What is the official terminology for these? It's the 36-card, two-section pack that hangs on the rack. Jumbo is the 50-card single-section pack, right? So is this a fat pack, or is that copyrighted by Upper Deck? Is it simply a rack pack, old-school style? Anyway, I bought it along with a second pack and a cereal box at Target last Tuesday. The big hits in the cereal box were a Chrome Refractor of Mickey Mantle (yawn), a Turkey Red David Wright, and a Lou Gehrig Legends of the Game. A few cards in the cereal box were a bit mangled, with the worst being an Omar Vizquel with a seriously bent corner. What's up with that? Anyway, let's check this bad boy out.
312 Ryan Sweeney - with fuzzy Phillies in the visitor's dugout.
195 Tim Lincecum - I read on espn.com that he sometimes goes two or three days without showering. Thanks for that, guys.
119 Craig Counsell - Do you realize he's been in the league for 13 years? Crazy.
262 Mike Gonzalez - According to the card back, the following hitters are all 0-for-their career against him (min. 5 ABs): Pat Burrell, Luis Castillo, Geoff Jenkins, Aaron Miles, Scott Rolen, Brad Wilkerson. Pick it up, fellas!
265 Carlos Zambrano - Love the photo of Z's home run swing.
143 Matt Joyce - Depicted with the Tigers instead of his new team, the Rays.
209 Alfredo Amezaga - The blurb on the back includes Dan Uggla raving about AA's defense. There's an easy joke here, but I like Uggla in spite of his lead glove.
83 Ryan Garko - There were rumors in the offseason that the O's would trade for him. But they fulfilled their ridiculously named corner infielder need by signing Ty Wigginton.
275 Alex Rios - Looking at the list of his best pitcher matchups, he kills old men (Julian Tavarez, Jamie Moyer, Randy Johnson). You're next, John Smoltz!
314 Matt Treanor - Do you think he resents his wife's fame, even just a little?
TTT16 Ichiro ToppsTown - Three of the seven TT cards I've pulled were Ichiro.
267 Michael Bowden RC - Was born in 1986, when I already knew how to read. I'm SO. OLD.
191 Shane Victorino Postseason Highlights - Commemorating his NLDS grand slam against Captain Cheeseburger. May it lead the way to several more Sabathia meltdowns in the Bronx.
224 Max Scherzer - Is it possible to pronounce his last name without yelling like an angry German? NEIN!
102 Garrett Atkins - His OPS each season since 2006: .965, .853, .780. That's what we call a disturbing trend.
165 Matt Kemp - An anagram for "Matt Kemp" is "Kempt ATM". That's all I got.
281 Tug Hulett - His 6 Degrees of Mantle features four Orioles: Tug's father is Tim Hulett, who hit his 1st HR off Dennis Martinez, who was a teammate of Mark Belanger, who was a teammate of Woodie Held, who was a teammate of Mantle.
234 John Russell - Apparently he "hopes a foundation based on fundamentals will pay dividends". That's code for "The Pirates suck hard".
Section the Second:
159 Matt Antonelli RC - Does he have a nickname? I suggest "the pride of Peabody".
284 Luis Ayala - Good trade for the Mets. He went from a 5.78 ERA with the Nats to a 5.50 to the Mets.
150 Kosuke Fukudome - Shown taking a curtain call at Wrigley. That photo must have been taken in April.
288 Guillermo Quiroz - According to Night Owl, the O's backup catcher is Mr. Ubiquitous of Topps Series 1.
26 Jason Giambi - Between the goofy 'stache and even goofier face, complete with protruding tongue, this is my favorite photo from the set so far.
110 Hideki Matsui - After playing in every game in his first three seasons in New York, Godzilla has missed almost 200 games in the last three. Uh-oh...
319 Brian Fuentes - If his card had a flavor, it would be grapity-purple.
50 David Ortiz - Does anyone actually hate Big Papi?
LG8 George Sisler Legends of the Game - I know dayf was a bit down on this player choice for the Legends set, but I like it. Topps and Upper Deck have done the usual suspects to death, and it's neat to see one of the few legendary St. Louis Browns get some props.
12 Andrew Carpenter RC - He looks too much like Sidney Ponson for my tastes.
22 Classic Combos: First Rate (Evan Longoria and David Price) - Thanks guys, for making it that much harder for my O' s to climb out of the AL East cellar. Isn't it time for more realignment?
282 Chris Lambert RC - Career ERA of 4.60 in the minors? Hold on to your socks, kids.
242 Ricky Nolasco - One of the more anonymous 15-game winners around, I'd say.
158 Ray Durham - I'm surprised no one signed him this offseason.
207 Joe Blanton - His World Series home run was one of my favorite non-Baltimore moments of 2008.
40 Carl Crawford - Have I mentioned that Carl and I share a birthday? Yes, probably I have.
329 Gil Meche - How many "What a Meche" headlines has he inspired?
151 Carl Pavano - "It was a welcome sight to see Carl (elbow) back on the mound again in 2008." For whom?