|Yes, this is a scan of a regular pack and not a rack pack. I'll probably reuse this picture when I get around to talking about the cards in the regular pack, too.|
I went to Target this evening to get some 2014 Topps Series 1. As I got there, the Target worker was still stocking the new cards, so I wandered around for a while and when I came back to the card aisle, I found fresh 2014 cards all over. I took the first two packs off the top of the new box of 12-card packs, I grabbed the first hanger box from the display, and I snatched the first rack pack off of the hook. I'll look through the rack pack first. The first batch of base cards don't turn up anything too crazy, although we see the Rookie Cup make an appearance on Matt Adams' card and Kyle Lohse is sporting a pretty nice cap on his card. Andrelton Simmons gets the 'Future Stars' tag over the top of his swoopy foil accent.
Here in the top row we get a couple of pitchers conversing with catchers, while the rest of this 9-card scan features some rather vanilla fare. None of these cards really stands out, although the Rookie Cup makes another appearance and we get to see the first 'RC' shield of the pack. I didn't plan the synchronized posing of Frieri and Johnson, but it worked out nicely. My son picked the Diamondbacks as his baseball team, so some of my Arizona cards will probably find their way into his card collection.
Here I got my first Astro of the day, along with a Hyun-Jin Ryu card. Chris Young gets a high-five shot, and it seems like Oakland gets a lot of good oddball photography in this series, as we will soon see.
I would pull most of these horizontal cards again in the hanger box. That was a little disappointing, but it is still early in the year and I will have plenty of opportunity to pull doubles of the vertical cards as well.
Sean Doolittle gets quite a card in this set. I have already seen two copies of this card on eBay, so I can be fairly certain that it is not a SP/SSP photo variation. I hope no one pays the $190 that one joker is asking for this card on eBay at the moment, calling it a possible SSP. I've seen quite a bit of photography in this set that would have been SP/SSPs in the last few series, so I'm sure there is some theme out there that will reveal itself as the case breakers dig into the product. I got a couple of inserts in the pack. One is the standard Gold parallel of Corey Kluber, numbered out of # / 2014. Jay Bruce gets the Lime Green parallel. Bo Jackson showed up in two packs for me this evening, and this Upper Class insert was one of them. This coming after I pretty much said I wouldn't be chasing many of his cards this year. Hyun-Jin Ryu makes his second appearance of the pack, this time in a The Future is Now insert, which someone else described as having a Gypsy Queen-like filter applied to the photograph. Don Mattingly's sweet lip tickler gets highlighted in a 50 Years of the Draft insert, and allows the rest of him to appear on the card, too.
And here's how 2014 stacks up next to the last couple years of Topps flagship. It definitely has more of a 'Bowman' feel to it than the 2012 and 2013 offerings, which probably comes mostly from that cutout along the right side.
For the most part the back of the cards feel similar, although the card numbers are getting progressively smaller and more difficult to read. Each card back features a Rookie Fact, telling us something that happened during the player's first year in the league. One other addition this year is the inclusion of WAR as a statistical category.
It was exciting to get my hands on some of these cards, but I probably am not going to run out and grab a million more of them. I do have that Hobby box on preorder, and that will just about complete my set. It was pretty fun to bust open the new year's cards. I can't wait for 2015 Topps Series 1!
Oh yeah, this guy gets a card in the set, with complete career stats on the back. All the purple on the crowd in the background complements his uniform nicely. He didn't come from the rack pack, but I am not posting all of the cards I got. I want to save some of the gems for others to discover. I may buy cards before the official release date, but I'm not going to be too greedy about revealing everything all at once.