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Card show buzzes don't last as long as they once did

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.

Oh well.

#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, 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.



Stealing Home said…
What's the deal with Trout? Did his father buy Topps? I'm seeing that guy's cards getting pulled as inserts on most of the reviews.
Nick said…
I LOVE that Emerald Adam Greenberg. I may have to cave in with my lack of Ebay single-card purchases to get that one.

That Trout mini is pretty cool, too. The photo kind of reminds me of the actual '72 set, for some reason.

From what I saw in my breaks yesterday, there are quite a few "throwbacks" in the set. One of the more redeeming qualities of Flagship in 2013, I think.
The Dimwit said…
That Altuve is SICK!!!! And yes there are a few of us Astros fans left! If nothing else shakes out I would like a shot at trading for it as well!!!!
Very nice presentation !
I just did a quicky post last night.

I would love the Blue KIpnis !
Please ,Please !

I have a blue Brandon League and 3 base Dodgers, Ted Lilly, Paco Rodriguez and Andre Ethier for you.
dominicfdny said…
would love to have the greenberg sparkly.
gcrl said…
hey do you know what? i wouldn't care if you had said that you weren't going to buy any 2013 topps and then you went out and bought some. why? because i believe that as a collector you can collect whatever you want. you can change your mind. it's your collection. it doesn't matter what i think or what anyone else thinks. you could announce that you were going to chase this set after all and i wouldn't care. that's your right. maybe i'm the only one that thinks this way, but i don't think that it's 'all-or-nothing'. do what you like. collect what you like. write about what you like. just don't think that everyone is critical of you for doing what you like.

oh, and i'm glad to see another double play card for dee gordon - that's three years in a row! thanks topps!
hiflew said…
I hadn't seen the Fowler yet, it looks good. I am pleased that Topps used the same photo I used in the QU set. I may have to go back and count the number of same photos.

night owl said…
@gcrl ~

Well, I'm glad you think that way. Unfortunately, others do not and aren't quiet about it.
Roy-Z said…
If no one claims that Griffey...

You seemed to pull the exact same cards I did. Which I find to be highly ridiculous.

Except for my blaster DID NOT have the patch card.

Been raising hell on @toppssupport all day to no avail.
Weston DeShon said…
Thank you for not showing Bryce Harper's face. I might have died. And you have a very true statement that Cubs don't have walk-offs.
Fuji said…
I won't be busting any of this stuff either, but I'm pretty impressed by some of the photography... especially the Reddick. And the Griffey Jr. rookie card manufactured patch thingy is pretty cool too.
Dave said…
The afternoon sun glistening off of AJ's helmet makes me want to run out and grab a few packs. Hopefully this will be the last set with Russell in pinstripes!
Potch said…

I know you're getting inundated with requests now, but if the Jarrod Parker is available, I'd love to have that card. Jarrod is from down the road here.

So far, I've only pulled the Dee Gordon base, but I hope to get my trade bait blaster tomorrow and hopefully land something else decent for you. If nothing emerges from the blaster, I'll find something and get back to you tomorrow.

Of course, I'd love to have the Reds (except for Marshall) and Castro too but I won't be greedy. I'll hopefully pull some of them tomorrow.

night owl said…
Yes, getting lots of requests.

Right now, the blue Darvish and Young are involved in a deal, the Griffey patch is in a deal. The Greenberg I'm holding onto for now.

I'll set aside some cards for others, but it will be literally weeks before I get to hammering stuff out. I'm that far behind.
Laurens said…
Is that putrid Trout available? I can send minis of Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw for it.

AdamE said…
The worst thing about 2013 Topps may be that Dice-K is still a Red Sox in it. That said, can you please set it aside for me? I mailed those cards to you today. I threw in one more REAL Oddball too.
Jeff said…
I loved the 87 minis last year, and I think I'll like the 72s just as much this year. (and yes, the Trout floats my boat, but to be fair, I am an Angel fan).
Damn the deal for the blue Rangers...damn it all to hell! I agree with Jim, collect what you want, when you want, buy a little, buy a lot, it's your money and your collection. Just keep writing about the cards man, just keep writing.
Kev said…
great write up! as i wait for my jumbo to appear at my house tonight, i really appreciate the detailed impressions and analysis.

thanks, and enjoy!
Ana Lu said…
I like Teixeira so that card alone would make all packs. Add the Brandon dusty card and just great! Not that I like him or Giants that much, but the is dust.

Your scan makes almost all cards look like pink parallels. ;)

Nice intro to this year series 1.
coronado2010 said…
I pulled that Altuve parallel and thought it was sick right away...good looking card to get signed.

I also noticed that those Million code card things counted as a regular card in the pack. That ticks me off. A code card shouldn't count as a real card, least I only got one...
Community Gum said…
Hoping to grab a blaster or 2 today myself, mostly for trade material.

My first time seeing the Castro photo for this year. With countless parallels, it always helps to have a nice picture to stare at endlessly.

Also, Chasing History is both horizontal and vertical? Not sure I'm a fan of that in an insert set.

I was going to send you so many Dodgers for that Griffey!

And the Green Greenberg is an excellent pull......
Martyn said…
Reyes is #331 to make it a 330 card base set, there's no Mantle so hence no #7. They expect a deal with the Mantle family so #7 will be in series 2 or update

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