Monday, October 31, 2016

2016 Topps Update Series Hobby Box: Part One

The first product I ever bought a blaster of had David Ortiz on the cover. 2007 Topps Series 2. 20 packs to a box. Every box came with a Ted Williams insert- me looking at the box, at age 11, thought Ted Williams looked different from that.

It's fitting that 9 years later, on the eve of my 10th anniversary of collecting, we get another Ortiz box, his last year in the bigs. And it happens to be 2016 Update, a cherry on top of one of the most disappointing years of flagship in recent memory.

Still, there's enough in here, such as a guaranteed auto/relic and lots and lots of cards of traded players, to be savored, especially by me. So we're gonna dive in. 36 packs, 10 cards per pack. Shouldn't be too bad.

 Pack 1-
future Hall of Famers: 2/10
Alarmingly Gray Uniforms: 2/10
Recently Deceased: 1/10

 The base design hasn't improved by much- the smoke clouds are still a problem, as is the zooming and bland-filtering on literally every photo, Bunt-readying every one.'s nice to see fringe players like Bud Norris and Justin Grimm here.

 Ezequiel Carrera is a fringe guy who made some big moves in the postseason, so it's great to see him here. Still, the Ichiro checklist is still a highlight- wish they would have just said '3,000th'.

 All-Stars abound. Goldschmidt, and the dearly departed Fernandez.

 This Miguel Cabrera is a BLACK PARALLEL, #'d to 65. It's absolutely insane that I'd pull that in Pack 1, and that it'd be someone as absolutely amazing as Miguel Cabrera. Props to Topps for giving me a good one.

 Pack 2-
Rookies That Were Great in April: 1/10
Rookies That Were Great in May: 1/10
Gold Parallels of Former Yankees: 1/10
 A trio of fringe players- Alexei Ramirez was a shell of his former self in San Diego, Jose Lobaton will likely be the starting catcher in Washington next year, and Jeremy Hazelbaker had a HUGE start...and that's about it.

 Two cool combos- Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison hanging in the dugout, and Nomar Mazara and Prince Fielder elbowing it out. At least Topps is bringing back player-cameos and more fun photos.

 Snell had a nice enough rookie year. Nolan Arenado and Corey Seager had even better 2016s.

 The Aaron Sanchez card is just pitiful- the reporter's not interested, Sanchez isn't really into it, and most of the card is settled on Brad Brach's Back.
At least the Andrew Miller card, #'d to 2016, is a pretty nice display of the awesome Yankee reliever...before he became a postseason beast with Cleveland.

 Pack 3-
Chicago Sluggers- 2/10
Sticker Autos of Surprisingly Relevant Players: 1/10

 Willson Contreras had a pretty potent rookie season, while Wade Miley tried his best with two tough rotations.

 Two more cool fringe players, Derek Dietrich and Matt Andriese, followed by the long-awaited 'Todd Frazier is a White Sox' card.

 Our hit, gotten out of the way here in Pack 3, is a sticker auto...but it's Michael Fulmer, a guy that may very well be the Rookie of the Year this year, so it could be YARDS worse. Actually, knowing the usual auto-fodder in update, this is pretty impressive.

 Pack 4-
Shaggy-haired rookies: 2/10
Rookies Who Sort of Only Mattered for Half the Season: 2/10

 Taylor Motter's our GOLD PARALLEL. Meanwhile, Sean Manaea, a member of the surprisingly potent Oakland youth movement, has a nice enough rookie card.

 Two ASG cards- Ramos' is obviously the more populated one, but Teheran's is still cool.

 Matt Moore was traded by the deadline and managed to be a nice addition to the still-powerful San Francisco rotation. Jose Berrios...tried his best.

 Jake Arrieta and Trevor Story, two newsmakers of 2016. This, I believe, counts as Story's rookie card, which will be worth something if the rest of his career amounts to as much as his first three months.

 Pack 5-
Airborne Baltimore Infielders: 1/10
Mustard Uniforms: 2/10
Brothers of NBA Players: 1/10
Semi-Contrived Inserts: 1/10

 ALL STARS! Adam Duvall is basically Adam Dunn 2.0. Steven Wright has yet to tell one-liners.

 Trayce Thompson, plus Ian Desmond's maiden card as a Ranger (well done, Ian!), and a card of John Jaso's well-batted season in Pittsburgh.

 Two very nice horizontal cards- Pedro Alvarez is flanked by his teammates for his surprisingly okay 2016 season, while Neil Walker rounds the bases in Queens.

 Our insert is a 3000 Hits Club insert of Willie Mays...which just doesn't look great.

 Pack 6-
NL West: 5/10
AL Central: 3/10
Relievers Named After a Brand of Yummy Fruit Snacks: 1/10

 Tim Anderson's rookie and ASG cards of NL West standouts- Posey's is a pretty nice one actually.

 Brad Brach, middle-relief superstar, plus 3000 Hits card of Al Kaline.

 Pack 7-
Former/Current Phillies: 3/10
Former/Current Mets: 3/10
Deadline Deal Stars: 2/10

 Two very nice shots- Hector Neris proves that no one is coming to Phillies games, while Alejandro De Aza slides past...someone...

 A trio of potent pitchers- Colon, in an ASG-worthy season, Vince Velasquez, damn near saving my Phillies, and Cole Hamels absolutely dominating.

 And some dudes who were traded- Melvin got some nice playoff hits, as did Jonathan Lucroy, while Eduardo Nunez was a bit quieter than the Giants would have liked.

 Pack 8-
Potent Yankees: 2/10
World Series Heroes: 3/10
GAAAAAAAHHHH Inserts: 1/10

 Betances and Cessa were some of the reasons why the Yankees weren't an ABSOLUTE failure this season.

 Hey, looks like I predicted the World Series. I broke this last week, and I had no idea who'd win the NLCS. This is craaaazy...

 Two solid Rookie Debuts- Diaz' features lots of head touching, while Schwarber's features a very aggressive umpire. "out of the way, woulja? I'm trying to watch the game!"

This is a very busy insert design, SORT OF works, I think. A lot of it works, and some of it doesn't. Still, it's a nice change of pace from the usual blandness in inserts.

Part 2 will come quite soon, though maybe not tomorrow, as there's apparently a World Series game then.


  1. I always like to see the hits come out, but when they all drop in the first row of packs it can make the rest of the box feel a little bland. I guess there is an outside chance at a bonus hit, but the odds aren't great on that. You also lucked out in getting an autograph.

    I am interested to see how the collation falls in a Hobby box. I have one on order, and I am curious as to how close you get to a full set from one box.

    1. If memory serves I got extremely close, though the collation sort of petered off in the last fourth.

  2. If you're interested in trading the Taylor Motter gold parallel, I'm your guy. Shoot me a message if you'd like to work a deal. Congrats on the Miggy and the auto!

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