I never announced it on the blog, but I told myself this year that I wouldn't buy any brand of cards that didn't interest me.
In the past, I thought I owed it to myself -- and somewhat to my readers -- to open whatever baseball card product I could easily get my hands on in order to get the general flavor of the collecting season.
But I'm kind of beyond that now. My interest level in today's cards is still a lot higher than it was from 1996-2005, when I barely wasted a thought on cards, but I'd also say it's as low as it's been since the calendar changed from 2005 to 2006.
I told myself that this year, I would buy some flagship, some Heritage, some Allen & Ginter, maybe a little Update and that would be it. Because those are the only sets, really, that interest me. What's the point of buying Gypsy Queen when all I'm going to do is trash it and wish the cards were out of my house immediately?
Well, I've kind of failed on that promise to myself. First I bought a pack of that hideous Panini Donruss. And now I've got a fat pack of Opening Day for you.
But at least I waited like three weeks after everyone else had opened it. I have some will power.
Before you see the cards, let me run through the spiel. Opening Day doesn't interest me because it's pretty much identical to the base set. Creating it without foil is not enough of a selling point for me to care. Neither is the lower price, the mascots, the inserts (although some are pretty good) or the players in their new photoshopped uniforms.
But other people are interested, which is why it's still on shelves.
It turns out I'm pretty happy that it is, after opening this pack.
So here it is:
#213 - Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers
First card out of the pack is a Dodger. Is that a sign?
But first, let's look at all the logos on this card. There are four of them dancing around Ryu. Baseball cards are starting to look like ESPN with graphics covering every edge and corner of the screen.
#104 - Jason Kipnis, Indians
#128 - Manny Machado, Orioles
The "Future Stars" script is difficult to read in gray, non-shiny print.
#69 - Jason Grilli, Pirates
#220 - Derek Jeter, Yankees
#25 - Torii Hunter, Tigers
#212 - Mark Trumbo, Diamondbacks
Here is my first look at one of the photoshopped superstars of 2014 Opening Day. I guess that's supposed to say "Arizona" on his jersey. It kind of looks like "Meow" to me.
How about that? One of the guys dealt to the Angels for Trumbo. This isn't nearly as nice a photoshop job as the Trumbo.
#76 - Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
#138 - Enny Romero, Rays
#SC-7 - Barry Zito, Giants, Superstar Celebrations
This thing is a disaster, and not just because it's the Giants. Zito is facing the wrong way. Everyone else looks like they're in the witness protection program because they're either wearing dark glasses or have their face obscured. Only Brandon Belt is easily identifiable and that's not good because his face always makes me cringe.
By now I was worried whether this impulse purchase was a terrible mistake.
I shouldn't have questioned myself.
#ODS-6 - Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers, Opening Day Stars
A 3-D-ish card of my favorite player? This was indeed a very wise impulse purchase.
#BO-6 - Yoenis Cespedes, A's, Breaking Out
As y'all have said already, these are big time rip-offs of the inserts in 1995 Fleer. But Fleer's dead so who's going to tell?
#182 - Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers, blue parallel, #1071/2014
I like this pack more and more.
The blue parallels look a little different than they did last year, as far as the shine in the background of the photo. Still very nice cards.
By the way, the Dodgers had played two games already by the "Opening Day" date on this card.
#166 - Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
#157 - Jimmy Rollins, Phillies
#172 - Josh Hamilton, Angels
I've mentioned this before, but I know a very obnoxious Angels fan, who bags on the Dodgers in a completely unprovoked fashion. When Yasiel Puig hurt his thumb diving into first, he laughed it up. Then Hamilton did the same thing. And got injured worse. I'm kind of enjoying this first month of the season.
#56 - Jedd Gyorko, Padres
Logos! Logos! Logos! Camo! Camo! Camo!
#126 - David Price, Rays
#186 - Jonathan Schoop, Orioles
#87 - Jayson Werth, Nationals
#9 - R.A. Dickey, Blue Jays
If Dickey has a different picture in Series 2, I will stage a one-collector riot.
#155 - Kendrys Morales, Mariners
#191 - Derek Holland, Rangers
And there you are.
Not bad for a pack I didn't want to buy.
Does this change my mind about Opening Day?
Hell, no. You have to remember, I once pulled an autograph out of Opening Day. That doesn't mean I think it should exist.
If I end up with any of that this year, you will really see some self-loathing.
Then again, that might be an interesting post.