Friday, February 2, 2018

2018 Topps Series 1: Hanger Box

Gone are the days when Series 1's arrival is a mystery, and evades Target for weeks on end. The site said it'd be out Wednesday, and by the time I'd arrived at Target on Thursday, Series 1 was completely populating the aisles.

I bought a hanger box and a blaster. You'll hear about the blaster later. First, these are the first S1 cards I witnessed.

225- Kyle Schwarber. I mean...not bad. I'd be happier with this if he had a better 2017 season, but, still, I'm not complaining.

241- Nick Pivetta. Nice rookie season, but will be better with a better lineup to back up.
14- Amir Garrett. Proof that it's easy to be a rotation's ace if everybody else gets injured.
16- Daniel Coulombe. The backs have more room for twitter and instagram handles, but if a player has neither, there's a big HASHTAG TOPPS BASEBALL, which seems eerily reminiscent of something our president would tweet. Also, the writeup font is noticeably smaller on this card, possibly to fit in the Topps signage. That is dumb.
269- Greg Holland, who seems to have discovered the ability to fly in this card.
347- Kolten Wong. Yes, the Cardinals are gonna be good in 2018, but let's just see how good and then I'll get worried.
275- George Springer, one of the most effective leadoff hitters in baseball.
232- Elvis Andrus. This will be Elvis' tenth season, which makes me feel quite old.
290- Salvador Perez. If the free agents leave the Royals, they'll at least still have Salvador Perez, one of the best catchers in the game.
83- Howie Kendrick as a National, which would have been more appreciated in 2017, but since he's staying with the team, I'll accept it.
311- Yuliesky Gurriel. Sad we don't get to see his french-fries hair in this card.
117- Kendrys Morales. Still a decent DH, albeit not as good as Edwin Encarnacion.
140- Mookie Betts, already a Boston hero.
198- Marcus Semien. One of the many people in Oakland who can hit for power despite...not looking like they can hit for power.
270- Jackie Bradley Jr., another important piece of the Boston outfield.
142- Adam Jones, who's still one of the best players in Baltimore, and they should be proud to have him.
345- Jose Reyes. In David Wright's absence, at least the Mets are bringing Reyes back.
179- Brandon Woodruff
7- CLINT FRAZIER ROOKIE. Well, there goes one of the few reasons I have to keep buying packs.
267- Yoan Moncada. Topps really seems to like this guy. Hopefully the Sox fans will begin to.
169- A randomly saluting Khris Davis on his LEADERS card.
335- Stephen Strasburg's LEADERS card. I am still getting used to the Strasbeard.
146- Zack Greinke LEADERS. Glad to see he's back to giving results.
193- Aaron Judge LEADERS. Because of course he was.
1- Aaron Judge. And I get his base card. Awesome
259- RHYS HOSKINS ROOKIE. Alright, I get Judge and Rhys back to back. That is pretty nice.
62- Austin Hays, first 2016 draftee to reach the majors, which is pretty sweet.
148- Richard Urena. Great prospect, but for a Blue Jays team that might be putting either Aledmys Diaz or Troy Tulowitzki into his spot.
31- Corey Kluber LEADERS, because of course Corey Kluber is leading something.
Salute Insert of Hunter Renfroe's Mother's Day uniform, which is fitting, because Hunter Renfroe spent most of 2017 playing like his mother.
Silver Slugger insert of Marcell Ozuna. At least these are slightly better designed this year.
348- Foil parallel of Hisashi Iwakuma. I wish we could make the gold parallels as noticeable as these.
83T insert of Josh Donaldson. These are great, but I wish they came in the same stock as the 87 inserts from last year.
Legends in the Making insert of Joey Votto. I bash Topps' insert-making skills, but these ones are pretty cool.
Legends in the Making of Freddie Freeman.
JETER INSERT- His 1995 debut. Yes, more Jeter cards, but these seem kinda boilerplate.
JETER INSERT- 2006 AL MVP runner up. Which he should have won. Thank you for reminding me of that bullcrap.
Legends in the Making BLUE of Andrew McCutchen. Don't know what the blue means, but it makes the card look cooler.
320- Yasmani Grandal. Sideways cards are pretty nice this year.
235- Mark Reynolds. Nice that his career renaissance has been happening in literally the friendliest ballpark for power hitters.
268- Neil Walker, in a cool sideways shot. Not sure where he's going in 2018, but it's nice that we got a Brewers card of him.
298- ALL SMILES Stros CL. Again, great shot, would have been better in SC.
229- Rangers TC. What's the point of these if you're not gonna do team stats/leaders on the back or anything?
177- Walker Buehler. Anyone? Anyone?
315- Chris Rowley. Great debut, but needs to locate some consistency.
154- George Springer WS Game 2.
226- Nick Williams RC. Williams AND Hoskins rookies in the same hanger box?? Niiice..
312- Carlos Aguaje. Perhaps the only Padres rookie last year to actually do anything of merit.
307- Daniel Murphy LEADERS. Nice idea to give some of these LEADERS cards to the sideways type. Sort of like what they used to do for Gold Glove cards.
156- Brewers tc
36- Anthony Rendon. Still one of the best all-around players that most of America hasn't heard of yet.
20- Chris Sale. Great shot for an incredible pitcher.
106- Jharel Cotton, one of the many rookie pitchers in Oakland last year that somehow couldn't deliver.
25- MANNY MACHADO. Still one of the best in the game.
125- Yoenis Cespedes. I'm hoping his 2018 season can be a consistent, injury-free comeback year. I miss his 2015 numbers.
87- Brandon Phillips. As an Angel. Not sure where he's going in 2018, but glad we covered this uniform stint.
221- Steven Matz. Ditto Cespedes'. Some healthy work this year would be great.
248- Jake Lamb, and his consistent power-without-average work.
255- Zach Davies. Will Davies have to be the team ace, or will it be a hired gun? We're gonna find out, but Davies is still a great choice for a No. 1 man.
168- Ricky Nolasco. Still technically a pitcher.
79- J.T. Realmuto. Will he stay in Miami, or will he, like everybody else, get a reprieve?
242- Craig Kimbrel. Still one of the best closers in baseball. He's already got 290, and he's not even 30 yet.
317- Chase Headley, now back in San Diego (where he belongs)
75- Andrew Miller, who is severely missed in the Bronx, and is still one of the best relievers in the game.
161- Matt Moore. Now on the Rangers, which says a lot of his Giants tenure.
9- Jon Gray, who still might be the most powerful starter in Colorado.
147- Randal Grichuk, who's now in Toronto, as the Cardinals have accumulated outfielders who can hit above AAA.
330- Ian Kinsler. Now on the Angels with his former teammate Justin Upton.

That was the hanger box, and that's a nice selection of players I collect, as well as some nice photography. I'm enjoying this set more than I thought it would, and I think the design translates well to tangible cards. Might be the best one since 2015, complete with color-coordination and fun, crisp photos.

Will post the blaster later.

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