Kinda weird that S2 shows up with such a whimper rather than a roar, but...coming out one week after Big League will do that to you.
I think because we've had such a weird card year where we've had nothing on the shelves for two months, the prospect of Series 2 seems so much richer and grander now. MORE CARDS? DIFFERENT TURKEY RED SUBJECTS? RANGERS ON BASE CARDS? PLEEEEASE.
So I picked up 3 hanger boxes of the stuff. I've seen other bloggers do this, probably Night Owl or somebody else that's good at this sort of thing, but I'm gonna go card by card in each 67-card hanger box and have them square off. For consistency's sake, I'll number the three boxes...and give them Yankee-related nicknames, so the Billy box, the Derek box and the Babe box, and...see which one totals the most points by the end. Because of the way this will be presented, dupes will not really be a factor.
Billy: Danny Santana
Derek: Ian Happ
Babe: Sean Manaea
ADV- Santana, as it's a Rangers base card in a 2020 Topps product.
Billy: Mookie Betts airbrushed into a Dodger uniform
Derek: MIGUEL ANDUJAR
Babe: Willi Castro
ADV- Andujar beats the airbrush
Card 3-Billy: Brandon Workman
Derek: Jonathan Schoop airbrushed into a Tigers uniform
Babe: Noah Syndergaard
ADV- Three very basic shots, but I'll go with Thor, as it's the closest thing to a star card.
Billy: Joey Gallo
Derek: Ehire Adrianza
Babe: BRETT GARDNER
Billy: Tucker Barnhart in a rare non-gear shot
Derek: Wade Miley in a Reds uniform
Babe: Danny Duffy
ADV- Tucker Barnhart just makes for really cool cards
Card 6Billy: Will Smith in a Braves uniform, expertly photoshopped
Derek: Willson Contreras
Babe: Austin Romine in a Tigers uniform, less-expertly done
ADV- Smith is pretty damn convincing.
Billy: NICK CASTELLANOS IN A REAL LIVE REDS UNI
Derek: Elvis Luciano
Babe: Michael Brantley
ADV- CASTELLANOS. Not only is it an actual new uniform, but Topps FINALLY CUT OUT THIS NICHOLAS BUSINESS AND ARE BACK TO CALLING HIM NICK.
Billy: Khris Davis
Derek: Jake Odorizzi
Babe: Lance McCullers
ADV- Three standard cards, so the edge goes to Davis for standing out the most.
5-1-2. Billy Martin has an early lead
Card 9Billy: Glenn Sparkman
Derek: Kevin Kiermaier
Babe: Delino DeShields
ADV- Delino's is a good PS job, and it makes up for Kiermaier not doing some insane outfield thing on his card.
Billy: Hyun-Jin Ryu on a faux-Jays uniform
Derek: BOMBA BROTHERS.
Babe: Phil Ervin
ADV- That Twins combo is awesome. AN ACTUAL BOMB. NICE.
Billy: Aaron Barrett
Derek: Rangers CL
Babe: Teoscar Hernandez
ADV- I'm glad Topps gave Aaron Barrett a card.
Card 12-Billy: Darwinzon Hernandez
Derek: Rich Hill photoshopped into a Twins uniform
Babe: Cam Gallagher
ADV- I'm so started for players in new uniforms that I'm going with Rich Hill
Billy: Marlins TC
Derek: Justin Dunn
Babe: Ross Stripling
ADV- The Stripling card is the most layered and has the most intensity
Billy: Manny Pina
Derek: Aledmys Diaz
Babe: JD Davis
ADV- This was between Pina and David for a while, but the design kind of ruins the full shot for Diaz. Pina's is just a cool catcher shot.
Card 15-Billy: Joe Musgrove
Derek: Harrison Bader's DIVING CATCHH
Babe: Austin Voth
ADV- I love that Bader shot. Pains me, as someone who constantly shits on the Cardinals, but it's a nice one
Billy: Marcell Ozuna in a Braves uniform
Derek: Byron Buxton sliding
Babe: Chad Green
ADV- Surprisingly not the Yankee. Buxton has the best shot here.
Billy: Johan Camargo in a sweet throwback
Derek: Garrett Hampson
Babe: Junior Fernandez
ADV- That Camargo edges out the Hampson for not getting in the way of the photo.
Billy: Pirates TC
Derek: Eddie Rosario sliding, much like Buxton
Babe: DIDI GREORIUS AS A PHILLIE.
ADV- You see, I collect Didi, which makes this tough...but Rosario has the better photo.
Billy: White Sox CL
Derek: Kevin Newman
Babe: Xander Bogaerts
ADV- Newman has the best shot, despite Bogaerts being the bigger name
Billy: Jays TC
Derek: Brian O'Grady airbrushed into a Rays uniform
Babe: Jose Rodriguez
ADV- Kind of duds all around. O'Grady's shot has the most depth, despite obviously being Great American Ballpark, but Rodriguez' is more dramatic, so I'll go with that one
Card 21-Billy: James Karinchak
Derek: Gerrit Cole badly photoshopped into a Yankee uniform
Babe: Tim Lopes
ADV- I can't give it to the airbrush job. Not while Karinchak's is here.
Billy: Kevin Gausman on the Giants
Derek: Adam Duvall
Babe: TJ Zeuch
ADV- Duvall is probably the weakest player here, but he has the best shot
Derek: Orioles TC
Babe: Justus Sheffield
ADV- Hicks by default, as it has the most going on compared to the other shots, which are pretty basic
Billy: Eric Lauer in a new Brewers uniform
Derek: Rangers TC
Babe: Paul DeJong
ADV- Lauer's is another nice PS job, as it is genuinely believable.
Billy: Dawel Lugo
Derek: Bryant, Cubs TC
Babe: Dee Gordon
ADV- Yeah, that Kris Bryant shot does it for me.
Billy: Brendan Rodgers
Derek: Shogo Akiyama RC
Babe: Bryan Reynolds
ADV- Akiyama takes it. I just kinda can't wait to see him in the Reds' OF
Card 27- Back to all verticalsBilly: Colin Moran
Derek: FELIX HERNANDEZ ON THE BRAVES
Babe: Ronald Guzman
ADV- HOW COOL IS IT TO SEE KING FELIX ON A TEAM THAT ISN'T THE MARINERS? This hasn't gotten old for me yet.
11-11-5. All tied up, and Babe's fallen way behind.
Billy: Rangel Ravelo
Derek: Ji-Man Choi
Babe: Zach Plesac
ADV- Very basic shots here, but Ravelo's is captured at the right moment. Why the heck have I given so many close matches to Cardinals?
Billy: Victor Caratini
Derek: Willie Calhoun
Babe: Mike Leake
ADV- Leake, because this is a cool card that we SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN IN LAST YEAR'S UPDATE.
Card 30-Billy: Shun Yamaguchi RC
Derek: Andrew Knapp in a sweet 80s Phils throwback
Babe: Harold Castro
ADV- The Shun looks like what Topps wanted their Yusei Kikuchi base last year to be. So fun!
Billy: Cal Quantrill
Derek: Chad Wallach
Babe: Kelvin Herrera
ADV- Quantrill's has the new brown Padres uniforms before they became the new normal for them.
Billy: A truly atrocious PS job on Corey Dickerson
Derek: Sean Manaea
Babe: Tyrone Taylor
ADV- Taylor, for having the new Brewers uniform, and...not being a dupe or pissing me off.
Card 33-Billy: Yonny Chirinos
Derek: Willi Castro
Babe: Stephen Vogt
ADV- Vogt. I can't not even, with the airbrush
Billy: Shin-Soo Choo
Derek: Noah Syndergaard
Babe: Lucas Sims
ADV- As colorful as Sims's is, I'm going with Choo, because it's nice to have Rangers in this set again.
Billy: Cole Tucker
Derek: Nate Lowe
Babe: Jack Mayfield- OH SO NOW BABE'S BOX STARTS HORIZONTALS. FINE TIMING.
ADV- Despite being a filthy Astro, Mayfield has the best shot.
Card 36-Billy: Josh Staumont
Derek: ADAM OTTAVINO
Babe: Drew Streckenrider. It's nice to see the new Marlins uniforms feel normal.
ADV- Ottavino. My Yankee bias rears its ugly head.
Billy: Zach Eflin
Derek: Carter Kieboom
Babe: Rougned Odor
ADV- That Odor shot is awesome, and pretty monochromatic, too
Billy: Yu Chang
Derek: Edwin Diaz
Babe: Dylan Moore
ADV- Moore's is the only one that feels new to me.
Card 39-Billy: Carlos Martinez
Derek: Griffin Canning
Babe: Eric Sogard in a NEW BREWERS UNIFORM.
ADV- Gotta be Sogard. It's so refreshing to see the new ones.
15-12-12. THERE'S A COMEBACK FOR YA.
Billy: Jeff Mathis
Derek: Lorenzo Cain
Babe: Victor Reyes
ADV- Reyes' looks the coolest
Billy: Nick Wittgren
Derek: Franklin Barreto
Babe: LUIS SEVERINO
ADV- The Yankee, of course
Card 42-Billy: Yan Gomes
Derek: Joe Jimenez
Babe: Justin Upton
ADV- Upton's is the best photo. Damn, now Babe's tying it up.
Billy: Dustin Pedroia
Derek: Steven Duggar
Babe: Rangers TC. Fine time for the Babe box to fall into dupes
ADV- Pedroia might have a HOF case, and this may be one of his last cards, so yeah
Billy: Nomar Mazara as a White Sock
Derek: Renato Nunez
Babe: Bryant CL
ADV- Mazara's PS job isn't too bad
Card 45-Billy: Kevin Cron
Derek: Ryan Zimmerman
Babe: Shogo Akiyama RC
ADV- Zim has the best career, and the best looking non-dupe here
Billy: Carlos Carrasco
Derek: DJ Stewart
Babe: Seth Mejias-Brean
ADV- So much to love about the Mejias-Brean card. The camp, the hands, the depth.
Billy: Josh James
Derek: Tony Kemp
Babe: MIKE FORD
ADV- At least here the Yankee has the best card as well
Card 48-Billy: Billy McKinney [heh]
Derek: Eduardo Escobar
Babe: Jose Trevino
ADV- Zooming Escobar's out a bit was a smart move.
Billy: Dallas Keuchel in a Sox uniform
Derek: Eric Hosmer just kinda standing there
Babe: Tom Murphy
ADV- Keuchel, makes me want the season to start so I can see him on the Sox
Billy: Jose Trevino. Of course, once somebody gets a lead, they go to dupes.
Derek: Travis d'Arnaud on the Braves
Babe: Stephen Strasburg
ADV- Strasburg's is a cool one, especially in comparison to some recent bland shots on flagship releases
Billy: Tom Murphy
Derek: Stevie Wilkerson
Babe: Charlie Blackmon
ADV- Blackmon's the best player, and he's getting over COVID
Billy: Stephen Strasburg
Derek: Dylan Bundy ACTUALLY on the Angels
Babe: Logan Webb
ADV- The Bundy helps prove Spring Training actually counted for something
Billy: Charlie Blackmon
Derek: Eugenio Suarez
Babe: Kyle Freeland
ADV- The Freeland's the only new photo for me here
Billy: Logan Webb
Derek: Ryan McMahon
Babe: Rio Ruiz
ADV- By default, McMahon
Billy: Kyle Freeland
Derek: Brusdar Graterol on the Dodgers
Babe: Albert Pujols
ADV- Albert, for posterity's sake
Billy: Rio Ruiz
Derek: Michael Taylor
Babe: Shed Long
ADV- Long's throwback wins it
18-16-22. And to think, Babe was trailing for a bit
Billy: Albert Pujols
Derek: Victor Robles
Babe: Topps Now promo
ADV- Robles' is the only one I'm actually keeping from these 3.
Billy: Shed Long
Derek: Daryl Strawberry CHROME Turkey Red
Babe: Chad Green shiny parallel
ADV- Strawberry, for sure, even if I don't collect him.
Billy: Tatis insert
Derek: Robbie Ray RED PARALLEL NUMBERED TO 50
Babe: Tatis insert blue...which I'm not sure if that means anything.
ADV- Ray. I don't know how I have the kind of luck where I keep getting low-numbered cards from retail.
Card 60-Billy: Francisco Mejia GOLD #'d to 2020
Derek: Tatis insert
Babe: Tatis insert
ADV- I guess Mejia for not falling into the monotony
Billy: Tatis insert
Derek: Tatis insert
Babe: Tatis insert
ADV- Drop and Drive is a dupe. I guess Ready for the Roster looks the coolest
Billy: Decade's Best 50s Braves
Derek: Decade's Best 80s Bruce Sutter
Babe: ...Decade's Best 80s Bruce Sutter. Score for consistency.
ADV- Braves, for...not being a Bruce Sutter dupe
Billy: Ken Griffey AS 85T
Derek: Ozzie Albies AS 85T
Babe: Andrew Benintendi 85T
ADV- Can't not give it to Griffey.
Billy: Don Mattingly
Derek: Tommy Edman
Babe: Josh Rojas
ADV- TWO ROOKIES AND DONNIE BASEBALL. HMMMM...
Billy: Jeff Bagwell
Derek: Randy Johnson
Babe: Stephen Strasburg
ADV- Randy card looks nicest.
Billy: Vladimir Guerrero
Derek: Andrew Benintendi
Babe: Reggie Jackson
ADV- I don't get the same joy from pulling Reggies as I do from pulling Expo Vlads nowadays.
Billy: MIKE SCHMIDT
Derek: Rickey Henderson
Babe: Jaylin Davis
ADV- Okay so Babe just lost in extras with that Davis. As much as I love Rickey, I can't not give it to Michael Jack, especially with that shot.
BOX 1- 24
BOX 2- 21
BOX 3- 22
Close match, but Box 1 takes it. This is still a slightly flawed product, thanks to some design and collation choices, but this was a fun rip. Might go for some more soon just to chase more Turkey Reds.