Wednesday, January 30, 2019

2019 Topps Baseball Series One Jumbo Hobby Pack

I still get excited for the release of Topps' Series 1 flagship set every year.  It marks the start of the new baseball card year and the baseball season.  Sure we get a lot of players that have moved on to other teams in the off season still featured with their old team, but it's new.  I ended up stopping by my LCS, Boscos, here in Anchorage on my lunch break and decided to splurge on a jumbo pack.  What really surprised me was how few inserts were in the pack.  Usually the jumbo packs have 8 to 10 inserts and parallels.  I have a vague recollection of some twitter chatter about the subject, but it kind of bums me out.  The main reason for me to grab a jumbo pack was to get a nice sampling of the inserts.  So while I had hoped to do a nice run down of the set I'll be pretty limited with what I pulled.

I will say I wasn't sure what to think from the preview images, but in hand the cards don't look half bad.  There is some really great photography and I'll highlight some of my favorite cards in the pack.  There is still plenty of basic shots of pitchers pitching, guys throwing, and batter's hitting.  Topps also brought back full stats on the back of the cards!  Looks like enough collectors complained and Topps finally listened.
My favorite card out of the pack is this Josh Harrison slide.

Here's a look at the backs.  Overall the basic design works really well on the back.  I'm still not sold on the last name first and Topps didn't really need the Series 1 under the card number, which would have allowed them to make the card number larger for us older guys.  Basic bio info, a small blurb, and full MLB stats for the vets.  Topps included minor league stats for the younger guys.

Here are some more of my favorite shots from the base cards.

 Nothing like a play at the wall.
This year's Future Stars are rainbow flavored.  Topps did a nice job placing the player in front of the logo giving the card a little more depth.
 And another.

 This Luis Castillo is the best example out of the pack of Topps breaking the 4th wall and I like the attention to detail of the player in front of the border.  Topps didn't do this for most of the cards, but if you look you can find some other nice examples in the set.

The other thing that jumped out at me are the great stadium shots Topps used for the team cards.  It would have made for a great insert set, sure would have been better than the Topps Now Review insert.

 The backs are also well done, with field dimensions, starting lineup and rotation, and team leaders.

Here are the rest of the base cards from the pack.

Now onto the goodies.  I did run through my base stack to see if I missed an SP, I did not.  And again I was a little bummed I didn't get a better sampling of the inserts, but from a set builders stand point it's probably great.  Although anyone trying to build the insert sets might have to fork out a little more and try a lot harder.
On my initial sort through the stack I missed this 150th Anniversary parallel.  This parallel and the rainbow foil are not serial numbered in the base set, but every insert has a 150th Anniv. parallel numbered to 150.  The foil for these cards is gold instead of the base silver.
The insert set that wins the award for beating a dead horse is the Iconic Cards reprint set.  While I find the Topps Now Review the most unnecessary and worthless insert set of the product, I don't think anyone demanded Topps do more reprints.  I got Jose Canseco's 1986 Traded rookie reprint.

I'm not sure why Topps has this love affair with the 35th Anniversary of it's products.  But this year we get a 1984 Topps tribute set.  And I'm not complaining, I like the 84 set, just seems like we've been doing this for a while now.  I'll give this set the runner up for beating a dead horse.  I got Thor.

The other reason I opted to snag a Jumbo pack for my first taste 2019 Topps was the better odds for hitting one of the hits.  I actually was hoping for one of the manufactured relics if you can believe that.  The 150th anniversary medallions look sweet and so do the manu-hat relics.  But I wasn't going to complain about hitting the auto in the box.

2018 Topps Fire Gold Minted Pack

Greetings from one of the coldest inhabited places on Earth...Chicago!

It was -21 degrees at 8 this morning when I took my wife to work (I'm not doing anything) with wind chills at -50 degrees +.  Tomorrow we may get to 0.  School was closed Monday (due to 7 inches of snow Sunday night), today, and maybe tomorrow.  Lots of businesses are closed.  In some places the USPS will deny their old slogan even existed.  It's not pleasant out there.

It's been a while since I posted, but I'll put a quickie one up here now.  We need some heat on this really cold's the Gold Minted pack from 2018 Topps Fire!

The Gold Minted packs come in Topps Fire blaster boxes only.  My eldest son got a box a while ago (don't remember why) and I was able to take some pics before he took them away...he's afraid I'll take them away and claim them as my own.  Here's what he got:

#126 - Randy Johnson
#13 - Joe Mauer

It's what you's Topps Fire, but gold....GGGGGOOOOOOLLLLLLDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!

#147 - Brian Anderson
#106 - Starlin Castro (with the shout out to Upper Deck X)

He wasn't too pleased with the 2 Marlins, but he at least recognized Castro as a former Cub.  Here are the backs because GGGGGOOOOOOLLLLLLDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!

OK, that's the pack.  More later eventually.  Stay warm my friends!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

2018 Donruss Optic Football Hobby

I stopped into one of my LCS's, Don's Sportcards, this afternoon to say hi, peruse the dropzone and  singles and end up picking up a couple packs of 2018 Optic Football.  Don's grandson was in the shop helping out and I had him pick me out two packs.  He's been a great pack picker for me in the past. Unfortunately, I didn't pull anything that great, but here is the better of the two packs.

 I'm not sure if rookies fall one per pack, but my other pack had a high number Rated Rookie in it.

 My other pack didn't have an insert but did have a base Dak Prescott, and this pack had his Elite insert.

Friday, January 18, 2019

1992 All World (Indycar) Racing

Indycar started their preseason testing this week. They just announced a new title sponsor as NTT Data replaces Verizon. Let's go back to 1992 with this pack. There are 9 cards per pack in this 100 card set. This is 2nd and final year of AW producing Indycar cards. The final set to feature an entire season while next few years Hi-Tech and Skybox featured only Indy 500. Another note there be two cards stuck together.
55 - Rodger Ward - two time Indy 500 winner
26 - Dale Coyne - this card showed his results of the season. He would become full time card owner. This year he got Sebastian Bourdais and Santino Ferrucci driving for him.
78 - Danny Sullivan - 1985 Indy 500 winner and 1988 Indycar champion. Back of this card featured his career stats up to end of 1991 season. This was Danny's only season with Pat Patrick Racing as they had unreliable Alfa Romeo engine. AR pulled out after the season and Chevrolet wouldn't supply engine to the team. Pat sold to the team to driver Bobby Rahal who won the championship in 92 with Chevy power.  Danny would drive for Rick Galles in 1992 and 1993.
49 - Andretti Family - the only season four Andrettis raced the entire season. Mario with his sons Michael and Jeff and nephew John (twin brother Aldo's son).
42 - Pancho Carter - one of two cards stuck together. His only career win was 1981 Michigan 500. He drove three races in 91 all on ovals.
95 - Randy Lewis - the other card stuck together. This was his final year of driving in Indycar. In 81 races his best career finish is 7th.
33 - Gordon Johncock - two time Indy 500 winner (1973 and 1982) he only drove in Indy coming from last position (33rd) to finish 6th in the race
25 - Mario Andretti - legendary driver won everything except LeMans. He drives the two-seater with a lucky fan onboard before the race starts.
86 - Eddie Cheever - 1998 Indy 500 winner. This was his second season at Chip Ganassi Racing and first year the car featured the infamous red Target paint scheme.

I'm ready for Indycar season to start. Off to St. Petersburg.