Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pack Break Week 4: 2015 Topps Series 2

It's almost the end of the year, and I've written more posts on this humble little blog in the last few days than I have for some months. How's that for new-found commitment to writing? But remember, it's not about the quantity of posts, it's the quality. And I am hoping for more of the quality...even if it means sacrificing on the quantity.

So what are we waiting for? Let's get to today's pack break!!!

As it's Wednesday, why not have a two-for-one pack break. Not only am I opening a pack of 2015 Topps Series 2, but I'll also open a pack from my son's haul from the Dollar Tree, a 5-card pack of 2013 Topps Series 2.

If the 2015 Topps Series 2 set is going to be known for one's going to be card #616 Kris Bryant. Did you know that the Cubs wunderkind, and 2015 NL Rookie of the Year, wasn't even supposed to be in this set? It's true. Take a look at the checklist:

So who's Curt Casali? He's a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays who has appeared in 68 games in a two season MLB career. In 2014, he appeared in 30 games, and as he made his MLB debut on July 18, 2014, was more than eligible to be in Topps' eponymous set.

But as 2015 Spring Training came along, and Bryant was just crushing it, there was rampant speculation that the Cubs would have him in the majors some time that season. Of course, Topps couldn't include him in their MLB products until he did make his debut, (which is why he didn't appear in the Gypsy Queen product and other early releases). And unless you wanted another #661 debacle - or would it be #662 - (see Stephen Strasburg in 2010 and Bryce Harper in 2012), he HAD to be in the main set somewhere. So when Bryant did finally arrive, making him "Rookie Card" eligible (complete with the Rookie Card logo), guess who got bumped?

For the record, Casali does have some baseball cards. He is among the subjects in the 2014 Bowman Platinum Prospect Autograph set, and all of the corresponding parallels and printing plates. But short of a 2014 Durham Bulls Minor League team set, that's it for the cardboard love. Here's hoping that he gets that card in 2016 Topps.

So short of a miracle (it would be nice to say that I opened a pack with a Kris Bryant card in it. I opened so many without one), and while the Bulls are playing the Pacers, let's see what I did get in my pack of 2015 Topps Series II?

  • #497 Hunter Strickland, P, Giants
  • #484 Melvin Mercedes, P, Tigers
  • #640 Matt Clark, 1B, Brewers
  • #701 Milwaukee Brewers Team Card
  • #669 Tampa Bay Rays Team Card
  • #616 Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs



You mean I actually pulled the Bryant card??! Forget the rest. This pack was a clear winner!!!

That's it. Calling it a night now. Thanks for watching...

Might as well see what came after Bryant, huh?

  • #362 Jason Bourgeois, OF, Reds
  • #H-39 Bobby Doerr, 2B, Red Sox Highlight of the Year 1944
  • #412 Hector Rondon, P, Cubs
  • #430 Jarred Cosart, P, Marlins
  • #369 Aaron Loup, P, Blue Jays
  • #463 Justin Verlander, P, Tigers

Did I mention Kris Bryant??! Okay, calming myself down here.

How about that? Two Cubs cards, and Verlander, another superstar, to finish the pack? Other than the fact that I got four Rookie Card eligible players in the first six cards, this pack was worth it.

At this point, anything that I get from this 2013 pack is just extra. Probably the best pack I've opened so far.

Here's what was in that pack of 2013 Topps Series 2:

  • #614 B. J. Upton, OF, Braves
  • #343 Alex Avila, C, Tigers
  • #384 Jake McGee, P, Rays
  • #425 Josh Donaldson, 3B, Athletics
  • #438 Yasmani Grandal, C, Padres

Not a bad five-card pack. Bossman Jr (or does he go by Melvin now?) and the Bringer of Rain before he became an MVP? Works for me.

That will do it for tonight. It's New Year's Eve tomorrow. Other than the usual month-end stuff at work, I have to focus on year-end stuff as well. Hope you enjoyed this evening's edition of Pack Break Week. Tomorrow, I'll open a pack of cards from a product I didn't think I'd ever open, 2015 Topps Stadium Club. What will be in it? Wait and see.


JayBee Anama

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