to apologize for being the 58th blogger to feature a 2012 Topps post. It's the high holy week of collecting! What am I supposed to do -- dig in the dirt until I find a tobacco card that somebody buried in 1898? THE FIRST CARDS OF THE SEASON ARE OUT, PEOPLE!!!!!

This is what we do!

Even if you're not collecting the set (*ahem* me). Even if you don't like the design (*ahem* me). Even if you hate going to Walmart and overhearing conversations like this -- "the doctor didn't find nothin'" (*ahem* ME!). You still buy a few of the first freakin' cards of the season! They're a $1.98 a pack! Is this going to kill me?


And it's not going to kill you to look at them again. I promise I'll have something different to say. At the very least, I'll scan every card that I got in these two packs. If I had to stand in line behind some girl sucking on her boyfriend's neck, then you're sitting through every card.

Besides, you might learn something. Besides the fact that girls do this.



#168 - Blake Beavan, Mariners

The first card of the year is -- a guy I've never heard of before.

I think that might be the first time that has happened since I was 10 and I knew exactly 34 major leaguers. This is not good.

#266 - Carlos Corporan, Astros

I've never heard of this guy either. And Topps is mocking me with the alliterative names of their supposed "major league baseball players."

By the way, if it was 1981 and you came from the future of 2012 and handed me this card with your robotic arm, I would be officially freaked out. Not by the robot arm, but by "what in the world is this space dude wearing?"

#281 - Mark Trumbo, Angels

OK, I've heard of him. But so far with the first three cards, we have a collective four years and one at-bat of major league experience. Is this really 2012 Bowman?

#GG-55 - Hank Aaron, Braves

My first experience with a 2012 insert and Topps' obsession with gold. I'm instantly bored.

#GGC-5 - Golden Giveaway code card, Matt Kemp


Flash forward two years. I could wait until June to redeem this card without breaking a sweat.

#219 - Jordan Pacheco, Rockies

Back to 2012 Bowman. No idea who he is. Got his first call-up in September. Geez, Topps, wait until Series 2, please.

#41 - Devin Mesoraco, Reds

Another September call-up. Yeah, this is a set I want to complete.

#31 - Brent Morel, White Sox

I only know who he is because I pulled like 47 different cards of him last year. Still has barely two years of major league experience.

#83 - Bobby Parnell, Mets

Holy crap! Someone who has played for 4 years!

Parnell gets rewarded by being the first back subject:

I applaud Topps for continuing the front design theme to the back. It's done that the last few years, and I like it.

Aside from that and the giant card number, it's a pretty dull back. I'll call it "workmanlike." That's a stereotypical editor word.

#73 - Brandon McCarthy, A's

I found out that McCarthy was on the A's only last week. But I blame my American League West ignorance for that.

#52 - A.L. Earned Run Average Leaders (Verlander, Weaver, Shields)

Zzzzzzzzzzz. It's about three years past time to retire these. I like league leader cards and I think they should stay, but the presentation has GOT to change. I look at these and my mind glazes over.

#291 - David Freese, World Series, Game 6

This is the card of the pack. That stupid surf board is obscuring the image, but I love that there is a card commemorating this game.

Even the back is cool.

Unfortunately a corner of the card is dinged. It might be because I opened the first pack in the car in the parking lot, and then I dropped a french fry on the cards, and I panicked trying to flip the cards out of the way of the french fry.

Yes, I was opening cards in the car while eating french fries. I swear I am not 450 pounds.


#311 - Jon Danks, White Sox

OK, let's talk about the design, shall we?

I don't like it. In fact, I don't like it so much that I don't want to call it The Surfboard Set, even though the graphic element on the bottom does look like a surfboard. But the design doesn't deserve a title as cool as The Surfboard Set. Because the whole design element looks like it was created by a high school art student who had three months to come up with a design and waited until the final night and came up with ... this. In a complete panic.

You know what it really looks like? It looks a late '80s/early '90s Score set that has grown a tumor. That's the image I get in my head. Early Score. With a tumor. Score didn't go to the doctor in time. And now it's got a tumor. It's the Tumor Set.

Is that negative? Gee, sorry. Hate to be negative.

#290 - Curtis Granderson, Yankees

Remember when he used to be cool?

#37 - Mike Napoli, Rangers

The postseason stud. I bet he had a hell of an offseason.

#85 - Jason Heyward, Braves, gold

JAY-HEY is GILDED UP! That's a pretty snazzy card. A certain Braves fan was nice to me with a card package recently. I'll be sending this off to him.

#GS-13 - Alex Rodriguez, Yankees, Gold Standard

Yuck. Bad insert. Bad man. Bad team. Come and get this card because I'm a day away from hurling it in the parking lot next to where I work. The crows sleep in the trees by the thousands there and just paint the lot with poop all night long. Yeah, that's an appropriate fate for this card.

#202 - Andrew Carignan, A's

One guess as to who this is. ... September Call-Up? September Call-Up. Has anyone done a September Call-Up set? I mean besides 2012 Topps.

#97 - Jim Thome, Twins, checklist

Saved by Jim. Here is a look at the checklist:

Click on it if you want to read it. Dodger fans, there are three Dodgers in the first 70 cards (#11-Hong-Chih Kuo, #39 - James Loney, #69 - Dee Gordon)

#74 - Kevin Correia, Pirates

Cubbie in the background. I don't feel like figuring out who he is.

#289 - Casey Kotchman, Rays

It looks like the ball slipped out of his hands.

#72 - Rex Brothers, Rockies

I blame myself for not knowing a guy who appeared in 48 games last year AND is named Rex Brothers.

#88 - Javy Guerra, Dodgers

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! First Dodger of the year. The reigning closer.

#284 - Tony Gwynn, Dodgers

Wow. Back-to-back Dodgers. Now THAT'S the way to end a pack.

That'll boost my spirits.

So, my initial reactions to 2012 Topps?

About the same as my reactions before I had the cards in my hands. Not as good as the last three years. Disappointing design. Uninspired inserts. Good-looking photos. Glad I'm not trying to complete it. Way too many players who haven't done a damn thing in the majors.

And there you are, the first 2012 cards on this here blog.

I told you I'd buy some.

In fact ...

Part 2 is coming tomorrow.

I bought a hanger box, too.

Come on. ...

At least I didn't pick up any of those blasters.


I think I'm over the Giveaway thing. They're not even giving away real vintage cards this year. Not if I read it right. I hate those Cardinals cards where they're celebrating the World Series wins. HATE them.
Anthony Hughes said…
Skip the blasters. you get 10 8-card packs, and one guy-never-actually-wore-this-patch card. I did not see any increase in inserts in the blaster, basically 2 per pack like the $1.99 12 card packs. Unless I'm missing something.
BigD said…
The inserts are very Panini like which isn't good. They are building the cards backwards with the large circle for the relics and the gradient/faded area to put the sticker autos on, only most of us will end up with the base versions. Blah!
TheHitKing said…
@BigD: I noticed that about the autos and relics. disapointing
Kev said…
>>>Yes, I was opening cards in the car while eating french fries. I swear I am not 450 pounds.

that's freakin' funny.
deal said…
The design has grown on me. I hated it in promotional material, but liked it more when I got it in my grubby hands.

Surfboard is a great name - I had been banging my head against that question for the last 48 hrs. but it may be too cool. about palette board like an artist uses. Is there a name for those things??

If you really hate the set I would go with Hindenberg.
Justin McLeod said…
That lurking Cubbie looks like Starlin Castro.
Dawgbones said…
all those base cards, and not 1 single Phillie... nice Thome though!!
Zippy Zappy said…
I agree, the inserts and designs are boring this year. Although the minis are pretty cool IMO. At the get-go I only wanted 4 cards from series 1 and upon buying a jumbo box I find myself with 3 of them (2 of each) and about 4 of every other card.
Robert said…
I hear you on the rookies..the only one that I had heard of was Corporan (watched too many Pirates-Astros games last year..).

The surfbaord set is totally appropriate for this years look.

Love the paragraph of derision on the golden giveaway as well, made me laugh
Scott Fendley said…
My latest post is a counter argument to your unknown players curmudgeonly aside. Of course Blogger and Wordpress aren't playing nice so find it at
GCA said…
Big D hit it right on - my biggest gripe is the incomplete inserts. A few tweaks to get rid of all the empty space left by the autos and relics you DIDN'T GET would be nice.

I'm putting together a rant post about this on my page -
Hackenbush said…
I pulled the trigger on Ebay for 7 Cubs, (I think they left one out) for $3.24 shipped and had some buyers remorse but I feel better after seeing your 24 cards for 4 bucks plus.
Justin G. said…
Whoa, wait. There is someone in this world named Rex Brothers? And he isn't a wrestler.

That might be my favorite name since Homer changed his to Max Power.

Who names their kid Rex? According to Wikipedia his middle name is Coleman. I'm now torn between Rex Brothers and Cole Brothers being a better name.
Spiff said…
Blake Beavan was one of the players Texas sent to Seattle for Cliff Lee in 2010. Small move so it was overlooked in most sports media.
dayf said…
Oh DANGIT. I was doing so well not caring about 2012 Topps. Then I saw that Heyward card and now I've got the junkie sickness shakes. This cold turkey is gonna be HARD. (you can still send that card though)

I was about to say the "Surfboard Set" was pretty much the definitive answer but I have to second Deal's motion on the "Hindenberg Set"

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