Monday, October 31, 2016

Six six six II: just when you thought this post was dead forever

Greetings, Halloweenies. Thanks for taking a moment away from whatever your celebration may be to review this holiday post.

This is a continuation of a post that I published on Halloween two years ago. It was about cards that have dared to wear the No. 666. Shockingly, they have all lived to tell about it. In that post, I listed all of the cards that I could find from major sets that featured a 666 card.

And I left a warning at the end that the post could return, just like any cliched horror movie does just before the credits (or after the credits if you're gullible enough to sit in the dark through all of those names and titles).


There are more 666 cards to uncover, unearth, dig out of their grave, so the undead may walk the earth!

I'll start with the very latest, Fernando Rodney from this year's Heritage High Numbers set. Rodney appears to have signed the name of "James Ray" to his card, which is spooky enough if you put the name "Earl" in the middle there.

You can see that 666 Rodney was dealt from the Padres to the Marlins. I don't consider that a harbinger of evil to come. Normally it's a good thing to be traded by the Padres. But it's too early to see what fate may befall the sideways cap wearer.

The Heritage High Numbers set has been a goldmine for 666 cards. A year ago, Odubel Herrera landed on card No. 666. Herrera became an All-Star after this card came out.

Heritage High Numbers was an online-only feature the previous time it featured the No. 666. The unlucky player to show up on that number was the Twins' Carl Pavano, a pitcher well-known for encountering misfortune.

In 2008 and 2009, the first years for Heritage High Numbers, Rich Hill and Jason Michaels received the 666 honors.

Hill struggled to stay in the majors immediately after he appeared on that 666 card, even posting an ERA of infinity for the Angels in 2014. But he did manage to save the Dodgers' pitching staff from itself during the postseason. Michaels, meanwhile, was never the same as his earlier days with the Indians after this card. But I think his real misfortune is that photo.

In 2015, Topps put enough numbers in its flagship set to have a 666 card for the first time since 2005. Lucky Jonathan Broxton (still mad about that postseason against the Phillies) landed Topps' first 666 card in 10 years. After appearing on this card, he was signed by the Cardinals. He appeared in a lot of games, but couldn't get rid of that 4 ERA. At least it wasn't 6.66.

Topps continued the 700-card flagship set this year, meaning another 666 card. J.T. Realmuto landed on that card, complete with a Future Stars label AND a rookie cup. That is whistling in the graveyard for you. Hope it works out for you J.T.

When looking for these 666 cards I try to find some sort of commentary, a purposeful placement of a player or team on No. 666. Beyond Upper Deck intentionally making Dodgers card 666 during the late '80s and early '90s, I haven't found much (although I still say putting the Tigers at that number year after year until they won the World Series is a little creepy).

There is one semi-notable one though.

Byung-Hyun Kim gave up ninth-inning home runs to Tino Martinez and Scott Brosius in eventual Diamondbacks losses to the Yankees in Games 4 and 5 in the 2001 World Series. He was rewarded by getting card No. 666 in the 2002 Topps Total set. Yeah, that's unlucky.

Still, I don't know why I'm wasting my time with these cards where the No. 666 is on the back. There is only one card that I know of where the mark of the beast is on the front.

That sounds about right.

Happy Halloween.

666 cards in Topps sets:

1970- Adolfo Phillips
1971 - Gene Brabender
1972 - Hector Torres
1978 - Billy Smith
1979 - Rich Dauer
1980 - Tigers Future Stars
1981 - Tigers team checklist
1982 - Tigers leaders
1983 - Sparky Anderson
1984 - Tigers team leaders
1985 - Mike LaCoss
1986 - Rangers leaders
1987 - Von Hayes
1988 - Mario Soto
1989 - Randy St. Clair
1990 - Brian Fisher
1991 - Danny Darwin
1992 - Tom Foley
1993 - Glenallen Hill
1994 - Steve Buechele
2001 - Glenallen Hill
2002 - Mariners team card
2003 - Jeff Francis
2004 - Rangers team card
2005 - Rangers team card
2015 - Jonathan Broxton
2016 - J.T. Realmuto

666 cards in Topps Heritage High Numbers

2008 - Jason Michaels
2009 - Rich Hill
2012 - Carl Pavano
2015 - Odubel Herrera
2016 - Fernando Rodney

666 cards in Topps Total

2002 - Byung-hyun Kim
2005 - Keith Foulke

666 cards in Upper Deck

1989 - Kirk Gibson
1990 - Jose Gonzalez
1991 - Mickey Hatcher
1992 - Bob Ojeda
1993 - Jim Gott
1998 - Steve Cooke
2002 - Shawn Green
2006 - Brett Tomko
2007 - Latroy Hawkins
2008 - Jason Bartlett
2009 - Carlos Lee

666 cards in Upper Deck Documentary

2008 - Jermaine Dye

666 cards in Upper Deck 40 Man

2002 - P.J. Bevis
2003 - David Bell

666 cards in Yankee Stadium Legacy

2008 - Lefty Gomez

666 cards in Fleer

1991 - Andy Hawkins
1992 - Vinny Castilla
1993 - Mike Moore
1994 - Gene Harris
1997 - Sid Fernandez

666 cards in Score

1990 - Steve Hosey
1991 - Barry Larkin all-star
1992 - Jeff Manto

666 cards in Donruss

1990 - Ricky Horton
1991 - Willie McGee
1992 - Jeff Montgomery
1993 - Steve Foster

666 cards in Donruss Preferred

1998 - Neifi Perez

666 cards in Collector's Choice

1994 - Pokey Reese
1996 - Ernie Young

666 cards in Pacific

1998 (Pacific Online): Brett Mayne

666 cards in Stadium Club

1992 - Greg Vaughn
1993 - Harold Baines
1994 - Will Clark

666 cards in Bowman

1991 - Randy Myers
1992 - Bob Walk
1993 - Reggie Sanders
1994 - Dante Bichette

666 cards in Sporting News Conlon

1993 - Al Simmons

More to come????? ....

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The wants are piling up

(NOTE: Since this was posted, my flagship and Update wants have been virtually erased, and Archives wants dented, please consult the main want list if you're feeling generous).

One of the more aggravating parts of collecting annually is the end of the year. Every November or December, I look back on my want lists and notice all of the set and team needs still sitting there from the past 10-12 months.

Sometimes, when I want to really irritate myself, I look back on the previous years -- wants from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 -- and shake my head at all of the items sitting untouched, for years now.

I have told myself repeatedly that with the next online order, I am going to tackle that particular year's wants so I don't have to look at them taunting me anymore. And then I don't do it. There's always something more enjoyable out there than a recent Topps Opening Day Dodger need.

So 2016 is no different than the previous years that are already part of the growing pile of wants. We're closing in on the end of the year and still so many cards from that year need to be in my binders. Probably more than ever given the indifference I've had to many sets produced in the last 10 months or so.

Topps Chrome is one of those. As I recently said, I'm pulling away from chrome more and more. Almost all of my Dodger Chrome needs have been supplied by madding of Cards On Cards. He sent a PWE the other day with a few more of them.

Inserts in Chrome that were also in flagship is still something I wish had never occurred to anyone, but I'm glad these are at least in my possession.

With madding's abundant help, my Dodgers' 2016 Chrome list is down to a manageable few cards:

#26, #92, #130, #131, #149, #YI-1, #YI-20

And, what the heck, why don't I throw the rest of my 2016 wants on this post? It will help me update myself on what I need and help anyone who is thinking of sending me cards find some potentially readily available items without getting lost in my monstrous want list.

2016 Topps Flagship Dodgers

#423, #429, #435, #496, #542, #569; Berger's Best: BB-4, BB-57, BB2-59, BB2-81, BB2-2013; First Pitch: FP-11; Hallowed Highlights: HH-5; MLB Debut: MLBD-30, MLBD-38

I admit I've been so disgusted that I still need Topps flagship Dodgers cards that I have a bunch ready to order online, even though I find ordering stuff like this very boring.

2016 Topps Update Dodgers

#9, #45, #98, #172, #279, #300; Fire: F-7; First Pitch: FP-5, FP-10; Team Franklin: TF19

This want list is brand new, but I feel good about it already after grabbing a Dodger-friendly hanger box.

2016 Topps Allen & Ginter Dodgers

#16, #120, #163, #304, #334; Minis (any back): #11, #16, #120, #121, #133, #143, #163, #174, #181, #258, #299, #304, #329, #334; Numbers Game: NG-6, NG-17, NG-82; Skippers mini: S-3

If I was attempting to complete A&G like in years past, I'd probably be farther along by now, but with three Dodgers in the SP final 50, the inspiration isn't exactly there.

2016 Topps Archives, 1979 design

#113, #122, #142, #144, #145, #151, #180, #190

Those of you familiar with Archives probably noticed that I stopped short of adding the SP cards from this set that feature the 1979 design. I don't want to pay what these cards cost and I wouldn't ask for anyone to pay it for me either.

Of course ...

2016 Topps Archives Dodgers

#301, #305, #310

... my only Dodgers Archives needs are all the super-short-prints. Go ahead and look what they're selling for if they're not sold out. I ain't paying that for a 2016 card dipped in artificial scarcity.

2016 Topps Bunt Dodgers

Future of the Franchise: FF-1, FF-9; Light Force: LF-16; Moon Shots: MS-16; Programs: P-17; Stadium Heritage (serial #'d): SH-5; Title Town (serial #'d): TT-6

The Lost Collector very nicely took care of my base card needs awhile ago. Plenty of inserts left though for one of the highlights of the collecting year.

2016 Topps Gypsy Queen Dodgers

#7, #48, #138, #173, #192, #292, #304, #323, #343; Framed parallels: #7, #44, #48, #51

The one set that I wouldn't lose sleep over if it's still on my want list with the same numbers needed 10 years from now. I didn't even bother listing the minis (although they're on my main want list), because I'm finally questioning the logic of wanting mini versions of a set I dislike. But I'm still illogical enough to want the base cards!

2016 Topps Heritage Dodgers

Chrome parallels: #410, #426; Bazooka: 67B-CK; Discs: 67TDC-CK; New Age Performers: NAP-YP

Never the easiest team set to complete, but it's done, save for the inserts. Of course, if anyone wants to bestow upon me one of those Corey Seager super-shortprints, I'll write up an epic post in your honor.

2016 Topps Heritage Stand-Ups

McCutchen, Posey, Correa, Kershaw, Donaldson, Bumgarner, Cabrera, Trout, Greinke

I didn't do myself any favors latching onto this insert, but I still think it's probably the best insert of the year. I've lucked out pulling all the Cubs in this set, but a lot of work still to go. Fortunately I like Heritage enough that I'm still willing to buy packs just for the hell of it.

2016 Topps Heritage High Numbers Dodgers

#529; Bazooka: 67B-KM; Now and Then: NT-14; Rookie Performers: #RP-CS; #RP-JU

The High Numbers set has been so much easier to tackle than the regular Heritage set for whatever reason. I'm just a Kike Hernandez card away from being satisfied here.

2016 Topps Opening Day Dodgers

#53, #119; Opening Day Stars: ODS-5

I will need to transfer this want list to my main want list. Opening Day has been so uninspiring the last few years that I can't even muster a want list.

2016 Topps Stadium Club Dodgers

#13, #69, #294; Beam Team: BT-14; BT-21; Instavision Highlights: IV-4; ISOMetrics: I-15

Those 3 base card needs in order are: Koufax, Kershaw and Robinson. Knowing the players and having seen the photos, it's not a surprise that I don't own these yet, although I suspect Topps is doing that always charming thing where some base cards are more available than others.

2016 Bowman/Bowman Prospects Dodgers

#145, #BP-18, #BP-78; Scouts Top 100: #BTP-1, #BTP-7, #BTP-20; BTP-81

As usual with any Bowman want list, I have no idea if it's right and I'm pretty sure I'm missing cards I need. Every Bowman list is and always will be a disaster.

2016 Panini Diamond King Dodgers

#12, #47, #54, #62, #113, #117, #164

Well, if Panini isn't going to do Hometown Heroes anymore, at least there's this.

Those are all the want lists I've compiled for 2016 sets. Obviously there are others out there. Topps Tribute and Bowman Chrome, etc., etc.

For instance, I don't have want lists up for these two other 2016 cards Kerry sent, too -- Bowman Platinum and Donruss Optic.

I'll probably add them at some point, but given my current end-of-the-year feeling that I'm not getting anything accomplished, maybe I should hold off and get some of these other sets completed first.

I sure do need a lot of cards for someone who has cut back a lot on collecting current product.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


I've been enjoying the leisurely pace of my vacation immensely. Since the other people in the house are still on their usual busy schedules, there was no opportunity to go anywhere special. And you know what that means.

That means I get to stay home and play with my cards! Yay! Stay-cation! More like CARD-cation, am I riiiighhhtt???

The first few days have involved some cards, but they've mostly been occupied by the World Series and various errands and around-the-house tasks. However, the wife is headed out of town for a couple of days, meaning -- oh, glorious day -- cards take over the house. I plan on planting a giant box of cards in the center of the dining room table and going straight into a sorting binge.

I'll also have the chance to search for cards for various people without being under the gun from this task or that one, or have that enormous work cloud tailing me throughout the live long day. And, of course, I can blissfully show off cards I've received from others with no time constraints.

Tonight's card offerings come from Brian of Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary. This is one of those supertrader deals that morphed out of my request for two Allen & Ginter minis that Brian was offering up.

Those are the minis that I thought might find a spot in my franken-mini binder. I have never heard of Jay Oakerson, but what the heck, it's better than a blank spot. Jen Welter, on the other hand, blows my mind for being a female coach in the ultimate man's game, the NFL. Surely she would make the binder.

Well, fooled me. Oakerson is actually a no-number mini. How can you put a no-number in a frankenset that is all about numbers?  Also, Welter ran into another trend-setting woman:

Both Welter and Bonnie Bernstein are No. 179. I was still going to replace Bernstein with Welter because I hate it when A&G shows glamour shots of non-athletes. Show these people in action -- Bonnie on the sidelines with a microphone -- like we know them!

But then The Snorting Bull had to go ahead and share the terribly sad story of Jennifer Frey the other day and now there's no way I can remove Bernstein from the frankenset binder.

OK, moving on to happier card items and stories.

More NFL, but good, old-fashioned '60s NFL, Buffalo-style. I love the 1969 Topps football stoplight set. Meanwhile, the Mercer card is my first in-person look at the 1968 Topps football set. It looks more modern than a lot of '60s sets.

Brian also threw in a 1979 Bills schedule. I believe that's running back Terry Miller carrying the ball. The best part of this is the back -- every game of the regular season starts between 1 and 4 p.m. And club level seats are $15.

OK, you want more modern stuff. I know the 1990s is a lot of your guys' speed. These are three '90s cards that I needed. Brian had to alert me to the Mike Piazza card being a "Showcase Series" parallel. Good thing he did. I have never heard of that.

These are both headed for various set needs. The History of the Game night card heads to the night card binder, of course. The night-bordered '09 OPC Martin goes into the still-not-mentioned-in-my-want-lists black-bordered collection.

I very nearly put this card in the dupes box! Upper Deck and their too similar parallel colors! This '06 Eric Gagne is numbered to /99, silly! It's bluish instead of slightly greenish-bluish! Come on, man!

You want even more modern stuff? OK, here are items from the last five years. You can tell Brian has card shows and card shops on every corner from these items. The orange-bordered numbered Jamey Wright is from who knows what -- maybe an end-of-the-year box set exclusive?

The most modern of modern cards. All of these are needs from this year. It's a tie for what I'm happiest about here. The Kenta Maeda Chrome is pretty in a "taste the rainbow" kind of way. The Andre Ethier A&G card is one of them short-prints. Since I'm not collecting the A&G set this year, for the first time in like eight years, I need only one version of the Dodger SPs. I should have thought of doing this earlier.

OK, I overloaded you with modern cards. I promise nothing but older stuff the rest of the way.

This Welcome Back, Kotter card arrived a little too late to be include in my '70s movie/TV show page. But that doesn't mean I don't want it. You can tell by the buyback stamp that it showed up in that Archives thing Topps did a few years ago.

This card blew my mind a little. I wasn't aware that the 1989 Fleer box-bottoms featured team logos. And I never would have guessed it was a box-bottom anyway because it's the most perfectly cut box bottom I have ever seen. Whoever cut this must have been a professional surgeon.

Let's end this session with a couple of pack breaks, courtesy of Brian. I am probably the last collector in the world who gets a kick out of opening 1988 Donruss, so let's check out the goodies:

Still a hoot. I spared you the Stan Musial puzzle piece. Half a leg or something.

I got a little too excited about this one. I thought I still needed Dodgers from the 1987 Sportflics set. But it's those nefarious 1989 and 1990 sets instead. Still, Magic Motion is Magic Motion.

I couldn't have hand-selected two better team-logos. The three player cards -- Willie (I'm not Guillermo yet) Hernandez, Ozzie Guillen and Ron Darling -- are pretty good, too.

Quite a bit of variety in that supertrader package, huh? Thanks a bunch, Brian.

All right, it's time to park myself in front of the TV for Game 4 and to figure out which cards I'm going to throw on the floor in the big Card-cation sort-a-thon.

You can't do this kind of stuff when you're in a hotel 700 miles away.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Putting a bow on a disappointment

Topps' flagship set this year was my biggest card disappointment. I won't say that it was a major disappointment because I really didn't want to try to complete another flagship set after putting my all into 2015. But 2016 Topps was not even close to my style and the disappointing part is that this set probably indicates the direction in which Topps is headed.

So I bought very little Series 1 from this year's set and even less Series 2. I thought about ignoring Update altogether because:

1) I don't want to keep seeing those smokey photos.
2) I know half of the cards will show players in the pukey retro Padres All-Star uniforms.

But, in the end, I had to get at least one hanger box to see if I could find some Dodgers and a couple other items that I could salvage from the burning wreckage of the 2016 Topps collecting season.

I'm showing these cards approximately two weeks after Update arrived. Today was the first day I even looked for it. It appeared that nobody had touched any Update product at my Target, so maybe it had just been stocked, or maybe nobody cares.

After all, I'm still missing like seven Dodgers from Series 2. You'd think enough people would have wanted to get rid of their Carl Crawfords and Brett Andersons that I would have 10 of each card by now. That's probably an indication of the popularity of this set.

But let's get to the cards inside the box. I promise you there is something I liked within.

#US273 - Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks, All-Star

First card features those stealth uniforms that have invaded national sports. They remind me of the kids who didn't have rain slickers so their moms cut holes in garbage bags and sent them to school.

 #US83 - Bud Norris, Dodgers

Woo! First Dodger who is probably not even a Dodger anymore!

This card reminds me of something.

 Can't really put my finger on it.

#US223 - Jose Fernandez, Marlins, All-Star

What can you say except "RIP".

#US33 - Aledmys Diaz, Cardinals, All-Star

#US190 - Trayce Thompson, Dodgers

It's a little disturbing how quickly Thompson disappeared into the ether after he was injured. He went from a Dodgers sensation in the late spring to a nonentity. Not even the Dodger Twitter people who discuss every fourth-stringer in depth mentioned him anymore. Gives you an idea of how fleeting the MLB life can be.

#US68 - Adam Duvall, Padr ... er, I mean, Reds, HR Derby

Here is a look at those retro Padres HR Derby uniforms. You're going to be seeing these a lot.

Also, let's get a close up of the HR Derby logo:

Don't forget that it's the "T-Mobile Home Run Derby". It's even referred by that on the back of the HR Derby cards. There is no way that would happen if Topps wasn't the sole card licensee of MLB. Yup, MLB has made Topps its bitch.

#US102 - Aaron Hicks, Yankees

I know a Yankee fan that rips this guy constantly.

#US201 - Mookie Betts, Red Sox, All-Star

#US168 - Robbie Grossman, Twins

#US4 - Jake Arrieta, Cubs, All-Star

The day Jake Arrieta got traded to the Padres. Also, a nice advertisement for one of Wrigley Field's rooftop seating operations.

#US117 - Tyler Naquin, Indians

I feel obligated to show all World Series participants.

#US232 - Clayton Kershaw, DODGERS, All-Star

You're looking at the worst card of the year. I knew this card was coming. You'll notice that Topps picked and chose which All-Stars would be featured in their own uniforms and which would appear in Padres pregame get-ups. Lucky me, I get Kershaw in mustard-and-dog-crap. This is some Padre fan's wet dream. Enjoy it, San Diego, when you're being no-hit by him next year.

#US182 - Hyun-Soo Kim, Orioles

#US144 - Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins, HR Derby

#US245 - Howie Kendrick, Dodgers

Fourth Dodger so far. There will be more. I thought Kendrick should have played in the postseason more.

#US88 - Tyrell Jenkins, Braves
#US32 - Juan Uribe, Indians
#US146 - Alex Hanson, Pirates

#US223 - Jose Fernandez, Marlins, All-Star, gold parallel

I don't even want to know the price people are putting on this card.

#12 - Tony Gwynn, Padres, 3000 Hits Club insert

Weird-looking insert. I'm sure it will go to one of the 15 card bloggers who collect Gwynn.

#FP-6 - Aubrey Plaza, First-Pitch insert

Weeeeee!!! The best non-baseball player card in the entire set! I wanted this card from the moment it appeared in the checklist. I've already professed my appreciation for Parks & Rec. April Ludgate was one of the best characters in the show. Also, Plaza grew up playing softball, which is so cool I can't stand it.

#12 - Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks, 500 Futures Club insert

The Goldschmidt hot box continues. This set is where Topps assumes a bunch of youngsters are going to hit 500 home runs, so we can all laugh at the cards 20 years from now.

#US86 - Stephen Vogt, A's, All-Star

The horizontal portion of the box has arrived.

#US52 - Wil Myers, Padres, All-Star

Finally, someone who belongs in this uniform. Here, Myers and Adam Duvall say goodbye before the smoke robs them of precious oxygen.

#US218 - Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, T-MOBILE Home Run Derby

#US221 - Yankees Keystoners

The two players are referred to on the back only as Gregorius and Castro. I realize I am bothered by this more than I should be, but it's my career background speaking. The players have full names (Didi Gregorius, Starlin Castro), you have the room, use them.

#US157 - Jameson Taillon, Pirates, rookie debut

I like this card.

#US71 - Kelly Johnson, Mets

I like this card, too.

#US174 - Starlin Castro, Yankees

#US7 - Blaine Boyer, Brewers

Throwing the Brewers fans a bone.

#US110 - Bryan Shaw, Indians

#US187 - Justin Wilson, Tigers
#US124 - Junior Guerra, Brewers
#US184 - Yovanni Gallardo, Orioles
#US106 - Ji-Man Choi, Angels

#US156 - Geovany Soto, Angels

#US249 - Tony Wolters, Rockies
#US58 - Jameson Taillon, Pirates
#US28 - Alfredo Simon, Reds

#US43 - Michael Conforto, Mets, rookie debut

#US129 - Peter Bourjos, Phillies

That is one modern scoreboard behind Bourjos. Pretty cool.

#US23 - Ian Desmond, Rangers, All-Star
#US75 - Alex Colome, Rays

#US208 - Pedro Strop, Cubs

#US289 - Cesar Vargas, Padres
#US143 - Drew Stubbs, Rangers
#US29 - Jon Moscot, Reds

#US178 - Albert Almora, Cubs

#US165 - Drew Butera, Royals

#US74 - Brandon Nimmo, Mets

#US77 - Wade Miley, Orioles
#US141 - Buster Posey, Giants, All-Star
#US197 - Brad Brach, Orioles
#US198 - Carlos Gonzales, Rockies, All-Star

#US267 - Michael Saunders, Blue Jays, All-Star

#US149 - Matt Bowman, Cardinals

#US155 - Nolan Reimold, Orioles

Awfully foggy there. I don't know how you catch a ball in that.

#US38 - Cole Hamels, Rangers, foil

Scanner won't tell you it's a foil parallel, but it is.

#TF-12 - Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox, Franklin insert

These are weird. It appears to be a blatant advertisement for Franklin sporting goods with a bunch of Franklin references on the back. Can't wait for the Cialis insert set.

#TAR-16 - Peter O'Brien, Diamondbacks, Target Rookie insert set

These are those inserts that are suspiciously similar to the "Birth Years" cards that White Sox Cards has been doing for as long as I've had a blog. I've already promised this card to the Cardboard Curmudgeon, who is collecting these. I don't know if I could collect them. I get depressed when I'm reminded that people born in 1993 are in the majors.

#US142 - Andrelton Simmons, Angels
#US217 - Monsters of Motown (J.D. Martinez/Miguel Cabrera), Tigers

#US285 - Kenta Maeda, Dodgers, rookie debut

If you're keeping track (and I am), this is the sixth Dodger card, including Plaza. This was expert hanger box selecting.

#US1 - Manny Machado, Orioles, All-Star

I love the socks. I might get branded old-school a lot of the time, but anything players want to do with the socks is OK with me. I love any shoe statements, too. Go nuts.

#US163 - Matt Wieters, Orioles, All-Star

I know I've pulled many Dodgers, but this is overwhelmingly an Orioles hot box. (P.S.: I'm told that's not Matt Wieters in the photo. I guess that's what happens when you spend half your career on nonlicensed cards).

#US246 - Jay Bruce, Reds, All-Star

Scratch that. It's overwhelmingly a Padres hot box. There is no sign of Reds on this card.

#US260 - Ichiro Suzuki, Marlins, checklist

#US179 - Ezequiel Carrera, Blue Jays

#US22 - Neil Walker, Mets

#US8 - Pedro Alvarez, Orioles

Eighth Oriole.

#US261 - Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Tigers
#US121 - Ender Inciarte, Braves

And that's it.

While those won't be the last 2016 Topps Update cards you'll see here (or the last 2016 Topps cards you'll see here), it will be the last Topps flagship cards I will buy from 2016 -- unless I'm forced to pick up Dodgers singles online.

With only a few pockets of happiness (the first-pitch cards, some of the photos), this set has convinced me to focus on other areas of my collection more seriously. I've always been a "flagship first" kind of collector because that was what was around when I was a kid. But it causes me to go nuts with things I don't really need, like accumulating a bunch of 2013 cards while having no intention of completing the set.

I think 2016 Topps has convinced me not to do that anymore. Unless I really like the set -- and it doesn't look like that will happen until 2018 at least -- I'll just buy a few packs and be done with it. It's kind of what I did in 2012 and 2014, but I'm going to crack down even more.

If I look at it that way, then the 2016 set hasn't been that much of a disappointment because it's taught me to move on with my collecting life.

Hopefully, I can kick the non-vintage flagship habit for good.