Wednesday, February 28, 2024

more 24 to adore?

i mentioned in my first post about 2024 topps series 1 that i had a hobby box on the way. it showed up and i opened it up early last week. i was out of town in texas when it arrived, and it just so happened that i also bought a blaster of the stuff while i was away. the cards are all mixed up between the box and the blaster now, but here we go with my second look at 2024 topps.

my first purchase didn't yield any elly delacruz cards, but in one of the first packs from the box i found a 1989 insert 
of the reds' number 44.  the first 1989 insert that i found, however, was clayton kershaw's
so there's my first kershaw of 2024. i was hoping it was a good omen for the rest of the box, and what i found in the last pack made me think that it might have been. that last pack included jackie robinson's 1989 insert in black parallel form
these are still numbered to 299
this might be the first card that i've noticed i have number 123 in the print run.

another dodger parallel that i found (this one in the blaster) was brusdar graterol's holiday foil card
but let's not forget about the base. between the box and blaster i was able to almost complete my dodger team set. here are tony gonsolin
fredeie freeman on a league leader card
bobby miller, freeman, and emmet sheehan
and the dodger team card
what i didn't find was mookie betts' base card (anyone have a double)?

i like the dodger team card because we get to see a couple of the bat boys plus mark prior makes his return to cardboard. the dodgers' ssp golden mirror team card shows a scene from jackie robinson day, as does at least one other team (the guardians, i think), but the tigers are shown wearing number 42 on their regular old base team card
i was very happy to see this and add it to my 42 collection.

one of the tigers there on that card is miguel cabrera who also got a base card this year, thankfully
i like the image of cabrera waving his cap in acknowledgement of his pending retirement, but why include the two cameramen on the card? he raised his cap in every ballpark he went to last year i am sure. just an odd photo choice in my opinion, or at the least an odd cropping choice.

at least the back has his full career stats
like a final tribute card should. it's nice of topps to include 1b as his position on this card, although he played only one-third of an inning there last year (in his final game). i would have liked an image from that game where he made the putout unassisted before exiting and recognizing the detroit crowd as his career came to an end.

the bigger series 1 set this year means that i don't have to wait for series 2 to get my hands on card number 350 for my flagship 350 collection. this year, matt olson
gets the spot on the checklist
i am glad it wasn't another astro.

my other flagship minicollection is just a representative card, and this year i chose julio rodriguez
to fill that spot. i pulled the rodriguez base in my first blaster and found no additional ones in any of my later purchases.

i am happy to see that the twins plan to redeploy byron buxton in centerfield this year. he remains my favorite non-dodger, and i've put his 2024 topps card
in that minicollection already. i was not sure what to do about my favorite dodger for this year, but now that kershaw has signed with the club i will be able keep him in that slot and hope he is able to get back on the field later this summer.

i found two home run challenge cards - buxton
and bryce harper (not shown), and my twins success continued with the lone royal blue parallel i've found in either of my blasters
jordan balazovic is a 6'5" canadian pitcher who just recently cleared waivers and was sent to the twins' triple-a club in st. paul.

i also found a gold parallel of twin (now former twin) jorge polanco, but i suppose my real luck has been with the orioles. i pulled a vintage stock throwback card of jordan westburg
that i like very much. i think the removal of the neon treatment and addition of the black bar at the bottom is a nice touch with these, and the design stands pretty well on its own. perhaps the team name is a bit awkward but otherwise i really like how thoughtful topps was here. here's the back
good ol' gray cardboard!

less interesting is westburg's 1989 insert
but his was the only autograph
that came from my hobby box. i am not a fan of sticker autos but i understand why they exist.

the biggest oriole hit, however, came from the texas-purchased blaster, and it was this jorge mateo card
that is his golden mirror ssp. here's the back
which is the giveaway to these things. i actually think his regular base card
is better, so i'm glad topps chose the better photo for the more common card.

one of the other 1989 cards i found was that of curtis mead
which gave me a chance to see what rays cards might have looked 35 years ago.

more stars of mlb from my retail purchase, and it seems to me that there is a higher rookie content in this insert set than last year. here's tyler soderstrom
with the vida blue memorial patch visible, and here he is again on a hobby box exclusive gold foil parallel
i hope the a's keep the kelly green uniforms wherever they wind up.

the hobby box came with two silver pack packs. here's what was in the first one
a mix of old and young there. the second pack was all hall of famers
including birthday buddies frank thomas and jeff bagwell.

the second hit of my box was a plain white swatch of bobby witt jr
and the third was a city connect swatch of eury perez
could be worse.

topps was able to sneak elly onto a base card other than his rookie card - this checklist
that also features matt mclain and bally sports guy jim day, but i was happy to also get one of his actual rookie cards
i also pulled one of jasson dominguez
interesting that on the backs
dominguez is mentioned in the same sentence as shelley duncan, while delacruz gets the mick.

one more card for the post - elly delacruz' blueprints insert
there was a time when i would have chased this insert set, but not now. still, i can smell the ammonia!

ok, bring on heritage and series 2!


  1. I didn't even notice the Mark Prior cameo on that Dodgers team card - makes an already excellent photo even better!

  2. Congratulations on pulling that numbered Jackie! Pretty cool that it was pulled by a Dodgers fan. And I sure hope the A's keep the kelly green jerseys too.