Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Extra Pack comes through!

Only a few days ago, I was educating the blogosphere about the existence of Arizona's Baxter the Bobcat mascot, and lamenting the fact that I didn't own a card of Dinger.

Thanks to another $10 blaster of 2014 Topps Opening Day, I pulled exactly the card I had been looking for.
2014 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M10 Dinger
Dinger looks a bit unusual here with this black mask/beard, but he is twenty years old now and has apparently grown up a bit. The card gives us some background on Dinger, mentioning that he "specializes in distracting opposing pitchers in the late innings", can easily be spotted in the wild due to "colorful dots on his head", and that a triceratops skull was discovered during construction of Coors Field.

Though there is a grain of truth to that, further research indicates that this is a bit of an embellished urban legend. Construction at Coors Field did indeed unearth triceratops fossils, though the skull they refer to was found in Brighton, a northern suburb of Denver where Todd Helton happens to reside. In fact, triceratops fossils have been unearthed all over the Denver area, including at Heritage Golf Course not far from my home.

Another Fun Fact: Dinger's uniform number has changed through the years. He was once #94, referring to the year of his "hatching" when the Rockies were a year old, but now sports #00. Dinger remains the only "Rockie" to have worn either of those numbers.

The Rockies lost five of six on their most recent road trip. Dinger is sure to be a sight for sore eyes once they return to Coors Field on Friday.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Zero blog posts plus one extra blog post

​Just before this baseball season started, I saw a deal at Target that I couldn't pass up. Only $10 for a blaster box of 2014 Topps Opening Day, including 10 packs and an extra pack!
Though none of the packs differentiated itself as the "extra pack", I was able to pull some interesting cards to start the 2014 section of my collection. I showed a few cards from this blaster in my two previous posts, but there are plenty more where those came from.

2014 Topps Opening Day #16 Carlos Gonzalez
Although Carlos Gonzalez has gotten off to a slow start, the Rockies are one of the bigger surprises thus far in the 2014 season. Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado, and NL Player of the Month Troy Tulowitzki have led the Rockies to a 22-14 record, in a virtual tie with the first-place San Francisco Giants.

2014 Topps Opening Day #128 Manny Machado
I am happy to see the "Future Stars" subset make a return; the first time Topps has had this subset since the mid-1990s. Night Owl was less than enthused about this turn of events, but for me, this is a nostalgic reminder of some of the first sets I ever collected.

2014 Topps Opening Day Blue #6 Adrian Beltre /2014
2014 Topps Opening Day Blue #173 Josh Reddick /2014
Serial-numbered parallels! Along with the Chris Davis card that came up in a previous post and Craig Kimbrel, I pulled a total of four from this blaster.

2014 Topps Opening Day Breaking Out #BO14 Andrew McCutchen
There were a surprising amount of insert cards in this blaster, my favorite being the "Breaking Out" insert set. Just like the "Future Stars" subset, this one really takes you back to the mid-1990s. I'm sure I'm not the first one to say that this one has plenty of 1995 Fleer DNA in it. The "Opening Day Stars" insert set goes for a Sportflix 3D effect, complete with ridged plastic.

2014 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M18 Baxter the Bobcat
Bobcats are great and all, but how hilarious would it be to have a more team-appropriate rattlesnake mascot slithering around out there without any arms or legs? Seems wacky enough, given the swimming pool and $25 corn dogs at Chase Field.

I think mascot cards are a great idea. I have yet to acquire a card of Dinger, the Rockies' lovable triceratops mascot, but they're a great reminder that baseball is just a game that's meant to be enjoyed.

While my $10 went pretty far, I can only wonder what I would have managed to pull if Topps' marketing department gave me seven packs and four extra packs.