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Friday, June 8, 2007

Series 2 is here

Went to the card shop not expecting to find much and lo and behold Topps Series 2 is out! Fearful that they may have photoshopped Joe DiMaggio and Rudy Guiliani into the background of the Kei Igawa rookie, I got a few packs before the price skyrocketed. Here is my take from 5 packs:

Pack 1
553 Ramon Martinez
598 Arizona Diamondbacks
604 San Diego Padres
331 Kelly Johnson
424 Dan Haren
DS25 Ted Williams Distinguished Service
345r Joe Borowski
534r Terrmel Sledge
429 Carlos Zambrano
391 Kelvim Escobar

Not a bad pack, a couple of stars, a Brave and Teddy Ballgame. The team cards are complete with walls o' doom again. I don't understand why they can't just sign the batboys to a contract. Maybe it violates the new Rookie Card agreement.

Pack 2
617 Ned Yost
599 Kansas City Royals
594 Angels
344 Kenji Johjima
518 Esteban Loaiza
JDSF28 Joe Dimaggio
394r Aaron Hill
421r Melky Cabrera
536 Tom Gorzelanny
451 Bobby Jenks
Checklist 2 of 3

I know the Royals' payroll is low, but this is ridiculous. The Joe D card is neat, but the blurb on the reverse references the 49th game. Hopefully this isn't the Josh Gibson set redux with the fronts and backs all being the exact same save the number. The Mantle cards at least give a little info like the date, score and pitcher who gave up the homer. The checklist card has some interesting tidbits. Looks like Spahn finally gets a distinguished service card. Too bad there are only 10 cards in the subset. Thankfully Topps finally gave up and didn't list every single Joe D and ARod continuity card. Pretty much one whole side of the checklist is all Generation Now cards though.

Pack 3
635 Juan Lara RC
629 Levale Speigner RC
494 Orlando Hudson
356 Curtis Granderson
GN281 Russell Martin Triple #3
444r Josh Beckett
646r Devern Hansack RC
406 Ryan Madson
428 So Taguchi
429 Carlos Zambrano

First double of series 2 and it only took me 3 packs. At least it's Zambrano. Carlos will hopefully cost the Yankees so much money this offseason they won't have enough left to sign Andruw Jones away from the Bravos. The Generation Now card is quite frankly, ridiculous. Triples?? Are you serious? Do we really need a trading card commemorating triples by a catcher? Finally, the artsy fartsy wrinkly red background on every single Red Sox card since the update set is really starting to bug me. Maybe Upper Deck does need to gobble them up if they insist on using Olan Mills as their house photographer.

Pack 4
638 Cesar Jimenez
603 Los Angeles Dodgers of Anaheim
596 Texas Rangers
515 Josh Phelps
556 John Patterson
OD15 Opening Day - Giants vs Padres
612r Ozzie Guillen
615r Lou Piniella
538 Wily Mo Pena
370 Troy Glaus

This pack made me seriously reconsider my decision to collect cards instead of coins when I was a kid. Troy Glaus in a Jays uni does not a successful pack make. I haven't decided yet if the Opening day design is pretty or ugly. No wait, it's just pretty ugly. Foil stipes? Um, no thanks. I did get a chuckle out of the red parallel cards though. I'll take batshit insane managers for 1000, Alex. Daily Double!!

Pack 5
644 Jared Burton RC
624 Jeremy Brown
399 James Shields
TP18 Gary Sheffield Trading Places
GN274 Delmon Young Multi Hit Game #10
527r Randy Winn
505r Jose Bautista
382 Kevin Millwood
458 J.J. Hardy

Ok, this pack makes me feel better. Two inserts and actual star players. The Burton rookie has more glamour shot wankery, but at least they used neutral colors on this one. A pastoral winter backdrop would look nice for series 3. Gen Now highlights Delmon's multi-hit games. I will not rest until I pull a Generation Now Pete Orr Defensive Replacement insert. The Trading Places insert set is a nice idea, but damn if poor Sheff doesn't look forlorn. One card shows the transition from "I'm the king of the world" to "What the hell just happened to me" quite clearly. Maybe it dawned on him that he's going into the Hall of Fame with a Marlins cap now.

Bonus Card of the Week: FF21 Trevor Hoffman
On the week of his 500th save no less. Nice.

All in all, typical series 2 Topps, too many team cards and the inserts are a little less thrilling, but hey, you dropped all that money on series 1 chasing that Jeter so you might as well complete the set. Look on the bright side, at least it's not 5 bucks a pack like Upper Deck!

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