Opening Day 2011
April 1st, 2011 by slangon

After a long cold winter, Opening Day is finally here. I know, I know. Opening Day was technically yesterday, but for whatever reason the scheduling gods decided that the Mets wouldn’t open until today. I’m actually a little confused as to what happened. I always remember the very first game of the season happening on a Sunday night and featuring whatever team won the World Series. Then the other teams would start that Monday, usually day games. Oh well. All I know is that the Mets are opening up on a Friday night, which means I’ll actually get home in time to watch it.

Anyway, in honor of Opening Day, I decided to actually open some packs of cards, namely a 3 pack of 2011 Topps Heritage that I picked up at Target.

I don’t know if you’ve seen these things, but they cost the same as 3 loose retail packs and they come with 3 Target exclusive black border parallels. I don’t necessarily care about the black border cards, but I wanted to pick up a few packs anyway so I figured for the same price I might as well get the 3 extra cards. These are actually the first packs I’ve busted this year. Let’s see what we got, shall we?

Pack 1:
#25 Starlin Castro

This is officially my first new baseball card of the year. I guess it's a pretty good one.

#301 Clay Buchholz
#348 Eric Sogard
#69 Cory Luebke
#471 Josh Hamilton AS

A Hambone short printed All-Star. Hamilton might be my favorite American League player. Maybe.

#76 Freddie Freeman

I'll admit that it sort of scares me a little how many awesome young players the Braves have. As a side note, considering that the 1962 design already has an element in place that calls out that the player is a rookie, do we really need the annoying "RC" logo on the bottom?

#339 J.J. Hardy
#385 Mark Buehrle

Hey look. A Perfect Game thrower.

#92 Armando Galarraga

And an almost Perfect Game thrower.

Pack 2:
#277 Pedro Alvarez
#314 Cabrera’s Power

I normally like sub-set cards, but I'm a little unsure about this one. Do we really need a separate card to tell us that Miguel Cabrera hits with power? Although I must admit, I do like the photo sequence of him swinging.

#30 Chipper Jones

You know, I don't know how much longer Chipper is going to be playing, but as a Mets fan, I'll admit it, I'm going to miss him.

#129 Carlos Quentin
#BF-6 Whitey Ford Baseball Flashback

I'm always really interested in how the Topps designers handle these insert sets every year in Heritage. I gotta say, the red and blue bars with the baseball looks pretty sharp against the wood background.

#95 Ryan Zimmerman

Zim is probably one of my favorite non-Mets players so I'm always psyched to get a card of his, even if there's no one in the stands to see it.

#358 Andre Ethier
#135 Babe Ruth Special Babe as a Boy

I'm not sure how I feel about these Babe Ruth Specials. I think it's a little weird that they're basically just reprints of the original 1962 Ruth Specials. On the other hand, I'm just glad that they're not Mickey Mantle Specials.

#424 Leo Nunez

Pack 3:
#215 Asdrubal Cabrera
#183 Mike Pelfrey

Hey! It's today's starter for the Mets. Is that a good omen?

#269 Lance Berkman
#TN-2 Frank Robinson / Miguel Cabrera Then & Now

I always like playing the game of trying to figure out what the 2 Then & Now guys have in common. I guess Frank and Miguel both played in the NL and the AL, although last time I checked, Cabrera hasn

#293 Jonathin Niese

I got 40% of the Mets starting rotation in one pack. Awesome.

#3 David Ortiz
#194 Jordan Walden
#164 Jason Kendall
#220 Ryan Howard

I think Ryan Howard might be one of the few guys on the Phillies that I don't hate on a personal level. I do hate him as a player because he's awesome, though.

Bonus Pack:
These were the 3 “Exclusive Black Parallel Cards” that came in the pack, although I’m not sure if they’re technically parallels since they actually have ┬ácompletely different numbering from the base cards. It was always my understanding that a true parallel is identical to the base cards in all respects except for whatever the parallel difference is, in this case the black wood grain border. As I mentioned in the beginning, I don’t really care much for these, but they were basically free, so why not. I mean, I guess the black frame looks pretty cool, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get any of these.

#C75 Tommy Hunter


#C16 Tommy Hanson


#C82 Nyjer Morgan

So there you have it. My first foray into 2011 baseball cards. They’re pretty cool, but I don’t think I’ll be making much effort to collect this years set, outside of the Mets cards. Speaking of the Mets cards from this set, if anyone has any they’re willing to trade, pretty much any of the cards mentioned in this post, aside from the Pelfrey and Niese, are available if anyone needs them.

I can’t wait until 7 o’clock tonight. I’ll be sitting on a couch with a cold beer watching the Mets if anyone needs me.

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