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A half-assed set

Yes, you have to look at the Mick wrapper again. I'm sorry. Topps has issues.

I actually picked up nine packs adorned with Mantle wrappers the other day while roaming through one of the Dave and Adam's Card World locations in the Buffalo area. I had never been to this one before. You'd think that with all the business that they do online, the worldwide recognition, that their card shop would be a little larger than your average store. But it's not, really. It looks disturbingly like the one in my town that I rarely patron.

I bought the Topps Lineage and some much-needed tobacco-card sized pages because it's all that intrigued me, for the cash I had anyway.

And there's no way I would have bought nine packs of Lineage if my dear mother-in-law hadn't handed me some cash out of the blue. Now, don't tell her that I spent it on packs of this stuff, which cost $5.25 per.

I think Dave ... or Adam ... or just some guy that I've seen on their advertisements before ... cashed me out. Oh, and I showed up at the store 6 hours before Gordie Howe was signing at another D&A store just 10 minutes away. My timing is impeccable once more.

I bought these packs because I liked the idea behind the set. Celebrate some Topps test issues and insert sets of the past by throwing them in a set with some current and old-timey players. What's not to like? Did you expect me to buy the Bowman Platinum instead and stare at the cards like an idiot because I don't know who they are? Plus there are supposed to be a bunch of Dodgers in Lineage.

Unfortunately, I ended up with almost no Dodgers and a ton of boring base set cards. These are the dullest base cards since Upper Deck took over Fleer. There's a nap in every pack.

The inserts are fun, but there are too many. I could also do without the diamond parallels and chrome parallels. Save that for the other products.

I did get plenty of old-timey players, mostly from the two teams I hate the most, the Giants and Yankees.

I ended up with one Dodger.

Thank goodness there are people out there who like the wrong teams.

So, here are the nine packs. There are Yankees, Giants, Braves and Cardinals everywhere, so most of these are in everyone's trade stacks already. And, yes, my Rockies mojo is back.


83 - Adam Wainwright, Cardinals.

That's your base design. Topps Total meets random insert from the last couple of years.

Your average Topps Lineage card back. It has a throw-away Upper Deck feel. When you stack a bunch of cards with the back sides up and fan them out, it looks like a pile of Uno cards. There are parallel backs written in Venezuelan, too. I pulled one of those.

Also, in case you haven't read any of the other blogs about this set, the cards feel just like a Topps flagship card.

93 - Roy Oswalt, Phillies
58 - Gordon Beckham, White Sox

57 - Willie McCovey, Giants.

There's your diamond parallel. And it's the first of many Giants. This is one of two different McCoveys in the set. That might explain the whole Giant epidemic that infected these packs.

Rookies Set #20 of 20 - Brett Wallace, Astros

This particular set pays tribute to the ubiquitous glossy rookie sets from the late '80s. Unlike some of the other insert sets, this has a card back that looks like those '80s card backs.

146 - Freddie Freeman, Braves.

Let's count the Braves, shall we? (1)

158 - Monte Irvin, Giants

Let's count the Giants, shall we? (2)

175 - CC Sabathia, Yankees

Let's count the Yankees, shall we? (1)


50 - Lou Gehrig, Yankees (2)

Topps did seem to find some different photos for at least some of these legends players.

47 - Lance Berkman, Cardinals

Yes, we're counting Cardinals, too (2)

38 - Chris Carpenter, Cardinals (3)

134 - John Danks, White Sox.

The '75 mini insert. When you get down to it, this is the only reason I bought these packs. They're basically the same size as the original '75 minis, and Topps gets the color scheme right. The fonts are a little off, and the backs are deflating:


But I am keeping any of the '75 minis from this set. I will trade for any of them as well.

190 - Bert Blyleven, Twins.

Something about this photo makes it look like Blyleven isn't really in that stadium.

73 - Kosuke Fukudome, Cubs

196 - Ichiro, Mariners.

The original rookie trophy! Looks good, Topps.

143 - Miguel Cabrera, Tigers


24 - Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Twins
12 - Elvis Andrus, Rangers
2 - Derek Jeter, Yankees (3). Jeter is card No. 2. They better not start that crap with him.
19 - Larry Walker, Rockies

80 - Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies

These are the chrome parallels, although it's the most lightly applied chrome I've ever seen. And the cards ain't blue. They're silver.

137 - Johnny Bench, Reds

129 - Jason Heyward, Braves (2)

113 - Trevor Cahill, Athletics


26 - Grady Sizemore, Indians
37 - Justin Upton, Diamondbacks
45 - Ryan Howard, Phillies

Mark Teixeira, Yankees (4).

This is a tribute to the 3-D test issue from the late '60s. But the card features my least favorite player -- who isn't a closer for the Giants -- for  the last few years now. My luck continues.

That is the back. Exciting, huh? There are no numbers on these cards. Apparently, there are rarer black backs and even rarer red backs.

106 - Cy Young, Cleveland Spiders.

I always wanted a Spiders card.

151 - Johnny Damon, Rays

195 - Chipper Jones, Braves (3)

186 - Mel Ott, Giants (3). No, I won't show it. I'm pissed now.


94 - John Smoltz, Braves (4). Did you catch his rant against SI on the MLB Network last night?

85 - Al Kaline, Tigers

I like that one.

68 - Alexei Ramirez, White Sox

195 - Chipper Jones, Braves (5). Diamond parallel. Curse you, Ted Turner and your stupid '80s/'90s TV brainwashing empire.

52A-JB John Buck, Marlins, autograph on a sticker.

Well, there's excitement right there. I may or may not be able to trade this.

178 - Albert Pujols, Cardinals (4)

189 - Jaime Garcia, Cardinals (5)


114 - Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox

Checklist, 1 of 4


33 - Tony Perez, Reds

28 - Aramis Ramirez, Cubs
18 - Brett Anderson, Athletics

106 - Cy Young, Spiders, diamond parallel

I always wanted a Spiders diamond parallel.

Randy Jackson autographed reprint redemption.

Wow. This could be very good or very bad.

First, Jackson is not the American Idol judge. Let's get that out of the way.

Second, Jackson played most of his career for the Cubs and the Dodgers. I know him as a Dodger, of course, and have his Dodgers cards from 1956-58.

But Jackson played more of his career with the Cubs. Fortunately for me, Jackson was a Bowman guy during this time and appeared on only one Topps card as a Cub.

Unfortunately for me, it was in the 1952 set, which Topps has featured with several autograph cards in this Lineage set.

If I get a Jackson card as a Dodger, it will be one of my better pulls ever, as he was a member of the championship '55 Dodgers. If I get a Jackson card as a Cub, you may see either the longest or shortest post in the history of this blog.

Tune in around late November.

139 - Michael Pineda, Mariners (yeah, yeah, I know. I don't care).
147 - Ryan Braun, Brewers
160 - Stephen Strasburg, Nationals (why is this guy still in sets?)


(This is the pack I showed on A Pack To Be Named Later)

9 - Matt Holliday, Cardinals (6)
4 - Buster Posey, Giants (4)

60 - Reggie Jackson, Yankees (5)

69 - Jayson Werth, Nationals

118 - Todd Helton, Rockies, 75 mini.

Who am I going to pull when Todd Helton and Carlos Lee retire?

174 - Adam Jones, Orioles
183 - Brian McCann, Braves (6)

192 - Willie McCovey, Giants (5)

The other McCovey. Which I had to go and land, too. Goody.


41 - Vladimir Guerrero, Orioles
35 - Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
95 - Johnny Mize, Giants (6)

86 - Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, chrome parallel

Rookies set, #19 of 20, Corey Luebke, Padres

131 - Carlos Lee, Astros (see?)
125 - Mark Teixeira, Yankees (6)
117 - Torii Hunter, Angels


27 - George Sisler, Browns

10 - Jim Palmer, Orioles

3 - Jimmie Foxx, Athletics

49 - Matt Kemp, Dodgers

There. I won't have to sulk in a corner for the rest of the weekend now.

TV6 - Josh Johnson, Marlins, Venezuelan parallel.

109 - Matt Latos, Padres
138 - Prince Fielder, Brewers
167 - Corey Hart, Brewers

And there you are.

Six Yankees, Giants, Braves and Cardinals. EACH. One Dodger. Sheesh.

So glad that only half of that was my money.

This set is already appearing at retail outlets, and the chances are I will pick up some packs here and there in between the A&G mission. The pull of '75 mini tributes is too strong.

But overall this is a half-assed set. Topps had a semblance of a good idea and turned it into an Upper Deck Timeline rip-off with way too many pointless cards. Can you imagine how cool this set would have been if it was all of the inserts and nothing else?

Anyway, a big thanks to ma for the cash.

If Randy Jackson turns out to be a Dodger, this won't be for nothing.


Potch said…
Bench, Perez, Kaline. Jealous!

If you decide to deal any of those three, let me know. I'll review if anything has popped up for me that you might need/like.

For one, I know I just pulled an Andre Ethier, Bowman Platinum.

moremonkeys138 said…
For some reason I like the look of the base cards. Maybe that will fade once the new card smell wears off and it's just another set in a box. I am extremely thankful they did find some different pictures for the legends (even though Bert's is the same as his 2011 legend variation). I did just post about Topps recycling pictures about a week ago. In any case, you do have an impending package and sorry about all those Giants.
The card stock is thin-ass for a $5 buck plus pack of cards.
That Kaline is cool.
I pulled the same 4 cards that you pulled in pack 9 and in the same order. I like the inserts especially the 75 minis.
Captain Canuck said…
I bought two paks today at my LCS for $10.
I didn't get any Dodgers either, sorry pal.
Dean said…
Thanks for sharing. Seeing this pile of crap makes me so happy I collect vintage.

Well, at least the price is right. Only $5.25 a pack? Truly a bargain.

Your '75 blog has inspired me to build sets from the '70s. A much better way to spend hard-earned money, if you ask me.
Commishbob said…
I don't get this set and what makes it worth f bones a throw. Having said that the Palmer card is pretty sweet. And your 'there's a nap in every pack' bit made me LOL.
hiflew said…
I guess I am the one guy that appreciates your Rockies mojo. I got in the Community Gum case break and I don't think I got as much Rockies stuff as you got in 9 packs. I know I got the Helton mini, but I might need the CarGo and Tulo chromes if they are available. I have a very nice return package coming in the mail for you in short order.
night owl said…
The Rockies chromes are set aside for you, hiflew.

Also, commish, I'll send you the Palmer card when I get a chance.

Potch, I'll keep you in mind for those 3 cards. I do need the Ethier Platinum. And, of course, just about every Dodger Lineage card.
carlsonjok said…
I bought a blaster of Heritage and pretty much had the same reaction you did.

However, I got a Duke Snider "75 mini" and 2 Koufax's (base and diamond parallel). I'll trade them to you for the Gehrig, Tiexiera 3D and the Reggie.
carlsonjok said…
Doh! I meant that I bought a blaster of Lineage.
night owl said…
carlsonjok ~

You are ON!
arpsmith said…
I of course love those giants plus i have a huge collection of mccovey. I havent bought any of this yet but will probably pick up a box and the dodgers will be coming your way.
(...Joe) said…
I might pick up a blaster. I'll let you know if I get any '75s or Dodgers.

As always, a box of this stuff should be half the price. Then maybe it'd be worth it. Until then though.
gritz76 said…
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I'm almost for positive that the Jackson will arrive in the Cubbie blue on a '52. The good news is it's a redemption, and that gives me plenty of time to stock pile some Dodger cards for the inevitable trade! Let me know!
night owl said…
Oh, I'm aware you're probably right. Topps bleeping LOVES that '52 design. If Randy's a Cub you got yourself a deal.
madding said…
They had blasters of this stuff for $16 at the card show today, but I passed. The same guy had A&G blasters for the same price.

If I count Cardinals, it usually begins and ends at 1.
"A nap in every pack", priceless. I lol'd as well.

Every "new" product Topps puts out is just another example of why we need more than one manufacturer. This one was definitely mailed in. "Let's keep re-hashing old designs, the collectors will buy anything."
Potch said…
Ethier - BowPlat - is set aside for you.


Picked up some Lineage tonight - couldn't fight the urge - and was pleased as a Koufax and Jackie Robinson plopped out.

I see you have a Koufax coming already.

Need the Robinson?

I don't need the Bench any more but still interested in the Kaline and Perez.

I got the Kershaw 75 mini relic in a blaster if you need it.
night owl said…
potch and patp, I sent you emails. The short version: yes.
Anonymous said…
Wouldn't it have been cool if they did add stats to the back for the '75 mini parallel?