March Radness in September

Remember the NCAA basketball tournament from about 6 months ago? I mostly made safe picks this year, and predictably scored "okay" on a scale from awful to fortune teller. However, the rest of the pool in madding's March Radness contest didn't pick enough of the right upsets to defeat me, and I wound up a winner. My prize was a 2013 Heritage blaster, as well as first pick among some singles before 2nd through 4th place got to pick.

First off, the single card
2008 Topps Heritage
T205 Mini #HTCP1 Albert Pujols
This Pujols card is very red, and a little gold. I like it.

With 8 packs in the blaster, I decided to rank them worst to best, based on the insert, short print, or Cardinals contained within.

Pack 8:
114 Cody Ross
126 Craig Kimbrel
162 Hitting Area (Bryce Harper/Chipper Jones)
186 Casper Wells
204 Gregor Blanco
318 Kendrys Morales
371 Cole De Vries
408 2013 Rookie Stars (David Lough/Jack Odorizzi)
497 Jonathan Lucroy SP
2013 Topps Heritage
#497 Jonathan Lucroy SP
Nothing personal, Jonathan, but someone had to finish last.

Pack 7:
25 Andrew Cashner
60 Will Middlebrooks
132 Rickie Weeks
140 Carlos Pena
210 Jacoby Ellsbury
231 Jeff Francoeur
322 Scott Baker
400 Kris Medlen
430 Mike Trout SP
2013 Topps Heritage
#430 Mike Trout SP
An All-Star Rookie trophy solidifies Mike Trout at #7.

Pack 6:
64 Brian Wilson
135 Domonic Brown
155 Red Sox Sockers (Will Middlebrooks/David Ortiz)
252 Yonder Alonso
373 Ted Lilly
379 Nyjer Morgan
398 2013 Rookie Stars (Jeurys Familia/Collin McHugh)
421 Welington Castillo
New Age Perfomers NAP-DW David Wright
2013 Topps Heritage
New Age Performers #NAP-DW David Wright
Wright beats Trout based on rarity; this is a 1:8 insert.

Pack 5:
18 Adam Lind
30 Chad Billingsley
94 2013 Rookie Stars (Henry Rodriguez/Tony Cingrani)
255 Salvador Perez
292 Trevor Cahill
368 Ryan Dempster
391 Andy Pettitte
402 Will Venable
Memorable Moments MM-DP David Price
2013 Topps Heritage
Memorable Moments #MM-DP David Price
I think this set is new to Heritage this year. I like commemorating yearly achievements, and 20 wins is pretty rare these days.

Pack 4:
69 Alex Rodriguez
96 Jeff Samardzija
174 Derek Norris
203 Alcides Escobar
229 Jed Lowrie
360 Mark Teixeira
397 Clint Barmes
417 Juan Francisco
Then and Now TN-MG Juan Marichal/Gio Gonzalez
2013 Topps Heritage
Then and Now #TN-MG Juan Marichal/Gio Gonzalez
A 1960s star out of a 2013 pack is always fun.

Pack 3:
24 Anibal Sanchez
87 Bruce Bochy
106 Mike Leake
160 David Freese
2013 Topps Heritage #160 David Freese
223 James Loney
246 Josh Hamilton
344 Andrew Bailey
364 Russell Martin
Target Red Border 190 Derek Jeter
2013 Topps Heritage
Target Red Border #190 Derek Jeter
This was the first pack with 2 "hits" by my generous definition. We've all grown attached to David Freese in St. Louis, but there are rumblings of an offseason trade with such cheap infield talent at AAA ready to arrive. That may also make the Cardinals lots of merchandising money, because plenty of folks will want to go replace their Freese jerseys and t-shirts purchased after his amazing 2011 postseason.

Pack 2:
40 Carlos Beltran
2013 Topps Heritage #40 Carlos Beltran

159 Desmond Jennings
176 Ervin Santana
197 Mark Buehrle
2013 Topps Heritage #197 Mark Buehrle

264 Vernon Wells
267 Marco Estrada
276 Nick Swisher
396 Jeff Karstens
437 Billy Butler SP
2013 Topps Heritage #437 Billy Butler SP
A 3-hit pack, only because I count Mark Buehrle. And I'll deduct points for a card of a DH, even if it is the likable Billy Butler.

Pack 1:
1 2012 NL ERA Leaders (Clayton Kershaw/R.A. Dickey/Johnny Cueto)
13 Adam LaRoche
21 Joe Girardi
2013 Topps Heritage #21 Joe Girardi
Is that Joe Girardi, or Vince McMahon in a Yankees cap?

218 Brandon Beachy
254 Nathan Eovaldi
268 Justin Ruggiano
Baseball Flashback #BF-EB Ernie Banks
2013 Topps Heritage
Baseball Flashback #BF-EB Ernie Banks
Even a Cardinals fan has to enjoy a card of Mr. Cub.

Clubhouse Collection Relics CCR-BP Brandon Phillips
2013 Topps Heritage
Clubhouse Collection Relics #CCR-BP Brandon Phillips
Madding picked up a good blaster for me, since these are seeded 1:55 packs, or a little more than once every 7 8-pack blasters. Based on that alone, this pack has to win the blaster.

For once, I managed to cram one of Cards on Cards' contest results into a single post. Thanks to madding for the blaster and the mini!

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