These were some of my favorites from the base set. A bunch of rookies, a former Durham Bull, and the Scherzer photo variation.
These were the best of the horizontal part of the program. I absolutely LOVE the Yankees team card. It looks like I'll have to hunt down some parallels of this one just like the Jeters from series one. I didn't realize until I lined them up to scan, but I've got a Zimmermann highlighting his no hitter and Souza who made the catch to save said no hitter. Though I don't really care for the Highlight of the Year set, I'm digging the photo on the Rickey. Similarly, the design of the Hot Streak set isn't that great, but I like the concept and was happy to pull a Mattingly and a Livan Hernandez(among others).
Continuing on with the inserts, I pulled four from the Target-exclusive Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth set. I wasn't really looking forward to this since The Babe Ruth Story set was just done, but I think the design of this set is far superior. I got a decent start on the First Pitch offerings from series two as well, though I must admit I was mostly underwhelmed by the celebs included(except Gabriel Iglesias - Yay Fluffy!).
Conversely, I was really looking forward to the Walmart-exclusive Cal Ripken Jr. set, but after pulling these from the hanger boxes I must say that I am not impressed. This design is weak. Odds are I'll try to put his set together because the backs are done fairly well, but these could/should have been done much better.
As new inserts for series two go, I really like the Eclipsing History set. Granted, it is an excuse to do the standard two player insert that Topps has done over and over, but this one kinda feels/looks fresh for the first time in a number of years. I'm still loving the 1st Home Run insert, so I'll be trying to finish the second series of those. It's nice that the series two checklist includes a few pitchers. I was lucky enough to pull the Maddux. The only way it could have been better is if it had 'chicks dig the longball' on the card back. I've historically not been a huge fan of the hanger box, but as I looked a bit closer, the odds on parallels and some of the inserts are better than blasters or individual packs. The Pollock snow camo is a prime example of this. It's up for grabs if anyone has any interest.
These are the two medallion cards from the blasters. For my tastes, the checklist is a bit lacking in players for my collections in series 2. I'm on the fence about holding on to the Big Mac because of my younger self's affinity for the Bash Brothers, but I haven't quite decided yet. Though the Kershaw is cool because it's a pitcher, I don't really have any other specific ties to it. I'd more than likely trade it away if someone was interested.
That wraps up the highlights of the blasters and hanger boxes. However, since it took me so long to post this, I have to add the single loosey that I have picked up this far. A few days ago, I had another one of those looong days at work. I decided to treat myself to some pack therapy before going home. When I walked into the card aisle at my Target there wasn't anything that I wanted to rip. I stayed there trying to decide if I should just go with another jumbo of Donruss or something just so I wouldn't be completely disappointed by walking away with nothing to bust. After a minute or two, an employee came out carrying an unopened box of series 2. He took the wrap off and placed it on the shelf. I hardly ever buy the loose packs anymore since I'm rarely at a hobby shop, but suddenly it was like I was back in my favorite LCS with a freshly opened box on the shelf. I grabbed the pack on the top left which was my usual go-to pack. I waited until I got home to open it. As I was opening the wrapper, I thought the pack felt a bit more substantial than I expected a loose pack to be.
Turns out I was right. This was sandwiched between a few cards on either side. Kinda makes me wish that I was a Dodgers fan. I like Puig pretty well, but this is likely headed for eBay or one of the many Dodgers fans in our great community here. After the shock faded, I got a bit curious about the odds on this one.
It's a bit hard to read, but the Hot Streak relics fall 1:5,068! Not a bad way to beat the odds. Maybe his is the start of my own 'hot streak'.