I went to Wal Mart last night to buy some sinus medication for a runny nose and sore throat that I picked up after hitting outside on Tuesday against that pitching machine that you may have read about. Out of a force of habit, I walked by the baseball cards. Every time I go to Wal Mart, I always have to stop and look at the baseball cards, if only for a second. It’s a habit that dates back to 1989 when I first started buying them. Back then, I remember pressing down on the wrappers of some brands and being able to see the top card, and after going through dozens of packs, finally selecting the pack that had the best visible card.
They had individual packs for $1.98 (12 cards), jumbo packs of 36 cards for $4.99, mega packs of 72 cards for $9.98 and a box which featured certain guaranteed inserts for $19.98 (but it only had 81 cards).
I decided to select the 72 card mega pack or mini-box, or whatever its called:
I busted open the box and went through the cards. Here’s the design:
Nothing really special or eye popping. It looks pretty standard to me.
Let’s take a look at what I pulled.
My only Pirate was Michael McKenry. McKenry is a really popular Pirate despite only hitting .222 with 2 home runs. I’m not a huge fan in part because he dissed me in Cleveland by totally ignoring my polite request for a ball when I was the only Pirates fan around. McKenry was also at the center of the Jerry Meals blown call game in late July, where Meals called Julio Lugo safe at the plate, even though McKenry tagged him. The Pirates lead in the division vanished shortly thereafter as their season spiraled toward a 4th place finish.
The best rookie card that I pulled was probably this Devin Mesoraco:
Mesoraco was called up to the big leagues late last year. I remember he had a huge following at PNC Park with family and friends wearing ‘Miz” shirts. He was born and raised near Punxsutawney PA, so he’s a hometown kid. Plus, of the teams in the central division, the Reds would qualify as my second favorite behind the Pirates.
My favorite card photo was a Reed Johnson card:
I liked the sea gulls racing along with him in the outfield. It reminded me of all the seagulls that plagued the Indians games last year, and even decided a game last year, if you have a minute, you have to watch this video from MLB.com of the ending of that game. I was at that game.
One of the unheralded parts of baseball cards is the stats on the back. I used to hate how Donruss and Upper Deck only featured stats from the last five or so years of veterans. Topps has always had a complete listing of a players stats. The most experienced player that I pulled was a Derek Jeter. The back of his card is impressive. First ballot Hall of Famer.
Amazingly though, he’s only led the league in a category twice.
The 2012 mega pack also had its fair share of inserts.
Also a Timeless Talents card:
A Mickey Mantle Classic Walkoffs Card:
A Curtis Granderson 1987 Topps design card:
A Dellin Betaces Gold:
A Gold Futures Alexei Ogando:
A Golden Giveaway card that has a code on the back that unlocks a special prize:
A Derek Jeter Golden Moments Card:
and a Gold Standard Willie Mays Card:
There’s so many insert card sets nowadays, that besides finding an obvious autographed card or relic card, I have no idea if these inserts are worth anything.
Here’s a look at the stated odds in the 72 card pack. Odds would be lesser of finding these cards in a 12 card pack:
It pretty much looks like every pack has one of those inserts except for the Classic Walkoff card which was 1:2.
So, I enjoyed opening a new pack of cards and seeing a new design. It’s been something I’ve looked forward to every year since I was a little kid. I don’t collect cards anymore like I used to, but I still have to buy a pack when the new cards come out each year.
What do you think of the 2012 Topps Cards? Have any of you bought any and had good luck?
There’s only 63 more days until Opening Day, 16 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, and 3 more days to win this Matt Wieters shirt.