In what is quickly becoming an annual tradition, A.J. - the author behind the ever-popular Yankees-centric blog, The Lost Collector - recently busted his second, yearly box of Topps Bunt. For those who might not know, the low-end product, which made it's debut late last year, endeavors to provide a cheap tie-in between physical baseball cards and Topps' digital card trader app, also known as Bunt. It's a concept which has proved wildly popular with their Star Wars products.
It looks as though A.J. had himself a thoroughly enjoyable experience ripping through the box, pulling some fun inserts and a healthy portion of the Yankee team set (including some guy named Aaron Judge, whoever that might be). With 36 packs of cards and a 200 card checklist, it's inevitable that he pulled a fair amount of a lot of team sets. So, since this Lost Collector is such a good guy, he's decided to spread the wealth with the blogosphere and forward some of these non-Yanks with other team bloggers.
Luckily for me, I was one of the lucky recipients of this generous "Enterprise." Ba dum tiss. I'm assuming that I made the cut as a pity gift to make up for the beat-down his Evil Empire layed down on my Cubs a couple of weeks ago.
I've made it abundantly clear throughout the course of writing Wrigley Roster Jenga that my wife is a minor Star Trek nerd, so I wouldn't be surprised if the use of this particular stamp was a calculated move on A.J.'s part. If so, nice touch! If not, just take the credit anyway.
Enclosed within this Starfleet decorated PWE, was a hefty sampling of the Bunt Cubs. The checklist is comprised of eleven Cubs - eight of the regularly starting position players are included, plus a few starting pitchers. Seeing as the Cubbies are coming off of a World Series win, perhaps it should come as no surprise that this one team should take up so much of the limited checklist. One thing is for sure, this Cubs fan isn't complaining!
Among the base cards, the two that you see above are my favorite. That's because the background features the unmistakable, rich Wrigley ivy in the background and the home pinstripes of the Chicago National League ball club. When these traits are combined with the team color-coded, blue borders, Hendricks and Zobrist have never looked better.
As I observed in my Bunt pack rip a few days back, the design is very slick and TV graphic-esque, which I'm sure looks
quite sharp on the screen of an iPhone. Also, these cards are thin with a ton of gloss, almost to the point that Topps Ice would have been a better name for the set.
Thanks to A.J., I now have all three Bunt Cubs rotation dwellers in my possession.
Maybe I'm just juvenile, but I think it's kind of giggle-worthy that Jon Lester appears in a set titled "Bunt," when he has such issues with fielding them and throwing to first base. I believe that is what one might call ironic.
Here we have a pair of the young position players which power Chicago's potent line-up, in the vocal team leader, Rizzo, and a guy who Joe Maddon remarked "plays like his hair is on fire" in WILLSON!!! Contreras. No, the "Castaway" reference still hasn't gotten old or stale, at least to me.
The Contreras card gets some extra cool points, seeing as the World Series sleeve patch and helmet decal are clearly visible in the photograph. The idea of the Cubs being in the WS, let alone winning it, is still quite novel to me and any card which provides evidence of this incredible feat is a notch above, in my humble opinion.
Hey, Hey! It's a pair of Jason Heywards - A.J. pulled both Jason's base card and it's blue parallel.
Parallels were quite rare in last year's edition of Bunt and much more subtle as well - all were serial numbered and featured just a splash of additional color. This year, the blues fall at one per pack, so they are far easier to obtain and, I'd say, much more noticeable. But, hey, you can never have too much blue on a Cubs card; as I mentioned in my 30-Day Challenge post, blue parallels of any sort are always my favorite parallels!
I wonder what Jon Lester's "perspective" on blue parallels is. Non-existent, I'm sure.
In both the digital and physical realm, one of the main draws of Bunt is the fun, gimmicky inserts - it's the 90's all over again! One of these sets is "Perspectives," which feature close-up, head-shots of baseball players who are deep in thought. For instance, Jon Lester looks like he's contemplating just how he can effectively broker peace in the Middle East. Either that, or he's wondering where the heck he is on the field... it's certainly not the mound. Also, more bonus points for the World Series patch on the hat!
With that, we've reached the end of the Bunt portion of A.J.'s surprise PWE; however, that wasn't the last of the cards:
As an added bonus, The Lost Collector also tossed in this 2016 Topps Heritage single, featuring the now backup catcher for the Chicago Cubs, Miguel Montero. Judging by the photograph used for this card, you'd think he wasn't too thrilled about the change. With the emergence of Willson Contreras and Miggy's injury history, this transition had been anticipated for a while; nevertheless, Montero has adjusted to his new role well and without complaint, providing pop (3 homers) and a solid bat ( .315 avg) off of the bench.
With that, we've reached the end of "The Lost Collector's" Bunt-centric PWE. All told, I ended up with seven of the eleven base cards, one parallel, and one insert - that's not a bad jump on the 2017 Bunt Cubs team set. Seeing as the only pack of the product that I've opened so far included not a single Chicago base card, there's no doubt that A.J. really helped me out here.
That's why the blogosphere is such an awesome place - one generous guy opens up a box of product and we all benefit. Thanks, A.J.! I'll be sure to gather up a nice assortment of Yankees to return the favor.