Today I picked up a Blaster of 2014 Topps Series 2 from Target. These are my first cards from Series 2, so I was very excited to open the box. I know that everyone is familiar with this product, so I won’t waste your time talking about the design on the back of the cards; I will simply give my reaction to the different types of cards.
First, the base cards. . .
# 426 Koji Uehara
The overall appearance is okay. It keeps the same design as Series 1, obviously. That is something I think Topps should, change by the way. Series 1 should have one color border, Series 2 a different color, etc. It gets a little boring by the time Update rolls around, but I digress.
I do like the logo placement; however, the front of the card is a little busy. I think we could do without the team name along the right side of the card, as we already have the logo.
# 522, Wandy Rodriguez
The horizontal layout cards look better than the vertical. This type of card, with three or fours players together can work really well, or they can be exasperating. In this case, I like it, as the other three players are all looking towards Wandy. However, sometimes it is confusing to pull one of these cards, especially if a favorite player is in the picture but not the focus of the card.
As this blaster came from Target, each pack had two red parallel cards. I did pull a few big name players:
#621, B.J. Upton
#575, Josh Hamilton
#460, Matt Kemp
#378, Ryan Zimmerman
I prefer the red parallel cards to the blue Wal-Mart parallels this year.
I also was lucky enough to pull a couple of the Red Foil parallels:
In 2013, Topps had the Green Foil cards, which I loved. This year, the Red Foil cards are hit or miss. It depends on the team colors. In this case, I think the Red Foil works okay with the Tigers uniforms.
Don’t these parallels get on your nerves?
For the last parallel, I pulled a Gold parallel.
#558, Nolan Reimold (0464/2014)
The Gold parallels numbered to the year of release is getting old. For player collectors it is becoming a chore to track down all of these parallels.
When I pull a numbered card, I initially feel like I have really hit it big. Then I realize 2013 other copies of this card are floating around. Stop the numbering! Topps should keep all numbered cards to 250 or less.
For the inserts, I will only focus on a few cards, as I was not impressed with the myriad inserts in Series 2.
First up, saber stars:
SST-20, Shane Victorino
This is the only saber star that I pulled, and thank goodness. What a boring card. Thanks to Topps, I now own a card that explains “Ultimate Zone Rating.” Not only are cards no longer geared toward kids, instead, we now have sabermetrics to deal with. I collect cards because I am nostalgic for my youth, I love baseball, and I want to try to have little pieces of cardboard with pictures of my favorite players. I don’t do it to become a Bill James flunky.
BM-22, Michael Wacha
I like this insert. The design is interesting with the horizontal layout against the diagonal text and logo. Topps got it right with what they commemorate on this card: Wacha’s late season dominance in 2013. So far, Breakout Moments is the best insert of Series 2.
Topps Mini Die-Cut
TM-70, Starlin Castro
I don’t like mini cards, so there is no way that Topps was going to impress me with this insert. That being said, the fact that it is die-cut just adds to my annoyance. It is already a pain to store minis, and now it isn’t even a symmetrical card. And thanks for bringing back 1989, that was a banner year for baseball cards. I have the entire set and it isn’t worth the match used to light it on fire.
#439, Jackie Bradley Jr. (Red parallel)
This technically isn’t an insert, but I wanted to show it off all the same. The Red border works great with the Red Sox uniforms, and Bradley Jr. may just end up being worth a darn as a major league outfielder. His defense is strong, but he is weak at the plate. I like the fact that Topps brought back the Future Stars in the flagship product.
Overall, I liked the players I got (I will continue to post on this blaster) but I am tired of all of the inserts and parallels. Topps needs to cut back to a more manageable product. And no more Saber Metrics, please.