Roy Halladay is still a Blue Jay. Cliff Lee left for the Phillies (V-Mart is still the dean though). And in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA, the Pirates are in sell-off mode again. And boy have they been dealing.
Jack Wilson, the Pirates previous "Dean," is now in Seattle along with pitcher Ian Snell, in exchange for Jeff Clement (who should be able to get more playing time with the Bucs than he would have with the M's), Ronny Cedeño (Cub fans, he's still around...), and three minor leaguers.
Freddy Sanchez (who would have been next after Snell), is now with San Francisco, who the Pirates were playing this week. In effect, Sanchez packed his stuff from the PNC Park home locker room and joined his new teammates in the visitors' locker room. Not only did the Giants sweep the Pirates this week, they took their best player with them.
So who does that leave as the current "Dean" of the Pirates? The answer might surprise everyone but the most die-hard Pirates fan. It's relief pitcher John Grabow, who made his MLB debut on September 14, 2003. He beats out Ryan Doumit (06/05/2005).
Now, if you're looking for a Topps John Grabow card to add to your Dean's list...
You're not going to find one. According to the number one source of the hobby, Grabow has 75 cards TOTAL (this number includes parallels, minor league cards and other random inserts. This does not include the team cards that has everyone squeezed together onto one card)!!! Guys like Jeter, Pujols, et. al, get more than 75 cards in a year from both Topps and UD each, and this guy has only 75 total??? And of which, his only Topps cards were from the Topps Total sets (2002 and 2005) where EVERYBODY had a card. His 2005 card was shared with Mike Gonzalez. What??! Then again, I don't feel so bad, because even in all their efforts to include everyone in their base and update sets, even UD has missed him a couple of years (he shows up in 2006, 2007, and 2009, but not in 2008 for some reason).
I know he plays for the Pirates. I know that he's only a middle relief pitcher. But Topps, could you at least make an effort to get this guy on a card??? At least give him a spot as one of the TBD's on the 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights set. There are 19 TBD's on the intial checklist, three of which you have reserved for "TBD Veterans." Don't you think it'd be a good idea to include him, since he's been with the Pirates the longest???
Then again, there has been interest in him as well...from the Yankees. I'm sure that if he gets traded there, he'll get a card (isn't the rule that EVERY Yankee gets a card???). But it's a travesty to Pirates fans everywhere that he doesn't have a regular Topps card to call his own. Make an effort, Topps. Add Grabow to the set.
This is why I want Topps to bring back the 792 card sets again.