No, pitchers and catchers don't report to their spring training sites until later this month. But that doesn't mean that baseball season is not upon us.
The official street date for 2016 Topps Baseball cards is today. And guess what my big box store had on their shelves this morning?
That's right, a five pack of Harpers!!!
Series 1's cover boy is Bryce Harper (golf clap). And the store near me had 12 packs, 36 packs, 72 card boxes, etc. They also had 2015 Topps Team sets of the White Sox and Dodgers (Dodgers...really??!), so there's that.
But that doesn't matter. The new stuff is out now, and the Bay has already been inundated with auctions and BIN's for every card imaginable. I'm going to wait until next week to see if any master sets are around to avoid temptation of hitting the "Buy it Now" button.
For now, though, I'm going to start ripping a couple of packs of this stuff, and save a pack or two for my nephew, who, if you haven't heard by now, had asked me about collecting baseball cards. To answer a couple of questions:
Jeff, his dad is a White Sox fan (eh, what do you expect from in-laws). He seems to be pulling for them, although his mom, my sister, has been trying to get him to the light side of the force (the Cubs). I plan on getting him some packs of 2016 and a few packs of 2015 that I can find. He's a pretty bright kid, but I don't want to overwhelm him with everything about the Hobby. I figure start with the basics, teaching him the joys of reading card backs and how to calculate statistics (that's how I learned). And then go from there. I also have a couple of Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa cards for him, you know, for investment...(ha).
So, what is my first card of the 2016 campaign going to be???
|My first card from 2016...Nick Ahmed #211|
Okay, that was a bit anti-climactic.
The borderless look is something I'm going to have to get used to. The only sense of a border could be the "smoke" filter on the corners of the card. Upon first glance, it looks like smudges on a picture. You can make out certain shapes in the smoke (a rectangle, a letter A). It's like a "find-it" page in the Highlights for Kids magazines (first time I've used that reference...EVER). While the "smoke" effect is a bit distracting, taking away focus on the really crisp pictures, it does give the pictures a bit of a painted look as well. It's like an unfinished Bob Ross painting, just needing to put a few more crisscross strokes of pthalo green to complete the lower half of the picture. Like other designs that I wasn't to fond of in the beginning, this is going to grow on me, and I'll come around. While it's a groundbreaking design for Topps, here's hoping that they go back to borders in 2017.
For those who want to know what the back of the card looks like, here you go:
It looks very similar to last year's card back, down to the Series One line on top of the card number. So, while that's not necessarily unprecedented, because other than a change in font above and below the stat box, it was pretty much the same thing in the late 80's - early 90's, it's kind of a downer.
So what else did I get in this first official pack of 2016?
- #18 Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers
- #99 Taijuan Walker, Mariners
- #108 Ben Paulsen, Rockies
- #332 Toronto Blue Jays team card
- #P-21 Perspectives Cal Ripken Jr
- #B2B-13 Back 2 Back Ted Williams / Bobby Doerr
- #20 Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
- #73 Ketel Marte, Mariners
- #296 Yordano Ventura, Royals
- #258 Devon Travis, Blue Jays Future Star
- #145 Jon Niese, Mets
No Cubs cards, darn. But this McCutchen card looks pretty nice:
I will get to the official 2016 Topps Series 1 post in the next few days, complete with sell sheets that I didn't have time to post last year.
So get out there. Buy those cards (just no pack searching...save some for the rest of us). Show off those pictures. Get your want lists going. It's Baseball Card Season...and it's going to be a great year.