Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wada Pack!

I rarely ever even consider buying blasters, let alone boxes of new product.  It's not in my budget and there are rarely more than a handful of base cards that I am interested in.  I'm just not a set-builder; it's the second-hand market for me.

That said, I almost always pick up a pack or two when something new hits the shelf.  Gotta scratch that curiosity itch and, who knows, maybe I'll land one of my targets.

When the checklist for this year's Heritage release was revealed, there were 5 cards that struck my fancy - the first Cubs appearances for Miguel Montero, Tommy LaStella and Tsuyoshi Wada (which you see above), Eric Jokisch's very first major card, plus Kyle Hendricks' second Heritage showing (though this one is not a silly high number, like last year).  These all fill needs for my CATRC.

So, I bought two packs from the LCS on the way home from work the other day.  The first one I opened not only contained the apparently forced happiness of Wada, but also a hat-less and photoshopped LaSTELLAAAAAAAA!

The second pack was a complete dud for Cubs, but getting almost half of my set needs from a singular pack of cards is a pretty good day in my book.

I know that the original 1966 set is pretty hit or miss with a lot of people; I am among those that appreciate the less as more approach and I've always thought that the color used in the text banners melded rather well with the Cubbie blue uniforms, but did they get it right?

Let's take a look for ourselves, shall we?

Pretty good, but I don't understand why the names on the bottom became yellow.  Plus, the text boxes went from orange to more of a golden-yellow.  Yellow on yellow?  I might not have majored in art in college, but I know that's a bad idea.

Despite that, it looks like Tommy approves with distinct enthusiasm.  After all, the text was replicated perfectly and the layout looks like it was expertly traced.

There was something else that I really appreciated about this set.  This quality is in regards to a specific card though.  It was on the back of Wada's card that Topps included some details that are far-too-often ignored:

The stats from his time in Japan!  Far too often does Topps pretend that these imports never played professional baseball before.  Nippon Professional Baseball is no little league!  Kudos to Topps.

Now, like I said, the rest of the packs' contents weren't really useful for my collection; but, here are some of my favorites anyway.  A "best of the rest" of sorts:

The first cards of these guys in their new digs; it's always pretty cool to see such things, even if one is a Cardinal.

In addition, Topps has certainly had their fair share of shockingly bad airbrush/Photoshop jobs, but they sure did do much better job here than the creator of Brandon's Twitter picture:

Not even Bob Locker's 1973 card was that horrendous!

 There are a couple of award-winning faces.  I think Asdrubal was trying to hold off a trip to the bathroom.  I can't decide if Topps' photo editor was asleep at the wheel or if they felt that the snapshot was so bad that it was actually good.

Or, maybe, he's just a jarred by finding a card of a team like the Nationals or D'Backs in such a retro-themed set as I am?

Meanwhile, I think that Mike is still bitter about losing to the Giants in the World Series.  Sorry buddy, it was out of your hands:  it was an even-numbered year!  Turn that frown upside down, you'll feel so much better.

One of my favorite parts of Heritage is that they are the only major sets (from any company) that seems to remember that managers are still around.  Bruce Bochy's Hall of Fame resume is certainly worthy of some cardboard recognition and here's hoping that after his health scares this offseason that all is back to normal and he can add to it.  Get well soon Bruce!

Now, Mr. Eaton might play ball on the other side of town, but I always have had a soft spot in my heart for top of the order spark-plugs, as evidenced by my waxing-poetic over the career of Juan Pierre yesterday.  Hopefully he stays off of the disabled list this year.

A collision with a wall was among the incidents that put Adam on the shelf in 2014

While I do find these cards at least mildly interesting, they are all up for grabs if anyone desires them.  Perhaps someone can help me out with the rest of my Cubs needs from Heritage?

Packs are really the essence of baseball card collecting; nobody was buying blasters or boxes of cardboard from their local corner-store before card become a money-making commodity.  So, though my collection is super-specific, I will always want to rip a pack or two of every new release.

That reminds me, tomorrow I should pick up a couple packs of the new Donruss set that came out today....

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