Remember when I said a couple of days ago about being glad to have a card show to go to so I wouldn't have to scurry all over town in a fruitless attempt to find 2013 Topps?
Remember when I said a card show meant I didn't care that 2013 Topps was released this week?
Funny how things can change with two days to play with and a Twitter account.
I didn't expect to look for any 2013 Topps until Friday. Card show buzzes last at least a few days. I haven't even had a chance to organize the stuff I got from there. Plenty of time to wait out all of the crazy "look at the INSANE PATCH I pulled" chatter in the coming days.
But then I started noticing something. The people finding 2013 Topps -- a day or two or three before today's release date -- were from everywhere. It wasn't just a pocket of collectors in New Jersey here and in California there. It was everywhere. A collector in Arkansas. Someone in Arizona. Another person in New York. Another person in Illinois. Texas. Kansas. Ohio. Wisconsin. And New Jersey and California, too. And then Nearly Mint returned to blogging because of 2013 Topps. The fever had hit!
It made me think "hey, maybe the cards really are way up here in the middle-of-nowhere-Northern New York."
It couldn't hurt to look anyway. I get off of work around 2 a.m. most days. The Walmart is open 24 hours and is glorious to shop at that hour. Might as well take a peek.
Glad I peeked.
There were loose packs, rack packs, hanger packs and blasters. Nothing was touched. I think they might have put it out like an hour beforehand. I could have grabbed it all and made a killing on ebay. (But the scanning would have finished me off).
So, instead, I just grabbed a single loose pack and a blaster.
Now, I know what I'm going to get:
"I thought you weren't collecting it. I thought you were going vintage. I thought Topps was bullshit."
It's all-or-nothing with you guys, isn't it?
I like testing out new cards. It's a tradition around here that goes back to when I was 9 years old. Even during the years when I barely cared about cards, I'd buy a pack at the start of the year. It's what you do at this time of the year. It's part of spring fever. You buy some new cards.
A blaster helps me get a good sample of exactly what's available. I can show it off here, I can trade some of it, I can keep some of it if I really like it.
That doesn't mean I'll be buying another blaster. Or collecting the set. I'm not collecting it. And you will see lots more vintage in the months to come.
But let's see some new stuff today, shall we?
I'll open the loose pack first.
Here are your odds of finding the zillion parallels that Topps has created. Pink, Emerald Foil, Desert Camo Foil are all new this year. Go crazy.
And the first card of the 2013 season is ...
#236 - Joe Nathan, Rangers
You have a place of honor, Joe.
#308 - Desmond Jennings, Rays
#43 - R.A. Dickey, Mets
#149 - Yovani Gallardo, Brewers (this card is pock-marked on the back. You wouldn't be able to tell by the scan, but it looks like it was poked with a pin all over the place).
#282 - Russell Martin, Yankees
More evidence of how annoying Martin became when he joined the Yankees.
#183 - Drew Hutchison, Blue Jays
#197 - Tyler Cloyd, Phillies
#TM-29 - CC Sabathia, Yankees, '72 mini insert
I keep hearing that I'm collecting these. I'm not collecting these. They're nice. The cardboard stock makes them nice. But there was no such thing as 1972 minis, so I don't care about them.
#248 - Colby Lewis, Rangers
#192 - Javier Lopez, Giants
#18 - Mitch Moreland, Rangers
#53 - Alex Cobb, Rays
Three Rangers! It's a Rangers hot pack! Moooooooooojooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!
OK, you want to see the blaster.
I shall oblige.
Eight cards per pack in the blaster, with other assorted trickery, which I shall discuss.
#150 - John Danks, White Sox
First card out of the blaster gets the duty of showing off the card back:
Not a lot to say about it. Clean design, just like the front. The whole chase theme that Topps is advertising this year is taken to ridiculous extremes on the back of every card. This has been pointed out already in other places, but what is the point to comparing Danks' stats to Cy Young?
This happens with base stealers (comparing to Rickey Henderson), strikeout pitchers (comparing to Nolan Ryan), catchers (comparing to Ivan Rodriguez), relievers (comparing to Mariano Rivera). I've never seen anything on a card more pointless.
#143 - Jim Johnson, Orioles
#283 - CC Sabathia, Yankees, ALDS Game 5
If there is a card for every game of the postseason, I like these. But if they are random games, like last year, they're meaningless to me.
#CD-21 - Jarrod Parker, A's, Chasing the Dream insert
One of many inserts riffing off "The Chase" theme. Really no reason for these.
#CC10 - Tim Lincecum, Giants, Calling Card insert
I like these inserts quite a bit. They look nice, and the stock is a little bit cardboardy. Unfortunately I did a terrible job on the subjects. Two calling cards in the blaster, both of players who are as irksome as all get-out.
#267 - Jason Kipnis, Indians, Walmart blue parallel
#9 - Dee Gordon, Dodgers, Walmart blue parallel
That is a very nice-looking card and I'm quite pleased to pull a Dodger blue parallel.
Now for the bad stuff. In every Walmart blaster (and corresponding Target blaster) there are two blue (or red) parallels in every pack. That means one-fourth of the cards out of the blaster are blue parallels. If you're trying to complete the set, I would recommend buying something other than blasters.
#212 - Eric Chavez, Yankees
#225 - Will Venable, Padres
#28 - Prince Fielder, Tigers (notice how the card number matches his uniform number. There are several cards in the set like this, including Dee Gordon's #9, which I just showed).
Cover boy gives me the opportunity to compare the colors as I mentioned previously.
Here is the scan of the Fielder card from way back when Topps first released the design for 2013:
And here is a Tigers card from when Topps was tweeting images a couple weeks ago:
I guess the border outline isn't as light as I was hoping it would be. The actual Fielder card is much closer to the original Fielder released months ago. The color may be slightly lighter, but it's nowhere near the Raburn color.
#TM-4 - Mike Trout, Angels, '72-style mini
This will float somebody's boat somewhere. Maybe I'll trade it for one MILLION dollars.
#142 - Tony Cingrani, Reds (no idea)
#302 - Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks, blue parallel
#200 - Scott Downs, Angels, blue parallel (yes, Topps is ignoring hero numbers this year)
#273 - Dexter Fowler, Rockies
I already had it scanned, so what the hay.
#195 - Chris Heisey, Reds
#155 - Mat Latos, Reds
#113 - Starlin Castro, Cubs
Those of you who have decided to complete this set are lucky people. It will be a nice one in the binder. Very nice photography, like this one. Very clear photos. And the framing of the design really enhances some of the pictures.
#124 - Ricky Romero, Blue Jays
#CC-7 - Mark Teixeira, Yankees, Calling Card
See what I mean? Ugh. I can't wait to get this out of my sight.
Million Dollar Chase advertisement code card thingy.
I've been paying very little attention to what you do with this. It corresponds with the online promotion/giveaway/game/waste of time that Topps is doing this year. It sounds like a lot of time to invest, which I don't have. I'll have to look into it later.
#191 - Chris Capuano, Dodgers, blue parallel
Me so happy.
#227 - Jose Altuve, Astros, blue parallel
Out of all the cards I showed on Twitter earlier today, only one other card got more of a reaction than this one. Topps even retweeted it. This card looks very cool. And there are people lining up to acquire it in a trade. Yeah. There are Astros fans. Who knew?
The card back even mentions the website howmanyaltuves.com, which is very cool.
#291 - Ryan Sweeney, Red Sox
#115 - Tim Hudson, Astros
#331 - Jose Reyes, Blue Jays
Topps doing its photoshopping thing. And notice that it is card No. #331. I don't believe this is a shortprint. There are apparently not the usual 330 cards in Series 1 this year.
#286 - Jurickson Profar, Rangers
#CH-47 - Willie Mays, Giants, Chasing History insert
Another "chasing" insert. And, yes, there are Giants crawling all over this set.
#70 - Todd Frazier, Reds, blue parallel
#126 - Dan Uggla, Braves, blue parallel
#139 - Bobby Parnell, Mets
Topps is still doing the "players make weird faces" thing. I wish they'd stop it. Topps, I mean. Not the players. They can't help it.
#96 - Edwards Mujica, Cardinals
#61 - Trevor Bauer, Diamondbacks
#316 - Josh Reddick, A's
This image has already been shown all over Twitter. It's one of the best out of the set so far.
#119 - Chris Davis, Orioles
#CD-12 - Casey Kelly, Padres, Chasing the Dream insert
#36 - Jered Weaver, Angels, blue parallel
#123 - Rickie Weeks, Brewers, blue parallel
This won't be the last retro uniform blue parallel that you will see. I pulled at least three of them. I'm sure the retro unis are everywhere.
#73 - Brandon Crawford, Giants
It pains me how well-framed this card is. Giants don't deserve this at all. Topps needs to show all of them with shadows across their faces, like it did in 2009.
#163 - J.A. Happ, Blue Jays
#3 - Hunter Pence, Giants
#50 - Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
#81 - League Leaders, NL Earned Run Average
They're Baaaaack!!!! I wish these would go away. But at least my favorite Dodgers is on it.
#303 - Alex Rodriguez, Yankees, checklist
#TM-22 - Andre Ethier, Dodgers, '72-style mini
There is no blaster regret with this purchase at all. At. All.
#80 - Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals, blue parallel
#11 - Yu Darvish, Rangers, blue parallel
People collect this guy, no? .... I pulled a ton of Rangers.
#244 - Lucas Luetge, Mariners
#1 - Bryce Harper, Nationals
No, I will not show it.
#269 - St. Louis Cardinals, NLDS, Game 5
#231 - Melky Mesa, Yankees
#253 - Adam Greenberg, Marlins
This card might as well be a "hit." Greenberg is the guy who received his much-publicized chance in the majors with an at-bat for the Marlins last October. Topps announced there would be a card of him and everyone was all tingly. This is also the one emerald parallel out of the box.
Pretty good one to have.
Makes me want to sell on ebay again.
#55 - Tim Lincecum, Giants, blue parallel
#33 - Cliff Lee, Phillies, blue parallel
Lots of Giants. Lots. Of. Giants.
#235 - Jake Westbrook, Cardinals
#314 - A.J. Ellis, Dodgers
With special guest! I have a feeling Topps is going to have fun with Ellis' cards for his whole career.
#313 - Maicer Izturis, Angels (night card)
#274 - Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks
#112 - Mark Reynolds, Orioles
#CD-20 - Reggie Jackson, Yankees, Chasing History
#147 - Ivan Nova, Yankees, blue parallel
#320 - Michael Young, Rangers, blue parallel. More retro.
#319 - Brian Bogusevic, Astros
#165 - Ramon Hernandez, Rockies
#223 - Yonder Alonso, Padres
#158 - Chad Billingsley, Dodgers
Nice blaster. Good blaster. Good boy.
#23 - Jemile Weeks, A's
#268 - David Lough, Royals
Million Dollar Chase card thing
#281 - David Hernandez, Diamondbacks, blue parallel
#134 - Jake Arrieta, Orioles, blue parallel
Jake needs to shave that thing off.
#251 - Sean Marshall, Reds
#63 - Justin Masterson, Indians
#100 - Mike Moustakas, Royals
#247 - Luis Perez, Blue Jays
#TM-24 - Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins, 72-style mini
And a night card!
#222 - Jason Heyward, Braves, blue parallel
#118 - Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox, blue parallel (I'm surprised he's in the set)
#299 - Darwin Barney, Cubs
More photoshop wizardry. We all know that Cubs don't hit walk-offs.
#167 - Luke Hochevar, Royals
And those are the 10 packs.
Of course, each blaster comes with a manu-patch thingy.
This year, there are two different kinds. There are commemorative patches, that are sort of what you're used to seeing. And there are silk-style patch replicas of past Topps rookie cards, which most people think are pretty cool.
I'm "most people" in this case.
Pretty cool (it came out blurrier on the scan -- they look a little better in person).
So there's your average representation.
There are a bunch of other things that I didn't pull -- including shortprints of a bunch of players. But I don't care about that, and things like that are basically why I'm looking to vintage this year.
I still like the design. I still like the photos. I still like the set. I'll still buy a pack or two here and there.
Not collecting it.