I normally get so excited that I end up ripping it in the car, then forgetting it. This one I saved till I got home.
I had got off work at midnight, was paid in cash and although I had many bills to pay, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to hit the Wal Mart (which is not even close to being on my way home) in search of 2009 Heritage blaster boxes. They had none. In fact I haven’t been able to find retail boxes anywhere. Sucks. Well, I couldn’t allow the power to be shut off for anything but Heritage, but since I had driven all the way out there, I couldn’t leave empty handed. I settled on a pack of 2009 Topps Series 2. I couldn’t remember how to tell the difference between regular and retro packs. I was hoping for a retro. The primary reason I picked these was the price tag and the amount of cards in the pack. $1.99 for 12 cards is right in my range, so I grabbed one. I have self control on occasion. So, here is what I got.
Card #476 Edinson Volquez. He was an All Star last year, and ended up winning 17 games for the Redlegs. He is 4-2 so far this year. Probably not good enough for another appearance in the mid summer classic, but it’s a cool looking card. I love the up close and personal view. I just can’t believe that he doesn’t snag his chain on his glove. I’ll be looking out for that.
Card #531 Frank Francisco. He’s a former teammate of Volquez’ with the Rangers. This year he may be the one to get the All Star call. He has 12 saves and a 0.44 ERA. Wow.
Next outta the pack is another ’08 All Star, Rays catcher, (card #519)Dioner Navarro. It’s a neat shot of Navy calling 2 outs, or giving the stingray sign or encouraging people to worship the devil, but it looks good. The “niche in history” on the back of his card tells me he is the 9th switch hitting catcher to be an All Star in either league. It also tells me he has a .429 career batting average with a 2-0 count. Cool.
Next is John Smoltz with card #355. Topps decided to go with the glamour shot for Smoltzy on this one. He hasn’t pitched a game yet this year, but is scheduled to return to the Sox next Thursday on a tight pitch count. He does eight All Star selections to his credit to go along with over 3,000 Ks. Too bad he’s chosen to end his career with the Sox. I used to like him.
Next we have Edgar Renteria on card #558. The coloring on this card is kinda neat, but I don’t like not seeing a players face, unless they’re doing something cool. Renteria is off to a sub-par performance this year and his .245 BA probably won’t make him an All Star. He has been picked 5 times previous.
Now, we are in insert land. The first one is a “Career Best” card of Ty Cobb, card #LGCB-TC. If you flip the card and read this guys career bests you will see he highest average was .420. He had 127 RBIs with his highest homerun count being 12. He hit 47 doubles, 24 triples and stole 96 bases in one year. Pretty good numbers for someone who never made an All Star team.
Speaking of legends…Next outta the pack is a “Legends of the Game”, #LLG-12, card of Bob Gibson. It’s a nice portrait of Gibson, muttonchops and all, looking off into the distance, likely prior to a game. Gibson appeared in 8 All Star games.
Next we have a Topps Town dot com card of Ian Kinsler. I go online to write this blog, that’s about it. I have never visited that site or entered a redemption code. Just not into it. I do like Ian Kinsler, though. His 18 homers leads second baseman and could give him his second All Star appearance.
We are back to base cards and the first one is Chicago White Sox manager, Ozzie Guillen, card #488. The back of the card ads a stat from his playing days. I didn’t realize he hit .533 off of Mark Knudson…Ozzie was a three-time All Star as a player and once as a manager. He also finished his playing career in 2000 with the Rays.
Next up is Giants outfielder, Randy Winn and card #549. I really like the orangey-ness of this one. Winn was an All Star with the Rays in 2002. He has very quietly put together a nice career with over 1600 hits in 12 seasons.
Next we have Brewers pitch Braden Looper on card #419. This card is not good or bad. Kind of like Looper’s career. He has been the perpetual “even Steven”. His career record is 63-62 and I am sure his next outing will be a loss just to even things up. I did learn that Brad Ausmus only hit .126 off of him, career.
The 12th and final card in the pack is Rays centerfielder, BJ Upton, card #640. The picture is awesome, BJ in post-power-swing. The back of the card gives me info I already knew, but bears repeating. He tied a postseason record last year with 7 home runs. He was also the AL player of the week this week, but that isn’t on this card. BJ has yet to play in an All Star game, but he’s still only 25. He’s already swiped more than 100 bases, got over 400 hits and scored over 250 runs at age when most are still in the minors.
Okay, that was my pack; I think I got my two bucks worth, don’t you? I was just happy to get 2 Rays in one pack, that never happens. I think that the Volzuez and Upton cards tie for the star for best base card, with the Gibson being the coolest insert. I will probably pick these up at a once a week pace and probably build the set someday, too. So between the 12 guys on the 12 cards, we ended up with a total of 29 All Star appearances. More amazing, there were 8 different cards of All Stars. Can you tell I am getting anxious about that game they’re playing in St. Louis in a couple weeks? The Gibson card is going in the stack for my next trade with Cards on Cards, everything else is available. Still fighting to finish my Heritage sets and looking for new trading partners. I have stacks upon stacks of the following teams if ya want em (to trade, nothings free) please let me know. The teams are the Astros, Giants, Padres, Pirates, Mariners, Blue Jays, Tigers, Expos, A’s, Yankees, Red Sox, Nationals,Phillies, Indians, Marlins, Royals, Reds, Rangers and the Mets. Basically, I have homes for my Rays, Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Brewers, Orioles, White Sox and Blue Jays. All other teams are lying in wait. Let me know.
Go Rays! Troll out.