One of the unintended aspects of running a card blog is that you become an advertisement for Topps, or whatever card company you are featuring. I don't mind being an advertisement for card collecting -- that is one of the main purposes of this blog -- but as far as promoting Topps' latest product? That wasn't the idea.
But that's what happens and I realize that. Because sometimes I'll see the latest and greatest card product on someone else's blog and guess what? Suddenly it appears mysteriously in my hands.
I had no intention of buying any of the new Heritage High Numbers that is out now. I do appreciate that you can find it in retail instead of those all-in-one-shot boxes of HHN that they've been selling online the last few years. But I had been done with the 2015 Heritage design way back last spring, and seeing players -- half of whom are marginal figures at best -- on that design was not appealing.
Then, while traveling the blogs, I happened upon The Snorting Bull and his "greatest box of retail ever." In that box was a red-inked autographed card of Al Kaline.
OK, now, that's impressive. 1966 design or not.
I fully realized that the chances of me pulling such an item was beneath remote. And I realized that Snorting Bull had purchased a blaster, and there was no way I was doing that. But the seed had been planted.
So, yesterday, while searching for some cards to go with my box of Stadium Club, I saw the green HHN fat packs and instinctively grabbed one. Because, you know, Al Kaline.
Well, of course, I didn't pull an Al Kaline autograph. Or an autograph of anyone. Or a hit of any kind. Or even one of the 5 or 6 Dodgers in the set. Nope, it was just card after card of "eh."
So, all that's left now is playing a game of "have I heard of this guy before?" -- which is always appropriate with these update sets.
So here we go:
Yup, Yup, Nope and Yup.
I'm fairly certain that Asher Wojciechowski is a Topps employee. The other three are well-known to me. Sogard, who has been with Oakland for five years now, is one of those unlucky individuals that Topps didn't see fit to put in the base Heritage set.
Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes. Hey! I've heard of all four (nice similar pitching poses there). Sure, I know Jimmy Nelson mostly because he sounds like the name of child on a 1960s sitcom, but let's not get into reasons why.
Nope, Nope, Yup/Yup and Yup.
The Soaring Astros card shows George Springer and Jose Altuve. I appreciate that the insert stays true to form with the '66 design, which is to say it does nothing for me. 2016 Heritage/1967 design is just a few months away.
Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes.
Another perfecto! I know Justin Bour because he seemed to pop up in every Marlins roundup I put in the newspaper. I admit I barely pay attention to the roundups -- other than to hunt for typos -- as I'm usually scrambling to piece them together at the end of the night. But there was that name again and again.
By the way, note all the Marlins, Nationals and Diamondbacks. These cards are stuck with me forever.
Yup, Nope, Yup and Yup.
Williams Perez is the odd-man out. Anthony Gose is actually the subject of a future blog post if I ever get to it.
So the final tally is:
Guys I know: 16
Guys I don't know: 4
That's not too bad for someone with a family, job, mortgage, a few blogs and various other issues. Trust me, if you aren't there yet, you'll get there.
So, other than that little exercise, I think this might be the worst pack of cards I've opened all year.
This is all Al Kaline's fault.
OK, not really.
It's all Snorting Bull's fault.
OK, that's not true either.
It's all Topps' fault.
All right, it's all my fault.