Friday, June 28, 2013

Series 1 vs. Factory Team Set vs Series 2

With Topps Series 2 out, I realized it has been a while since I broke down one of the cards from the Factory  Team set. But after looking at who was left from the Factory Team set, I noticed they were all Series 2 cards as well.

So instead of an individual card breakdown today, I thought I'd compare the three sets.

Not including Anthony Rizzo's Out of Bounds Short Print and Alfonso Soriano's appearance on the NL RBI Leaders card, the Cubs had six base cards in Series 1.

Of the six above, only Rafael Dolis was not included in the 17-card Factory Team set. Of the remaining twelve cards, four of them didn't end up in either Series 1 or 2.

I believe the stadium cards are exclusive to the Factory Team sets. Tony Campana was traded so it makes sense he didn't make the cut for Series 2. And for the record, Jackson and Feldman both appeared in Series 1 with their previous teams so it wouldn't surprise me at all if they both end up in the Update Series.

The remaining eight from the Factory Team Set showed up in Series 2.

Stewart and Marmol are gone and Matt Garza doesn't seem too far behind if rumors are correct.

Baker and Jackson have yet to play a game yet this year for the Cubs. 

And completely new for Series 2, the Cubs scored four more cards.

Cabrera and Vitters have also yet to play for the Cubs this season, making 6 of the 20 different Cubs featured non-Cubs. Considering the Cubs have used 38 players already, they probably could have found some other guys. A few notable exclusions are Carlos Villanueva, Luis Valbuena and Kyuji Fujikawa. Not that these guys are All-Stars but Villanueva and Valbuena have been starters most of the season and Fujikawa had enough hype before getting hurt that I thought Topps might try to get him into Series 2.

Unlike in years past, there weren't any photo changes between the Factory Set and Series 2. The Cubs had 20 players on 21 different cards (Soriano the lone double dipper with his Series 2 checklist card) and the Wrigley Field card.

We'll see what Update brings but until then, individual card breakdowns are coming!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

PWE from 2x3 Heroes

How did Jeff from 2x3heroes manage to fit eight Cubs in one PWE? Well, it helps that six of them were split between two cards.  

None of these guys really panned out for the Cubs although Jeremi (Geremi) Gonzalez actually received some Rookie of the the Year Votes in 1997. Still a pretty neat card and one that I did not have.

This Cubs Clubbers card is from right before I got back into the hobby so it is another one I hadn't gotten around to picking up. Since it is from the Heritage set, it is a take on an original Topps card from 1959 that featured Dale Long, Ernie Banks and Walt Moryn. I don't have that card either or I'd show it off.

You might not be able to tell from the scan but this Bowman Chrome card of Chris Carpenter is one of the purple parallels. Nice!

And last but not least is this nice Larry Bowa Fleer card from 1985. While I had this one already, it is a nice upgrade to the one in my collection.

Thanks Jeff!

Edit: I forgot to mention that Jeff also included two pocket schedules from the Kane County Cougars, the Cubs new Class A affiliate. I used to collect pocket schedules back in the day but haven't added a new one in a while. This might spark me to at least pick up some of the newer Cubs and their affiliates.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hanger Box of Topps Series 2 Part 2

As I said yesterday, I picked up a second hanger box when I headed over to Wal-Mart in search of a blaster. Unfortunately, the most exciting thing about this box for me were the about 55 new-to-me base cards for my set. Which I'm kind of downplaying but I really do get excited about completing sets.

Another "regular" Chasing History card and four holofoil ones.

Ok, I may have fibbed a little about nothing real exciting in this box. This box's gold card was this spectacular bunting card. I've sent out a couple of PWEs to some bunting collectors, but this one might just be staying with me. I'm a big fan of small ball and while I don't really have a subcollection of these, this is great photography. After finding the Getty Image, and then going to the boxscore on baseball-reference, this sacrifice bunt "drove" in a run. With one out and a 4-1 lead this was probably a safety squeeze rather than a suicide squeeze, but apparently perfectly executed.

Another cool photography card, although I could take or leave the player/team.

Another Making Their Mark card, this time Jason Kipnis.


Funny story here. I have no idea who this is. I scanned and cropped it but now that its time to do the write-up portion of the post, I don't have the faintest recollection of who it was and the foil scanned so badly, I can't tell. Looks like Mauer? Oh well.

Update: I didn't want you guys to think I was too lazy, so I did go back and confirm that it is indeed Joe Mauer.

The mini this time around goes to Justin Upton. Meh. Maybe I'm still a little miffed about the Upton Brothers home run party against the Cubs earlier this year, but meh.

And since I picked up the hanger box at Wal-mart, these five blue bordered parallels were included in lieu of five regular base cards. With this selection, I probably would have been happier with the base cards. Not bad cards, just no interest in this particular selection.

Collation was pretty decent too as I only pulled dupes of two players among the 144 cards in the two hanger boxes. Not the most economical way to build a set, but more fun than just buying one.

Any of the cards from the past two days are available with the exception of the Million Dollar Chase cards and the Bryce Harper from yesterday.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hanger Box of Topps Series 2 Part 1

Over the weekend I went in search of a blaster of Topps Series 2 for the Blaster Fantasy League I'm running. My first stop at Target yielded only loose packs and hanger boxes. I had never purchase don of the hanger boxes before and didn't know what to expect but I went for it. They were half the price of what a blaster goes for but without the manu-patch card.

Aside from a pack of Heritage and a bunch of repacks, I really haven't busted anything since Series 1 so I had that itch. I didn't pay attention to insert ratios or anything like that so I have no idea what I was supposed to get vs. what I actually got. That said, it was advertised pretty noticeably that these Million Dollar Chase cards were one per box.

I still never really figured out the difference between the Griffey above and the Chasing History cards below other than the holofoil-ness. Also, it seems kind of backwards that I would get one of the "regular" ones and four of the holofoils.

I like the idea behind this Bryce Harper insert set but I'm not sure I like the execution. The blob of foil in the scan doesn't help. In case you can't read it, it says "Making Their Mark" and "1st Homer Run" in the foil. I might be impressed if Topps actually used a photo from the feat. I'll look into that later...

Another Carlos Gonzalez. Is this guy ever on his feet? This is an insert I do like, in spite of the foil. A nice action shot with a discernable theme? I'll take it. (Chase it Down is the theme, BTW.)

I have a certain Padres collector in mind for this one already. 

I never really thought about it before but I would have thought the yellow and gold would have clashed. Surprisingly, a decent looking card.

I know Gary Sheffield was a bit of a mercenary, playing for a bunch of different teams for a couple of years at a time. I even remember him playing on the Marlins. But because of his 1989 Topps card, I will always associate him with the Brewers. Despite two World Series titles, is this the only way for Marlins players to get inserts? I'm not making fun, I'm seriously asking. I'm not sure I could name more than 2-3 players on either of those championship teams.

No Cubs inserts but I did pull a few of the base cards. I'll save those for individual posts though. I headed over to Wal-Mart where I picked up the blaster for the prize pool and another hanging box for myself. Part 2 tomorrow!