So, I opened more packs. We all know that opening packs can be very soothing. There is something to sort, a small amount of excitement and the knowledge that something new is awaiting us. With that being said, I opened two more of the ten packs found in my repack box.
Pack 3 - 2012 Topps Opening Day
48 - Adrian Beltre
116 - Josh Hamilton
125 - Matt Cain
127 - J.P. Arencibia
181 - Clayton Kershaw
183 - Cliff Lee
SC-5 - Joey Votto - August 28, 2011: Votto Bookends Big Day with Bombs (The work of a frustrated or former newspaper headliner writer. Definitely not up to par with what I expect on the back of the Daily News or New York Post)
I recognized every player pulled from this pack. While I'm sure the family and friends of the Rockies' second lefthander out of the bullpen is thrilled and ecstatic there is a card devoted to him, as more of a casual fan, I could care less. I like the idea of opening a pack of cards and say, "Hey, I've heard of these guys and would recognize them as baseball players without the assistance of a card." For me, that is the downside of the Topps base set. If you stick to what people know, it works. I secretly suspect more people like this set for this reason alone...well, that and mascot inserts.
True story, I chose a 1982 Donruss set as the one set I really wanted to purchase, not for the Cal Ripken Rookie, which I could care less about, but the San Diego Chicken rookie card, which is a true classic. I think I even still have the set somewhere in my house, sans puzzle, with poorly cut, off-center cards.
Pack 4 2008 Topps Cello Pack (Series 2)
The cello pack always sounds like a good idea, but is a complete failure in the modern, insert-driven world we live in. I will ruin the surprise of this pack, because I haven't seen anything like this since 1991, but the entire pack is base cards. Nary an insert to be found.
443 - Greg Dobbs
469 - Brian Bocock
658 - Kerry Wood (Look, a player we've heard of!)
468 - Gregor Blanco - (There is a five line paragraph, which both lacks a topic sentence and logical construction. It hurts so bad, I can't even inflict it on you as a means of paying it forward.)
482 - Kazuo Fukumori
361 - Wesley Wright - ("He's a very athletic left-hand pitcher, a really good competitor,"says Astros East Coast supervisor of amateur scouting Clarence Johns." Look, we are six cards into this pack, I read Baseball Prospectus every year (I even own the original one from 1996 that was self-published.), read BaseballThinkFactory.org everyday and am fairly knowledgeable about the sport and I've heard of only three of these players. And the quote is shorter than the official title and name of the person who provided the quote. This card made me angry enough to ramble and merge two paragraphs into one without rhyme or reason.)
458 - Brad Hawpe
408 - Edinson Volquez - (5 years of professional ball, 13 different year/team seasons to report on, one organization. At this point, he was traded to the Reds, who provided nothing but a spring training picture on the front.)
435 - Torii Hunter
635 - Michael Young (The answer to the question what would Derek Jeter be if he played for any other organization.)
412 - Joel Zumaya
498 - Matt Chico
585 - Brian Bannister
465 - Huston Street
550 - Curt Schilling
480 - Matt Cain ("Though poorly supported with runs (two or fewer in 21 starts) and by his bullpen, he led the Giants in ERA.")
513 - Rick Vanderhurk ("he's now revealed there is no gap between the "n" and the "h". I've watched enough Premier League soccer to wonder if there was also once a gap between the "n" and the "d" as well. And what frustrated novelist thought that this was a reveal, worthy of the use of such a verb.)
378 - Ozzie Guillen
520 - Vernon Wells (Spell check strikes again!!! "Vernon has been the hub of the Toronto office. He owns nearly twice as many hits as anyone on the club since then, and also the most HRs and RBIs by far." The reference to hub of the office threw me so that I almost missed there is no time frame during which Wells has twice as many hits on the club.)
659 - Vincente Padilla
422 - Erick Aybar
406 - Takashi Saito
So far, the best card I've pulled is the epic 2011 Jeff Mathis, though the 2008 Vernon Wells is also a keeper.
As to the real winner so far, Unintentional Comedy. The loser is everyone who taught English to anyone who wrote any part of a Topps baseball card in the last five years. Those people should be ashamed at the basic lessons they failed to impart about the usage of language. Forshame, poor English teachers and/or professors, forshame!