03 November 2013

Pack of the Day 40: 2013 Topps Update Hobby Box Break

I ordered a box of 2013 Topps Update along with some other stuff from Blowout Cards, who had pretty good deals on the three boxes of product I ordered, coming in at about $10/box cheaper than Dave and Adam's in this case. But here we are just going to talk about one of the boxes I bought, which is Topps Update. First up are the base cards. In usual fashion for 2013, there were no doubles among the base cards.

Base Cards - 310 / 330 - 93.94%

Doubles - 0

Here are a few of the base card I enjoyed seeing as I flipped through the set. McCutchen's got a nice look going on there (and his uniform is dirty! I thought the All-Star Game was an exhibition game! You're not supposed to play hard at an exhibition game! Just ask the NFL!), and the mustaches of Villanueva and Chamberlain are both epic in different ways. Villanueva's 'stache has got some flair to it with the twisted ends and that goatee-thing sprouting beneath it, and Chamberlain's lip tickler gets high marks for coverage and sleaze factor.

Jaso and Elmore get included for their brightly-colored uniforms, as well as the orangey shine of Elmore's sunglasses. 

And finally we have a few horizontal action shots, with my favorite being the look on Delmon Young's face as he chases that ball down.

1971 Minis - 9 - Justin Upton, Justin Verlander, Mariano Rivera, Mike Schmidt, David Ortiz, Robinson Cano, David Wright, Giancarlo Stanton, Don Mattingly
I like these minis more than I do the 1972 ones, but I do wonder why they didn't carry the 1972 minis all the way through the 2013 line. To me it would make sense to do like they did with the Chasing History set, and carry the same design across products. But I like these. I am thinking about putting the set together, but I have so many sets going right now that I don't even want to get into it.

Making Their Mark - 6 - Marcell Ozuna, Wei-Yen Chen, Carlos Martinez, Shelby Miller, Wil Myers, Patrick Corbin

This set features key moments in a younger player's career. I guess it's an all right way to feature up-and-comers with some actual trivia. All of the usual suspects seem to be included in this set.

Chasing History - 9 - Matt Harvey, Bret Saberhagen, Nomar Garciaparra, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Ted Williams, Jose Fernandez, Wil Myers, Johnny Podres

It looks like these are all horizontally-oriented rather than the mixture of horizontal and vertical seen in the previous iterations of this set. I like the horizontal configuration much better, as the side banner is a little too dominating in the vertical cards. Some of the history being chased seems a little silly, but if you're going to include guys who are mostly trading on potential right now, you have to induce some wiggle to come up with your card text. Looking at the scan, it really bothers me that the ribbon on the bottom of the card doesn't match up width-wise with the ribbon on the top.

Postseason Heroes - 5 - Mariano Rivera, David Wright, Reggie Jackson, Nolan Ryan, Bret Saberhagen

This is a pretty good set to include in an Update Series that releases during the playoffs. My favorite here, of course, is the Nolan Ryan. The set highlights players who distinguished themselves in some way during postseason play.

Franchise Forerunners - 4 - Hyun-Jin Ryu/Sandy Koufax, Gerrit Cole/Andrew McCutchen, Wil Myers/Evan Longoria, Shelby Miller/Bob Gibson

This set pairs a young player with a veteran or retired player from the same team and talks about their common attributes or ability to aid the team in winning games. Prior to opening this box, I had pulled three copies of the Manny Machado/Cal Ripken Jr. card and none of the others. I guess the design is all right, but the player selection is a little silly. I think they should stick to either pairing the rookies with retired players OR current teammates rather than a mix of the two. With a name including the word 'forerunners' I would lean toward retired players, although in the case of these cards you could make a case for a couple of current Dodgers and Cardinals who could match up well with Ryu and Miller.

Gold Parallels - 6 - Luis Valbuena, Bryan Shaw, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Wilson Betemit, Boone Logan, Charlie Morton

Nothing too exciting going on here.

Emerald Parallels - 6 - Jason Giambi, Ryan Kalish, David Phelps, Erasmo Ramirez, Russell Martin, Erik Bedard

Same here. Nothing very exciting.

All-Star Stitches Event-Worn Workout Jersey Relic - 1 - Joe Mauer

Each box promises an autograph or relic card. This is the one I got. As far as relic cards go I think it looks pretty nice, but I don't have much use for it.

Short Print Photo Variation - 1 - Yoenis Cespedes

I think there are actually two short-print variations of Cespedes' #7 card in this set, a solo version and a Home Run Derby lineup version. I pulled the Home Run Derby card, which shows him standing with Prince Fielder, Chris Davis, and Robinson Cano. Reportedly the short-print photo variations fall about 8 per 12-box case, or one in every 1.5 boxes. I like the photo variation, so this is pretty cool, but not as cool as...

Super-Short-Print Photo Variation - 1 - Yasiel Puig

These variations fall about 1 in every 2 cases. I had already pulled one or two of the regular version of Puig's card, so once I checked the number on the back I knew it was a photo variation and not a subset card of some kind. A check of the Cardboard Connection Short-Print Visual Guide told me that I had pulled the Super-Short-Print version and a check of eBay told me that this card was selling in the $100-110 range, so I threw mine into a toploader, scanned it, and put it up on eBay for 7 days to see what would happen.

There was one other copy of this card that sold a day or two before mine ended that went for $86, which is pretty normal for a newly-released set as a couple of weeks go by. More copies of each card become available and prices drop. When I left work on the day my auction ended, the card had climbed up to $44 and stuck there for a few hours. When I got home I forgot about it for a little while as I got distracted by my family. I checked back in about an hour before it ended and bidding had gone up to $157.50! No one else bid after that, so $157.50 was the final total, nearly twice what the previous copy had sold for.

It's a nice card, but I have no real attachment to Puig's cards. Maybe he will go on to have a spectacular Hall of Fame career, but right now people are paying for numbers he hasn't produced yet, and if I can convert that furor into a whole pile of cards that I really want then I am happy to do it.

Aside from the big Puig hit, this box delivers about the same as any other Topps base product. Good collation, a buttload of relatively lackluster inserts, retro minis, and some colored parallels.


  1. I'd be interested in the Mauer jersey if you want to make a trade.

    1. It is yours. I am in an allergy medication (run-in with the in-laws' cat) and homework-induced haze right now, so the details of the trade will have to wait until another time.