I rounded the aisle to check for gift cards for the holidays and I had to triple-take.
The Target stock clerk. METICULOUSLY CURATING THE CARD AISLE SHELVES. Immaculately organizing the Update, the Archives boxes, the assorted basketball stuff. In a way I had not seen since before I left for college. I was floored. Not only was there product at a retail store, but there was LOTS of it. I couldn't believe it.
As I grabbed my hanger boxes, I thanked him. "It's good to see product back here. It's been a long few months." And I went on my way.
I grabbed a blaster of Archives, which I've already broke a box of for here, and this one didn't yield much else [I did get a Brian Anderson silver parallel #'d to 99, which...of course I would]. I also grabbed two hanger boxes of Update, because, HEY, IT'S DECEMBER AND I HAVEN'T BROKEN ANY UPDATE YET. GADZOOKS.
Here are the results. I'll do what I usually do and point out which players changed uniforms again by the end of the season, because the deadlines for this set are unreasonably early now.
225- Corey Knebel
28- Manuel Margot
231- Travis Blankenhorn
167- Juan Lagares. Thrilling stuff
179- David Phelps
79- Tatis/Cronenworth combo. So...the combo cards aren't checklists. They're set filler...in a set where the ASG cards are now inserts? WHY?
314- Liam Hendriks.
22- Maikel Franco. The amount of goodwill wasted on this guy by Phils fans, has to be through the roof.
264- Jonathan Loaisiga. Thank god they did this guy
52- Kluber no-no CL. Yes, there were so many no-hitters that Topps had to do combo cards aside from them. On the bright side, this card exists.
282- Lance Lynn
246- Brent Honeywell. Has been traded, but after the season.
190- Rony Garcia
224- Steve Cishek. They've...done pretty well so far.
305- Bryan Garcia
287- BoSox combo card featuring the city connect unis
255- Jake Lamb. THERE WE GO. Outdated Update #1, finished the season with the Blue Jays
103- Kyle Finnegan. Annoyed with all these rookie listings for people who had substantial 2020 numbers
36- Wade Miley no-no CL.
13- Chance Sisco. Outdated Update #2, waived by the Mets IN JUNE. WE'RE THAT EARLY??
249- Jarred Kelenic RD. Okay, at least this exists
242- Dillon Tate
51- Roel Ramirez, the guy who gave up 4 straight home runs in 2020. SEEMS RIPE FOR 2021 UPDATE.
163- Spencer Turnbull no-no CL
278- Chris Rodriguez
34- Tyler Naquin
93- Corey Ray
328- Yu Chang
84- Bailey Ober.
238- Trevor Rosenthal ORANGE #'d to 299. That's right, a parallel base card of a player who didn't even play for the team depicted in 2021, due to injures. Thanks, Topps.
ASG Insert of Jake Cronenworth. Yes, an insert...of an ASG base card...of a player depicted NOT in the ASG. The deadline is too damned early.
Topps Cards That Never Were insert of Alex Rodriguez from 1994. I like the concept of this one. Hope it doesn't render my Should Have Been set too moot
86T insert of Jonathan India
92T insert of Randy Arozarena, the [sigh] ROOKIE OF THE YEAR.
92T insert of AARON JUDGE
92T insert of GIANCARLO STANTON. Double Yankee fun,
92T insert of Christian Yelich
33- Marcus Semien. Not outdated by the construct of this.
194- Miguel Castro, a good, smart relief choice by Topps
88- Victor Caratini
25- Chi Chi Gonzalez
316- Patrick Wisdom, thank god. NOT A ROOKIE CARD THOUGH.
61- Marvin Gonzalez. Outdated Update #3, finished the season with Houston
178- Ryan Weathers RD
283- Sergio Romo.
174- Mario Feliciano
164- Andrew Knapp
41- Alex Kirilloff RD. Thrilling stuff
18- Billy Hamilton. GOOD. HE GETS A BASE CARD. GREAT!
30- Brock Holt, PRINTED UPSIDE DOWN ON THE BACK. Ughhhh.
26- Taijuan Walker, also printed upside down on the back
166- Chris Gittens. [loud sigh]
171- Matt Moore
105- Chad Kuhl, yeah, the Bucs' Opening Day starter didn't make Flagship
20- Josh Staumont
66- James Paxton
117- Hirokazu Sawamura
92- Tyler Stephenson RD
228- Dylan Moore, who, thanks to Adam Frazier, is now out of a job
19- Chase Anderson
67- Angel Rondon
120- Seth Brown
138- Will Harris
136- Nate Lowe
75- Kyle Funkhowser
236- Ross Stripling. Also should have been in Flagship
131- Jon Berti. Ditto
23- Jake Cave. Why wasn't HE in Flagship?
113- Aaron Civale. Okay. Another person who was definitely relevant enough in early 2021 to be featured in flagship. Why leave people out? Because it's easier to just do a Series 3 than actually do an Update Series? CHANGE THE NAME.
147- Luis Torrens
245- Gilberto Celestino
158- Darin Ruf. I'm just glad they remembered to make a Darin Ruf card at all
326- Aaron Fletcher
311- Jake Arrieta. Outdated Update #4, finished with San Diego
268- Geraldo Perdomo
189- Jeff Hoffman
260- Owen Miller RC. Oh yeah, he made his debut this year, forgot about that
139- Jake Odorizzi
250- Alec Bohm RD. DON'T...REMIND...ME.
90- Joe Kelly
63- Casey Mize RD
273- Mike Minor
148- Daniel Vogelbach. He was...he was with the team in January, why's he in Update? This set frustrates me.
175- Ha-Seong Kim RD
211- Luis Patino
140- Andrew Vaughn RD
196- Akil Baddoo RC. Okay, at least they got him
ASG insert of Fernando Tatis Jr.
70 Years of Topps insert of Christian Yelich in the 87T design
86T insert of Mookie Betts
92T insert of Ian Anderson
92T insert of Kyle Lewis
TWO 92T DUPES. JEEZ
186- Sixto Sanchez RD
128- Rich Hill. Outdated Update #5, ended the year with the Mets
144- Mariners combo
172- Giovanny Gallegos
150- Zack Wheeler. HOW DID HE NOT HAVE A FLAGSHIP BASE CARD? WHAT IS GOING ON??
58- Austin Dean
12- Nick Gordon RC
243- Lane Thomas. Outdated Update #6, traded to the Nats
46- Ryan McKenna
237- Will Craig. EVEN THE GUY WHO BOTCHED THE BAEZ PLAY GETS A CARD? Wow.
89- Brad Hand. Outdated Update #7, ended year with Mets
35- Joe Musgrove no-no CL
54- Yoshi Tsutsugo. Outdated Update #8, waived by the Pirates in July.
233- Nick Anderson. BARELY PLAYED THIS YEAR AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN FLAGSHIP.
149- Travis Shaw. Outdated Update #9, ended year with Red Sox
218- Connor Brogdon
43- Franklyn Kilome
160- Erik Gonzalez
253- Steven Duggar
325- Chris Archer
Man this set's a mess. A few cool things here, some actual needed cards, but a lot of making up for flagship while also failing as an Update set. This set has been flawed since 2019, ever since the deadline for this set was moved up to June, and ever since MLB laws have made rookies not count after then. This set needs to be seriously rethought, though it probably won't seeing as Fanatics isn't far off.