Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Present Day Minis

I feel like sometimes I can come across as a bit of a dour, brooding sort when it comes to present day cards. After getting past the initial few weeks of "hey, I'm not 12 anymore and I have money and can buy packs to my hearts content whee! and aren't they all great!", I think I spent most of the spring complaining about parallels. 

Some of that criticism is warranted. Like TV Networks churn out copycat show after copycat show -- often, like CBS, for instance, copying itself by churning out a newly located CSI show with a new cast (I'm pretty sure that the next one on the list is "CSI: Missoula") -- Topps watched its competition in the previous decade issued literally dozens upon dozens of parallels and quickly nosedived their companies directly into the ground. One would think that Topps would have recognized that and limited parallels, but, alas, the parallels for a player appearing in Bowman this year....they are quite numerous.

I think I have found the set that is the happy medium that Topps should aim for: the Mini set.

I broke down and bought a box of them from Topps this past week. So what makes it a happy medium? Well, there are only 5 total types of parallels -- Gold (Serial numbered to 63, inserted 1 in every 7 packs), Pink (SN to 25, inserted 1 to every 16 packs), Black (SN5, inserted 1 to every 77 packs), Platinum (SN1, inserted 1 in every 381 packs), and printing plates (inserted 1 in every 96 packs). 

The only insert is a mini version of The Future Is Now (1 in 4). And, each box contains either an autograph (1 in every 142 packs) or a relic (every 29 packs).

In my 24 packs, I should expect 3-4 gold, 1.5 pink, none of the other parallels unless I get lucky, 6 TFIN inserts, and one relic/autograph (one guaranteed, after all). 

How did I do?

Pretty much right on target. I got 4 gold -- including the sidelined and seemingly spray-painted-into-that-jersey Prince Fielder. My one relic is the famous SuperMax Scherzer (for those of you who don't know, our highest security prisons are called Supermax prisons...I represented a guy once who was in one of these).  I nailed the 6 Future cards right on the head. 

And, there's the pink card I knew I'd get.  

Now, this box also had Brewers, of course. I didn't get a Braun or a Gomez or any Seguras -- insert or otherwise -- so I'll be looking to backfill that omission somewhere/somehow. But, I did get a number of Brewers:

Right up front, two of my PC guys in Lucroy and Gallardo. Not bad at all. I mean, having six current players as PCs means that I should get something for them.

Wooten had some bad luck this year with giving up hits. His groundball-to-flyball ratio shaded more to ground balls -- a good thing, generally -- and his K/BB ratio was 3.63. But, where he got killed was on BABIP: on balls in play against him, batters hit a whopping .380. Yikes.

Thornburg was placed on the disabled list on June 7 with a right elbow strain. Rest didn't help him recuperate, so he received a "PRP" (Platelet Rich Plasma) injection in August and was shut down for the rest of the year. He's a possible swingman next year. Doug Melvin didn't really replace him in the bullpen until picking up Jonathan Broxton at the end of August. 

Garza hit the DL in August with an oblique problem -- the second time in two years he had the issue. He missed most of that month with the issue, which allowed Mike "We Didn't Start, oh wait, we did start the" Fiers to worm his way into the starting rotation.

Gennett is the guy who has made Rickie Weeks expendable. Well, he's the guy other than Rickie Weeks who made Weeks expendable. He reminds me of a new-age, non-mustachioed, Jim Gantner -- a decent player who probably will never be an All-Star. Then again, Gennett is doing much more at age 24 than Gantner ever did. Gennett has more pop for sure (Gantner's best SLG: .401 at the age of 30 in 1983; Gennett's career SLG through 704 plate appearances: .449).

At any rate, hopefully Gennett will have Gantner's staying power, so that in 2021, I'll finally get around to starting to collect his cards as a PC.

Gindl has all the makings of a Quad-A player right now. More worryingly, he hit terribly this year in Nashville and the organization turned to trading for Gerardo Parra instead of calling Gindl up in late July.

Finally, I did get Rickie Weeks.  Two of them, in fact:

Weeks played well for many years as a Brewer, and I pulled that Pink Weeks (SN24/25) in the first pack I opened. Right behind a Gallardo.

Weeks almost certainly will be somewhere else next year. A lot of teams could use a second baseman with a career OBP of .347, especially if they can platoon him effectively to avoid tough righties. Maybe Oakland?

Anyway, the final insert in the box was this one. Use it if you wish:

That offer is good on "non-trading card products." So, if you're jonesing for those All-Star insert cards, now's your chance to save a little money on them!

Thanks as always for stopping by.


  1. Huge fan of minis! I'd rather bust a box of this product than a box of S1 or S2 Topps. Congratulations on pulling the pink Weeks.

    1. Thanks. I really liked the experience of opening this box. With inserts and parallels held to a minimum, each one felt a lot more special when I pulled it.

  2. Didn't even know these were out. I'll have to see if the discount boxes have any in store for me as the year wears on.

    1. Let me know if there are any players you want. Other than Brewers, everything's available.

  3. I just got the Neil Walker black parallel /5 recently. Sharp looking cards. That looked like a fun box to open.