Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Frank Robinson, 2009 Topps #400b

So in my habitual reading of other card blogs, I'd learned that Topps, never one to shy away from a good (or even a bad) gimmick, had stealthily added short-printed parallel cards to its base set in 2009. These cards featured some of the greatest retired players from the game, and were numbered as if they were a part of the set, yet there were already base cards that had the same number. (i.e. the Frank Robinson card above is numbered 400, but there is a card #400 in the base set for Alfonso Soriano.) There were 17 Legends each in the first and second series, but it was all a hypothetical matter to me. Since 2009 Topps launched early in the year, I've bought them in all sorts of formats: regular packs, fat packs, cereal boxes, and blasters. In all those hundreds of cards, I hadn't unearthed one short-printed Legend...until today.

On my way home from work, I stopped in White Marsh to pick up my tuxedo (as well as my Dad's) for my sister's wedding on Friday. I also wanted to pick up something extra that was on my sister's bridal registry at Target, so I dropped in there as well. Upon printing out the registry in the store, I realized that the item I had in mind didn't match what was on the registry, so it looked like I'd wasted a trip. Of course I hate waste as much as the next guy, so I started wandering until - oops! - I was in the trading card aisle.

I wanted to knock a few cards off of my 2009 Topps checklist, but they only had Series 2 cello packs with 22 cards and a stick of gum (which tasted terrible even by Topps standards. Very sour). The benefit of cello packs is that you can see the card on top and the card on bottom, allowing beggars to be choosers. After making a spectacle of myself by knocking several packs off of the rack in my efforts to see the rearmost packs, I settled on one pack with Jarrod Washburn and Kyle Davies showing...slim pickings, I tell you. But there was also one single solitary pack with a Legend showing in front, and that man was certified badass Bob Gibson. So I had my second pack. When I got home and opened that one up, I couldn't believe what I'd found. Here is a card-by-card account of the first eight cards:

First, the aforementioned Gibson card, #415b.

Next, Juan Marichal, #476b. Back-to-back SPs? What are the odds?

Card the third is Tony Gwynn, #520b. Ho-ly...

Crap! Jim Palmer is #355b! Not only am I cleaning up, I got an awesome O's card!


That's weird...


Uh-oh, I hope these 22 cards aren't just those first four SPs in a repeating pattern.

Ryno breaks the pattern! Ryne Sandberg is - you guessed it - short-printed as #350b. Is the whole pack SP?
Frank closes it out; the remaining 14 cards were from the base set. It was fun while it lasted, though: eight SP Legends cards, six unique (out of 17 total in Series 2), two of them Orioles. Talk about your pack mojo! That makes up for the pack I pulled out of my blaster that had three or four cards with severely bent corners. I've read other bloggers' "OMG you'll never believe it I pulled some sort of ludicrous souped-up hot pack" posts with envy, and now that I've struck gold myself, I really believe that every collector should get lucky like this at least once in their lives. We've certainly given Topps, Upper Deck, and their departed rivals enough of our money, haven't we?

P.S.: Speaking of Upper Deck, the player pictured on their Series 1 and Series 2 Combo Packs is none other than Matt Wieters. My heart leapt with joy when I spotted him, especially considering that certified jackass Josh Beckett had been the company's cover boy for previous rack pack products this year. The future is closer every day, folks.

11 comments:

night owl said...

Ho-ly smokes! That's amazing! I'll be wandering the card aisle tomorrow just because of this post.

Maybe it'll be my turn to strike gold.

Aaron said...

Wieters is on the rack packs? Guess I'm going to buy at least one tomorrow...

Kevin said...

Greg - Best of luck!

Aaron - I know, I felt like I should buy one just to support him in some backwards way...but if I keep thinking like that, I'll never complete 2009 Topps.

beardy said...

wow! i only wish you'd gotten 2 of palmer and robinson. now THAT would have been awesome.

do you think people are going to be upset that upper deck is putting religious idols on baseball card packaging?

jacobmrley said...

pretty damn cool pack.

i need the gibson, if you like i'll trade a steve carlton SP for it.

Craig said...

Kevin...if I could only be so lucky!...my last forays into Target and just into buying cards in the pack period have been busts...I only collect Orioles cards (in baseball)and if it wasn't that my wife collects the Cubs and my two nephews collect everything I'd be stuck with alot on my hands that I wouldn't know what to do with...anway, there is a card shop in Orlando that gets alot of loose stuff so I will be on the look out for the Palmer, Robbie and Wieters cards...thank you for the heads up!

thewritersjourney said...

Awesome pack. I would be stoked to get all those retired players. Although I like my Frank Robinson better.

GCA said...

Not that it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy in this case, but this is exactly why I've boycotted the SP's. OK, except for Palmer (and Bo in the Updates) for my player collections. Since they chose to randomly insert them in piles like this instead of spreading them out evenly, it makes it much less possible to complete the set unless you get really lucky. How many "hot boxes" like this are really out there? Can't be that many....

Orioles Magic said...

Wieters is also featured on the 09 SP packs. Which is the only reason I paid $6 for 5 cards...

Kevin said...

beardy - The only people who might object are the non-believers.

Max - It's yours, no charge. You've earned some credit.

Craig - No problem, good luck to you!

Writersjourney - That is a great photo. You don't often see the subscript name on the back of the jersey.

GCA - I also wonder if there are deliberate hot packs, or if it was a freak thing.

Ryan - Those Upper Deck guys are a crafty bunch...

White Sox Cards said...

Maybe I should pick up a few of those packs next time I'm at Target. Wow!!!