Friday, June 06, 2014

Digging Into the Box X: The First Box is Complete!

Before I begin today's post, let me publicly wish my wonderful wife a very happy birthday!  She doesn't usually read my blog but that doesn't matter - Happy Birthday to the best woman a guy could ask for!

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I now return you to your regularly scheduled content:

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It took me ten posts, but I finally managed to work my way completely through the first (of four) gigantic boxes that my brother recently sent my way.  For today's final post on box #1, we turn to the final remaining stack of cards - all 2014 Topps Series 1 base cards!

Now, for most of you that would probably be a real bummer since you guys (and gals) have probably all completed your 2014 Series 1 set two or three months ago.  I, on the other hand, haven't purchased a single pack of Topps' 2014 flagship - so for me these are all new cards!  And, as usual, when I get a bunch of new-to-me cards, you get a bunch of scans along with my not-so-witty commentary.

I haven't had a chance to fully collate all the cards - so I can't say for sure whether or not the full Series 1 is present...but I can say for sure that there are plenty of nice cards in the stack!

In order to prepare for this post, I went through the entire stack of cards and started pulling out cards that caught my eye for one reason or another.  From the 15 or so cards that I pulled out, I then tried to whittle the list down to my favorite five cards.  Before I get to my top 5 though, a quick word about some of the "honorable mentions."

It's nice to see the Future Stars idea return to Topps' base set.  I remember getting a 1989 Topps Gregg Jefferies Future Star card and thinking it was something super special when I was a kid (oh how wrong I was).  I also like that Topps had a few photos showing alternate uniforms - examples include the throwback White Sox unis and the Padres' camouflage uniforms.  I also really like a lot of the action shots - my honorable mention goes out to Grego Blanco who finished #6 in my list of Top 5 cards.

With that, let's get to the countdown!

#5:  Joel Hanrahan

I like seeing cards of ballplayers signing autographs - it's not something you see a lot of in Topps sets but it is something you see a lot of in the mid and late 90s Upper Deck Collector's Choice sets (which I love).  This card is even better though because of the fan holding the Red Sox pennant for Hanrahan to sign.  I've been slowly going about trying to collect things like signs and pennants for my "man cave" - and a signed pennant would be a pretty cool addition (though I'd prefer a Reds' pennant rather than the Red Sox).

#4:  Matt Holliday

Now, it does pain me to have a Cardinal on any "best baseball cards" list but I have to give credit where credit is due - this card is awesome.  Sure, the action shot is nice enough but what makes the card is Bob Gibson on the wall staring at the play...you know if Holliday screws up Gibson might come right off that wall and scream at him.  That's how intense Gibson was - and plus current Cardinals deserve to be yelled at sometimes!

#3:  Todd Helton (Checklist)

Topps "hid" the checklist cards on the backs of cards celebrating specific season highlights.  I don't mind that approach though I wish all the checklists were grouped together within the set!  I do like Helton getting a send-off card though - very cool!

#2:  Shane Victorino

Action shots where the player is going up and over a wall are always great - and it's even better when you get to see the spectators' reactions to the play happening right in their collective laps.  It would also be cool to be one of those fans in that card - you could rightly claim Victorino's card as your very own!

#1:  Khris Davis

For all that I said about seeing the fans in a play at the wall card making for a better card, I still gave the nod for "best card" to a photo completely devoid of fans...  This Davis card is pure gold though - the expression on Davis' face, the fact that he might have caught the ball, and the immanent collapse to the ground make for cardboard perfection.  However, the icing on the cake is the creepy guy in the background (look above the wall).  You can't see his face - and he kind of looks ghost-like in the photo...

Thanks for the big 'ol box of cards brother!  I have to admit it was a lot of fun to sort through - and I'm looking forward to delving into the next three boxes in the near future!  As for anyone else, if you do happen to need some more 2014 Topps Series 1 cards, let me know as there are a TON of duplicates in the pile of cards that I now possess.

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