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Friday, May 30, 2008

2008 Topps Series 2 Box Break - Packs 5-8

Here's the next four packs. Let's get a-rippin'.

342 Matt Belisle
590 Mariano Rivera
471 Brian Schneider
652 Rod Barajas
531 Hiroki Kuroda RC
AR85 Aaron Miles All-Rookie
477 gold Ben Broussard
David Wright Topps of the Class
520 Vernon Wells
406 Takashi Saito
422 Erick Aybar

Former Brave prospect Matt Belisle has done pretty well for himself since moving over to the Reds. Well, until he got sent to Triple-A this week. Oops. Hiroki Kuroda isn't exactly Dice-K, but then again I don't have to chase 4 different variations of his card either (I hope). Both 50th Anniversary cards I've pulled so far elicited yawns. I'm sure I'll pull a good one eventually, but so far, meh. There's two blatant ads in the background of a couple of cards. Vernon Wells has a Mega Millions lottery ad and Erick Aybar has the AT&T Death Star looming behind him. Stats on the back time: Mariano Rivera had an ERA of 3.15 last year, which was the first time since his rookie year in 1995 that it was over 3.00. Pretty impressive.

Pack 6:
518 Ian Stewart
589 Dave Trembley
357 Jeremy Accardo
469 Brian Bocock RC
582 Dusty Baker
446 Randor Bierd RC
HCM-1872 Ulysses S. Grant vs Horace Greeley
ToppsTown garbage
358 John Patterson
523 Noah Lowry
605 Andre Ethier

Woohoo! My first campaign card. General Grant versus Benjamin Franklin being strangled by a ferret. This card is a Democrat's nightmare: A Republican matched up against a Liberal Republican. In other words, McCain vs. Hillary. This election was a slaughter for Grant, 286-3. It didn't help that Greeley died right before the electors voted. The three dingbats who voted for a dead guy were from Georgia. Imagine that! Ok, back to baseball. In other heated rivalries, Brian Bocock and Randor Bierd are both fighting for the "most awesomest rookie name" nomination for Series Two. The winner will face off against Radhames Liz in the general election. There are two managers in the pack, Dave Trembley who will probably get fired next time Peter Angelos gets a bad case of heartburn and Dusty Baker who is the worst good manager ever. John Patterson gets his 2008 Topps card a week after getting cut from the Rangers, who picked him up when he got dumped by the Nationals. When you get cut by the Texas and Washington, and you're a pitcher, it's time to look for that broadcasting gig. Andre Ethier saves this pack from oblivion.

Pack 7:
409 Jason Giambi
570 Homer Bailey
593 Randy Wells RC
558 John Russell
375 Fausto Carmona
609 Gold Parallel Ted Lilly #0203/2008
369 gold Luis Castillo
Checklist 1 of 4
461 Jacoby Ellsbury
380 Grady Sizemore
642 Mark Kotsay

First damaged card in the box - Jacoby Ellsbury got caught in the wrapper and now has a nice scalloped bottom edge. I'll set him aside. Once again the Checklist is the most interesting card in the pack. Card number 447 is a Classic Combo card of Chipper Jones and Mark Teixeira. Aaaaallll Riiiiight! So has Homer Bailey turned into Tom Seaver yet? He's in Triple-A you say? He just got passed over for promotion to the bigs in favor of Josh Fogg you say? Good 'ol Dusty Baker... Mark Kotsay has a bead on a ball tossed by the photographer's assistant. At least he didn't have to throw the ball up in the air himself like Grady Sizemore had to one card earlier. Oddly enough Jason Giambi is stretching for an actual throw in a rare appearance at first base for the Yankees. Yes, I definitely like the photography better in Series Two. I wish Topps would go back to the tight close ups they used in the 60's and 70's for the portraits instead of the medium shots they are using, but overall things are looking nice. The Topps Indent™ is wreaking havoc with the photo cropping though. PLEASE DON'T DO THIS AGAIN NEXT YEAR. Speaking of mugshots, John Russell's card could be featured on The Smoking Gun. I think they swiped this photo from the Pirates' media guide. Whenever you get depressed about bad photography though, just says these words to yourself: Fausto Carrmona. Make sure you roll the rrrs for the full soothing effect. Fauuusto Carrrmoona... Ah, that gets me in such a peaceful place. Now, if you pronounce it Foostow CARmuna you deserve the stress.

Pack 8:
405 Travis Hafner
459 Mike Sweeney
496 Brad Lidge
481 Manny Parra
428 Jair Jurrjens
TCH59 Mick Markakis Trading Card History
530 gold Ryan Zimmerman
TS3 Justin Morneau Topps Stars
Checklist 4 of 4
434 Ron Gardenhire
438 Jay Payton

PRONK ALERT!!! Ok, more checklist fascination... One one more of these to go and you don't have to hear about checklists anymore. There is sadly no Chipper Jones Shea Stadium commemorative patch. Brian McCann has a 50th Anniversary relic card though, sweeeeeeet. Presidential Stamp Cards that I want: Teddy Roosevelt, James K. Polk and Chester A. Arthur. And finally, the best Dual Cut Signature in the set is Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan. The most expensive one will be the JFK/Nixon one, closely followed by Hillary/Obama. The coolest cut auto card in the set is Elbridge Gerry and DeWitt Clinton by far. If I knew what document they cut those autographs from I'd have a heart attack though. The one I would end up pulling if I were to ever pull such a card? Ralph Nader and Joe Lieberman. BLECH. Can you say the 2008 National League Rookie of the year Jair Jurrjens? I knew you could. This is a perfect example of the better photography in this set. Jair looks like a giant SuperPitcher about to crush the puny stadium underneath his mighty cleats. Favorite card of the set so far. If I have to pull a gold foil card I guess Ryan Zimmerman is a good one to pull. I remember when Tom Kelly retired and I thought no way could someone replace someone like him. Now I can't see anyone other than Gardenhire managing the Twins. Lidge has been lights out for the Phillies and that scares me. Once again there are two inserts in the pack. The Topps Stars card is shiny and glowy and gold and boring. It's a nice card but not my thing. I was all ready to mock the faux retroness of the bland Markakis photo fuzzed and photoshopped to make it look old when I pulled out my '61 Braves set to compare and realized that there really wasn't that much difference. Players did actually smile occasionally for the camera back in the 60's though.

The box so far:

Base cards - 63
Checklists - 3
Dupes - 0
Damaged - 1

Gold Foil - 4
Gold Parallel - 2 - Takashi Saito, Ted Lilly

Year In Review - 2 - Wil Ledezma, Chad Gaudin
Trading Card History - 2 - Francisco Rodriguez, Nick Markakis
All-Rookie 50th - 2 - Angel Berroa, Aaron Miles
Mickey Mantle Story - 1
Topps Stars - 1 - Justin Morneau
Campaign Matchups - 1 - 1872 Grant v. Greeley

ToppsTown - 4
All-Rookie - 1
David Wright - 1


Anonymous said...

Beating a dead guy?

Kind of the opposite of this huh?

William Noetling said...

Can I have your ToppsTown codes if you don't want them?

I don't need the actual cards, just the codes.


Anonymous said...

Can you post the ToppsTown codes??

Anonymous said...

Can u post the Toppstown Codes?