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Random Pack Break: 2011 Topps Series One Baseball Rack Pack

Apparently the sled dogs finally brought a little 2011 Topps Series One Baseball north of the border in single pack form. My local card shop was useless in my quest, telling me for three straight weeks that they'd be in by the end of the week. I gave up completely when I spotted the new Heritage cards in at $10 per pack. The sled dogs he uses to bring cards in must dine on steak given that the Canuck loonie is now worth more than its American counterpart.

A quick trip to Wal-mart had me find a handful of rack packs sitting in the corner. With a base set on the way I opted for a small sampling of only a couple of packs to see what 2011 has in the way of cardboard.

Price: $6.97 for 36 cards ($0.19 per card)

Top Half:

216. Jose Bautista
323. C.J. Wilson
265. John Danks
188. Pablo Sandoval
33. Max Scherzer
52. Tampa Bay Rays
83. Greg Halman RC
53. Arizona Diamondbacks
283. Colorado Rockies
314. Ryan Kalish
History of Topps HOT-3. Sy Berger
Topps Town TT-1. Miguel Cabrera
137. Xavier Nady
251. Alcides Escobar
241. Wandy Rodriguez
41. Freddy Garcia
5. Joey Votto

So far, so good. I haven't pulled a lot of Votto cards, so it's a nice addition to my Canadians box. With all the vintage reprints Topps has done over the past decade, I much prefer the original history spin of the History of Topps cards. Sy Berger might not appeal to the masses but his impact on the hobby cannot be denied.

Design wise, it's simple but it works. It reminds me a lot of 1994 Fleer Baseball, one of the best base sets of the 1990s. Historically, I think the 2011 Topps Baseball design might be a little too bland to make it stand out as an all-time great, but it's better than many looks of the past five years.

Let's move on.

Bottom Half:

160. Josh Tomlin
4. Jason Kubel
294. Luke Scott
116. Russell Branyan
50. Alex Rodriguez
213. Brandon Snyder RC
165. Jeremy Hellickson RC
175. Brennen Boesch
169. Chipper Jones
Kimball Champions KC-16. Aroldis Chapman
Diamond Giveaway (turned out to be a 2001 common and a White Sox ring)
Diamond Parallel44. Martin Prado
Diamond Duos DD-CS. Steve Carlton/CC Sabathia
Topps 60 T60-50 Miguel Cabrera
60 Years of Topps 60YOT-16. Tony Perez
207. Angel Pagan
212. Pedro Feliz
19. Derek Lowe
291. Juan Gutierrez

I'm a sucker for shiny things and I LOVE the Diamond Parallels. They standout much more than a simple border adjustment. I immediately considered building the set by getting some larger lots off eBay and trading but that could prove to be a little too costly spread over three series. Instead I'll hold onto the few that I pull and maybe casually go after them for a decade. The Kimball minis are also pretty nice but I wonder if they might have made for a better stand-alone set instead of the upcoming Gypsy Queen set. I'm sick of finding reprints in packs. If I wanted a 1967 Tony Perez I'd go out and get one, thank you very much.

Overall, I'm digging this year's Topps. For $7, the rack pack offered a good mix of base and inserts, even if the majority of inserts aren't any better than the base card they replaced. I only wished they were more readily available up here.

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