Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The first Valentine's Day pack throwdown

As I suspected, I received 2018 Topps baseball card packs for Valentine's Day. I do so love this time of year.

I happened to receive three packs apiece from both my wife and my daughter. So this presents the perfect opportunity to pair the packs up against each other in a battle to the death ... er, a battle to see who loves me more ... er, a battle to see which packs I like the most.

Yeah, that last one, let's go with the last one.

I think I have the scoring down for this exercise:

+1 - for a card I need
+1 - for a Dodger I already have (but can go toward the set that I'm not building)
+2 - for a notable parallel/insert
+3 - for a card I've wanted since I've seen it shown on the blogs
+7 - for a short-print
+10 - for a Dodger I don't have (this is the only reason I'm opening these after all)
- 1 - for a dupe
- 1 - for any Astros World Series card
- 2 - for those ubiquitous Derek Jeter inserts

OK, them's the rules. Let's go.


I'll begin with my daughter's packs first:

Pack 1

Cards I need: 7 points

One dumb Jeter card: Minus 2 points

There were four dupes in the pack: Minus 4 points

Total: 1 point

Pack 2

Cards I need: 10 points (1 more to come)

Card I've wanted since I saw it on the blogs: Chris Archer, 3 points

Notable parallel/insert: The Halladay card (*sad face*): 2 points

Another Jeter card: Minus 2 points

Another card I've wanted since I first saw it: 3 points

There was just one dupe: Minus 1 point

Total: 15 points
Total after 2 packs: 16 points

Pack 3

Cards I needed: 2 points

Dodger I had already (Verdugo): 1 point

Card I wanted since seeing it on the blogs (Dansby Swanson): 3 points. (Note how the bat goes in front of the Future Stars logo -- very '88 Topps!)

Three packs, three Jeter inserts: Minus 2 points (I've got to tell people to stop buying my packs at Target).

Dupes: A whole mess of them. Minus 8 points

Total: Minus 7 points (Yuck)
Total for the 3 packs: 9 points

OK, not the greatest pack selection. Let's see how my wife does.

Pack 1

Cards I need: 9 points (two more to come)

Dodger I need: 10 points (Woooooooo!)

Notable parallel/insert: 2 points

This is my first gold parallel from 2018 Topps. I don't agree with those who say these are difficult to spot. I spotted it right away. Also, I have to say that THIS is how you do your gold parallels if you're not going to have borders. It took three years for Topps to figure this out.This is so much better than 2016/17.

Dupes: Minus 3

No Jeter card for the first time.

Total: 18 points

Pack 2

Cards I need: 8 points (2 more to come)

Dodger I need AND notable parallel/insert: 13 points (Woooooo!)

Card I've wanted since I first saw it: 3 points

Jeter insert returns to haunt us all: Minus 2 points

Dupes: Minus 3 points

Total: 19 points

Total after 2 packs: 37 points

This is quickly turning into no contest.

Pack 3

Cards I need: 8 points

Dodger I need (Buehler ... Buehler ... Buehler): 10 points (Woooo!)

Dupes: Minus 4 points

Total: 14 points
Total for the 3 packs: 51 points.

OK, so my wife clearly knows how to select 2018 Topps packs. That was a 51-9 whitewash.

And then she put the hammer down:

Chocolates! That's worth at least 10 points!

(Have you noticed that the inside of Dove chocolate wrappers have slightly girlish inspirational sayings?. I would like to state for the record that guys enjoy chocolate, too).

And then the gift card whammy that will inevitably go toward the first sign of 2018 Heritage.

My wife does not play fair when it comes to Valentine's Day. 💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓💓

But thanks to both of my sweeties.

There was a time not so many Valentine's Days ago, that I would receive no cards.


  1. You got some great gifts there. I had not seen that Travis d'Arnaud card before this post. Very, very cool. Too many Jeter inserts though. Yikes!

  2. Those Jeter inserts are horrible. It wouldn’t be so bad if it were Mariano Rivera or someone. Well, maybe not Judge, but I think a lot of collectors will be glad when that insert set is put to rest (hopefully in Series 2).
    I thought with the 3 blasters and couple random packs I’ve got so far that I was close to getting the whole set, but it appears you have some ones I haven’t seen before. I’m not going for the set, but I usually stop getting packs of a certain set once I’m pretty close just to minimize getting dupes (as if Topps doesn’t help out with getting you dupes after 2-3 packs as it is).

  3. The photo on the Broxton card is awesome!

    The fact that you scanned the chocolates instead of photographed them made me laugh hysterically.

  4. Time saver, man. Don't want to break the flow.

  5. Wow there are Jeter inserts in the 12-card packs too? I wonder how the 36-card hanger packs managed to escape that.

  6. I sell cards on Sportlots and posted my Jeter cards. I have sold 3 or 4 and gotten about half a blaster worth of cash in return.

  7. "Have you noticed that the inside of Dove chocolate wrappers have slightly girlish inspirational sayings?. I would like to state for the record that guys enjoy chocolate, too."

    I don't know Night Owl, some guys out there might enjoy slightly girlish inspirational sayings.

  8. You can send them Jete's my way, lol. I promise I won't say a bad word at all.

  9. Jeter was a fine player, but his charm is lost on me. That many inserts is definitely overkill.

  10. Alas, I have no one to buy me packs on Valentine's Day.

    So I got on eBay and would have bought myself four boxes (2 of each series) from 2003, but eBay denied the combined shipping request, so I haven't paid yet.

  11. Solid Valentine's Day presents. Dove is one of my favorite brands of chocolate... and Target is definitely my favorite kind of gift card. Although eBay is coming on strong.

  12. The Woodruff card is one of my favorites so far this year. It is _that_ shot from the immortal 1975 wrapper.