Sunday, September 25, 2016

RIP Jose Fernandez 1992-2016

This was just pointed out by TradingCardDB on twitter. Please check the blurb on the back.

It has been reported that Marlins superstar pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident this morning. THIS MORNING! While the bit of information has only appeared on a trade rumors website, nothing has come up yet on MLB.com or the Marlins website.

Regardless of whatever facts may come out about what happened this morning, MLB as a whole has lost another young star in his prime.


My condolences go out to the Fernandez family, the Marlins organization, Major League Baseball, and the fans. Not just Marlins fans, but all baseball fans.

UPDATE: WSVN, the ABC affiliate in Miami, is reporting that Fernandez was one of three people killed in a boat crash off Miami beach.

The Marlins have officially released this statement:

The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of José Fernandez. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time. Today's game against the Atlanta Braves has been cancelled.

So this humble, little blog, will also send prayers and condolences to the families and friends of the other two victims in this tragic accident.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Two Thousand Nine Hundred Seventy-Four

My son is now a high school freshman. My daughter is a junior. She was just over a year old when it happened. My son wasn't even born.

In school, they learn about the events of September 11, 2001. It's a history lesson for them. They learn about what happened based on what is written on a page, what they see on a video, what they read online. It is sad yes. The chain of events, the heightened awareness, security at the airport, the news, all of it, is normal to them.

But prior to what happened fifteen years ago, it wasn't.

We weren't always at war. We didn't need to take our shoes off at the airports. We didn't have to worry about our safety to that extreme.

I wrote the words below in 2011. For that article, and when I re-ran the story since, I used the total number of people I had heard to have died due to the events of that day, not including those who heinously perpetrated the attacks. That number was 2,974. Depending on where you read it, it could have been 2,977. Tallies since then have brought the number up to 2,980. But regardless of the number, that's too many lives lost.

So while I know that it's been almost a month since my last post on this humble, little blog, I thought I'd come back and honor the memories of the people for whom this country still mourns, and think how the events on that fateful day changed the course of American history, fifteen years since. By the time this posts goes live, it is nightfall...fifteen years ago that the final plane crashed in a field somewhere in Pennsylvania.



Two thousand nine hundred seventy-four.

2,974.

That's the number of people who lost their lives when everything was finally taken into account. Countless lives were affected by this national tragedy. Even if you didn't know anybody on those planes, at the World Trade Center, or the Pentagon, you grieved along with those who did. You stood there in shock, in a daze, just glued to the television or radio.

Our lives have not been the same since. My daughter, now eleven, asks what we (her parents) were doing that morning. "We were just going about our lives," was my reply. "We watched the morning news, getting ready for work, and couldn't believe what we were seeing on the screen." She was just over a year old. She couldn't have understood what was going on then. But she will learn that what she sees as "normal" now, really wasn't before that Tuesday morning.

Two thousand nine hundred seventy-four. It is the number of reasons why we never forget what happened fifteen years ago today.

On this day, the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, my family and I send our prayers to those who lost loved ones that Tuesday morning. We pray, and will continue to pray for:

the children who lost their parents that day.

the children who would never meet their fathers because of the events of that day.

the firefighters and policemen and women who risk their lives doing their jobs, running into the face of dangers as many are running in the opposite direction.

those servicemen and women fighting for our freedoms away from home, whether or not we agree with the conflicts they battle.

for our leaders, regardless of their affiliation, that they make the right choices to keep the citizens of our country, and others, safe.

And finally, we pray for peace. Peace amongst ourselves as family, as a community, as a nation.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

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.

Sincerely,

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?

Sincerely,

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.

Sincerely,

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.

Sincerely,

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.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama