Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Random Flipdeck Card of the Day: #92 Taylor

I'm so far behind on these Random Topps Card of the Day posts that I have decided to give up and start with something new. I haven't really been keeping tabs on the Topps Hobby scene as much as I'd like because of work. So instead of having the randomizer find me a card for inspiration, I have decided to come up with a new look for the blog (as you can see from the background) and come up with a new theme for this humble, little blog.

So here now is what I hope is the first of many Random Flipline Studios Flipdeck Card of the Day posts:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: Flipline Flipdeck #92.
  • Player Name, position, team: Taylor, Papa's Hot Doggeria Chef, Griller Stadium
  • Flipline Gameria Debut: Papa Louie's When Pizzas Attack!.
  • Blurb on the back: "Taylor lives on the fourth floor of the Papa's Pizzeria Apartments. On weekends, he loves to order a huge pizza and stay up late playing video games with his roommate cuck. Taylor works at Griller Stadium serving up hot dogs and drinks to all the cheering fans. If you see Taylor on the street, he'll most likely be zoning out as he listens to his favorite tunes by DJ Honey Buster."
  • Commentary: Taylor has been a regular customer in all of the Papa Louie gamerias since "When Pizzas Attack." His orders are relatively simple and he is unlocked in the games fairly early on. He was selected by fans of the games to be the male chef for Flipline's newest Gameria, Papa's Hot Doggeria. A back-story had to be written as to how he got the job, and as always, Papa Louie managed to get the better of him. If you are able, watch the video below to find out how he "got the job." Taylor also manages to get himself kidnapped into fantasy worlds conjured up by Sarge and Radley Manish. In Papa Louie 2: When Burgers Attack, once he is rescued, he becomes a playable character, using the headphones of his music device as a weapon to defeat the enemies he encounters on each level.

Tomorrow's card will be: Flipline Flipdeck #57. Post will arrive at 10:30 AM CST (new time as I am not able to get any more posts out after 1:00 PM CST). Hope you enjoyed the new segment. I am looking forward to sharing these with you going forward.
Before I go, I just want to say that I am eternally grateful for all Hobby Blogging Community that has supported me over the years. I have made a lot of new friends that shared my passion about collecting cards. I enjoyed reading your blogs, and I hope that you enjoyed mine. If you want to stick around as I dive into this new journey, please do. I have a lot to say about the music and my collection of singles. But if this is going to be the last time you come onto this humble, little blog, to read about baseball cards, I will just leave one last image for you...a token of my appreciation for all the support you've given to me over the years:
Happy April Fools' Day everybody!!!

Keep the pranks to a minimum, will you?


JayBee Anama

Monday, March 31, 2014

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1984 Topps #332 Kevin Gross

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, March 31, 2014:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1984 Topps #332.
  • Player Name, position, team: Kevin Gross, pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies.
  • Major League Debut: June 25, 1983.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1983 stats (Phillies): 17 G, 96 IP, 4-6, 46 R, 38 ER, 66 SO, 35 BB, 17 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 0 SV, 3.56 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Phillies #1st, January 1981 (Special). Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 15. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "His Single produced Game-Winning RBI and he earned Victory in 3-1 win vs. Expos, 6-30-83."
  • Commentary: It's hard to believe that this set is now 30-years old. That means that 30 seasons ago, the Cubs made their first appearance in the postseason for the first time since 1945. That means that 30 years ago, I still knew nothing about baseball or baseball cards for that matter. The one thing I do remember is that when I finally was able to afford to buy this set from one of the many card shops in Chicago (now, not so many...what a shame), I realized I was missing one card from it. No, it wasn't the card of Kevin Frank Gross, today's subject, but of Dodgers' first baseman Greg Brock. Fortunately the card store managed to have one available (after digging through their inventory in the basement. I regret not accepting the invitation to go down there to see the place. I can only imagine tons of boxes with cards all over the place. That would have been awesome to see. Anyway. From 1983 through 1988, 2/25ths of the Phillies roster shared the name Gross, and both men were not related. Greg Gross was a veteran outfielder/first baseman who had spent time with the Astros (ROY runner up) and Cubs before joining the Phils and enjoying a successful 10 year career. Kevin was the rookie pitcher who impressed enough to earn a spot on the pitching staff, first as a swingman (reliever who could start from time to time) to a starting pitcher (an All-Star in 1988). In 1984, Gross appeared in 44 games, starting 14 of them, earn a record of 8-5, one save, strikeout 84 batters, achieve an ERA of 4.12, and a WHIP of 1.426. The following year, he earned a spot in the starting rotation, where he would stay the rest of his time in Philly. In six seasons, he would pitch in 203 games for the Phillies, achieve a 60-66 record, an ERA of 3.87, and strikeout 727 of the 4764 men he faced. He was traded to the Expos on December 6, 1988. After two seasons with the Expos, he spent time with the Dodgers (pitching a no-hitter in 1992), Rangers, and Angels before retiring as an active player. He was inducted into the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 17 cards.

Tomorrow's card will be: 1976 Topps #41. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

Random Topps Pro Debut Card of the Week: 2013 Topps Pro Debut #57 Alen Hanson

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Pro Debut Card of the Week:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2013 Topps Pro Debut #57.
  • Player Name, position, team: Alen Hanson, shortstop, West Virginia Power.
  • Level-League, Team Affiliation: Low A-South Atlantic League, Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Minor League Stats (stats with team depicted only): 124 G, 489 AB, 99 R, 151 H, 33 2B, 13 3B, 16 HR, 62 RBI, 35 SB, 55 BB, 105 SO, .528 SLG, .909 OPS, .309 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Pirates as a Free Agent before the 2009 season. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Major League Debut: n/a.
  • Baseball America Organizational Ranking After Season with Team: Pittsburgh Pirates #5 prospect after the 2012 season.
  • Blurb on the back: "Beginning with an April batting average of .410 as a 19-year-old for West Virginia in 2012, Hanson forced his way into the discussion of the game's most prominent shortstop prospects. Naturally athletic and unabashedly energetic, his combination of totals in the three extra-base hit categories and the stolen base column was unmatched at any level."
  • Official Topps Rookie Card: n/a.
  • Commentary: Alen Rery Hanson's numbers in 2012 were staggering. Regardless that it was the Sally League, the combination of speed and power he possessed makes him one of the Pirates leading prospects heading into the 2014 season. He spent his 2013 campaign between the High A Bradenton Marauders and AA-Altoona Curve, combining for a .274 average, 8 home runs, 58 rbi's, 30 stolen bases, and a .755 OPS. He starts 2014 in the Bucs' minor league camp, and will probably start in AA. He's going to be 21 this season, and if the Pirates do well in 2014, Hanson could see some action come September, if not sooner.
Next week's featured card will be: 2011 Topps Pro Debut #142. Post will arrive at 9:00 AM CST. Hope you enjoyed this week's installment of Minor League Monday.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1972 Topps #94 1971 AL Pitching Leaders

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, March 30, 2014:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1972 Topps #94.
  • Player Name, position, team: Mickey Lolich, pitcher, Detroit Tigers; Vida Blue, pitcher, Oakland A's; Wilbur Wood, pitcher, Chicago White Sox.
  • Special: 1971 AL Pitching Leaders
  • Commentary: Nothing too fancy about the card above other than it features three All-Stars from the 1971 season who led the American League in wins. This was before the Sabermetrics, the WAR, and all of those other new-era statistics. This was when your best pitchers were judged by their won-loss record. And in their defense, the three gentlemen featured here wouldn't need those kinds of numbers to tell how good they were in '71. Combined, Lolich, Blue, and Wood started 126 games, completed 75 of them, 19 were shutouts. They were a combined 71-35, had a combined ERA of 2.25, a combined WHIP of 1.036 (with Wood having an even 1.000 WHIP - 334 hits and walks in 334 innings of work), and struck out a combined 819 batters. The back of the card just lists the top 10 players in the AL in wins, even though it doesn't mention that specifically. Rounding out the top 10 in wins are Jim Hunter (21) of the A's, Dave McNally of the Orioles (21), Joe Coleman of the Tigers (20), Andy Messersmith of the Angels (20), and three more Orioles, Mike Cuellar, Pat Dobson, and Jim Palmer, each with 20 wins. You have to remember that in 1971, the Orioles featured four starters who would wind up with 20 or more wins, propelling the O's to the AL pennant and their third straight World Series appearance..
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $1.00-$2.50.

In case you're actually wondering, I don't own this card, but was able to get a crystal clean copy of the image from the from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. So thank you Joe McAnally and the folks at the BCCM.

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 1984 Topps #332. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Come on back then to see what the Topps Card Randomizer gets us to look at then.


JayBee Anama

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Random Topps Team Set of the Week: 2009 Cincinnati Reds

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Team Set of the Week:

The checklist consists of the following players:
The cards in order from the set (the checklist at the end was cut from the back of the package. What, you don't do that?):

Key differences between the team set and 2009 Topps eponymous set:
  • Jeff Keppinger appeared in 121 games for the Reds last year at second, short, third, and even in left field. In 2009, he was traded to the Astros just before the season started, and then moved on to San Francisco after the All-Star break. You won't find a regular Topps card of Jeff in either the base or traded sets. The only place you can get a Jeff Keppinger card with the 2009 Topps design...is in the retail set.
  • While you get to see all of Edison Volquez on the retail card, his base card cuts him off at the top:

  • Joey Votto...with ASRT Trophy, vertically-oriented base card...bunting???:

  • Bronson Arroyo's base card shows him in spring training action:

  • Brandon Phillips, having fun on his base card...:

  • The picture is the same, but Aaron Harang's base card gets the same treatment as Volquez...:

  • The picture is different for Francisco Cordero, but once again...you get the idea:

  • Not only did they use a different picture on the base card for Willy Taveras, but it seems that the retail card spells his name T-E-V-A-R-A-S. Whoops!!!:

  • Retail set owners can see Ramon Hernandez from head to toe. His base card...not so much:

  • While his eponymous 2009 Topps card shows Micah Owings pitching, isn't it refreshing to see baseball cards of pitchers batting, as he was on his retail card?:

Of the 14 players included in this set, 8 players have different pictures on the retail set compared to the base set, one more shows a different cropping of the same picture, and one player is a retail exclusive. Fans of the Reds should have loved all of the variations that can only be found in the retail set.

Next week's featured set will be the 2010 Florida Marlins. Hope you'll be here when we compare the cards from the retail set to their counterparts found in Topps and Topps Update Series sets.


JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1998 Topps #468 Rich Butler

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, March 29, 2014:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1998 Topps #468.
  • Player Name, position, team: Rich Butler, outfielder, Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
  • Major League Debut: September 6, 1997.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1997 stats (Blue Jays): 7 G, 14 AB, 3 R, 4 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB, .357 SLG, 2 BB, 3 SO, .286 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Blue Jays as a Free Agent 09/24/1990. Drafted by the Devil Rays #5th, 1997 Expansion Draft. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 1. This is his first and only Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "The clue was in the hands. Butler showed little power, but astute scouts could see his bat speed through the zone would soon produce HRs. Last year, it did, and a prospect was born."
  • Commentary: The second series of 1998 Topps series 2 not only featured Topps' first card of Topps-holdout Alex Rodriguez, but also in somewhat of an order, the draft picks and free agents of both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. A life-long Blue Jays minor leaguer (signed with the team when he was seventeen), the Canadian born Richard Dwight Butler finally made it to the big club after a long tour of duty within the Jays' minor league system. But his career with his hometown team was short lived as the expansion Devil Rays made him their fifth pick (tenth player overall chosen). Butler would appear in 98 games for the D-Rays, hitting .226 with 7 home runs, 20 rbi's, and percentages of .278/.364/.643 in 72 games. With the Rays signing big-name free agents for the 1999 season, Butler spent most of the year in Durham, only appearing in seven games that year. Those would also be the last games Butler would play in the majors. He signed with the Mariners as a minor league free agent in 2000, and after spending time in both the Mariners and Rangers' farm systems, Butler ended his playing career, save for a 25-game comeback in the independents.
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 1 card.

Tomorrow is Retro Sunday, the one day of the week that we feature a card from 1951-1975. The card we will feature tomorrow is: 1972 Topps #94. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.


JayBee Anama

Friday, March 28, 2014

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2000 Topps #13 Magglio Ordóñez

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, March 28, 2014:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2000 Topps #13.
  • Player Name, position, team: Magglio Ordóñez, outfielder, Chicago White Sox
  • Major League Debut: August 29, 1997.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1999 stats (White Sox): 157 G, 624 AB, 100 R, 188 H, 34 2B, 3 3B, 30 HR, 117 RBI, 13 SB, .510 SLG, 47 BB, 64 SO, .301 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the White Sox as a Free Agent 05/18/1991. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 14. This is his second and card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Two years into his professional career, Magglio was a .206 hitter. And six years into it, he still hadn't appeared on one of those top-10 team prospects lists in Baseball America. In 1999, however, Ordóñez was an All-Star. Combining contact and power, he has become a White Sox building block"
  • Commentary: I purchased and received the sell sheets for 2000 Topps. This was the set that featured Mark McGwire and Hank Aaron during Topps' "compare-a-legend-to-a-current superstar" stage. The sell sheets actually came in a folder, looks really nice, and the sell sheet discusses what Topps plans were for the coming year, including the incorporation of a "Topps 2000" logo on every player card. Magglio Ordóñez was such a great young ball player that the fans started chanting his name during every plate appearance. I don't think I can spell it, but it sounded like "O-E-O...Maaaaaaag-lio." And with the Sox, he was one of the key figures in bringing the White Sox their first divisional championship since 1993. Maggs hit .315 with 32 home runs, drove in 126 rbi's, stole 18 bases, and had percentages of .371/.546/.917. He was named to his second All-Star team, and won his first Silver Slugger Award. He was among the Sox' offensive leaders every season through 2003. In 2004, injuries took a toll and he missed most of the season. Willing to prove that he still had it, he signed with the divisional rival Tigers. And while he missed out on being part of that World Series team, he found his offensive stroke in Detroit, and led the Tigers, who had wallowed in inferiority for most of the decade, back to relevance and by 2006, back to the World Series.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 68 cards.

Tomorrow's card will be: 1998 Topps #468. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama