2018 Topps is here! Yay, I think.

Let’s jump right in. Here is the first card of the 2018 season, for me, anyway…

Thumbs up to you too, Matt, though I’m not sure if you’re giving me the thumbs up because you did something in this game, because you got traded away from the Barves, because you figure there’s a good chance you’re gonna get paid a ton of money to sit on your ass, or because you just wanted a cool baseball card. Either way, this may be my favorite Matt Kemp card of all time (though it didn’t have a ton of competition).

Here are the card backs, for those curious…

They got me used to partial stats fairly quickly, in part because my vision’s taken a serious hit in the past year or so, but also because it sorta reminds me of Donruss. The fronts do, too. The designs are different, but something about the use of color and the full-bleed on the front reminds me of late-period pre-Panini Donruss, figure ’03-’05.

I am with all of you who think there was a better use of that dead space to the right of the social media and the factoids, but I don’t know if a QR code would’ve worked at that size, and there’d probably be some debate as to what site it’d go to, or what function it’d serve. Stats at mlb.com or Baseball Reference? If it gets you a Bunt card of the physical one, do they just give you white base, or is there some element of chance there? Speaking of, I don’t think the flagship design lends itself to the “10 parallels of the same base card” dynamic on Bunt, so we’ll probably see another season of divergent physical and digital flagship cards, bah. But yeah, if they’re taking away full stats, dead space is a bad idea. Even, from a graphic design perspective, if they’d widened the facts, and centered the social media box, I think it would have been better, but this reeks of “we were going to put something in that space, probably a QR code, and had to nuke it at the last minute”. Moving onto some more cards…

Springer was a lot of fun to watch in the Series. Not as much fun for me as Alex Bregman (who I think is gonna be an unbelievable player), but still a lot of fun.

Mookie looks like he’s simultaneously pulling a Carlton Fisk and dancing here. Mookie don’t care, though, because he won his arbitration case!

Well, I won’t have to worry about these being super-overpriced when it comes time to finish this set. Frazier’s got an RC logo on his card when he was first in Bowman in, what, 1994?

I won’t have to worry about these, either. Would you believe I got these back-to-back in my hanger box?

Here’s some ’18 base of other players I collect (I mostly limit my current players to my fantasy team, hence the Mookie above, but I have been buying Greinke’s cards forever, it seems). I really love the Realmuto card. It’ll probably be his last Topps Marlins card, but it’s a gem.

The box promised 2 Jeter highlights cards, and now that his name is mud, they gave me three! I’ll hang onto them, though. He may have a plan in Miami that doesn’t just make him look like a big jerk forever (one of the sports stories of the next decade’s gonna be seeing how that all plays out), and I have some good memories of watching him play. Plus, I finally live in a part of the country where people will part with Jeter cards without asking for vital organs.

Anyone want these?

The Arenado sorta-gold’s 755/2018, if that makes a difference. Really disappointed that they didn’t go with actual card stock for the ’83s, like they did with the ’87s last year. And yeah, I’m basically good on any of these insert sets, not building them. Pretty flat inserts this year, and for this, I am RELIEVED.

I should also mention, though they won’t be pictured here, that I got 14, count ’em, 14 horizontal base cards in a row in this pack. The reason they won’t be pictured is that they were 14 pretty uninspiring horizontal base cards, of players I don’t have much of a vested interest in. Still, that’s what they went with in this pack, after the inserts were done. Weird collation.

How do I feel overall about the pack and this year’s flagship? It’s a mixed bag, but a step up from ’16 and ’17 on the base design. I’ll be building it (damn it), so send me your base doubles. The inserts are pretty lukewarm, especially the ’83s, so I’m gonna pass on those and trade whatever I get that isn’t a player I collect. Still, I don’t feel like I actually wasted my time and money buying these, like I have for 3 out of the past 4 seasons (’15 was awesome, but it was the only truly awesome flagship set of the past 5 years).

So, here’s my want list for Series 1 base:

2018 Topps (Have 63/350): 2-3, 5-6, 8, 10-13, 15, 17-21, 23-51, 53-74, 76-78, 81-82, 84-86, 88-93, 96-104, 106-107, 109-116, 119-121, 123-126, 128-137, 139, 141-143, 145, 148-154, 156-160, 162-167, 170-178, 180-182, 184-192, 194-197, 199-202, 204-211, 213-220, 222-224, 226-233, 235-240, 243-247, 249-251, 253-254, 256-258, 260-262, 264-266, 268, 271-274, 276-285, 288-289, 291-304, 306-310, 312-316, 318-322, 324-325, 327-329, 331-333, 336, 338-346, 348-350

How’d y’all do?

An Impromptu Package From Stubby: Gypsy Queen Greens And MOAR!

…starts with these.

Oh, and this…

 

See, apparently, Stubby is building this set (the green border retail parallel of 2017 Gypsy Queen), and in doing so, he’s ended up with a bunch of doubles, which I now have. The ones pictured above are the ones I’m keeping. (Especially that Koufax.) The rest? Hell, I’m never building this…I haven’t even grabbed any base Gypsy Queen yet (even though it is a nice set this year). So, with Stubby’s blessing, I’m offering ’em up for trade.

Here’s the list of what I have right now:

10 Miguel Cabrera

11 Jordan Zimmermann

16 Trea Turner

17 Dexter Fowler

23 Blake Snell

25 Michael Fulmer

32 Johnny Cueto

41 A.J. Ramos

51 Kevin Kiermaier

52 Jose Bautista

55 Corey Dickerson

57 Jean Segura

58 Jung Ho Kang

68 Alcides Escobar

85 Raimel Tapia

86 Chris Archer

90 Justin Turner

98 Adam Wainwright

99 Brandon Crawford

117 Jonathan Villar

122 Dee Gordon

124 Buster Posey

126 Justin Verlander

149 Matt Holliday

152 Wilson Ramos

159 Matt Kemp

160 Josh Donaldson

163 Renato Nunez

165 J.A. Happ

178 Dallas Keuchel

183 George Springer

190 Miguel Sano

191 Marcel Ozuna

192 Christian Yelich

202 Welington Castillo

207 Jeremy Hellickson

212 Masahiro Tanaka

213 Elvis Andrus

217 Josh Harrison

237 Jon Lester

238 Tyler Naquin

241 Josh Bell

249 Luke Weaver

253 C.J. Cron

254 Danny Salazar

255 Matt Wisler

265 Eugenio Suarez

268 Joe Panik

271 Colby Rasmus

278 Alex Colome

285 Kirby Yates

287 Tony Watson

291 Didi Gregorius

296 Jose Abreu

If you’re interested, give me a buzz. They probably won’t be around forever! If you’ve got some green border doubles you can send me to send to Stubby, those are welcome, too! Here’s his want list:

2017 Gypsy Queen Green Border Retail Parallels:

13-15, 21, 26, 33, 34, 37, 39, 43, 46, 64-66, 69, 74 (Correa), 88, 91 (Swanson), 94, 97 (Cecchini), 105, 119, 121 (deGrom), 125, 127 (Cespedes), 129, 138, 164, , 174, 181 203, 211, 218, 223, 225, 229, 230, 234, 239 (A. Cabrera), 247, 260, 261, 267, 275, 279, 280, 293, 302 (Sandberg), 303 (Jeter), 306 (Griffey Jr.), 311 (Ozzie Smith), 312 (McGuire), 316 (Pudge Rodriguez), 318 (Brett)

Stubby put some other fun stuff in the box, too, so let’s have a look at a few of the highlights…

This card was in a carefully obscured card holder, with no idea as to its identity. A mystery! I loves a mystery.

!

Like hell it has no value! I needed it for my ’72-’73 set that I’ll never finish. (I do like their fries, though.)

Going back to the GQ stuff, here’s a pair of Ichiro inserts. These are keepers, because that Ichiro feller’s on ’em.

Stubby threw a handful of old wax in the box, too. (Yeah, I opened it all.) I came up basically empty on the ’90 Topps Hockey I opened (no Islanders or names I recognized), there are apparently Hall of Famers visible on 3 of the ’81 Fleer Teams In Action Football cards, but I haven’t tried to dissect who they are yet, and while there was a Dwight Evans and a Paul Molitor card in the ’91 OPC Premier pack I opened, I’d have to check to see if I have either and the cards are on a different floor of the house than I am right now. However, in my ’13 Topps Series 2 pack, there was a fun little number.

Needed it for my set! I don’t end up adding to this set enough.

This was the best of the bunch of packs he through in, though…

Someone was just talking about that Fleer collectors’ hat on Twitter the other day. I would really love to see proof that it exists. Anyway, I opened a bunch of ’86 Fleer, whatever I could get my hands on at Cumberland Farms (because it was damn tough to get elsewhere), and I eventually bought a complete set in a lot of other cards, but I never did get one of these from any of the packs I opened, until now…

Coulda used you in ’86, guys!

Thanks for the stuff, Stubby!