Saturday, July 20, 2013

Time for another edition of why did I buy this?

Josh Willingham is giving away my thoughts, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to display the look on my face after I opened a rack pack of 2013 Triple Play.

"Why did I buy this?" Well, you'll just have to find out at the end of this post. That's how we play this game.

2013 Triple Play is a slight upgrade over 2012 Triple Play. It's been on the shelves for awhile and dissected by enough people so I'm not going to enlighten anyone here. But it's the first pack of this stuff that I've purchased, so I must give a half-assed accounting of it as is my practice.

First, what I like about the set.

As I wrote when I grabbed a pack of last year's debut version, it's a decent effort by Panini. I like cartoony stuff and it's a good way to get around the "no license" deal. The addition of faux-wood borders this year gives the impression that the cards are thicker than last year, although I believe they're about the same. I also like the backs better this year. There's good info there and a game you can play. Thinking back to when I was a kid, I'd like that a lot.

What don't I like about the set?

It has a "you've seen it once, you've seen it all" feel. It wasn't interesting enough to complete last year and it's not interesting enough for me to even buy another pack this year. The novelty is gone. Also, did Panini raise the price on these this year? For $5.99, I got 24 cards, 4 stickers. I should see how that compares to a licensed product.

Finally, half of the cards do nothing for me:

The cards in which the players are thickly outlined in black and in an action-type pose, most often with striped or monochrome backgrounds, bore me so much I don't even see them.

And, no Dodgers in this pack. That's not good.

But here is the pack rundown:

#31 - Jose Altuve, Astros ... er, Houston

#46 - Jose Reyes, Toronto

I love, love, love the caricature drawings. The best thing this set has going, even if some players can't be pleased about their "likeness".

#58 - Nick Swisher, Cleveland

#34 - Eric Hosmer, Kansas City

See what I mean?

#63 - Ryan Howard, Philadelphia
#56 - Derek Jeter, New York
#15 - Alfonso Soriano, Chicago

#44 - Giancarlo Stanton, Miami

#29 - Prince Fielder, Detroit

Did they stripe his arms like he's a tiger?

#82 - Yu Darvish, Texas
#87 - Stephen Strasburg, Washington

All-Star insert set - #4 - Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh

This is my favorite card out of the pack. I don't expect to hang on to it long though. I know too many McCutchen collectors.


#25 - Yu Darvish
eye blacks: Jose Bautista

#19 - Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati

If all the cards looked like this, I might try to complete it.

#71 - Hunter Pence, San Francisco
#2 - Wade Miley, Arizona
#50 - Josh Willingham, Minnesota

#17 - Chris Sale, Chicago

#78 - David Price, Tampa Bay
#85 - Jose Bautista, Toronto
#90 - Jayson Werth, Washington

#25 - Dexter Fowler, Colorado

#77 - Allen Craig, St. Louis

#8 - Manny Machado, Baltimore

Baseball 101 insert set - #8 - Sacrifice Fly


Mike Trout tattoos

Two dudes in long pants playing catch

OK, so "Why Did I Buy This?"

As usual, in reverse order:

6. I hadn't been in a card aisle in two weeks.
5. Trade bait. Duh.
4. Repacks are easily the most interesting thing in the card aisle, but I've kind of overloaded on them lately.
3. I wanted to see what the caricature drawings looked like in person.
2. There was no Panini Golden Age (is this hobby-only or something, why can't I find it?).

And the No. 1 reason why I bought this:

1. I'm bored with current cards but I must buy cards when I'm in Target!

That's the No. 1 reason a lot.


  1. Slight improvement on last year, I suppose, but overall I'm just not excited by this.

    Except the Reyes, because, well, Reyes.

  2. I figured you bought it just so you be in Willingham collector club. Oh wait, I'm the only one in that club. Would you like to pledge??

  3. I think Panini Golden Age is hobby only - it definitely was last year. Cooperstown from last year was both hobby and retail - not sure why Golden Age is different.

  4. If a kid drew something like these cards to showcase his or her favorite players, I'd think it was the greatest thing.

    As a professional product I'm supposed to spend money on? No thanks.

  5. I like these, but I'm not sure if Panini should bring them back next year. I agree with what you said, a lot of the novelty from this set is gone.

  6. If you're looking to trade the Jeter I'll trade you my '13 TP Matt Kemp for it.

  7. You're on, Zippy. Send me an email when you can.

  8. I am actually collecting the All Star cards from this set, so if none of those McCutchen collectors have claimed it, I would love to have that card.

  9. You know I'm interested in any Tribers. I'll gladly take the Swisher off your hands. I'll come up with a trade for it if no one else has claimed it (unless you've got it earmarked for BaseballDad already, then send it his way). :-)