Naturally, I had a fun time opening the packs and going through all the cards. Lots of neat inserts and parallels. Of course, the base cards are great to sort through as well. Super photography, tons of terrific action shots, and all the usual bells and whistles that we've all come to expect from Update.
Plus, the best part -- no duplicates in the whole box! Not sure if that is common or not, but the collation throughout Topps flagship this year has been pretty maddening. So I'm pleased by this fact.
Okay, time to share! I'll start with my 'hits' so as not to drag out the suspense.
|All-Star Game Relic, #AS-CUG|
|Update Silk Collection, 02/50|
Can't say either of these is the most glamorous of pulls, but that certainly didn't ruin my experience. Granderson has become the Yankees' biggest power source these past couple seasons, plus he was a big cog on my fantasy baseball team this year. That being said, he's most certainly up for trade!
And the silk card is really cool. I've never held one of these before, much less seen one in person. I can see how it would be a big thrill to have a silk card of your favorite player in your collection. I had to look up Santiago since I'm not a follower of the ChiSox of the AL Central in general. He went 4-1 with four saves and a 3.33 ERA this year working primarily as a reliever. He did make four starts late in the season, including a real gem on October 1 vs. the Indians (7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K). Again, this is up for trade.
As far as inserts and parallels go, here's the breakdown:
Gold Parallel: 21 unique cards
Gold Sparkle Parallel: 9 unique
Blockbusters: 9 unique
Golden Greats: 5 unique
Gold Moments: 9 unique
1987 Minis: 9 unique
Nothing especially mind blowing with the inserts of parallels, but definitely some nice catches. The '87 minis continue to be my favorite insert, so I'm glad they were carried over. The "Future Stars" cards are a tremendous addition.
|1987 Minis, #TM-106 and TM-139|
Was hoping to get Trout or Harper, but none to be found. No biggie, I'll track 'em down eventually.
The newest insert set, Blockbusters, is pretty decent. And it makes sense to have such an insert included in the Update series.
A couple minor complaints about this insert set. Firstly, I wish Topps would have varied the wording on each card instead of using "[insert team name here] Get [insert player name]" all the time. How about a "Halos Land Albert" or "Prince Hits Motown" or something semi-creative. Also, some of the choices for inclusion aren't exactly earth-shattering. Among the cards I received, Cespedes to the A's didn't quake the globe, did it? And was the acquisition of Carlos Gonzalez by the Rockies in 2008 a "Stop the Presses!" moment?
Speaking of acquisitions, Ichiro is included in that discussion. I got a pair of the future HOFer's cards:
|#US272 and BB-23|
Anyone else feel underwhelmed by the photo choice for Ichiro's first Yankees card? Kind of a let down. But that's just me. On the other hand, I think Ichiro is a good inclusion for the Blockbusters insert set not necessarily for on-field purposes, but because of the shock value involved in the trade. I don't know that many of us expected him to land in the Bronx, thus the trade carried a good amount of discussion for quite some time. And, who knows, maybe Ichiro is the final piece to World Series title No. 28 for the Yankees. We shall see.
The gold parallel cards did all right by me in this box. I got some great names, like McCutchen, Weaver, Konerko, Dunn, and Lester. And then there were these two guys:
|Gold Parallel, #7 and 30|
For those keeping score, that's one Granderson relic and two gold Yankee greats. A fan of the Pinstripes would have enjoyed this box even more than me, I guess. Still, I have a growing Jeter collection that I'm too embarrassed to share, since I'm supposed to hate the guy like a good Mets fan. Believe me, I'm no fan, but he does have some great looking cards.
Keeping with the gold theme:
|Gold Parallel and Base, #US202|
I've gone on record saying I don't like the HR Derby cards. I just feel like its overkill on the AS Game theme that is already overly prevalent throughout Update. But, I do really enjoy this card of Trumbo. He put on quite a power display at the Derby. Prior to that, I didn't know much about the guy, nor did I feel it necessary to keep tabs on him. But I've followed him ever since. And I was happy to get the gold version of his Derby card.
So, not only would this have been a good box for Yankees fans, but fans of David Ortiz would have been quite satisfied, also. Check out the trio of Papi cards I received:
|Gold Parallel and Base, #US292|
|All-Star SP, #US292|
I was absolutely hoping to get one of these short-printed All-Star cards. And that's exactly what I got with the horizontal Papi card. Sure, I was hoping for one of the Harpers or the David Wright, but I can live with David Ortiz. Very cool card!
I don't totally want to snub the base cards, because there are plenty of awesome cards in the set of 330.
Among them, I got my fix of Mets stars, both rookie and veteran:
|#US23 and US280|
And we can't forget about the NL's best pitcher from 2012 (that's right, I said it!):
|#US141 and US284|
|#US184, US299, and US326|
I can't help but be jealous of this nucleus. They are going to be a force for years to come in the nation's capital.
And speaking of D.C., I even got one of these cards in my hobby box:
|Presidential Predictor, #PPO-3|
Well, per the most recent polls I checked, Arizona seems to be Romney territory. A quick Google search also told me that Arizona was a red state for nine of the last 10 presidential elections -- 1996 (Clinton) being the exception. So, this card of the POTUS might not net me any sweepstakes prizes. Nevertheless, it's a unique collectible.
All things considered, this was a great experience. Hobby boxes are definitely the way to go.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a stack of base cards that need to be numerically sorted and logged into my checklist...