And speaking of last calls, I'm making one more for the contest I announced last week since the entries have pretty much stopped. I'll announce a winner tomorrow so the deadline is midnight tonight, EST. Just leave a comment on this post if you haven't already.
In anticipation of sitting through two drafts and watching a little NCAA wrestling (basketball? pffffft) on ESPN last night, I hit my local red big box store on my way home from work. Unlike earlier in the week when I only walked away with a repack, this time they finally had the Heritage, Donruss and Opening Day.
But I'm already over the first two and will only be looking to add Cubs from those sets to my collection (or any horizontal and ivy cards). Oh, and if somebody has a spare Ryne Sandberg card from Heritage, I'm looking for one of those, too! Apparently he's a little more worthy than the Cubs new manager, Rick Renteria as Wrigley Wax pointed out this morning with a great post.
As you may have guessed by the title, I did in fact pick up some 2014 Opening Day, two blasters to be exact. I know the complaints about it being mostly a rehash of the flagship Series 1, but for the price point and the stuff that is new, I'm a fan.
When people talk about kids being priced out of the hobby, I think about when I was a kid and there were really only three sets. And then Score. And finally Upper Deck, for a buck a pack (those were the days), was going to price kids out of the hobby. For some of you, there was just one brand. Why do today's kids need more than that? I think Opening Day is a perfectly good option to go along with other brands like Triple Play.
I've collected the base set since 2010 and the Cubs from previous seasons, but never really collected the inserts aside from the Cubs. After starting the 2014 Topps Blog though, I think I'm going to chase the mascots and break them down as well since they share the same basic design template. These were inserted at a 1:5 ratio and I got the four I should have gotten. The missing fourth was an Orioles Bird duplicate that is available for trade. Next year, this set should grow by one as Clark, the Cubs new mascot will probably get a card.
The Between Innings inserts are a little tougher to pull at a 1:36 ratio. If they weren't, I might consider building this set too. I don't know much about stadium entertainment, so I think it would interesting to learn a little more about them by breaking these cards down. Maybe when the prices come down a bit and I've run out of mascots.
I wasn't sure how I felt about these Breaking Out cards. They're a little gaudy for my taste, but I can see how others would like them. The Harper was the first one I pulled so I thought it was a young guys set until I pulled the other three, more established stars. I didn't scan the backs of these and I wish I did because that is what sold me on this set. The blurb ties in the Opening Day theme by recapping the first Opening Day game by the player depicted. Last year, Harper homered twice in a 2-0 victory over the Marlins on Opening Day. Jay Bruce had a double and threw David Wright out at the plate in 2009. You get the point.
Long time readers of the blog may recall my custom PASS design. The earliest cards from that set featured Cubs players showing emotion like those in this Fired Up set. I love the idea behind the set but the Fired Up graphic is engulfed in flames and too difficult to read. Great idea for an insert, mediocre on the execution. In case you can't read the names, I pulled Jason Kipnis, Jon Lester, Matt Kemp and Sergio Romo.
I probably should have taken a picture f these 3D Opening Day Stars but I scanned them instead. I could take or leave this set as it's been done before. And by that, I mean if there were Cubs, I would take them and leave the rest. I ended up with five of these when I was only supposed to get four, but pulled a duplicate of the Carlos Gonzalez. All of them are available except for the Bryce, which goes to my son.
Another set that was pretty cool when it came out is Superstar Celebrations but with the addition of similar themed cards in the flagship base set, these may have run their course. Unless, by chance there's a Cub and I'd add that one. All of these are available, including a duplicate of the Justin Upton.
The Billy Butler is earmarked for Chris from View from the Skybox as he collects Royals and blue bordered cards but the rest of these blue parallels are available until he speaks up for them.
And finally, we get to the base cards. I'll tease and say there are some good looking Series 2 sneak previews but I haven't had a chance to scan all of them yet. I did get extremely lucky and managed to avoid any duplicates here and am more than halfway to completing the set. I probably won't take any chances on another blaster so I'll put up a want list soon.
I haven't even looked at the full checklist yet so I don't know if the Cubs have any Series 2 previews. Of the two Cubs I pulled, both were already in Series 1.
And I think that wraps up my card spending until the big card show in a couple of weeks. I probably should have saved my $20 for that but with my fantasy drafts and the NCAA wrestling semi-finals, it was a pretty good Friday night.