Monday, January 28, 2013

Covering the Bases, Pt. 2: Five things I missed the first time in 2012

Yes, I'll admit it.

I went on an undercover mission to my local Target today. I'd heard rumblings about 2013 Topps being on the shelves.

So, with my very college student-ish 1:40 start on Mondays, I had plenty of time to take a look for myself. 

Sadly, the five-minute walk went for naught. No 2013 packs for me today.

But yes, fellow readers, I will be going back tomorrow. And, hopefully, I'll be coming home with a whole lot of 2013 goodness in the process.

Yes, it really does help that the local Target is right across the street, too.

But, on top of that, this is my favorite time of the proverbial "card season", after all.

Despite whatever peeves or complaints I have against Topps these days, I still can't help but get a little giddy around this time of year.

Hopefully, this latest post will quell the 2013 madness I've been having lately.

At least for tonight, anyways.

As I was taking a quick peek through all the extras I'd accumulated throughout the course of 2012, a couple things caught my eye. A couple things I'd missed the first time around.

Yes, despite my blogosphere-inspired "pledge" to take a deeper look at every piece of cardboard, a few terrific pieces managed to slip past me.

To some collectors, it might not seem like anything special. It's not like I discovered an uber-high end autograph in one of my extra boxes or anything. And, no, I didn't suddenly decipher the hallowed "A&G code".

Nope, these little details aren't all that important in the grand scheme of things.

Still, I think they're exactly the type of quirkiness that many of you in the blogosphere would enjoy. 

So, if you'll excuse the abnormally long title for this post, here they are.

Here are five things I missed the first time in 2012.

#1 -- A&G Losing the Oddball Magic

I have snap cases full of the neat little "oddballs" that used to be a part of A&G's base sets.

Heck, from Pluto to Picasso, my '08s fill two of those things alone.

Anyone want to take a guess at how many A&G "oddballs" captured my fancy this year?


Just one.

This Curly Neal is one terrific piece of cardboard. I think most of us can agree on that.

Other than that, however, I found nothing of interest from this year's "oddball" selection. I don't care about college football, and I really don't care about some "professional" video gamer.

I'll give A&G some credit, though. Being the history and music lover I am, I did enjoy their "Historical Turning Points" and "Musical Masters" series.

I guess my interest in those prevented me from recognizing the weaknesses in the base set.

Hopefully next year's A&G will yield more than one new oddball for my collection.

I beg you, Topps.

Give us revolving doors again!

Enough with this video game stuff.

#2 -- Chain-Link Fences and the Red Sox

Now I know why I kept mixing up all these Heritage cards earlier in the year.

It's those darned chain-link fences!

I know Heritage isn't all that revered for their photo selection, but come on. They couldn't do any better than this?

Looks like whoever snapped these was on a strict time schedule. 



Both Lowrie and Weiland were indeed Red Sox when these photos were taken. Topps later airbrushed them into Astros uniforms due to the dreaded Mark Melancon deal.

Yet they still suffered from "chain-link fence" syndrome.

Maybe I should become a photographer.

I know I could do better than this.

#3 -- Four Games

After witnessing the sheer quirkiness of highly-touted prospect Trevor Bauer, I thought to myself...

"If I ever get a card of that guy, he'll definitely go into my binders."

My box of Topps Update in October yielded two different Bauer cards for my collection. I've since acquired a third, too.

As fate would have it, though, he'd prove to be a key piece of a three-team deal between the Diamondbacks, Indians, and Reds that went down this offseason.

The Reds got Shin-Soo Choo. The Diamondbacks got one of the all-time greatest "baseball names" in Didi Gregorius.

And the Indians got Trevor Bauer.

That made any of my existing cards of his about a million times more awesome.


Because Bauer pitched a grand total of four games in Arizona. Which makes anything of him as a Diamondback an ultimate "short term stops" card in my book.

Somehow, that didn't quite hit me until now. I hadn't grasped the card-related effects of the blockbuster swap at the time.

From now on, Mr. Bauer will be a very special part of my Arizona binder.

All it took was four games.

#4 -- Canines on Cardboard

This is actually the card that inspired tonight's entire post.

I was digging through my stack of Update extras when I noticed a strikingly cool action shot on the front of Brian Bogusevic's card.

These types of "at the wall" action shots have always been favorites of mine.

However, I noticed something a little different about this one. Something that made me do a double-take.

There's a dog on it.

A dressed-up dog, too.

See that cowering young lady on the left?

She is indeed holding a clothed canine.

How I didn't see that the first time is beyond me.

#5 -- The Unquestioned Awesomeness of Luis Ayala

Now, how I missed this one is really a mystery.

It hits on so many of my "loves" from this hobby. So many that it actually scares me a bit.

Here's a comprehensive list of all the things I like about it.

I'm not kidding.

1) Ayala's "throwback" cap and warmup jacket gives it a very "vintage-y" feel to me.

2) Ayala is a pitcher, which makes this a new addition to my often-mentioned "pitchers at the plate" collection.

3) Ayala is a relief pitcher. They don't usually get a whole lot of plate time.

4) Ayala is an American League relief pitcher, which makes this one the first of its kind as far as my "pitchers at the plate" cards go.

5) Ayala hasn't had a big league at-bat since 2009.

6) To top it all off, it's also a new piece to my newfangled "bat barrel" collection. Ayala is the first pitcher I've added to the group.

Again, I have absolutely no idea how this one managed to slip through my fingertips. Such an awesome piece of cardboard should never be relegated to one of my "extras" boxes.

Please, folks. Don't let such awesomeness suffer a fate like that.

Take a good look at your cards before you file them away.

You never know what you might miss.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recon report, Dimebox Nick. I, too, checked local supplies for naught. Tomorrow is the day, I can feel it.

I haven't started the "Musical Masters" series yet, but as soon as I get the first, it's on. Hopefully that "first" is a Wag-ner or BeetH-hOven. ; )

Anonymous said...

I went to my local Target today and got lucky and found some 2013 pack. I should be making a post here shortly.

Michael Chase said...

The Ayala is one of my absolute favorites.It was also on my 2012 awards. It also has creepy "Mona Lisa" type feel to it too!

Great stuff!

Kev said...

i haven't commented in awhile, but great post, as usual...

ShaneK said...

Never picked up on the Red Sox and chain link fences ... it's similar to the 62 Heritage in which a number of Red Sox have The Polo Grounds in the background. I mean the Red Sox, New York? I would have thought maybe put some of the San Fran Giants with that background.