I stayed true to my vow to avoid viewing most of the League Championship Series. After the NLDS debacle, my heart wasn't in another round of baseball.
I did sit down for a little bit of Game 4 of the Nats-Cards and, of course, I had to watch the highlights of Game 6 of the Astros-Yankees.
But that was about it, and I placed a "TBD" on the World Series, too. "We'll see how I feel," I said.
Well, the World Series starts tomorrow and I fully plan to watch it -- at least the portions that do not air when I am at work. I've decided that I'm just not done with baseball yet. The Astros-Nationals appeals to me a bit just because of all the fantastic starting pitching matchups. So, baseball, you're off the hook. I'll still watch you.
Your trading card sets, however ...
That's another matter.
I'm finished with buying 2019 cards. I knew that a few weeks ago, probably a few months ago. But it hit home when I was opening the five loose packs of Update that I purchased this afternoon. I couldn't have been more bored with the cards. Just. So. Boring.
I've crabbed about Update for years, how it's needless bloat and obsessed with rookies. But I couldn't even get myself worked up over that. None of it really matters to me.
So with that enthusiastic endorsement full of positivity, let's open some Update!!!!
I will go through the first pack card by card, but after that it's just going to be highlights because I can scan only so many guys in Diamondbacks uniforms.
#US101 - Joe Kelly, Dodgers
I swear this was the first card I pulled. It nearly made me drive back to Target and return all the cards. THIS IS NOT THE WAY YOU GET ME TO RECONNECT WITH BASEBALL!
Well, at least I got it out of the way early.
#US218 - Mitch Keller, Pirates
#US64 - Junior Guerra, Brewers
#US84 - Tommy Edman, Cardinals
Good rookie card photo.
#US188 - Avisail Garcia, Rays
#US181 - Scott Oberg, Rockies
#US68 - Yandy Diaz, Rays
This looks a little more artful than the Pablo Sandoval card in which Sandoval's performing the same tag but you fear for the stadium when he lands.
#US89 - Carlos Santana, Indians, All-Star
An odd placement for an All-Star card as the other packs featured the All-Stars at the end. But there's a reason.
#US264 - Jatt Wotherspoon/Branden Kline, Orioles, Rookie Combos
#US50 - Nick Senzel, Reds, SHORT-PRINT
The reason. I suspected short-print when I saw the image, but that doesn't mean anything these days. Fortunately Ryan Cracknell does a great job of posting images of the short-print variations on the Beckett site and I was able to confirm that it's an SP.
#84-18 - Jon Duplantier, Diamondbacks, 1984 design insert
#US97 - Erik Swanson, Mariners
#US180 - Josh VanMeter, Reds
#US207 - Chris Paddack, Padres, rookie debut
I already enjoy watching this guy get lit up. He seems so miserable all the time.
#US148 - Gleyber Torres, Yankees, All-Star
#US258 - Lance Lynn, Rangers
OK, that was the first pack. Even with the short-print, I have to say I was yawning through just about the whole thing. And the yawning didn't stop for the rest of the packs. I should've bought four packs instead of five because the Dodgers stopped after the fourth pack.
Anyway, here are the highlights of the other packs, if you want to call them that.
#US198 - Pete Alonso, Mets, rookie debut
How unnecessary is the card? The differences between this and Alonso's Series 2 card is the uniform look and a cropping job. Not much else. YAWN.
#US170 - Michael Chavis, Red Sox, gold
The lone gold I pulled. I nearly fell over as it ended my streak of pulling gold cards of only Diamondbacks or Marlins.
DSO-20 - Shohei Ohtani, first 4 RBI game, Shohei Ohtani insert
This is the exclusive insert series advertised on the wrapper. I find single-player insert series exceedingly boring. This is not the 1962 Babe Ruth Series here, where the image goes along with the topic. These inserts are just random player shots that have nothing to do with the topic. It gets pretty repetitive.
#US224 - Yasmani Grandal, Brewers
Nice throwback, although not a single catcher was wearing colorful gear like that back in 1982.
#US296 - Dan Vogelbach, Mariners, All-Star
My first Vogelbach card. My, he is a big boy.
#US70 - A.J. Pollock, Dodgers
#US174 - Matthew Beaty, Dodgers
Those are the two other Dodgers I pulled. I was a lot more excited about the Beaty card. See? I like rookies, too.
#US117 - D.J. LeMahieu, Yankees, All-Star
Endlessly irritated that the Rockies let this guy go to the Yankees. Jerks! You nearly let the Yankees get to the World Series!!!!
#PAS - Ernie Banks, Cubs, Perennial All-Stars insert
This is the latest "We Must Take Advantage of Our Legends Players Under License" insert set. The Perennial All-Stars, of course, are only the ones that Topps has the rights to show.
#US223 - John Means, Orioles, foil parallel
Foil parallels mean zero to me. John Means appears to be distracted by a large bug circling his head, but actually it's just a bit of dirt from my scanner.
#US220 - Ronald Acuna, Jr., Braves, All-Star
Braves fans sure make a lot of noise about this guy.
I have terrible luck pulling Vladimir Guerrero Jr. cards but I have no problem pulling Eloy Jimenez cards. This is like the fourth or fifth insert of this guy I've pulled.
OK, that's enough of that.
You're actually going to see most of the cards I pulled because I was curious to see how many of each of the "main Update themes" appeared in the five packs I bought. Those themes are:
1. Guys who changed uniforms: This is my favorite reason for Update and the reason it was so exciting back in the early '80s.
2. Rookies: The current reason why Update exists.
3. All-Stars: Ah, yes, the bloat. I would be very happy if Topps would save the All-Stars for 2020 flagship, perhaps make a special design for each of the All-Star's cards, like the good ol' 70s.
First the New Uniforms:
There were 27 of the New Uniform guys. I'm not nearly as familiar with Players Switching Teams as I was back in the '80s. There is no excitement like seeing Reggie Jackson in an Angels uniform anymore. But I do appreciate these the most of all the Update cards.
Next the rookies:
These the cards you let marinate like stocks, hoping to cash in. There were 27 of these, too, including some guy named Richard Lovelady. I just looked up his stats and he somehow managed to appear in 25 games for the Royals and post a 7.65 ERA. Yikes. Why did K.C. keep putting him out there?
All right, now the All-Stars:
There were just 15 of those. It's 15 more than needs to be in Update but I guess I'm not the target audience here.
There are also always guys in Update who didn't change teams and aren't rookies either. They just never made it to Series 1 or Series 2 for whatever reason.
That will probably be my last time buying 2019 Update, although I expect a few more of the packs to come my way as Update seems to be the default pack purchase for holiday gift-giving from the card shelf.
But everyone else can scramble for the cards of the hot rookies. I'm done until it's time to sample 2020.
But first ... a World Series to watch.