Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 Topps -- Celebration Time!

In case you've been hiding under a rock, 2012 Topps has been released to retail stores.

I promise this will be one of the few posts I do dedicated to the 2012 Topps set. I know that you've probably already heard a lot about this set.

But after all, this is my favorite time of the baseball card season. It means that spring training is just around the corner!

I hadn't yet been introduced to the baseball card blogging community when 2011 Topps was first released, but I imagine there were a whole lot of posts last February when those hit the Targets and Wal-Marts. I'm guessing it was the same in 2010, and in 2009...

In case you missed it, I bought two blasters and a rack pack of 2012 Topps this afternoon. I would've made this post earlier, but I had to go to my Tuesday afternoon class. I was tempted to skip it to be with my cards, but I made the smart decision and went to school. (I can't say the same about when 2010 Topps Update was released; I skipped class that day.)

This is probably the most scanning I've ever done for a single post. But I tried to give my readers a look at one or more cards from each of the insert sets and some of the better base cards as well. Hopefully you'll like 'em!

And let's get this out of the way now: I didn't pull the "Rally Squirrel" card.

Without further ado:

2012 Topps: The Rack Pack

I opened the rack pack first.

And the card that kicked off my 2012 card season is: Mickey Mantle. It was the first card I pulled out of the rack pack.

I hope that's a good omen.

Next to Hoyt Wilhelm, my favorite and most extensive player collection is Casey Kotchman. I've got about 200 of his cards. I was surprised that he didn't have a single card in 2011, even after the big year he put up with the Rays.

Needless to say, I was excited to pull my first card of Kotchman as a Tampa Bay Ray.

I'm sad to see that the Topps Gold parallels are no more, but I can definitely live with those yellow diamond parallels. The scan didn't do it justice; they are actually really nice.

As you'll see in some of the coming scans, Topps did an absolutely fantastic job with their photography in this set, especially the horizontal cards like Casey McGehee.

I'm really liking those "Classic Walk-Offs" inserts. I can't wait until I get the Carlton Fisk one.

"Golden Moments" is a "meh", at best. I'm glad to see that Topps featured Luis Aparicio, but it's obvious these cards were more geared toward the game-used versions that can be found in 2012 Topps packs, not the regular inserts.

"Golden Greats" is another "meh". Too repetitive. Single players have five different inserts in the set. (Cal Ripken has cards #41 to 45, for example.)

The 1987 Topps minis, on the other hand, are by far my favorite inserts from the set. They're printed on the same cardboard-like stock that was used for '87 Topps, and the backs are pretty much exactly the same as the '87 ones. 

2012 Topps: Blaster Box #1

I'm not a fan of the manu-patches, but, hey, I'll take 'em if they're included with the blasters anyways.

Topps used a lot of "celebration" shots for the base cards. (Hence, the title of this post.)

Hey, you bullies! It looks like Chris Carpenter is crying for help.

More celebrations!

It's too bad I don't collect either of these guys, because these are a couple of great cards.

Looks like both of these are going to be additions to the "short term stops" collection, because both of these guys will suit up for new teams in 2012.

I'm happy to see that Topps decided to include the "D-Train" in their flagship set. He deserves it.

I was scared for a minute when I opened the first couple packs of my blaster, and all the base cards were the red-bordered parallels. I don't think I opened any blasters in 2011, so I didn't have the experience of pulling any of these.

But I guess all the blasters are like that. You learn new things all the time in this hobby.

As you can see, Nyjer Morgan was given not one, but two great cards in this set. This one and the "beast mode" card I showed earlier.

I'm liking these more and more every time I see them.

More minis! 

And I think they're both night cards to boot.

"Gold Standard" is probably my second favorite insert set in 2012 Topps.

Again, the scan doesn't do the card justice.

2012 Topps: Blaster Box #2

I pulled a Reggie Jackson manu-patch out of this blaster, but I couldn't get it to scan right for some reason.

But here's a couple of great cards of a couple guys who will probably join Reggie in the Hall of Fame one day.

Do I smell a future "Awesome Night Card" with the Pujols?

Marlon Byrd is probably my second-favorite player in the game right now, just after Ichiro. He was one of the few bright spots for the Cubs last season. His base card was easily my favorite one out of the 2012 Topps I opened today.

Justin Turner continues the "celebration" theme of 2012 Topps, just as Angel Pagan is about to ambush him.

Dustin Ackley is one of the few rookies I collect. 

"Gold Futures" (more gold-themed inserts) is a nice insert set, but there aren't many guys in the set I'm interested in.

I'm not a fan of multi-player cards, so the "Timeless Talents" inserts hold little to no meaning to me. I do like the throwback Angels uniform on Nolan Ryan, though.

I redeemed every "Million Card Giveaway" code I got in 2010. I traded all the ones I got in 2011. By and large, I found that trading was the better route, so I'm doing the same with the "Golden Giveaway" in 2012 if anyone is collecting codes and wants to trade for them.

The red borders work very nicely with the 2012 Topps design.

I especially like the Isringhausen because I'm pretty sure it was taken right after he picked up his 300th career save. Plus, it might be his last card if he can't find a team for 2012.

A couple great inserts of a couple of baseball legends.

Plus, Bob Gibson is sporting some groovy sideburns in that shot.

Let's close this post with some more from the great 1987 Topps Minis insert set.

All in all, I'm really liking what I'm seeing from Topps in their first offering of the 2012 season.

Hopefully it's a sign of things to come!


arpsmith said...

Any chance the McCovey and Belt cards are for trade? If so drop me a line and hopefully we can work something out. Thanks!

Kev said...

explain the red borders to me - what cards are they on? is that a target thing? is that a parallel or some subset?

Nick said...

They're a base set parallel, all 330 base cards have a Target Red parallel. You can only get them in the blasters they sell at Target.

There are blue-bordered parallels that are exclusive to Wal-Mart as well.

Kev said...

i have a question - why do you (and a bunch other bloggers) seem to be apologizing for mentioning and blogging about topps? is there an unwritten rule in the blog-iverse against talking about the flagship product? just curious, since i am someone who likes and enjoys topps 2012... (and blogging about it)

Nick said...

Nah, not really. It's more of a joke than anything. I really enjoy the set as well and love to talk about it.

I think it's because we're used to seeing a million different topics on all the baseball card blogs out there most of the time. But for the week or so after the new Topps cards come out, a lot of bloggers are posting about the same topic.

I just mean it as a joke, as I'm sure most other bloggers do.

So don't be afraid to post away about 2012 Topps! :)

Kev said...

i have a little crush on that Seaver patch card - are you a Mets guy? or would you be willing to part with it? i have absolutely no ability to value anything, so you'd have to help me with trading, if you are interested... (ps, i think that's the logic steve phillips used when trading kazmir for zambrano...)

Nick said...

I actually already dealt the Seaver, sorry.

Don't worry though, if we trade in the future, I won't pull a "Kazmir for Zambrano" deal. :)

Kev said...

ha, thanks - i believe you!

William Regenthal said...

I have an extra Fisk that I pulled. I'd definitely be willing to trade it if you're interested. Shoot me an email!