Select The Player Who Should Be Added onto the 2014 All-Star Teams below as the HBC AL Final-Man

Select The Player Who Should Be Added onto the 2014 All-Star Teams below as the HBC NL Final-Man

Monday, March 30, 2009

If This is His Topps Card, Then What Card is This?: Brad Wilkerson

What does the baseball card of the "face of the franchise" look like when that player gets traded at the end of the year? We're about to find out on this week's edition of "What Card is This?" Our subject was a Montréal Expo, and made the trip to Washington, D.C. in 2005. "When he goes, the team goes," one opposing GM said about him, "He's clearly the leader of that team." After five years of playing in the obscurity in Montréal, and then playing in the nation's capital, he finds himself traded to the Texas Rangers. This week's subject is Brad Wilkerson.

Brad Wilkerson gave plenty of Expos fans plenty to cheer about during the team's final seasons in Montréal. During the Expos' swansong in 2004, he hit a team leading 32 home runs, showed amazing patience at the plate by taking 106 walks to first, and stole 13 bases.

He was the first Washington National to make a plate appearance, collecting the teams first hit in that historic at-bat. He even hit for the cycle in the team's second game. As the team's leadoff hitter, he hit .248 with 11 home runs, 57 runs batted in, walked 84 times, and stole 8 bases. Not necessarily great numbers for a leadoff hitter, but then again, these were the Nationals. So why was he traded after the 2005 season to the Texas Rangers? Oh that's right, so the Nationals can get All-Star Alfonso Soriano to play for them in 2006.

His time in Texas was less than stellar. He found himself on the DL for parts of the year, and his power numbers slipped dramatically. He signed with the Mariners in 2008, only to find himself released in May. He signed on with the Blue Jays, and finished the year with a measly .220, 4, and 28. In 2009, he is looking to regain his form with the Boston Red Sox.

So in 2005, he was a National. He was traded to the Rangers in December of that year. Because of the "new" MLBP rules, Topps could not distribute their 2006 Topps Baseball cards until February of 2006. That gave them a bit of time to make a few adjustments to the cards of players traded or signed to new teams early enough to get them with their new teams. However, something was missed between editing and printing because while indeed Brad Wilkerson's 2006 Topps card does label him as a Texas Ranger (in big foil letters above the picture), he is pictured wearing the red and white of the Washington Nationals. Here is Wilkeson's 2006 Topps card #35:


Topps could have (or for that matter, should have) just left the team name alone instead of changing it. As a team collector, where would you put this card? Is he a National? Is he a Ranger? What's the call here? So if the first card was in the Topps set...


Now he's wearing the blue and white of the Rangers. But wait, it's the same photo. He's in the same stadium in both pictures, so obviously Topps altered his jersey to show the new team. So the question on everyone's mind now is...

What Card is This???

Answer to come later this week. Have fun.

UPDATE: Wednesday, April 15, 2009.

I can't believe I forgot to put the answer on here until now.

Anyway, this card is from the 2006 Topps Rangers 14 Card set. Friend of the blog tdlindgren gets credit for being the first to respond with the correct answer.

I just took out my 2006 Topps binder just to look over the cards once more, and I didn't realize that there are a number of cards that are similar to Wilkerson's in terms of being included as a member of one team but pictured in another team. What??!

jba

Sunday, March 29, 2009

An Autograph Card You Won't Find in 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter

I mentioned in my post regarding the 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter sell sheets that in amongst the champions is a guy named Jason Wong. If you missed the article, and for that matter are still wondering as to who Jason Wong is, he's the guy that cracked the Allen & Ginter code from last year, winning himself a spot on the 350 card checklist!!!

I linked his site to the article (which you can check here), and he sent me an e-mail thanking me for the link. He offered an autographed card of the A&G Code contest card as a thank you. Not one to say no to a free card, I said thank you, congratulated him on breaking the code & getting a card in this year's set, and said I'd like to have one.

Yesterday afternoon, this card arrived in the mail:


Along with this card, he sent two MORE autographed cards, and a note that read:

"I read on your profile from the blog you have a daughter & son. I included an auto card (not #'ed) for each of them. Thanks again & enjoy the cards. - Jason Wong"

Now how cool is that? Each of my kids has their own card in their possession. My daughter added it to her binder, my son has it on his table and will later find a better place for it.

Thanks you again, Jason for the auto cards. And once again, congratulations on Cracking the Ginter code. You're going to let the rest of us have a chance at it this year...right??? I know the prize is not getting us in the set (according to the sell sheets, the winner gets "a special Ginter Code Winners Set of autographs from every framed autograph subject in 2009 A & G"), but still, it's something.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Monthly Comment Mailbag - March 2009 Edition

I've finally come up with a name for the segment where I respond to questions and comments on this humble little blog. And I will make sure to do these posts towards the end of the month. Click on the name of the person who left the comment to see what he or she said (if you'd like). Here goes.

To the Hamiltonian, I didn't know that Eric left. I did leave an e-mail with Beckett, along with making an edit to their Beckettpedia section regarding their labeling of the KMart Rookie Variation cards. They still have them (only the first series) listed as 2009 Topps cards though. I do hope that people aren't thrown off by it.

To the night owl, the guy either works really fast, or has tons of money to spend. Not only did he have the gold set done in such a short period of time, but he also had all 19 SP's, and was almost done with the Black set (I'm sure he's done by now). Now that's extreme. But hey, whatever works right???

To FanofReds, if it was a real game, and the President was either at the plate or on the mound, would you like to be the guy to "show him up" by hitting a home run off him or striking him out??? I do agree with you though, but that's probably why his card is a short print. You can't have the most powerful card out there available to everybody I guess.

To This is That was Great, if the Pujols was more valuable to me than the Mathewson card, I would have kept it. I'd rather have the Mathewson. Considering that I had already apologized to the guy, thanked him profusely, and even thanked him AGAIN because the cards he gave me helped me get the Speaker card, I think I'll be fine. If you were in my shoes, I'm sure you would have thought and done the same thing under the EXACT SAME CIRCUMSTANCES. Hindsight is 20-20 you know.

To Chris D'Orso, there were 21 cards from the autograph list of 2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites that did not have a base card. On the original checklist from the Topps Website, there was going to be more than 100 of them (if I could find my lists, I could give you that information as well). By the time the product came out, as I was comparing checklists, there were only 21 names that did not appear in the base set. I don't really collect autograph cards, but I did want to see what these other cards looked like and what design they used. So in the summer of 2003, I went on the quest to find the 21 autographed cards. I have 20 of the existing ones, there was one that I think was never distributed, and I'll explain why in a minute.

The players who have autographed cards but not included in the base set are (pictures below, year of Topps design in parenthesis):


  • Ralph Kiner (1953, both the Carter and Kiner were in the Group A ratio, meaning the print run for both was 50 cards each)
  • Joe Carter (1997)


  • Mike Pagliarulo (1987)
  • Carney Lansford (1989)
  • Kevin Mitchell (1989, the only card in group L, meaning that he signed the most cards of all the subjects)
  • Steve Yeager (1974)
  • Leon Durham (1983)
  • Chet Lemon (1984)
  • Al Oliver (1980)
  • Kevin Seitzer (1988)
  • Buddy Biancalana (1985)


  • John Montefusco (1976)
  • Bill Lee (1973)
  • Ron Kittle (1990)
  • Doug DeCinces (1978)
  • Willie Hernandez (1986)
  • Tom Herr (1985)
  • Chris Speier (1973)
  • Rob Dibble (1991)
  • Ron Darling (1985)
  • Tug McGraw (redemption card)
At this time, he was having health problems and most likely was unable to sign any of the cards he was given...none have ever surfaced as far as I know. I did have the redemption card, but got a Chad Qualls Topps Finest Autograph card in it's place. The thing that gets me is that image and design used on the Kiner card was used the following year when Topps did include him in the base set. The problem though is that they also included autograph cards of Kiner in the checklist. Guess what they look like??!

To capewood, I get those problems too sometimes, but I think it all depends on how quickly the blogrolls or feeds update not just on the Sports Card Blogroll, but for anyone's blogroll as well. It may also depend on the computer you're using. I know that there are times that I click on someone's site, and they've already posted two or three new articles and my site has not updated. And I know that my blog doesn't get updated right away on the blogroll, so it's never "up-to-the-minute" updated.

To friend of the blog tdlindgren, Craig is the best, isn't he? I still can't believe how generous the guy is. And since Heritage came out, he's been more active on his own blog. So he's been a busy guy. Then again, unless Topps decides to put another card in the actual checklist (like the Santana #661 card), then the gloves come off. You wouldn't want to give up that Gehrig card would you??? Just kidding. I'll find my own.

Also, I think it's because they used the 17 CMG guys in an Allen & Ginter mini insert set last year (I think it was called Legends of Baseball). That might be why they're not in the base set for this year's 2009 A&G set. But then again, it's Topps. Who knows what they might do.

Jason Wong, the champion code breaker himself, e-mailed Tto thank me for posting the Allen & Ginter sell sheets. He's sending an autographed card (the "Crack the Code" promo card from last year). Scans will be forthcoming.

To friend of the blog the drizz, and just think, at the beginning of this month, I wasn't sure that I'd even get one SP, let alone 14. The goal is to get all 19 before Series II. I think I have a shot.

To paulsrandomstuff, I thought it was weird that they'd pick 2008 as the time to honor the 1986 Mets. I'm guessing that they cut it down to just the Red Sox and Yankees because they are the big sellers, and having six of these 55 card gift sets were too much to handle. It stinks, in my opinion. They should have at least made the Cubs set as they've been given the 55-card treatment at the same time.

That's it for the mailbag. Keep those comments coming. I still need a lot of suggestions for who to include in the 2011 Topps Archives project. I have at least 100 names, so that's enough for a full Series I. But keep them coming. And I promise to be more consistent with the cards for the project.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, March 27, 2009

The 2009 Topps 14...Make That 15-Card Team Sets Are Out!!!

Friend of the blog, frequent commenter, and all around good guy tdlindgren sent me an e-mail this morning, telling me that he found a couple of 2009 Topps Team sets on the Bay this morning. That definitely got my attention this morning. Thanks for the tip, Tim.

I spent part of my afternoon working, of course, but also checking out what Tim was talking about. I can't get the Bay at work, but thanks to Google, I could find other places that was selling these sets. And after a half hour of digging for information, I have to tell you that I can't wait to get my hands on these sets.

Since 2006, Topps has been packaging 14-card team sets for each of the 30 MLB teams. These sets include cards from series 1 that we've already seen, a preview of what the series 2 cards are going to look like, and cards of players who may have been on a different team in series 1 but are now pictured in the uniform of their new team exclusively for this set. These sets are great for any kind of collector, whether you are a team collector, a player collector, or if you're as crazy as I am, a set collector (and I should know, I have all 30 team sets from 2006, 2007, and 2008). And they can be found in many places, from your neighborhood big box store (Walmart, Target, etc) to your favorite ball park.

This year, Topps has added a couple of extras to each of the team sets. For starters, each 14 card set comes with a card case to hold all the cards together (which is an upgrade over the having the cards shuffle around in a flimsy plastic shell), and each set comes with a free BONUS EXCLUSIVE CARD that you can only get in these sets. All 30 teams have an exclusive card (and you can see what it is on the package...for the most part anyway. See picture below for a couple of examples:


Based on each of the 30 packages, the bonus card is either of the team's home stadium, their mascot(s), or their managers, with a couple of surprises along the way. Although I was not able to figure out what three of the bonus cards are (picture was to blurry, did not show the subject, or was just too hard to tell as to who it was), this is the list of extras. Check out what each team's exclusive card is:
  • Angels - ???
  • Astros - Minute Maid Park
  • Athletics - Stomper the Elephant
  • Blue Jays - ???
  • Braves - Bobby Cox???
  • Brewers - Bernie Brewer
  • Cardinals - FredBird
  • Cubs - Wrigley Field
  • Diamonbacks - D. Baxter the Bobcat
  • Dodgers - Joe Torre
  • Giants - AT&T Park
  • Indians - ???
  • Mariners - Safeco Field
  • Marlins - Billy the Marlin
  • Mets - Citi Field
  • Nationals - Teddy Roosevelt (portrait of President, not the mascot)
  • Orioles - Camden Yards
  • Padres - Swinging Friar
  • Phillies - Phillie Phanatic
  • Pirates - PNC Park
  • Rangers - Captain (a horse)
  • Rays - Raymond
  • Red Sox - Wally the Green Monster
  • Reds - Rosie Red & Mr. Redlegs (Gapper???)
  • Rockies - Coors Field
  • Royals - Kauffman Stadium
  • Tigers - Paws
  • Twins - HHH Metrodome (Final Year...commemorative logo on each card)
  • White Sox - President Barack Obama (not the SP, but the picture is oh so similar)
  • Yankees - Mickey Mantle
Also, just to give fans a heads up, the 55-card gift sets are back. However, only the Red Sox and Yankees get the box treatment.


Plus, I hope you're hungry. Because the Cereal Boxes come back for Topps Series 2. And the cover boys are Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig, and Ty Cobb.


Opening Day is less than a week away. And Topps Series 2 is coming in May. What a time to be a baseball card collector.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

A Foxx Has Joined the SP Party.

It was either a stroke of good timing or just plain old luck, but whatever it was, I now have 14 of the 2009 Topps SP cards, and I owe it all to Joe Hoelscher.

Yes, the man who also sent me the Tris Speaker card, bought more packs, and pulled another SP card. I had just written my thank you to Mr. Hoelscher via e-mail (and on this post), then went onto my favorite message board ever...the Topps Message Board (Topps Blog, Topps Message Board...what can I say...I'm hooked on the stuff). On the same post that smokingjoe posted his want lists, he also included his trade list, and next to the letters "SP:" was Jimmie Foxx. I immediately e-mailed the man back, asking what it would take to trade for it, knowing that I had already traded a number of gold cards to him. He pointed out that he had another want list posted somewhere on the boards.

A couple of days later, I was able to pull a good number of cards for him and e-mailed him back. He replied that he will mail the card on Monday. A day later, checking on the boards again, I saw a post from another member of the TMB interested in the Foxx card, and smokingjoe responded in kind. Now I became concerned. Am I even getting this card? After another e-mail to Joe making sure that the deal was still on, he responded that yes, the card was in the mail, and in fact, he somehow managed to get TWO Foxx cards. Works for me.

His card came in the mail today. So now, thanks to the generosity of Mr. Hoelscher, I am now the proud owner of a card of "Double X":

Jimmie Foxx #200.

Your cards should be coming soon, Joe. Please let me know when you get them.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, March 26, 2009

And the 2009 Topps World Baseball Classic #'s 9, and 10 Cards Go To...


Those holding those World Baseball Classic Redemption cards better get them logged in to Topps quickly as it has just been announced that card #9 is of Jung Keun Bong of Korea, and #10 is of Daisuke Matsuzaka of Japan.

In four games, (as of March 23, 2009), Jung Keun Bong (yes, it's the same guy from the infamous Bong/Puffer card) started three games, posted a 2-0 record, a miniscule ERA of 0.51, walked 6, struck out four, and gave up 14 hits in 17.4 innings of work. Korea finished as the runner up to Japan in the WBC.


Daisuke Matsuzaka started and earned the win in all three games he started. He walked 5, struck out 13, with an ERA of 2.45, and gave up 14 hits in 14.2 innings of work. He was the pitcher that beat Team USA and helped Japan reach the WBC finals for the second tournament in a row.

None of the cards are autographed. For fans of either the Korean, or Japanese teams, you will certainly want to add these cards to your collections. So for those of you with Redemption card #'s 9 & 10, START REDEEMING!!!

The final checklist now includes:
Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Oh So Late, But Here's My Post for Blog Bat Around V

I can't believe I totally forgot about this. If dayf decides not to include it, so be it. But he seems to have given slackers like me a bit of a reprieve, and a bit more time, so here's my attempt at it.

This is the fifth edition of the wildly popular Blog Bat Around. Started by Gellman, who hosted not one, but two of these things, it was continued by Dave, Patricia took the next turn, and now dayf the Cardboard Junkie is hosting. Click on the links (you know, those underlined word things) to see each of the first four bat arounds, plus dayf's topic for the fifth, then come back here.

The topic this time around is a simple one, but I might have covered it multiple times on this humble little blog:

"What is the best experience you have had acquiring cards or memorabilia?"

Now I've talked about my adventures in getting Jose Tolentino's 1992 Topps card a number of times (including on another bat around). And I've talked about my first foray's into collecting (how I got started in this crazy Hobby of ours). So I've been racking my brain trying to think of something...

After I got married, with extra money to burn back then, I thought I'd never find any card shops in the new neighborhood that I was now living in. Far from home, knowing that there were no more card shops in that area, I was in a bind. Now, I was going to a couple of card shops in the suburbs near the bakery my parents owned, but I wasn't in that area often enough to make regular trips to the shop. So I was in a bit of a bind.

At the end of the 1999 baseball season, I received the newest Yellow Pages directory. I let my fingers do the walking to see if there were any Hobby shops nearer to me. And then, there it was. A shop called the Friendly Card Finds. The address looked close to where I work, so I gave the shop a call. The owner of the shop, one Brian Proulx, answered, and we ta;led for a bit. I asked him when 2000 Topps was coming, he said in November, but 1999 Topps Traded was in stock right now.

What? Did he say 1999 Topps Traded??? I thought they stopped making an update set in 1995. As I soon found out, the Topps company brought the 'Traded' set back into production. With my wife at work, and me with realistically nothing better to do, I decided to make the trip to his shop and get one of these boxed sets.

The shop was indeed near where I worked, and the shop Brian opened was rather clean. He had opened the year before and was establishing a customer base. In fact, the day I arrived, he was advertising an autograph signing with Curtis Enis, the Bears' most recent draft pick. We chatted a bit, I got my set, and couldn't wait to open it up and put it into the collection. Needless to say, he gained a new customer that day.

For the next few years, I would stop by his shop whenever the newest Topps releases came out (Series I, II, and then the Traded set). And he would even call me as soon as the shipment arrived. When that call came, my lunch hour couldn't come fast enough. I'd go in, get my cards, go to the Subway next door, and go back to work. It became a tradition to go there after getting my cards.

In 2002, Brian started giving me extra copies of the sales sheets of the next Topps product. Soon after that, he was letting me have the pre-production cards that came with the flyers. I was getting spoiled with all the free goods, but hey, he was doing his best to keep his customers happy. And I was more than happy to take them. Anything to make my collection more unique.

He even called me one night to say that a guy sold him a 1978 Topps set, and thought I'd be interested in it. Of course I was. That night, he showed the box, told me to take a look at the cards and then come back and pay for it after checking on condition. He was basically trusting me with a set that could have potentially been worth $150.00 if all the cards were in near-mint condition and letting me take it home BEFORE paying. What a guy. It turned out that the set was missing five cards, but I knew where to go and get them, so it was no big deal. The cards were in excellent shape, no creases, so he basically sold it to me for a really decent price..

Brian brought in a couple of retired ball players to sign at the store. I missed meeting Andy Pafko, but was able to get something signed (the image of a 1952 Topps card in my "300 Best Baseball Cards of the 20th Century" book), but got to meet Ron Santo on a chilly evening (he signed my huge Topps book, right where the picture of his 1961 Topps Rookie Card was). Fun times.

It was in late October/early November in 2005, after buying a couple of boxes of the Updates and Highlights set from him, he dropped a bombshell that to this day has changed the way I buy my cards. He announced that he was closing his store. I couldn't believe it. Between the new MLB Properties rules and the fact that the market was indeed changing (with the advent of eBay and all), he felt he could no longer stay in business without losing money. I was crushed. Where was I supposed to go now? What was I supposed to do? How am I going to get my sell sheets and promo cards without paying for them??? It was a sad day indeed. The last time I saw Brian, he sold me a couple of boxes of 2006 Topps that he was able to order before the store closed. It was weird, standing in the parking lot outside of where his store used to be, near his car, making the transaction. If the cops came, they would have asked questions (it did have the appearance of him selling something suspicious out of his car, even though it was only baseball cards). Sadly, I have not seen him since. He did call me a couple of times saying that he was able to get 2006 Topps Series II boxes, but by then, I had already bought the set from another shop (back to the shops near the bakery for me), so I had to politely decline.

Now, this story may have taken a sad ending. And I'm sorry for the tone. But I will never forget Brian Proulx and the Friendly Card Finds. He helped shape my collection to where it is now, and for that, I will never forget him and the shop.

I do hope he's doing well.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Quick Thank You to the Girls at Dinged Corners

I have to get to work in a couple of minutes, so I'll make this really quick.

I received a package from the Patricia and Lucy at Dinged Corners last night. You see, a few months ago, I sent them a David Wright card that I knew they would like. And sure enough, they did. They posted on their site later on that they got one of the 2009 Topps Shortprints in a pack that they opened for the blog. I had contacted them, asking if they were willing to trade for it. They agreed.

So the card(s) arrived last night (will explain in a second). Here is the card they sent to me:

Roy Campanella #210.

Along with the Campy card, they included 10 cards from the new 2009 Topps Attax set, all of which my daughter nabbed and asked if she could keep them. In the spirit of giving, I let her have them. Amongst the ten was a John Lackey foil card, David Ortiz, Aaron Rowand, and seven other players I can't think off the top of my head (she put them in her binder and wants to know where I can get more...)

So to Patricia and Lucy, on behalf of my daughter, thank you very much for the cards.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2011 Topps Archives: Paul Molitor

This will be my first attempt at trying to manipulate a multi-player card into a one player card. In 2001 Topps Archives, many players' "first" card was actually shared with other players, most often players who didn't pan out in the majors. For example, quickly...name the three other guys on the card with Willie Stargell???

Tick...tick...tick...

If you guessed Brock Davis, Jim Gosger, and John Herrnstein, either you have the card in front of you right this very minute, or you truly are a Topps expert. My point? It made sense that in 2001 edition of the Archives set that they took the other three guys out of the picture and enlarged the red circle that contained the headshot of Stargell. Yes, it looked weird, but at least you knew who was being featured.

So I'm going to try it here and now. And if it works, it will lead to many more cards being "cropped and enlarged" to feature that one player who, out of the three or four players pictured, became the star that we want to use for our Archives project. And who better to start this with than a man who played for more than twenty years, played any position asked of him (and rather well too), won a World Series title, and came back home to get his 3000th hit? I'm talking about none other than Hall of Famer Paul Molitor.

Paul Molitor signed with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1977, and made it to the majors the following season. For fifteen seasons, Molitor was the sparkplug to the Brewers' offense. He could hit for power (234 home runs), he could steal bases (504 lifetime), he was a patient hitter (walked 1094 times), and hit for average (lifetime .306 hitter with 3,319 total hits). No wonder he was called the Ignitor.

During his time with Milwaukee, Molitor was a five-time All-Star, a two-time Silver Slugger winner, and managed to appear on a number of MVP ballots. He played in any position that he was asked. Primarily an infielder, he appeared at all four positions during his career, mostly playing third and second base. He was sent to the outfield for one year (1981) to take advantage of his speed, but was then returned to the infield the following year. He led the 1982 team, affectionately known as "Harvey's Wallbangers" to the World Series against St. Louis. And although the Brewers eventually were defeated in seven games, Molitor kept them in the games with 11 hits and thre runs batted in during the series.

After the 1992 season, the veteran was granted free agency. He landed with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993 and was used primarily as the team's designated hitter. No longer having to worry about playing the field on a regular basis (although he did play at first base on occasions) did wonders for his hitting. As part of the high powered Blue Jays offense, Molitor hit 22 home runs (his career high) and drove home 111 runs batted in. As Toronto made it back to the World Series that year, Molitor led the way, with a .500 batting average, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, and eight RBI's.

After three years with the Jays, and his career starting to wind down, he signed with his hometown team, the Minnesota Twins, to play out the rest of his career. He again was used as a designated hitter, and on September 16, 1996, got his 3000th hit, a triple against the Kansas City Royals.


First card: 1978 Topps #707. Last card: 1998 Topps #291.

During the 80's, many kids growing up as Brewers fans either cheered for Paul or Robin. Both were star players in their own rights. In fact, there is a blog named solely because of this reason. But Robin was included in the 2001 Topps Archives set. Molitor was not. That, along with all the other numbers above, gives us more than enough reason to add Paul Molitor to the 2011 Topps Archives Project.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, March 23, 2009

2009 Topps Allen & Ginter Sell Sheets are Live!!!

The sell sheets for the product that EVERYBODY is waiting for are now live. Please take a look and see what is in store for the 2009 edition of Topps' Allen & Ginter set:








The preliminary checklist breakdown includes:

  • 350 card set, 50 short prints,
  • 263 (for some reason, card #'s 24 and 228 are not even listed) veterans,
  • 36 "Rookie Card Logo" players (31 TBD's)
  • 25 Historic figures/landmarks including Samuel Morse, Louis Braille, the Alamo, and the Electron)
  • 24 Champions (Michael Phelps, Dominique Wilkins, and Jason Wong)
Who's Jason Wong? He's just the guy that cracked the Allen & Ginter code from last year, winning himself a spot on the 350 card checklist!!!

Mini inserts this year include two-20 card sets. Creatures of Legend, Myth & Terror include the Loch Ness Monster, the Yeti, Cyclops, and other monsters of yore. The other, World’s Biggest Hoaxes, Hoodwinks, & Bamboozles, include con men like Charles Ponzi and Bernie Maddoff, and hoaxes like Spaghetti Trees and Cold Fusion. (Topps probably couldn't get a certain rival card company executive to agree to appear in this set...)

Product information can be found here. As always, the checklist is subject to change.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What We Found at the Chicago Sun-Times Show...

Being literally up the street from the Donald Stephens Convention Center allows me the ability (and no excuses) to go to any sports cards shows being held there. Whether it's the National, or the Chicago Sun-Times shows, I try and get down there at least one day out of the weekend (traditionally Saturdays). Today, my daughter and I made the trip down to Rosemont for the spring Sun-Times show, hoping to find cards to whittle down the want list.

Normally, this show is packed wall to wall with dealers and buyers. This year, they cordoned off a small section of dead space that would normally be filled with one of the smaller sealed box sellers and other random dealers. But with $180.00 in hand, it was time to go shopping.

Now, the advantage of bringing one of the kids with me is that some of the dealers were willing to give her free cards. She bought two Micah Hoffpauir Upper Deck Timelines (yeah, I know, she doesn't know the difference yet) and got one Kosuke Fukudome Timelines card absolutely free. She also was allowed to pick a card from a dealer who said that she must be very patient to have her dad drag her along everywhere. Her reward? A 2007 Topps Chrome Basketball Ben Wallace card. She also got a 2008 UD Masterpieces Derrek Lee card for free (she was going to give the man a quarter, but the guy said she could keep it). Other than a jumbo pack of 2009 Topps (to make her daddy feel better), she didn't spend too much. Her dad on the other hand???

The main goal was to look for the SP variation cards from 2009 Topps Series I. Not too many dealers were carrying them, but I was able to locate three. The first one came from my favorite dealers from New York, who always happens to be at every Sun-Times show. These people have been doing these shows for a long time, and seem to set up in the same place EVERY TIME. I've been to about seven of these shows, and by now know exactly where to go if I wanted to look for them. I did bring a few of my relic cards, hoping to trade or sell them to get some of the cards I wanted. And for the price of the 2009 Topps Nolan Ryan "N" patch card, and $20.00, I now have this card:

Jackie Robinson #30.

Good start, I thought. She had a Johnny Mize SP card too, but I already have that one. So, moving on...

One dealer happened to have a few complete sets of the 25 cards that are SUPPOSED to be used as this year's Topps Hobby promotion. For five bucks, I now have the "even-numbered" 2009 Topps Ring of Honor cards that were only supposed to be given away at the local hobby shop. Now, I know what you're probably thinking...I should have gone to my local shop and gotten them there. Well, I would have, but I've not had a chance to go there lately, and at least now, I don't have to spend just to get the one free card.

I have to give thanks to my daughter for bringing me to the next dealer that we stopped by, because this guy had two SP cards on him. And what a pair he had. It cost me $35.00 for both cards, but it was worth it:

Babe Ruth #1. CC Sabathia #170.

If it was easier to trade for either card, I would have. But nobody had these out in the open, and I'm sure if they did, it would cost me an arm and a leg to get them. Now, I did expect that it would be easier just to buy the Ruth card, along with Gehrig, Obama, and Sabathia than it would be to trade for them. I was just happy to get the Ruth.

The next shop gave us a tip on another dealer selling SP's. By the time we got there, however, he had just sold the card "15 minutes ago." Just so I could agonize over it, I asked what card was that he sold? "Mel Ott." Ugh.

So I found three more SP cards ($55.00 total), along with the 25 Ring of Honor cards ($5.00), a new 2009 Beckett Baseball Annual price guide (must have at $25.00), and one Target Legends card (Jimmie Foxx LLP10, $2.00). All in all, a pretty decent day.

I am debating about going back tomorrow, but I don't think I'll be able too. The only thing I'd even want to get now are these three complete sets of Marvel Masterpieces by "Fleer," along with the Women of Marvel set. For $5.00 each, I should have just gotten them when I had the chance. Oh well...

So the number of SP cards I need is down to seven. I'm looking for cards for one of them (Foxx), and am hoping to get another one from another blogger (Campanella) soon. When all is said and done, I might be down to five by the end of next week (Gehrig, Ott, Obama, Munson, and Reese).

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thanking the Hamiltonian For a Young SP Card.

I love the Sports Card Blogroll!!! It's because of the Blogroll that I've been keeping tabs on many bloggers who posted their pack and box breaks online. And it's because I read this one from The Hamiltonian that the next SP card from 2009 Topps Series I was acquired.

Tricia Hall, the lady who runs the Josh Hamilton site, posted somewhere (why I can't find the original post is beyond me) that out of one of her packs, she got one of the short-printed variation cards that I needed. I contacted her asking if she was willing to trade for it. After saying yes, what do I have to offer, I found a few cards that she needed from her want list, along with a couple of cards that I didn't see but thought she'd like (and yes, they were cards of Josh Hamilton). So I sent my end. She sent hers, and on Friday afternoon, this card arrived in my mailbox:

Cy Young #60.

So thanks, Tricia, for the Cy Young card. I now stand at nine total, with another 10 to go. I might actually make it before Topps Series 2 shows up.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

And the 2009 Topps World Baseball Classic #'s 6, 7, and 8 Cards Go To...


Those holding those World Baseball Classic Redemption cards better get them logged in to Topps quickly as it has just been announced that card #6 is of Yoennis Cespedes of Cuba, #7 is of Dae Ho Lee of the Korean team, and #8 is of Yu Darvish of Japan.

In six games, (as of March 21, 2009), Cespedes, a outfielder, went 11 for 24 (.458 batting average), with two home runs, five runs batted in. He also hit a double and three triples. Cuba was eliminated in the second round by Japan.


In seven games (as of March 21, 2009), Dae Ho Lee, who has been playing third base for the Koreans, is 4 for 14, scored one run, hit two doubles, and has walked six times. The Koreans face the Venezuelans in the first semifinal game, with the winner taking on either Japan or Team USA in the finals.


Yu Darvish has pitched in three games, starting two of them. He is 1-1, with an ERA of 1.80. He has struck out 13 batters in 10.0 innings of work. The Japanese team will face Team USA in semifinal game 2 on Sunday, with the winner taking on either Korea or Venezuela in the finals. Japan is the defending WBC champion.

None of the cards are autographed. For fans of either the Cuban, Korean, or Japanese teams, you will certainly want to add these cards to your collections. So for those of you with Redemption card #'s 6, 7, & 8, START REDEEMING!!!

The updated checklist now includes:
Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, March 19, 2009

2009 Topps Series 2 Sell Sheets are Live!!!

If you've already had your fill regarding news about 2009 Topps Series 1, take a look and see what's in store for 2009 Topps Baseball Series 2:












For product information, please click here. For the initial checklist, please click here. And remember, the checklist is always subject to change.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

And the 2009 Topps World Baseball Classic #'s 3, 4, and 5 Cards Go To...


Those holding those World Baseball Classic Redemption cards better get them logged in to Topps quickly as it has just been announced that card #3 is of Gift Ngoepe of the South Africa, #4 is of Ubaldo Jimenez of the Dominican Republic, and #5 is of Sidney De Jong of The Netherlands.

In two games games, (as of March 19, 2009), Ngoepe, a second baseman in the Pirates organization, went 2 for 5, both hits being triples, and finished with a .286 batting average. South Africa was not able to get past the first round.


Ubaldo Jimenez started the third and final game for the Dominicans against the Netherlands. In his lone start, he pitched four innings, gave up two hits, no runs, and struck out ten. Unfortunately, errors cost the Dominicans as they were eliminated in an 11-inning game by the score of 2-1.


In four games (as of March 19, 2009), de Jong, catcher for The Netherlands, went 5 for 10, scored one run, and hit one double. The Netherlands were eliminated in the second round of play.

None of the cards are autographed. For fans of either the South African, Dominican, or Dutch teams, you will certainly want to add these cards to your collections. So for those of you with Redemption card #'s 3, 4, & 5, START REDEEMING!!!

The updated checklist now includes:
Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

The Number of 2009 Topps Series I SP Cards I Now Have Stands at 8!!!

I came home late last night to find two envelopes in the mail. One came from Joe Hoelscher, the other from friend of the blog, eBay rival, and all around great human being, Craig Parker from Texas (check out his blog called My Topps Cards, or better yet, go to his actual site, then come back here for the rest of the story).

First of all, I want to thank Joe for an incredibly smooth trading experience. For the price of twelve 2009 Topps Gold cards (most from the package that came with the Christy Mathewson card, so thanks Dorrey for the help), I received:

Tris Speaker #270.

Now Joe, I just saw on the good old Topps Message Board that you also now have a Jimmie Foxx SP card. I just sent you another e-mail asking what it would take to get that card from you too. I see you have a ton of wants from 2008 Topps (golds and gold foils). I think I can whittle that down for you. I will let you know tomorrow.

Now, the package received from Craig from Texas needs a bit of explanation. I received an e-mail from Mr. Parker stating that he had some cards that he wanted to trade to me. The thing is, as mentioned before on this humble little blog, Craig has a collection that is, oh probably about 100 or so (really rough estimate) cards away from a full run of every Topps card in existance. This guy has almost every Topps card from 1952 to 2009. I don't have much in terms of vintage. Heck, I highly doubt that I have ANYTHING that this guy is looking for. So I replied to his e-mail, thanking him for the offer, but telling him that the vintage cards that I have worth trading (and this is anything between 1952-1975) are cards he most likely has. I listed nine cards, most from the 60's, one each from 1958 and 1959, and one card from 1973. I continue stating that if there is anything I can give him for the three cards to please let me know. He replies back, saying that he just needs my address to send cards that he found from my wantlist.
So the package comes today. I open it up, and there is a note specifically saying,

"Here are three cards I think you can use. I get great value out of your blog so consider this an even trade. Continue the great job of keeping me informed. Take care-Craig."

I open the package, and...and...You know what, words can't even describe this man's generosity. This is what he sent:

Honus Wagner #205.

Rogers Hornsby #10 & Johnny Mize #320.

Craig, thank you very much for the three cards and for the compliments regarding this humble little blog. Thank you for your generosity. You are truly one of the good guys in this Hobby. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

So the number of SP cards I have has doubled (from 4 to 8). I'm almost half-way home. Now, if I can only find a card shop doing that Ring of Honor giveaway...

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2011 Topps Archives: Bo Jackson

Because Topps decided to cut off first-year cards on their 2001 Archives set at 1985, they did not include our next subject. And that my friends, is a shame. But since we're working on the set for 10 years later, I think we should make up for that atrocity by including this player in our 2011 Topps Archives set.

There was no athlete in the world more popular than this man in the mid 80's and early 90's. He seemed to be playing everywhere. He played in Major League Baseball and in the National Football League. He was on TV, appearing in commercials that showed that he indeed knew how to play any sport. He even showed up in a cartoon series (okay, don't even think about asking me to bring up a picture of the ProStars). He was truly a sensational athlete, and had it not been for the injuries he sustained and the subsequent surgeries, this man's numbers, in both leagues, would have been astronomical. Today, we honor Vincent Edward Jackson. Or as he is known the world over as, "Bo" Jackson.

Between 1987 and 1990, Bo Jackson was a player in both MLB and the NFL. He was drafted by both the Royals and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from Auburn University, where he was a three-sport athlete (also a sprinter on the Track and Field team). With the Auburn Tigers, he won the 1985 Heisman Trophy as the nation's best college football player. He was also to the All-District and All-Region College Teams by the College Baseball Coaches Association that year. Although Jackson made his intentions known that he wanted to play both sports, the Buccaneers insisted that he pick one sport. Not liking the ultimatum demanded by the Buccaneers, he signed with the Royals and played for them in 1986. Because Tampa Bay couldn't sign Jackson, his rights were forfeited, and his name was thrown back into the NFL draft, where he was picked by the LA Raiders. Al Davis, owner of the Raiders, liked the idea of Bo playing both sports, thus beginning his life as a professional two-sport athlete.

With the Royals, every at-bat was an event. Because with Bo, it was all or nothing. Meaning every plate appearance meant a booming home run, or a strikeout where he would break the bat with a high knee. Now this doesn't mean he was a terrible hitter. On the contrary. He was a very productive hitter with the Royals, 109 HR's and driving home 313 runs with KC. He was an All-Star in 1989, hitting both a towering home run and an infield single, driving in the winning run and help lead the AL to victory. He was named All-Star Game MVP for his performance.

When the Royals were done, off he went to LA to begin his football season.

As a Raider, he played in 38 games, ran 2782 yards (5.4 yards per carry), gained 352 receiving yards (8.8 yards per reception) and scored 18 touchdowns total. Unfortunately, he was severely injured his hip in a playoff game in 1991 that would end his NFL career and threaten his baseball career. The story goes that he was able to pop the hip back in himself. Following surgery and rehabilitation, it was discovered that he had avascular necrosis, which would require hip replacement surgery. He had it done, and promised to be back in baseball soon.

He signed with the White Sox in 1991, playing with the pain before having the surgery. He took the year off, and returned in 1993, hitting a home run in his first at-bat. He may have shown the power, but the speed was gone. One more year with the California Angels, and he decided to call it a career in both sports.

He went on to play guest roles on television and movies, and is currently the part owner and CEO of the Bo Jackson Elite Sports Complex in Lockport. (Cool, he lives in the Chicago suburbs).

First card: 1986 Topps Traded #50T. Last card: 1995 Topps #592.

Whether playing baseball with the Kansas City Royals, or tearing up the field as a Los Angeles Raider, Bo Jackson was someone you just had to watch and be mesmerized by. He hit towering home runs, and bowled over every tackler he faced on his way to the endzone. Face it, you know, and I know, and heck, even "Bo Knows," that he should be in this set. So let's add him to the 2011 Topps Archives Set.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

If This is His Topps Card, Then What Card is This?: Chipper Jones

In between the 2011 Topps Archives posts, I thought it might be a good idea to try and bring back some of the kinds of posts I haven't done in a while. No, I'm not running out of ideas, but I might be running out of variation cards to show off. The reason why I'm doing this today is that my son is sick and I'm at home for part of the day. And I'm also doing this because I want to see if I can get a certain blogger out of hiding (while he's been active, he hasn't been posting with the reckless abandon I've been accustomed to lately, so I just want to make sure he's all right).

For new readers of the blog, this is one of my favorite segments infrequently featured here called, "What Card is This???" The concept is simple, I show two cards of a player, one his actual Topps card from a particular year, the other is a card with the same design, but a noticeable difference. Now, keep in mind, both cards are real (meaning I did not alter or create another card to throw people off), but the other card is not from the regular (or traded) Topps set, so I ask "What Card is This???" looking to see if people can correctly guess what set the second card is from.

Today's subject has been appearing regularly on Topps cards since 1991, and I think it's because he was drafted by the Braves in 1990 that their fortunes changed from being the NL West doormat, to the dominant team that we all remember throughout the 1990's and 2000's. He showed the rest of the National League that the Braves had more than just a powerful pitching staff (and when you had Smoltz, Glavine, and Maddux on your rotation, domination is an understatement), but had a fantastic offense that scored enough runs to win ballgames. He may not have won the NL Rookie of the year in 1995, but he has now become the face of the franchise. Today, I give you, Larry Wayne Jones.

Huh???

Oh I'm sorry. I think most everyone knows him by the name "Chipper." (chip-of-the-old-block...from his dad)

The name Chipper just screams baseball player, doesn't it? Even on his first Topps card, as a senior on the Bolles School baseball team, his card referred to him as Chipper Jones. You just knew that this "kid" had a future in the Majors. But he was drafted by the lowly Braves, a team that for most of the 80's, was not all that great. In fact, I remember visiting Atlanta and I saw a bumper sticker that read, "Go Braves...And Take the Falcons With You!!!" Ouch. You had to feel bad for him.

But then the team's fortunes turned around. They won the NL West, and pushed the Twins to the limit in the 1991 World Series. Lucky? Perhaps. But then they made it back to the WS the following year. After a two year layoff, they finally won the big one. And who was on that team? You guessed it...Chipper. The Braves won their division for fifteen consecutive seasons (1991-2005). And although they've won the whole thing once, they were always there, ready to play into the middle of October.

In fourteen full seasons with the Braves, Chipper has won an MVP (1999), a World Series title(1995), a batting title (2008 with a career high .364), two Silver Slugger awards (1999, 2000), hit 408 home runs, driven home 1374 RBI's, (both as of 2008), and has been selected to the All Star Game six times. His full body of work just screams "Hall of Famer" when all is said and done.

So enough about his career. Let's get to the cards.

Chipper was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team in 1995, meaning that his 1996 card would have the Rookie Cup on it as well. The 1996 Topps design was a very good looking design. It is remembered for using really large pictures, the Topps logo one side, the team logo on the other side, and the only semblance of a design was a bluish rectangular box that featured the player's name and a close up of the player's head (from the large picture). And if you look hard enough, you'll see on the bottom of each of the player cards there is either a green or red shadow line by the blue name plate. Green for all National League players, red for the American Leaguers. Which makes sense. Until 2009, there was always a "Green Book" that had all the NL information, and a "Red Book" for the AL. And both colors would be more prominent in the 1997 design as all NL players were surrounded by green frames, and the AL players in red...I'm getting away from the point again aren't I???

So here is the 1996 Topps Chipper Jones card, fresh off the World Series Appearance:


Didn't I tell you that the 1996 Topps design was good looking??? Large action shot of Chipper racing around the base paths. Awesome shot. There's that Rookie Cup on Chipper's left. Great card overall.

So with that in mind, here is card number two:


Wait...he's now on the field, running towards what looks to be a ball between third and short. What's really funny about this pose is that if you look at the head shot where his name is, it does look like he's blow the foil letters off the card. But where the green shadow is now replaced with a red (did the Braves play in the AL???), and the Rookie Cup is missing.

So now it is time to ask that all important question...

What Card is This???

Leave your guesses in the comments. The correct answer will be revealed later in the week. Have fun. Now it's time to check on my son.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

UPDATE: Monday, March 23, 2009.

Happy birthday Bam!!!

Anyway, RoofGod said it's a card from Post Cereal. Offy says it's "the Chipper from the team sets that Topps released that year." While I'm more inclined to say that Offy could be right (I don't know what set you're referring to), the card that was actually used for this edition of "What Card is This?" was a sample card that was distributed to hobby shops and media before the actual set came out. This card, #PP5, is from the 1996 Topps Preproduction set.

Thanks for playing. And, going over some of my albums, I do have a few more cards I can use for this segment after all. Hooray!!! jba

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Readers Have Spoken

This past week, I put my first poll up on this humble little blog. The question? Should I use a player's Topps Traded or Updates card as their "first" card for the 2011 Topps Archives Project?

Well, 48 readers cast their votes, and 31 answered, "Yes." So, from here on out, any time a player has a traded card as their first Topps card, that's what I'll use.

The rest of the results?
  • Seven wanted to do a vote whenever this situation would arrive.
  • Four stated that I should be the one to make the decision.
  • Three said, "No," meaning that I should just stick to the regular Topps cards (I hope that's what they meant...that's what I implied when I put that choice up).
  • And three resounded with "Who Cares???"
For those who wanted the traded cards, here are the Mark Grace cards that will be used in the 2011 Topps Archives project:

First card: 1988 Topps Traded #42T. Last card: 2003 Topps #581.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, March 15, 2009

2011 Topps Archives: John Montefusco

Here is another name that will probably make you scratch your head wondering, "Huh???" or "Who is this guy???"

The first time I ever heard the name John Montefusco, it was in a book I read when I was a lot younger called A Century of Baseball Lore by John Thorn. It was a book that was amongst the many that happened to show up one day when my family was trading hand-me-down clothing with another family. Anyway, back to the point. The story goes like this:

Cloudy Crystal Ball

"San Francisco pitcher John "Count" Montefusco enjoyed a most productive freshman season: 15 wins, a 2.88 ERA, and 215 strikeouts, second in the league to Tom Seaver. Montefusco's exploits resulted in his being selected 1975 National Rookie-of-the-Year.

"But the cocky "Count of Monte Frisco," as he has been dubbed by his fans, took some lumps on the way to his laurels. After beating the Cubs in mid-July to lift his record to 10-4, the Count said he "couldn't wait till we play the Reds next week....I'm going to shut them out....I'm going to strike out Johnny Bench four times." Shades of Dizzy Dean.

"On July 31, Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium was packed with Red rooters who wanted to see the Count make good or eat his words. The latter proved the case, as the Reds tallied in the first inning, and exploded for six runs in the second. The Count was driven into exile in the showers.

"The Reds rally was highlighted by a 460-foot, three-run homer of the bat of....Johnny Bench."

The last time I heard the name John Montefusco, he was one of the 21 players on the 2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites set that had an autograph card but no base card in the 150 card set (I have 20 of the 21 cards. The 21st has never surfaced because Tug McGraw was having health problems and there were only redemptions for his autos. I redeemed mine, and got a replacement card. If anyone has an actual Tug McGraw 2003 Topps ATFF autograph card, please let me know).


Other than those two times in my 22 years in the hobby/learning about baseball, I never really thought much about the "Count." But trying to come up with players for this 2011 Topps Archives project made me think about him again. So what did happen to Mr. Montefusco???

He played for 13 seasons in the majors for the aforementioned Giants, then was traded to the Braves at the end of the 1980 season. He played for Atlanta in 1981, then joined the Padres for a two year stint. He finished his career with the New York Yankees for a three-plus injury riddled years. He finished with a career record of 90-83, a respectable 3.54 ERA, and 1,081 strikeouts.

He was named to the All-Star team in 1976, and tossed a no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves in 1976. No Giants pitcher since then has thrown one. (Maybe this year's series 2 gimmick will feature Randy Johnson pulling it off...who knows???)

Since then, he's found himself in a bit of legal trouble, but has always proclaimed his innocence. He is now retired, and his name only comes up when a Giants pitcher comes close to a no-hitter (article courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle).

If Bob Uecker can have an Archives card (and he did in the 2001 Topps set), why not the "Count?" While I can think of many players from the 80's and 90's (and even into the 2000's) who will join this set, I need to find players from years prior (and Andy Seminick will come up soon...I haven't forgotten). So to the "Count of Monte Frisco," you are now going to be remembered, thanks to the 2011 Topps Archives set:

First card: 1976 Topps #30. Last card: 1985 Topps #301.

We have six. We need more. We have more names, and a lot of time to get the 2011 Topps Archives checklist done.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

A Few Quick Changes to the Sports Card Blogroll

As of Sunday, March 15, 2009, there are 202 Hobby blogs listed in the Sports Card Blogroll, and the number of visitors has gone up since the old Sports Card Directory closed. So thank you to all who've used the Blogroll.

Anyway, I've added a new section to the blogroll and moved some of the blogs to it. There is now a Hobby Industry/Media Blogroll, which includes blogs from "actual" Hobby media blogs from the likes of Beckett , and Sports Collectors Daily . Hobby insider blogs like The Sports Card File, and Trading Cards, TCG's and me, have been moved here as well.

It's also time to say goodbye to another list of blogs that have not been updated for the past six months. Again, links to the blogs being removed will be included here for those who want to see what the blogs were about. If these are your blogs, and you decide to come back and post again, please drop me a line at bdj610@hotmail.com and I will be more than happy to add them back to the roll. In the meantime, the following blogs have been removed from the Blogroll:
Pretty soon, legendary sites like 88 Topps Cards and Ben Henry's The Baseball Card Blog will reach the six month status. Because of their relevance to the blogging community, when each reaches their six months of inactivity, I will put them in a new category. A name for it will be coming soon.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, March 14, 2009

When Sending Extra Cards in a Trade...

Please be sure that when you're sending extra cards in a trade that the card you are actually trading is in with the package. What do I mean??? Let me explain.

Remember a while back I was lamenting about my crisis when it came to trading for the 19 SP cards? Well, I put in a post script saying that the fourth guy had agreed to send me one of the cards I needed. Well, the package arrived today. And when I opened it, I pulled out a container that for some reason had some 2009 Topps Gold cards in it. Now, many times when I get cards in the mail, whether by trade or by the Bay, some people will include "junk" cards in the package, probably to keep the card I actually bought or traded for safe from the usual mail calamities (being bent, lost, loose in the package, whatever). Many times, I get checklists, sometimes I'll get some 80's Donruss or Fleer. A few times, I'd get those thick UD filler cards (the ones used to deter pack searching). This is the first time I have ever received something decent amongst the filler cards.

So I open the package, and flip through the cards. These are nice. Included amongst the golds are Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Bud Black, Greg Golson, Juan Pierre, Hunter Pence, Jason Giambi, Aubrey Huff, and Brendan Harris. But wait...where was my SP card??? This was nice and all, but I don't see the card I actually traded for in here. Did I get somebody else's package by mistake? That has happened. Even I've done this when selling online. I'm not angry...yet.

I send an e-mail to the person I traded cards with, telling him that I got the package, received some ToppsGold cards, but I didn't see my card. He responds that the card should have been in amongst the gold. I told him that I'd check later tonight.

When I returned home, I looked at the cards again, and counted 1...2...3...4......9. No SP card. I e-mailed the person again, and told him, "Nope, the card isn't here." He replied that he'll look. A few minutes later, I grabbed the envelope that came in the mail to put the cards back into it. I looked inside, and there was still something inside there. Something I missed entirely when I opened the envelope this morning. I pulled the toploader out of the envelope, and I find:

Christy Mathewson #195.

Needless to say, another e-mail was sent to the person saying that the card had indeed arrived with the extra golds.

To Dorrey Kimber from the Topps Message Boards, thank you very much for the card. And once again, I am sorry for the confusion. Thank you also for the extra golds cards.

Four down, 15 to go.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And the 2009 Topps World Baseball Classic #'s 1 and 2 Cards Go To...


Those holding those World Baseball Classic Redemption cards better get them logged in to Topps quickly as it has just been announced that card #1 is of Lee Jin Young of the South Korea and #2 is of Derek Jeter of Team USA.

In four games, (as of March 11, 2009), Lee is 3 for 8 with one home run and five runs batted in, leading the Koreans to a 3-1 record heading into second round play.


In two games (as of March 11, 2009), Jeter is 2 for 5, scored one run, walked once, and hit one double. Team USA sports a 2-0 record, and will continue into the second round of play.

Neither card is autographed. For both fans of either the Korean team or of Team USA, you will certainly want to add either of these cards to your collections. So for those of you with Redemption card #'s 1 & 2, START REDEEMING!!!

The updated checklist now includes:
  • #1 Lee Jin Young, Korea
  • #2 Derek Jeter, USA
Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

2011 Topps Archives: Bob Cerv

Unless you were grew up in the 1950's and 60's, or unless you are a die hard Yankees fan, you're probably looking at that name and going..."Huh???" Well, that's exactly what I thought when I opened a pack of 2002 Topps Archives: The Best Years. You remember that set? Of course you do. It was the product that was supposed to have carried on the success of the Archives product of the year before, but instead of reprinting the first and last cards of players, it reprinted the Topps card of that individual's "best year" in the majors. Oh come on, we talked about that set right here on this blog. Go ahead and read this post, then come back. Please come back.

Well, in amongst the Mays, the Dawsons, the Jacksons, the Ryans, and other stars that I did recognize, was a reprint card from 1958 featuring Kansas City A's Bob Cerv. Now the 1958 Topps set consisted of a player's cropped likeness in front of a colored background. Cerv's card featured him in a batting pose (which eerily looked like the one from 1957), in front of a lime green background. It looked like whoever cropped the picture took too much off the top as his cap looked flat on the player's right side. But that wasn't what I noticed. I just saw the name, and then asked (out loud), "Who is Bob Cerv???"

Well, Robert Henry Cerv was an outfielder on the New York Yankees who found himself on the Yankees-A's express. Let me explain.

You see, the guy who owned the Kansas City A's, Arnold Johnson, was the real estate partner of Del Webb, who owned the Yankees. Before buying and moving the A's from Philadelphia to KC, Johnson also owned Yankees Stadium and Blue's Stadium (it was home to the Yankee's minor league team at the time). Now according to Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo, co-writers of the popular books Baseball Hall of Shame, Webb held a second mortgage on Johnson totalling 2.9 million dollars. And, to make it more interesting, Webb owned the construction company that remodeled the Kansas City's Blue's Stadium to meet Major League Standards.

Because of Johnson's former business ties to the Yankees (plus the fact that the Yankees' owners pretty much owned Johnson as well due to the mortgage), many of the good players on the A's team were sent to the Yankees for guys who either needed a couple of seasons away from the spotlight, or players who were struggling in the Bronx in trades. From 1955 to 1960, "a whopping 59 players were exchanged in a series of 16 trades lasting six years" between the A's and the Yankees. And the Yankees almost always got the better end of the deal, basically making the A's look like the Yankees'minor league team. One of the players involved in these deals was Bob Cerv.

(Thanks to the Scout.com, The Hardball Times, and Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo of the Baseball Hall of Shame for the information).

Bob Cerv was a Yankee originally, but his rights were sold to the A's in 1956. In Kansas City, Cerv was the A's primary left fielder. And in 1958, which was truly his best season, Cerv hit an astounding .305 with 38 home runs and 104 runs batted in. It was also the year he made the All-Star team, and was fourth in the MVP balloting. Because of his power numbers (he did hit .285, 20 HR's, and 87 RBI's in 1959), the Yankees traded Andy Carey for Cerv in 1960. However, he did not produce in NY the way he did in KC, so he was exposed to the expansion draft at the end of the '60 season, being chosen by the LA Angels.

He didn't stay with the Angels for long, because one month into the 1961 season, he was traded BACK to the Yankees for Ryne Duren in a five player deal. The expansion Houston Colt .45's bought his rights in 1962, but released him soon after that. He never played in the big leagues again.

So why Bob Cerv? I don't really know. Does he really belong in a set like this? Maybe...maybe not. But he was a part of a very bizarre time in baseball history. If what happened in the late 50's between the A's and the Yankees happened now, rest assured there would be a lot of backlash. But there was not any back then. The Yankees dominated the 50's, while the A's dominated the bottom of the AL standings. But Bob Cerv was one of the few bright spots on a few horrible A's teams.

He'll turn 85 when his cards appear in the 2011 Topps Archives set. And I noticed in our list of recommendations that we do have a real lack of players from the 50's and 60's (barely any from the 60's and 70's). So I say, "Why not???" Let's add Bob Cerv to the 2011 Topps Archives set.

First card: 1953 Topps #210. Last card: 1962 Topps #169.

Five in, 195 to go. Keep those names coming.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Got Me One Peach of a Card!!!

To paraphrase a famous baseball slugger, "Trading has been very, very good to me."

Last night, a card came in the mail, stating that I had to go to the post office to pick up a package. When I saw the name, I knew what it was for, and couldn't wait to go pick it up in the morning. But first, I looked back and remembered what an ordeal it was just to get the card.

Initially, this guy was asking for the 2009 Topps Legends letter patches. I offered him both my Ryan and Ripken patches, and asked him if he had some of the short prints that I'm looking for. The e-mails went back and forth (these is not conversation, rather than a summary of what each e-mail said).

Him: I have both the Ty Cobb and Jackie Robinson cards.
Me: I'll offer both of my patches and anything else that I got from the box break.
Him: Need the Ripken patch only, but also liked the Kunz auto and the Randy Johnson black card.
Me: I'll put it all together for both cards.
Him: Will take the Ripken and the Kunz for one of the SP's.
Me: Why? I want both.
Him: I know where you're coming from, but somebody else wants these too.
Me: I want both. What will it take to get both? Will offer other cards.
Him: Tells me to decide, not knowing if and when the other party responds.
Me: (after much thought and complaining), Have the other person decide. I'll take the other.
Him: Other party decided on Jackie. You get the Cobb.
Me: Fine with me. Thanks.

Cards were mailed on Friday. He receives on Monday. I have to wait because he put in signature confirmation on it. So I got to the post office, handed the clerk the pick up card, she hands me an envelope, has me sign that I received it, and here is the end result:

Ty Cobb #66.

To Tim Guillotte from the Topps Message Boards, thank you very much for the card. I really wanted both cards, and was willing to give you more than what you wanted. But that's me being selfish. At least someone else was able to get their wantlist down by one card.

I now have three on hand, two hopefully on their way, and many more to find. And so the quest continues.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama