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Let the 2016 baseball (card) season begin


Forget about the groundhog’s predictions… 2016 baseball cards have arrived, and that means baseball can’t be too far behind.

I’m not too thrilled with Topps’ marketing choice this year (outside of Washington Nationals fans and Topps executives, does anyone actually like Bryce Harper?) but we’ll be pitching those wrappers, so I guess it’s all good.

My first baseball card of the season?

Ryan Howard 20160202_120651

Hey, at least it was Ryan Howard and not Chase Utley….

I did get a Mets baseball card, sort of…



Topps included a cute story about how Jonathon Niese watched the birth of his child on FaceTime last year on the back of his baseball card. They left out the fact that Niese only managed to pitch three innings and really should have been excused from the outing since his mind (understandably) seemed to be on other things.

Here’s my first 2016 baseball card that I actually like (never mind that the guy pictured retired when Bryce Harper was one year old.)

Nolan-Ryan Nolan-Ryan-b

The Target-exclusive Amazing Milestones inserts are not the most exciting design, but the color photo on black & white background decision saves it from being too boring. And I like Nolan Ryan, so there’s that. This is probably the only card from the pack that I will worry about keeping.

And I think I will shop around on eBay for a 2016 Topps Series One Mets team set from one of the casebreakers. It’s just not cost-effective to get the handful of baseball cards I want in any other way.

According to the checklist posted by The Cardboard Connection, here’s what we’re looking for:

  • 31 Travis d’Arnaud
  • 43 Noah Syndergaard
  • 67 Matt Harvey
  • 86 Wilmer Flores
  • 136 Michael Cuddyer
  • 145 Jon Niese
  • 190 Jeurys Familia
  • 232 Michael Conforto
  • 236 Juan Lagares
  • 273 New York Mets team card
  • 310 David Wright
  • 312 Curtis Granderson
  • 323 Jacob deGrom
  • 326 Kevin Plawecki

There are also a yet-undetermined number of photo variations in Topps Series One. So far, The Cardboard Connection has documented a photo variation for Michael Conforto.

I’m not terribly interested in most of the inserts this year. There’s a hobby-only No-Hitter Pin card for Johan Santana that would probably be cool to have, but I don’t expect it to be in my price range.

And the Mets dominate the Postseason Performance checklists, but again, we’re talking about cards that are not going to be in my budget.
Postseason Performance Relics (only 100 copies of each card exist)

  • PPR-BC Bartolo Colon
  • PPR-DM Daniel Murphy
  • PPR-DW David Wright
  • PPR-JDE Jacob deGrom
  • PPR-JF Jeurys Familia
  • PPR-JLA Juan Lagares
  • PPR-LD Lucas Duda
  • PPR-MH Matt Harvey
  • PPR-NS Noah Syndergaard
  • PPR-SM Steven Matz
  • PPR-TD Travis d’Arnaud
  • PPR-WF Wilmer Flores
  • PPR-YC Yoenis Cespedes

Postseason Performance Autographs (only 50 copies of each card exist)

  • PPA-JD Jacob deGrom
  • PPA-JF Jeurys Familia
  • PPA-LD Lucas Duda
  • PPA-NS Noah Syndergaard
  • PPA-WF Wilmer Flores

Postseason Performance Autograph Relics (Hobby only; only 50 copies of each card exist)

  • PPAR-DW David Wright
  • PPAR-JD Jacob deGrom
  • PPAR-JF Jeurys Familia
  • PPAR-LD Lucas Duda
  • PPAR-NS Noah Syndergaard
  • PPAR-WF Wilmer Flores

There’s a 10-card “Pressed into Service” insert set that focuses on position players who have been called on to pitch. No Mets are included, but I was really excited about it anyway… until I heard that some of the players are not pictured pitching. You really have to line up your photos before you set your checklist for something like this, don’t you?

6 thoughts on “Let the 2016 baseball (card) season begin

  1. Hey, you might be the first I’ve seen with product in hand! Nice!

    I love Bryce Harper (not just because I hope he’s a Yank in a few years). I can see how he rubs many the wrong way, but I think his ability is otherworldly. I also was fortunate enough to hang out with Harper for a bit back in 2013, and he was nothing but nice and friendly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m looking forward to busting some packs, and I’ll withhold judgement until I have cardboard in hand… but this year’s set is not grabbing me so far. I’m hoping I’ll find them more appealing in person.

    And I’ll admit, I don’t have the same disdain for Bryce Harper that I used to… I think part of it is that on the list of “Things to dislike about the Nationals”, he’s been sliding on down the charts. TV broadcast team Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo, who regularly elicit numerous STFU’s from me when I’m forced to watch them, remain #1 on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not loving all of the “enhancement” Topps did on the photos this year. The card design is otherwise ok, but it’s not anything special. And the inserts seem like things that got thrown in because there has to be a certain amount of “value” in the set rather then any actual reason for them to exist.

      When it comes down to it, I buy the Topps Flagship set because I *always* buy the Topps Flagship set, but this year I don’t think they’re going to sell me any more than the pack I bought today and the basic Mets team set through one of the casebreakers on eBay.


  3. “Outside of Washington Nationals fans and Topps executives, does anyone actually like Bryce Harper?”

    Lost Collector beat me to it, but I do. Never before has there been such a clear future Yankee.


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