Matt Kemp I got nothing to say about Kemp except that he looks bored. The next time I make the big leagues and get to be photographed for my own baseball card, remind me not to look like I'd rather be asleep. This photo of Kemp gives hope to my new theory that some cards feature photos intended for a different use, like say a media guide or a side of a milk carton.
Chris Young In 1960, Leaf (or Sports Novelties, as the brand was known at the time) included a card titled "Baseball's Two Hal Smiths." You'd think that Topps would want to copy that for one of its brands, with "Baseball's Two Chris Youngs." I'm not a National League guy, so I don't know if this is the good Chris Young or the bad one, or if they're both good, or what. I do know that this guy's glove is absolutely gigantic.
Adam Wainwright Actually, I'm beginning to notice that all the gloves on these cards look huge, so I guess I can't hold it against Chris Young if he wants to use a comically-oversized mitt. I'm digging Wainwright's card, and if you remove the glove from his left hand, he could be at the blackboard in front of a lecture hall full of high schoolers.
Tom Gorzelanny Tom's lucky: you almost can't tell he's on the Pirates. That way, if he shows this card to a non-baseball friend, he can pretend he's on any team he wants. Which brings up a question that's been nagging me: If you had a choice, wouldn't you want to play for the hometown team? Says here that Tom lives in Orland Park, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago and home to R. Kelly and Buddy Guy). Wouldn't he want to play for the Sox or the Cubs? Were it me, I'd want to play for the Red Sox and that's it.
Mini Jason Varitek Boy, remember those dark years when Varitek wasn't in a Topps set? Wonder what that was all about. Anyway, now it seems like Topps is making up for lost time. They got him everywhere, and not just rehashing the same photo over and over again. Seems like they've shown him in ten different poses, at home eating lunch, throwing change out the window at the toll booth, and singing karaoke with his Japanese friends.
State Flags: Joe Mauer/Minnesota Mauer's great, isn't he? One of my favorites. Also gotta love the old-school Twins batting helmet. Makes you think Gary Ward's lurking around somewhere. By the way, the State Flags insert is okay, but have you noticed how boring most of the flags are? I'd like to think that if these cards have any value, it's based on the beauty (or overall craziness) of the state flag depicted. Were this the case, the Maryland card would be worth the most.
Brian Schneider The highlight of this card is the Shea Stadium patch on Schneider's right arm. Also what looks like either a leech or a massive shaving cut on his right cheek. I'm really hoping it's a leech.
Marie Curie Proof once again that you don't have to comb your hair to make a difference in this world.
Pack 2 Success Rate: 62.5% (5/8) Not a great pack. Besides the mini Varitek, the Mauer/Minnesota, and the Marie Curie cards, only two others make the cut (Matt Kemp and Chris Young). The rest of the pack is filled out by guys who were born to be mediocre (Gorzelanny, Schneider, Wainwright). Perfect Packs have no time for mediocrity.