Your friend the Collective Troll is back for more wax ripping fun. Today’s subject is a 1995 Donruss Top of the Order booster pack. I guess this was a game of some sort. You bought the game but could supplement your team with these booster packs. The label warns quite specifically that you cannot play the game without purchasing the main starter deck which is sold separately. Of course this was a retail item and the security thing was taped over that spiel, but I pulled one away to read it in its entirety. It is a post in itself. This is a message from Donruss: “It is considered the hardest thing to do in all of sports. A pitched fastball will arrive at the plate in four-tenths of a second. A batter has two-tenths to of a second to decide if he wants to attempt to hit the ball. The ball is over the plate for less than twenty-thousandths of a second. For a batter to make contact and put the ball in play is a skill beyond reason. Now imagine you are trying that ball in a real game…with the ball changing locations…with the crowd screaming in your ear…with the winning run on second base…in the bottom of the ninth. Top of the Order is an interactive card game in which players match their baseball teams against each other in a game that is as close to the real thing as you can get without stepping into the batter’s box. This booster pack contains 12 collectable game cards to customize your roster. In order to play Top of the Order each player will need to buy a starter deck, available separately.” Wow, that was a mouthful! Donruss uses ellipses more than I do!
Okay, onto the cards… These look like playing cards; at least that is how they are shaped. They have the rounded corners and waxy feeling like a deck of playing cards. They also have the same green backs. I guess so your opponent can’t receive any tip to your hand. There is a whole bunch of numbers on these cards, but I can’t figure if any of them are the card’s number, so I will just state the player and their team. First out of the pack is Rockies reliever Bruce Ruffin. Dodgers starter, the knuckleballing Tom Candiotti, Athletics designated hitter Geronimo Berroa, Dodgers starter Kevin Tapani, Tigers outfielder Danny Bautista… Five cards in and I am not too crazy about my team. I hope it gets better; I have 7 more players coming… Starting with Phillies third baseman Charlie Hayes, the Indians 38-year-old back up catcher Tony Pena, Indians first baseman Paul Sorrento, Giants third baseman the Carson Crusher Matt Williams, Rockies shortstop Walt Weiss, well at least I have a shortstop... Astros outfielder James Mouton and finally Boston Red Sox catcher Mike McFarlane. I was hoping it would get better. In the mid-90s it seemed like every body was hitting 40 plus homers, well not on this team. If I was playing this game I would be pissed! How am I supposed to field a team with two catchers, a designated hitter and no second baseman? Do I move Charlie Hayes over? Sheesh. I really hope that if I bought the starter pack I got Randy Johnson, Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey and someone to play the infield! Has anyone played this game before? Was it popular? I have at least one more pack of this. I will rip it quietly and sort out the teams for the group break and will probably never speak of this again. I’m just imagining my 37 year old starter pitching to a 38 year old catcher with Charlie Hayes batting cleanup and playing second base. That would make for a looong season. Thanks for reading. I STILL love this hobby! Go Rays! Troll out.