14 June 2014

Pack of the Day 73: The 3rd Box of 2014 Topps Archives

Here is the third (and probably final) box of 2014 Topps Archives I opened up. On my first trip to the local hobby shop I bought two of the remaining three boxes they had in stock. The prices online just kept going up, so I went back and bought the local last box.

I had a complete base set after the first two boxes were opened, so the base cards from this box were all doubles and triples. I don't have much more that I can say about the set, I suppose. I really should have scanned the Don Mattingly card, as that is the one card in the set that really stands out for me. Not in a good way, though, as it seems like Topps found the lowest-resolution photo they could of him, then blew it up and put it on a baseball card. There always seems to be at least one awful fuzzy pixelated card in Topps sets, and this time the victim was Mattingly (and me, the consumer).

I've spent some time this season going back and forth on whether or not to subscribe to MLB.TV, the streaming service that MLB sells so you can watch games on your computer. This week in honor of Father's Day they reduced the price from $100 to $50 to get the service for the rest of the season. I'm not sure how long the sale lasts, but it seems like a pretty good deal. They usually offer one free game per day so you can try it out before you buy it. I've been trying to catch a couple of the free games per week, but the free game of the day isn't always at the most convenient time of day for watching baseball or a game between teams that I care about. Anyway, at $100 I wasn't sure the value was there for me, but at $50 I will probably get my money's worth out of the service. Did I get my money's worth out of this box of cards? Let's see.

I got some decent SPs out of the box, including last season's big money guy, Yasiel Puig. Too bad he's not named Jose Abreu or Masahiro Tanaka this year, as those are the hot players of this year. I think my favorite part of this group is the splash of color provided by Andrew McCutchen's sunglasses. I think I mentioned this last time I posted about Archives, but it kind of bothers me that all the star players made the SP list, because it really waters down the parallels, which only track the first 200 cards in the set. I'm not saying I really want to track down Puig, Abreu, and Tanaka Gold cards for the set I'm working on, but they would certainly be pretty cool cards to have. It felt like a big accomplishment last year when I finally added Bryce Harper and Mike Trout to my set. This year there really isn't someone like that in the set. Maybe Derek Jeter qualifies, but I was able to get his Gold card as part of a Yankees lot someone was selling and it didn't cost me a huge amount.

I got a decent selection of All-Star cards in the box, although it's kind of a given that this subset will have bigger names in it. Billy Butler isn't having the greatest year ever, kind of a running theme with Kansas City batters.

The usual 5 Deckle Edge cards came out of the box. I'm still not a huge fan of this design, but I am a fan of Verlander being pictured in his jacket. That's pretty cool.

The box yielded four Gold parallels numbered out of # / 199, with one from each of the card designs used in the set. I think I have since added doubles of most of these cards in my chase for a complete set, as buying big lots is often the most cost-effective way of filling out a set, even after accounting for duplication. In theory the duplicates can even be sold later to recoup some of the cost. The only one I'm not sure I have doubles of is the Carew. I could check but that would require sorting through the stack of cards right next to me, and would feel too much like doing work.

I also got two Silver parallels numbered out of # / 99. They're decent enough, and they come through the scanner in a nice blue color, as opposed to the gangrenous green color that the Gold cards scan with. I am still firmly resisting the urge to put this set together. There are too many other things I want to collect.

Once again, I got these two guys from the Major League subset. Eventually I will have to get the other two cards on the secondary market.

Now we are getting into the one-per-box inserts, and I was lucky enough to get the Yasiel Puig Firebrand card. This was the one card in the checklist that I was worried about having to track down on eBay, as Puig's name on a card still demands a premium. Now I don't have to stress about it.

Paul Goldschmidt was my '71-'72 Hockey design card, which is a card design I like. I still think this is one of the better insert ideas that Topps has for Archives, with these and the '72-'73 Basketball design from last year being some of my favorite Archives cards so far. With only one per box and a fairly large star-studded checklist, this is probably going to be a pain of a set to complete.

Finally, I got two Fan Favorites Autographs in my box. The first one is Lennny Harris, who I don't know much about. Apparently he holds the records for most pinch-hits in a career. I thought it was interesting that he played 18 years and had a career WAR of 2.0, which seems odd mostly I guess because he was able to wrangle 18 years out of being mostly a replacement-level guy.

My other autograph is a pretty sweet Phil Niekro card. It's kind of cool to pull a Hall of Famer's autograph from a box of baseball cards. I like the card design and the photo Topps used as well.

And that's it for this box of cards. I think I did all right, getting a few cards I needed for various insert sets. The autographs weren't the big hits I'd grown accustomed to, but that's fine. They are actually cards I will keep, while the big hits from the other boxes are just going to get flipped in order to fund more cards. This post is probably a little too late, as 2014 Topps Series 2 is out now and there are plenty of posts going up about that product. I bought some Series 2 stuff the other day. Nothing felt really scan-worthy from my purchases, and my wife rearranged her computer area recently, making the scanner difficult for me to access. Negotiations regarding that situation are ongoing.


  1. I'd love to trade for that Cuddyer silver if it is available. I am also collecting just the 1986 base (and SP) cards if you are looking for a place to move them. I'm sure I can put together a nice trade package for you.

    1. The Cuddyer is yours, and I also pulled all my 1986 design doubles if you want them. I was hoping that I had all 50 of them, but I've only got 46 / 50. Let me know and I'll try to get them sent out soon.

    2. Awesome that sounds great. Do you need the framed white RA Dickey from this year's GQ set? I will include it if you need it.

    3. Yeah, that would be a nice card to have. I don't have much in the way of 2014 Dickey outside of Opening Day and Bowman. I need to get your address so I can mail these cards out. chonk344 at gmail dot com.