I have no idea what’s going on with my Target when it comes to stocking cards. It used to be the case that I would find new releases on schedule every time – occasionally even a day early. This year, they’ve been delayed by a week or even more. I’m not certain if that’s part of Topps release strategy just playing out, or if my Target has just gotten particularly unlucky when it comes to new product.
Case in point: last week, when I was on yet another Target run, I did my routine check of the card aisle, expecting to be disappointed once more. Not only had Stadium Club finally showed up on the shelves, but also that cool new Big League Baseball set made it – and Allen & Ginter was almost on time! Yep, just like the good ol’ Spoon song says, “everything hits at once.” I bought a couple rack packs of SC, a few blasters of BLB, and two blasters of A&G, and called my retail cardboard buying pretty much done for the year. I’m gonna touch on all of them here – it’s going to be a lengthy post picture-wise, but I’ll try to keep it brief. Stick around until the end though, there’s something nice there. First up: Stadium Club. This is typically one of my favorite releases, usually for the stellar photography and the sublime layout. I’m not big on the text formatting this year, but it does have some good photos laced throughout it. And wouldn’t you know it, I managed to land a George Springer in the lot! I really dig the photos with the “Houston Strong” patches on the uniforms, given how much that meant to our city last year.
A few non-sport minis crept into the blaster as well.
Here’s an excellent pair of HOFers that I’ll be keeping as well – love that awesome brown and gold uniform on that smiling Dave Winfield.
Some rookies! Ohtani is a keeper. How old is Harrison Bader though? Twelve? How is he in baseball? (He’s available, if that wasn’t clear.)
These, though – I can get behind these. A card for the Bullpen Car? Hell yes, I’m going to get Collin McHugh to sign it. He was the first one to ride it in to the mound. Epstein? Sure, he can have a card. I may even try to send it to him for a signature, but I think he only sends back business cards, which means he probably has a stack somewhere that an intern stuffs.
Finally, a couple more inserts I can get behind. I’ve got five of these Baseball Equipment of the
Ages inserts now – definitely one I want to build.
I do like some of the non-baseball inserts too. The one that really stuck with me this year is the Magnificent Moons set, so I am building that one. It, uh, seems kinda lame that our moon is just named Moon, though.
It’s time for some Big League Baseball! Hooray, you made it this far – you’re a champ! Hold on for just a little longer. I landed quite a few Astros in my blasters, including these two Altuves. I love that they put these
League Leader er, Stat Kings cards into the set.
I got a couple of JV cards in there as well.
One more trio of some big Astros stars. Bregman is out of his mind this season, and Yuli Gurriel doesn’t get his due. Correa was the only gold parallel Astro that I pulled.
So the Diamondbacks are getting all the coolest cards this year, huh? The Bullpen Cart and the team celebrating in the pool? That’s pretty sweet.
See what I mean? This is a keeper – but it’s also an Astros card, y’all, and it’s going into my team binder. Orbit should sneak into more cardboard.
Here’s another epic horizontal shot. My only qualm with this is the giant red ads eat up your visual attention, but if you can take time to refocus you’ll see an outstanding Mookie Betts card.
These threw me for a loop at first – I hadn’t seen them on a checklist and they didn’t seem to be an insert. No, these are Players Weekend nickname parallels. This is a really nice design. Except, the choices are kinda weak. Matt Olson as “Oly” is a stretch, but ok. How are you going to put Mookie Betts in there when his jersey name was just his first name, though? The Adrian Beltre “El Koja” card is a prime example of what these ought to be.
My favorite part of Big League, though, is the Box Cards! Topps, you need to be doing this for all your sets. This is so fun, and I was genuinely surprised when I saw them in the store. It’s part of the reason I shelled out for three boxes instead of some other mixture. Now I just need to find a Trout to complete the run.
You made it! I said there was a big reveal at the end, so thanks for sticking around. As I mentioned, I was quite surprised to see not one but three new sets at my store. When it came to the A&G, I hesitated. I’m no pack searcher, but I do have a bit of a routine when grabbing blasters. I have to pick up a few and take whichever one “calls to me,” so to speak.
Well, I guess I grabbed the right one, because inside one of the packs was this outstanding framed mini-relic card of Manny Machado. Apologies to Cliff, CommishBob, and all the other O’s fans out there – I know this one was probably a painful trade. Manny and this tiny orange jersey swatch will most certainly have a place in my collection, though.