Yesterday, I found the card aisle at Walmart was stocked with Topps series two, so I picked up a loose pack, rack pack and hanger, to sample the release. Overall its a successful continuation of the first series. Out of my loose pack came this Zach Britton card, the first in my collection of the Orioles rookie, since I don't really buy Bowman. I am really looking forward to Topps Chrome for the simple fact of possibly pulling his auto which has been pictured in previews of the set.
Zach started the season with the O's after Brian Matusz went on the disabled list and pitched impressively well. He has started to struggle as of late, pitching a few no decisions and recently he had a very bad outing against the blue Jays. He still sports a 5-4 record with a respectable 3.33 ERA, which leads the team. If he can get back on track, I'm hoping he can be a strong rookie of the year finalist for the Orioles. The last Oriole to win the award was Gregg Olsen in 1989 when he became the first reliever to win a ROY. He nabbed the award with 27 saves, which set a major league rookie record and a 1.69 ERA.
Tonight the Orioles go for a sweep of the Oakland A's, with Britton on the mound. Currently the O's are three games under .500 and trail the Yankees by five and half games. It has been a long time since the Orioles were into June and only five and half games out of first place. This team has been alot more fun to watch this season but also incredibly frustrating because of their inconsistency. They win a few series at home and then go on the road and lose six straight.
My packs contained a lot of inserts. Two new sets are "Diamond Stars", which look like the diamond parallels on a ball diamond design, and "Before there was Topps." The "Before There Was Topps" insert could have been left out, to me it feels like a filler and a unnecessary counterpart to the History of Topps insert in series one. Its a very dry set and I'm not a big fan of the design. The card has too large of a border and not enough focus on the vintage card featured. The Diamond Stars are a nicer insert, they remind me of an insert from the late nineties. The card I pulled featured Adrian Gonzales.
Also beware of the Dominic Brown twinkle. I pulled two which means it can't be an sp and the code number on the bottom matches the other regular base cards. If its a variant the code will differ. I'll be posting my haves and wants for series two on the blog shortly.