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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Quick Response to Jeremy Roe of Hall of Fame Cards

Normally, I'd be able to e-mail my answers to certain questions left in the comments, but I couldn't find one for the gentleman who runs Hall of Fame Cards. Jeremy Roe left a comment asking:

"How have you been able to find the complete Target and Wal-Mart specific cards in the Legends set? I haven't been able to find the remaining Target and Wal-Mart sets (other than a few single Wal-Mart cards on eBay)."

Well, I acquired the cards from series 1 by buying packs from both Wal-Mart and Target. When I completed the 330 card set, I realized that it would be really expensive to keep on buying packs at both places. So I turned to trades for a majority of the rest from either the blogosphere or the Topps Message Boards. When the opportunity arose (meaning one eBayer was selling the last few cards I needed), I just bought them from him. That's how I've been able to complete the store exclusive sets that Topps put out since 2006.

Hope that answers your question.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Drizz Rocks!!! Thanks for Molly!!!

I still don't have the Obama card (made a best offer on the Bay, but that was refused).

I still don't have a master set yet (can't believe I lost by a buck)!!!

The boxes are going to have to wait for another couple of weeks.

But...

Thanks to the drizz, one of a few people that I've called "friend of the blog," and all around good guy, the number of SP's I need from series 2 is down by one.

There is this blog out there called Yount Vs. Molitor. One of the first posts on that blog discussed how kids growing up in Milwaukee in the late 70's/early 90's were either a Paul Molitor or Robin Yount fan (where was the love for Jim Gantner?...another story). Anyway, there is no debate that both players, now Hall of Famers, had great careers. But the arguement still stood as to who was better.

Well, on this blog, it is a matter of who comes FIRST. Both are included as SP's in Series 2. But one of them is now in my hands.

Paul Molitor #610.

Thank you drizz. I have never met you in person, but you were one of the first people who became a supporter of this blog when it first came out. I am indeed grateful for your generosity, and hope that soon, I can return in kind.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, May 29, 2009

And the 2009 Topps Red Hot Rookie #1 Card Goes To...


Those holding those Red Hot Rookie Redemption cards better get them logged in to Topps quickly as it has just been announced that card #1 belongs to none other than Fernando Martinez of the New York Mets.

Fernando was just recently called up to the Mets and made his major league debut on May 26 against the Washington Nationals. So far, he is 0-8, but has driven in a run for the Metropolitans (two games as of May 29, 2009).

Although it's not an autographed card, Mets fans will want to add this card to their collections. Ladies and Gentlemen, START REDEEMING!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, May 28, 2009

2009 Topps Series 2 Target and Walmart Legends of the Game Checklists For Those Who Need Them

As seen on pack breaks everywhere, Topps is continuing both the Target and WalMart exclusive Legends of the Game Insert Sets. The cards add to the timeline from Series I. And as before, Target has the gold set, Walmart has the Platinum set. Enclosed are the checklists for both exclusive sets:

Target
LLG11 Mel Ott
LLG12 Bob Gibson
LLG13 Babe Ruth
LLG14 Roy Campanella
LLG15 Ty Cobb
LLG16 Cy Young
LLG17 Mickey Mantle
LLG18 Walter Johnson
LLG19 Pee Wee Reese
LLG20 Jimmie Foxx

Walmart
LLP11 Johnny Mize
LLP12 Jackie Robinson
LLP13 Babe Ruth
LLP14 Honus Wagner
LLP15 Lou Gehrig
LLP16 Nolan Ryan
LLP17 Mickey Mantle
LLP18 Thurman Munson
LLP19 Christy Mathewson
LLP20 George Sisler

The Cereal Boxes also had Store Exclusive inserts in chrome form for series 1, and that is again the case here in series 2. And if it was done in the same way as in series 1, here is what you can EXPECT (not official) to be in either set:

Target
GR11 Johnny Mize
GR12 Jackie Robinson
GR13 Babe Ruth
GR14 Honus Wagner
GR15 Lou Gehrig
GR16 Nolan Ryan
GR17 Mickey Mantle
GR18 Thurman Munson
GR19 Christy Mathewson
GR20 George Sisler

Walmart
PR11 Mel Ott
PR12 Bob Gibson
PR13 Babe Ruth
PR14 Roy Campanella
PR15 Ty Cobb
PR16 Cy Young
PR17 Mickey Mantle
PR18 Walter Johnson
PR19 Pee Wee Reese
PR20 Jimmie Foxx

The last two lists are just based on speculation. They are subject to change. Again, I will be going after the regular store exclusives, and out of 20 cards, I have five already (thanks to friend of the blog the drizz).

The chase continues.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Quest for Series 2 SP's Begins in Earnest...

I may not be done with the Series I SP's (need that Barack...)

I may not even have my boxes of Series 2 Topps (I need to get to a store...)

I may not have been able to buy a Master set of 2009 Topps 2 on the Bay (yet).

But what I do have is the first of what I hope to be 17 SP cards from series 2.

The living legends, from Marichal and Palmer, to Ripken and Gwynn. From Sandberg and Boggs, to the Robinsons Frank and Brooks.

Today, thanks to Mark Mosley of the Stats-on-the-Back blog, I am now the proud owner of...

Jim Palmer #355.

It looks like Palmer over did the tan. Otherwise, it's a nice looking card.

I am also in talks with two other bloggers for the Maddux and Carlton cards. Now I'm just waiting for the go aheads and cards will be in the mail. And thanks to friend of the blog the drizz, I also am off to a flying start with the Target and WalMart exclusive Legends of the Game cards. And he also tells me that another SP card is on the way to me.

It's only been a week since these cards went live, and I'm almost a quarter of the way in to completing the set. This is great. Thank you both Mark and Drizz for the cards. I really appreciate them.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Coming This Week...A Review of The Enthusiast by Charlie Haas

Last week, I received an e-mail from a gentleman named Charlie Haas. Not the wrestler from WWE, he is a screenwriter (credits include Gremlins 2 among other projects I didn't immediately recognize) turned author, who just had his first book published called The Enthusiast. He wanted to know if I would be interested in reading his book, reviewing it on the blog, and possibly recommending it to others in the Hobby. I agreed, and last Friday, I received the book in the mail. By Sunday, I finished it (speed reader I'm not, but the book was too good to put down).

It is the story of Henry Bay, who for most of his adult life, was the associate editor for many magazines that catered to the interests of different people (from teas to throws, from mountain climbing to kite buggys, from spelunking to...you get the idea). While working on magazines catered to it's own enthusiasts all over the country, the story is about his journey finding what his enthusiasm is.

I can tell you immediately that it's a good book, and while it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with sports cards, there is plenty that we as Hobbyists can relate with in the story. Before I give my final review (which I will have by Friday), I'm going to go over the book one more time, just to make sure I get my facts straight when I do my second book report on the blog.

Also, I will be doing a post on the seventeen players who were exclusive only to the Topps Gold Sets from 1992-1994. These players did not appear in the base set, but because Topps did not do gold cards of their checklist cards, they were replaced with prospects. Who were they? Did any of them make an impact in the big leagues? You'll just have to wait and see.

Finally, I'm hoping to get more packs (if not the full set, or at least a couple of boxes) of 2009 Topps Series 2. I do know that there are cards coming in the mail. If and when they do, they'll be posted here and the senders thanked profusely.

Stay tuned. It's going to be a fun week.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Monthly Comment Mailbag - May 2009 Edition

With 43 comments since the last one, and the month being almost over, it's time once again to respond to the comments left by you the readers.

To the night owl, I've decided to let cooler heads prevail, and keep the anonymous thing open. I'd like to get comments from everyone, not just people I pick, or people with blogs, so the Anyone thing is still on for comments. But please, if you have to leave an anonymous comment, put your name somewhere so I can give you credit, contact you, thank you, whatever.

To GOGOSOX60, sorry about the anonymous commenter rant. You're the big exception because you've always identified yourself, even though you left comments anonymously. That's why I didn't mind it when you do it, just other people.

To DD, who left a comment about my All-Time Mexican Team, the reason why I didn't include either Adrian Gonzalez nor Jorge Cantu was because they were born in the USA. They may be of Mexican ancestry, or they may still have homes in Mexico, but the list of players I was working with was based on where the player was born. So I couldn't use either one. Otherwise, absolutely, they would have been on the team.

To Chris D'Orso, I wouldn't be surprised if the Madoff cards did show up in packs when Allen & Ginter comes out later this year. I'd rather see the executive of a rival sports card company included in this set, maybe as the stealth insert. You never know.

Thanks to all who wished me a Happy Anniversary writing this humble little blog.

To beardy, your blog was already on the Sports Card Blogroll, under the Team's section of the blogroll (Baltimore Orioles-Beardy's Baseball Blog).

To Costanza's Brother, that's right. Four Baltimore Orioles among the 17 "living legend" SP's (Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken, Brooks Robinson, AND Frank Robinson). Just be glad Topps didn't do a Reggie Jackson as an Oriole card as well.

To dayf, you'd still give up that Schmidt card to me if you pulled it right???

To madding, I agree. I thought Ozzie should have been on here too. He doesn't have any agreements with the other company does he???

That's all for now. Thanks to everybody for leaving me notes. Keep those comments coming (provided that I keep on putting stuff on the blog...)

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

The Wall Has Arrived...Now All I Need is The President.

What began as a seemingly impossible challenge is now almost at an end.

Jeremy DeJong, aka Jeremya1um, first sent a comment on one of my posts stating that he had the Thurman Munson SP card and was willing to trade for it. He said he was interested in autographed cards of 1992 Topps, Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays (and probably Devil Rays) and Orel Hershiser cards, specifically, relics and autos, . The only Rays relic or autographed card I have is a Carl Crawford 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter relic card. He sends an e-mail stating that he will take the Crawford for Munson. So the Crawford card, along with a few extra Devil Rays/Rays insert cards, are on their way to Florida. This is what arrived in my mailbox today...

Thurman Munson #305

Thank you very much, Jeremy, for the Munson card. I do hope that the cards that you will receive will be good enough in exchange.

So now, I am down to one...ONE...card...before putting the Series I SP cards to bed and begin the quest anew for the Series 2 SP's. And it looks like my best bet is to get it from the Bay. Card #44, you will be mine soon. And when I get it, the POTUS will make a great addition to my binder page of SP cards (his would take the fifth pocket...the middle of the sheet). And then, it will be time to focus on the living legends.

On with the chase.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, May 25, 2009

Flashback: Memorial Day and What's Important

(This post was originally published on May 26, 2008.)

So I had just finished scanning the 2007 Topps Distinguished Service Set so I could post it here, and then it occurred to me that I was doing something wrong. Here I was ready to post something about Memorial Day and then I noticed that the people (ball players and historical figures) in the set were either still alive or, in the players' cases, went back to play baseball. It was then I realized that I should save this set for Veteran's Day. Memorial Day was established to honor the men and women who served in the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines) and died in the many wars that the United States have been involved.

Looking at the list of baseball players who served and died for their country, it includes those not only from the US, but from other countries too (many of them are Japanese). I obviously don't have any cards of any of these men, but I thought it would be appropriate to list them here. (If you would like to learn more about the baseball players who gave their lives for their country, you may find the list of links attached to their names (thanks to baseball-reference.com's bullpen wiki):

Seizaburo Amakawa
Kenichi Aoshiba
Masakimi Araki
Charlie Becker
Ray Boyd
Alex Burr
Dell Chambers
Harry Chapman
Larry Chappell
Charles Chase
Gene Curtis
Oran Dodd
Yukio Eguchi
Chuujiro Endo
John Frill
Isamu Fukushi
Goro Fushimi
Fred Gaiser
Elmer Gedeon
Harry Glenn
Eddie Glinnen
Marv Goodwin
Tadashi Goto
Eddie Grant
Newt Halliday
Ichiro Hara
Yasuo Hayashi
Eiji Hirabayashi
Shuichi Hirose
Ernie Hrovatic
Hisayuki Ikeda
Yutaka Ishii
Kentaro Ito
Jinkichi Itoh
Masaru Kageura
Daichi Kaino
Nobuo Kato
Tokuhisa Kawamura
Hajime Kuwashima
Noboru Kitahara
Kazuo Kito
Shoichi Kunihisa
Nobuo Kura
Kiyoshi Maeda
Masayoshi Maekawa
Tony Mahoney
Toshi Masuda
Christy Mathewson
Riichi Matsumoto
Shigeji Matushita
Joe F. McCarthy
Hachiro Miwa
Yoshikichi Miyaguchi
Kunigoro Mori
Minoru Morita
Shigeo Murakami
Chotaro Muramatsu
Yukio Muramatsu
Miyoshi Nakagawa
Masami Nakamura
Saburo Nakamura
Yonekichi Naya
Bob Neighbors
Noboru Noguchi
Harry O'Neill
Toshiyasu Ogawa
Toshio Ohara
Kenichi Ohta
Fukuyoshi Okada
Muneyoshi Okada
Hiroshi Onodera
Yoshizou Oribe
Adelano Rivera
Masao Santa
Eiji Sawamura
Bob Schmukal
Ralph Sharman
Yoshifumi Shimamoto
Uzaburo Shintomi
Kazuji Shiraki
Larry Smith (minor league umpire)
Billy Southworth Jr.
Harry Stees
Toyoo Sugiyama
Momosuke Takano
Kerry Lamont Taylor
Kazutaka Terauchi
Bun Troy
Genbei Tsuji
Carl Tumlinson
Tadashi Ueda
Shizuka Watanabe
Charles Wilcox
Susumu Yagi
Masaki Yoshihara

More information about these players may be found at the following websites:

The Deadball Era, Society for American Baseball Research, Veterans Affairs Gravesite Locator, The Encyclopedia of Catchers, Soldiers & Sailors System, The Baseball Necrology, Stars & Stripes.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

(In honor of Sgt. Clinton H. Nichols, husband of my grandmother Gloria Y. Nichols, who survived the Bataan Death March, but died in a camp not long afterwards.)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Finally, The Last 2009 Topps Series 2 Pack Break...

So here we are, finally going through pack number nine. Was there an SP? Was there a relic card? The answer to both...a resounding NO!!! Why can't I have the luck of other guys who've pulled these SP's?

Anyway, Pack 9


Troy Glaus #465
Pat Neshek #544
Billy Butler #644
David Murphy #614
Reggie Jackson Legends of the Game #LG-RJ
Justin Upton Toppstown Blue #TTT37
Trevor Cahill #403
Donald Veal #637
Dustin Pedroia #350 (I would have loved for this to have been the Sandberg SP)
Matt Harrison #369
Tony LaRussa #401
Chris Carpenter #484


So ends my pack breaks. The cards really look nice. A reader, David, asked which of these cards were my favorite? The pictures, again, astounding. Many were so close up you'd think the cameraman was out on the field to take the shot. Of the cards I have, I think the best cards photo wise would have to be the ones of John Danks (it looks like he's throwing right at you), or Victor Martinez in full catcher's gear throwing a ball into the stands. Don Wakamatsu looks like he's hailing a cab, and Mike Fontenot in that classic SS pose of running to his right for the ball.

So that's the break. Happy Memorial Day everybody!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Packs 7 & 8, Lay Them Straight...

To continue on this nine-pack excursion, here is what showed up in my 7th and 8th packs of 2009 Topps Series 2:

Pack 7


Adam Jones, #455
Carlos Beltran #550
Luke Hochevar #649
Robinson Cano #615
Chad Qualls #511
Oliver Perez #621
Ryan Howard & Jimmy Rollins CC Topps Gold #601
David Wright ToppsTown Gold #TTT32
Edwin Moreno #499
Paul Konerko #506 (could easily have been A. J. Pierzynski...they're both on the card...)
Placido Polanco #599
Chris Davis #634


Pack 8


Pablo Sandoval #426
Jonathan Papelbon #386
Joe Mauer #340
Mike Aviles #354 (somebody messed up in MS Paint...the Junkie wrote about it here...)
Kendry Morales #613
Ken Macha #642
Bob Gibson Legends of the Game #LLG12
Kevin Youkilis ToppsTown Blue TTT42
Sharon Martis #381
Jake Peavy #600 (maybe now that the White Sox couldn't get him, the Cubs still have a chance to get him to move to Chicago...)
Aaron Hill #623
Clint Hurdle #497


The Legends of the Game cards from Target (and probably Walmart...though I haven't seen them at the stores yet) add to the timeline from series 1. The last and final pack will be posted shortly. It's time to mow my lawn.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, May 22, 2009

Short Prints in 2009 Topps Series 2...Which Current Player was Paired with an SP???

As it stands now, Topps is honoring seventeen "Living Legends" in its flagship's Series 2 product. All of the players selected are Hall of Famers (or in one case, soon to be a Hall of Famer) and will each have short-printed cards. And just like the SP's in series 1, the seventeen legends are numbered as if they are part of the flagship set (as you will see below). So, which active player is being paired up with the legend?

For those keeping score, here is the official Series 2 SP checklist:
  • #340 Joe Mauer, #340b Wade Boggs.
  • #350 Dustin Pedroia, #350b Ryne Sandberg.
  • #353 Derek Jeter, #353b Cal Ripken, Jr.
  • #355 John Smoltz, #355b Jim Palmer.
  • #400 Alfonso Soriano, #400b Frank Robinson.
  • #415 Josh Beckett, #415b Bob Gibson.
  • #475 Chipper Jones, #475b Mike Schmidt.
  • #476 Edinson Volquez, #476b Juan Marichal.
  • #490 Joba Chamberlain, #490b Nolan Ryan.
  • #495 Eric Chavez, #495b Brooks Robinson.
  • #515 Gary Sheffield, #515b Reggie Jackson.
  • #520 Adrian Gonzalez, #520b Tony Gwynn.
  • #595 Vernon Wells, #595b Robin Yount.
  • #600 Jake Peavy, #600b Greg Maddux (which makes Maddux the only player to have a base card and an SP card in the set).
  • #610 Michael Young, #610b Paul Molitor.
  • #650 Cole Hamels, #650b Steve Carlton.
  • #660 Jacoby Ellsbury, #660b Carl Yastrzemski.
Perusing the Bay last night, I found many pictures of the SP's in this series. I know I sound like the biggest shill when I say that these cards look fantastic. So far, so good. Nothing on eBay (yet) showing big-time gimmicks or unannounced SP cards (yet).

The chase for these SP's is on, as I am already in talks to get two of these cards from other people (still need that Obama card). I haven't picked up my boxes of series 2 yet at the local shop, although Master sets are looking pretty cheap again...

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

P.S. Although I still have three more packs to break and post, I don't know how much I'll be able to get done on the blog during the next three days. With that, I'd like to wish everyone a safe Memorial Day weekend. jba

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sports Card Blogroll Updates

I've gotten a couple of e-mails from people who requested that their sites be added to the Sports Card Blogroll. One already has a site (Darryl Strawberry Fields) , and wanted to hype a second blog he's created called The Priceless Pursuit. The other person is diving into the blogosphere for the first time it seems, and after requesting me to review it, I Got Bo Jackson! has now been added.

With both being added to the baseball card blogroll section, I now have 95 blogs on the Sports Card Blogroll that primarily focus on baseball cards (this does not include team sites, player sites, or the ones in the multi-sport roll). Just five more until we get 100 active baseball blogs.

However, as I add more, some have reached the six month of inactivity marker. Which means they will be removed. As always, I will include the links on this post so you can see what they were about. So, please join me in saying farewell to:

We need more collectors of the other sports (football, basketball, hockey, soccer??? Any wrestling card collector/bloggers?) to write about their Hobby.

Now, there is actually a fifth blog that has not been updated in six months that I will actually be keeping on the blogroll. Such is the nature of these kinds of blogs. The legendary 88 Topps Cards, which focused on every card in the 1988 Topps and Topps Traded set, ended when it's writer, Andy, posted the best 1988 Topps Card ever (which happened to be #750 Bo Jackson). And with that announcement, ended the blog. What else could be written about the 1988 Topps set? Every card was featured in its own post, with commentary about the player, what he's doing now, what he did, a random statistic, whatever.

It's rare to find a blog (or for that matter, a blogger) totally committed to see a project of this magnitude through to its completion. How do I know? Because the same writer valiantly attempted, but was not able to, give the 78 Topps Cards set the full blog treatment (he stopped after the first 100 or so). He recently completed a blog highlighting the 1988 Score Traded set, and is currently giving the 1989 Topps Major League Debut set a run for the money. So with that, I am creating a new section to the blogroll called the "Hall of Fame Blogroll" and inducting 88 Topps Cards as its resident. Andy, congratulations. You are truly a dedicated blogger and your contributions to the Hobby Blogosphere are enormous. Keep up the good work.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Packs Five and Six Contained the Following Cards...

And you thought I forgot about all posting the rest of my pack breaks. Well, let's end the suspense.

Pack 5


Lou Pinella #410 (better get the boys back in it Lou...)
Kevin Frandsen #517
Bobby Crosby #464
Jorge de la Rosa #588
Josh Hamilton Turkey Red #TR51
Ian Kinsler ToppsTown Blue #TTT36
Mike Jacobs #385
Mark Loretta #438
James Loney #462
Dan Haren #391
Wandy Rodriguez #399
Rajai Davis #376


Pack 6


Craig Reynolds #568
Gio Gonzalez #522
Charlie Manuel #496 (who, based on how he's dressed, is the manager of the "Phihillillies"...)
Fernando Rodney #529
Pee Wee Reese Turkey Red #TR93
Mark Teixeira ToppsTown Blue #TTT48
Kenshin Kawakami #593
Elvis Andrus #591 (Thank you...thank you very much...couldn't resist)
J. D. Drew #648
Fred Lewis #592
Eric Byrnes #552
Gary Sheffield #515 (as a Tiger...I thought Topps would at least have been able to photoshop a Mets jersey on him...)


The anticlimactic conclusion to the nine-pack break will happen tomorrow. So far, still no SP's in my series 2 packs, although I've already been able to convince a guy to trade for one. Hope it comes soon.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Next Two Packs of 2009 Topps Series 2 Had...

Opening packs 3 and 4 this evening (actually, I opened packs 3 through 8, but will do the breaks in two-pack posts so as not to bore everyone) saw more awesome shots for the base cards, but were a little light on the inserts. Still no SP's (just my luck...)

Pack 3


Bill Hall #472
Chris Perez #518
Ted Lilly #569
Travis Ishikawa #543
Bobby Abreu #367
Manny Ramirez Toppstown Gold #TTT41
David Freese #643
Carlos Gonzalez #503
Brian Bannister #459
Magglio Ordoñez #395
Brandon Morrow #523
Chad Tracy #358


Pack 4


Prince Fielder #480
Cecil Cooper #562
Adam Kennedy #578
Brandon Backe #618
Classic Combos Howard/Rollins #601
Brett Myers #632
Cliff Pennington #442 Topps Gold
Vladimir Guerrero Toppstown Blue #TTT31
Nyjer Morgan #481
Ben Francisco #624
Chipper Jones #475 (Junkie Alert...Junkie Alert...)
Gary Matthews #494


More packs to be shown off tomorrow. Time for me to get some sleep.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

The First Two Packs of 2009 Topps Series 2 Yielded...

So I snuck a couple of packs with me today so I can give you a quick pack break during the day. I will get more in this evening. But in the meantime, here are the first two packs:

Pack #1


Mike Fontenot #449
Dave Trembley #407
Victor Martinez #370
Classic Combos Guillen/Cabrera #434
Jackie Robinson Career Best Legends #LGCB-JR (new insert)
Walter Johnson Legends of the Game Target #LLG18 (so I guess the next round of Legends of the Game fills out the timeline)
Carlos Beltran Toppstown Blue #TTT47
Mike Scioscia #461
A. J. Burnett #630
Freddy Sanchez #447
Chris Iannetta #646
Johnny Damon #590


Pack #2


Jim Leyland #339
Gregor Blanco #352
Gavin Floyd #443
Don Wakamatsu #576
John Danks #548
Matt Garza #545
Albert Pujols Legends of the Game #LG-AP (so I guess the current "Legends" get seperate billing, as well as an exclusive Timeline)
Carlos Zambrano Toppstown Blue #TTT39
Jesse Chavez #409
Yovani Gallardo #502
B. J. Ryan #421
Chris Young (D-Backs) #335


Initial reaction? So far so good. The Jackie Robinson card looks really nice based on the sepia-colored background.Though I think I understand the reasons for it, other than to distinguish the cards from series 1, I don't think the ToppsTown base cards should have been blue. That's just me though.

That's all for now. Look forward to more later on this evening.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Coming This Week...A Nine Pack Break of 2009 Topps Series 2

After seeing a couple of posts by the Staggering Genius and the Stats on the Back guru, I decided to sneak off to Target and see if the rumors were true that 2009 Topps Series 2 packs were on sale. And sure enough, they were. So I bought nine packs of the stuff (along with six packs of Littlest Pet Shop packs...hey my daughter was with me...she got them...I swear!!!) and some time during the week, will post them online. The product is not supposed to come out until the end of this week. Why Target decided to put it out now is anybody's guess.

Anybody been to Walmart to see if they've brought out Series 2 yet???

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

P.S. For those in the audience who would like to see pack breaks on the Littlest Pet Shop packs in detail as well, please let me know. I'll have to get my daughter in here to scan cards. jba

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blog Bat Around - Why Do I Do the Voodoo That I Do?

It's Blog Bat Around time again, and it's come back home to Gellman's place at SCU.

To review, this wildly popular phenomenon was started by Gellman, who also hosted the second one. The baton was passed to Dave of Fielder's Choice for Fiesta #3, Patricia of Dinged Corners took the next turn for #4, and dayf the Cardboard Junkie grabbed the reins for #5. I highly recommend checking out the BBA's to see each of the first five bat arounds, plus the new topic for the sixth, then come back here (please remember to come back here...)

Anyway, the topic of the bat around this time asks that simple question of why. I think it would be better to read the question the way Gellman put it in his post:

All of the people who are participating in this have a blog, or at least something similar. For this question, I just want to know about the reasons you do what you do. Why do you blog? What made you choose Sports Cards as your topic of choice? What got you started? What has been your favorite post from your own work?

It was just a year ago that I started this humble little blog. After years of lurking around the Topps Message Boards, the old Beckett Message Boards, and even playing around with my About Me page on eBay, blogging seemed like the most logical thing to do. The next logical step to take. But I didn't even know what it was, nor did I think I had the literary skills to do one. Little did I know that it didn't matter if I had a theme or not, as there were blogs on just about everything. But what was I going to write about?

In my very first post on this blog, this was my reason for starting bdj610's Topps Baseball Card Blog:

"I decided to create this blog to allow me the time to enjoy my collection. And I want to share what I have with the collecting public. The baseball cards are and will be the stars of this blog. My job will be to talk about them as best I can. Now I'm no expert. I'm not a hobby insider, nor am I claiming to be fully knowledgeable about the Hobby I love. But in 21 years, I think I've gained a little bit of knowledge about cards and card collecting. I fancy myself as a student of the Hobby, always striving to learn about the past, while looking forward to the future...I feel I have some knowledge to pass on to the card collecting world, and it is my hope to share that with you as I finally make the attempts to take time and enjoy my baseball card collection."

That's what I had in mind when I started. I wanted to focus on the cards again as I started missing the point and just went through the motions of collecting. I started with hopelessly trying to do themes, like the "What??! of the Week," or the "What Card is This," even doing "Quote of the Week," but there was only so much material for these, and the research for finding quotes, or for that matter anything to write about, was taking too much time. I also thought of doing reviews of the past sets from the last 30 years (I have every complete set from 1976 to now), but as I continued on this blogging journey, I realized that either it's already been done, or that if I was to do a review once a week like I intended, by week 30 I'd have nothing left to write about.

Slowly but surely, the blog slowly took a different direction. I always loved being the first to find stuff online about the cards I collected, and then would post my "discoveries" on the Topps Message Board. Whether it was "Cards That Would Never See the Light of Day," or a checklist of all 30 Team sets Topps, I would put together a lengthy post and thrust it onto the boards. I realized that instead of just waiting for the right time to post on a message board that I can do that on my own blog. So, since then, if there was anything that I thought was interesting about new Topps products, or if I found cards that nobody else had talked about yet, I'd just put together a blog post, and hit the send button, hoping that somebody would read it. I never realized that my messages were being heard, loud and clear.

I even found myself commenting on other bloggers sites about what they wrote, and if there was a hot button topic that seemed to hit the blogs, I felt compelled to comment as well, whether or not I knew what was exactly happening. It was then I thought that I could do a lot better if I did more commentary and opinion posts. But to do that, I'd actually have to keep tabs on the Hobby like I was a reporter looking for the next big thing. While it would be nice to have that capability, I realized that I only collect Topps Baseball Cards, and realistically, that's all I collect. Why would I want to report on products that I don't even care for or collect? That would be a total 180 on why I started this blog in the first place. I wanted to go back and enjoy my Hobby, and share that with the readers.

So here I am now. Wondering what is the point of my blog...AGAIN!!! I know I can use this forum for many things:
  • to inform like-minded collectors about products and cards or sets that I like (or not)
  • to entertain readers with random facts that I just happen to think about during the course of the day, and then try to put a card or two that relate to said topic
  • to comment freely without restraint about where the Hobby is going, and/or the latest hot topic in the Hobby
  • to show off my collection (after all, if I ever have to let it go, at least I can say I had them)
  • to be more involved in the Hobby I truly love
So maybe I shouldn't limit myself to just one of the above bullet points and run crazy with it. I should be able to do all of the above, and a bag of chips. I think I'm doing that already. But I can, and should, do more.

You know, after going through all of this rambling, I'm not sure I answered the all-important question...WHY??? Why do this? Why drive myself crazy blogging about baseball cards?

Because I love the Hobby of baseball card collecting. I love learning about them, I love reading about them, and now love writing about them. I may not have the loudest voice in the blogosphere, nor the best collection in the world, but I want to share both with all who are willing to read what I have to say and join me as I continue my way through the never ending journey that is the Hobby.

I think the gentleman at White Sox Cards said it best:

"Write what's true to your heart and the rest will fall into place."

And that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Hope that answers everything.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Congrats to Ryan Zimmerman of the Nats...30 is a High Number


Even with the Washington Nationals having another rough start to the season, it is nice to see them get some good press once in a while. And on that happy note, I think it's a pretty safe bet that come All-Star time (which I swear I'll get to show off my teams of the past...) our man of the hour will be making travel plans to St. Louis to participate in the All-Star Game.

Congratulations to Ryan Zimmerman for getting hits in 30 consecutive games. As we all know, a hitting streak of this magnitude is rare, and is only made difficult when getting closer to the ominous looking game number 56. In the 30 games played during the streak, the Nats went 10-19 (one game to be finished at a later date). Zimmerman went 50 for 141 (.355 average), hit 8 home runs, and drove in 26.


While nobody has even come close to Joltin' Joe's record since 1978, only 42 hitters have had hit streaks of at least 30 games or more (Ty Cobb and George Sisler pulled it off twice), with Zimmerman being the latest to do it. It got me thinking...who else has hit safely in 30 or more consecutive games? Look no further than the Baseball Almanac to find the answer. Of the 42 players who've accomplished this feat, I have baseball cards of 18 of them during their streak year. This total does NOT include either the Sisler and Cobb cards from 2009 Topps. Since 1976, the following players have had hit streaks of at least 30 games or more:


  • Ron LeFlore, 1976, Tigers, 30 games
  • Pete Rose, 1978, Reds, 44 games (modern NL record)
  • George Brett, 1980, Royals, 30 games
  • Ken Landreaux, 1980, Twins, 31 games
  • Benito Santiago, 1987, Padres, 34 games (record for rookies)
  • Paul Molitor, 1987, Brewers, 39 games
  • Jerome Walton, 1989 Cubs, 30 games
  • Nomar Garciaparra, 1997, Red Sox, 30 games
  • Sandy Alomar, Jr., 1997, Indians, 30 games


  • Eric Davis, 1998, Orioles, 30 games (Eric Davis did not have a regular 1998 Topps card...his 1999 card will have to do)
  • Luis Gonzalez, 1999, Diamondbacks, 30 games
  • Vladimir Guerrero, 1999, Expos, 31 games
  • Luis Castillo, 2002, Marlins, 35 games
  • Albert Pujols, 2003, Cardinals, 30 games
  • Jimmy Rollins, 2005-2006, Phillies, 38 games (only he and Willie Keeler had streakes ending one year and continue the next)
  • Chase Utley, 2006, Phillies, 35 games
  • Willy Taveras, 2006, Astros, 30 games
  • Moises Alou, 2007, Mets, 30 games
So, once again, congratulations to Ryan Zimmerman on his 30 game hit streak. Unless Aramis comes back and produces like he did before the shoulder injury, you've got my vote for the ASG.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cards That Make You Go...What??! of the Week: 1999 Topps Prospects #205 and #432...featuring Gabe Kapler

To honor friend of the blog the drizz's request to bring it back, our What??! of the Week features a former Detroit Tigers prospect, major league veteran, and the object of desire for many female baseball fans, Gabe Kapler.

Maybe because he's from Hollywood, CA. Maybe it's because in 1998, he was the Jacksonville Suns' best hitter with a .322 average, 28 HR's, and 146 RBI's. Maybe because in four years in the minors, he hit 77 home runs, driven in 366 runs, had a batting average of .303 and a slugging pct of .530.

Maybe it's because he looked like the kid in high school with the looks, the charisma, and the popularity that made other kids either like the guy or not (ego, where are you going with this...)

But did Topps really...I mean, REALLY, have to give Gabe Kapler not one, but TWO Prospect cards in the 1999 Topps set??? What, was Stephen Larkin not available?

Gabe Kapler has that kind of name that just begs to have a nickname for him. A writer, who saw his muscular physique, called him "The Body." I've heard many women refer to him as "Gabe the Babe." Their boyfriends, on the other hand, simply add an "r" to his last name (I will leave it to your imagination as to which two letters the 'r' is placed between).

Kapler first appears in 1999 Topps Series 1, sharing the card with future All-Star Lance Berkman and a guy named Mike Frank. He's on the lower right if you're looking for him.

1999 Topps #205, Series 1. Nice looking card.

Which in the grand order of things would be fine. But when series two came out later in 1999, guess who showed up, this time taking the top position of the pyramid? You guessed it...Gabe. This time, he shares billing with Armando Rios and Fernando Seguignol, two guys who are probably thinking, "wasn't he in series 1???"

1999 Topps #432, Series 2. How'd he get top billing here???

Kapler has had a decent career, don't get me wrong. He won a World Series championship with the Red Sox in 2004, played in Japan (for half a season before returning to the BoSox) the next. He even retired from the game and spent a year as manager for the Greenville Drive in the minors. Okay, so his team went 58-81, but still...

He came out of retirement in 2008 and signed with the Brewers. In 2009, he finds himself with the Tampa Bay Rays. A long way from Detroit, but a decent career none the less.

But back to the point.

Now, it is not unusual for a player to appear on more than one multi-player rookie/prospect card. Dale Murphy appeared on multi-player prospect cards in 1977 AND 1978. Lou Pinella shared "rookie" cards in 1964 as a Senator, in 1968 as an Indian, AND in 1969 as a charter member of the Seattle Pilots. But to put a guy in two separate prospect cards, on two separate series, within the same year???

Topps, What were you thinking??!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Anniversary to bdj610's Topps Baseball Card Blog!!!

Just for kicks, I went back to my first ever post, and then I realized something...

My first post on this blog was on May 8, 2008. That means it's been one full year since I started this humble, little blog.

So...

Happy Anniversary to Me!!!





(the words to the song for those who either can't access the video, or for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing)

(Gioacchino Rossini; arr. William Hanna / Joseph Barbera)
Practically a restaurant standard, most people don't realize that these lyrics, to the tune of "The William Tell Overture", were written by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera for the episode titled "The Hot Piano".

Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Haaappy Anniversary

Pour a cheerful toast and fill it
Happy Anniversary
But be careful you don't spill it
Happy Anniversary

Ooooo Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Haaappy Anniversary

(Fred and Wilma Talking)

Ooooo Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Haaappy Anniversary

(Fred Talking)

Happy she and happy he
They're both as happy as can be
Celebrating merrily
their happy anniversary

(Fred and Wilma Talking)

Ooooo Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Haaappy Anniversary

(Fred Talking)

Ooooo Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Haaappy Anniversary

We now state emphatically
its happy anniversary
Not another day could be
a happy anniversary

Ooooo Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy (slow)
Happy (slow)
Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy (fast) Anniversary!!!

Since starting this project of love, I have:

  • added 4,357 cards to my official collection
  • written 361 posts (not all necessarily about baseball cards, but almost one post a day for a year)
  • had more than 25,000 people find their way here, and 42,000 plus hits to show for it
  • been added to at least 50 blogs on their blogrolls (this is a liberal estimate)
  • gained 56 followers (my highest was 58)
  • added 200 plus blogs to the Sports Card Blogroll, and most importantly
  • earned acceptance into this wonderful world called the Hobby Blogging Community
I want to thank everyone who's ever found their way here and decided to come back. Thank you very much for joining me on my journey as I continue building onto my collection. It is the hope for year 2 of bdj610's Topps Baseball Card Blog that I not only show off more of my growing collection or give my opinions about the Hobby topic of the day, but also to inform, possibly to entertain, to show more cards that might have never seen the light of day, and to become a stronger voice in the hobby (this last one will take some time...). Thank you for reading.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, May 8, 2009

If This is His Topps Card, Then What Card is This?: Brandon Inge

You know what, he's got a point. I want to thank friend of the blog the drizz for setting me straight. With all the stuff that's been going on lately, whether it's with the Hobby, or the people who cover it, I've decided to back to my roots. Gellman is up and running the sixth edition of the Blog Bat Around (it's his baby, you know), and his topic made me think long and hard about my place in the blogosphere.

To that end, I am bringing back a popular segment on this blog called, "If This is His Topps Card, Then What Card is This?" For those new to the blog and are wondering what the heck I'm talking about, basically, I present the Topps card of a certain player. Then I present a second card of the same player, with the same design, but there is a significant difference in the picture. The card could come from a traded set, it could be a bonus insert, it could be a variation, it could be from a totally different set. Whatever. It's up to you the reader to figure it out (leave comments...ego...)

This time around, we head back to 2006 (again???) and feature a player who for all intents and purposes, could be compared to Craig Biggio, if it weren't for the fact that
  • A. He plays for Detroit
  • B. He's a long way away from 3000 Hits
  • C. Did I mention Detroit (just kidding drizz, just kidding)
Realistically, I think the only thing they both have in common is that both are willing to play any position their manager asks of him. That certainly is the case with our subject today...Brandon Inge.

Brandon Inge started his big league career as a catcher (just like Biggio). From 2001-2003, he was their go-to-guy behind the plate. Then the Tigers signed Ivan Rodriguez to catch for them. So did that mean that Inge would be out of a job? Would he be relegated to back up duty? Nope. He was asked to play third base for the team, which turned out to be no big deal (he signed on with the team as a shortstop, so making the move to third was simple). So while Pudge claimed the back stop, Inge played for three seasons (2004-2006) as their hot corner man. He has also been asked to play in the outfield a few times. Anything, just put him in the lineup has been the mindset.

So enclosed is Brandon Inge's 2006 Topps card:


Sweet looking card. Had to have been taken during a critical time in the ball game. Everyone in the Tiger's dugout is standing, possibly hoping that Inge would drive in the tying or winning run. This actually is an error card because his position is listed as Second Base, but during this time, he was the team's third baseman. The back of the card has him with the correct position. So if this is his Topps card...


Hmmm, the position is correct. But the picture is different. It shows him fielding, possibly just tossing the ball around after a strikeout. So now, here comes the all important question...

What Card is This???

Answer to come later. Post your guess in the comments section. And drizz, I looked long and hard for a Tigers player to use for this segment as a tribute to you. Thanks again.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

UPDATE: Monday, May 25, 2009.

And again, I forget to update this a week later. That's what happens when your team is slumping (big time...8 games??!). Anyway, both packaddict and friend of the blog (who will get big props when this card he says he got will be mailed over) the drizz got it right. The second card is from the 2006 Topps Tigers 14-card team set. jba

Thursday, May 7, 2009

And Then...There Were Two...

I caved.

Again.

As I reach the end of this journey, I find it harder and harder to find what I've been looking for. To that end, I have decided to take other avenues to complete my quest. So off to the Bay I went. And sure enough, all the cards I want are there. The prices asked range from semi-reasonable ($9.95-$15.00) to the extremely insane ($30.00 and up).

But I did find, bid, and win one of the three cards I need to complete the 19-card SP set...and it was one that had gotten away from me before.

Remember my post about the Sun-Times card show a couple of months ago where I missed getting this card by fifteen minutes??? It's further into the story, I promise. Anyway, I received the card that eluded me then. So thanks to eBayer rld4230, for the small price of $12.90 ($9.95 + $2.95 for shipping), I now have...

Mel Ott SP #240

So that leaves me down to TWO cards...

Thurman Munson

and

President Barack Obama

Now I did get a response from Jeremya1um regarding the Munson card. I just need to find some 1992 Topps, Tigers, Rays, or Orel Hershiser cards, and "The Wall" is as good as mine.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Allen & Ginter Cancels the Bernie Madoff Card...

I guess we won't be seeing Mr. Madoff on a baseball card after all...

Thanks to the Matt F. of the Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius for reporting that Topps is taking off the Bernie Madoff card from the Hoaxes, Hoodwinks, and Bamboozles mini insert card set.

The e-mail received by the Staggering Genius reads as follows:

"Topps announces that it is removing Bernie Madoff from its "World's Biggest Hoaxes, Hoodwinks and Bamboozles" insert from 2009 Allen & Ginter Baseball to comply with a request made by Major League Baseball. The card will be replaced with a subject to be named later."

Another reason why you never, ever, go by initial checklists posted...they are always subject to change.

Maybe now they can put in the executive of a certain rival card company as Madoff's replacement. After all, based on what's been the hot topic today in the hobby blogosphere, the timing couldn't be better.

And I thought there would be nothing worth writing about today.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

In Honor of Cinco de Mayo, Introducing the All-Time Mexican Baseball Team!

¡Ah! ¡Cinco de Mayo!

A time of celebration in Mexico. It celebrates the day back in 1862 when the Mexican army overcame all odds and beat the French forces at the Battle of Puebla. This is not Mexico's Independence day (that would be September 16), nor is it a national holiday (it is celebrated voluntarily), outside of Mexico, especially in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is a day to honor Mexican heritage and pride.

To celebrate, this humble little blog will present it's All-Time Mexican All-Star Team!!!

As of May 4, 2009, there were 109 players in the Major Leagues born in Mexico (this total does not account for the Mexican-Americans or others of Mexican heritage, only those who were actually born in Mexico). The first Mexican to play in the Majors was Mel Almada, an outfielder who played for seven years with the Red Sox, Senators, Browns, and Dodgers between 1933-1939. The first Mexican-born pitcher to make his MLB debut was Jesse Flores, who played for the Cubs, Athletics, and Indians between 1942-1950.

All total, as of May 4, 2009, Mexican players have hit 1,092 home runs, driven in 5,804 runs batted in, has a .246 batting average, stolen 486 bases with an OPS of .657. Mexican pitchers have a combined record of 1443 wins against 1426 losses, an ERA of 4.11, have struck out 17,238 batters, walked 9,435, and 611 saves. (All statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference).

So without further ado, introducing bdj610's All-Time Mexican All-Star Team:

Starting Pitchers

Fernando Valenzuela, Navojoa, 173 (Mexican Leader)-153, 3.54 ERA, 2074 K's, 6-time All-Star, 1981 NL ROY


Esteban Loaiza, Tijuana, 126-114, 4.65 ERA, 1382 K's, 3-time All-Star


Ismael Valdez (Valdes), Cuidad Victoria, 104-105, 4.09 ERA, 1173 K's


Teddy Higuera, Los Mochis, 94-64, 3.61 ERA, 1081 K's, All-Star


Jesse Flores, Guadalajara, 44-59, 3.18 ERA, 352 K's


Yovanni Gallardo, Michoacan, 12-6, 3.27 ERA, 160 K's


Relief Pitchers

Dennys Reyes, Higuera de Zaragoza, 32-33, 4.25 ERA, 589 K's, 3 saves


Aurelio Lopez, Tecamachalco, 62-36, 3.56 ERA, 635 K's, 93 saves (Mexican Leader), All-Star


Antonio Osuna, Sinaloa, 36-29, 3.68 ERA, 501 K's, 21 saves


Ricardo Rincon, Cuitlahuac, 21-24, 3.59 ERA, 400 K's, 21 saves


Sid Monge, Agua Prieta, 49-40, 3.53 ERA, 471 K's, 56 saves, All-Star


Enrique Romo, Santa Rosalia, 44-33, 3.45 ERA, 436 K's, 52 saves


Joakim Soria, Monclova, 5-6, 2.00 ERA, 150 K's, 65 saves, All-Star


Catchers

Alex Trevino, Monterrey, .249 AVG, 23 HR's, 244 RBI's, .643 OPS, 19 SB's


Humberto Cota, San Luis Rio Colorado, .233 AVG, 12 HR's, 61 RBI's, .639 OPS


Infielders

Erubiel Durazo 1B, Hermosillo, .281 AVG, 94 HR's, 330 RBI's, .868 OPS, 7 SB's


Bobby Avila 2B, Veracruz, .281 AVG, 80 HR's, 467 RBI's, .747 OPS, 78 SB's, 3-time All-Star


Vinny Castilla 3B, Oaxaca, .276 AVG, 320 HR's (Mexican Leader), 1105 RBI's (Mexican Leader), .797 OPS, 33 SB's, 2-time All-Star


Aurelio Rodriguez 3B, Cananea, .237 AVG, 124 HR's, 648 RBI's, .626 OPS, 35 SB's


Ruben Amaro SS, Veracruz, .234 AVG, 8 HR's, 156 RBI's, .601 OPS, 11 SB's


Hector Torres SS, Monterrey, .216 AVG, 18 HR's, 115 RBI's, .542 OPS, 7 SB's


Juan Castro IF, Los Mochis, .229 AVG, 35 HR's, 212 RBI's, .599 OPS, 5 SB's


Mario Mendoza IF, Chihuahua, .215 AVG, 4 HR's, 101 RBI's, .507 OPS, 12 SB's (not really great numbers, but thanks to George Brett, Mario was the inspiration for the "Mendoza Line, the "line" that seperates the weak hitters from the really bad hitters, usually around .200).


Outfielders

Jorge Orta OF/2B, Mazatlan, .278 AVG, 130 HR's, 745 RBI's, .746 OPS, 79 SB's (Mexican Leader) 2-time All-Star


Mel Almada OF, Huatabampo, .284 AVG, 15 HR's, 197 RBI's, .710 OPS, 56 SB's


Karim Garcia OF, Ciudad Obregon, .241 AVG, 66 HR's, 212 RBI's, .703 OPS, 10 SB's


Alfredo Amezaga OF/SS, Ciudad Obregon, .252 AVG, 12 HR's, 105 RBI's, .657 OPS, 48 SB's


There you have it ladies and gentlemen, un equipo que consiste en los mejores jugadores de béisbol de México (A team consisting of the best baseball players from Mexico.) Cards of the players to come later on this evening.

Gracias por la lectura (Thank you for reading). ¡Adios!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama