Pack Animal: 2017 Topps Series 1 Hanger (Target)

Yesterday on the way home from work, I was greatly relieved to find hanger boxes of 2017 Topps in my local Target.  The past couple of years, I’d be checking in stores for at least a week before finding them;  this time it was just three days.

When I pulled the cello-wrapped brick of cards out of the box, this is what I saw first:
Kind of an odd flashback…  I turned 22 in 1987, so I fully remember seeing backs like this on the bottom of cello packs.

This is the first base card I saw.  (Every time I see Homer Bailey, in my head I hear Marge Simpson disapprovingly say “Oh, Homer…”)
I have to say, I kind of like these cards, the slanted perspective on the border and the logo is an interesting touch. I wish the player’s position on the left were more legible, and the team name below the player’s name is almost completely useless… In terms of uselessness, it reminds me of the little colored “folder tab” along the right vertical edge of 2014 Topps.

First card back… Unfortunately it’s one with no twitter or Instagram handles on it.
I’m very happy about the legible card number; If the hobby is truly aging as some say it is, then the card companies have to remember that us middle-aged people can’t see as well as we used to.

There is also the much talked about and Donruss-like 5 years of stats. I honestly don’t have a problem with that. I rarely look at the stats anyway.

The team logo is kind of awkwardly placed on the right, I’d rather see more of the write-up filling that space.

Woo! The Yankee Clippard!

First Met: Jacob deGrom
Time will tell if we’ll ever again have a deGrom card that doesn’t have him in motion… The hair flying everywhere is apparently too much for card makers to resist.

I’m torn on these league leader cards.
On one hand, it’s better than the recent leader cards which cram three action shots of players on to the card.  But on the other hand, this is an entire subset of players who already have other cards… And how many people are clamoring for an extra Matt Kemp card because he finished third in the NL in RBI?  I guess as a set collector I don’t care for it, but as a team/player collector it would be a lot more appealing to have a single Mark Trumbo HR Leader card than to have him squished on a card with Nelson Cruz and 3 other guys who had tied for third.

Yaay! Marcus Stroman!  (He’s a player I collect)
Boo, Canada Day uniform!  (Apologies to our great neighbors to the north, I have nothing against you, I just don’t like the Jays’ Canada Day Unis).

This card from the “5 Tool” insert set is really… Ecch.  No, you know what they are?  They’re 1995 Fleer-like.  Topps, in case you didn’t know, that’s a very bad thing to be like.
Hmmm… “5 Tool”… Maybe I should send all of my “5 Tool” cards to The Five Tool Collector

Just kidding, I would never do that, I like him too much.

First Pitch card! Do I come across as old if I have no clue who Chris Lane is?
OK, he’s a Country singer.  I’ll write my ignorance off as a cultural difference rather than an age difference.

The question on everyone’s lips:  Is there, anywhere in this world, an intersection of Chris Lane and Houston Street?

I *almost* like these Awards cards… They would be really sharp if the design didn’t dominate the entire card.  This one is a Target exclusive.
You know what’s odd?  The checklist downloaded from says “Gold Glove Award”, the card is numbered GG-6… But the card and the “Only At Target” banner on the box say “Fielding Award”.  Do Topps, Target and Rawlings not want to play nice when it comes to the undoubtedly-copyrighted phrase “Gold Glove”?

I guess I should be happy that a “Fielding Award” card shows Anthony Rizzo actually fielding… or at least out in the field.

Just after the inserts in my pack are a whole bunch of horizontal cards. I guess they’re somehow processed separately.
I just read that Mark Reynolds turned down an offer to be the highest-paid baseball player in Korea. He could have made $3M guaranteed with the KBO, instead he signed a minor league contract with the Rockies with $2M plus incentives if he makes the team.  Funny how buyer-friendly the market was for 1B/DH types this winter.

“Thor And The Dark Knight”.  As 21st Century combo cards go, this isn’t too bad.
The comic nerd in me objects to this pairing, as Thor is Marvel and Batman is DC.  Of course, the comic snob in me is not happy with the direction either publisher has taken over the past decade and declares “A pox on both your houses!”

When I started to go through this pack, I decided to look at everyone’s Twitter handle and pick out the one that I liked best.  The winner is… @moosetacos8

Wrapping up the pack, here’s the front of that Alex Reyes card.  My scanner washed out the wood grain on the border.

My brain was telling me that the Cardinals logo looked wrong and somewhat plain, and sure enough, in the 1987 set the Cardinals had a different logo;  a different bird on a bat in front of a baseball and surrounded by a red ring.

I get that it’s the 30th anniversary of 1987 Topps… and it’s kinda depressing to me that it’s the 30th anniversary of that set… But 1987 Topps?  It’s not that great of a set, especially given all the minis and various other inserts which have already been thrown our way. I guess I should count my blessings that they didn’t do a 20th anniversary insert for 1997 Topps (one of my all-time worst Topps sets).

All this is well and good, but how do these cards look in a binder?  Let’s stick two into my current Mets binder and see…
Not too shabby.  I like these cards better than a lot of bloggers do, and nobody will argue that they’re not better than 2016 Topps.  I don’t see myself chasing the whole set, but I’ll happily buy packs throughout the year (and open packs which come in repacks a year or three down the road, just because those things always have Topps packs).

Let’s see how the base set breaks down by team:

20 cards – Chicago Cubs
16 – Boston Red Sox
15 – Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays
14 – New York Mets
13 – Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals
12 – Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals
11 – Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres
10 – Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants
9 – Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers

Don’t It Just Figure: Out of 72 cards in my hanger, only two teams were not represented: The Marlins (no big loss) and my other favorite team, the Orioles.


11 thoughts on “Pack Animal: 2017 Topps Series 1 Hanger (Target)

  1. Your comment on the current state of comics had me cracking up laughing! I had my first DC Comic read to me at literally 5 days old, and I didn’t stop until the New 52 was launched. I also have a comic blog but I don’t update it very often.

    You can fix the washout with PhotoScape, I have a tutorial on how to use it on my blog. (It’s free and without it I would not be scanning. It’s that important…they don’t pay me to promote them, it’s just the best system I’ve used)

    • At my peak I think I bought at least 4 or 5 comics a week, mostly Marvel and some DC. Now I don’t even buy that many in two months. Too many crossovers involving think excuses for characters beating the snot out of each other.

  2. I’ve yet to buy any yet, not sure I will. I enjoyed your take though. Pretty crazy that you ended up with zero Orioles from a box that large?!

  3. Completely agree on why there is so much attraction to the 1987 set…not sure I get it. That was the year I could buy cards EVERYWHERE and I think I grew tired of the overall design…guess my views are a little tainted by my experience with that year.

  4. Dunno what I think of these yet but I’m not the target market anyway.

    re Five Tool subset. When I first read about those I thought I’d be sure to look for them. But man are they ‘busy’! I think a binder page full would give me seizures.

  5. Well, as someone trying to (Still!) finish the ACTUAL 1987 set….
    I get it.. A lot of people like the set… But to keep throwing it out there it’s going to get to the point where everyone hates it.. I think it’s already starting..

    Well, I wish they kept the Canada Day uniforms shown on the Stro Show there.. This year they’re wearing the red more regularly for the 150th birthday of Canada.. And the whole uniform is red.. The lettering it white and the logo is red..

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