I first saw the set about a week ago at Meijer's, and didn't think much of it, only because I wasn't sure what was going to be in it. I mean, there was no checklist anywhere, and who was to say that this wasn't a glorified "starter kit." And that there would be a whole slew of cards relegated to this product that would have more legends to seek out in packs and on the bay. So I put it back on the shelf and went back to work. Then this past Wednesday, the boys and girls at the number one source of the Hobby wrote about it. After reading it, I gave the product a second look. With Meijer's selling the tins at under $10.00, "what's the harm?" I thought. With the tin in one hand, and a couple of packs of 2010 Topps in the other hand, I proceeded to the parking lot (paid for the cards first of course), and opened the tin.
It's a really large tin, and there is a lot of black foam used to protect the cards. I don't know how environmentally friendly that would be (and I don't know why I even bothered writing that bit of information now...), but the cards were well protected. There were two separate decks inside, one of the legends, and one of the modern day superstars. Each deck contained 17 cards, 15 regular cards and two foil parallels (I'm guessing that each player in the deck gets one and that these are seeded randomly...don't quote me on it). There is also a game "mat" (all trading card games have some kind of mat or playing board), that also doubles as the instructions on how to play the game. For those that want to know how the game is played, here are the rules:
- Pick your players. Each player (2) will need 13 cards for the game: 9 batters and 4 pitchers.
- Player 1 selects a pitcher and places the card face up in the "pitcher match up space" (the pitchers mound. Player 2 selects a batter and places the card face down in the "batter match-up" space (the batter's box).
- Player 1 calls out a pitch and player 2 turns over their batter. Compare ratings. If the batter's rating is equal or higher, he scores, and goes to the "runs" stack (no running to first base, no hitting a home run...it's a run). If it's lower, he goes to the "outs" stack. So it's either you get a run or your out. That's it.
- Repeat step 3 two more times. Use a new pitcher and batter each time. Remember, you can only use each pitcher once per inning. After player 2 has been at bat three times (no three outs required if he scores a run, any combination of runs or outs totalling three), the side is retired. Now player 1 is the batter and player 2 is the pitcher. Battle it out three more times. This will complete the first inning. There are two more to go.
- Once all 9 batters have been used by both players, the game is over. Count the number of cards in the "runs" pile. The player with the most runs wins. In case of a tie, players can go into extra innings by picking three batters and three pitchers. Play a complete inning to break the tie.
Legends Pitching Staff
Modern Stars Lineup
Modern Stars Pitching Staff
Some of the choices of players that did make the cut leave me scratching my head. Of the fifteen "legends" one is not a Hall of Famer. Don't get me wrong (and don't send me nasty e-mails about it), I'm not dissing his achievements. But presently, I don't see why Bo is even in this set (Bo knows somebody at Topps...dig on an old commercial slogan...). Jon Lester? Really??! What, Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay not available??? No Buehrle? No Ubaldo? Is Lester even the ace of his staff???
Overall, if you like Topps Attax, this is a great variation to play. And this does put the "legends vs. modern day players" concept to life in card form. But if you were hoping for more players, or more legends to play with (or modern day stars for that matter...I guess you could use regular Topps Attax cards but the backs of these are so different...whatever), you will be seriously disappointed.