More firsts from my 2012 Topps with some second thoughts

3 03 2012

Here’s some other firsts from my first packs of 2012 Topps.

First fantasy player:

I’ve made reference to my keeper league before here, so I won’t go into it again.  McCarthy had somehow ended up in the free agent pool last year, so I picked him up before his return from the DL.  Now he’s the #1 guy in Oakland this year.  So my number one tip when it comes to fantasy is to know who’s in the FA pool.  And know when to get in.

First Pitcher Face:

I had no idea a knuckleball took so much force to throw.  Seeing a small scan doesn’t do this face justice, either.  This is one of my early favorites just for his face alone.

First Card I Dislike:

For obvious reasons, I think.  Sadly, my set isn’t complete without it, so my impulse to woodchip it must be quelled.

First in Flight:

I still think Kung Fu Panda is a dumb nickname.  And that guy is totally out.

First Flashback to 2010 Topps:

If you Google search Buster Posey’s 2010 Topps card, it’s like the anti-version of this card.  Which makes sense, since Eli Whiteside’s offense is almost the exact opposite of Buster Posey’s.

First Guy I’d Never Heard Of:

I wrote down his name while I sorted cards.  Then I pulled out his card again, scanned the card, saved it as a file using his last name and added it to this post.  Then I went to lunch.  I cannot for the life of me think of Jared’s last name.  Maybe he’ll get some work with A.J. Burnett out for a month and a half.

First Red:

It took me three days after pulling this one to realize that Travis is no longer a Red.  His eight innings of perfection in Philadelphia will remain a memory for a long time, and I had high hopes for the guy.  Now that he’s a Cub, well…

First Shiny:

My kids love these cards.  Me?  They are much better then those red letter inserts from 2007, or the gold foil parallels of 2008.  Anyone chasing this set like they did the shiny Topps from last year?

First Throwback Jersey:

New Topps parallel idea for short prints:  Throwback uniforms with the throwback logo of the team on the card?  Good idea or great idea?

And now some second thoughts about the set itself:

First off, I’m happy to see the return of a World Series subset.  It instantly took me back to 1981 Topps.  Yellow border, George Brett in full swing.  A beauty of a card.

But the great thing about 1981’s version of the World Series (or more correctly playoff subset) is that they were all together.  Not here.  They are all over the place, and not even in order in which they occurred.  Game one of the World Series is card #329.  Game 7?  Card #53. You don’t put the last chapter in the front of a book, do you?  So don’t do that with this subset, either.

And I like the league leaders cards, too, but I have the same beef.  Put them together.  And while the league leaders are fine, there should not be any “active leader” cards.  Ditch those.  And while I’m on the topic of grouping subsets, make the season highlights cards (like Kimbrel’s saves records) appear together.  And give them a different design so that they stand out a little, too.

And I’ve seen the talk about the 3b/3b stats error, but no one is aggravated (or noticed?) that Topps decided to use W for both wins and walks on the pitcher’s cards?  And shouldn’t it be SLG and not SP for slugging percentage?  I hope Topps changes this in time for Series 2.

I’m actually surprised by how many quibbles I have with the set, but how willing I am to overlook them for the sake of collecting it.  Any other year I probably would have grudgingly put this one together, but there’s some excitement here that I can’t put my finger on.  Maybe it’s the prospect of trading and collecting itself that have tinted my glasses a beautiful shade of rose.

Whatever it may be, wantlists should be together shortly.

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5 responses

4 03 2012
Mike Von Krusze

Topps wants to make some money. While I agree with you about most of your observations are you being a little to critical?

4 03 2012
handcollated

In what sense? The flaws I see don’t really diminish my enjoyment of the set, and if my biggest complaint is the way they ordered some cards and abbreviated walks on the back of the pitcher’s cards, well, that’s not so bad. I like the design, the photos, but it’s the little things that really detract here.

13 03 2012
Paulie3jobs

Any kind of short print in this set is a bad idea. Leave them for some other set.

13 03 2012
handcollated

What I meant was the parallel SPs that Topps insists on producing – retired players, pies in the face, players punching mascots, etc – and packing out into cases. not that they should short print parts of the main set itself.

14 03 2012
Mike Von Krusze

I agree. When I’m trying to put together A set I only want the cards that are included in the base set alone. I could care less about any of the chase cards and would be willing to trade any chase cards that I receive.

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