Friday, March 12, 2010

2010 Topps Blaster and Bonus

I had no serious thoughts about collecting 2010 Topps. After seeing more of the base cards and how the dreaded Topps Town inserts were back, I thought I might pick up a few packs here and there and that would be it. But after receiving a blaster box and a jumbo pack of 2010 Topps, I’m changing my mind. Since I’m certainly not the first person to give a review of the set, I hopefully will be the last. Let’s begin.

Like last year, every blaster box came with a “Commemorative Patch”. I was fortunate enough to receive a Yankee.

MCP-17: Roger Maris Commemorative Patch

This is a sharp looking card and I like them much better than last year’s “Commemorative Patch” design. By the way, I have a 2009 Ichiro patch if anyone is interested.

The blasters came with two packs of black bordered cards.

Pack 1 (Black Border)
#141: Chone Figgins

These actually don’t look too bad. A peeve I always have of a “Series 1” set is that the players who moved to a different club aren’t pictured with their new team. This is a good example.

#19: Felipe Lopez
#314: Angel Pagan
#102: Minnesota Twins
The Cards Your Mother Threw Out #CMT-55: Alex Gordon

Here is one of the more popular inserts that Topps shoved down people’s throats this year. Not my throat anyway, I’m a sucker for inserts. I know a few people in the blogosphere were complaining about cards that are only two or three years old being thrown into a “vintage” subset. Especially this particular card. Alex Gordon will plague 2006 Topps set collectors for eternity…

Million Card Giveaway TMC-6: Mickey Mantle (We’ve heard enough about these.)

Ticket to Topps Town #TTT17: Todd Helton

What the heck are these things still doing here?!

#211: Kelly Shoppach

Pack 2 (The Insert Pack):

#12: Doug Davis
#65: Nick Swisher

#32: Dusty Baker
The Cards Your Mother Threw Out Original Back: Rickey Henderson
A different variation of these “Cards Your Mother Threw Out” insert is that the original back is on the reprint. I was confused by this at first, but I appreciate it a bit better now.

Tales of the Game #TOG-6: Ernie Banks
I didn’t really see the difference in the “Tales of the Game” and the “History of the Game”, but I guess there is some sort of distinction. I like the “Tales of the Game” insert better.

Peak Performance #PP-34: Ichiro Suzuki Another insert! More power to ya Topps. These inserts remind me too much of those Ticket to Topps Town… hopefully they won’t pop up aga-

Ticket to Topps Town Gold #FCTTT21: Adam Dunn
Dag nabbit! This is the gold variation of the “Ticket to Topps Town”. I like these much better than the regular Topps Town cards. There is a different picture on the front and the subset name is FCTTT (I think it stands for First Class) which is pretty neat.

#35: Craig Counsell

Now on to the regular packs.

Pack 3:
#58: Kyle Banks
#161: Denard Span
#159: Vernon Wells
#140: Matt Holliday
History of the Game #HOTG22: Nolan Ryan
If I had the money and effort to start a Nolan Ryan collection, I would. This is easily my favorite pitcher of all-time. One of my life goals is to get an autographed picture of Ryan with the bloody lip.

Turkey Red #TR15: Hank Greenberg
I’m glad that the “Turkey Red” inserts are back in full force. I just love the feel of them… which isn’t creepy.

Ticket to Topps Town #TTT8: Zack Greinke
#47: Brad Penny

Pack 4:
#94: Ivan Rodriguez
#30: Victor Martinez
#315: Scott Kazmir
#227: Josh Thole (RC)
RC logo. It’s not as obnoxiously large, but the design is very bleak.

The Cards Your Mother Threw Out #CMT-19: Steve Carlton
Legendary Lineage #LL5: Ty Cobb and Curtis Granderson
The inserts… too much… can’t breath…

Ticket to Topps Town #TTT24: Ryan Braun
#125: Ichiro Suzuki

Pack 5:
#82: Jason Marquis
#149: Jose Guillen
#270: Michael Brantley (RC)
#275: Chris Coghlan
#328: Chicago Cubs
Million Card Giveaway TMC-9: Mike Schmidt
Ticket to Topps Town #TTT20: Adam Jones
#229: Daniel McCutchen (RC)

Pack 6:
#324: Alex Rios
#228: Chris Pettit (RC)
#302: Beantown Backhand
This is the lamest name for a card I've ever read.

Peak Performance #PP-7: Grady Sizemore
Ticket to Topps Town #TTT19: Justin Upton
#166: Eric Byrnes
#285: Kurt Suzuki
#239: Juan Uribe

Pack 7:
#282: Nationals History
#231: Luke Scott
#222: Curtis Granderson
The Cards Your Mother Threw Out #CMT-6: Frank Robinson
Turkey Red #TR38: Rick Porcello
The highlight of the 2009 season.

Ticket to Topps Town #TTT13: Ryan Howard
#320: Brian McCann
#224: Rod Barajas

Pack 8:
#209: Alexei Ramirez
#92: David Eckstein
#294: Adam Dunn
The Cards Your Mother Threw Out Orginal Backs: Mike Piazza
Tales of the Game #TOG-10: Jimmy Piersall
Legenardy Lineage #LL26: Dennis Eckersley and Mariano Rivera
Is it possible to have a crush on a reliever? Yes sir.

Ticket to Topps Town #TTT16: Kevin Youkilis
#313: Jason Kubal

Pack 9:
#121: Brett Anderson
#21: Cristian Guzman
#286: Javier Vazquez
History of the Game #HOTG17: Dodgers and Giants
When They Were Young #WTWYCM: Charlie Morton
A dumb insert got dumber by picking people I never heard of.

Ticket to Topps Town #TTT7: Josh Hamilton
#246: Leo Nunez
#50: Zack Greinke
Topps Attax insert

Pack 10:
#141: Chone Figgins
#19: Felipe Lopez
#106: League Leaders
Gold #153: Justin Duchscherer

Another thing that many people in the blogosphere have been upset about the missing gold foil in the numbering of the Topps Gold cards. Kind of ironic.

The Cards Your Mother Threw Out #CMT-27: Nolan Ryan
Peak Performance #PP-29: Roy Campanella
Ticket to Topps Town #TTT19: Justin Upton
#113: Willy Taveras

In addition to the blaster box, I received something I wasn’t too familiar with. Apparently, there are small boxes of Topps Series 1 with 55 cards and an “exclusive legends chrome refractor” according to the box. I assume it’s just one jumbo pack tucked into a nifty box with a chrome card.

Platinum Chrome PC9: Cy Young

This is a very nice looking card. Another odd thing about these “legends chrome refractors” is the checklist. On the side of the box it mentions that you will find one platinum chrome refractor of a “retired legend”. However, the checklist includes Albert Pujols and Mariano Rivera. Uh…

Now on to the jumbo pack.

#215: Max Scherzer
#295: Kevin Youkilis
#22: Anthony Swarzak
#175: Josh Hamilton
#93: Joe Nathan

An underrated and one of the best closers in the league. He was also involved in the infamous A.J. Pierzynski a few years ago, in which Pierzynski was shipped to San Francisco while Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and Boof Bonser were moved to Minnesota. I think we know who got the better deal.

#148: Cody Ross
#273: Pat Neshek
Neshek is one of the classiest guys in the league. He’s an avid baseball card and memorabilia collector and has a tremendous website that connects him with a ton of his fans. He also signs anything you send him.

#182: Coco Crisp
#276: Matt Lindstrom
#31: Jason Grilli
#76: Joe Saunders
#139: Frank Francisco
#189: Adrian Beltre
#11: Orlando Cabrera
#326: Tyler Colvin (RC)
#292: Tommy Manzella (RC)
#34: Michael Dunn (RC)
I haven’t been pulling a lot of Yanks, which is odd because Topps is loading their packs with all sorts of Bronx Bombers. This rookie card is a nice relief.

#163: Josh Butler (RC)
#236: Andrew Bailey
#287: Jhonny Peralta
#263: Placido Polanco
#56: Andy Pettitte
#5: Texas Rangers
#102: Minnesota Twins
#32: Cincinnati Reds
#73: NL Wins Leaders
#206: NL Home Runs Leaders
#75: Adrian Gonzalez
#140: Matt Holliday
#227: Josh Thole (RC)
The Cards Your Mother Threw Out CMT-2: Jackie Robinson
The Cards Your Mother Threw Out Original Back: Nolan Ryan
I received the regular card of the insert in the blaster box, but now both Nolans are mine! All mine!

History of the Game HOTG23: Cal Ripken Jr.
Turkey Red TR14: Kevin Youkilis
I might as well.

Million Card Giveaway TMC-7: Roger Maris
Tales of the Game TOG-19: Cal Ripken Jr.
Legendary Lineage LL9: Honus Wagner and Hanley Ramirez
I don’t see the lineage.

Peak Performance PP-27: Tom Seaver
Ticket to Topps Town TT4: Adrian Gonzalez
#251: John Lannan
#264: Arizona Diamondbacks Franchise History
#85: Ken Griffey Jr.
I love this card. The picture is beautiful, and Griffey’s name just looks great with a Mariners logo. I’m convinced 2000-2008 never happened.

#308: Robinzon Diaz
#262: Homer Bailey
#173: Kendry Morales
#47: Brad Penny
#125: Ichiro Suzuki
#229: Daniel McCutchen (RC)
#144: Rich Harden
#208: Tim Wakefield
#111: Ty Wigginton
#290: Orlando Hudson
#89: J.A. Happ
#170: Jason Bay
#213: Ricky Nolasco

Well, that was quite a bit. I’m seriously considering collecting this set, and I might open up the wallet for a hobby box of Series 2. I love all the inserts and the wonderful concept of the “Million Card Giveaway”. However, this is not the end of the birthday breaks, so stayed tuned.

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