One of the great things about going to college, specifically my college, is that civilization isn't too far away. I can hop on a bus and wind up in White Plains, where there's a movie theater, a Chiptole, and, best of all, a Target. Which means once I found out that 2015 Topps was out, and once I configured my schedule so that i had an off day to spend in White Plains, I made it a point to go in and get some Topps.
I was, thankfully, victorious, and got two fat rack packs and one blaster, which I'll post a little later. For now, I'll give my two rack packs, my first actual taste of the product.
and my first Topps card of 2015 is.....
333- BILLY HAMILTON! As first cards go, this is a pretty damn nice one. This guy, if he has seasons like he did in 2014 (and 2012 in the minors), will be excellent.
Also, I freaking love the design this year, because it barely even looks like a Topps card. It's that cool looking, and I doubt I'll tire of it anytime soon. The backs are just as good as the fronts, rectifying all the problems people had with the 2014 backs.
302- Martin Prado. Gee, Topps. Thanks for reminding me that we traded this guy to Miami. Real nice.
178- Speaking of Miami, here's Christian Yelich. He's turned into a nice everyday outfielder for the Marlins, which is nice.
52- Fernando Rodney, in his Archer's Pose. The photos in this set are score-esque in their crisp-ness.
37- Arismendy Alcantara. For all Topps has gotten wrong with the Future Stars subset, Alcantara is technically a Future Star, as he spent half of last season with the Cubs, and is still not a household name.
169- Adam Jones, who, thanks to the departure of Nick Markakis, has become the anchor of the Baltimore offense. Which awesome, because everybody loves Adam Jones.
197- Glen Perkins. Six seasons as a set-up man. Three as one of the best closers in the AL. I'm happy this guy's got such a nice following in Minneapolis.
289- Matt Joyce, who is...playing somewhere else this year. I forget where, it's just not Tampa.
255- James Russell, the first guy in the pack who I have absolutely no idea about.
227- A really freaking awesome shot of Madison Bumgarner, in Game 5 of the World Series.
277- Reds team card. Not too happy with the resurrection of Managers and Team cards in favor of, you know, more players that don't usually get Topps cards.
325- Felix Hernandez, the best pitcher in the American League, hands down.
60- Michael Wacha, who is still making his way up in the Cardinals rotation.
271- Pirates team card.
154- Brandon Finnegan RC
326- CJ Wilson, who has become the modest 2nd starter in LA
351- Tom Koehler
234- Brandon Belt, hopefully more intent to stay healthy in 2015.
Highlight of the Year insert of Mark McGwire in 1998. While that was indeed the highlight of the year, I really wish it was somebody I collected.
First Home Run insert of Freddie Freeman, which is nice.
A '76 insert of Reggie Jackson...AS AN ORIOLE!!! Don't see that one every day. That's awesome.
Dummy sweepstakes card. I think everyone's over these.
Free Agent 40 insert of Greg Maddux. I like this insert idea, and I love Maddux.
216- Greg Holland, who is shaping up to be one of the best closers in the league.
99- Yonder Alonso, a member of the Suddenly Amazing San Diego Padres
335- Matt Barnes RC
231- Andrew Cashner, who has made himself a nice career in San Diego
56- Matt Garza. 2015 will be Garza's tenth season in the bigs. Since 2006, he's played for five teams. I always thought he was younger than that.
311- Jhonny Peralta, who's basically just turned into Fernando Vina.
334- Gerardo Parra.
257- Jarrod Saltalamacchia. I'm surprised by how he's made it in the majors. I thought he'd be a one-season wonder.
147- Andrew Heaney, pictured as a Marlin, which is three teams ago for him.
295- Erick Aybar.
267- Zack Greinke, who's become one of the best pitchers in baseball, and part of one of the best rotations in baseball.
67- HUNTER PENCE, one of my favorite players. And he looks so goofy on this card.
121- Garrett Jones, half of our end of the Martin Prado deal. He's a nice home run hitter, but we didn't especially need another DH.
82- Nick Tepesch.
201- Tommy La Stella
200- MIGUEL CABRERA! I swear, we're looking at a Future Hall of Famer right here. He just needs some more amazing seasons.
328- AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDRRRIIIIAANNNNNNN GONZALEZ!
36- Julio Teheran, who's probably the best pitcher in Atlanta.
151- CJ Cron
116- Vidal Nuno, former Yankee.
340- Carlos Gomez, who's revitalizing the Brewers.
286- Trevor Rosenthal, a nice closer.
219- Kennys Vargas. We're looking at a nice DH prospect for the Twins.
168- Rockies team card.
332- Kyle Seager, who's made his mark in Seattle.
19- Orioles team card.
258- Royals team card. Depicted, likely, is the possible murder and cannibalization of Norichika Aoki.
196- Cubs team card.
117- Sean Doolittle, who's shaping up to be the next Brian Wilson.
261- Lance Lynn, one of the few Cardinals pitchers that stuck around.
186- Rex Brothers
171- Mike Foltynewicz RC
119- Anibal Sanchez, who, with the departures of Scherzer and Porcello, is now the FOURTH starter in Detroit, rather than the fifth.
54- Joe Nathan. This is one of those newfangled Rainbow Parallels. Not numbered, either, which sucks.
Archetypes insert of Mark McGwire. McGwire's Archetype, according to the card, is POWER. I wish it wasn't artificial power.
1st Home Run insert of Joe Mauer. These are fun.
Inspired Play insert of Stan Musial and Mark McGwire. One of these people is dead, the other is just dead to Bud Selig. (Sidenote- how many McGwire inserts are in this damn set??)
176- Jose Abreu. On the back, somebody screwed up the stats, making it look like he hit 93 home runs over 79 at bats in 2011.
348- Carlos Santana.
155- Jesse Chavez
249- Jose Reyes, who is still a great player, albeit not to his Mets standards.
157- Ubaldo Jimenez, who still cannot replicate his one good season.
41- Chris Colabello
324- Chris Archer, who has some serious shoes to fill in Tampa.
202- Mike Minor.
185- Ricky Nolasco
230- Jean Segura
161- Howie Kendrick, now on the Dodgers.
213- And we end on Jered Weaver.
I already love this set, and can't wait to open more.