Who would have thought that a random Bowl Game played in December would land me some baseball cards in mid-February.
Prior to bowl season, Kerry over at Cards on Cards hosted a really cool contest for the eleventh straight year! It was a classic college football bowl pick 'em with a small twist. You picked your bowl winners, but also placed a confidence rating on each game, which rewards you with more points for games you rank high on your confidence scale. It's pretty simple: There are 41 bowl games. You make your win/loss picks on all 41 games. Then, you rank the games 1-41 on how confident you are that your pick will be correct (41 being the highest, 1 being the lowest). Your most confident pick is worth 41 points. Your second most confident pick is worth 40 points, and so on.
It was my first time in a contest of this style and I had a blast. I didn't win the contest overall although I *thought* I did pretty well. I was in the 84th percentile of all ESPN participants but finished 11th place out of 29 participants in our pool - which was apparently loaded with college football experts!
There was a neat little side contest that asked participants to guess the winner of the Belk Bowl as well as the final score. As a casual Kentucky football fan, I was pretty confident in the underdog Cats. I was one of few who took them - and although my score prediction of 24-14 was well under the final score of 37-30, it was the closest guess of those who took a chance on UK.
For the prize, Kerry was kind enough to send a 2020 Topps Series 1 fat pack my way. I don't typically bust open a large amount Topps Flagship so this was a really great way to get my fix. I haven't shown any Series 1 on the blog yet so I'll use this opportunity to share my thoughts on the product.
34 cards to get into.
Only one Pirate but I'll certainly take it. I think Archer could be primed for a comeback season. He can't get much worse than he was last year, but I'm really hoping he can return to his days of owning a three-point-something ERA.
As for the base design, it's fair. I am a big fan of borders as long as they're done right. I feel like flagship always has a border, so this is some interesting new borderless-territory. For a design without borders, it certainly works. The photography is great but it's not Stadium Club!
2018 Cy Young Winner Blake Snell on a really nice looking 1985 Topps 35th anniversary insert. I like the foil stamp. The only Pirate that shows up in this set is Roberto Clemente
Turkey Reds are back in the 2020 set, and I got two hot names. I'm a big fan of these cards coming back. They also come in the form of Chrome parallels. I haven't held any in-hand yet, but as a guy who loves all things shiny I'm very eager to see them. The set is 100 cards and features two Pirates, Josh Bell and Chris Archer, so I will likely try to get my hands on those.
Thanks again to Kerry for hosting the contest again, this pack was really fun to open.