It's almost like it was planned. The day after MLB announced the end to the
lockout and that the baseball season could officially begin, I found a sizable
amount of 2022 Topps at My local Wal-Mart! There were no individual packs,
just boxes and hangers. I grabbed one of each, and joyfully ripped into the
hanger box, just so I could give you my first impressions!
The official first card of 2022 goes to...
#258 Andre Jackson (RC)
Thanks to a recent Night Owl post
, I looked back and discovered that my first
card for the past three base sets have all been Dodgers (Tony Gonsolin
2020, Julio Urias
last year). That's an odd streak, and I have no idea who
this guy is!
#275 Ketel Marte
#256 James McCann
#12 Gavin Sheets (RC)
#27 Mike Trout
#226 Josh Donaldson
#66 Connor Wong (RC)
#236 Freddie Freeman
#101 Clint Frazier
#61 Jackson Reetz (RC)
#4 Travis d'Arnaud
#139 Omar Narvaez
#186 Jake Burger (RC)
#200 Ronald Acuna Jr.
We haven't talked about the design yet. From the moment the design was first released to the public, I've dubbed this the "Wrench set" since that what the bottom banner reminds me of. I like that Topps is using some curved lines in the design, and the partial baseball logo works well. Names are more readable than last year, but the team name is still too small and the position is so faded I wonder why they even bothered. It's better than what they've put out the previous two years.
#92 Avisail Garcia
#158 Riley Adams (RC)
#115 Austin Riley
#292 Kyle Higashioka
#231 Ronnie Dawson (RC)
#46 Raimel Tapia
#183 Ji-Man Choi
#252 Victor Reyes
Here's a look at the back. I'm genuinely happy my old eyes can read the card numbers! For all the good stuff, however, I need to break out my reading glasses.
#322 Joey Gallo
#313 Brady Singer
#150 Juan Soto
#237 Albert Pujols
#220 Gerardo Parra
#36 Jorge Alfaro
#244 Shane McClanahan (FS)
#HRC-3 Mike Trout
I'm digging the design of this year's Home Run Challenge cards, with the
exploding baseball in the background.
#26 Devin Williams (blue parallel)
#T87-43 Jesse Winker
I get it. Everyone is sick of the 1987 design, it's been used again and again
until it's become cliche. You know what? I still love it. No other design
takes me back to my childhood quite like that wood-grain border. Give me all your unwanted '87 Topps
#SMLB-25 Nolan Arenado
#SMLB-13 Jacob deGrom
#SMLB-2 Ronald Acuna Jr.
#SMLB-28 Clayton Kershaw
These remind me too much of the "Stars Of The Game" inserts from 2019.
#WTTS-2 Mike Trout (Welcome To The Show insert)
#203 Wade Miley
#246 Mauricio Dubon
#282 Carlos Rodon
#89 Jorge Mateo
#174 Hunter Renfroe
Another Red Sox player, this time in the yellow "city" uniform. I've seen less
than half of the set, yet I'm convinced no other set has ever show as
many distinct uniforms. It almost feels like every player is wearing something
different. (Hmmm...might make an interesting blog post...)
#162 Spencer Howard
#130 Tyler Gilbert (RC)
#94 Cedric Mullins
#249 Zack Wheeler
#85 Rodolfo Castro (RC)
Am I the only one who looked at this card and thought he had three consecutive
o's in his name? A failure of fonts!
#87 Nolan Arrenado
#315 Pete Alonso
#298 Drew Ellis (RC)
#321 City Of Walk-Off Love (CL)
#181 NL RBI Leaders (Duvall/Riley/Albies)
The top 3 league leaders are all from one team. I wonder if this has ever
#127 NL Strikeout Leaders (Wheeler/Scherzer/Burnes)
#109 Toronto Blue Jays (TC)
#260 Trevor Story
#318 Josh Reddick
#49 Brett Gardner
It's always cool when you catch something when cards are back to back. In this
case, we have two players in mid flight!
#211 Cristian Javier
#177 Carson Kelly
#247 St. Louis Cardinals (TC)
#136 Houston Astros (TC)
#124 San Diego Padres (TC)
#274 Tampa Bay Rays (TC)
Add this to the list of things that annoy me about the Rays: 100 games won
last season, without a single pitcher qualifying for the ERA title?
#255 Chicago White Sox (TC)
#210 Oakland Athletics (TC)
#167 Daniel Bard
#289 Nate Pearson
Overall, I'm liking the set. It's not fantastic, but it's solid and more memorable than most of the designs they've pushed out recently. This may be the last Topps set we see without the Fanatics logo squeezed in somewhere, so if so it kind of marks an end of an era.