Okay - back to cards. Although Halloween is still nine days away, I had to kick my procrastinating butt into gear this afternoon in order to get my costume finished up. Turns out, we were invited to a costume party tonight and I still had yet to finish my outfit when I woke up this morning. So, I threw on some clothes and rushed out to Walmart to get my finishing touches.
Of course, once I was able to successfully locate my feather-duster and English driving cap (I'll let you guess how those work together), I couldn't help but swing through the card aisle and see if Update had made it to their store shelves yet:
It did :)
There are two specific cards (both base) that I am chasing in this years Flagship add-on - Trevor Cahill and Aroldis Chapman. In both instances, this is each pitcher's first appearance in a mainstream set while sporting the Cubbie blue. Chapman has a couple of Topps Now issues, but I barely tolerate his inclusion on the team, so I'm not about to drop ten bucks on one of those.
Anyway, I was hoping that the good luck I had in claiming the first parking spot in the first row at Walmart on a Saturday afternoon would transfer over to any card purchases that I made. Let's find out if it did:
Well, I did pull a couple of Cubs base cards; unfortunately, neither one of the guys I was after were featured. That said, pulling a couple of hot rookies playing key roles on this year's potentially legendary squad make for pretty nice consolation prizes. Both of these cards will slot into my CATRC as their representation.
There was also one more Cubs base to be found:
A "rookie debut" for Kyle Schwarber... this seems like an odd inclusion for the product checklist.
After all, Kyle debuted last season and lost his entire 2016 campaign to injury in just the second game of the schedule. Why then do we get a commemorative card of the debut of a guy who barely appeared in 2016 in the Update series? Well, I know why (Schwarbs sells), but nevertheless...
Onto the inserts:
One Cub insert fell out of this value box - it features a guy who suited up for exactly two less games than Kyle Schwarber in 2016, Warren G. I'm not much of a 90's rap guy, but apparently whoever is in charge of booking the celebrity first pitch/stretch performers at Wrigley Field is.
As for the rest of the inserts:
Those are some artsy-farstsy and trippy pieces of cardboard.
Since Topps lost it's football license, it makes sense to see them try out their popular "Fire" design in baseball. It's soooo damn busy and it looks more like splatter paint than fire (at least in my opinion), but I think I like it. As for the "3,000 Hits Club" Ichiro - meh.
Ichiro hot pack! Hey - did you hear that Ichiro was in the 3,000 hits club?
I truly do consider Ichiro one of my favorite non-Cub players, but does anyone really need a card-by-card chronicle of the man's hits? If you're chasing this set down, I envy your commitment.
Here we have a very nice snapshot of a jubilant David Ortiz, presumably watching the home run derby. With this being his final season and all, you knew Topps was going to cram him down our throats; but, this is one card that I didn't mind pulling.
Meanwhile, Aaron Nola appears on a "birth year" insert - the concept being that a player is depicted on the design used for flagship during the year said player was born. Hmmmm.... where have I heard of this idea before?....
CarGo is a fairly prodigious slugger; however, with 201 homers through his nine seasons in the Majors so far, I'd say the odds are stacked against him for ever reaching the 500 home run club. He'd have to hang around for an awfully long time and see a significant power surge. Apparently, this is the gold parallel version of the insert set only available at Target.
Speaking of gold parallels, here's the base card shimmery parallel of Jonathan Lucroy. The golds are numbered /2016, if you were wondering.
That does it for the inserts and "fancy" cards. The rest of the hanger box provided a good sampling of what Update is all about:
There were plenty of a guys sporting their new uniforms after in-season trades...
... a vast assortment of the latest rookies to earn a call-up during the 2016 season. My favorite here is Tony Barnette, the 32-year old rookie who couldn't quite cut it over here, went to Japan and dominated as a closer and carried turned that success into a key bullpen role on a playoff club.
Of course, it wouldn't be Update without a large selection of All-Star cards, would it? These seem pretty polarizing on the blogosphere, as people either love them or hate them. That said, I have a sense of cool indifference. Although, I think Max Scherzer would have rathered that this card had not seen the light of day.
Also of note, is this the first time that Home Run Derby cards have gotten their own special badge? Will Myers has a majestic swing on this card; but, the first thing I noticed was the little trophy on the bottom right.
All in all, while I wasn't lucky enough to walk away with the cards I was hoping for, I did end up with some nice consolation prizes and a good stock to add to my trade-bait piles. Not to mention, I did what I went to Walmart for in the first place and was able to finish my Halloween costume. I guess that's an acceptable shopping experience.
Now, I just have to convince the host of this party to have the ballgame on in the background. There's no way in hell I'm missing a game where the Cubs could potentially clinch their first World Series berth since the year we dropped the atomic bomb.