Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lucky for you, there's practically a forest in front of my house

I think I've mentioned this before, but there are six very large trees near my home. Two are directly in front of the house. Three others are across the street. The other is next door.

At this time of year, I laugh at the idea of a gym membership, grab my horribly cheap lawn rake and rake, rake, rake my way to fitness by forming gigantic leaf piles over and over again.

Where I live, you have the option of raking your leaves into the street. But the street cleaner shows up maybe once a month and with the amount of leaves that collect around here, you'd be creating a driving hazard. So I bag as many leaves as I can. And bag, and bag and bag. When I first moved into the house, I would count how many bags I put to the curb, but the novelty wore off. So now I just rake, bag, rake, bag, rake, bag ...

Crap, I'm out of bags.

Now, I could go down to the plaza a few blocks away where I could get bags at four different locations, maybe more.

Or ...

I could go across town to the Walmart/Target where they have bags and baseball cards.

Guess what I did?

(Retailers: listen to me. You want to help the environment? Sell baseball cards. People buy them!)

I didn't have much interest in anything in the card aisle, but I saw a bunch of bloggers open some Topps Update so I figured it must be around here somewhere (Target didn't have it, but it was at Walmart). I actually railed against Update last year because it is the most bloated set that I know. Almost half the cards don't belong in it and it's a pack filled with filler, or "puffery" as they say on the Twitter.

The problem is that this year "puffery" includes Yasiel Puig, who I understand is featured on every other card in Update.

This is incentive.

So I bought one very economical jumbo pack. It's the only way to go for me with a set like this that I won't chase until it returns to 132 cards (I'm still looking at the cards from last year's Update saying "what'd I buy these for?")

Besides, look at the sea turtle:

He's red this time! That's pretty cool.

OK, OK, I hear you. "What's in the pack?"

You're so impatient.


I'll show most of the cards, but not all of them. I don't know who half these guys are anyway.

#US328 - Eric Sogard, A's

It's an Oakland A and I know who it is. It's a pack-opening miracle.

#US65 - Ryan Roberts, Rays

You can look at his tattoos, I'll look at the awesome mid-1980s White Sox uniform.

#US279 - Marcell Ozuna, Marlins

#US315 - Bruce Rondon, Tigers

Don't know who he is, but he's relieving for the Tigers so I see lots of heartache in his future.

#US171 - Nick Punto, Dodgers

Yay, the Little Pony! Punto is about as baffling as they come, but like they say in my profession, "he's good copy."

#US4 - Matt Adams, Cardinals

When I was watching the NLCS, I'd pray that Adams was the next player coming to bat. Every time I saw him he didn't do a thing. But, of course, every third player in the Cardinals' lineup was Carlos Beltran in that devil magic way they do things in the playoffs.

#US181 - Oliver Perez, Mariners

Campaigning to be the next Darren Oliver.

#US234 - Jurkison Profar, Rangers

It's not possible that they're still putting a rookie logo on his cards. I think I've been pulling Profar cards for three years now.

#US232 - Al Alburquerque, Tigers, emerald

This will come in very handy in a transaction under way right now.

#MM-44 - Jedd Gyorko, Padres, Making The Mark insert

The Padres really have a difficult time dressing themselves.

#US34 - A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks

There's an A.J. Ellis sighting, but I hate this card.

#US172 - Blake Parker, Cubs

How cute. Cubs playing pretend that's it's 1909 and they just won the World Series last year.

#US202 - Yoenis Cespedes, A's, checklist


#US130 - Jesse Chavez, A's
#US86 - Chad Gaudin, Giants

#US196 - Brayan Pena, Tigers

I'm just showing him because tagging out the umpire in the ALCS was very amusing.

#US194 - Xavier Paul, Reds

Ex-Dodger. Collecting all those Bowman Xavier Paul cards got me nowhere.

#US238 - Eric Young Jr., Mets

A potential "legend of cardboard." This one isn't up to his usual standards, but not too bad.

#US30 - Mike Adams, Phillies
#US169 - Ezequiel Carrera, Indians

#US263 - Austin Romine, Yankees

I hope Romine is telling Mariano a joke. Otherwise, why the hell is he on his mound?

#US229 - Jason Vargas, Angels

This is the face I made when Angels fans told me last offseason that Vargas was as good as Zack Greinke.

#US292 - Zach Britton, Orioles

#US6 - Joel Peralta, Rays

Tampa Bay's tribute to the 1978 Ray Kroc Padres. But you can't sell McDonald's fries in that. Maybe sushi?

#US233 - Anthony Rendon, Nationals

Not to be confused with Bruce Rondon from earlier, but I guarantee I will.

#US218 - Miguel Cabrera, Tigers, All-Star, blue parallel

Again, this will come in handy.

#US244 - Glen Perkins, Twins, blue parallel

As will this.

#US160 - Lyle Overbay, Yankees

No idea what to do with this.

#TM-38 - Will Clark, Giants, 1971 mini

Of course I pull this one. There are 50 of these '71 minis and this is the one. It's already in an envelope en route to a Clark fan as I write this. I couldn't stand having it in the house for one more second.

#CH-112 - Johnny Podres, Dodgers, Chasing History insert

Fortunately, world champion Johnny washes away the bitter taste of Will "I Never Won a World Series" Clark. I am happy again.

#US68 - Nick Franklin, Mariners
#US175 - Carlos Martinez, Cardinals
#US16 - Alex Gordon, Royals, All-Star

#US316 - David Wright, Mets, All-Star

#US157 - Marco Scutaro, Giants, All-Star
#US104 - Matt Carpenter, Cardinals, All-Star

And that's the pack.

Shockingly -- but pretty much standard procedure for me -- I did not pull a Puig card.

As usual, Update is bloat-heavy. I counted seven completely unnecessary base cards, and then there are the inserts and parallels.

But it did make buying a box of leaf bags a little more pleasant.

All of the leaves on the two trees in front of the house are now off the limbs and into bags (or in the street). As I was raking, my neighbor rolled down her window and said, "I think you've got them all now."

I pointed to the tree on the other neighbor's lawn, full of leaves and ready to strike. "I'll need more bags," I said.

And another trip to Walmart/Target.

I'll probably stick to A&G though.


  1. Holy cow! Someone gave Oliver Perez a contract?!?!

  2. How sweet would those Ray fauxbacks look in a game with the Sox '83s, and thusly on a piece of cardboard?

  3. I'm happy that Johnny Podres got an insert in this year's Update. Not a guy you see too often on cardboard these days. Oh, and I'd be happy to take that blue Overbay off your hands if no one else wants it.

  4. I could use the Romine and Overbay.

  5. I miss living in the NE but I don't miss shoveling snow.... and I sure don't miss raking leaves.

  6. Lyle is on my list of names not to name my next kid, although he may be the first Lyle to not major in computer science.

    Those Rays throwbacks are so dumb. Throw back to 1998, when you actually existed, instead of pretending you've been around for along time.