2012 Topps Baseball Cards

I went to Wal Mart last night to buy some sinus medication for a runny nose and sore throat that I picked up after hitting outside on Tuesday against that pitching machine that you may have read about.  Out of a force of habit, I walked by the baseball cards.  Every time I go to Wal Mart, I always have to stop and look at the baseball cards, if only for a second.  It’s a habit that dates back to 1989 when I first started buying them.  Back then, I remember pressing down on the wrappers of some brands and being able to see the top card, and after going through dozens of packs, finally selecting the pack that had the best visible card.

So anyhow, when I passed this caught my eye:

The 2012 Topps Baseball card series was just released.  It turns out, after checking on the website, it was released that day, February 1st.

They had individual packs for $1.98 (12 cards), jumbo packs of 36 cards for $4.99, mega packs of 72 cards for $9.98 and a box which featured certain guaranteed inserts for $19.98 (but it only had 81 cards).

I decided to select the 72 card mega pack or mini-box, or whatever its called:

I busted open the box and went through the cards.  Here’s the design:

Nothing really special or eye popping.  It looks pretty standard to me.

Let’s take a look at what I pulled.

My only Pirate was Michael McKenry.  McKenry is a really popular Pirate despite only hitting .222 with 2 home runs.  I’m not a huge fan in part because he dissed me in Cleveland by totally ignoring my polite request for a ball when I was the only Pirates fan around.  McKenry was also at the center of the Jerry Meals blown call game in late July, where Meals called Julio Lugo safe at the plate, even though McKenry tagged him.  The Pirates lead in the division vanished shortly thereafter as their season spiraled toward a 4th place finish.

The best rookie card that I pulled was probably this Devin Mesoraco:

Mesoraco was called up to the big leagues late last year.  I remember he had a huge following at PNC Park with family and friends wearing ‘Miz” shirts.  He was born and raised near Punxsutawney PA, so he’s a hometown kid.  Plus, of the teams in the central division, the Reds would qualify as my second favorite behind the Pirates.

My favorite card photo was a Reed Johnson card:

I liked the sea gulls racing along with him in the outfield.  It reminded me of all the seagulls that plagued the Indians games last year, and even decided a game last year, if you have a minute, you have to watch this video from MLB.com of the ending of that game.   I was at that game.

One of the unheralded parts of baseball cards is the stats on the back.  I used to hate how Donruss and Upper Deck only featured stats from the last five or so years of veterans.  Topps has always had a complete listing of a players stats.  The most experienced player that I pulled was a Derek Jeter.  The back of his card is impressive.  First ballot Hall of Famer.

Amazingly though, he’s only led the league in a category twice.

The 2012 mega pack also had its fair share of inserts.

There was this Cal Ripken Golden Greats Card:

Ripken was my favorite player for at least four years in my youth.  I used to have a Cal Ripken Jr binder that I collected all of his cards in.

Also a Timeless Talents card:

A Mickey Mantle Classic Walkoffs Card:

A Curtis Granderson 1987 Topps design card:

A Dellin Betaces Gold:

A Gold Futures Alexei Ogando:

A Golden Giveaway card that has a code on the back that unlocks a special prize:

A Derek Jeter Golden Moments Card:

and a Gold Standard Willie Mays Card:

There’s so many insert card sets nowadays, that besides finding an obvious autographed card or relic card, I have no idea if these inserts are worth anything.

Here’s a look at the stated odds in the 72 card pack.  Odds would be lesser of finding these cards in a 12 card pack:

It pretty much looks like every pack has one of those inserts except for the Classic Walkoff card which was 1:2.

So, I enjoyed opening a new pack of cards and seeing a new design.  It’s been something I’ve looked forward to every year since I was a little kid.  I don’t collect cards anymore like I used to, but I still have to buy a pack when the new cards come out each year.

What do you think of the 2012 Topps Cards?  Have any of you bought any and had good luck?

There’s only 63 more days until Opening Day, 16 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, and 3 more days to win this Matt Wieters shirt.

11 Comments

I have started to collect cards again, so this is great news for me. Funny thing is, that I just spent all of my money earlier today. It’s a shame but I will have money to buy some next week. I had already seen the design since I “like” Topps on Facebook, so no surprises. Kind of cool that you got the McKenry card especially since you almost caught his first career homer.

I was a huge collector as a kid. A buck would get me 3 packs and a little change back. I got back into collecting higher end PSA graded cards a few years ago for a little while. I was basically just buying my favorite cards from my youth in mint graded condition. When I started going to more games and traveling more, I put the money I was putting into cards into baseball games and trips and haven’t bought a card in a few years. The thing that gets me today is the great quality control, every card looks mint. Corners sharp, great registry, snow white border, and great centering. Back in the 70’s and 80’s that was not the case. Finding cards in perfect condition out of a pack was very rare.

Big Glove Bob

Thought that Skip Schumaker’s card would interest you guys which is the first one in Topp’s history to not feature the player’s face: http://media.zenfs.com/en/blogs/sptusmlbexperts/Squirrel-Topps-2012.jpg

Zac,
What’d you spend all your money on? Did you buy your season tickets yet?

Big Glove Bob,
I don’t have any PSA cards but thought about sending off some of my cards so I could sell them. I’ve got a bunch of Jeter rookies from 1993 that I think could grade out to a 9 or 10. Didn’t you just love it when the back of the card was stained by the gum? It always seemed like it happened to a decent card too.

Joey,
Thanks for bringing that Rally Squirrel card to my attention. That card is pretty awesome. It looks like its going for a pretty penny on ebay too!

No season tickets yet Erik since I am not sure about the internship yet. I looked for cards today and couldn’t find them. I will have to buy some at Walmart.

When I was a kid i was convinced Baseball cards were my ticket to a small fortune. Clearly when you’re 7 and trying to save up all Ken Griffey Jr. rookie cards as a future retirement, you might not be the smartest. I actually still collect but try to get them signed since it means more to me..it makes the card virtually worthless but is a much better personal memory

Me too, I used to love getting Beckett magazine and seeing which of my best cards ‘went up’ each month.

Ha i remember the little arrows in the beckett mags, up and down. aaah memories.

Wow alot of cards….what design will they think of next?

I’m an old guy thinking about collecting some cards again, so it was great fun to read this blog for the first time. These cards bring back the memory of using my cards to play baseball on the living room rug. I’d place each card in the approrpiate “position” on the make-believe diamond on the rug, then use a marble for the ball and a pencil for the bat. Flicking the marble with the bat, I get a hit if no card was struck and an out if one was struck. Note: this was in the early to late 1950’s, so my player cards were original Mantle’s, Aaron’s, and everybody else you can think of. All were Topps if I remember correctly. I sure have a lot of catching up to do, no pun intended.

I am pretty young and I collect every card from t206 (have 200 so far) and I collect new topps too. I bought some 2012 topps recently and out of the 100 cards I got 35 of them have a miss print with two 3B in stead of one 3B and one 2B.

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