I got eight packs of this stuff because it was SUPPOSED to go live in two weeks and I didn't have enough saved up for a full box. So I overpaid for packs instead of just going to the ATM and taking out another twenty which I have plenty of because I got my tax refund but I was too lazy. Now I'm not even going to bother because honestly I can get real National Chicle cards for the price of a box. AND WHY CAN'T THE BRAVES GET A FREAKING HIT ANYMORE SERIOUSLY WHAT THE F-
Sorry. Having a sub-optimal week here. Let's get to my first pack of Natl. CHICK-LEE. Let's see how many more artists I can piss off with my first review of this set.
NO. 257 Madison Bumgarner
Artist: Monty Sheldon
My first National Chicle card is a rookie card of the infamous Madison Bumgarner. This is a pretty nice looking card to start off my set. Madison is in the middle of his throwing motion with a big orange and brown swoosh in the background. Very Gianty. Madison was very effective in his cup of coffee with the Giants last year but couldn't crack the rotation out of spring training. He looks like a good pitcher and will probably be back up to be bigs before the year is out.
I feel compelled to show off the back on this card. I think I'm going to do a seperate post comparing the old and new Diamond Stars backs in excruciating detail. But that's for later. Check out the bio text on top. Topps went for a formula which mixes a line about the actual player on the front of the card along with a nebulous baseball 'tip'. This matches the original Diamond Stars text very closely. Madison's text mentioning negative body language reminds me too much of a Wax Heaven post that annoyed a family member. I will never be able to look at a card of Madison Bumgarner again without wonder if he and his father might one day plan an ambush at Dolphin Stadium to rape Mario Alajandro.
No. 12 Raul Ibanez
Artist: Chris Henderson
MAN this is a sweet looking card. Raul is rounding the bases after hitting a monster home run against the Braves to give the Phillies an insurmountable 1-0 lead. A slightly messed up flag of Romania is in the background. This card here is a perfect example of why this set rocks.
NO. 130 Elvis Andrus
Artist: Jeff Zachowski
Elvis has left the building. Thanks for the Tex trade John. One of the coolest things about this set is the fact that the different artists each bring a slightly different but recognizable style to the set, but they are all tied together with the art deco backgrounds cribbed from the '30s originals. Three cards in and I'm diggin' it.
NO. 50 David Ortiz
Artist: Brett Farr
Big Papi! This is a slick looking card. I especially like how the color fades out into the white border.
NO.96 Derrek Lee
Leave it to a Cub to provide the first disappointment of the set. Not the front, the front looks great. I'm talking about this:
The stupid thing is, I bought a bunch of Football National Chicle so I should have been prepared to see Bazooka Joe's dorky grin on the back of these cards. But I wasn't. Yes, this is the bane of all set builders - the completely unnecessary parallel. Topps left out the mini cards, but gave us logo backs. This one is 1:8 packs. There is also a 1:4 National Chicle back which I assume is that NC logo, and there are two flavors of serial numbered Umbrella backs. As far as I'm concerned this is a base card with a printing smudge on the back and it's going straight into the set until I can get an upgrade with words on it.
NO. 79 Russell Branyan
Artist: Paul Lempa
The first anachronistic card I've pulled, as Russell moved on back to Cleveland too late for a uniform change. I don't mind as I like the way this card looks with the blue background and the Seattle uniform. That's a very focused look on Branyan's face.
NO. 154 Derek Lowe
Artist: Chris Henderson
dear god please i promise i will never call derek lowe a lucky bastige ever again and make fun of the run support he gets just please oh please OH PLEASE let the braves please score some freaking runs this is getting ridiculous why cant they score any runs why oh god WHY
NO. 249 Nolan Ryan
Artist: Paul Lempa
The Express as a Met. He wasn't the express back then, more like the 7 line to Flushing. This is a pretty legend-heavy set with players in their original and also new wave ChippeRuth type uniforms. This one is one of the originals. I looked over the checklist
(yep, got one of them too) and Nolan doesn't even have a Retired Stars Revisited card. Sorry Rangers, Angels and Astros fans. Don't blame Topps though, MLB properties now mandates that all sets consist of at least 20% New York teams.
Now wasn't that a nice pack? Aren't you glad you listened to me and didn't panic when those first poorly-chosen sell sheet images came out? Oh wait, everyone did panic. And I was blamed as the ringleader. And everything went all higglety pigglety. Oh bother. Well it's out now and it's nice. JUST LIKE I SAID. And I don't have a box because Topps can't maintain a consistent release schedule even though they are the only game in town. FML