I always put "Packs of Baseball Cards" on my Christmas Wish List. Every year, my family asks, "Well, what kind of baseball cards?" My response: "Any kind!" I don't care if they are the latest wax packs or a discount piece-together - I'll take baseball cards for Christmas any way, shape or form.
This year, I received several packs of cards and a "Big Pack" blaster box. The scans are some of the hits from all the cards that came out of those. I use the term "hits" in two ways: First, Tribers and cards that catch my eye. Second, inserts, parallels, etc.
Let's kick things off with the Tribers in the bunch: Jason Kipnis, Lou Marson, Alex White, and Chris Perez:
I chose the following for specific reasons. Topps photography was better for the 2011 set than I have seen in years. The quality, the action, the overall presentation. Finally, some decent work. First, we have Dustin Moseley in mid air, about to kick Drew in the head. Okay, not exactly, but dang close enough that Drew is ducking out of the way! Derek Jeter is, well, Derek Jeter. And Derrick Lee is signing autographs along with other players in the background. That is a great "fan-reach" photo right there.
And speaking of reaching, how about a laid out Nyjer Morgan with the ball just at glove's tip from this angle. This is a great in-the-moment photo! Does he make the catch? Is the ball too far out of reach? Excellent!
The next three cards feature ToppsTown versions of Joe Mauer, Mark Reynolds, and Kevin Youkilis:
Serially numbered gold cards have become an annual Topps standard, and I snagged two of them: Troy Polomalu, er, Tulowitzki, and Aaron Harang. Why is it that #/2011 should sound like a very limited run, yet feels like an overproduction!? Ah well, in any case:
I also managed a handful of shiny/sparkly Diamond Anniversary cards. Some are silver and some are gold, or bronze, or something other than silver, which is actually probably supposed to be platinum. As you see, my terminology among inserts/parallels/etc is not up to par. I got Michael Dunn, Deavid Eckstein, Hunter Pence, Zach Duke, and Nick Blackburn:
Among the cards in packs and boxes, I also found a handful of mini Champions cards! I like these a lot, and the player selection ain't bad, either! How about recent HOFer Bert Blyleven!? Yeah, buddy! Oh, and then Paul Molitor! He's probably one of the few Brewers I could name off the top of my head without thinking. Arkansas native Cliff Lee joins the group followed by Mike Stanton. I like that Lee is pictured in a Philles hat, yet the 'sketch' at the bottom is clearly an Indians uniform.
I pulled three Topps60 cards: Lou Gehrig, Joe Mauer, and George Sisler. Nice trio, if I must say. And, of course, I must!
These next two are blue-bordered. I have no idea why. I should feel ashamed at my lack of hobby-related knowledge. But, I don't. So, I present Juan Uribe (No, Run your own eBay!) and George Sherrill. I friend Amy with the same last name as George - I wonder if they are related...
I got one "60 Years of Topps" card, and it is Curt Shilling on a 1990 Topps layout. I also got a "Before There Was Topps" card of American Tobacco 1911: T201. I also received a "Diamond Duos" card featuring A-Rod and E-Long. See what I did there?
The next card actually came out of pack of cards, and not the big blaster, which I found quite surprising. Why? I've actually talked to the guy who restocks the cards at our local Wally World and it is quite evident that he collects the 'hits' from packs he receives. I figured the chances of ever pulling a material card from a pack there were just about zero. And, thus, here is my "just about" card: All-Star game-worn workout jersey (really? a workout jersey??) of Paul Konerko:
Not to be outdone, my mother-in-law snuck a pack of football cards into my stocking (for the Christmas record, she makes up stockings for everyone in the family each year. She is not stepping on ol' Santa's toes with this). When I opened the pack of Score cards, Big Ben was staring me in the face! Hey, if you're gonna get me football cards, pulling a pack with a Steeler in it is a sure-fire way to win me over! I also got a "Millennium Men" insert of Antonio Gates and Jake Long card (among other cards). Why post the Jake Long? Because it features James Harrison, of course.
I love that my family supports my cardboard habit! As a matter of note, I also received several other 'hobby-related' items including Indians shirts and shorts, "The Perfect Game" on DVD, and "The Funniest Baseball Book Ever" in paperback. I'm sure there were other things, too. I just can't remember them now that it's been almost a week.