Sunday, April 29, 2018

This year's poster boy

A couple of weeks ago I was observing the nonstop Shohei Ohtani babble on everyone's favorite/most-hated social media platform and it made me wonder when I would land my first Ohtani card.

I guessed it would be sometime around October. I don't pursue the newest rookie sensation each and every year. I don't rush out to find packs of Bowman. I haven't been in a card aisle for weeks and it could be several more weeks before I visit again. So, October sounded about right. There will probably be a dozen Ohtani cards in Topps Update, I'll pull one of those then.

Well, the funny thing about saying things out loud -- or typing them out loud -- is there is always someone listening.

So, when I arrived from out of town a few days ago, there was a package waiting for me from Marc at Remember The Astrodome. Amid all of the Dodgers goodness that fell out of the envelope was the above Opening Day card of 2018's poster boy, Shohei Ohtani.

Mark it on your calendars. April 25, 2018. The day I acquired my first Shohei Ohtani card.

I can now retire as a collector.

Obtaining a card of Ohtani hasn't been a goal, I was being facetious when I mentioned it on Twitter (big shock, I know). He doesn't play for a team I like. (He does play for the favorite team of the most annoying fan I know, so I do get to see the "Amazing Life of Shohei Ohtani" on a daily basis on another favorite social media platform). I get that he's something different but I don't melt for everything -- I've been through Strasburg, Harper, Puig and Judge all within the last eight years. And I don't jump when Bowman says it's released its uninspired cards.

I appreciate the gesture more than the card. Take a look at COMC. The cheapest Ohtani card is selling for 8 bucks and it's the Opening Day card. It's awesome that someone thought enough to send me that card.

I do appreciate having the card in the way that I like having a card of anyone who made an impact on the game during a given year. That's the most distressing part of a hyped player -- it may be months before I get even one card of Mr. Buzzworthy. I don't want the card because he's a sensation, I want it because he played in a game this year.

So let's check out the back. Nobody shows the backs.

It's interesting that Topps selected only Ohtani's hitting stats for display. But I suppose that's why everybody's giddy about the guy.

Also please note his birth date. He was born in 1994 (in the middle of the MLB strike actually). The day is coming very soon when players will be younger than my daughter. That will be the day when I absolutely refuse to get goopy over any rookie.

Case in point.

Walker Buehler was born a matter of days after Ohtani. He's performed pretty well in his first couple of starts for the Dodgers.

But I'm not trying to buy up Walker Buehler cards. I think I have around 20. I didn't try to obtain a single one.

I do appreciate receiving them in the mail because he's a Dodger, of course. I even appreciate getting the goofy "oops we forgot the black plate" parallel (card on the right), which is one of the many dumb things Gypsy Queen does with its variations. (I would like a completely finished card, please, not an imagining on "what would happen if we gave consumers mistake-riddled cards").

These are my first 2018 Gypsy Queen cards, since I don't like buying the product. The GQ designs have been better the last couple of years, although it's still definitely not my style.

I'd say the Kenley Jansen card is appropriate because L.A.'s bullpen is a disaster and could use other-worldly help.

These are my first 2018 Topps stickers, too. I told you I haven't been to the card aisle in a long time.

Same as above. Marc really took advantage of my lack of new card purchases. I really appreciate getting the '84-style Kershaw.

A few more Dodger needs from the package. The medallion thing is from 2016 Topps. That photo of Kershaw has been used on at least a couple of other cards, but LOOK AT THE SHINY!!!!

This was a very useful package. I got started on a few current sets that I've been neglecting and received a card of this year's Judge ... er, Bellinger ... er, Cespedes ... er, Darvish ... er, Wieters ... er, Chamberlain ... er, Matsuzaka ... uh, you get the idea.

Don't pay 10 bucks for an Ohtani card.

Wait till October. You can do it. Really you can.


  1. I'm kind of looking forward to Ohtani's Heritage and Flagship cards next year since I want to see if Topps does both batting and pitching stats. Of course as we've snarked on Twitter, we'll most likely have batting and pitching variants (and SSP mismatches and a bazillion other parallels) for both front and back instead of a card that captures Ohtani's unique appeal.

  2. I agree that Topps will probably make him the new Aaron Judge in the years' Topps Update. He'll probably have 10 cards in that set instead of trade deadline acquisations on their new teams which is what Update is SUPPOSED to make cards of.

  3. I didn't mind GQ this year but was disappointed with the checklists. I don't own a Judge RC and won't own an Ohtani. Were I to be blessed with either, they would go right to market.

  4. As an Ohtani fan I'll definitely pick up his rookie stuff but it'll probably in 2023 when the hype has died down and the value really craters when he goes down with Tommy John surgery.

    "The day is coming very soon when players will be younger than my daughter."

    I'm assuming you mean just MLB players here lol.

  5. Alright! I knew you’d appreciate that one. I have made several trips to the card aisle this year, so I was hoping I could provide a few b Ed’s there as well. Glad to help!

  6. I'm kinda embarrassed to admit this, but I picked up two blasters of Opening Day with one card in mind: the Ohtani. I'll be pretty bummed if I don't pull one, but I guess sitting down and ripping 20 packs is worth a few bucks.

  7. Who's Ohtani? lol, by all means send them my way. also lol.

  8. Will I be ostracized by the collecting community if I say that Panini did a nice job on some of those retro 1984 cards? I like that Kershaw.

  9. I hadn't really considered how Topps would handle his card back. I will silently mumble in annoyance if they give him two cards.