Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Two Rack Packs of 2023 Topps Series 1 [Finally]

I was in a place the other day where I not only had enough saved up to get some baseball cards, but there were actually baseball cards present. I won't divulge where this was, nor how much the price was hiked up...but I went with it. It was Series 1.

Obviously I'd seen a lot of this on the blogs for the past month or so, but it'd taken me this long to have any in hand. I got 2 rack packs, and until I figure out eBay selling and/or make a breakthrough with work, that'll be enough. 

Pack 1-

101- Tyler Mahle
My first card of the year was a guy I'd seen pitch only a few days prior. He got chased, yes, but he's still a nice pickup for the Twins if he keeps at Cincinnati-era pace. 

I've probably said as such, but I have come around on this design. I wish it wasn't so fragrantly the photo day icon images that were being used, as they're not too interesting, but I like so many design elements that it counteracts that. 

73- Jon Gray
322- Luis Urias

215- Wander Franco
22- Clayton Kershaw

Two big pulls from a base perspective. As is evident on Kershaw's, full career stats are in play on the back, much to my amusement. 

214- Graham Ashcraft RC
50- Mookie Betts
293- J.T. Realmuto

I agree that there are too many rookies in the set, but at the very least a good majority of them are people that played a big enough part in the second half of the 2022 season, like Graham Ashcraft. Also nice that star cards aren't too rare, especially JT.

34- Zack Thompson
80- Tanner Rainey
277- David Villar RC

158- Kris Bryant
175- Liam Hendriks

Maybe it's because he was injured for most of last year, but it's still very weird to see Bryant in Rockies colors. I really hope Hendriks makes it to the mound at some point this year, he's awesome. 

12- Jeffrey Springs. Not showing his picture, not even collecting his cards. Ya done goofed, pal.
255- Cal Quantrill
257- Yadiel Hernandez

218- Jhoan Duran rainbow foil, unnumbered. I still don't see the point of these, and of making gold numbered cards rarer, but Duran is filthy.
88 Topps Brendan Rodgers. Pleased they finally did these, even if there are slight font issues. 

Stars of MLB Wander Franco
Stars of MLB Bryce Harper
Good subjects, but for a 'multiple-per-pack' insert, I would have preferred the 88s, honestly. This is at least cool design wise, but there are others similar, like 2019's Stars of the Game or 2018's Legends in the Making, that are more memorable to me.

226- Michael Harris II RC
One of the big rookies of the first series. And one hell of an image for it, too.

194- Josh Staumont
220- Cubs TC
292- Rangers TC
113- Dodgers CL
174- Mariners CL. These team cards and checklists are cool, but they feel like filler sometimes.

32- Jordan Montgomery
162- Isiah Kiner-Falefa
Even if I knew they had Gumby photos available, his card still looks photoshopped. The good news is both these cards show variance in the types of headshots we can see, like Montgomery's in-game shot and IKF's slight tilt. A little change-up goes a long way.
IKF's smug smile here says something along the lines of 'hey Anthony, you're really good and all but you know I'm making the opening day roster and you're not, right?'

37- Josh Smith RC
76- John Winckowski RC
105- Seth Beer

278- Aaron Nola
179- Carlos Rodon
290- Max Fried
Three of the best pitchers in the majors in one pack. Plus, Nola and Fried might actually pitch in the first half!

90- Korey Lee RC
286- Ezequiel Duran

53- Dylan Cease
236- Shane McClanahan
Two pitchers who had incredible 2022s start us off. I really hope Cease can sustain this. McClanahan too, but, y'know, division rival.

232- Ian Happ
13- Giovanny Gallegos
163- Miguel Vargas RC

21- Max Scherzer
313- Cal Mitchell
Scherz is Scherz. Mitchell I saw as an A-baller and have some pride in, even if he's not very good in the majors so far.

74- Tarik Skubal
171- Mychal Givens. I'll say this, the reliever presence in this set seems like an improvement.
132- Gavin Sheets
204- Manuel Margot
269- Steven Matz

182- Nick Pratto
68- William Contreras
Pratto's rookie is a decent pull. Contreras' is a great card even if it is already outdated.

66- Brandon Crawford
154- Jonathan Aranda

Home Field Advantage Bryce Harper.
I...had a reaction to this one. Didn't think I'd end up pulling one of these, so the fact that I do and it's the hometown superstar is...a huge deal. I love so much of this card. Rocky's boxing gloves, man. Penn and Franklin. As a Philadelphian, I wholeheartedly approve. As a Phils collector, I'm even more grateful. 

88T insert of Matthew Liberatore
Stars of MLB Rafael Devers
Stars of MLB Gerrit Cole
I still don't exactly see the point of bringing the rookies that aren't sure bets into the inserts but Topps is doing their thing. Good to get a Cole, seeing as he was on the mound when I was in Tampa [more on that later].

303- Checklist
190- Checklist
326- Checklist
I mean, the checklists do at least point out how well-done the photography in this set is. I just think the contractually-obligated MLB logo takes away from it a bit.

4 dupes from last pack including the Harris RC
191- Caleb Smith, who I believe just got demoted by the Pirates, which is an insult in itself.
49- Mitch Haniger
276- David MacKinnon

45- Gerrit Cole
87- Ethan Small RC
There's Cole again, given his own hero number. 

296- Cristian Pache
67- Travis Swaggerty RC
110- Randal Grichuk

So, not especially showy save for that Harper insert, but a nice array of base and fun details from this set. I'll try to get more when I can, and I'll see if I can build team sets and get the guys I collect. There's fun ideas here, and I think Topps can survive on this for the rest of the year. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice Harper! I also kinda enjoyed Isiah's goofy head-tilt.