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Not done with baseball but so done with 2019 baseball cards

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.


  1. I could use the Ohtani/Pannone/Thornton/VanMeter/Hammer/Cron if they're available and you have no predetermined destinations for them.

    1. Also I feel as though you being greeted by Joe Kelly to 2019 Update was inevitable. Much to the rest of us' enjoyment.

    2. I suppose most of those cards will find their way to you. There may even be a bonus Ohtani because Topps sure likes beating dead horses.

  2. Topps could just create one of those All Star Glossy "send in" sets like they used to. Or in today's world "online exclusive". I also don't get why they use the trophy cup on update when the base card had it already.

  3. I agree with the All-Star cards being unnecessary, but in Vogelbach's case it is the only card he was gifted from Topps out of S1, S2 and Update. I would have been happier with a regular card in 2019 Update which featured his season stats on the back rather than the ASG card write up he was given.

  4. Woah...I take a few days off from the blogs and you re-do your layout. I like it a lot, very professional.

    If you're not married to the Means and Edmon cards I'd like to swap you something for them. I have squat as far as 2019 cards but I'm sure I can dig something up. I'm hitting the card show this Saturday and I might find something from your want lists.

  5. Thanks for throwing in the Ernie Banks card, so there would be a player I recognized.

  6. Love the J.D. Hammer card. That's a pretty good name.

  7. Whoa. New blog theme. Thought my browser had broken for a moment there. I don't mind the ASG cards in Update. I do hate the Home Run Derby and Rookie Debut ones. My biggest pet peeve though is that Topps's deadline to set the checklist is clearly before the trade deadline.

    Two of the Giamts in Update were traded in July. There's no Greinke card with Houston. It's like someone at Topps hasn't even sat down with the MLB schedule to figure out how it interacts with Topps's schedule.

    Also I'm glad to see that Edman's card is a nice onw. Going to have to pick that one up sometime.

  8. Rookie short prints are really tough pulls and nice blog layout upgrade! I just did a minor one but this one really caught my attention. Was this the new blogger update I keep getting messages on?

    1. I think the layouts have been there all along. The new update message did get me to poke around a little.

  9. I am a John Means collector, so if you are interested in selling the John Means card, I would be interested in buying it.

    1. It's rare to find a collector of means who collects Means.

    2. Fortunately, being a Means collector is not terribly expensive.

  10. I first saw the new blog theme on my phone and thought I had a copycat site or something. New look is more spartan than the old one, but I am glad to not have to scroll a whole screen past the header to see anything now. Sorry to see "She likes the Dodgers" go - had a new candidate or two.

    I can see myself ceasing to buy flagship after 2020 too. I've said it before, but I'm more into the cards than the actual players. Even after finishing Series 1 & 2, I still don't know half the guys that showed up in the playoffs that I watched. Between that and the reduction of insert quatities in packs and the glut of their total numbers, I'm about done.

  11. Other boggers are going to loose some views because I always used your blogroll to find new posts. Yeah, I'll still frequent my "normal reads" but I'll miss all the ones who's title just happens to catch my eye.

    1. They're still there, bud. Go up to the three bars at the top right. It's a drop-down menu for the sidebar.

  12. I've gone to two different Targets and haven't seen any Update. Oh well... it's not my favorite product and I think this post pretty much showed me everything I needed to see. If I stumbled across a blaster, I'd probably pick it up and throw it in my "time capsule" to see if it jumps up in resale value like the 2018 update blasters did.

  13. I can't believe Boxberger got included in the set after getting released by the Royals on July 1.

    On a side not, if they do Player's Weekend again next year, Richard Lovelady's jersey name should be DICK LOVE.


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