Thursday, September 11, 2014

2002 Topps #349: '01 A.L. West Division Champs

2014 Topps Checklist Set

Now, here's a post that typically doesn't get much attention: checklist cards.  Topps has been manufacturing their checklist sets in roughly the same 10-card format since 2009.  The card fronts typically highlight some player achievement from the previous season, while the card backs feature a portion of the base set checklist.  This 10-card subset serves as the back of my set binder until the Traded/Update set is released.  This year's Series 1 checklist set features 5 cards: #47 C.Davis, #149 M.Cabrera, #253 T.Helton, #132 H.Alvarez, and #321 M.Rivera.

This year's Series 2 checklist set features 5 cards:  #364 M.Trout, #390 B.Harper, #478 B.Hamilton, #499 C.Kimbrel, and #552 Y.Puig. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014 Topps Baseball Card Factory Set

While moving cross-country from one coast to another, I stopped somewhere in the middle to pick up this year's edition of the Topps baseball card set.  In the store I entered, there was a choice among three different factory sets available for the same price: Blue retail box, Purple Koufax box, or All-Star box.  On August 18th, I purchased the Koufax factory edition: finding the '58T Koufax Chrome Refractor Reprint and the standard 5-card pack of rookie variations inside. 
Besides the individual packs of Topps base cards that I purchase of each series every year to collect the wrappers, the factory set acquisition marked the start of my 2014 Topps baseball card collection.  I realize that for most people, the 2014 Topps set is probably old news.  For me, it is all brand new.
Having initially moved to the Seattle area during the first year that they hosted the All-Star game in 1979, I was probably always destined to become a Mariners fan--especially since we were both born during the same year.  

After 30 years of traveling around the country, I may finally be back to the Pacific Northwest area to stay.  That means reacquainting myself with the Mariners team.  

Of course, I was always sure to make a Baltimore Orioles game when the M's were in town, but over the past few years, I had become somewhat of a regular in attendance at the Nationals ballpark.  I'm certainly going to miss watching the Nats as they go into the playoffs this year, but I have also grown accustomed to the painful process of reluctantly having to adopt a new team every time I moved to another part of the country. 

This time, I will do so with open arms.  This is where I'm from.  This is my team. 

Since the 2014 season is still in progress, organizing my set by team win percentage becomes a difficult task.  This is actually the fun part, since I can place my favorite teams in the front of the binder until they are mathematically eliminated from playoff hopes. 

Right now, the front of my binder has the Mariners, Nationals, and Royals.  Deciding between either the Giants or Dodgers next has been difficult.