2020 Topps Update Hobby Jumbo Box Break
Fine... I'll do it...
After great debate, I chose to do the "traditional" Topps Hobby Jumbo Box Break for 2020 Topps Update (Series 3). I didn't like Topps 2020 flagship release much at all. That glob of shapes on the side, for a base set design is too large and blocks out too much of the image for no good reason. Topps has plenty of baseball releases to use their bad designs on. Keep the flagship set simple!
Not doing it next year. The increase in price, combined with the decrease in appeal, has finally tipped the scales. Will buy a few packs and the singles I want, but I really don't like the 2021 design at all. I'm sure there will be some decent looking insert sets. It remains to be seen if I'll be able to find any at the retail shops, so it's a good thing I don't care.
Apparently it's the 70th Anniversary of Topps because the cards will have an intrusive silver square with the usual Topps logo, plus a giant 70 above it. Topps REALLY needs to get over itself. Every year, everything is an anniversary of some previous release. Everything is a retrospective on what they've done in the past. Topps is so obsessed with it's own history that it leaves very little attention for the current product.
So when it came to 2021 Topps flagship set design... Well, why don't we just copy off the kid sitting next to us, and paste that on top of last year's Bowman!
2021 Topps Baseball = Donruss with logos.
But we'll take a big dump on next year's cards, next year. We still have to the finish the dump that was 2020 Topps. Wrapping up with a Hobby Jumbo Box of 2020 Topps Update (Series 3). Before I get into the packs, I'm gonna kick it off with one of the three bonus packs inside the box.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - Toronto Blue Jays - Cloth Patch
You get one cloth patch per box. And it's pretty cool for what it is. Being a player I collect helps as well. Shockingly, Vlad Jr. isn't in the Update set, so this is his only appearance. His 2020 season wasn't that great, but I'm giving everyone who played in 2020 a pass for performance. Good or bad, 60 games isn't enough to judge against a normal 162 game season. So I'm not going to get too excited or too down on what any single player did.
That being said, I saw some video of Vlad Jr. the other day and he has really changed his body. He played the 2020 season pretty tubby and flabby, which likely led to his down numbers. And while he wasn't quite sporting 6-pack abs, it wasn't just a giant 1-pack ab. Much like I'm sporting these days...
Let's hope his 2021 season is huge, but not in body mass index...
Okay, that's enough stalling. Time to start the box break.
Josh Phegley - Chicago Cubs
First card seen in the first Jumbo pack. The former White Sox and Athletics catcher is now in a Cubs uniform. Which is the point of the Update set. So this is a perfectly acceptable first card to see.
Jorge Alcala - Cody Stashek - Minnesota Twins
My first Twins of the Update series are a couple of middle relievers. Alcala is a Top 10 prospect in the Twins organization, and touted as a closer of the future. From watching him this year, I think there's a good possibility of that. Stashek will likely stay in middle relief. He performed decently enough to see him making the 2021 Twins bullpen. Both of them already have the standard Topps Pitching Face working...
Peter Lambert - Jesus Tinoco - Colorado Rockies
And these are the first Rockies of the Update series. Lambert did about as well as a Rockies rookie starting pitcher can do. Where anything that is not terrible, is considered a success. Since he will come cheap, I'm all but positive he will be in Colorado's 2021 starting rotation. Tinoco came to Colorado from Toronto, way back in the Troy Tulowitzki trade. I'm pretty sure he was waived after the season, so he likely wont be back. Since the Rockies traded Jeff Hoffman to the Cincinnati Reds a few weeks ago, none of the players from that trade are still with the Rockies.
Traditionally, Topps Update is padded with cards from the All Star Game and Home Run Derby. Since both of those events were cancelled by Covid-19, I wondered how Topps would fill that 100 plus card gap in this year's set. Another effect of Covid on 2020 Major League Baseball was the expanded rosters, and excessive minor league call-ups. With no mid-season classic, I'd hoped Topps would dig deep and feature more players that would be overlooked in favor of 100 All Stars, in other years.
Ken Griffey Jr. - Seattle Mariners - 1994 Home Run Derby
Topps got lazy and padded 2020 Update with All Stars and Home Run Derby cards from previous years. Wow! That's pointless! Don't get me wrong, I have zero problem with Ken Griffey Jr. baseball cards. But I do have a problem with pointless and redundant cards. Besides 1994, Griffey has Home Run Derby Cards for multiple years in this set. Why? I'd give them credit if they did something creative with it, such as giving a Griffey Home Run Derby card one spot in the set, but making the yearly variations a split production of the entire run. If you want to have five Griffey Home Run Derby cards in the set, put all of them as card #237 (or whatever), with five different years and pictures, under the same card number. You know how Topps loves short prints and image variations... It's a no brainer.
Did Topps do something interesting like this?
Jake Newberry - Kansas City Royals - Black Parallel
It's numbered out of 50. But I don't remember what number it is and I don't feel like looking for the card right now. But that's cool... I like last years black parallels much more. At least with Topps going back to white borders for it's 2021 flagship set (for the first time since 2014), the parallels will be easier to pick out among the stack.
Shogo Akiyama - Cincinnati Reds - 1985
Topps did a good job on the 1985 35th Anniversary set. I've said that before. Nothing's changed my mind since.
I really liked 1985 Topps as a set.
Brady Singer - Kansas City Royals - 1989 Top Prospect
A one per Jumbo Pack insert, features each of the 30 teams' top Minor League prospect. I like this idea and am fine with the callback to 1989 Topps. But only for the revamped #1 Prospect logo. Pretty close to the #1 Draft Pick subset from 1989.
Singer was the Royals first pick (18th overall) in the 2018 Draft. I was hoping he'd fall to the Twins, but the Royals snapped him up a few picks before Minnesota would've had a chance. A polished starting pitcher coming out of college, it didn't take him long to reach the Major Leagues. I watched his start against the Twins on August 9th, where he notched his first Major League win. Seemed kind of ironic to me. But on this card, Singer is shown wearing the road uniform of the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
Wilmington Blue Rocks Stadium
When Laura and I vacationed in Delaware last year, we spent an evening in Wilmington. The part of town we visited was the location of Judy Johnson Field, home of the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The minor league season was over by then, but I was able to walk around the outside of the ballpark, and take a few pictures from areas that weren't blocked off. There's my shadow, holding my camera over the fence to take this shot of the outfield.
After decades as the Class A affiliate for the Kansas City Royals (seemingly every Johnny Damon minor league card for years, pictured him as a Blue Rock), Wilmington has switched to the Washington Nationals organization, for the 2021 season.
A little bit east of the stadium, was the Wilmington River Walk, featuring a couple of old cranes that dated back to the area's old shipping days. The docks and warehouses been completely cleaned up and remade into a tourist attraction. It was also the site of Joe Biden's acceptance speech after he beat the lying grifting orange blundercunt in the 2020 Presidential Election. We recognized the area immediately on TV. It was cool knowing we had been there just over a year earlier. After spending two nights at the historic Watergate Hotel in Washington DC, as the (then) current impeachment case was unfolding.
A Fairfield Re-Pack from last summer contained a 2019 Bowman Platinum Brady Singer autograph. It's not often you get an auto of a current Major League star out of a Fairfield Re-Pack. Even more rare to get an autograph of a top prospect. Unless they were a top prospect in 2013. That flamed out in 2015, and last played organized baseball in 2017. That's what you usually see as your 1 in 4 box hits. And that's what I've come to love the Fairfield Re-Packs for!
So I guess Brady Singer is now my favorite Kansas City Royal.
Let's see if the next pack has as good of a story inside?
Or hopefully I can get through it quicker...
Nine packs to go, pick up the pace will you!
Brennan Davis - Chicago Cubs - 1989 Top Prospect
A Cubs (minor league) card...
Hunter Pence - San Francisco Giants
Cesar Hernandez - Cleveland Indians
A couple of traded players on similar looking cards...
Jesus Aguilar - Miami Marlins
Another traded (or free agent) player in his new uniform. Something Topps Update does well, carrying on the tradition of the boxed traded sets of the 1980's.
Edwin Encarnacion - Chicago White Sox
Posed player pictured in new uniform...
Ken Griffey Jr. - Seattle Mariners
Typical Topps redundancy... Check!
Josh Donaldson - Minnesota Twins - 1985
This is cool.
Oakland Athletics Team Card
A couple Matt's for Super A's Fan Rob in New Mexico!
How do you feel about Matt's high-fiving, and me writing less, Rob?
I doubt I can keep up the pace... I've simply got to babble...
J.D. Hammer - Philadelphia Phillies - Baseball Stars Autograph
So my box hit is a rather nerdy looking 26 year old middle reliever. One with high walk totals and low strikeouts per 9. He didn't even pitch in 2020. Yippee...
I guess there is a bright side. Hammer is from Ft. Collins, CO. He was drafted by the Rockies in 2016, and traded to the Phillies a year later, for Pat Neshek. Who pitched several seasons for the Twins. So in a way, this fairly common autograph has ties to two teams I collect.
But it is doomed to stay in the box of Phillies Top Loaders...
Bryce Harper - Washington Nationals
Yeah... I'm just about done with these retro All Star Game cards...
Mark McGwire - St. Louis Cardinals
Even more just about done with the retro Home Run Derby cards...
And damn were those 1999 League jerseys, with the vertical names, just abysmal...
Nolan Arenado - Colorado Rockies
I'm okay with this one...
Hey, "Fire Jeff Bridich Sign", how you feel about Nolan Arenado playing in the 2021 All Star Game, representing the Colorado Rockies?
Right on, "Fire Jeff Bridich Sign!"
Chris Iannetta - New York Yankees
Multi-time former Rockies catcher retired before playing a single regular season game for New York.
Dale Murphy - Atlanta Braves - Decade’s Best
With the recent surge in throwback powder blue uniforms, it's interesting to see the Braves from the mid 1980's.
But it's still the Braves, so that cancels out the interesting.
Nik Turley - Pittsburgh Pirates
It's 2020 and Nik Turley finally gets a rookie card?
He pitched in 10 games (3 starts) for the 2017 Minnesota Twins. The numbers he put up for Minnesota were far from good... An ERA of 11.21 in 17.2 innings. But there's something to be said for perseverance. Turley was drafted in the 50th round of the 2008 MLB Draft, by the New York Yankees. They released him in 2014, and he spent 2015-2017 bouncing around to the Giants, White Sox and Red Sox, before signing with the Twins. Minnesota waived Turley after the 2017 season, Pittsburgh claimed him and and he's been there ever since. Though he did not pitch in 2019 or 2019.
I got his autograph in a pack of 2013 Bowman. One of the laziest looking autographs in my collection.
But let's talk about an actual good Twins pitcher.
Kenta Maeda - Minnesota Twins
Why wasn't Maeda in Topps Series 2?
Or as a Twin in any of the other thousand sets that Topps printed in 2020?
Brusdar Graterol was a tough piece to give up this Spring. But you have to give something to get something, and the Twins needed Maeda a lot more than they needed Graterol. Sure, Brusdar won the World Series, as a key relief pitcher for the Dodgers. But Kenta Maeda finished second in the American League Cy Young Award vote. Without him, the Twins don't win the division.
Not like it mattered, their offense still forgot to show up for the playoffs...
Jo Adell - Los Angeles Angels - 1989 Top Prospect
Wow... The Salt Lake (City, UT) Bees' jerseys look a lot worse than it did 20 years ago. I kinda liked them back then. These are awful.
And can someone at Topps do the collectors with a memory a favor and actually LOOK at the designs they regurgitate every year? In the 1989 set, the knocked-out name in the team swish was centered. Not left-justified. Centered looks good, this looks like a mistake.
Randy Arozarena - Tampa Bay Rays
Nice looking rookie card for the biggest non-Dodgers story of the 2020 MLB Postseason. I didn't get to watch much of it live on the TV, due to stuff, but there was always something good on the highlights. And I'm sure his baserunning adventure in Game 5 of the World Series will be shown for years.
Hope I get another copy in this box, already swimming in duplicates...
Okay Topps, this is the fourth pack. Lets aim for only 20% duplicates. At some point I may attempt to complete the set. Lock it in a box and never look at it again.
Jacob deGrom - New York Mets - Blue Parallel
I've developed a habit of getting decent deGrom hits out of packs for a couple of years now. I may have to give a closer look into this at some point in the future? At the very least, upgrade deGrom to a player that I officially collect.
Cal Ripken Jr. - Baltimore Orioles
Another new Ripken will fit in nicely with the hundreds of other Ripken cards I've saved over the years. I don't think the 1991 Home Run Derby was televised. I remember watching the All Star Game the next night, and hearing that Ripken won, but I distinctly remember it not being on ESPN. I would have watched it if it was.
Kyle Lewis - Seattle Mariners
I thought it was nice to see an unhyped Seattle Mariner to rise up from nowhere to win the 2020 American League Rookie of the Year Award. Last year at this time, everyone had already given it to Luis Robert of the White Sox. Not taking anything away from Robert, I'm glad the Mariner won. Overhyped unproven rookies annoy me, especially how insane they make the hobby.
Derek Holland - Pittsburgh Pirates
The blues, greys and black make this one of my favorite cards in the set. Thinking the picture may have been taken in Ft. Myers, at the Twins Spring Training complex. Looks a lot like the raised walkway that lines the outfield walls. They do play the Pirates often in the Spring, and this may have been taken before the first early March shutdown.
Holland gets extra press for this gem, also mined from a 2020 Fairfield Repack. A 2013 Pinnacle Artist Proof, numbered 23/25, is nothing to sneeze at for a solid 12 year Major League veteran.
Jason Castro - Los Angeles Angels
Topps has given Castro some pretty decent photos over the past few seasons. Unfortunately, they didn't catch this former Twin's trade to the San Diego Padres, earlier this summer.
Casey Mize - Detroit Tigers - 1989 Top Prospect
Mize didn't stand out too much during his inaugural tour around the Major Leagues. The first overall pick in the 2018 Draft, had some moments of promise. With time, the walks will go down and the strikeouts will go up. He could be the ace that Detroit will need as they develop that team.
Sure would like to add a Mize autograph to my collection!
Dave Winfield - San Diego Padres - 1985
Forgot all about Winfield's mid-1970's mutton chops!
Pittsburgh Pirates - Decade’s Greatest
Watch out! Manny Sanguillen is about to eat a teammate!
Rich Hill - Minnesota Twins
I'm pretty sure Rich Hill has a card in 2020 Topps Series 2... Wearing a Photoshopped Twins jersey even. So they give him another Twins card in the Update set, but still had to Photoshop this one as well? Couldn't they get a photo of him pitching in 2020? He pitched fairly well at age 40.
Getting through this box is a real slog...
Trent Grisham - San Diego Padres
A non-Photoshopped Padres uniform! Hooray Topps! I guess I should cut them some slack on not getting as many updated photos this season. Nowhere near the usual number of photographers would have been allowed at games, to take these pictures.
All the more reason to not buy a Jumbo Box of 2021 Topps. I don't want to see bad Photoshoppery COMBINED with overly blurred cardboard cut-outs of the fake fans in the seats at each ballpark. Coming soon to a hobby store near you! Probably not at the Targets and Walmarts, as they are already setting up to sniped by prospectors and flippers.
Albert Pujols - St. Louis Cardinals
(Nice photo though!)
Dylan Carlson - St. Louis Cardinals - 1989 Top Prospect
Carlson didn't fare all that well during his 35 game audition with St. Louis. Like all of these other Top Prospects, losing a season of games will set all of them back.
Mark McGwire - Oakland Athletics - Decade’s Greatest
Yup... I guess...
Cal Ripken Jr. - Baltimore Orioles
Okay... Didn't need another Ripken card in the set, but it's a nice touch by Topps to list his position as "SS", after what played out in Cal's final All Star Game in 2001.
Eric Davis - Cincinnati Reds
Obscure pick, and I know the 1989 Home Run Derby wasn't televised.
Zach Wheeler - Philadelphia Phillies
I was kinda hoping Wheeler would have signed with Minnesota last year. But in the end, I'm happy with the moves they did make.
Yes, even Josh Donaldson...
C.J. Cron - Detroit Tigers
Eduardo Nunez - New York Mets
Here, a couple of former Twins demonstrate how hitters will lift their leg as the pitch is thrown, as a trigger mechanism. Certainly, Topps didn't plan these two cards on purpose. But if they did...
Speaking of something that I have to question Topps for doing... Why you printing the card backs all flippy-floppy? When I opened the first pack, I noticed the card backs were inconsistent. So I flipped all the base cards over and made the backs face right. Then I flipped them over and found that card fronts faced in all four directions. I already wasn't planning on putting the full set together, but this pretty much seals it. Going to look really stupid when nearly half the card backs face different directions, when placed in album pages.
Oh cool, I'm half way done with this!
Derek Jeter - New York Yankees - 20 Years
Remember Derek Jeter?
Wasn't he awesome?
Thurman Munson - New York Yankees - 1985
Thanks Thurman, for that rare example of Topps' Catcher Face!
Starlin Castro - Washington Nationals
I found this card really appealing to look at. The red of the Nationals up front. The Skull Crushing Teal of the Marlins behind. Picture taken in the first round of 2020 Spring Training, so it's not Photoshopped! There's actual fans there!
Starling Marte - Arizona Diamondbacks
I'm a sucker for tarp covered chain link fences on cards. Something that says: "There's a big buncha important baseball stuff going on back here, and you can't see any of it!" Another staple of Spring Training photography. Bonus points for a traded player wearing a new uniform.
Julio Teheran - Los Angeles Angels
This is starting to have a feel of those classic Topps Traded box sets.
I miss those.
Up next is part 2 of the guaranteed Hobby Jumbo Box hit:
Mike Trout - Los Angeles Angels - Major League Materials
This is actually the first Trout relic I've pulled. So that's cool. I even like the stray thread hanging off the side. It did come out of the pack like this. Now I need to pull a Trout autograph!
But it wont be from 2021 Topps!
Nate Pearson - Toronto Blue Jays - 1989 Top Prospect
Another top prospect that didn't fare so well in his first few Major League games. 13 walks in 18 innings needs work. And how disappointing it had to be for Pearson, shown here pitching for the AAA Buffalo Bisons. Who gets promoted to the Toronto Blue Jays... Who (thanks to Covid) are playing in... Buffalo.
Max Scherzer - Washington Nationals
Burning through another chunk of cards in the set, would be Active Leaders, 1 for each major statistical category. That way Topps gets to make another card of the same superstars I'm getting tired of seeing.
And I like Max Scherzer!
Kyle Gibson - Texas Rangers
Former average Twins pitcher's first card in a Photoshopped Rangers uniform.
Definitely one of 2020 Topps weaker efforts...
Alex Kirilloff - Minnesota Twins - 1989 Top Prospect
Cool, I was hoping to get this card!
Minnesota's first round draft pick (15th overall) in 2016. Kirilloff became only the 3rd player in the modern era to make his Major League debut in the postseason. He went 1 for 4 and made a nice sliding catch in right field. But the Twins still lost to the Astros...
Because of course they did.
Mike Trout - Los Angeles Angels
Well, we've all heard that Mike Trout is a good player, so prove it Topps!
Andrew McCutchen - Pittsburgh Pirates
McCutchen wearing the uniform of the Pirates just looks right. Sorry you had to leave Pittsburgh in order to get paid.
Jarrod Dyson - Pittsburgh Pirates
I keep saying Topps needs more variety in their base set photo choices. This Dyson image stands out. As did his 2019 Topps card, with an Arizona Diamondbacks press conference going on around him. Should have dug up that scan. It's a cool card. Trust me.
Todd Frazier - Texas Rangers - Foil
Oh yeah... There's foil parallels...
Pete Alonso - New York Mets - 1985
I don't see myself liking the 1986 Topps Anniversary Whatever cards that will be in 2021 Topps, nearly as much as I like these.
As I get deeper into the box, I'm really running out of cards that I even want to write about.
Javier Baez - Chicago Cubs
Guess I'll go with Baez's socks.
Dennis Eckersley - Oakland Athletics - Decade’s Best
The same Eckersley photo that's been used hundreds of times.
Curt Casalli - Cincinnati Reds
Needing to highlight a ninth card from this pack, a fielding catcher will always win.
Are we done yet?
Aaron Bummer - Chicago White Sox
My spirit animal in baseball card form.
I need a Bummer jersey!
Chris Owings - Antonio Senzatella - Colorado Rockies
Drew Butera - Phillip Diehl - Colorado Rockies
Some more Rockies...
Alex Avila - Minnesota Twins
Twins back up catcher...
MacKenzie Gore - San Diego Padres - 1989 Top Prospect
Prime Padres Pitching Prospect... Profound Potential... Perfect Piano Pachyderm Pissing Pasta... Pasty Purple Pomegranate Poisoned Puppy Placenta... Painted Petey Pointy Poppy Penicillan...
Randy Arozarena -Tampa Bay Rays - Gold
Hey! Here's something to get excited about! A gold parallel of the set's top rookie card!
Serial numbered 1273/2020. So I can't be too excited about it.
There are still 2019 of them still out there...
Bartolo Colon - New York Mets
I'm still angry at Topps for denying me a Bartolo Colon Twins card, in the 2017 Topps Update set. I understand that Aaron Judge needed 23 of the 300 cards to cover how amazing he was, but Colon deserved one of those. And the former Montreal Expo needs to have a Twins card. Not just the logoless Panini Chronicles card with a generic blue jersey and "Minnesota" gold foil stamped on the bottom. It's something, but you dropped the ball Topps.
And this weird "Free Agent" card just doesn't cut it either.
Hey! We're getting toward the end!
Mookie Betts - Los Angeles Dodgers - 1985
Now appearing at the neighborhood park near you!
Clayton Kershaw - Los Angeles Dodgers
This set is even making me disinterested in players that I actually like.
Kris Bryant - Chicago Cubs
Okay... I don't like Kris Bryant. And this card isn't helping...
And another thing, I've now gone through most of this box and seen pretty much every card in the set. Why did Topps choose to ignore the Twins on all of these redundant and pointless All Star cards? Couldn't they toss out a Joe Mauer instead of one of the David Ortiz cards?
I wouldn't even mind if they put a low-res Snoopy on it...
Kendall Graveman - Seattle Mariners
Feels like Graveman has been bouncing around forever. Doing just enough to keep getting Major League jobs, but not enough to establish himself as a key player on any staff.
Kenyan Middleton - Los Angeles Angels - Foil
The most attractive Foil parallel I got from the Hobby Jumbo Box, and the scanner cooperated with making it look extra super good. Middleton was let go by the Angels after the season, and signed with Seattle. Where he'll be teammates with Graveman, if he sticks there into 2021.
Ian Miller - Chicago Cubs
Continuing the "links to the Mariners" thread this pack had going, we have a rookie card of Ian Miller. An aging Seattle Mariners prospect, Miller was traded to the Minnesota Twins in the summer of 2019. Adding speed and depth to the contending Twins depleted outfield. (Due to the inevitable Byron Buxton injury). Miller played in 12 games for Minnesota, then was let go at the end of 2019. The Cubs picked him up for 2020. He only played in 1 game for Chicago during the 2020 season, but re-signed for 2021.
Daulton Varsho - Arizona Diamondbacks - 1989 Top Prospect
The son of former Chicago Cub, Gary Varsho. Daulton plays the rare combination of both center field and catcher, logging significant time at both positions during his rookie season with the D-Bags.
Francisco Cervelli - Miami Marlins
Since the rest of the pack was so underwhelming, we'll just show the Marlins skull crushing teal jerseys again.
But my main concern about 2020 Topps Update boils down to one simple thing... Is Derek Jeter still worth adding another card to the set? We wouldn’t want him to feel ignored by Topps!
People might forget about him!
Derek Jeter - New York Yankees - 20 Years of the Captain
Fear not! Even though he hasn’t played in a game since 2014, Jeter gets his own 20 card insert set to recognize that he played in the Major Leagues for 20 years!
Derek Jeter - New York Yankees - Fake Bullshit Relic
But why stop there? Let’s make a bunch of commemorative patches of Derek Jeter, then throw those into the box as a "hit". Because everybody knows that if you collect Topps, you want more Derek Jeter cards.
Did you hear that Jeter was voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame? Of course he was! That’s why he gets another 22,222 cards in a set released more than five years after his last game!
Unfortunately, Topps never bothered to remember that Jeter wasn’t the only former player nominated to the Hall of Fame this year. Did Larry Walker get any fake commemorative patch cards? Did Larry Walker get his own 20 card insert set? No. Because Topps thinks that collectors only care about great players who were Yankees. Great players who were career Expos and Rockies stars don’t count for Topps.
After first being indifferent to most of it, seeing all this unnecessary Jeter was starting to piss me off. I’ve only got one pack left to open, but I need a palate cleanser...
On the same day that I picked up the box from the card store, I added a new single from an older Topps Update set:
2013 Topps Update - Nolan Arenado - Emerald Green parallel
I only had the base Arenado rookie card before, and it was locked away in a box with the rest of the set. So picking up this variant was a nice surprise. Back in 2013, the Topps Update set was a little less bloated and ridiculous. I didn’t mind the endless parallels back then because they gave you additional cards to collect of your team. Which is a better use of their resources rather than adding another 10 cards of the same guy (who probably plays for the Yankees).
Baseball card collectors are not all just collectors of Yankees cards...
Hey “Fire Jeff Bridich” sign, how do you feel about this awesome card of your disrespected best player?
Wow! It’s like we’re both thinking the exact same thing!
Let’s finish this!
Ichiro Suzuki - Seattle Mariners
Well, I don’t ever get tired of Ichiro cards. And the 2001 All Star Game was a lot of fun.
Pedro Martinez - Boston Red Sox
You’ve honored the long neglected Boston Red Sox enough in this set. Couldn’t you have made this unneeded Pedro Martinez All Star Game card, show him as a Montreal Expo? With all the pointless padding in this set, couldn’t you make something interesting with it?
So I guess I’ll show what the Expos became!
Bryce Harper - Washington Nationals
I do like Harper’s Washington DC themed socks…
You know, something I could’ve written instead of this terrible box break, should have been my exterior photo tour of the Washington Nationals first home park, from 2005-2007:
RFK Stadium, Washington DC
When Laura and I were in Washington DC last year, one of my top photo targets was RFK Stadium. Slated to be demolished soon, there were few actual events scheduled to take place here before it permanently closed. The planned demolition of this massive stadium has likely been delayed by the Covid epidemic, as it was supposed to have been torn down by now. As far as I know it’s still standing, but likely closed for good today.
On our way out of the nation’s capital, we stopped by former home of DC United, the Washington (not) Redskins and Washington Senators. I walked around the entire perimeter of the venue, taking as many pictures as I could. Getting a few glimpses inside at the seating bowl, playing field and some ancient looking concession stands. It was awesome!
Writing that story would have probably been more interesting than opening this box...
Tom Seaver - New York Mets - Decade’s Best
Now that we're 40-50 years away from the 1970's, it's inevitable that these icons of baseball will start passing on. We lost Tom Seaver in 2020, amongst many other notable Hall of Famers. Including Lou Brock, Whitey Ford, Bob Gibson, Al Kaline, and Joe Morgan, adding Phil Niekro, just the other day. I like this card, but it's just another reminder of how depressing 2020 (and Topps) has been.
Ethan Small - Milwaukee Brewers - 1989 Top Prospect
From the past to the future (of Milwaukee). Where in the present, his name needs to be centered...
You know, I like this Top Prospect insert set. But imagine if MLB would allow Topps to add the current year's First Round Draft picks to the annual Update set? Now that it's a televised event, it seems to be more a part of the season than when it was just a back room secret, broadcast only via press release. The idea is so simple that even Topps couldn't screw it up...
30 insert cards. Each team's first pick.
Of course autographs...
Just imagine what that would be like in the hobby...
Jairo Diaz - Colorado Rockies
Diaz has been around the Rockies for bits of seasons dating back to 2015. And just like the Rockies, he's only had brief periods of not being well below average.
Sean Poppen - Minnesota Twins
I'm glad I don't have to watch baseball on ESPN anymore. I don't think I could take Chris Berman (is he still there?) smugly yelling about Poppen-Fresh during nightly highlight packages.
Bo Bichette - Toronto Blue Jays
Okay, last card!!!
Jose Iglasias - Baltimore Orioles
I saved something positive for last. A photo that I really like! Great Spring Training posed shot of a free agent signing by the Orioles. Topps could have earned some bonus point with me if they would have stashed that stupid series of angled rectangles BEHIND Iglasias's bat... Despite a decent season, Baltimore flipped him to the Angels for a couple low-level prospects, a few weeks ago.
Each 2020 Topps Update Hobby Jumbo boxes, come with two "Silver Packs" of 4 cards. Since these are Chromey Refractory versions of 1985 Topps, which I've already said I liked, so I'm looking forward to these. In fact, had Topps made a Hobby Jumbo Box of just these cards, I'd probably like it more than 2020 Topps Update.
Sorry Topps, I wont be partaking next year... I'll be more than happy to just pick up the Chromey Refractory versions of 1986 Topps, which I don't like nearly as much as 1985 (or 1984 and 1984) Topps, as individual singles. I'm not paying these prices for a card that looks like this...
But that's next year.
Let's see what the 2020 Topps Update Silver Packs brought me for this round...
Roger Clemens - Boston Red Sox
Not a good start... Although it's a nice twist on his well known 1985 Topps rookie card.
Tony Gonsolin - Los Angeles Dodgers
Sick of the Dodgers.
So very sick of the Dodgers..
Seth Brown - Oakland Athletics
I like how the parquetflooringfractor effect looks over the muted image of (whatever they're calling) Oakland Alameda County Stadium's dugout bench.
What do you think Rob?
Well I say tear that dump down and build that weird looking greenhouse stadium thing by the bay.
Rangel Ravelo - St. Louis Cardinals
After the 2020 season, St. Louis non-tendered Ravelo. Which brings to mind this question; why waste nice cards on older fringe prospects? Fully understand (and encourage) this for padding out the base set. But save the Chromey Refractory stuff for more stars from underrepresented teams. Not that we need more Kansas City Royals, but a former star would be more fitting than a AAA journeyman.
Hyun Jin Ryu - Toronto Blue Jays
Another great combination of photo and parquetflooringfractor pattern.
Ronald Acuna Jr. - Atlanta Braves
I wish Acuna Jr. played for a different team so I could like him. He'd look great in Colorado, but a certain guy who runs the team would probably just ruin him...
That's not a bad idea "Fire Jeff Bridich Sign"...
Luis Robert - Chicago White Sox
Not seeming to have much of a problem in pulling nice Luis Robert rookie cards.
Though an autograph eluded me in 2020.
Derek Jeter - New York Yankees
Wow! Never seen this guy before!
Christ on a bun...
2020 Topps Update...
This did very little to change my overall underwhelming opinion of 2020 Topps. I disliked the design and found the photos washed out and completely lacking pop. The colors were sharper in 2019, and those pale to the beautiful 2018 Topps set.
I still have yet to sort any of the 2020 Topps set. With three Jumbo boxes, plus extra stragglers, I've probably got the entire three series set sitting in several boxes in my card room. I may go through the effort of putting it together at some point. But I'll likely strip them for stars, album those and then forget this set was ever printed. While I don't hate it as much as 2008 Topps, or their run from 1993-1999, I just don't want to see it anymore this year!
For 2020 cards, I only wrote dedicated posts to Bowman, Heritage, Panini Stars & Stripes and the three Topps flagship sets. So what did I think of all the other 2020 baseball releases?
As in I'll be counting down my Top Whatever Favorite baseball card releases of 2020. All brands are eligible, so long as I bought at least one pack of the product.
Since the hobby was WAAAAAAAYYY different this year than it has been in the past, tune in to find out what I thought of everything I bought this year!
I promise that it will be finished before 2022!