I refuse to apologize for being the 58th blogger to feature a 2012 Topps post. It's the high holy week of collecting! What am I supposed to do -- dig in the dirt until I find a tobacco card that somebody buried in 1898? THE FIRST CARDS OF THE SEASON ARE OUT, PEOPLE!!!!!
This is what we do!
Even if you're not collecting the set (*ahem* me). Even if you don't like the design (*ahem* me). Even if you hate going to Walmart and overhearing conversations like this -- "the doctor didn't find nothin'" (*ahem* ME!). You still buy a few of the first freakin' cards of the season! They're a $1.98 a pack! Is this going to kill me?
And it's not going to kill you to look at them again. I promise I'll have something different to say. At the very least, I'll scan every card that I got in these two packs. If I had to stand in line behind some girl sucking on her boyfriend's neck, then you're sitting through every card.
Besides, you might learn something. Besides the fact that girls do this.
#168 - Blake Beavan, Mariners
The first card of the year is -- a guy I've never heard of before.
I think that might be the first time that has happened since I was 10 and I knew exactly 34 major leaguers. This is not good.
#266 - Carlos Corporan, Astros
I've never heard of this guy either. And Topps is mocking me with the alliterative names of their supposed "major league baseball players."
By the way, if it was 1981 and you came from the future of 2012 and handed me this card with your robotic arm, I would be officially freaked out. Not by the robot arm, but by "what in the world is this space dude wearing?"
#281 - Mark Trumbo, Angels
OK, I've heard of him. But so far with the first three cards, we have a collective four years and one at-bat of major league experience. Is this really 2012 Bowman?
#GG-55 - Hank Aaron, Braves
My first experience with a 2012 insert and Topps' obsession with gold. I'm instantly bored.
#GGC-5 - Golden Giveaway code card, Matt Kemp
Remember two years ago when the Million Dollar Giveaway was a new thing and we were beating on the door of the website all frothy-mouthed, screaming "THE SITE'S UP! THE SITE'S UP! OH, SWEET HEAVEN, IT'S UP!!!!! BUT IT'S TAKING 45 MINUTES AND I STILL HAVEN'T REDEEMED MY CODE! HAVE YOU REDEEMED YOUR CODE? HAVE YOU????? OH NO!!! THE SITE'S DOWN! OMG! THE SITE'S DOWN! WHAT'S WRONG WITH TOPPS!! WHAT'S WRONG WITH THEM? I'LL KILL EVERY MONKEY THEY'VE GOT WORKING ON THIS THING!!! WHERE IS MY CARD! OH WHERE, OH WHERE? I'M GOING ON A HUNGER STRIKE UNTIL THE SITE COMES BACK UP!"
Flash forward two years. I could wait until June to redeem this card without breaking a sweat.
#219 - Jordan Pacheco, Rockies
Back to 2012 Bowman. No idea who he is. Got his first call-up in September. Geez, Topps, wait until Series 2, please.
#41 - Devin Mesoraco, Reds
Another September call-up. Yeah, this is a set I want to complete.
#31 - Brent Morel, White Sox
I only know who he is because I pulled like 47 different cards of him last year. Still has barely two years of major league experience.
#83 - Bobby Parnell, Mets
Holy crap! Someone who has played for 4 years!
Parnell gets rewarded by being the first back subject:
I applaud Topps for continuing the front design theme to the back. It's done that the last few years, and I like it.
Aside from that and the giant card number, it's a pretty dull back. I'll call it "workmanlike." That's a stereotypical editor word.
#73 - Brandon McCarthy, A's
I found out that McCarthy was on the A's only last week. But I blame my American League West ignorance for that.
#52 - A.L. Earned Run Average Leaders (Verlander, Weaver, Shields)
Zzzzzzzzzzz. It's about three years past time to retire these. I like league leader cards and I think they should stay, but the presentation has GOT to change. I look at these and my mind glazes over.
#291 - David Freese, World Series, Game 6
This is the card of the pack. That stupid surf board is obscuring the image, but I love that there is a card commemorating this game.
Even the back is cool.
Unfortunately a corner of the card is dinged. It might be because I opened the first pack in the car in the parking lot, and then I dropped a french fry on the cards, and I panicked trying to flip the cards out of the way of the french fry.
Yes, I was opening cards in the car while eating french fries. I swear I am not 450 pounds.
#311 - Jon Danks, White Sox
OK, let's talk about the design, shall we?
I don't like it. In fact, I don't like it so much that I don't want to call it The Surfboard Set, even though the graphic element on the bottom does look like a surfboard. But the design doesn't deserve a title as cool as The Surfboard Set. Because the whole design element looks like it was created by a high school art student who had three months to come up with a design and waited until the final night and came up with ... this. In a complete panic.
You know what it really looks like? It looks a late '80s/early '90s Score set that has grown a tumor. That's the image I get in my head. Early Score. With a tumor. Score didn't go to the doctor in time. And now it's got a tumor. It's the Tumor Set.
Is that negative? Gee, sorry. Hate to be negative.
#290 - Curtis Granderson, Yankees
Remember when he used to be cool?
#37 - Mike Napoli, Rangers
The postseason stud. I bet he had a hell of an offseason.
#85 - Jason Heyward, Braves, gold
JAY-HEY is GILDED UP! That's a pretty snazzy card. A certain Braves fan was nice to me with a card package recently. I'll be sending this off to him.
#GS-13 - Alex Rodriguez, Yankees, Gold Standard
Yuck. Bad insert. Bad man. Bad team. Come and get this card because I'm a day away from hurling it in the parking lot next to where I work. The crows sleep in the trees by the thousands there and just paint the lot with poop all night long. Yeah, that's an appropriate fate for this card.
#202 - Andrew Carignan, A's
One guess as to who this is. ... September Call-Up? September Call-Up. Has anyone done a September Call-Up set? I mean besides 2012 Topps.
#97 - Jim Thome, Twins, checklist
Saved by Jim. Here is a look at the checklist:
Click on it if you want to read it. Dodger fans, there are three Dodgers in the first 70 cards (#11-Hong-Chih Kuo, #39 - James Loney, #69 - Dee Gordon)
#74 - Kevin Correia, Pirates
Cubbie in the background. I don't feel like figuring out who he is.
#289 - Casey Kotchman, Rays
It looks like the ball slipped out of his hands.
#72 - Rex Brothers, Rockies
I blame myself for not knowing a guy who appeared in 48 games last year AND is named Rex Brothers.
#88 - Javy Guerra, Dodgers
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! First Dodger of the year. The reigning closer.
#284 - Tony Gwynn, Dodgers
Wow. Back-to-back Dodgers. Now THAT'S the way to end a pack.
That'll boost my spirits.
So, my initial reactions to 2012 Topps?
About the same as my reactions before I had the cards in my hands. Not as good as the last three years. Disappointing design. Uninspired inserts. Good-looking photos. Glad I'm not trying to complete it. Way too many players who haven't done a damn thing in the majors.
And there you are, the first 2012 cards on this here blog.
I told you I'd buy some.
In fact ...
Part 2 is coming tomorrow.
I bought a hanger box, too.
Come on. ...
At least I didn't pick up any of those blasters.