Monday, February 20, 2012

Random Blaster: 2012 Topps Baseball Series 1

Three blasters in to the 2012 Topps Baseball and I figured it was time to review the product. Most have seen the base cards; they are pretty standard with a nice player action shot and the player’s name. Some people are not big on the use of the team logo and would prefer to see the team name added as text; personally I don’t feel either way. I think with this design the logo works well.
I pulled only 2 Mariners, both young players who are not expected to be serious prospects but they will put in some time in the Bigs. Beavan played 15 games in the Majors last season going 5-6 with a 4.27 ERA but it is possible that he may be worked in to the 4 or 5 spot in the rotation in 2012. Alex Liddi on the other hand will most likely spend most of the season in Tacoma working on his hitting. He can hit, his 30 HR and 104 RBIs show that, but his 170 SO in 559 ABs last season show he is still trying to figure out pitches.
One card that caught my eye was Kyle Blanks; his card reminds me of those tribute cards you see from time to time after a superstar retires like Nolan Ryan or Cal Ripken Jr. Though I don’t expect to ever see a Blanks tribute card, not unless he can summon the ghost of his time in Tucson (.351 BA, 35 RBI and 11 HR in 35 games).
Being Topps the parallels and inserts are plentiful. We are talking an overload of parallels/SPs.
SPs: Rally squirrel, Gatorade, Mascots, Pie in Face, Dugout and New Uniforms.
Parallels: Golden Moments, Black, Wood, Printing Plates, Platinum, Target Red, Wal-Mart Blue, Toys R Us Purple and Silk.

Is your head spinning yet?

I did not pull anything special in these categories so on to the inserts…
The 1987 Mini set seems to get some love from collectors, personally I think Topps is trying to force heritage-style sets in to every set and between the overloaded amount of parallels and inserts is just bloating the product.

Classic Walk-offs, a set based on some of the most important/famous walk-off homeruns. My pulls include Johnny Bench, Magglio Ordonez and David Ortiz.

Gold Futures is a set focusing on up and coming players. I got Jeremy Hellickson, JP Arencibia, Ryan Lavarnway and Ivan Nova.

Golden Greats is all about the greatest. Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth top my list but I also pulled Mays, Clemente, Koufax and 2 different Pujols.

Golden Moments covers some of the more famous golden moments. Like the Golden Greats the back of the Moments insert covers a specific moment.

Gold Standard is a set about the players that set the standards that players are measured on now. Like Stan Musial’s 3,000 Hit Club, Bob Gibson’s 3,000 K Club and Willie Mays 600 Home Runs.

Timeless Tales matches HOF/Superstars along with an up and comer. Some of mine include Andre Dawson and Justin Upton and Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda. Even though Pineda has moved on to the Yankees I still love this card.
Blasters include a bonus Manu-patch, either a Retired Number or Historical Stitches. The Retired Number is a retired player’s number and Historical Stitches is the player’s autograph stitched in to wool (I love this set). My Nolan Ryan Retired Numbers actually had some bleed through where the glue and the blue stitching touched causing the color to bleed and stain the “jersey” material. The Rice card has similar damage, I am guessing that the stitching was never checked to see if the color ran or bled when wet.


  1. You didn't happen to pull a Red Sox in any of the parallels did you? Or would you happen to have any from any different year?

    1. No parallels but I did pull a couple of Red Sox inserts:

      Classic Walk Off- Ortiz CW-14
      Gold Futures- Ryan Lavarnway GF-22
      Golden Moments- Adrian Gonzalez GM-5
      Gold Standard- Andre Dawson GS-19

  2. I need the Dawson if he is in a Red Sox uni. I didn't figure he was but maybe.