Who am I? Just last week I trashed the 2020 Topps Update checklist. Using names like Jharel Cotton and Josh Phegley from the Cubs team checklist to hammer down my point.
But that’s also why I absolutely love 2020 Topps Update from a Chicago Cubs baseball card standpoint. I will stand by my statement that by and large this year’s product leaves a lot to be desired because of the lack of key rookie cards.
This past weekend I was able to find some Topps Update “in the wild” as folks in the hobby say when boxes of baseball cards are found on Target and Wal-Mart shelves.
On Friday (the baseball card stocking day in my area) I made a few trips to the three Target stores and one closest Wal-Mart to my house. Full disclosure: I did take the day off from my day job.
The first Topps Update sighting was about a dozen fat packs. Since I was so cold on the product I only grabbed four packs to scratch the itch. Later, at another Target store, it was stocked with several blaster boxes, so I grabbed two to check out what they entailed.
It was a fun rip and I pulled some rookie debut cards of Bo Bichette, Kyle Lewis, and base rookies cards of Trent Grisham and Randy Arozarena. But that’s not what I am here to talk about. Show me the Cubbies! Josh Phegley was a name I tossed out referencing the weak checklist. I mean…he’s the Cubs third string catcher. How many third string catchers get Topps cards?
At least Phegley played in a game this year. Jharel Cotton hasn’t played in a Major League Baseball game since 2017 with the Oakland Athletics. Cotton was released by the Cubs in September.
Kyle Ryan is a name most fans haven’t heard because he’s a relief pitcher. Ryan pitched in 15.2 innings this past 2020 season. He made an appearance on the mound in 73 games in 2019.
I wonder how many big league pitchers have thrown a no-hitter before appearing on a Topps baseball card?
Alec Mills is one. Here is the first flagship Topps card of Mills.
Craig Kimbrel has been pretty disappointing as a Cubs closer. Kimbrel has a 0-5 record with just 15 saves in 41 games played over the past two seasons in Chicago.
The Cubs get a rookie card in the set – Ian Miller. You haven’t heard of Miller? He appeared in one game for the Chicago Cubs – as a pinch runner – and was then designated for assignment.
You’ve probably heard of Anthony Rizzo, though. I do like how Topps handled the All Star Game and Home Run Derby cards this year. Since there wasn’t an All Star break they commemorated past games like Rizzo’s 2016 ASG appearance.
Kris Bryant was also given an All Star card from the 2016 game played in San Diego. This appears to be a parallel with the blue border.
This Daniel Descalso card is definitely a blue parallel.
I pulled a pair of insert cards. This year pays homage to the 1985 Topps set, and this Ernie Banks looks great on the design.
Turkey Red is cool, but I hope Topps pulls the plug on it and lets it sit for a few years before reintroducing it. It is a cool design, but will be better if done on a minimal basis.
As a collector of random Cubs, this years checklist is great. Names like Josh Phegley, Ian Miller, and Jharel Cotton are likely on their only Cubs card ever. All in all it was a very fun rip, but I won’t be clearing any shelves for 2020 Topps Update.