I returned to collecting current cards eight years ago. In that time, not one active Dodger had graced the wrapper of a Topps or other card company product. The only Dodger that I can remember seeing on a wrapper is Jackie Robinson, the cover boy for last year's Gypsy Queen.
So, when I saw that Kershaw was the featured player for Topps Series 2, my first thought was:
"Topps better not jinx him."
I don't think think the Topps wrapper jinx has anything on the Sports Illustrated cover jinx, but let's be real. Ryan Howard, Alex Rodriguez, Joba Chamberlain, Ryan Braun and a few others haven't had the best of outcomes since they appeared on baseball card wrapper fronts.
But it turns out I had nothing to fear. Mere days after Kershaw first popped up on wrappers all over the country, he pitched one of the more efficient no-hitters of all-time. No walks, one batter above the minimum, 107 pitches, 15 strikeouts. After that, I hope the guy's on wrappers in Topps Update, Chrome and everything else. Hell, I bet with his beard, Kershaw could do a pretty good likeness of Minty Beans in Allen & Ginter.
So, with the jinx out of the way, I absolutely had to get some Topps Series 2. I don't really care about the cards. I just wanted the wrapper.
However, when I got to Walmart, all I saw were hanger boxes, blasters and rack packs. Not a single loose pack. I will have to rectify this at some point in the future, but for now I grabbed a hanger box and will show you the very boring details right now:
#489 - David Price, Rays, pitcher
This particular shot was repeated throughout the box about 28 times. It makes for seriously boring cards. Also, the bottom left corner is majorly dinged. Nice craftsmanship.
#446 - Tim Hudson, Giants, pitcher
I'm showiing this to point out the Series 2 photoshopping. And that Hudson got torched yesterday. And that the Giants are in freefall. And that I am enjoying it immensely.
#466 - Ryan Dempster, Red Sox, pitcher
#553 - Michael Pineda, Yankees, pitcher
#456 - Eury De La Rosa, Diamondbacks, pitcher
This set is apparently pitchers and nothing else.
#566 - Carl Crawford, Dodgers, outfield
Hey! It's a position player!
Once, Crawford's cards were action-packed as he burned up the bases. Now that he's with the Dodgers, we get stuff like this. Riveting.
#578 - Tyler Thornburg, Brewers, pitcher
#410 - A.J. Griffin, A's, pitcher
#652 - Edinson Volquez, Pirates, pitcher
More and more pitchers.
#336 - Ben Zobrist, Rays, second base
Every card so far has been the same close-cropped stuff we've gotten the last few years. It was repetitious two years ago. Now, I barely see the cards.
#455 - Danny Espinosa, Nationals, shortstop
#656 - Grant Balfour, Rays, pitcher
#559 - Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians, shortstop
We've reached the horizontal portion of the box.
#632 - John Lackey, Red Sox, pitcher
#545 - Jeremy Affeldt, Giants, pitcher
#590 - Brett Cecil, Blue Jays, pitcher
Got to get those tattoos in there.
#390 - Bryce Harper, Nationals, checklist
#645 - Wilson Ramos, Nationals, catcher
The horizontal photos are vastly better than the vertical. Makes me wish for an all-horizontal set once again.
#PP-195 - Bartolo Colon, Mets, pitcher, Power Players
This is the first time I've pulled one of these things. I have no idea what to do with it (other than trade it).
#SST-3 - Carlos Gomez, Brewers, Saberstars insert
"SABR fans! At last, an insert set to call your own! Collect them all!"
#648 - A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks, outfield, blue parallel
#633 - Alex Avila, Tigers, catcher, blue parallel
#387 - Ed Lucas, Marlins, third base, blue parallel
Diamondbacks (I'm always pulling parallels of Diamondbacks), Tigers and Marlins. I can't think of a more untradeable threesome.
#598 - Marco Estrada, Brewers, pitcher, pumpkin parallel
#647 - L.J. Hoes, Astros, outfield, pumpkin parallel
I don't know what happened to the yellow parallels. I'm not crazy about this color, but I do enjoy saying that I've got a pumpkin Hoes.
#574 - Tyler Clippard, Nationals, pitcher
The faces Have. Got. To. Stop.
#653 - Jose Iglesias, Tigers, shortstop
#513 - Jordan Pacheco, Rockies, third base
#505 - Homer Bailey, Reds, pitcher
#454 - Brandon Beachy, Braves, pitcher
#548 - Jered Weaver, Angels, pitcher
#609 - Jonathan Pettibone, Phillies, pitcher
Pitcher, pitcher, pitcher
#481 - Allen Craig, Cardinals, first base
#600 - David Wright, Mets, third base
#374 - Taylor Jordan, Nationals, pitcher
#555 - Adam Eaton, Nationals, outfield, future star
#624 - Alex Presley, Twins, outfield
#546 - Heath Bell, Rays, pitcher
#626 - Tommy Hanson, Rangers, pitcher
#414 - Michael Wacha, Cardinals, pitcher
#457 - CC Sabathia, Yankees, pitcher
Pitcher, pitcher, pitcher
#427 - Cameron Maybin, Padres, outfield
#404 - C.C. Lee, Indians, pitcher
#408 - Joey Terdoslavich, Braves, outfield
#603 - Starlin Castro, Cubs, shortstop
#441 - Mike Pelfrey, Twins, pitcher
#417 - Chase Headley, Padres, third base
#465 - Justin Morneau, Rockies, first base
Photoshop extravaganza there.
#597 - Mat Latos, Reds, pitcher
#473 - Mike Napoli, Red Sox, first base
I've run out of stuff to say.
#562 - Didi Gregorius, Diamondbacks, shortstop
#419 - Lucas Harrell, Astros, pitcher
#344 - Kevin Siegrist, Cardinals, pitcher (we've returned to the horizontals)
#651 - Denard Span, Nationals
This is the sixth Nationals card I've pulled. Meanwhile, I pulled one Dodger. You saw it already. There won't be no more.
#421 - R.A. Dickey, Blue Jays, pitcher
#488 - Brian Duensing, Twins, pitcher
#364 - Mike Trout, Angels, checklist
I'm showing the Trout card because I'm afraid if anyone found out I pulled a Trout card and didn't show it, it would get back to the Very Adamant baseball people and I would be accused of backward thinking and stampeding progress.
So there you are. It's Mr. Spectacular Wonderful. Can't pitch no-hitters though.
#458 - Vinnie Pestano, Indians, pitcher (of course), blood red parallel
#593 - Carlos Beltran, Yankees, outfield, gold parallel
This won't be in my house for long.
#FN-46 - Sonny Gray, A's, pitcher, Future Is Now insert
I was afraid that these came 6 to a box. Fortunately, there's only one.
#502 - Chase Utley, Phillies, second base
#422 - Alexi Ogando, Rangers, pitcher
#447 - Christian Bethancourt, Braves, catcher
Just to show you Topps can do something a tinge different.
#516 - Mike Belfiore, Orioles, pitcher
#426 - Koji Uehara, Red Sox, pitcher
#539 - Trevor Bauer, Indains, pitcher
#341 - Mike Moustakas, Royals, third base
#541 - Phil Hughes, Twins, pitcher
#496 - Jose Abreu, White Sox, first base
#451 - Luis Garcia, Phillies, pitcher
#392 - Jacob Turner, Marlins, pitcher
#409 - Ian Kennedy, Padres, pitcher
Pitcher, pitcher, pitcher.
And there you are. Seventy-two cards -- 41 of which were of pitchers -- and Clayton Kershaw, as far as I know, is still healthy.
See? This Topps poster boy jinx thing is a bunch of hoo-ha.
Anyway, that was possibly the dullest box of new cards I've ever opened. I think I fell asleep while opening it and again while posting it here.
Honestly, the most exciting thing about it was the box with Kershaw's picture.
I'll be buying at least one more pack to get that wrapper.
I just hope a Kershaw card is inside there, too.