Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Marketside Pizza Party...That Somebody Had Earlier This Year

Right as the 2016 MLB Baseball Season started, some collectors who rely on one of the big box stores (that would be Walmart or Target) made an unusual discovery upon wandering the frozen food section of their local Walmart.

Pizza Courtesy of Dean aka The Cardboard Examiner

That's right...Walmart was including Topps cards as a "prize" in their house-brand pizzas. Each pizza would include 3 cards and a Topps bunt code card, along with some coupons for some early season baseball card products (think Series 1, Gypsy Queen, Heritage, and Bowman).

I don't get to go to Walmart often, and by the time I was able to (around middle of April, I think), either the store I went to didn't have them yet, or they were all gone. I'll go with the former as there would be no way the store could have run out of this stuff...

But I digress.

Now this wouldn't be the first time Topps would include cards in a food product (not counting their gum). For many years, Topps has included cards in various food products, from cookies to pizza. However, in almost all cases, because these were only approved by the MLB Players' Association, the player's cards mostly featured a headshot and an airbrushed (and in many cases, really badly) cap. With Topps holding the exclusive rights with MLB Properties, now Topps can add logos and such to these kinds of cards.

There are 50 cards in this set, so if you were to try to collect the full set by doing nothing but buy the pizzas, you'd be in for a very expensive shopping trip. Walmart sells their Marketside Pizzas from anywhere between 7-10 bucks, depending on the type of pizza you prefer (plain cheese goes for around $7, pepperoni is about $9, and the ultimate meat for $10). So if we were going on the hope that one could get all 50 cards in the set without hitting a double, we'd be spending at least anywhere from $119 to $170 for seventeen pizzas. And for those who buy pack after pack of regular cards, you know that the odds of completing the set is near impossible.

I love pizza as much as the next person, but I don't think my family would have approved of me buying a ton of pizzas for the sole purpose of getting these cards, so my best option would be to see if anyone was able to pull of completing a set and then see if they were willing to trade or sell their cards online.

As news of the discovery of these cards started to come out, people were, indeed, putting these cards on the Bay. And cards of the usual suspects (Trout, Harper, Bryant) were going for big dollars ($10-$20), while cards of superstar players (think Sale, Perez, Machado) were going for anywhere between $5-$10. But no sets to speak of. Of course a 50-card set that could only be collected 3 cards at a time, of course nobody would have been able to get a full set right away.

It's now August. The season is now in pennant chase mode. We're getting a clear idea of which teams will add games in October. By now, somebody has to have been able to complete this set. I'm sure they went through the usual channels, whether it was on the Bay, trading, or other online means (ain't the Internet grand??!) And sure enough, sets have been popping up on the big auction site. As of today, August 10, 2016, the furthest record of a complete sale of a set of 50 cards comes from a BIN in May for $65.00. Someone was able to sell a couple of sets for almost $75.00 BIN. Auctions ended anywhere between $30-40.

Last week, one sold for $25.00 BIN.

That one, was bought by me. Today the cards came in the mail.

2016 Topps Marketside Pizza Set of 50 cards.

So I am adding this 50-card set to my 2016 Topps set binder. In the coming days, I will also be getting the 9-card Lids set.

2016 Topps New Era Lids Exclusive 9-card set. Coming soon.

So while I may not have been busy on this humble, little blog, rest assured that I have been very busy on the Hobby front.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen, Introducing 2017 Topps Baseball

It's the most...wonderful time...of the year.

Yes, we still have two months more of baseball season (not counting playoffs), and 2016 Topps Update Series hasn't come out yet. And don't forget National Baseball Card Day this Saturday.

But in August, at least the last few years, Topps introduces the new design that we will all be after once the 2017 Baseball Card Season starts. This year is no exception.

Are you ready?

Are you excited?

I know I am.

So what are we waiting for?

Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the design for 2017 Topps Baseball:

Continuing with the gray-transparent corners (there has to be some kind of design element that looks like a border...even though this is Topps' second "borderless" design), this year's major design element is the big slanted "X" that holds the player name, position, team name, and team logo. Think basepaths? The top of the card looks a bit pixelated. Maybe it's my screen and may not be an actual design point, but this is definitely an improvement. The smoky design on some of this year's cards, while a nice touch, did detract from some of the pictures.

I'm really liking the design, and I don't have the cards in hand yet. Hopefully Topps will come out with a press release or something explaining the reasons for the design, and maybe a sell sheet.

But what do you think? Do you like the design? Hate it? Thoughts?


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

And Now, Your Starting Lineups...

As announced at All-Star Media Day:

For the National League:

1. Ben Zobrist, CHC, 2b
2. Bryce Harper, WAS, rf
3. Kris Bryant, CHC, 3b
4. Wil Myers, SDP, dh
5. Buster Posey, SFG, c
6. Anthony Rizzo, CHC, dh
7. Marcell Ozuna, MIA, cf
8. Carlos Gonzalez, COL, lf
9. Addison Russell, CHC, ss

And the American League:

1. Jose Altuve, HOU, 2b
2. Mike Trout, LAA, cf
3. Manny Machado, BAL, 3b
4. David Ortiz, BOS, dh
5. Xander Bogaerts, BOS, ss
6. Eric Hosmer, KCR, 1b
7. Mookie Betts, BOS, rf
8. Salvador Perez, KCR, c
9. Jackie Bradley, Jr., BOS, rf

The starting pitchers for the 87th ASG are Johnny Cueto of the Giants and Chris Sale of the White Sox.

Enjoy the game everyone.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Quintana Replaces Salazar on AL ASG Roster

On Sunday, it was announced that Indians All-Star pitcher Danny Salazar is dealing with mild elbow discomfort. While it's not bad enough that he has to be placed on the disabled list, it was decided that he should rest instead of participate in the All-Star Game. So while he will still most likely make the trip to San Diego, someone will have to take Salazar's spot on the roster.

It was announced today, as Chris Sale was getting his All-Star jersey, and Todd Frazier was getting one as well because he's heading to SD to defend his Home Run Derby title, that pitcher Jose Quintana of the White Sox will be taking Salazar's place on the All-Star Team roster.

Quintana is having a great year for the Pale Hose, although his 7-8 record doesn't show it. He has a 3.21 ERA, 105 strikeouts and a 1.11 WHIP (good for sixth place on the leaderboard) in 117.2 innings pitched. This will mark his first trip to the All-Star Game.

So add Quintana's #582 card or his CWS-10 retail team card to your binder. Will there be more players added? Who knows at this point. Stranger things have happened. Stay tuned.


JayBee Anama

2016 Topps Pro Debut at the Futures Game

The All-Star festivities are now in full swing and the highlight of this first day's events is the annual Futures Game.

Since the first Futures Game in 1999, more than 120 players who were named to either the US or World rosters have become MLB All-Stars, with many of them are participating in this year's All-Star Game. Twenty-seven players on last year's roster have already played in the majors.

Back to the point.

Today, the best minor leaguers from the United States take on the best prospects from around the world (Dominican Republic, Canada, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Lithuania, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Virgin Islands...and there was one player from South Africa who was originally selected, but is now injured). Of the 54 players (50 on active rosters, plus 4 selected players who were replaced due to injury, a MLB call-up, or suspension) who were named to either team, 26 of them appear in the 2016 Topps Pro Debut set. Who made the cut?

From Team USA:
  • Andrew Benintendi, OF, Red Sox (#152)
  • Phil Bickford, P, Giants (#69)
  • Alex Bregman, IF, Astros (#142)
  • Willie Calhoun, IF, Dodgers (#192)
  • David Dahl, OF, Rockies (#60)
  • Clint Frazier, OF, Indians (#123)
  • Carson Fulmer, P, White Sox (#147)
  • Amir Garrett, P, Reds (#107)
  • Jeff Hoffman, P, Rockies (#29)
  • Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates (#49, injured)
  • Hunter Renfroe, OF, Padres (#159)
  • Dominic Smith, IF, Mets (#148)
  • Christin Stewart, OF, Tigers (#61)
  • Dansby Swanson, IF, Braves (#1)

From Team World:
  • Willy Adames, IF, Rays (#22)
  • Jharel Cotton, P, Dodgers (#118)
  • Yandy Diaz, IF, Indians (#31)
  • Eloy Jimenez, OF, Cubs (#44)
  • Reynaldo Lopez, P, Nationals (#112)
  • Manuel Margot, OF, Padres (#63)
  • Jorge Mateo, IF, Yankees (#39, suspended)
  • Josh Naylor, IF, Marlins (#172)
  • Tyler O'Neill, OF, Mariners (#189)
  • Alex Reyes, P, Cardinals (#151)
  • Amed Rosario, IF, Mets (#96)
  • Raimel Tapia, OF, Rockies (#136)

This is a prospector's dream with many ready to sell if their guy has a breakout game. Team USA has won the last five Futures Games, and own a 11-6 record over their World counterparts. With many of these players ranked in their respective team's top 30 prospect list, this won't be the last we hear from any of them.

Let the games begin.


JayBee Anama

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sanchez Replaces Kimbrel on AL ASG Roster

With Craig Kimbrel of the Boston Red Sox placed on the DL with a "left knee medial meniscus tear," he will be out of commission for about 3-6 weeks. While he's gone, the Red Sox made a deal with the Diamondbacks, getting closer Brad Ziegler in exchange for some prospects.

But while the Red Sox has taken care of their needs, who Ned Yost, with the help of MLB, name to take care of Kimbrel's spot on the roster?

Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez will take Kimbrel's spot on the American League All-Star team. Sanchez, in his first year as a starting pitcher and another first-time All-Star under the age of 26 (he's 24 folks, feel old yet?), heads into the break with a 9-1 record, a 2.97 ERA, 103 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.19 in 118.1 innings of work.

With Sanchez going to San Diego, the Blue Jays contingency grows to five. He joins Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, Final-Man Michael Saunders, and pitcher Marco Estrada on the AL team.

Take out your binder and add Sanchez' #113 card from the main set, or his TBJ-12 card from the 17-card retail set to it.

Wow, I've posted more today than I have in the past three months. Maybe I'll make it a habit.

Stay tuned for more All-Star team roster updates as they happen.


JayBee Anama

Syndergaard, Cespedes, and Fowler are out of the ASG. Pomeranz, Marte, and Bruce are Named Replacements

Last night was not a good one for the Mets. Both of the players who were announced as All-Stars on Tuesday were taken out of the game against the Nationals. Noah Syndergaard (arm fatigue) and Yoenis Cespedes (right quad strain) will not be able to participate in the game on Tuesday.

In the meantime, Dexter Fowler of the Cubs has been on the DL since late June (right around the time of the Cubs' recent struggles). He had been hoping to be re-activated in time for the ASG, but it looks like it was decided that he take the break off as well. All three players will probably participate in the festivities, lining up alongside their fellow All-Stars.

Both Cespedes and Fowler were voted onto the All-Star team as starting outfielders. Now that both aren't able to play, Marcell Ozuna of the Marlins and Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies will take their places in the starting lineup. But who takes their places, along with Thor's, on the active roster?

With the help of MLB, Terry Collins has tabbed Starling Marte of the Pirates, a Final Man candidate, and Jay Bruce of the Reds as replacements for Cespedes and Fowler respectively, while Padres pitcher Drew Pomeranz will take Syndergaard's spot on the roster.

Marte, who finished an extremely close second in the Final Man voting, heads to San Diego with a (as of this writing) .316 average, with 6 home runs, 32 rbi's, 27 stolen bases, and a slash line of .360/.463/.822. A first-time All-Star, he joins closer Marc Melancon as the Buc's representatives on the NL squad.

Bruce, now a third-time All-Star, heads into today's action with a .265 average, 18 homers, 62 rbi's (third in the NL), 46 runs scored and OBP/SLG/OPS numbers .313/.539/.852. He joins fellow Reds outfielder Adam Duvall on the team.

Pomeranz will take the field as the host team's second All-Star, joining first baseman Wil Myers in welcoming the best in the game to "America's Greatest City." He comes into the break with a career high in wins (8-7 record), along with a 2.47 ERA, 115 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.01.

If you've been following along with me and adding cards to your All-Star binder, you should already have Marte's #83 or PPI-7 cards already out. Get Bruce's #199 or CR-8 cards and add them to the binder. If you're looking for cards of Drew Pomeranz? He's now the ninth player named to either All-Star team without a card either in the eponymous set or any retail team set. (He does have a Topps Heritage card - #336 - so it's up to you if you want to use it).

Now Craig Kimbrel of the Red Sox has been placed on the DL and will be out of action for about 3-6 weeks. While the Red Sox found a replacement for him by trading for D-Backs closer Brad Ziegler, the AL All-Star team has yet to announce who'll take his place on the roster. So stay tuned for more details to come.


JayBee Anama