But it also means that winter is coming, and that it's time to stare out the window and wait for spring.
So why not take a look at the best of a box of 2011 Opening Day, part of a giant order from Dave and Adam's Card World that arrived over a year ago? Maybe it'll take the sting out of the long stretch of Not Baseball before us.
|2011 Topps Opening Day Blue #182 Troy Tulowitzki /2011|
The Blue parallels found in Opening Day mark the lone appearance of foil in the set, which extends to the serial number on the back. Unlike flagship's gold parallels which have used black serial numbers for several years now, these Opening Day parallels kept the gold lettering.
It's just one little touch that makes me really like this brand.
|2011 Topps Opening Day #60 Aroldis Chapman (RC)|
I am pretty sure that this photo of Chapman was taken in Coors Field. Of course he has his away jersey on, the third base seats are in shadow, typical for a a late summer day game at Coors Field (at least in the later innings when a guy like Chapman would be on the mound), and the red Sports Authority logo behind his left leg can be found on the Coors Field tarp cover, which is kept along the third base wall.
They're little details that require some detective work, but I'm confident in that conclusion.
|2011 Topps Opening Day #174 Buster Posey|
Time flies, and always seems to be throttling up too.
|2011 Topps Opening Day #96 James Shields|
If you look closely at Shields' card above, you won't find a sparkle. Only a little star in the Rays logo that looks just like one.
|2011 Topps Opening Day #193 Trevor Cahill|
|2011 Topps Opening Day #123 Stephen Drew|
|2011 Topps Opening Day #204 Carlos Beltran|
A quick side note, especially since Star Wars will soon begin its next chapter. From time to time, I run across articles which point out that finding an entire desert planet (which our all-dirt "Tatooine cards" refer to), or an ice planet, or a forest planet, or even a city planet is pretty unlikely, at least if you assume it can support life. It works very well on screen to establish location, but it's a bit simplistic when you consider how many ecosystems even our little blue planet has.
But that doesn't make Tatooine cards any less awesome.
|2011 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M-11 Junction Jack|
|2011 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M-8 Dinger|
Tougher than snagging a foul ball, if you ask me.
|2011 Topps Opening Day Stars #ODS-8 Joey Votto|
Votto absolutely lost it a couple months ago when he was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, which made for one of the better highlights of the final month of the regular season. I wouldn't mind seeing a card of that incident, or even a whole insert set of ejections. Picture it: Votto, most of the Royals pitching staff, Earl Weaver, Milton Bradley, etc.... It would be epic.
|2011 Topps Opening Day Spot the Error #6 Ubaldo Jimenez|
Pinnacle used to run ads in Beckett along these lines, and they'd send you a redemption card if you wrote to them with a list of all the errors (and a SASE). That's how I got this Alex Rodriguez card, long before he gained notoriety and a season-long ban.
|1995 Score Contest Redemption #AD1 Alex Rodriguez|
|2011 Topps Opening Day Presidential First Pitch #PFP-9 John F. Kennedy|
Presidents throwing the first pitch from the actual mound is a fairly recent development. For a long time, they simply stood up in the stands and fired a ball out. I'm sure the Secret Service is just wild about the new trend of having the Leader of the Free World® standing in the center of an open field.
|2011 Topps Opening Day Presidential First Pitch #PFP-8 George W. Bush|
|2011 Topps Opening Day Stadium Lights #UL-3 Robinson Cano|
Cano's new home in Seattle is a bit less iconic. For me, it would be hard to top wearing the pinstripes under the lights in the Bronx. Cano's had that experience, as has President Bush (in an honorary sense, anyway), for that matter.
|2011 Topps Opening Day Autographs #ODA-JG Justin Germano (AU)|
|2011 Topps Opening Day Superstar Celebrations #SC-14 David Wright|
Though the Mets came out on the losing end this year, Wright played his part and hit a few over the wall during the Postseason. His cardmate Johan Santana has been plagued by injuries for most of this decade, and it's unclear whether he'll ever be able to make it back to the Majors. Whatever happens to his career, he did earn the distinction of being the only Met to pitch a no-hitter.
He hopes to return in 2016, but I guess we'll have to wait until Opening Day to find out. April 3rd. The clock is ticking.