It's time for my 2017 Topps Hobby Box to make its curtain call. I'm down to the final nine packs, and we still have a hit in there. I love it when I break a box and the hit comes toward the end. The excitement stays around a little bit longer. In this particular break, the hit came in pack #33 of 36. What was it? I'll reveal that later. First let's take a look at the best base cards of this round.
I haven't done the 30 Day Challenge set out by Tony at Off-Hiatus. I just don't post enough to keep up with it. But Day 1 was a card from the current year that you like the photo. I think this would be my choice. I love the angle of the photography that makes Hahn look larger than life and the blue sky in the background. It looks like a perfect day for baseball.
My other favorite base cards feature a trio of slick-fielding infielders and a great play at the plate. I'm still not used to identifying Lucroy as a Ranger, but it's a great card, nevertheless.
My lone 1987 insert of the final nine is a good prospect card: Alex Bregman. Bregman hasn't torn the league up at the Major League level, but his career OPS in the minors was .891. Not too shabby. I think he'll be a great player someday.
One more First Pitch card, and it's a pretty good one. It's at least somebody that I've heard of. Shatner looks pretty good for an octogenarian on the mound here.
My final 5-Tool card is Kyle Seager. Of the Seager brothers, I like Kyle more than I like Corey. I think it's an underdog mentality. Corey was expected to be a star from the beginning, while Kyle has quietly become one of the top third basemen in the league. I don't think I remember a time in my lifetime when third base was so stacked with talent throughout the league. Bryant, Arenado, Seager, Donaldson, Machado, Beltre. And if the aforementioned Bregman pans out, we can see there is still some elite talent in the pipeline.
Two more Then & Now cards. I don't have much to say about these.
More Topps Salute. Hammel is definitely a keeper for me. Benintendi is also a keeper, just because I think there is a good chance I'll be adding him to my ROY collection this year. I was certainly impressed with him against the Cubs this past weekend. The Braves blue Father's Day uniform looks pretty cool, I think. Some solid cards here.
I "rediscovered" 1989 Topps here. With a Cardinal. I'm overjoyed. I'm setting this card aside for Cards on Cards unless Kerry indicates he doesn't want it.
My final ad reprint is a pretty good one. I will probably never own the original of this iconic card, so I will keep this one in my collection.
And now for the one promised hit in my box. I have to admit, one of the reasons I broke down for hobby box of flagship is the sheer number Cubs hits available. I figured if I could build the set and have a good chance to pick up a good Cubs hit, I would be happy. So, what did I score?
A Dustin Pedroia relic. Not too bad, I have to say. This card presents a bit of a dilemma for me, though. I collect Pedroia as a former ROY, but I'm not too into relics unless they are from my team or a player that I really love to collect. Pedroia is neither. So do I keep this or pass it on to someone who will appreciate it more? Right now I'm leaning toward keeping this one. Who knows, maybe someday it will become trade bait, but I think for now it stays with me. It's not everyday that I get one promised hit from a box and that one hit actually does have a spot in my collection.
I've already put these cards in my Trading Card Database and have a couple of trades in the works.
After the trades, I have 329/350 Series 1 cards, good for 94%. Here is my need list: 41, 66, 84, 100, 108, 126, 135, 181, 219, 225, 241, 242, 245, 250, 268, 280, 289, 297, 311, 330.
Some of the inserts have been traded, but here are the ones I still have available for trade bait:
1987: Yu Darvish
Bowman Then & Now: Manny Machado, Robinson Cano
First Pitch: Leslie Jordan (Nationals), Lou Ferrigno (White Sox)
Gold: Teoscar Hernandez
MLB Network: Lauren Shehadi
Negative: Chad Pinder
Rainbow Foil: Jordan Zimmerman, Scooter Gennett, Noah Syndergaard
Salute: Noah Syndergaard, Andrew McCutchen
Buybacks: Jose DeLeon (1989), Yankees Team Leaders (1987), Juan Nieves (1989), Jeff Musselman (1989), Charlie Hayes (1993), Mets Future Stars-Juan Berenguer, Hubie Brooks, Mookie Wilson (1981)
If you have any of those cards on my wantlist, or if you want one of the inserts I have available, let me know.