I read a post yesterday - a Topps 2015 post - mentioning the significance (or lack thereof) for "first cards of the year." For whatever reason, these always are a big deal to me - whoever I see first essentially opens the baseball season for me, and I like to spend a little extra time exploring that player. So, without delay, here is 2015's first card:
By the way, I'm not going to "review" the cards yet - and I'm sure others will. What I will say is that the cards look better in my hand then they do on the scan - does anyone out there agree with that? I feel like the team color effect is pretty cool - yet on the scan, they look like some early 90's set. You guys probably know (and can recite) which set better than me. (Maybe late 90's?)
Anyway, back to first cards, this year it's Phil Hughes. Doesn't he kind of look like Mike Pelfrey here? As a New York area fan, there are certainly some parallels there. A lot of potential, some flashes of greatness, but then eventually just moving on. And both to the Twins, as well. For Hughes, though, it was an excellent 2014, proving to be (at least initially) worth the money that New York sports radio laughed at him for getting (and which certainly looks like a bargain, now!).
Pelfrey's first year in Minnesota (5-13, 5.19) could not have been more different.
One additional note: check out his face. More on that soon.
WAR! But no BABIP? Maybe next year, Topps... (and what about FRAA???)
Ah, back to the faces. My daughters (3 and 1) were trying to mimic the Garza face before bedtime last night. My wife was impressed. Is this a theme this year? The Garza is definitely the best, but Hughes and Flowers are noteworthy, as well.
I like team cards. I especially like team cards with an interesting picture. I wish the freaking Royals would have won that Series though!
Did anyone else hate how widely criticized Ned Yost was by the stat people? I think it made me appreciate the Royals run even more - and root even harder for them. Widely considered "one of the worst tactical managers in the game," Yost DOES show the ability to attempt to read the game, and a willingness to take risks to give his team an edge. Advanced metrics people will scoff at percentages of success, but this game is not ALL numbers, is it?
And now, an insert. It's Fernando! And add his face to the intriguing ones in the pack. I said this wasn't a card review post, but I do want to say that this isn't the most aesthetically pleasing card I've ever seen.
I was just old enough in '81 to remember Fernando-mania, though not quite old enough to fully appreciate it. I like the story on the card back - gives a nice historical framework to the set.