Thursday, June 19, 2014

No jinx

I returned to collecting current cards eight years ago. In that time, not one active Dodger had graced the wrapper of a Topps or other card company product. The only Dodger that I can remember seeing on a wrapper is Jackie Robinson, the cover boy for last year's Gypsy Queen.

So, when I saw that Kershaw was the featured player for Topps Series 2, my first thought was:


Followed by:

"Topps better not jinx him."

I don't think think the Topps wrapper jinx has anything on the Sports Illustrated cover jinx, but let's be real. Ryan Howard, Alex Rodriguez, Joba Chamberlain, Ryan Braun and a few others haven't had the best of outcomes since they appeared on baseball card wrapper fronts.

But it turns out I had nothing to fear. Mere days after Kershaw first popped up on wrappers all over the country, he pitched one of the more efficient no-hitters of all-time. No walks, one batter above the minimum, 107 pitches, 15 strikeouts. After that, I hope the guy's on wrappers in Topps Update, Chrome and everything else. Hell, I bet with his beard, Kershaw could do a pretty good likeness of Minty Beans in Allen & Ginter.

So, with the jinx out of the way, I absolutely had to get some Topps Series 2. I don't really care about the cards. I just wanted the wrapper.

However, when I got to Walmart, all I saw were hanger boxes, blasters and rack packs. Not a single loose pack. I will have to rectify this at some point in the future, but for now I grabbed a hanger box and will show you the very boring details right now:

#489 - David Price, Rays, pitcher

This particular shot was repeated throughout the box about 28 times. It makes for seriously boring cards. Also, the bottom left corner is majorly dinged. Nice craftsmanship.

#446 - Tim Hudson, Giants, pitcher

I'm showiing this to point out the Series 2 photoshopping. And that Hudson got torched yesterday. And that the Giants are in freefall. And that I am enjoying it immensely.

#466 - Ryan Dempster, Red Sox, pitcher
#553 - Michael Pineda, Yankees, pitcher
#456 - Eury De La Rosa, Diamondbacks, pitcher

This set is apparently pitchers and nothing else.

#566 - Carl Crawford, Dodgers, outfield

Hey! It's a position player!

Once, Crawford's cards were action-packed as he burned up the bases. Now that he's with the Dodgers, we get stuff like this. Riveting.

#578 - Tyler Thornburg, Brewers, pitcher
#410 - A.J. Griffin, A's, pitcher
#652 - Edinson Volquez, Pirates, pitcher

More and more pitchers.

#336 - Ben Zobrist, Rays, second base

Every card so far has been the same close-cropped stuff we've gotten the last few years. It was repetitious two years ago. Now, I barely see the cards.

#455 - Danny Espinosa, Nationals, shortstop
#656 - Grant Balfour, Rays, pitcher

#559 - Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians, shortstop

We've reached the horizontal portion of the box.

#632 - John Lackey, Red Sox, pitcher
#545 - Jeremy Affeldt, Giants, pitcher

#590 - Brett Cecil, Blue Jays, pitcher

Got to get those tattoos in there.

#390 - Bryce Harper, Nationals, checklist

#645 - Wilson Ramos, Nationals, catcher

The horizontal photos are vastly better than the vertical. Makes me wish for an all-horizontal set once again.

#PP-195 - Bartolo Colon, Mets, pitcher, Power Players

This is the first time I've pulled one of these things. I have no idea what to do with it (other than trade it).

#SST-3 - Carlos Gomez, Brewers, Saberstars insert

"SABR fans! At last, an insert set to call your own! Collect them all!"

#648 - A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks, outfield, blue parallel
#633 - Alex Avila, Tigers, catcher, blue parallel
#387 - Ed Lucas, Marlins, third base, blue parallel

Diamondbacks (I'm always pulling parallels of Diamondbacks), Tigers and Marlins. I can't think of a more untradeable threesome.

#598 - Marco Estrada, Brewers, pitcher, pumpkin parallel
#647 - L.J. Hoes, Astros, outfield, pumpkin parallel

I don't know what happened to the yellow parallels. I'm not crazy about this color, but I do enjoy saying that I've got a pumpkin Hoes.

#574 - Tyler Clippard, Nationals, pitcher

The faces Have. Got. To. Stop.

#653 - Jose Iglesias, Tigers, shortstop

#513 - Jordan Pacheco, Rockies, third base
#505 - Homer Bailey, Reds, pitcher
#454 - Brandon Beachy, Braves, pitcher
#548 - Jered Weaver, Angels, pitcher
#609 - Jonathan Pettibone, Phillies, pitcher

Pitcher, pitcher, pitcher

#481 - Allen Craig, Cardinals, first base

#600 - David Wright, Mets, third base

#374 - Taylor Jordan, Nationals, pitcher

#555 - Adam Eaton, Nationals, outfield, future star

#624 - Alex Presley, Twins, outfield
#546 - Heath Bell, Rays, pitcher
#626 - Tommy Hanson, Rangers, pitcher

#414 - Michael Wacha, Cardinals, pitcher

#457 - CC Sabathia, Yankees, pitcher

Pitcher, pitcher, pitcher

#427 - Cameron Maybin, Padres, outfield
#404 - C.C. Lee, Indians, pitcher
#408 - Joey Terdoslavich, Braves, outfield
#603 - Starlin Castro, Cubs, shortstop
#441 - Mike Pelfrey, Twins, pitcher
#417 - Chase Headley, Padres, third base

#465 - Justin Morneau, Rockies, first base

Photoshop extravaganza there.

#597 - Mat Latos, Reds, pitcher

#473 - Mike Napoli, Red Sox, first base

I've run out of stuff to say.

#562 - Didi Gregorius, Diamondbacks, shortstop
#419 - Lucas Harrell, Astros, pitcher
#344 - Kevin Siegrist, Cardinals, pitcher (we've returned to the horizontals)

#651 - Denard Span, Nationals

This is the sixth Nationals card I've pulled. Meanwhile, I pulled one Dodger. You saw it already. There won't be no more.

#421 - R.A. Dickey, Blue Jays, pitcher

#488 - Brian Duensing, Twins, pitcher

#364 - Mike Trout, Angels, checklist

I'm showing the Trout card because I'm afraid if anyone found out I pulled a Trout card and didn't show it, it would get back to the Very Adamant baseball people and I would be accused of backward thinking and stampeding progress.

So there you are. It's Mr. Spectacular Wonderful. Can't pitch no-hitters though.

#458 - Vinnie Pestano, Indians, pitcher (of course), blood red parallel

#593 - Carlos Beltran, Yankees, outfield, gold parallel

This won't be in my house for long.

#FN-46 - Sonny Gray, A's, pitcher, Future Is Now insert

I was afraid that these came 6 to a box. Fortunately, there's only one.

#502 - Chase Utley, Phillies, second base
#422 - Alexi Ogando, Rangers, pitcher

#447 - Christian Bethancourt, Braves, catcher

Just to show you Topps can do something a tinge different.

#516 - Mike Belfiore, Orioles, pitcher
#426 - Koji Uehara, Red Sox, pitcher
#539 - Trevor Bauer, Indains, pitcher
#341 - Mike Moustakas, Royals, third base
#541 - Phil Hughes, Twins, pitcher

#496 - Jose Abreu, White Sox, first base


#451 - Luis Garcia, Phillies, pitcher
#392 - Jacob Turner, Marlins, pitcher
#409 - Ian Kennedy, Padres, pitcher

Pitcher, pitcher, pitcher.

And there you are. Seventy-two cards -- 41 of which were of pitchers -- and Clayton Kershaw, as far as I know, is still healthy.

See? This Topps poster boy jinx thing is a bunch of hoo-ha.

Anyway, that was possibly the dullest box of new cards I've ever opened. I think I fell asleep while opening it and again while posting it here.

Honestly, the most exciting thing about it was the box with Kershaw's picture.

I'll be buying at least one more pack to get that wrapper.

I just hope a Kershaw card is inside there, too.


  1. Strangest thing -- I tried to search for Pumpkin Hoes and Google asked if I meant "pumpkin shoes."

    But I'd love to get the pumpkin Marco Estrada before he gives up 7 home runs to the first 7 batters tomorrow night in Coors Field.

  2. Dude, are you prepared for the ungodly amount if trash, err, wrappers you are about to receive in the mail?

  3. Tyler Clippard, your card is going to give me facial tics.

  4. The Morneau photoshop is reminiscent of the old style Topps airbrush jobs from the past.

  5. I want to know how in the hell Ryan Dempster gets a card in Series 2? He decided before spring training that he didn't want to pitch anymore and retired. I could have seen it if they put him in series 1, but really series 2?

  6. Roy Halladay is in Series 2 as well. Series 2 is basically Series 1, Part 2 and Update is sort of Series 2. And they're all kind of terrible, anyway.

  7. I'm really getting tired of the same close-cropped action photos. I'd like to see Topps go back to a mix of posed & action shots, and focus on getting some interesting photos like they tried to do with some of the early Stadium Club sets.

  8. Interested in trading that David Wright?

  9. I collect Marlins and am willing to trade! Want to swap a Marlins package for some Dodgers? sorphan10ATyahooDOTcom