February 17, 2008

Getting to the Bottom of 2008 Topps Series 1

I'd already told myself that I wouldn't collect this set, that I'd focus on Heritage and let Flagship sail on by. Besides, I told myself, I really wanted to get my shit together and only collect pre-1980 cards. I mean, I've been mildly obsessed with buying cards and stickers from Topps' Venezuelan issues in the Sixties and Seventies. Alas, my addiction reared its ugly head this afternoon.

And I couldn't be happier. My fellow bloggers have expounded on their feelings towards the set's design, the inserts and the other cards they've pulled, so I'll spare you my thoughts (though I did get a Guiliani/Red Sox team card and a World Champs Manny Ramirez auto/relic (#40/50)). I'll also refrain from live-blogging the packs, as I've already live-blogged a pack over on A Pack A Day, as have most of our other great writers.

What intrigues me about this set, besides the stellar All-Rookie Team and Trading Card History inserts, is that I've opened about 38 hobby packs and one jumbo pack and I already have an idea about the overall collation (the sequence of cards throughout distribution). Granted, this would be harder to determine if Topps released all 660 cards in one series.

So here's a list of who I got in each pack, in order (within the pack; packs may not be labeled in actual box-seeding). I'll list 18 packs tonight and the rest tomorrow.

Pack 1
233. NL MVP Jimmy Rollins
128. ALCS Kenny Lofton
231. Casey Blake
229. Dustin Pedroia
303. Jose Lopez
259. Emilio Bonifacio
INSERT: Mickey Mantle HR History #526
204. Rafael Furcal
283. Jorge Sosa
226. Kurt Suzuki

Pack 2
225. Hunter Pence
77. Angel Guzman
220. Roy Oswalt
188. Kei Igawa
175. Delmon Young
INSERT: Own the Game Prince Fielder
126. Brandon Jones
314. Ian Kinsler
9. Randy Wolf

Pack 3
19. Robinson Tejeda
206. Geoff Jenkins
112. Jacque Jones
291. Eugenio Velez
202. Mike Lamb
109. Joe Nathan
INSERT: Candidate Ron Paul
43. Ryan Dempster
31. Ronny Paulino
75. Felix Hernandez

Pack 4
284. Lance Broadway
179. NLDS Chris Young
327. NL Leaders - Strikeouts
53. Hank Blalock
269. James Loney
INSERT: Year in Review Tim Lincecum
Checklist 2/3
292. Mark Loretta
83. Mark Reynolds
21. Edwin Encarnacion

Pack 5
286. Jeff Clement
16. Kevin Gregg
326. NL Leaders - Batting Average
194. Chad Billingsley
291. Eugenio Velez - My first double. Let the fun begin!
INSERT: Own the Game Jake Peavy
114. Mike Fontenot
43. Ryan Dempster
31. Ronny Paulino

Okay, so now we know that if you get Dempster, you'll get Paulino. You'll also probably get Velez.

Pack 6
19. Robinson Tejeda
206. Geoff Jenkins
112. Jacque Jones

23. Chin-Lung Hu
196. Ross Gload
5. Scott Kazmir
INSERT: Joseph Biden Candidate
159. Luke Scott
307. Shawn Hill
281. Carlos Ruiz

Cards listed in bold italic are those that show up in sequence for a second time.

Pack 7
141. Ryan Klesko
257. Classic Combos: Kearns & Young
324. NL Cy Young Winner Jake Peavy
139. Johnny Estrada
50. Jake Peavy
INSERT: All-Rookie Team Roger McDowell
INSERT: Trading Card History Alfonso Soriano Hires 1958
34. Aaron Cook
33. Joe Mauer
280. Willie Randolph

Pack 8
286. Jeff Clement
16. Kevin Gregg

322. AL Leaders Strikeouts
135. Brad Penny
219. Kevin Kouzmanoff
222. Mark Grudzielanek
INSERT: Own The Game Fausto Carmona
INSERT: Josh Bard Gold Foil
168. Phil Hughes
174. Julian Tavarez

Pack 9
288. Classic Combos: Verlander and Rodriguez
25. NLDS Kaz Matsui
7. Mickey Mantle
306. Scott Olsen
262. Brett Myers
299. Cesar Izturis
INSERT: Gold Border Jose Bautista (#1955/2008)
39. Yovani Gallardo
325. Jim Leyland
78. Radhames Liz

(I'm pretty sure Gallardo/Leyland/Liz is a sequence I received in another pack outside of this box. I can't readily prove it because I've already mixed those cards up in a box. Oh well. Pressing on.)

Pack 10
26. ALDS Manny Ramirez
3. Jeff Suppan
59. ALDS Grady Sizemore
166. Andy Sonnanstine
124. Bob Geren
INSERT: All-Rookie Team Roy Oswalt
INSERT: Dmitri Young Gold Foil
Checklist 1/3
267. Chris Burke
55. Chris Young
81. Ray Durham

Pack 11
45. Dontrelle Willis
258. Classic Combos: Ramirez & Youkilis
56. Seth Smith
235. Rich Harden
2. Barry Zito
228. Geoff Blum
INSERT: Year in Review Rafael Furcal
INSERT: Andy LaRoche Gold Foil
241. Ervin Santana
316. Scott Hatteberg

Pack 12
28. Kyle Kendrick
117. Boof Bonser
234. WS Red Sox Champs
260. Chad Cordero
49. Orlando Hernandez
INSERT: All-Rookie Team Hanley Ramirez
INSERT: Trading Card History 1962 Topps Justin Upton
147. Marlon Anderson
189. Esteban German
200. Manny Ramirez

Pack 13
99. ALCS Ortiz & Ramirez
256. AL MVP Rodriguez
298. NL Leaders: Home Runs
88. Jack Cust
6. Felix Pie
321. J.R. Towles
INSERT: Own The Game Brandon Webb
INSERT: Gold Foil Rafael Soriano
Checklist 3/3
90. Vladimir Guerrero
313. Kameron Loe

Pack 14
207. Jeff Kent
65. Billy Wagner
217. World Series Josh Beckett
198. Shannon Stewart
167. Jason Hirsh
185, Yunel Escobar
INSERT: John Edwards Candidate
18. J.D. Durbin
182, Billy Buckner
80. Alex Rios

Pack 15
289. Justin Ruggiano
302. Horacio Ramirez
129. Kevin Hart
273. Rafael Soriano
162. Andy LaRoche
252. Dmitri Young
INSERT: Gold Bordered Miguel Tejada (#1663/2008)
320. Ichiro
136. Robinson Cano
42. Corey Hart

Pack 16
INSERT: Gold Foil Damion Easley
76. Ivan Rodriguez
71. Jarrod Washburn
161. Matt Garza
238. Shane Victorino
82. So Taguchi
296. Paul Konerko
INSERT: Mickey Mantle HR History #523
104. Kevin Youkilis
41. Rich Aurilia
92. Ross Detwiler

Pack 17
62. Rich Thompson
116. Chuck James
143. Willie Harris
315. David Weathers
172. Chris Ray
INSERT: Own The Game Mike Lowell
INSERT: Gold Foil Brandon Phillips
Checklist 3/3
57. Wladimir Balentien
137. Jamey Carroll
317. Cliff Lee

Pack 18
304. Jose Vidro
178. AL ROY Dustin Pedroia
275. AL Cy Young C.C. Sabathia
123. Terry Francona
32. Howie Kendrick
164. Nate Schierholtz
234. World Series Red Sox Champs (with Guiliani)
INSERT: Gold Foil Ron Washington
169. Adam Lind
119. Jeremy Hermida

So even though Topps is not calling the Guiliani card a flat-out insert, that's the way it's being seeded within packs (fifth or sixth card in the pack). Checklists are seeded in the 'filler' spot, between the sixth and seventh cards. I found League Leader cards seeded in the number 3 spot, and really I think we can open this up to include all subset cards, and Seeds 1, 2 and 3.

Through 18 recorded packs, here's a guesstimate on how seeding works:

Card 1: Subset or Base (I think Pack 18's Gold Foil Easley was a mistake in collation)
Card 2: Subset or Base
Card 3: Subset or Base
Card 4: Base
Card 5: Base
Card 6: Insert
Card 7: Insert
Card 8: Base
Card 9: Base
Card 10: Base

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