It's interesting to me that people show the first card they saw, when they ripped a pack, but mine has never been noteworthy enough to post. This was no exception (I think it was a Met, for what it's worth), but I did snag a pair of Padres right of the bat, so that was pretty cool.
Not just any Padres, but my favorite Padre, Andrew Cashner, as well as a prospect I really like, Rymer Liriano. Like last year, I'll be chasing a Cashner rainbow, and I've already snagged a few of them off eBay (rainbow foil, gold, purple) because I'm crazy. I'm toying with the idea of doing the same with Liriano and Cory Spangenberg, but only if they "fall into my lap" so to speak. Other than that, I don't need to go parallel crazy (well, anymore so than I already am).
I bought a blaster and a rack pack, and this was the rest of the Padres yield. Eight out of the twelve in the team set? I'll take that. The unfortunate thing about the incredible Padres offseason is that four of the players on the Series 1 checklist are no longer on the team (Rene Rivera, Jesse Hahn, Everth Cabrera, and Yasmani Grandal). Not crazy about any of the photo selections so far for the Friars, but I'd probably give Yonder Alonso the nod as the best shot, though I kinda like how the camouflage jersey of Tommy Medica kinda works well with the colored border.
Here's a pair of current Padres in enemy uniforms. I guess I'm kind of a fan of the Matt Kemp shot (pretty similar to the Alonso one above, but having your back arm cut off by the border just seems a little odd. On Twitter yesterday, Chris from View From The Skybox showed a bunch of 1993 Upper Deck cards, and man, those looked great. As it stands, I really dig the two-tone-ish border. Also very cool that they included the team name, logo, and position without looking crowded.
Here are some non-Padre associated cards, for you who don't root for my Padres. The George Springer card was my favorite base card of the bunch. With the high socks, the Topps Rookie Cup, and the "Future Stars" label (in foil, hard to see at the top) make this a pretty great card in my opinion. It's probably the only non-Padre base card I'm holding on to, so if you have a base card want list, point me to it. The "First Pitch" inserts are a pretty cool idea, though I'm not much of a fan of any of them. If I was more of a fan of The White Stripes, I'd dig this one, but I'm more of a Black Keys guy. This one is already set aside for Dimebox Nick. The "1st Home Run" inserts are pretty ugly, but Paul Konerko is one of my all time favorite players, so I'm holding onto it.
While it was really cool seeing Cashner and Rymer in the first pack, the highlight of the pickups was this Alexi Amarista insert. Easily the most surprising card of the set. Alexi Amarista is a polarizing figure in San Diego baseball. Most love him (me included) because he's awesome, but others who are into saber metrics say that he's a waste of space. This makes me sad. I think he's a decent (if not very average) shortstop, though when he's in the outfield, I do cringe a little. Love this card though, looks like something that you'd see in a mid 90s Pinnacle release.
All in all, like many opinions I've read, this is Topp's best flagship release in years. I'm actually a big fan of 2013's design, and I'm a little sentimental of 2011 since that's when I got back into collecting. Other than those two years, I haven't really liked a Topps set design since '93, so this is one of my favorite non-vintage Topps sets.
I should really do a countdown of Topps sets, but I don't think it'd be as legit as everybody else's. I might only be able to do a top 10, and it would for sure include '92 and '93, which I know aren't really a big deal to many others, so if I do it, don't laugh, alright?
Anyways, I'm glad I was able to track these down. I went to the Walmart close to my house last night, and they still don't have Series 1. Sheesh.