I recently bought a full set of Topps Marketside Pizza Baseball cards from an eBay seller. I had considered chasing the set through buying pizza and breadsticks, but my wife said the pizza isn't that great and I'd be better off just buying the set online. It's not often that she encourages me to buy things online, so I waited for the right listing to pop up. The seller included a couple of unopened packs of cards along with the set, so I thought I'd open them up for a blog post. Each pack has three cards from the 50-card set as well as two coupons for Topps products and a code for a Topps Bunt pack.
My first pack features Albert Pujols, the Phillie Phanatic, and Ryan Braun. I've never been much of a Pujols fan, although he is obviously a great player on the downhill side of his career. I just never had any real interest in the teams he's played for. He did have a cool moment at last year's Home Run Derby with Joc Pederson's brother, Champ Pederson, who has Down syndrome. Pujols has a daughter with Down syndrome, and his Pujols Family Foundation does a lot of work to help people with Down syndrome and their families.
The Phillie Phanatic is one of the more famous mascots in baseball. I went to a Phillies game last month and I found the Phanatic's antics pretty entertaining.
Ryan Braun is one of those players whose cards seem to follow me around everywhere. I don't collect his cards and I don't really want his cards, but it seems like every batch of packs I open has him in it. He's got the whole steroid thing going on, and he also designed his own line of clothes for the Affliction Clothing brand. That is practically unforgivable. I am not sure what to say about the steroid / PED thing. I think cheating is wrong, and I think PEDs are cheating, but some players I give a bit of a pass to (Bartolo Colon) while other players I don't (Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun). I don't know exactly why, but I realize I am inconsistent when it comes to holding PED use / allegations against a player.
The second pack was okay, with Troy Tulowitzki, Adam Jones, and Todd Frazier. Troy Tulowitzki is a guy I am kind of indifferent about. He's a great player who seems to be injured a lot, but that's about it as far as my impressions of him. He recently hit his 200th home run, as did the next guy in the pack, Adam Jones.
Adam Jones is also a pretty good player. I've had him on quite a few fantasy baseball teams. He's kind of tailed off a little as a fantasy pick lately, because his power and average have shrunk a bit and he doesn't steal bases much anymore. His sweet spot in fantasy was probably 2012-2014.
Todd Frazier is about 8- home runs shy of these other two guys, but he might catch them eventually. He's got plenty of power. It's kind of weird that he's with the White Sox now. That hadn't registered with me until I looked at his Baseball Reference page today.
These two packs didn't really yield the greatest pulls in the world, but they were a nice toss-in with the complete set I purchased. It was fun to open them, and I didn't have to figure out what to do with a bunch of frozen pizzas.