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

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Last Expo Has Left the Nationals!!!

I swear this will be the last "Deans" post I do this season. But as July 31 is the non-waiver trading deadline, there have been a lot of trading between teams all over the place. One that might have flown under the radar sent Nick Johnson of the Washington Nationals to the Florida Marlins for pitcher Aaron Thompson.

What makes this significant is that Nick Johnson was the Nationals' last link to the Montréal Expos, as he was with the organization in 2004, the teams final year in Canada. This makes pitcher Jason Bergmann the longest tenured Washington National on the team, making his MLB debut on 08/28/2005 (Ryan Zimmerman, the teams 1st round draft pick in 2005 is next, debuting 09/01/2005). Jason, also known as Jay, also becomes the Dean with the least amount of tenure of any of the 30 teams, now behind Jeremy Hermida of the Florida Marlins.

Bergmann, who was drafted into the Expos organization, never played in Montréal. So technically, he will always be a National (unless, of course, he gets traded). And he does have Topps cards, although not in the 2009 Topps base set, nor is he scheduled to appear in the U & H set.

Maybe he'll return in 2010.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

The Monthly Comment Mailbag - July 2009 Edition

Since we missed doing this last month, this edition of the Monthly Comment Mailbag will include comments from both June and July. But before I begin, Indians Victor Martinez was traded today to the Boston Red Sox for pitchers Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price. With Cliff Lee traded earlier in the week, Travis Hafner is the new Dean of the Cleveland Indians, making his Indians debut on 03/31/2003 (beating out Jhonny Peralta by two-and-a-half months).

On with the comments...

Chris Harris, who I didn't realize actually reads my humble little blog, commented that I "most famous (or infamous) Topps Gold-Exclusive card of them all: the Brien Taylor autograph from 1992 Topps Gold (#793)." Well, I did only because the regular set had 792 cards and his card was #793. His card obviously did not replace the checklist, so writing about his card was never an option for me. You have to give me credit on getting Kerry Woodson mentioned at least.

To gritz76, I don't know how or why Wakefield got snubbed in this year's base set. You'd think because he plays for the BoSox that he'd get a card (isn't it a rule that every Red Sox player get a card???) For the record though, Wakefield did not get a card in both the 1995 Topps (although he did appear in the 1995 Traded set, his first Topps Red Sox card) and the 2000 Topps sets (in this case, he did not even show up in that year's Traded set either).

To 2009 A & G Codebreaker JD's Daddy, hope you found that Wally card. If not, you'll find it as the bonus card from this year's 15-card Red Sox team set. And no, shorthanding the base set isn't the reason to create an update set, but because of the limit that Topps puts on THEMSELVES, they have to cut players and then team collectors have to hope that the update set will include them. This can all be avoided if Topps went back to the 792 card set. But I digress.

To bailorg and Sharpe, I knew I'd get heat for saying Ankiel was the Cardinals' Dean over Albert Pujols, and I did look to see if Ankiel was ever DFA'd (designated for assignment), but I couldn't find any information on that at all. Does being removed from the 40 man roster (which I did find) constitue being removed from MLB service time??? I don't know the logistics on that. Hey, if the Cards could get rid of Ankiel, then there would be no doubt, right???

To dayf the Cardboard Junkie, you must have missed my post about regarding the first ten bonus cards appearing in 2009 Topps Hobby Factory sets. Here is the original post. And to save time, the players who make up card numbers 1-10 are:

  • 1 David Price, Rays
  • 2 Rick Porcello, Tigers
  • 3 Ryan Perry, Tigers
  • 4 Brett Anderson, Athletics
  • 5 David Freese, Cardinals
  • 6 Koji Uehara, Orioles
  • 7 Elvis Andrus, Rangers
  • 8 Trevor Cahill, Athletics
  • 9 Andrew Bailey, Athletics
  • 10 Jordan Schafer, Braves
To madding, I'd love to see those too. Chris Harris, Mr. Stale Gum himself, actually posted a link to the website of Chris Speakman, the artist who's drawings will make up the cards. To get a better view of Mr. Speakman's work, go to sportspropaganda.com. Needless to say, they are awesome.

And finally, to friend of the blog TDLindgren, while the sell sheets do show that the Legends of the Game inserts will include Ruth as a Red Sock, and other legends in the unis of other teams, I did not see anything regarding more SP's, especially of said players pictured on different teams. I am hoping that there are no SP's in the U & H set. I'm still short five of the MLB SP's right now (still crying about seeing that the girls from Dinged Corners gave a Mike Schmidt SP card to a Phillies fan, but hey, I snooze, I lose).

So that's it for this month's edition of the Monthly Comment Mailbag. Keep on leaving those comments. That way I know that people are still reading my blog. If all goes well, this should be the first month (July 2009) where I reach 4,500 unique visits in a month (according to SiteMeter), which would be a record high for me. But then again, who's really counting right???

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, July 30, 2009

And in a Shocking Development...

John Grabow's term as Dean of the Pittsburgh Pirates lasted less than 24 hours. Not long after I wrote about him and his lack of a Topps card, he and Tom Gorzelanny were traded to the Chicago Cubs for Kevin Hart (who was the pitcher on the winning side today vs. the Astros), and two other players.

The new Dean is Ryan Doumit, and unless he gets traded, he gets the title (beating out Zach Duke by less than a month).

At least Doumit has Topps cards (which I will scan and post this evening).

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Updating the Dean's List...What Do You Mean He Doesn't Have a Topps Card???

The new "Dean" in Pittsburgh is John Grabow. Want his Topps card? He doesn't have one!!!

Roy Halladay is still a Blue Jay. Cliff Lee left for the Phillies (V-Mart is still the dean though). And in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA, the Pirates are in sell-off mode again. And boy have they been dealing.

Jack Wilson, the Pirates previous "Dean," is now in Seattle along with pitcher Ian Snell, in exchange for Jeff Clement (who should be able to get more playing time with the Bucs than he would have with the M's), Ronny Cedeño (Cub fans, he's still around...), and three minor leaguers.

Freddy Sanchez (who would have been next after Snell), is now with San Francisco, who the Pirates were playing this week. In effect, Sanchez packed his stuff from the PNC Park home locker room and joined his new teammates in the visitors' locker room. Not only did the Giants sweep the Pirates this week, they took their best player with them.

So who does that leave as the current "Dean" of the Pirates? The answer might surprise everyone but the most die-hard Pirates fan. It's relief pitcher John Grabow, who made his MLB debut on September 14, 2003. He beats out Ryan Doumit (06/05/2005).

Now, if you're looking for a Topps John Grabow card to add to your Dean's list...

FORGET IT!!!

You're not going to find one. According to the number one source of the hobby, Grabow has 75 cards TOTAL (this number includes parallels, minor league cards and other random inserts. This does not include the team cards that has everyone squeezed together onto one card)!!! Guys like Jeter, Pujols, et. al, get more than 75 cards in a year from both Topps and UD each, and this guy has only 75 total??? And of which, his only Topps cards were from the Topps Total sets (2002 and 2005) where EVERYBODY had a card. His 2005 card was shared with Mike Gonzalez. What??! Then again, I don't feel so bad, because even in all their efforts to include everyone in their base and update sets, even UD has missed him a couple of years (he shows up in 2006, 2007, and 2009, but not in 2008 for some reason).

I know he plays for the Pirates. I know that he's only a middle relief pitcher. But Topps, could you at least make an effort to get this guy on a card??? At least give him a spot as one of the TBD's on the 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights set. There are 19 TBD's on the intial checklist, three of which you have reserved for "TBD Veterans." Don't you think it'd be a good idea to include him, since he's been with the Pirates the longest???

Then again, there has been interest in him as well...from the Yankees. I'm sure that if he gets traded there, he'll get a card (isn't the rule that EVERY Yankee gets a card???). But it's a travesty to Pirates fans everywhere that he doesn't have a regular Topps card to call his own. Make an effort, Topps. Add Grabow to the set.

This is why I want Topps to bring back the 792 card sets again.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Night Owl Comes Through...Not with Cards, but New Blogrolls to Read!!!

I guess my requests to add more blogs to the big Blogroll did not fall on deaf ears (or blind eyes as the case may be) as the Night Owl recommended twelve sites to be included. Some sites have been around for a while (since January of this year), others are relatively new to the Hobby Blogging Community.

The new dozen recommended are:

And then to top it all off, dkwilson left a comment requesting to add his blog to the roll called It's like having my own Card Shop.

So thanks Night Owl for the sites. They've all been added to the Blogroll and notified of this (and you've been credited for it). Which only goes to show that I need to do a better job of looking out for these blogs. That, or hope that new bloggers know to send me an e-mail so they can be added to the Sports Card Blogroll.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Sports Card Blogroll Moves on Without...

I don't think I've added any new blogs to the Sports Card Blogroll in the last couple of weeks. Or if I have, it's been few and far between. That's not a good thing as I'd like to add more links to the big blogroll than I have to remove due to inactivity. If you, or someone you know, has a blog that's not on the roll, please send me an e-mail at bdj610@hotmail.com. I'd love to add them.

Anyway, it's that time of the month again where I have to remove a few more blogs due to six months of inactivity. By now, you know how this works. I'll link them on here so that you can all see what they were about, and at least give them one last shot at recognition. The Sports Card Blogroll sadly says goodbye to:
What's even scarier is that there are a number of blogs that are already at the five month threshold, and are prime candidates for removal next month. If you have a blog, keep writing. If you want your blog added to the big Blogroll, drop me a line. I'm starting to worry that this blogging thing may have finally peaked and is all just going to go downhill from here if not plateau. Let's not have this happen please. Thanks.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, July 27, 2009

2009 Topps Updates and Highlights Sell Sheets are Live!!!

The highly anticipated sell sheets for 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights are out. See scans below for more information.













The official breakdown of the 330 card set includes:

It looks like all five all-stars who didn't have base cards within series 1 and 2 are included in U & H (Heath Bell, Ryan Franklin, Edwin Jackson, Tim Wakefield, and Ben Zobrist). However, this set is including 67 All-Stars cards, all but Wakefield is getting the All-Star treatment (along with four other players who made the teams one way or another).

Product information is here. Product checklist is here, but remember, it is always subject to change.

Bring on November!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

2011 Topps Archives: Jim Rice

(The quote below is courtesy of Ian Browne and mlb.com. For the article, please click here.)

I must really be inspired. Two of these posts in one day??? Must be some kind of record...

It no longer became a question of IF our next subject is a Hall of Famer, it was a question of WHEN. Thank goodness that more than 5% of the voters kept this guy on the ballot for the maximum 15 years, otherwise he would have had to wait for the Veterans Committee to decide (and until the recent adjustments how the VC votes, may have been never). But after 15 years of "thanks for the honor of just being nominated," the Susan Lucci of the Hall of Fame vote finally got his due. Today's subject was supposedly a man of few words and many actions. And his actions brought joy to many of the Boston Red Sox' rabid fan base. Today, as Cooperstown had done the day before, we honor Jim Rice.

Jim Rice was a lifetime member of the Boston Red Sox. In sixteen seasons, he compiled numbers that, compared to others enshrined in the Hall, might not necessarily be up to par. Yes, he had a lifetime batting average of .299, hit 382 home runs, drove in 1,451, and have an OPS of .854. Those numbers could be the reasons why voters waffled about him going into the Hall or not. But it wasn't the numbers that got him inducted. It was his reputation of being a feared hitter that got him there. Reading the many interviews from other HOF's about Jim Rice, regarding memories of the guy, Frank Robinson summed it up for everyone who had to play in the American League against him. When asked about his best memories of Jim Rice, Robinson replied,:

"I don't have any good memories of Jim; I played against him -- he killed us. When the game was on the line, he stepped to the front."

Rice, an eight-time All-Star, won the American League MVP award in 1978, hitting 46 home runs and driving in 139 more. His averages were on the high side: .315 batting average, .600 slugging average, an OPS of .970, almost all career highs.

Jim Rice retired after the 1989 season. Then, the waiting began.
  • In 1995, 137 writers added Rice to their HOF ballots. That was only good enough for 8th on the list, at 29.8% of the vote. Mike Schmidt was the only person inducted that year.
  • In 1996, 166 voted for Rice. That was 35.3% of the vote in a year nobody was voted in by the BBWAA. (The rest of the numbers you will see are his vote totals and the percentages only, and who was inducted that year, if any)
  • 1997, 178, 37.6%, Phil Niekro.
  • 1998, 203, 42.9%, Don Sutton.
  • 1999, 146, 29.4%, Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Robin Yount.
  • 2000, 257, 51.5%, Carlton Fisk, Tony Perez.
  • 2001, 298, 57.9%, Dave Winfield, Kirby Puckett.
  • 2002, 260, 55.1%, Ozzie Smith.
  • 2003, 259, 52.2%, Eddie Murray, Gary Carter.
  • 2004, 276, 54.5%, Paul Molitor, Dennis Eckersley.
  • 2005, 307, 59.5%, Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg.
  • 2006, 337, 64.8%, Bruce Sutter.
  • 2007, 346, 63.5%, Cal Ripken Jr., Tony Gwynn.
  • 2008, 392, 72.2%, Goose Gossage.
In 2009, his fifteenth and final year on the HOF ballot, 412 out of 539 voters included Rice on their ballots. That was good enough for 76.4% of all votes, and 1.4% above the 75% threshold that eluded him for so long.

Years from now, people are not going to remember that it took fifteen tries to get Rice enshrined. People are only going to remember that he was elected for induction into Baseball's Hall of Fame. His plaque will hang in the same gallery as his Red Sox LF predecessors, Carl Yaztrzemski, and Ted Williams before him. The three men together totaled 50 years of manning the seventh defensive position on the scorecard for Boston.

Jim Rice did not make the Archives set in 2001. So it is fitting that the wait be over and we add his cards to the 2011 Topps Archives Project.

First card: 1975 Topps #616. Last card: 1990 Topps #785.

Congratulations to Jim Rice, 2009 Hall of Famer. It's about time.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

2011 Topps Archives: Rickey Henderson

What better way to resuscitate this long dormant feature of the blog (which I will try to put back on a weekly basis...) than to feature the newest members of baseball's Hall of Fame. And who better to lead it off than the greatest leadoff hitter of all time.

Rickey Henderson is the greatest of all time. Rickey Henderson would tell you that, and then Rickey Henderson would go onto the baseball field and prove it. Rickey redefined the role of the leadoff hitter. Not only was Rickey able to get on base (either by drawing a walk or getting a hit), and not only was he able to steal bases (will get to this later), but Rickey could change the course of the game in the game's first at bat by sending a pitch into the stands. And before many fans can settle into their seats to enjoy the game, their hometown heroes are already behind 1-0.

The lifetime numbers Rickey compiled in his long, four-decade career, are staggering. In 3,081 games and 13,346 lifetime plate appearances, Rickey:

  • Got on base 3055 times via a hit and 2190 times by drawing a walk.
  • In 1,741 attempts, stole a record shattering 1,406 bases.
  • He has scored 2,295 runs in his career, which is also a record.
  • Hit 297 home runs, a record 81 of them leading off the game.
  • He drove in 1,115 runs as well...not bad for a guy who bats in the LEADOFF position.
Rickey Henderson also was a 10-time All-Star, a Gold Glove winning outfielder (in 1981), won the Silver Slugger three times, and the 1990 American League MVP. He is a member of two World Series winning teams (1989 Athletics, 1993 Blue Jays), and in 60 playoff games, hit four home runs and stole 33 bases, seven in the World Series.

A player like Rickey Henderson deserved to be in the original 2001 Topps Archives set. But Rickey Henderson wasn't done with baseball yet. He did have a card in the 2001 Topps Future Archives set, so now that he is now in Cooperstown, why not add Rickey to the 2011 Topps Archives project.

First card: 1980 Topps #482. Last card: 2003 Topps Traded #T73.

A total of 511 BBWAA voters agreed that Rickey Henderson was worthy of induction into the Hall of Fame. And he definitely is deserving of the honor. Congratulations to Rickey Henderson, 2009 Hall of Famer.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's Hall of Fame Sunday!!!

Today, Rickey Henderson, Jim Rice, and Joe Gordon will be inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame, and their plaques will be added to the Hall of Fame Gallery, joining 199 other baseball immortals. There will be speeches. There will be tears. But most importantly, there will be a HOF speaking about himself in the third person (or he should anyway).

In honor or their inductions, the 2011 Topps Archives Project will make its triumphant return with two new players added to the checklist. I think we all can safely guess who we're adding...

Enjoy the HOF Ceremonies. Congratulations again.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, July 24, 2009

2009 Topps Updates and Highlights Information is Out!!!

The number one source in the hobby has scans and light information about the upcoming (and for this humble little blog, highly anticipated) 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights set. Here are the initial details.

Another 330 card set, with 180 traded/free agent players who switched teams, 55 rookies (more on those in a minute), 95 other cards that could include All-Stars (there were 72 all-stars on both rosters, including the injury replacements, and unless they include everybody, somebody's going to be left off again), the 8 home run derby participants, some season highlights (that perfect game from yesterday comes to mind), and possibly some playoff highlights (which I don't think they included last year).

Legends of the Games continues in series 3, along with more Ring of Honor cards, Career Best cards, and more World Baseball Classic inserts and relics (if you're into that), as well as 2009 All-Star relics and Stadium Stamp cards (something new).

There will be the traditional 55-card Topps Rookie Chrome Refractors that have been box-toppers the last four years (with my luck, I'll be getting my annual Florida Marlin RCR). The checklist, which probably will include all 55 rookies in the base set, is as follows (and remember, it is also subject to change):

CHR01 Bobby Scales
CHR02 David Hernandez
CHR03 Tommy Hanson
CHR04 Daniel Schlereth
CHR05 Gordon Beckham
CHR06 Sean O'Sullivan
CHR07 Chris Gimenez
CHR08 Kris Medlan
CHR09 Daniel Bard
CHR10 Xavier Paul
CHR11 Jesus Guzman
CHR12 Kyle Blanks
CHR13 Vin Mazzaro
CHR14 Jamie Hoffmann
CHR15 Carlos Corporan
CHR16 Jess Todd
CHR17 Wilkin Ramirez
CHR18 John Mayberry Jr.
CHR19 Sean West
CHR20 Gerardo Parra
CHR21 Brett Hayes
CHR22 Anthony Swarzak
CHR23 Tony Sipp
CHR24 Chris Coghlan
CHR25 Alfredo Figaro
CHR26 Blake Hawksworth
CHR27 Robert Ray
CHR28 Aaron Poreda
CHR29 Fernando Martinez
CHR30 Shane Robinson
CHR31 Graham Taylor
CHR32 Derek Holland
CHR33 Matt Maloney
CHR34 Barbaro Canizares
CHR35 Andrew McCutchen
CHR36 Fernando Rodriguez
CHR37 Tyler Greene
CHR38 Diory Hernandez
CHR39 Steven Jackson
CHR40 Landon Powell
CHR41 P.J. Walters
CHR42 Jordan Zimmermann
CHR43 Brad Bergensen
CHR44 Matt Downs
CHR45 Craig Stammen
CHR46 Ken Takahashi
CHR47 Matt LaPorta
CHR48 Omir Santos
CHR49 Esmerling Vasquez
CHR50 Mitch Jones
CHR51 Mark Melancon
CHR52 Brett Cecil
CHR53 Luke French
CHR54 David Huff
CHR55 Nolan Reimold

More information coming soon (I hope). I can't wait to see the sell sheets now.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Perfect Game

Congrats to Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle for pitching the 18th Perfect Game in MLB history!!!

As the Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-0, it was DeWayne Wise, a defensive replacement in the 9th, that saved the perfect game and the shutout by robbing Pat Burrell of a home run. And the big blast of the game was a grand slam!!! How more perfect can you get??!

All is well on the South Side of Chicago. But as a Cubs fan, let me tell all White Sox fans not to celebrate yet, as you're team is still in second place (mathematically). And the Sox have a seven game swing between Detroit and Minnesota to face.

But for one day, Chicago (both sides, and the surrounding suburbs) can celebrate perfection. And let the nationwide media blitz begin.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Come and See What Topps Has in Store for the Holidays!!!


The 2009 Topps Baseball Holiday Factory Sets are coming soon. The sell sheet says they are scheduled to go out in late October. It's the same 660 card set (barring gimmicks...ahem), and there will be another 10 card rookie variation subset. Now, and I say this because I can't stress it enough that the checklist is always subject to change, the 10 bonus cards will be of:
  • Colby Rasmus of the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Kenshin Kawakami of the Atlanta Braves
  • Michael Bowden of the Boston Red Sox
  • Edwin Moreno of the San Diego Padres
  • Ricky Romero of the Toronto Blue Jays
  • Kila Ka'aihue of the Kansas City Royals
  • Ramiro Peña of the New York Yankees
  • Freddy Sandoval of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • Josh Whitesell of the Arizona Diamondbacks
  • George Kottaras of the Boston Red Sox
You will notice that there are four cards on top of the sheet. Please notice that CC Sabathia is in a Yankees uniform, even though he is in the regular set as a Brewer, and his Yankees card, which doesn't even remotely look like the one pictured, is a short print. While both cards of Ryan Howard and David Wright look like what we've seen this year, the Jacoby Ellsbury cards is different as well. Are there going to be variations to the base cards of regular players as well??? The second page of the sell sheet, if you're wondering, was the full checklist of 2009 Topps plus the bonus ten cards listed above.

Well, it's something to speculate about until the sell sheets for 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights show up.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The "Deans" of 2009...or The Players Who've Been with Their Teams the Longest.

The inspiration for tonight's topic was because the Cubs were in Washington, DC, last weekend to play the Nationals (formerly the Montréal Expos), and it got me thinking about if any of the current players on the DC side were still with the team during that final year in Montréal in 2004. It turns out that on the 25-man Nats roster, there is still one guy who can claim to have been a member of "lés Expos." More on that later.

It then got me to thinking about the other 29 teams and which of their current players have been on their teams the longest. In this day and age of free agency, there aren't that many players who've stuck around with their original teams. But twenty years ago, loyalty was a premium, and many of baseball's best players either played for one team for their entire career, or stayed with a team for a long, long time, before riding off into the sunset with another team.

In the 1986 Topps set, the team leaders cards for the 26 teams featured the players who were considered the "Deans" of the team. The dean meaning, "active player with their present team for the most consecutive amount of years." In the example below, after the 1985 season, Bobby Grich was the "Dean of the Angels, Continuous Service Since: 11/24/1976."




As you can see, Lee Smith was the "Dean of the Cubs, Continuous Service Since: 09/01/1980." This would mean that both men have played for their respective teams the longest. Every other player on the team came AFTER these guys came aboard.


Well, back to the point. I started looking around to see if any of the baseball websites had a list of the current "deans" on each team. Needless to say, I couldn't find one. But, undeterred, I went onto Baseball Reference, looked up each of the present 30 team's histories, and tonight, I have a list of the 30 active players who've played the most consecutive years on their respective teams. I can say that the man with the longest tenure on his team has been around since 1993, and the "Dean" with the shortest amount of service time with his team made his major league debut on 08/31/2005. Many "Deans" were easy to find as the player had been around for more than 9-10 years. But for those who had been around for five years or so, or if I had to break a tie between two or even three players (which I did for a couple of teams as you will see), the "Dean" was the man who made his major league debut the earliest.

So without further ado, here are the 2009 "Deans" of the Major Leagues (as of 07/22/2009). Starting with the player who has been around the longest with his team, but is the shortest amount of time (does that even make sense???):
  • Jeremy Hermida, Dean of the Florida Marlins, MLB debut 08/31/2005 (if we started this at the beginning of the year, the Dean would have been Logan Kensing, who debuted 09/10/2004. But Kensing was traded to the Nats earlier this year).

  • Randy Winn, Dean of the San Francisco Giants, Giants debut 08/02/2005 (I'm sure you're thinking it should be Rich Aurelia. However, between 2004-2006, Aurelia was a Mariner, Padre, and Red, before returning to the Giants).

  • Jonathan Broxton, Dean of the Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB debut 07/29/2005 (beats Hong Chin-Kuo by a month and change).

  • Nick Johnson, Dean of the Washington Nationals, Expos debut 05/28/2004 (making Nick the last Expo player still in the organization).

  • David DeJesus, Dean of the Kansas City Royals, MLB debut 09/02/2003.

  • Aaron Harang, Dean of the Cincinnati Reds, Reds debut 08/09/2003.

  • Brandon Webb, Dean of the Arizona Diamondbacks, MLB debut 04/22/2003.

  • Pedro Feliciano, Dean of the New York Mets, MLB debut 09/04/2002 (this was a surprise as I thought it would have been at least Jose Reyes).

  • Bill Hall, Dean of the Milwaukee Brewers, MLB debut 09/01/2002.

  • Carl Crawford, Dean of the Tampa Bay Rays, MLB debut 07/20/2002.

  • Jake Peavy, Dean of the San Diego Padres, MLB debut 06/22/2002.

  • Michael Cuddyer, Dean of the Minnesota Twins, MLB debut 09/23/2001.

  • Carlos Zambrano, Dean of the Chicago Cubs, MLB debut 08/20/2001.

  • Scot Shields, Dean of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, MLB debut 05/26/2001 (this took me by surprise as well. I would have guessed Chone Figgins).

  • Jake Westbrook, Dean of the Cleveland Indians, Indians debut 04/11/2001.

  • Jack Wilson, Dean of the Pittsburgh Pirates, MLB debut 04/03/2001.

  • Brandon Inge, Dean of the Detroit Tigers, MLB debut 04/03/2001.

  • Ichiro Suzuki, Dean of the Seattle Mariners, MLB debut 04/02/2001.

  • Michael Young, Dean of the Texas Rangers, MLB debut 09/29/2000.

  • Jimmy Rollins, Dean of the Philadelphia Phillies, MLB debut 09/17/2000.

  • Melvin Mora, Dean of the Baltimore Orioles, Orioles debut 07/29/2000.
The following players made their team debut in the 1990's. Long time veterans are starting to show up now:

  • Rick Ankiel, Dean of the St. Louis Cardinals, MLB debut 08/23/1999 (I know what you're thinking...this should be Albert Pujols right??? Well, Ankiel was never given his unconditioanl release from the team while he was figuring himself out in the minors. He debuted two seasons before Phat Albert. That makes him the man with the longest in terms of consecutive seasons on the team. Now, if Ankiel was actually RELEASED from the team, and then came back to the Cards a few years later, that's a different story. I know I'm going to get a lot of heat on this one...).

  • Lance Berkman, Dean of the Houston Astros, MLB debut 07/16/1999.

  • Paul Konerko, Dean of the Chicago White Sox, White Sox debut 04/05/1999 (most people forget that he was with the Reds and Dodgers before joining the Pale Hose).

  • Roy Halladay, Dean of the Toronto Blue Jays, MLB debut 09/20/1998 (now, in the event he is traded, the title of Dean will then go to Vernon Wells, who made his debut on 08/30/1999).

  • Eric Chavez, Dean of the Oakland Athletics, MLB debut 09/08/1998 (even with all the injury-plagued years, he's stayed around. Heck, he was there when Jason Giambi left the A's, and he was still around when Giambi came back).

  • Todd Helton, Dean of the Colorado Rockies, MLB debut 08/02/1997 (if they haven't given him the title of Mr. Rockie the way Tony Gwynn was Mr. Padre, then something is horribly wrong).

  • Tim Wakefield, Dean of the Boston Red Sox, Red Sox debut 05/27/1995 (spent a couple of seasons with the Pirates. I didn't realize that he had been with Boston this long).

  • Mariano Rivera, Dean of the New York Yankees, MLB debut 05/23/1995 (yes, Mariano is the Dean. Derek Jeter made his debut four days later, Jorge Posada debuted in September of that year).
And finally, the man with the longest tenure on any team:

  • Chipper Jones, Dean of the Atlanta Braves, MLB debut 09/11/1993 (yes, that's 1993, 16 years ago. I hadn't even graduated high school yet...)
Amazing that of the thirty players, seven started out with different teams (Winn, Johnson, Harang, Westbrook, Mora, Konerko, Wakefield). That means that the other 23 have stayed with their present teams since they made their big league debut. And Konerko and Wakefield have made Chicago and Boston their homes respectively, after being traded to the clubs, for more than ten years.

So there you have it, guys who've shown their loyalty to their teams, after all these years. Sure, in five years, all these guys could either retire or move on to other teams, but as of this moment, they've all been around their teams longer than anyone. And no one, except their GM's maybe, can take that away from them.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Do You Want to Know How Nick and Mike Cracked the Ginter Code???


What does Pat Neshek have to do with the Ginter Code??? Turns out...Plenty!!!

I just finished reading the entire blog. Man that's a lot of work and explanation.

If you want to know how the Ginter Code was solved, please go here:

Nick Jacoby (it turns out that he has a blog of his own called Cardboard Overload)and Mike Gellner of JD's Wild Cardz will take you step by step on how to crack the code. Then you can take your 100 cards, and follow along, knowing that your shot of winning is now nil (look, ego, I know it's been a while, but get away from my computer...)

Again, congratulations to you both. I salute you. Did Pat Neshek, who is a big time card collector himself, have something to do with this...

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

And the 2009 Topps Red Hot Rookie #5 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 #5 belongs to none other than Nolan Reimold of the Baltimore Orioles.

Tommy made his major league debut on May 14 against the Kansas City Royals. In 55 games, the O's rookie outfielder has hit 9 home runs, driven in 26 runs, has a batting average of .265 and an even more impressive OPS of .795 (as of July 21, 2009).

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

The checklist currently includes:
Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Card That Makes You Go...What??! of the Week: 2009 Topps Alexei Ramirez #585

After much thought, and finding the proper subject, we now bring back one of our favorite features on this humble little blog, our What??! of the Week! And to show you that I am not a biased Chicago Cubs fan, this week's subject features a player from that other Chicago team. All kidding aside, I am a baseball fan first, a Chicago fan second, and a Cubs fan third. But just because the South Siders don't get a lot of hobby love, even in their own city, doesn't mean that I'm going to ignore the problem I have with Topps this week. Our subject this week is second baseman now shortstop of the Chicago White Sox, Alexei Ramirez.

Now, back in November of last year, Topps named the players who were voted onto the 2008 Topps All-Star Rookie Team. The second baseman of that team was none other than White Sox rookie Alexei Ramirez. And why not? He hit 21 home runs, including a rookie record four grand slams, drove home 77 runs, to go with a .290 batting average in 136 games. No other rookie second baseman came close to the year he had in 2008. The MLB managers who vote on the players made an excellent choice.

This year, Alexei is a shortstop, making room at second base for rookie Chris Getz. So naturally, Alexei's 2009 Topps card #585, shows his position as SS. One problem...take a guess what it is...


Where is his trophy??? You know, it looks like this:


Maybe Mike Aviles, who was named onto the team at shortstop has an extra trophy on him for Alexei...


I mean, it looks like Topps was really rushed to get the Rookie Cup onto this card. At least we know they use MS Paint (nice paste job there boys). No, it doesn't look like he has one.

This might not be a big deal to most collectors. Heck, unless you keep tabs of this stuff, this atrocity wouldn't even phase you. However:

  • If you are a White Sox team collector
  • If you collecting Alexei Ramirez cards
  • If you have decided to collect all the players with the Topps All-Star Rookie Cup added proudly to the corner of the honoree's card
then you are going to have a problem with this one.

Here is a situation I've always pondered. There are people out there who collect all the players cards from the year that the player made Topps' ASR team. And there has been a big debate as to whether or not include the players who were voted onto the teams that don't have that cup floating somewhere on the card (1974, 1979-1986). Alexei was voted onto the team, but that trophy is missing. If you are a rookie cup collector, how do you handle this situation? Do you add him into your want list because he won, or do you ignore it because Topps forgot the emblem on his card? What do you do?

And while we're asking all the questions, here is one for Topps,

What were you thinking??!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

P.S. This is what the card should have looked like. Courtesy of MS Paint. jba

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What I Bought at the First Ever FansEdge Convention

Call it lousy timing because the National is next week. Call it "because I showed up two hours before closing." But overall, I wasn't totally impressed with the FansEdge show at Rosemont on Saturday. And based on what I saw, I should have been.

Why? Because they had enough distractions to keep kids busy, but because I arrived at the show at 3:00 p.m. (the place closed at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday), I missed most of the fun stuff. In no other card show, not even the National, was there room for those inflatable moonwalk things, a nine hole mini golf course, and a wrestling ring (now I'm mad that I missed the wrestling...) in the same place.

And the vendors. Now, if you've ever been to a Sun-Times show, or any other show at the Donald Stephens Convention Center, they traditionally are held on the second floor. All the vendors crammed together and as long as the regular sellers continue to get their favorite booths on the floor, are easy to find. The FansEdge show was held on the first floor, where they normally hold the National. The booths were very spread out, and as usual with these card shows, there were a lot of vintage (from 70's and earlier) booths, the usual unsealed box sellers, a couple of corporate sponsors (Chicago Sky and Chicago Slaughter), a couple of "why-are-they-here" booths (the ones selling Pez and Webkinz come to mind), and a few newer-product sellers.

As the biggest product to come out of the market lately has been Topps Allen & Ginter, there were lots of this product at many of the booths. Whether you're looking for unsealed boxes, just a few packs, or singles from the base set, any of the inserts, or even a beard relic from the longest beard champion guy (at least that's what it looked like...creepy), you're pretty sure to find it here. As I have not gotten my A & G set yet from the Bay, I wasn't really into looking for anything...until I found the one booth that had mini inserts for sale.

Now, last year at the National, I bought a card of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the President of the Philippines. Somehow, though, I lost the card at the show. This year A & G foreign theme was National Heroes, and on the checklist representing the Philippines was José Rizal. I had to have this card. And the seller that I talked to had both of these cards. And for $5.00, they were mine.

2008 Topps A&G World Leaders Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

2009 Topps A&G National Heroes José Rizal.

But those aren't the only cards I bought at the show (and if you've been following along, I think you know where I'm going with this...)

My real reason to go to the FansEdge show was to see if I could knock out a couple of the 2009 Topps MLB Shortprints that I'm still looking for. I was at seven at last count, and the same person that sold me the above A & G cards had a TON of SP's, from both series. However, he only had two that I needed. He originally had them both priced at $25.00 each, but said he'd sell for $20.00 per card. I knew I could go for lower, but they were right there, and I knew that other than the eBay experience (where I'd have to wait, and wait, and hope to see if I don't get outbid) I wouldn't have a better opportunity than right NOW to take them. So, for $40.00, I am now the proud owner of:

Frank Robinson #400.


Tony Gwynn #520.

So now, I'm down to a final five (Ripken, Ryan, Marichal, BRobinson, and Schmidt) in my quest for completing the 2009 Topps MLB short print sets. The quest continues.

I think that if:
  • I had brought my children with me,
  • I had more time, and
  • I had more money,
the show would have been a lot more enjoyable. I would have loved to see the wrestling matches they were holding while the show was going on. I wouldn't have minded taking a bit more time at each booth instead of breezing through quickly. I'm sure the show was a hit, even though it was close to the National, and many of these same sellers (probably except for Mr. Mint) will be going to Cleveland next week. But I can't give a true opinion of the show because I was only there for two hours. Still, I did get something accomplished, and can't wait for the Sun-Times show later in the fall.
Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

P.S.: Dose of reality time for the bloggers...I asked at least 20 vendors selling Allen & Ginter if they knew that the Ginter Code was cracked. All were surprised. None knew about it. None wanted the word spread out either. jba

Friday, July 17, 2009

That Didn't Take Long. Congrats to Nick and Mike for Cracking the Ginter Code.

If you're thinking of doing this now, I'm sorry to say this, but you're too late!!!

Okay, so I haven't bought any of this year's edition of Topps' Allen & Ginter product yet. Traditionally, (and possibly much to the chagrin of the girls at Dinged Corners) I wait and buy a full set of Allen & Ginter off the Bay, SP's and all. And looking at the prices that these sets are commanding this year, I don't think I'll have a problem buying one by next week.

Especially, since the code has been cracked.

What??!

The Ginter Code has been cracked.

Please repeat?

All right.

THE GINTER CODE HAS BEEN CRACKED!!!

What was first announced as a possiblity on the Freedom Cardboard (to the shock, dismay, and disbelief of the members of said board), has now become a reality. Two gentlemen, from opposite sides of the country, worked together and in one weekend, managed to solve the code, send their response to Topps, and have now been confirmed as this year's code breakers!!!

Congratulations to Nick Jacoby and Mike Gellner of JD's Wild Cardz for being the fastest to crack the code. In response to my e-mail to JD's Dad (the JD, for those curious, stands for Jacoby Dustin...coincidence or destiny???), Mike says that Nick entered the answer, so he is the official winner, but we both know and have said all along it was a joint effort, and we truly helped each other out 50-50." Either way, you both deserve credit for the win.

At 100 cards for the code contest, Topps must have thought this would have been an even bigger challenge than last year (and would take a lot longer to solve). But it seems that every eBay seller scanned all 100 cards, so "acquiring" them must not have been too hard to do (why didn't I think of that...). Maybe next year, if Topps decides to do this again, maybe they should consider ensuring that the code breaker either actually has all the cards on hand, or put that black plastic film that they used on those Mystery Finest cards from the late 90's so that it becomes a bigger challenge...

Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. I don't think anyone would want to make this too hard...

I can't wait to see how you boys did it. Congratulations again. I think Jason Wong will be commenting about this some time soon.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Series 2 Topps Black Cards Found at Walmart...What Happened??!

One blaster box of 2009 Topps Series 2 sold at Walmart. Wait, what does that say on the side..? Courtesy of Nachos Grande.

As reported in various blogs around the Hobby Community, it looks like the infamous Topps Black Background and Throwback cards are slowly making their appearances in blaster boxes sold at Walmart and Target respectively. Now if you recall, certain series 1 blasters sold at either of these establishments had full...that's right...full boxes of these stealth parallel cards. And after a bit of attitude adjusting and acceptance, collectors welcomed these cards into their collections.

Now series 2 blasters have arrived. And instead of full boxes of these cards, people are reporting that two of the ten packs within each blaster contain these rare treasures.

What??!

It was easy (after knowing the codes) to find and buy either stores blasters to complete a set of Series 1 Black Background or Throwback. Now Topps has thrown a monkey wrench in the plans of those who wanted to complete the 660 card set by only putting two packs per box (the rest being the regular cards). Which, in normal cases wouldn't have been a bad thing and should have been how series 1 was sold and packed out...

SO WHY CHANGE THE DISTRIBUTION METHODS NOW???

What has now happened is that it will become more challenging (ahem...more expensive) to complete series 2 of either set because they've reduced the number of packs that would have them in every box. As stated before, if the distribution method here was done back in February, it would be no big deal. In fact, it would have been more of a pleasant surprise in every box than it was the extreme shock we all encountered when the series 1 boxes first appeared on store shelves.

I guess my biggest problem is the inconsistency in distribution between both series. As a consumer, I'm disappointed that they've switched it around now. I would have preferred full boxes of either parallel provided that they were labeled properly (and in this current case, it does say "two exclusive packs black background parallel" on every box). But this is unacceptable. And I have a hard time coming up with any possible reason why this was done other than to make more money. In a normal economy, yes, this wouldn't have been so bad. But with more and more of our hard earned money going to other, more important, places, this was not a good idea.

Sure, there will be people who will find ways to complete a set of either parallel. It's not impossible. Yes, many collectors like a good challenge, and will no doubt not be discouraged and will go forth and conquer this set. But for me, I'm not to thrilled with this turn of events.

Makes me kind of glad that I didn't attempt to complete either one.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mr. October Arrives in July!!! And He Brought Some Legends with Him.

It's been a while since I last did one of these thank you posts. That's because there hasn't been a lot of SP cards out in the trading arenas that I frequent that I need. However, I did get an offer from a Richard Cavallaro from the good old TMB saying that he had a Reggie Jackson card that I needed. I reviewed his want lists, and offered him a ton of inserts that he needed for it. He happily agreed.

I also found two insert cards from the Walmart and Target Legends of the Game sets (one of each) that I needed as well. He was more than gracious enough to include them in the package. Today, I get two envelopes, one from friend of the blog Craig Parker (I'll get to his package in a minute), and one from Mr. Cavallaro. Rich sent both LLP11 and LLG11, and

Reggie Jackson #515.

Now, by the time I started following baseball, Mr. October had just ended his career. So I missed out on seeing him play. Short of him being in commercials (and shilling for a competitor's card products), the only time I saw him play was in the movie Naked Gun.

But reading about him...man was there a lot of stuff on Reggie. But know this...when he went up to the plate, it was truly home run or bust. He may have been on the bust side more often than not, but you can't take away those titanic home runs that he hit when making contact. And he was a champion...five times a part of a World Series winning team (1972-1974 with Oakland, 1978-1979 with the Yankees). He was the "straw that stirred the drink" all right. From fights with his managers (Billy Martin comes to mind) to his 1978 World Series performance, there was no doubt who was the star of the Yankees during the late 70's.

So thank you to Rich for sending Reggie. It is much appreciated, and now I'm down to seven MLB Legends SP's (Ripken, Ryan, Robinsons 1 & 2, Marichal, Gwynn, and Schmidt).

Back to Mr. Parker. He e-mailed me saying that he had some cards from my want list that I needed. Not as dramatic as the last time he e-mailed me with cards to mail, but still, how can I say no to anything that he didn't want that I need? The cards arrived today, and now I am two cards away from finishing the Target half of the Legends set.

But he also sent me a business card for a website called Great Checklist.com (http://www.greatchecklist.com). On this fledgling site, you can find checklists for many years and brands of Topps Baseball, and other baseball card sets. Each card is linked to an eBay search, so if you're really looking for that 1988 Topps Felix Fermin card (just an example), if there is an auction for it, it will show up on the link. It is worth checking out when you have time. The pages load quickly, compared to some other site, but still needs a lot of data. I still think it's a good alternative if you don't have the patience to use the number one site in the hobby's checklists.

Thanks again Craig. Just curious, are you involved with this website in any way, shape, or form???

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

And the 2009 Topps Red Hot Rookie #4 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 #4 belongs to none other than Tommy Hanson of the Atlanta Braves.

Tommy made his major league debut on June 7 against the Milwaukee Brewers. He has appeared in seven games so far, all starts, and currently sports a 4-0 record with and ERA of 2.45 and has struck out 25 (as of July 15, 2009).

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

The updated checklist now includes:

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The NL Lost...AGAIN!!!

Being a Cubs fan, I've always rooted for the NL in these games. Maybe I should just give up after tonight. Thirteen losses in fourteen games (and that includes the tie). Aaaagggghhhh!!!!

Some notes and observations:

1. Tim Lincecum looked nervous out there in the first inning. And the nerves spread through the infield. I think if he hadn't hit Jeter, the AL would not have had that early lead. By the second inning, everyone in the NL looked great.

2. Nice to see at least one player from Chicago get in the game.

3. Carlos Peña was robbed of a plate appearance. He would have been up there had the inning continued. When it ended, the next guy up was Carl Crawford.

4. Speaking of Crawford, who won the MVP award for this game??? I have not yet seen the results, but it should go to him. That catch he made off Hawpe saved the game for the AL. And how about that...it DID go to Carl Crawford. Congratulations!!!

5. What the heck was it with the one-pitch outs???

6. No home runs in this game. That's rare in these events isn't it???

7. I really hoped beyond hope that Howard would have gotten that hit in the eighth.

8. Another one-run All-Star Game. At least it wasn't a blowout. If it was, I would have lost interest, even if it was the NL leading.

9. Cool to see relievers get in the game as early as the third inning (Franklin). And I guess you could call it even now that Hoffman got Michael Young to ground out to end an inning. Where the heck was that three years ago Hoff???

10. That's it. It was a good game. Again, I'm sad by the outcome. At this point, extra innings would have been a good idea.

Now that the All-Star Game is over, and the second half of the season starts on Thursday, it is now time to get back to the business that is showing off Topps Baseball Cards on this humble little blog. Some projects that I swear I'll get to:

  • Review of The Enthusiast (yeah, I've been promising that for some time now)
  • Box Breaks from Series 2 Topps (been meaning to get around to this)
  • Where are they Now? The ten "rookies" that had autograph cards added to 2005 Topps Rookie Cup (Troy Tulowitzki was one of them) as cards 151-160
  • What of the Week??! Featuring Alexei Ramirez (brownie points if you know what I'm going to be talking about here
  • Speculation on who will appear in 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights
Have a good night. We'll start again bright and early tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Longoria Out of the ASG Lineup, Young Takes the Start, Figgins Takes a Red-Eye to St. Louis.

Just heard over the radio that Evan Longoria is a last minute scratch from the ASG due to an infection in his right ring finger. Michael Young of the Texas Rangers will take his place in the starting lineup, and Chone Figgins of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim has been added to the roster.

See, it pays to also add the Final Man candidates to the ASG binder...

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Bell, Franklin, Jackson, Wakefield, Zobrist...All-Stars Without 2009 Topps Cards.

My biggest complaint about Topps in the last few years has been the reduced number of cards in their flagship set. Growing up, it was always 792 cards to a set. That was the standard. And with 792 cards, you could average a full 25-man team, plus their manager, a couple of promising rookies, a team leader card, and still have room for All-Stars, League Leaders, and Record Breakers. Regardless of the number of cards printed in the "over-produced era" of 1986-1994, each Topps set truly was a "yearbook" of the previous season.

Then the strike happened in 1994.

Then the popularity of baseball crashed.

Then the card companies decided to cut back on the number of cards in their regular sets.

And this was before it was decided that we as collectors (those who stuck around during the dark times in our Hobby) needed...MORE SETS!!!

Between 1982-1992, Topps produced a 792 card flagship set, plus a 132 card Traded set. In 1993, because of expansion (Florida and Colorado), that year's set reached a record 825 cards (along with splitting the set between two series for the first time since 1973). The number of cards in Topps Baseball went back down to 792 in 1994. Then the number of cards in the eponymous brand started to get lower, and more inconsistent. From 1995 to 2005, the number of cards in their set were: 660, 440, 495, 503, 462, 478, 790, 718, 720, 732, 733. The biggest effect here was the fact that not every player would get a card, and we saw the end of cards for players like the third string catcher or the mop up reliever.

And that leads me to my point. While Topps makes sure that most of the starters on all 30 teams get a card, along with maybe three or four starting pitchers, the first two pinch hitters off the bench, the closer, and maybe the best set up man (or two), along with a couple of "rookies," they leave out a number of players who the following year, could make an impact during the season. Not only does this leave egg on their faces, but it makes them look bad because the other company has actually produced sets with more than 1000 cards, and includes almost EVERYBODY!!!

In this year's All-Star Game, five players selected to both teams do not have a 2009 Topps card, or a card in the 15-card team set. They are:
  • Heath Bell of the San Diego Padres
  • Ryan Franklin of the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Edwin Jackson of the Detroit Tigers
  • Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox
  • Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays
Each of these players have had Topps cards in the past, but because of "space limitations," were not included in this year's set. All five should...SHOULD...wind up in the end-of-the-year Updates and Highlights set, not only with an All-Star card, but a regular card to boot.

Which leads me to my next problem, which surprisingly, had a quick solution. Because these five do not have cards, how do I represent them in my All-Star binder. Sure, it would be easy to find an older card for each of them, but it would look awkward, especially since all the other cards are from 2009.

The answer?

Remember those bonus cards from the 15-card team sets? The cards of the teams' mascot, stadium, manager, or special person/player? Fortunately, all five of the teams that the "snubbed" players represent had their team mascot as the bonus card. Using these cards, I am adding them to my All-Star binder. Yes, it looks strange to see a costumed creature's card amongst the players, but I need something to represent everybody.

So without further ado, let's meet the five All-Stars who do not have Topps cards, and the cards I am using to represent them in my binder:


The Swinging Friar will represent Padres closer Heath Bell.


Fredbird will cover for Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin.


Paws takes the place of Tigers starter Edwin Jackson.


Wally the Green Monster steps in for Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.


And Raymond stands in for Rays jack-of-all-trades Ben Zobrist.

Enjoy the 2009 All-Star Game.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

P.S. Now you may be wondering why I even bother setting this all up (the binder, the cards, etc). It's because I really love All-Star Games, and as you know, the players shuffle in and out so quickly, that sometimes it's hard to keep up. I actually use the cards to tell me who's in the game, who hasn't appeared yet, and where each person appears in the lineup card. Yes, I am a geek!!! But hey, anything to keep the excitement going. And, I've done this for years!!! So why stop now??! jba

Monday, July 13, 2009

And Now, Your Starting Lineups...

As announced today:

For the American League:


1. Ichiro Suzuki, SEA, rf
2. Derek Jeter, NYY, ss
3. Joe Mauer, MIN, c
4. Mark Teixeira, NYY, 1b
5. Jason Bay, BOS, lf
6. Josh Hamilton, TEX, cf
7. Evan Longoria, TBR, 3b
8. Aaron Hill, TOR, 2b
9. Roy Halladay, TOR, p

And the National League:


1. Hanley Ramirez, FLA, ss
2. Chase Utley, PHI, 2b
3. Albert Pujols, STL, 1b
4. Ryan Braun, MIL, rf
5. Raul Ibanez, PHI, lf
6. David Wright, NYM, 3b
7. Shane Victorino, PHI, cf
8. Yadier Molina, STL, c
9. Tim Lincecum, SFG, p

The starting pitchers for the 80th ASG are Roy Halladay of the Blue Jays and Tim Lincecum of the Giants.

What bothers me, and what seems to be most people outside of Philadelphia, is that (and this is based on if what I read earlier was correct) because Brad Hawpe of the Rockies got the most votes for the outfield spots OUTSIDE of the voted starters (Ibañez, Braun, and the injured Beltran), that Hawpe should have gotten the starting assignment. But then again, what do I know.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Get Those Gloves Out...It's Derby Time!!!


Tonight, eight All-Stars battle it out in one of the biggest spectacles in baseball. Yes boys and girls, it's Home Run Derby night.

Above are the eight competitors who will be swinging for the fences in a battle to see who is the most prolific home run hitter of the derby. For the National League, all four 1B selections will participate. For the American League, it's Joe Mauer, and three guys who in the last three days, were either voted onto or were selected as injury replacements for the AL team.

Let's review the HR totals this year shall we? For the National League:
  • Albert Pujols, hometown hero, favorite to win the competition, leads the majors with 32 home runs,
  • Adrian Gonzalez, the slugging Padre, is right behind with 24,
  • Prince Fielder, the Brewers' big man, has 22 homers to his credit,
  • Ryan Howard, the Broad Street Basher, also has 22 longballs.
The mashers the AL will send include:
  • Carlos Peña, Tampa Bay's powerhouse, leads the AL with 24 home runs,
  • Nelson Cruz of the Rangers follows with 22,
  • Brandon Inge, the Tigers' leading masher, comes in with 21,
  • Joe Mauer, the starting catcher for the AL, currently has 15 homers.
It's easy to say that Pujols is favored to win this year, after all, it's his home park. But anything can, and has happened in these events where the least likely participant winds up winning it all.

May the best man win. And oh yes, expect these eight guys to have Home Run Derby cards in this year's 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights set. (We'll get to the speculation about this set later on in the year...)

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pedroia, Broxton, and Cain Out of the ASG, Peña, Hoffman, and Duke Named Replacements.

More roster moves have been made as we get closer to ASG Tuesday!!!


It has just been announced that AL second baseman Dustin Pedroia has decided not to participate in the ASG to be with his wife who is seven months pregnant and has been in the hospital since with complications. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by Aaron Hill of the Toronto Blue Jays and his roster replacement will be Carlos Peña of the Tampa Bay Rays. With first baseman Peña on the team, all four TB infielders are now on the ASG roster (along with 2B Zobrist, 3B Longoria, and SS Bartlett).


On the NL side, Giants starter Matt Cain was struck near his right elbow by a line drive on Saturday and won't be able to play on Tuesday. Replacing him on the roster will be Pittsburgh Pirates starter Zach Duke, who joins 2B Freddy Sanchez on the NL squad. Duke's 2009 Topps card numbers are #303 and #PIT6 on the 15-card team set.


Meanwhile, Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton will not be participating in the ASG due to an injury suffered after Friday's late inning ballgame against the Brewers. Ironically, his replacement is the closer from the opposing team, all-time save leader Trevor Hoffman. The Brewers' relief pitcher will be making his seventh appearance on an ASG roster, his first with the Brewers. He will be joining 1B Prince Fielder and OF Ryan Braun on the NL side. Hoffman's Topps card numbers are #368 and #MIL7 on the 15-card team set.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cruz Replaces Hunter on AL ASG Roster


It has just been announced that Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers has been added to the AL All-Stars due to the injury of Angels outfielder Torii Hunter.

Cruz now joins fellow Rangers Josh Hamilton and Michael Young on the AL squad.

If you're adding cards to your All-Star binder (what...you're NOT??!), Cruz's 2009 Topps card is #586, and on the 15-card team set, his card is #TEX5.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Werth Replaces Beltran on NL ASG Roster


It has just been announced that Jayson Werth will be taking the spot of Carlos Beltran on the All-Star Game roster. This will be the first time since 1995 that three outfielders from the same team will be going to the ASG (Cleveland Indians Manny Ramirez, Kenny Lofton, and Albert Belle) and the first NL outfield since 1972 (Pittsburgh Pirates Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Al Oliver)

For the record, Werth's 2009 Topps card is #557 and on the 15-card team set, his card is #PHI9.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Inge and Victorino win the Final Man Vote!!!

You've heard of "TomKat," you've heard of "Bennifer," meet "Bran-Torino!!!"

The fans have voted, and did so in record numbers. Thanks to the more than 26 million fans combined, both Brandon Inge of the Detroit Tigers and Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies are going to the All-Star Game!!!

"Bran-Torino" as they have now been dubbed, overcame early leads from Ian Kinsler and Pablo Sandoval to win spots on the All-Star teams. More than eleven million votes were cast for Inge, which is now a record for AL voting, who now joins three of his Tigers mates. Fifteen million plus votes were cast for Victorino, who also joins three of his fellow Phillies at the ASG.

With Carlos Beltran currently on the DL, Brad Hawpe of the Rockies, as the OF with the most player votes outside of the original starters, will start in his place. We will have to wait and see who Charlie Manuel adds to the roster. I'm pretty sure that we haven't seen the last of the other four "final man" candidates before Tuesday's game.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

What I'm Going to Want from the 2009 Topps FanFest

Okay, so I'm a Cubs fan...and the All-Star Game is in St. Louis, home of my team's divisional arch (pun intended) rivals the Cardinals. And although I like the Cardinals less than I do the other baseball team supposedly from Chicago, it does not mean that I will refuse to want to add the FanFest cards that they are going to be exclusive to this year's All-Star gala to my collection.
Today, the five exclusive cards that are to be given away as part of the annual wrapper redemption (three packs this year of Topps or Bowman, but for some reason they specifically said no Topps Attax packs), made their initial appearance on hobby news sites. The cards are of the usual suspects: Albert Pujols, Ryan Ludwick, Rick Ankiel, Yadier Molina, and Khalil Greene. All but Molina appear both here and as bonus cards included in the Factory sets (Chris Carpenter appears in the factory sets).

There will also be two relic cards given out if people buy and break a full box of Topps/Bowman product (again, not Topps Attax). These are patch cards featuring All-Stars Ryan Howard and Ichiro Suzuki as subjects.

And finally, anybody who buys the All-Star Factory set gets an exclusive Albert Pujols All-Star Game patch card.

I can't wait for the exclusives to show up on the Bay. With the possible exception of Pujols, these cards should pop up relatively cheap online. Not too fond of the relic cards (as usual), but as in recent years (since 2005 for me), the five-card set is a must.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, July 6, 2009

This is What Would Have Happened If You Cracked the 2008 Ginter Code...


He's been mentioned on the blog before. Now that 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter is out, his card can now seen in packs everywhere. And why not? That was the big prize for cracking the code...immortality on a piece of 2½ x 3½ cardboard.

From now on, there will be a price assigned to your card on every Annual price guide from now until the end of time. Here's hoping that the "price" is worth more than the average common.

Somewhere in the US, set collectors are frantically looking for this guy's card. "I need that code breaker guy's card to complete my set!!!" I think I'll wait for a complete set to pop up on the Bay.

To every one admit it, this could have been you. I know I would have killed for this to be me. But alas, he justifiably beat us all to it. Congratulations Jason Wong. Well done. You've just fulfilled the fantasy of every collector out there to appear on a major set of baseball cards.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

The 2009 All-Star Rosters Have Been Announced...What Do You Think???

The MLB All-Star Game rosters have been announced. Here are the players who are going:

American League Starters (with 2009 Topps Card # and retail team set if applicable)

1B Mark Teixeira, Yankees (#120 with the Angels, NYY12)
2B Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox (#350, BOS3)
3B Evan Longoria, Rays (#160, TBR1)
SS Derek Jeter, Yankees (#353, NYY3)
OF Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners (#300, SEA1)
OF Jason Bay, Red Sox (#541, BOS14)
OF Josh Hamilton, Rangers (#250, TEX1)
C Joe Mauer, Twins (#340, MIN1)

American League Pitchers

P-Josh Beckett, Red Sox (#415, BOS2)
P-Mark Buehrle, White Sox (#365, CHW6, selected by MGR)
P-Zack Greinke, Royals (#193, KCR2)
P-Roy Halladay, Blue Jays (#155, TOR1)
P-Felix Hernandez, Mariners (#530, SEA2, selected by MGR)
P-Edwin Jackson, Tigers
P-Justin Verlander, Tigers (#85, DET4)
P-Tim Wakefield, Red Sox (selected by MGR)
RP-Andrew Bailey, Athletics (#441, selected by MGR)
RP-Brian Fuentes, Angels (#319 with the Rockies, #LAA5, selected by MGR)
RP-Joe Nathan, Twins (#445, MIN9)
RP-Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox (#386, BOS9)
RP-Mariano Rivera, Yankees (#60, NYY2)

American League Reserves

1B-Justin Morneau, Twins (#90, MIN3)
1B-Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox (#115, BOS6, selected by MGR)
2B-Aaron Hill, Blue Jays (#623, TOR10)
3B-Michael Young, Rangers (#610, TEX3)
SS-Jason Bartlett, Rays (#347, TBR13)
OF-Carl Crawford, Rays (#40, TBR3)
OF-Curtis Granderson, Tigers (#425, DET3)
OF-Torii Hunter, Angels (#659, LAA1)
OF-Adam Jones, Orioles (#455, BAL2, selected by MGR)
OF-Ben Zobrist, Rays (selected by MGR)
C-Victor Martinez, Indians (#370, CLE3)

American League Final Man Candidates

3B-Chone Figgins, Angels (#332, LAA2)
3B-Brandon Inge, Tigers (#34, DET14)
2B-Ian Kinsler, Rangers (#215, TEX7)
OF-Adam Lind, Blue Jays (#94, TOR11)
1B-Carlos Peña, Rays (#156, TBR9)

National League Starters

1B-Albert Pujols, Cardinals (#290, STL1)
2B-Chase Utley, Phillies (#200, PHI3)
3B-David Wright, Mets (#100, NYM1)
SS-Hanley Ramirez, Marlins (#450, FLA1)
OF-Carlos Beltran, Mets (#550, NYM3)
OF-Ryan Braun, Brewers (#240, MIL1)
OF-Raul Ibañez, Phillies (#6 with the Mariners, PHI7)
C-Yadier Molina, Cardinals (#172, STL5)

National League Pitchers

P-Chad Billingsley, Dodgers (#235, LAD6)
P-Matt Cain, Giants (#546, SFG3)
P-Dan Haren, Diamondbacks (#391, ARI3, selected by MGR)
P-Josh Johnson, Marlins (#118, FLA2)
P-Ted Lilly, Cubs (#569, CHC8, selected by MGR)
P-Tim Lincecum, Giants (#195, SFG1)
P-Jason Marquis, Rockies (#417, selected by MGR)
P-Johan Santana, Mets (#310, NYM2)
RP-Heath Bell, Padres
RP-Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers (LAD3)
RP-Francisco Cordero, Reds (#563, CIN10, selected by MGR)
RP-Ryan Franklin, Cardinals (selected by MGR)
RP-Francisco Rodriguez, Mets (#430, NYM13)

National League Reserves

1B-Prince Fielder, Brewers (#480, MIL3, selected by MGR)
1B-Adrian Gonzalez, Padres (#520, SDP1)
1B-Ryan Howard, Phillies (#500, PHI2, selected by MGR)
2B-Orlando Hudson, Dodgers (#126 with the Diamondbacks)
2B-Freddy Sanchez, Pirates (#447, PIT5, selected by MGR)
3B-Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals (#620, WAS1)
SS-Miguel Tejada, Astros (#205, HOU7)
OF-Brad Hawpe, Rockies (#87, COL7)
OF-Hunter Pence, Astros (#269, HOU5)
OF-Justin Upton, Diamondbacks (#230, ARI2)
C-Brian McCann, Braves (#80, ATL5)

National League Final Man Candidates

SS-Cristian Guzman, Nationals (#608, WAS3)
OF-Matt Kemp, Dodgers (#165, LAD7)
3B-Mark Reynolds, Diamondbacks (#324, ARI12)
3B-Pablo Sandoval, Giants (#426, SFG8)
OF-Shane Victorino, Phillies (#73, PHI11)

Notes:
º Injured, will not participate
ºº Elected not to participate
ª Named as replacement

Let's hear the answers to these questions:

Who do you think should have been chosen that wasn't (not even for the Final Man ballot)?

Of the players selected, who shouldn't be going to the game?

Were the guys you wanted from your team chosen?

If not, then who should have represented your team?

Let the debates begin.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama