Thursday, March 24, 2016

2016 Topps MLB Wacky Packages

Back in 2014 I bought a pack of Topps Wacky Packages Chrome Stickers (see it here). There was one baseball related card in the pack. Now, Topps has a whole Wacky Packages set devoted to baseball. And it's a hoot. I bought one blaster and I may go get another.  I'm only going to post my favorites lest I have my readers groaning too much.

The first 60 stickers feature every MLB team, two stickers for each. Here's my favorite team sticker.

This is just about perfect. There's two in the package, one for you and one for your teammatey!. "I pitch, therefore Eye-Patch". "...keep one eye on the ball". And the warning label on the side against wearing a patch over both eyes.

The back of each sticker is 1/9th of a puzzle depicting one of the cards in the set. This one is for Giants Magic Beans. I didn't get enough cards to show more than 4 or 5 of the backs together.

A number of stickers show minor league teams, one card per team.

Some of these didn't make much sense to me until I looked up the team. The Lake Monsters play in Vermont, thus the maple syrup reference. And it's maple bat syrup. According to Wikipedia maple is displacing ash as the favorite wood for bats. I didn't know that. I can't quite figure out which card is on the back.

And finally, perhaps my favorite.

The last 10 cards feature baseball park food. "They'll never make it to the plate", I love it. The back of this card seems to be the card for "Chuckin' Strips".

Of course its can't be a baseball card product without multiple parallel sets. I got several of the "Gray" and "Green Turf" parallels. There are apparently "Gold" and "Sepia" ones as well. Here's a Green Turf one so you can see the Giants Magic Bean card in its entirety.

I pulled one of the Astros stickers from the box. I bought the other one, the two Phillies ones and the Phillies minor league team, the Iron Pigs, on eBay. So I might have another post for this product.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

2016 Topps Opening Day Surprise

I made a post about 2016 Opening Day last week and really wasn't planning another one, because, what more could be said?  My post was based on what I found in the first of four 24-card rack packs I had bought.

Then I opened the second pack and found this.

This is exactly the second printing plate I've pulled from a retail pack. The last one was in 2006. I don't exactly chase these since they are so hard to find. I bought one in 2009 on eBay, just because I found one that was cheap enough to buy.  So now I have 3.

The third pack yielded this.

I had shared the foil version of this card in my other 2016 Opening Day post. This isn't really the surprise I had in mind.

Also in that pack was this:

That's right I pulled a short-print variation card in the same pack as the regular issue card. I don't go all gaa-gaa over these variation cards and frankly I don't care if Topps includes them or not. But I sure don't mind getting one.

Nothing to report about from the 4th pack.

Friday, March 18, 2016

2016 Topps Opening Day - First Look

I didn't see any blaster boxes of this product so I bought some of the 24-card rack packs. In keeping with my 2016 card-buying policy, that's all I'm going to buy. I've never really been that enamored with Topps Opening Day, especially when they stopped putting on the large embossed silver shield on the front after the first couple of years.

Here's the first card out of the pack.

Hey, it's the four-armed Buster Posey card I featured in my post of 2016 Topps. It's what I expected, the base Topps design without foil and the Opening Day logo. Is that logo getting smaller each year? There is apparently an alternative version of this card, but really, who cares? This year Topps added the OD- prefix to the card numbers. I guess to further differentiate from the base cards? I was hoping that Topps would do something a little different with Opening Day this year, like maybe put the borders back on.  No luck.

There were 21 base cards in the pack, one foil card and 2 different insert cards.

Has anyone figured out what that honeycomb pattern is supposed to be on these foil cards? The back, of course, is the same as the base.

This is the 15-card "Alternate Reality" insert set. It features players in one of their teams alternate jerseys. This card links an appearance in the uniform to a big night the player had.  Pretty ho-hum as insert sets go.

Another pretty ho-hum set featuring home run hitters. I guess it must be hard thinking up novel ideas for insert cards. Maybe we need fewer of them.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

1985 Renata Galasso Pete Rose

I found this card at the card show I went to in early February.

It's a nice looking card featuring a painting of Pete Rose in a Phillies uniform. Rose played for the Phillies from 1979 through 1983. Here's the back.

The back says "Designed by Topps Chewing Gum, Inc." and P. R. E. Inc. No year given. Just what is this card? I'm also don't know the painter, Ron Lewis. There is nothing about him on Wikipedai but his style looks familiar.

It took me a little while but I identified this card as from the Renata Galasso Pete Rose set issued in 1985. I eventually found the set on here.  Renata Galasso was an influential card dealer in the 1970s and 1980s in New York City. She got her start (according to Wikipedia) by selling hand collated Topps sets. Eventually she was producing her own cards in conjunction with Topps and TCMA.

There are 120 cards in the set, including 9 of Rose in a Phillies uniform. The first three cards in the set have Pete's stats, the next 87 cards have this same question and answer format on the back. The last 30 cards fit together like a large poster showing all of Pete Rose's cards from Topps on the back.

I was able to find two more of them on eBay. Here's another one with the Q&A format.

This one seems like an odd question to ask.  The other has the Topps cards on the back.

For you Pete Rose as an Expos fan (there has to be some, right), there are not very many baseball cards which feature Pete as an Expo. This set has 8 of them. Seems a large percentage when you figure Rose only spent a portion of one year there.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pope Francis Rookie Card!

The Phillies issued a baseball card to commemorate Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia last year. I just heard about it on Facebook and managed to find one on eBay.

Since Francis was elected to the Papacy in 2013, I'm not sure this is his 'true' rookie card.  Maybe it depends on how many at-bats he's had.

I'm not sure how these were distributed. As best as I can determine they were given away at a Phillies game last September.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

2016 Topps Heritage - First Look

I'm just back from Florida and spring training baseball. The weather was great and the baseball was fun. I hope to do a few posts about the trips later. Like a dope, I forgot my camera so all I have is a few iPhone snaps. But my friend and traveling companion remembered his. He promises me he will share his photos with me.

I did hear while I was away that Topps Heritage was live so I visited Target (no luck) and Walmart (luck)just a few hours ago. I got two blaster boxes and a rack pack, so 164 cards total. I've always liked 1967 Topps so I may buy some more.

Here's the first card out of the first box.

A nice looking card right off. I'm pretty sure I hold a minority opinion here but I like yellow baseball cards. Lazo and Hall were both September call-ups last year. Since the first card is a subset card, here's the second card out of the pack.

Topps does not use a vertical oriented design on the backs of their cards too often. I'm pretty sure this is the first year of Topps with a vertical back. They will do it again in 1968, then only twice in the 1970s. After 1975 a vertical back does not appear again until 1993.

Personally I like the vertical back, maybe because they don't use it much. It's been 16 years since the last one, in 2000.

OK, just one spring training photo. Here I am at the Phillies-Astros game on Thursday.

I figured no matter what happened, my team would win. Someone at one of the concession stands called me a 'cross-dresser'. BTW, the Astros won 3-2.