A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The New Stuff

If all the other bloggers jumped off a bridge, would you do it?  If all the other bloggers started writing reviews of 2014 Topps right after it came out, would you do it?

I would answer yes to just one of these questions.

In the review of 2014 Topps, I am sure that I have little to offer in terms of things that you haven't already heard, but I figure that at the very least, I might show some cards that nobody else has seen yet.

I stopped by Walmart on my lunch break and picked up a hanger box and a rack pack.  While looking at them in the car, they got all jumbled up, so I'm not sure which ones are from which for sure, so sorry for people who care about that sort of thing.

First up, here are the two Padres I scored from the hanger box.  I remember they were from the hanger box because I also had a thousand Yankees and Red Sox in the box, and I didn't see these til the very end and I thought I was going to be shut out from any Padres at all.  Robbie Erlin looks like he may be a decent option at the back of the rotation, and his first Topps card is nothing to be embarrassed about.  I've been waiting for an Eric Stults card since 2012, so I'm glad that it finally happened in 2014.  Too bad they didn't use the picture that's currently being used as the blog header.

This was easily my favorite card of the day.  Yes, I'm not a fan of the green parallels (although it almost kinda works with Andrew Cashner's camo undershirt, right?), but Cashner is one of the guys who's cards I'm going to chase.  Topps won't get me chasing down these monstrosities for all the Padres, but it's nice to actually get one of a player that I collect.  This was from the rack pack, and also one of the last cards I saw from there.  Topps trying to play mind games with me.

I've mentioned before that the design is not great.  It's a shame to waste a great photo of the Cubs throwbacks on a card that is so weird looking.  To be fair, I wouldn't have that big of a beef with the design if they had just left off the tab looking thing on the right side of the card.  Still wouldn't be great, but it wouldn't look stupid.  As it stands, it looks like a weird crossbreed of two different sets.  Good shot of Manny Machado, and I like that they brought back the "Future Stars" thing, but they should've done it in something besides silver foil.

While I'm mostly just picking up the Padres (and thus, won't be buying too many packs), I decided that for each year that I've been collecting, I'll be putting together a "sampler set" of the flagship sets, showing a player from each team (30 cards) and then a few others that strike my fancy (6 cards, just to make it a full four pages).  So far, these are in the running for their respective teams.  I'm pretty sure that everybody would love to have (a healthy) Matt Harvey on their team, and the Sean Doolittle card is pretty awesome.  Jeremy Guthrie is a guy that I've followed since he was a Rockie and and a guy I always root for, so he will most likely rep the Royals when all is said and done.

Seeing the awesomeness of the Astros uniforms makes me want to go down to Houston to catch a game sometime this summer.  I only vaguely recognize the names Fields and Oberholtzer from a few random games I caught on the radio, but look at all that orange.  I may put together the Astros team set just because I like looking at how awesome they look.

Easily the best non-Padres base card in the bunch.  I got two Mariano Rivera cards in the hanger box, but this was easily the best one.  I thought that his card last year was a good one to go out on, but this photo of Andy Pettite and Derek Jeter coming to take him out of his last game was a great memory, good on Topps for using that on a card.

Here are some random blue paralleled cards that aren't very exciting.

Replacing the emerald parallels from last year (I think?) are these red foil cards.  I think these both came out of the hanger box, but I'm not sure.  I was able to (finally) put together the Padres team set from last year's emeralds, and I can't decide if I like these enough to chase this team set as well.  Still on the fence, though if it's not this one, I'll probably just put a random assortment of parallels as the team set, like I did for 2011 and 2012.

These were easily the biggest surprise of the hanger box.  Yellow parallels?  First of all, like everyone else has said, that's too many freaking parallels.  Second of all, I actually really like the yellow, which reminds me of my now-neglected blog focusing on the 1991 Fleer set.  However, these only come two per hanger box.  I would love to chase this team set, but think that it would get too expensive to chase down on eBay/COMC.  I don't need that kind of headache, since I'm still not a huge fan of the design.

Here are the inserts.  I'm already getting tired of writing this review.  Inserts are rarely of interest to me, since they rarely feature Padres.  Such is the case with the ones that I got yesterday.  Topps is trying to get me to care about the MLB Draft, which I just don't see happening.  One insert focuses on the "50 Years of the Draft", while the other shows the "Upper Class" of players and the year they made their MLB debut.  I had not previously heard of any player that the Padres chose in the draft, and I'm not going to suddenly start following college or high school baseball to become more interested in who the Astros take first next draft.  The Wil Myers card looks boring as well, though I love the old school-no batting gloves look.

Here were a few inserts that weren't lame.  The Super Veteran insert seems like a good idea, though I'm not a huge fan of the execution - too much gold foil makes me feel like I'm back in 1997, for whatever reason.  The 1989-themed die cut minis are easily the cream of the insert crop.  It has all the hallmarks of an insert set that I'd like to hunt down, but I'm still trying to finish up the last 1/5th of the checklist for the 2013 Update minis, and I'm more partial to the '71 set than the '89 set (though it looks great here, kudos for not overkilling another one of the vintage sets, Topps).

Felix Hernandez wants to congratulate you!  You made it to the end of another post about 2014 Topps!  While you probably didn't learn anything new, well, I'm not sure what you expected to learn in the first place.  This is a card blog, after all, not an online college course or wikipedia.

To sum up my thoughts - do I like the design?  No.  Did I get some alright cards?  Yes.  Am I going to be collecting any of the inserts?  Just the Padres.  Am I going to go as parallel crazy as Topps wants me to?  Heck no.

Am I excited that Spring Training is around the corner and the release of Topps' flagship set signals that baseball season is right around the corner?

Most definitely.

EDIT: Alright, I had to run to Walmart for some toenail clippers, tortillas, sponges, and bananas, and I ended up with another rack pack of Topps.  I think this happens every time there's a new release - get it in the afternoon/evening, end up going back at night for something else, end up with a little bit more.  The following is presented without comment.


  1. I like seeing/reading all the different product reviews and opinions each blogger has about the new stuff. Especially cool cats like yourself! I tried to scoop up some Topps '14 at my local Wal-Mart yesterday on my drive home, but there was nothin' to be found. Hopefully I'll be more successful today. (Good score on the Puig parallel, by the way! I dig the '89 die-cuts, as well. Cos, y'know, that's my joint right there...)

  2. You know you want that Puig card out of your collection.

  3. If Night Owl doesn't swipe that Puig from you, I'd love to make a trade for it.