Friday, June 6, 2014

14-Years-Old is New to Me

Back when I first bought cards at the local Target in February -- my first unopened pack buy in about 25 years -- I picked up a blaster of Panini's version of Elite Extra Edition.  In that blaster, I got a relic of a 15-year-old's jersey that creeped me out, so I sent it to Brian at Play at the Plate for his son.  Thankfully, his son appreciates the relic.  With my luck, that kid will end up breaking Cy Young's win record.

Anyway, now that I kind of have an idea of what I'm doing and I'm not buying nearly everything on eBay, COMC, Sportlots, and Amazon that I see, I've started trying to snipe unopened boxes of cards for sets that I don't have or don't have much from.  I keep it cheap, though I'm avoiding junk wax.

So, this past week, I picked up an unopened box of the 2000 edition of Topps Opening Day.  These 14-year-old cards are new to me.  I have perhaps no more than 10 regular Topps cards from 2000, but I have never had any Opening Day.

I'm ashamed to admit that I kinda like them.

Maybe its Hank Aaron as a Milwaukee Brave that convinced me.

Or the "Magic Moments" inserts that are really a subset.  Then again, it might be pre-steroid A-Rod, who was an incredible ballplayer without the, ahem, extra assistance.

Don't mind my scanning job on El Capitan, but Derek Jeter almost looks, well, friendly here.  A guy who is happy to be in the big leagues.

Then, there are the flights of fancy.  The promise of the future.  For Josh Hamilton, looking back 14 years must be a difficult task through the years of fighting addiction, pain, and anger.  I wonder what his Year 2000 self would think if you told him what the next 14 years would hold.

My only disappointment in the 2000 Opening Day set is that this card -- Jeromy Burnitz -- is the lone Milwaukee Brewers representative in the entire set.  In fairness to Topps, they chose who to put into the set after the 1999 season in which Milwaukee finished 13 games under .500.  In criticism to Topps, both Jeff Cirillo and Geoff Jenkins had good enough years to merit inclusion in the set except for the fact that both guys played for Milwaukee rather than a big-city team.

I know a lot of us crack on Topps for too many parallels (my hand is raised on that one), too many inserts, too many autographs, or the inclusion of stupid white fabric swatches in cards.  Others wish every card had dirt on which Player X spit.  My favorite thing about this set is the fact that there is a checklist included as a card in the set which lists ALL the cards issues -- both subset inserts and autographs -- instead of playing games with crazy short prints.

Sometimes, simpler is better.  Topps has lost sight of that with nearly every single set it issues these days. Opening packs from 2000 made me notice that.


  1. I remember reading about all the crazy stuff Hamilton could do on the baseball field in high school. Little did we know off the field was even crazier. Who knows how good he could have been.

  2. Sounds like a blast! I bought a lot of 2000 Topps Opening Day packs when I was a kid. That Hank Aaron was one of my first prized possessions. I still have it to this day.

  3. I love the pic they used on the Aaron card. I've never seen that (or any of these cards) before. The Aaron card would be even better if the front wasn't so 'busy' but it's still pretty sweet.