Thursday, August 31, 2017

The spell is not broken

In yesterday's post I mentioned that I am no longer interested in Topps Chrome. The removal of borders essentially ruined the brand for me (it hasn't helped much with flagship either). But that doesn't mean I can't buy a pack.

I had not been to a card aisle in Target or Walmart in nearly a month. I hadn't even been in any other part of either store. It felt good. There weren't any cravings. I knew what was on the shelves. It didn't interest me. Even the urge to rip wasn't there.

Ah, but addiction has its ways. While running around trying to find food that two 19-year-old girls would eat for dinner, this suddenly popped in my brain: "Hey, I haven't bought any cards at the store in awhile."

It sounded very logical. Rational even. I've been a good boy. It's been many weeks. Surely a few cards after a month wouldn't be an issue. You could even buy 15 cards for $9.98. Who would care?

I was back under the spell.

Walmart was a disaster. Apparently in the month that I had been away, the store had decided to return to its 2009 state and impress me with football and wrestling packs. On to Target I went.

At Target I noticed the repacks (I bought one) and I saw 2017 Chrome for the first time. On one of those 3-pack hangers was a sticker that said "get one free pack of Topps Series 2."

Well, all right. I don't give a snivel about Topps Series 2, but free is free. Sign me up.

I opened the Series 2 pack ready to be disappointed. Sensing this, the Series 2 pack responded with a pack spilling over with Tampa Bay Rays.

One card in the entire pack interested me.

I appreciate any card that reminds people of the greatness of 1970s baseball.

So, then I turned my attention to the Chrome packs. These, in all honesty, were not exciting. And that's a terrible indictment of Chrome, considering the many panting odes I've made to opening packs of Chrome in the past.

Pack 1

#80 Jharel Cotton, A's (former Dodger)

#81 - Cole Hamels, Rangers, negative refractor

I do not understand these at all. This looks like an unfinished baseball card. I want a completed card, not a ghostly representation of a card.

#176 - Brandon Belt, Giants, refractor

#158 - Josh Bell, Pirates

Well, that was riveting.

Pack 2

#157 - Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees

#110 - Steven Matz, Mets

#87T-13 - Luke Weaver, Cardinals, 1987 Tribute For the Thousandth Time

Topps sure likes this guy this year. Not as much as it likes 1987 Topps, but I still haven't figured out who he is.

#14 - Kenta Maeda, Dodgers

The Dodgers suddenly have starting pitching problems.

But I did get a Dodger!

Pack 3

#2 - JaCoby Jones, Tigers

#190 - Brian Dozier, Twins

#FF-7 - Jorge Alfaro, Phillies, Freshman Flash insert

Anyone else see the Creature From the Black Lagoon lurking in the background?

#105 - Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers

Hey, two Dodgers! This was smart spending after all.

Pinky Parallels

Every one of these comes with three pink parallels. Parallels these days mean giant pink streaks covering the background that makes the card look like an unfinished paint project. I would prefer that the entire background was pink, but I'm sure I'm being too logical.

#12 - Carson Fulmer, White Sox
#126 - Francisco Lindor, Indians
#107 - Yu Darvish, Rangers

Outside of Fulmer, who is another player that Topps forces on us despite his 40.50 ERA this year and virtually nothing else of major league consequence, those were pretty good pinkies.

I can pretty much guarantee that will be my last 2017 Chrome purchase of the year. The spell may not be fully broken. But I know when the spark is gone.

And it's gone.


  1. Luke Weaver looks really really REALLY good.

  2. I'm with you, Chrome does nothing for me.

  3. If you're moving the pink Fulmer I could give it a good home...

  4. I'm fully on board with Luke Weaver, which probably means he'll turn into Michael Wacha.

  5. I agree about the loss of borders. Seems weird that now the special inserts often do have borders but the regular base cards don't.

  6. I actually picked up a hanger pack of Chrome last week and got the exact same Weaver card (and a printing plate of Mark Canha in the series 2 pack). I actually collect Weaver because he went to high school in DeLand, Florida, which is where I currently live, so if you have any Weavers you don't want, send them my way.
    I've never heard of a negative refractor. Does it still shine like a regular one?

  7. Can I be greedy and claim the Bell?

  8. Chrome this year is disastrous. I thought it merely passable last year, but this year I'm not even remotely enthralled by its glimmer and glam. Makes me very sad.

  9. Even when they're pretty, I can't ever justify so few cards in a pack as Chrome always is.

  10. I generally love all refractors, but negative refractors are among the ugliest parallels I can think of. Really scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as ways to make a card different.

    1. if they were transparent like a film negative, they might be fun.

  11. So maddening that Topps left the rookie cups off the base cards in series 2, but restored them for Topps Chrome (like Kenta Maeda above).