My wild goose chase for this year's Series 2 is a good example of why collecting baseball cards is sometimes more of an addiction than anything.
Here's a few reasons why I say that. 1) Series 2 isn't even that exciting. 2) I told myself I wanted a quiet day around the house today. 3) I can probably get most of what I need from these extremely cheap at the card show I'm hoping to attend in a few weeks. The symptoms of addiction are all there. And yet since Series 2 was released last Wednesday, I've been to no less than four Targets and two Walmarts (some multiple times) in search of them.
The fruits of my insane labor finally paid off this afternoon when I found a fresh stock at a semi-local Walmart I didn't even know existed -- a place I've never been to before and don't plan on ever seeing again.
In the eye of the storm, it's a bit difficult to objectively discuss what my mind's been like since Wednesday, why I chose to nearly get into multiple car accidents driving through the parking lots of places like Target and Walmart, or nearly getting slammed by multiple shopping carts once inside their aisles.
I chalk it up to emotional buildup. The Target across the street from my house is usually good about putting new card stock out, but when I kept coming up empty there all week, and also struck out at another Target and a Walmart and another Target (and on and on...), I guess some kind of fire caught beneath me in frustration. It was about more than just the cards. My retail tour came more out of determination than joy.
In the aftermath, all that matters is that I have some Series 2 now, and I won't be needing to wade through so many empty card displays at the local (and evidently backlogged) retail outlets.
Don't read too much into my search: Series 2 isn't the greatest set ever or anything. But I also don't wanna make it seem like it was all for naught, or that I'm disappointed. On the contrary: Series 2 was a fun break -- I bought a blaster and a hanger box -- and actually seems a bit more cozy than past (and often dull) Series 2s. (Though that may just be an after-effect of my goose chase.)
Series 2 has the usual dudes in new (albeit photoshopped) duds, but there's also a few notables who haven't switched jerseys -- like Max Muncy, who was mysteriously absent from almost every Topps release until recently, and Jung Ho Kang, who's back in the bigs after visa issues the past couple years.
Like every Flagship release, it's always a treat to witness the new crop of photographic prizes, the ones that make sifting through the reams of boring pitching/hitting shots worth it.
These ballpark cards remain a hit, some even managing to spruce up stadiums I normally consider to be eyesores (see: pretty much any Florida sporting venue).
Most people seem to be opening Series 2 for the rookies -- from most of the pub you'd think there were three guys in this set and no one else.
Me, I'm probably most excited for Series 2 for all the new high-numbered frankenset contenders -- which have a tendency to be quite scarce since most sets don't go past 300-400 cards.
Some inserts I'm mostly indifferent about (thank christ I didn't get a Gary Vee card).
Buying these cards at Walmart meant I got a handful of exclusive Mookie Betts inserts -- I suppose they're nice enough, but do we really need more Mookie Betts cards at this point?
Let's change the channel to some inserts I actually like -- I'm still woefully behind on accumulating the 150 Years inserts I need from Series 1, but it's nice to get a head start on Series 2 here.
Also, dig the '84 Ichiro!
And hey, at the end of it all, I even pulled a photo SP of a guy I collect -- thankfully it wasn't one of the two photo SPs I already purchased on the secondary market in my Series 2 anxiety.
Starting tomorrow, I'll probably look back at my Series 2 experience (the four Targets! the two Walmarts!) and wonder what the hell was wrong with me -- although I'm betting some of you are probably thinking that already.