Contrast & Compare: 2010 Topps/Topps Chrome Ike Davis

I was at Target for non-card-buying purposes, but on the way out I have to stop by the card aisle… It’s non-negotiable, y’know?

It took me just a handful of packs and a blaster to get over Topps Update, so there were no interesting wax packs to be bought.  I went to look at the 100-card repacks… I didn’t feel the desire to buy one, but I always look to see if there’s anything interesting on top.

And it turned out there was something interesting on top… This 2010 Topps Chrome card of now-former-Met Isaac Benjamin “Ike” Davis:
2010 Topps Chrome Ike Davis
…and it doesn’t matter that he’s in Oakland now, “I Like Ike” still applies.

The thing is, the photo used on this Topps Chrome card didn’t look familiar, so I bought the repack on the chance that I might be adding to my Mets collection.

Later on in the day, when I had a chance, I went and looked at the regular 2010 Topps Ike Davis and saw…
2010 Topps Ike Davis
…Yep, it’s different, which means that the Chrome Ike is a variation-of-sorts to add to my Mets collection!  Yay!

That got me curious and I started researching as to whether there were any other 2010 Chrome Mets which were different from the flagship… and then 2010 Chrome Orioles… and then 2009 Chrome Mets and Orioles…  and 2008…. then forward to 2011… 2012… 2013… 2014… and I’m looking at 2014 chrome Mets and saying “Oh, look, the Granderson is different!  And the Rafael Montero!”  …And then I realized it was after Midnight and I needed to get to bed.  The next morning after the alarm went off I fell back asleep for 45 minutes and then had to rush around in order to minimize how late I was for work.

Which is a roundabout way of getting to this:  What is it about these “Chrome Variations” that gets me all fanboy?

For the most part, Topps Chrome is a shiny parallel of regular Topps, and in-and-of-themselves neither “shiny” nor “parallel” do anything for me.  The only packs of Chrome I’ve ever opened were out of repacks, and once I figured out if there was anything worth selling on COMC, the rest were given away to kids the following Halloween.  For me, it’s clearly more about the variation than about the Chrome… But then why did I stay up late making Chrome wantlists when I don’t give a second thought to keeping track of the shortprinted variations in the flagship?

I suppose the key word there is “shortprinted”.  If I happen to pull a variation out of a pack, more often than not it’s eventually going back out of my house because it’s worth much more to others than it is to me.  But a Chrome Variation… something which I can get in a repack or buy cheap on COMC or theoretically find in a quarter box on those rare occasions where I have access to a quarter box… Well, sign me up for that!

And maybe there’s something in there for Topps’ marketing department to learn… but probably not.

For the record, here are the 2009 – 2014 Topps Chrome Mets and Orioles I found which are different from the Series 1 / Series 2 / Update… Mets first, then Orioles; if a year isn’t listed, it’s because there aren’t any different cards I could find for that team.

2010 Chrome Mets which are different
55    Jason Bay
184    Ike Davis
200    Jenrry Mejia
201    Ruben Tejada
217    Hisanori Takahashi (no non-chrome Topps card)

2011 Chrome Mets which are different
58 Jason Bay
189 Mike Nickeas

2012 Chrome Mets which are different
192 Kirk Nieuwenhuis
195 Jordany Valespin

2013 Chrome Mets which are different
180 Zack Wheeler

2014 Chrome Mets which are different
9 Curtis Granderson
59 Rafael Montero

2009 Chrome Orioles which are different
198 David Hernandez
203 Koji Uehara
231 Nolan Reimold

2010 Chrome Orioles which are different
52 Miguel Tejada
210 Brian Matusz
213 Jake Arrieta

2011 Chrome Orioles which are different
216 Zach Britton

2012 Chrome Orioles which are different
185 Tsuyoshi Wada (no non-chrome Topps card)
189 Xavier Avery

2014 Chrome Orioles which are different
160 Nelson Cruz

Let  me know if you have any additions or corrections, and I will update this post.  Tomorrow I’ll follow up on the two cards which exist only in “ChromeLand”.

Aw, Man! I Want A Fairfield Repack, Too!!!

I’ve been seeing a bunch of posts lately for repacks, and it lit a fire within me.


I had to go to Target anyway, so I went through the repacks they had on hand… Unfortunately, the ones they had made no promises of vintage, just 5 rookie cards. Whoop-dee-doop-dee-doo.

Didn’t matter, I needed a fix. Into the cart it went, and into my blog it goes…

The particular repack I bought was one I picked out because of this Jason Bay card I didn’t recognize… and it turned out to be a 2007 Topps Wal-Mart insert. Despite his less-than-stellar time with the Mets, I like Jason Bay and hope he turns it around with the Mariners.
2007 Topps Wal-Mart Jason Bay

Just like most Fairfield repacks, I got some 1980’s Topps glossies… Usually my favorite part. Unfortunately, this time around the only one I needed was this Clemens…
1987 Topps Glossy All Star Roger Clemens
…and naturally, I ended up with two of these. Sigh.

I like the late-1980’s parking lot in the background.  I believe that’s a big ol’ Cadillac just over Clemens’ shoulder.  It’s too bad it’s not a pink Cadillac, crushed velvet seats, ridin’ in the back, oozin’ down the street, wavin’ to the girls, feelin’ outta sight, spendin’ all my money on a Saturday night, honey I just wonder what it feels like in the back of your pink Cadillac… pink Cadillac…

Huh?  Whuh?  Oh, sorry, drifted away for a minute…

Woo-hoo! I got Bipped! I think that’s almost becoming a point of honor…
1992 Upper Deck Bip Roberts

Huh. I didn’t know Star did a Keith Hernandez set… I’ve got a couple of other player-specific Star sets, but I don’t recall running across Keith before.
1987 Star Keith Hernandez Post Season Stats
The problem with doing these player-specific sets in the colors of the player’s current team is that you get bad combos like a Cardinals uniform framed with Mets orange. This would’ve been a nicer card with different colors… but it’s Star, it’s only going to get but so nice… I’ll just distract myself by admiring Keith’s stirrups.

I got a number of 2010 cards, including this Aaron Laffey. Laffey was on the Mets earlier this month, and I didn’t have a single card of his. Last week the Mets put him on waivers and he was claimed by the Blue Jays… and NOW I have a card of Aaron Laffey. Ain’t that just…
2010 Topps Aaron Laffey
In case you hadn’t noticed, the Blue Jays will put a waiver claim on ANYBODY. Don’t believe me? Keep an eye on the transactions column… seems like half the guys who go through waivers get claimed by the Jays, even if the Jays then turn around and DFA the guy.

No, I don’t understand it.

…and for what it’s worth, the Jays did turn around and DFA Aaron Laffey.

Among the promised rookies I got were a 2005 Bazooka Melky Cabrera (which seems to actually have some value), a couple of uninteresting 2010 rookies and this 2007 TriStar David Price, which is at least shiny even if it is kinda ugly.
2007 TriStar Prospects Plus David Price

Not one of the better repacks I’ve gotten, but still $4 worth of entertainment.

…And for the record, 36 cards went straight from the repack into the recycling bin… Just doing my part to keep America safe from Junk Wax.

Gettin’ Wiggie Wit’ It!

Today is Ty Wigginton’s birthday, and as a personal favor to Ty – because I know he’s far too polite to say anything – I’m going to let everybody know that “Wigginton” has only two G’s… it’s not WigginGton, it’s Wigginton.  Don’t be like Fleer… remember what happened to them?

Ty is one of the players I collect, and if you’re wondering why he’s a player I collect, I’ll start by reminding you that my two favorite teams are the Mets…

…and the Orioles…

Not to mention that he was a 2003 Topps Rookie All-Star with the Mets, a 2010 All-Star with the Orioles, and just seems like a hoopy frood.

By the way, I would be remiss if I hadn’t mentioned that today is 10-11-12.

You’re welcome.

The Brians My Wife Got At The 2012 National

No, she didn’t go to Baltimore, but I’d mentioned in an earlier post that every time I go to a show, I try to buy cards of her two favorite players, Brian Roberts and Cal Ripken.  Here are the Brians which came from The National.

This is the “Brian Roberts lurking in a dark basement” card, also known as the 2010 Wal-Mart black border parallel.

“I couldn’t even lurk anymore.  I’d hear ‘Who’s that lurking over there?  Isn’t that Brian Roberts?’ ”

This 2006 SP Authentic card is pretty good looking;  it would be nicer if the image looked more like Brian… it’s slightly off, almost like Brian Roberts after cosmetic surgery.

Hopefully Brian will be able to make more than a cameo appearance in 2013.  It’s a lot of fun to follow the Orioles this year, but I know Mrs. Shlabotnik would enjoy it more if Brian were part of it.

Photo Cliché #1, Bronson Arroyo: Leg Kick or Not Leg Kick

Card companies sometimes get caught up in visual clichés…  They get so hung up on a particular trait of a player that they just keep repeating what is essentially the same photo over and over again.  As long as I’m going through my cards to bring focus back to my collection, I thought it might be fun to track certain players and see how pervasive that cliché is.

The first couple of cards are for Bronson Arroyo, let’s take a look at his 2011 Topps Card (Diamond Anniversary Edition!  WooooHooooo!!!!):

A horizontal card featuring his leg kick.  Topps loooooooooooooves his leg kick, and I want to say that the majority of his cards feature his leg kick from some angle.
Here’s his 2010 Topps card, and another leg kick.

Finally, here’s a 2008 Topps Heritage card and…  WHAT THE –?  It’s a portrait!  What’s up with THAT?

So, as I run across these for Arroyo and other players, I’ll be keeping a running total of the clichés.  Coming up soon, I’ll be featuring a newly-discovered cliché involving another Cincinnati Red.

Bronson Arroyo cliché Totals:  3 cards, 2 leg kicks, 1 portrait.