Wednesday, January 20, 2021

2020 Topps Series 2 Hobby


Hope everyone is doing well.  There's an inauguration happening today.  I hope and pray no one tries any shenanigans.  

After I posted the Topps Update pack I realized Series 2 has yet to be shown here.  The full onslaught of the pandemic lockdowns and the rise of the card flippers happened around the June release of Series 2, so I checked the piles of cards in the makeshift card room (in actuality the guest room) so see how much of Series 2 I was able to get.

I have 3 hanger boxes, one rack pack (foreshadowing), and one regular pack.  And as you can tell by this post, the regular pack doesn't really count...I had to go to the LCS for it.  The relationship between LCS's and flippers must be like garlic to vampires.

But you pay a price for the sanctuary of the LCS.  In this case, six bucks for 14 cards:

350 cards in the's what I got:

#523 - Corey Kluber
#388 - Dustin Pedroia

Dustin didn't play in 2020 due to persistent knee issues.  He has played 9 games since 2018.  Unless Topps pre-emptively made this his final card, I think they could have given his spot to a more deserving player.

#691 - Brock Burke (RC)
#613 - Isiah Kiner-Falefa

Rangers fans, rejoice!  19 Rangers are in Series 2...well worth the wait for that special Globe Life Park Inaugural Season logo...not.

#608 - Sam Gaviglio
#622 - Brett Phillips

Here's the checklist for those who are interested.

#628 - Julio Urias
#683 - Jakob Junis

#399 - Adrian Houser
BTN-1 - Juan Soto (Best of Topps Now)

If I read the back of the pack right, the Best of Topps Now is a 1 in 18 pull.  When I uploaded the picture I noticed I got part of the flash on the bottom of the Soto card.  I considered taking the picture again but didn't...because it would be for a 1 in 18 card advertisement.

#672 - Chris Sale (Gold #870 / 2020)
#85TB-11 Sonny Gray (1985 35th Anniversary)

The Gold parallels are 1 in 9 packs and the 1985 tributes are 1 in 8.

#563 - Danny Jansen
#445 - Spencer Turnbull

We end the pack with a nice Detroit Negro League throwback.

Here are some card backs because peaceful transition of power:

Anyway, that's the pack.  Yep, it was a blah pack so it was a waste of 6 bucks for me.  The things I do for the site.  Enjoy the rest of the week, and thanks for reading!

Friday, January 08, 2021

2020 Topps Update Series Retail


Hope everyone had a great Christmas and a fun New Year's celebration.  May your 2021 be much better than 2020.

Of course for many of us, the crappiness of 2020 has and will continue into the new year.  We still have The Virus to contend with.  We also have the (hopefully) peaceful transfer of power later in the month.  For the regular card collector, the card aisles are still barren.  And for this blog, there'll still be packs from last year to post:

I've noticed that in the Targets around me recently, the card flippers have left 2020 Update largely untouched.  Undoubtedly, it was because they eventually found out how generally crappy the release was...lots of rehashed concepts and no "hottt rookiez."

I didn't realize how bad it was until I bought too many of it, for me anyway.  I had enough of the release based on the 2 blaster boxes and 3 hanger boxes I was able to find.  Still, I came across several of the specially-packaged 2 packs the other day, and because the site doesn't have a retail pack, I grabbed one for you guys.

I believe it was $6 for the 2 pack.  I don't know if this a Target-only thing or if Wal-Mart also had a 2 pack.  As you can see, I found one with a Cub as the red parallel (and a no-hitter pitcher to boot!).

16 cards in the pack, with 300 cards in the set.  Here's one of the two packs:

#U-46 - Jose Suarez
#U-287 - Chris Sale (All-Star)

Sale has 2 cards in the base set, an All-Star and an Active Leader.  Since there was no All-Star Game, Topps went with All-Stars from prior games.  They should have done more bench and bullpen players from this year, or All-Stars from the 1960's through 1980's, or done less cards, or scrapped the Update set altogether...

#U-3 - Turner / Difo (Nationals Combo)
#U-158 - Jason Kipnis

Go here if you want to see the checklist for Update.

#U-132 - Daniel Descalso
#U-202 - Asdrubal Cabrera
#U-109 - Pedro Strop
#U-44 - Jorge Alcala (RC)

Another issue with 2020 Update is the player selection.  Descalso didn't play for the Cubs in 2020.  However, Jeremy Jeffress, who had a card in Series 1 as a Brewer, was an important part of the Cubs bullpen and should have had an Update card.

#85TB-42 - Bob Gibson (#4/299)

This was a nice surprise from the pack.  If I read the odds right, the black boarder 1985's were a 1 in 550 pull.

#TR-19 - Lewis Brinson (Turkey Red 2020 Chrome)
#TR-36 - Mark Grace (Turkey Red 2020)

There are 50 cards in the retail-only Turkey Red Update set.  The Chrome cards come 1 in every 10 packs.

#U-37 - Yoenis Cespedes (HR Derby)
#U-174 - Logan Forsythe
#U-283 - Thomas Nido

No All-Star Game means no Home Run Derby, thus we get filler flashback cards.  Didn't Topps have an insert set for classic Home Run Derby a couple of years ago?

If Topps wanted to have Home Run Derby cards in Update, they should have done cards for the participants in that old Home Run Derby show from 1960. 

#U-138 - Tommy Pham
#U-184 - Miguel Cabrera (Active Leaders)

Miggy has 5 cards in the Update set, 1 All-Star and 4 Active Leaders.  Geez.

Here's some backs for you:

So why does Cabrera get an Active Leader card when he's not the Active Leader in Home Runs?  Why not give it to Nelson Cruz or Ryan Braun, neither of whom has a card in the Update base set?

For those who were wondering about the orientation of the card backs, all of the cards before the inserts faced one way and the 5 after the inserts faced the other way.  I still haven't found a reason online why this happened.  Own up to it, Topps!

Anyway, that's the pack.  Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for reading!