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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The 2010 Topps Baseball Card Design Has Been Released!!!


Topps has released the design for the 2010 Topps Baseball Cards today!

All I have to say is...WOW!!! This looks fantastic!!! Normally there tends to be a letdown between a great looking card design one year and what comes out the following year.

Not this time. Not in 2010!!!

I know the picture may be big (won't know until I see how it looks on the blog later...), but the team name logo takes center stage (well, lower left corner stage) here. Could this be a dig by Topps due to the competition not being able to use team names anymore??? The team colors also look to make life easy for those sorting cards (can't imagine all 660 cards with that shade of red). The design is a little reminiscent to 1994 Topps and their home plate design, but this is definitely less boxy than 94.

The U & H set hasn't come out yet, and I'm already going nuts with this design!!! Too bad Series 1 won't be coming out until February. This is something to look forward to in 2010. I'm excited.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT: Contest Involving 2009 Topps All-Star Rookie Team!!!

We're down to the final week of the baseball season, and while the division races starting to tighten, it's anybody's ballgame as to who will win the individual awards (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year).

With that said, I am going to hold a contest of a very high magnitude (for me anyway).

On Monday, October 5, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. CST, I am going to post my predictions as to who will make the 2009 Topps All-Star Rookie Team. There are ten spots open for this team, one for each position (1b, 2b, 3b, ss, c), three outfielders (regardless of where they play), one left handed pitcher, and one right handed pitcher.

What do you have to do to enter???

To enter the contest, e-mail me your ten picks for the team at bdj610@hotmail.com with "All-Star Rookie Team Contest" in the subject line (do not leave your picks in the comments section).

If you get more players correct than I do when Topps officially announces the 2009 All-Star Rookie Team (normally announced late in November), you will automatically win a hobby pack of 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights (the regular hobby pack, not the jumbos). So let's say I get eight of the ten spots right (just like I did last year), and you get nine or ten correct, you win a free pack of cards!!! (This means if I totally bomb and get all ten players wrong, then EVERYBODY wins!!!)

Anybody who correctly predicts all ten players will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win the grand prize:

A complete 150-card set of 2005 Topps Rookie Cup (suggested Beckett Value $20.00-$40.00).

The drawing (if needed) will be held after the official announcement is made and all winners will be notified via e-mail. Their names will be announced on the board soon afterwards.

Only one entry per person. Entries must be received by Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 11:59 PM CST.

Again, please wait until after Monday, October 5, to leave your picks via e-mail. Good luck to all.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, September 28, 2009

Topps Insert Set of the Week: 2006 Topps 2K6 All-Stars.

So we all have these in our collections. Were this it for the set, or were there more???

Picture it...all over America...2006. The hysteria of Alex Gordon had not yet begun, yet many set collectors, more specifically, insert set collectors were banging their heads. Why??? Because of a joint venture between 2K Sports and Topps. Let me explain.

Inserted into packs of 2006 Topps Series I baseball (1:18 hobby, 1:18 retail, 1:18 HTA) were cards from an insert set called 2006 Topps 2K All-Stars. In conjunction with 2K Sports (a sports video game company) Topps created cards featuring eleven of the best players in baseball (from 2005) and put together an all-star "dream team" that gamers can unlock in the 2K6 Major League Baseball game for Nintendo GameCube, Playstation, and XBox. The problem was that inserted in the packs were five of the eleven cards in the set. Not the first five cards, mind you...the LAST five cards. So everybody who bought packs, boxes, you name it, of 2006 Topps Series I found cards of:

  • 7. Vladimir Guerrero, lf
  • 8. Albert Pujols, dh
  • 9. Alex Rodriguez, 3b
  • 10. Alfonso Soriano, 2b
  • 11. Dontrelle Willis, p
Each card featured a normal picture of the player on a foilboard front and the back of the card showed what the player looked like in the video game. Each card also included a cheat code that can be used in the game. The codes were printed in a yellow colored field with white lettering (which made it extremely hard to read the text):
  • Typing "Last Chance" unlocks the Super Wall Climbs cheat where any outfielder can scale the walls and keep balls in the park (found on Guerrero's card)
  • "Crazy Hops" unlocks the Bouncy Ball cheat where any ball hit on the infield will bounce much higher than normal, testing the defense's fielding skills (Pujols)
  • "Dream Team" unlocks the 2K6 Dream Team that can be used for exhibition play (the eleven players on this team (Rodriguez)
  • "Gotcha" unlocks the Rocket Arms cheat giving all fielders supernatural throwing power (Soriano)
  • "Unhittable" unlocks the Super Pitches" cheat that allows every pitcher to throw pitches that curve and break dramatically (Willis)
Other cheat codes that don't appear on the other cards include "Derek Jeter" (unlocks everything. Throw it into "God mode"); "Black Sox" (unlocks all cheats); "Game On" (unlocks all Extras); "Home Sweet Home" (unlocks all classic stadiums); "Ghosts of Greatness" (unlocks all classic teams).

But that still left many collectors wondering, "Where do you get the other six cards???" To find the first six cards, you'd have to buy the game MLB 2K6. It was said that each game had three of the first six cards you'd need to complete the 11-card set (thanks madding for the verification). While many card collectors were most likely video gamers too, many wouldn't dare just buy games for the cards. So what happened to card #'s 1-6?

So off to the world's greatest marketplace in search for the first six cards in the set. The cards were of:

  • 1. Derek Jeter, ss
  • 2. Andruw Jones, cf
  • 3. Miguel Cabrera, rf
  • 4. Derrek Lee, 1b
  • 5. Mariano Rivera, rp
  • 6. Ivan Rodriguez, c
Unfortunately for many, these cards rarely, if ever, showed up on eBay. And even when one card made an appearance, set collectors and player collectors went nuts bidding, just to get their hands on them. One enterprising eBayer took it upon himself to get all six cards and put them on the Bay. Guess who won the auction for them???

(raises hand sheepishly)

Now, I know that many want lists have gone incomplete because collectors have still been looking for the first six cards of this set three years later. I was lucky to be honest when the auction for the above cards went live. Looking on eBay right now will only turn up card #'s 7-11.

Did gamers who don't collect cards just toss them aside? Probably, because none of the six had cheat codes on them. It also has been reported that cards that did turn up weren't always in the best condition due to the fact that the cards were not secured and were probably shifting around the game packages. If ever these cards show up on eBay or other venues and they are not of Vlady, Pujols, A-Rod, Soriano, or DTrain, then absolutely go after them. Who knows when they might turn up again.

And no, I'm not giving these cards up. Sorry. Don't even think of asking me for them. They are staying right here, hidden amongst the cards from my 2006 Topps binder.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, September 25, 2009

2011 Topps Archives: Andy Seminick

So when I first started getting names to use for the 2011 Topps Archives Project, a reader threw out Andy Seminick. And my first thought was, "Andy Seminick? Who's Andy Seminick?" And probably right now, unless you're a baseball historian, or a fan of 1940's and 50's baseball, your asking yourself right now, "Andy Seminick? Who's Andy Seminick?" A better question probably would be, "Why Andy Seminick?" Well, it seems that there is a pretty good reason why a player like Mr. Seminick should be in a set like this.

First off all, I need players with cards from the 1950's to balance the number of players from the 80's and 90's that are going to make up the majority of this set.

Secondly, using a player like Andy Seminick forces me to do some actual RESEARCH instead of just going by memory about what kind of player he was.

Andy Seminick was a catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds in the 1940's and 50's. He made his major league debut in 1943 and had a very productive 15-year career. He was an All-Star in 1949, and was a member of the Whiz Kids, the collective name given to the 1950 Phillies. This team, whose players averaged an age of 26 years old, won the National League pennant and faced the mighty New York Yankees in the World Series. This team included outfielders Richie Ashburn (a 22-year old), Del Ennis (25), infielders Granny Hamner (23), Willie "Puddin' Head" Jones (24), pitchers Robin Roberts (23), Curt Simmons (21) et. al. Seminick was one of the "older players" on this team at 29 years of age in 1950.

During that magical year in 1950, Seminick hit a decent .288 with 24 home runs and 68 rbi's. He finished 14th in the MVP balloting that year. The year before, his all-star year, he also hit 24 home runs and drove home 68 runs. Talk about consistent.

At the end of the 1951 season, Seminick was involved in a seven player trade with the Cincinnati Reds. He played for four seasons with the Reds before being traded BACK to the Phillies in a six player trade.

Now Smoky Burgess was involved in both of these multi-player trades as well, going from the Reds to the Phils and then back to the Reds. And Burgess was included in the 2001 Topps Archives set. So why shouldn't Seminick? Well, that slight is over now as I am going to add Andy Seminick to the 2011 Topps Archives set.

But I have a problem.

You see, the first card of a handful of players in the 2001 Topps Archives set was actually a 1951 Topps Red or Blue Back. However, the Archives set did not utilize the 1951 Topps design, making the player's 1952 card the "first" card of these players. Well, Andy Seminick has a 1951 Topps Red Backs card, as well as a 1952 Topps card. So should I use the 1951 card or the 1952 card?

I will put this up to a vote. Here are pictures of Andy Seminick's Topps cards. The first pair has his 1951 Topps Red Backs card paired with his final Topps card from 1956:

First card: 1951 Topps Red Back #45. Last card: 1956 Topps #296.

Now here is his 1952 card, paired with the 1956 final card:

First card: 1952 Topps #297. Last card: 1956 Topps #296.

So which card should be used as the first card, the 1951 Topps Red Back or the 1952 Topps card?. A poll will come up shortly and by next week, I will add the cards that you the readers choose to the Archives set.

Mr. Seminick passed away in 2004. We pay our respects to one of the original Whiz Kids by adding his cards to the 2011 Topps Archives Project.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Blogroll Says Goodbye to...

As happy as I am to add more cards to the ever growing Sports Card Blogroll, unfortunately, I also have the unenviable task of removing blogs that have reached six months of activity.

You already know how this works. Below is the list of blogs I am removing. Feel free to click on the links to see what each one was all about:
If any of the above is your blog, and you plan on bringing it back into circulation, send me an e-mail, and I'll be more than happy to put it back. And once again, if you have a Hobby blog, please let me know so I can add it to the Sports Card Blogroll. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Get Ready for an Influx of Sports Card Blogs.

On the day Beckett's website was relaunched (to what you see now), many members of the site's Message Boards revolted. Why? Because they didn't like how the new site looked, that their beloved boards were now a disorganized mess, and the site itself was hard to navigate. And this was on day one of the relaunch. While a few people (myself admittedly included) stayed around to ease in the transition, many left via a mass exodus that fateful day. A couple of board members took it upon themselves to create a site that would continue the glory of the old Beckett Message Boards and give a place for those who had decided to leave Beckett for good and were now displaced on the Hobby Internet landscape. Thus, after a couple of attempts, Freedom Card Board was born.

This new message board has taken flight since then, and many of the former Beckett board members (mostly the baseball oriented, and the prospectors, but a few collectors who focused on football, basketball, hockey, etc) have found their way onto these boards. And thanks to massive upgrades and features (like the eBay search, and the live stream from this past year's National), they are finally up in terms of relevance with the likes of Sports Card Forum, the Bench, and other longer established Hobby Communities.

Now the brains behind the operation have created a new blogging program (via Wordpress) called Sports Card Blogs, and is offering the service to the members of FCB. A number of members have already taken the opportunity to create blogs under this new program and I promised to give the boys at FCB some publicity by adding them to the Sports Card Blogroll.

Here are some of the sites that are now up and running. You can expect to see these sites added to the big Blogroll later this evening. Please feel free to take a look at each one now:

Sports, Cards and more
FCB Playbook
Moxacaine's Baseball Card Blog
DaMMAge Control
Deranged Imaginings
All The Hype - Major League Baseball, Prospects and Card Talk
All Those Years Ago
Magnetized Brainwaves

On behalf of the Hobby Blogosphere, I welcome you all to our community, and wish you well on your future endeavors. Keep in mind that to stay on the Blogroll, you will have to post consistently on your blogs. Not necessarily daily, but often enough to keep you relevant. If your blog reaches six months of inactivity, your site will be removed.

Welcome to the blogosphere. Enjoy the journey.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Which Ryan Braun Signed Ryan Braun's 2007 Topps Card

I received an e-mail from friend of the blog Big Daddy that read in part:

I remember reading somewhere that this card may have been corrected in the factory set. Since I know you have the factory set, can you please compare the signature on the card from the factory set vs the non-factory set card. Thanks

2007 Topps #262 Ryan Braun.

Thanks again for checking.


Let's review the 2007 Topps set. It was the infamous black bordered set with the team name with the four sets of four squares on each corner of the card (making the card itself kinda look like an enlarged strip of film). The player's name was below the picture, with the player's last name in big letters while his first name is in small letters above the last name. Each card also included a facsimile signature of said player. As many collectors know, the facsimile signature was taken from the contracts that each player signed when entering the agreement with Topps to use their likenesses in their products. Kind of why Ervin Santana's card has a signature that reads Johan Santana (his real name is Johan...can't believe I mixed them up...what do you expect...I wrote this at midnight!!!). Series 1 had five short-printed variation cards featuring five players with the infamous "Rookie Card" logo. Well, it looks like there may be a sixth.

We're all familiar with Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun, 2-time all-star outfielder and emerging young slugger. But in 2007, it was a Ryan Braun, pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, who was included in the series 1 Topps packs. For the sake of clarification, I will refer to Brewer Braun as Ryan J. Braun (J for Joseph) and Royal Braun as Ryan Z. Braun (Z for Zachary).

Anyway, both Ryan Braun's signed contracts with Topps for the 2007 season. However, Ryan Z. Braun of the Royals made it into the regular set. Not to many people could have imagined that the 2007 RZB card that they were storing in their 9 pocket pages could possibly be an error card. And unless you're an expert on signatures, it probably wouldn't have made a difference whatsoever. But put together a card from the packs and a card directly from a factory set (yes, you do have to open one to do this...), and you'll see two different facsimile autographs. Could one of them actually be the signature of Ryan J. Braun of the Brewers. Observe the two cards below.

2007 Topps Ryan Z. Braun #262. The card on the left came in packs. The card on the right is from the factory set.

Yes, the autographs are different on both cards. See the close up scans of each sig below:

Ryan Z. Braun signature from card from the pack.

The first signature is a lot bolder, like it was signed with a medium pen. The R and y and joined together, and the B in the last name is opened at the bottom (actually looks like a 1 and 3), and there is a loop that goes back behind the lower part of the letter that begins the rest of his last name.

Ryan Z. Braun signature from card from factory set.

Now take a look at the second signature. The R and y are separated, the B is more closed at the bottom, and the beginning of the rest of his last name is signed outside the b. The signature appears to have been signed with a fine pen.

So which is the correct signature? For that...let's look at Ryan J. Braun's 2007 Topps cards.

2007 Topps Ryan J. Braun. The card on the left is the holiday factory exclusive #14 of 20. The card on the right is from 2007 Updates and Highlights #UH150.

They both use the same picture, but the signature's are the same on both. Let's get a close up on that facsimile sig.

Ryan J. Braun signature from card from Updates and Highlights.

Hey, that looks familiar. Let's bring out that first signature again...


Will you look at that...they're the same sig.

That means that the signature from the packs is not from Ryan Z. Braun, but from Ryan J. Braun. And that would mean that the card from the factory set has Ryan Z. Braun's correct signature on it. Which means that there are two different, and distinct variations of Ryan Z. Braun's card #262. That means that there was a sixth variation to series 1 Topps.

And that also means that because the card was of a Kansas City Royal, not too many people noticed the error, or for that matter, cared about it enough to protest (and we all know how it is with the Royals and Topps cards).

So from one Big Daddy to another, you were absolutely correct. And because of this (and because you asked) I will send out the factory set version of the Ryan Z. Braun card to you in the mail some time next week.

Thanks for the tip once again, Big Daddy.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ten Players Topps Thought Would Be on an All-Star Rookie Team...Eventually.

At the end of the 2005 baseball card season, just before the beginning of the four-year period that saw two card companies produce baseball cards, Topps brought out a product that, well, surprised a lot of people. Called 2005 Topps Rookie Cup, it was catered to the collectors who made it their mission to collect the cards of every player who were chosen to be part of Topps All-Star Rookie Team.

Topps has been honoring the players voted onto the team since 1959, first by the "youth of America" to the 30 MLB managers (the way it is done today). And what better way for Topps to end their 2005 product year by thrusting upon the masses a set that featured 150 players who were named to this exclusive club. There were plenty of little things in this set that made collectors everywhere scratch their head...including:
  • the exclusion of the first 10 players (from 1959) in this set (what...Topps couldn't get Willie McCovey to sign in for this set???)
  • a 150-card reprint set that included six players with what eventually became the 2006 Topps design (what would these cards be called...pre-prints???)
  • the fact that the set was primarily sequenced by year honored except for card #6 (Jonny Gomes, 2005???)
  • ten cards of "first-year players" that were not only shortprinted, but autographed as well.
Yes, the complete set winds up at 160 cards. The first 150 are of previous honorees, the last ten were of players that Topps must have believed had the potential of joining a future All-Star Rookie Team. Were they right???

The ten players Topps added to the 2005 Topps Rookie Cup set were:

  • J. Brent Cox, P, New York Yankees
  • John Drennen, OF, Cleveland Indians
  • Ryan Tucker, P, Florida Marlins
  • Yunel Escobar, SS, Atlanta Braves
  • Joseph Marceaux, P, Florida Marlins
  • Mark Pawelek, P, Chicago Cubs
  • Brandon Snyder, C, Baltimore Orioles
  • Wade Townsend, P, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
  • Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies
  • Kevin Whelan, P, Detroit Tigers
It's almost the end of the 2009 season, meaning we're four baseball seasons out since this product made it's way into stores and shops everywhere. Who were the ten prospective All-Stars? Have any of them made it to the big leagues? Has any of them been selected to the All-Star Rookie Team? Let's find out.


James Brent Cox (J Brent) was cruising along the path to New York when injuries kept him out of the game in 2007. Starting from scratch in 2008, he is once again climbing the ladder, making stops in both Trenton (AA) and Scranton Wilkes-Barre (AAA) both years. He went 0-3 in 17 games before shutting it down at the end of June.

In five seasons, the furthest John Drennen has gotten in the minors is Akron (AA). Drennen played in 93 games in the outfield, hitting .274 with 8 home runs and 40 rbi's.

Ryan Tucker made his major league debut with the Marlins in 2008, appearing in 13 games, with a record of 2-3, an 8.27 ERA, and 28 strikeouts in 37 innings of work. Tucker played in New Orleans (AAA) in 2009.


Yunel Escobar is currently the Atlanta Braves' starting shortstop. In 2009, he is hitting a strong .303, with 14 home runs, 68 rbi's, and an OPS of .826 (as of September 20, 2009). Although he finished sixth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2007, Escobar was not selected to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team.

Jacob Marceaux was released by the Marlins in 2009. He just signed with the Chicago White Sox, and was able to get into a game this September with Birmingham (AA). In the Marlins minor league system, he went 14-26 in 112 games.

Mark Pawelek got as far as Rockford (A) in the Midwest League. Otherwise, he has been spending the last five years between injuries and the Cubs' A-Single Season team and A-Rookie team. The Cubs' 2005 first round draft pick was released in 2009, signing on with the Reds soon afterwards.


Brandon Snyder has been climbing the ranks of Baltimore's minor league system these past five seasons. Now with Norfolk (AAA) and playing first base, he found himself playing 73 games this year, hitting .248 with 2 home runs and 48 rbi's in 2009.

Wade Townsend was let go by the Rays organization in August this year. Injuries have stalled his career, the latest being a torn labrum playing in the Arizona Fall League that knocked him out in 2009. He did play in three games for the Tampa Rookie Team before being released.

After 42 saves in 76 appearances in the Tigers' minor league system, Kevin Whelan found himself traded to the New York Yankees the day before was to be married at the end of the 2006 season. An incredibly dominant reliever in the Yankees' minor leagues, he went 4-0 with an ERA of 2.67 with 3 saves and 85 strikeouts between Trenton (AA) and Scranton Wilkes-Barre (AAA) in 2009.

Wait...I'm forgetting someone here...Oh yeah!!!


Troy Tulowitzki made his major league debut in 2006, and had a breakout rookie season in 2007. That year, he hit .291 with 24 home runs and 99 rbi's, and an OPS of .838. He and the Rockies ended the 2007 season on an incredible 19-1 run, becoming the surprise NL Wild Card winners. They carried over their late season dominance into the playoffs, muscling their way past both the Phillies and NL West champion Diamondbacks before facing the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. Tulowitzki finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting (losing out to the Brewers' Ryan Braun. However, Troy was voted onto the 2007 Topps All-Star Rookie Team.
So out of ten first year players, one player did become a part All-Star Rookie Team. At least Topps got something right. Anything less would have been an embarrassment.

On an unrelated note, I am going to announce a contest regarding this year's All-Star Rookie Team before the season is over. The prize? The first 150 cards of the 2005 Topps Rookie Cup set. Stay tuned.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Department of Accuracy Knocking...AGAIN!!!

In my Jim Abbott post, I wrote:

"It was disappointing not to see baseball being played at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing..."

Thanks to commenter lwk for confirming that there actually was Olympic baseball played in Beijing and that, for now, that is the final time we will be seeing baseball as an Olympic sport in the summer games.



To be quite frank, I didn't see any baseball games at the Olympics last year. I did catch a lot of Water Polo though. That and women's weightlifting.

So again, I apologize for the error. I am not going to change what I wrote to show that I am a complete ignoramus I can be at times when I write...


Like Mr. Scatterbrain here, I have to ask, "Where is my head???"

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Results are In...Stadium Club is Out!!!

Last week, I asked which of four products did you the readers think won't be coming back in 2009. The results are in, and while I wish more people would have voted (partially my fault for not posting more often this past week), I think a comment left early in the voting by the voice of Stale Gum that may have steered the voting the way it did.

The results (from 42 votes tallied):
  • 19 people believed Stadium Club won't return in 2009
  • 5 people voted for Topps Sterling
  • 4 people chose Bowman Sterling
  • 1 person dared pick Bowman Chrome Draft Picks and Prospects
  • 8 people thought at least two of the above won't return
  • 5 people went with all of the above

Earlier in the week, Topps announced plans for Bowman Chrome DP&P and Topps Sterling. And there was talk that Bowman Sterling was going to return as well. Which leaves Stadium Club as the odd product out for 2009. Which may or may not have come as a surprise since Topps, while presenting a fantastic product last year, miffed on pricing it higher than many collectors believed it should have been worth.

Now maybe Topps will be allowed more products in 2010 and beyond since they are the exclusive manufacturer of licensed MLB trading cards. Maybe they'll bring Stadium Club back in 2010. But until we know for sure, it is all just speculation.

Maybe they'll bring back the Major League Debut set in 2010...that's what I would like to see.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

2011 Topps Archives: Jim Abbott

(It is the hope of this humble little blog that we run this feature on a regular and more consistent basis on Fridays at 9:00 A.M. CST or so help me...jba)

It was disappointing not to see baseball being played at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. It's sad that even if Chicago gets the bid for the 2016 games that baseball may not even be on the schedule (I blame it on the trampoline and contact bridge athletes, but that's just me). But did you know that at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and the 1988 Olympics in Seoul that baseball was an exhibition sport?

Back then, Topps had the rights to produce cards of the players who represented the USA Baseball Team. The 1985 Topps set featured Coach Rod Dedeaux and the "1984 United States Baseball Team" led by soon-to-be-major-leaguers Mark McGwire, Cory Snyder, Bill Swift, Shane Mack, etc. The 1988 Topps Traded set honored the Gold Medal winning Team USA. Even Coach Mark Marquess couldn't have possibly envisioned that so many players that fought for gold in South Korea would have had successful careers in the big leagues. All-stars Andy Benes, Tino Martinez, Mickey Morandini, Charles Nagy, Robin Ventura were on this team, so were players the likes of Bret Barberie, Jeff Branson, Ed Sprague, and Ted Wood.

But we're not talking about any of those guys. Today's featured player, and one who will be subsequently added to the 2011 Topps Archives Project, was the ace of that medal-winning pitching staff. A man who pitched in two games at Seoul, striking out seven of Canada's finest in a three-inning stint; and then four days later pitched a complete game victory against the mighty Japanese team. In three seasons at the University of Michigan (thanks to Grand Cards for the correction), he compiled a 26-8 record, striking 186 and posting an ERA of 3.03, earning him a spot on both the Big 10 All-Tournament and All-Conference First Teams, as well as the Big-10 Player of the Year honor in 1988. He won the Golden Spikes Award in 1987 (nation's top amateur baseball player), and then the Sullivan Award in 1988 (nation's top amateur athlete...in ANY SPORT). All this, before being drafted in the first round, eighth overall, by the California Angels. Today, we honor Flint, Michigan's own...Jim Abbott!!!

Jim Abbott made the 1989 California Angels roster out of spring training without having to play in the minor leagues. In his rookie year, he started 29 games, completing 4 of them, two of them shutouts. His rookie W-L record was a respectable 12-12, striking out 115 hitters, and an ERA of 3.92. While he didn't win the AL Rookie of the Year award, he did earn a spot as the LHP on Topps 1989 All-Star Rookie team. His best year was in 1991, which saw him win 18 games (against 11 losses) in 34 starts, five of them being complete games, with a dazzling ERA of 2.89 and 158 K's. At the end of the 1992 season, he was traded to the New York Yankees.

With the Bronx Bombers in 1993, he went 11-14 and his ERA ballooned to 4.37. But the highlight of the year came on September 4, 1993, when he pitched a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians in a 4-0 Yankees win. After two seasons in the Bronx, he signed on with the Chicago White Sox, only to be traded BACK to the California Angels in a pennant-drive deadline deal. He struggled in 1996, losing a league leading 18 games with the Angels. At that point, he decided to retire. But in 1998, he staged a comeback, first with the Chicago White Sox, and then in 1999 with the Milwaukee Brewers, who were now in the National League...meaning that Abbott would have to step up to the plate and bat for the very first time (for the record, he went 2-21 at the plate, both hits against the Cubs...)

For those who weren't following baseball at this time, you're probably wondering why I even wrote the words "meaning that Abbott would have to step up to the plate and bat for the very first time..." It's because after all of this, I forgot to mention something sort of important regarding Mr. Abbott. He earned all of his awards, played all of his games, pitched his no-hitter, did all of this despite the fact that he was born without a right hand.

Whoa!!!

How could he play with only one hand??? How could he bat with only one hand??? How could he field his position with only one hand???

Regarding the hitting:

Mariano Rivera once said that he "recalled Abbott taking batting practice for the Yankees, swatting home runs into the bleachers." (thanks to Tyler Kepner, New York Times, Talkin’ Baseball With the Yankees, June 6, 2007). So apparently, hitting was not an issue (if you've ever seen his...it pains me to even say it...1991 Upper Deck card..., you can see him batting).

About the fielding, according to Jim Abbott's official website:

"Abbott wore a right-hander's fielder's glove at the end of his right arm. While completing his follow-through after delivering a pitch, he rapidly switched the glove to his left hand so he could handle any balls hit back to him."

If you've never seen the above in action, how he did this looked so fluid, you wouldn't even know that he only had one hand. It was incredible, and many in baseball said that he was an excellent fielder.

He retired in 1999, and is now a motivational speaker. He was inducted into both the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame (2004) and the College Baseball Hall of Fame (2007). According to his website, Jim "also works with The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) on several initiatives encouraging businesses to hire people with disabilities."

Now, on to the business of showing off his 2011 Topps Archives cards.

His first Topps card came as a member of Team USA in the 1988 Topps Traded set. However, I don't think we can use this as the rights to Team USA belong to...Upper Deck. His rookie card appears in the 1989 Topps set as a first round draft pick from the...University of Michigan (that right Grand Cards???). However, as we all know, UD now has the exclusive license to all college sports thanks to its deal with the College Licensing Company. As he is wearing his Michigan uniform, we can't use that either. So, we are now left with probably a better option with our first card. Since he made it straight to the majors without minor league seasoning, we are going to use his 1989 Topps Traded card as an official member of the Angels:

First card: 1989 Topps Traded #2T. Last card: 1996 Topps #372.

What an inspirational story, and what an inspirational player indeed.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Topps Insert Set of the Week: 2006 Topps Signers of the Constitution



Today is Constitution Day everyone, and I was only made aware of this because my daughter told me she was going to play George Washington in a class play about the Constitution. So that led me to start thinking about what to put on this blog (I haven't written anything since Saturday), and I thought I'd do a post on the 2006 Topps Signers of the Constitution set as a way to return the "Insert Set of the Week."

Inserted into packs of 2006 Topps Series II baseball (1:8 hobby, 1:6 retail, 1:4 HTA) were cards from a 42-card set honoring the men who ratified what we know today as the US Constitution. An appropriate sequel to the wildly popular 2006 Topps Signers of the Declaration of Independence, this set also uses John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence" albeit a closer (and colorized image) part of the painting. Below the painting was the name of a man whose signature appears below this historic document and a small headshot of each person on the bottom right corner of the card. The back of each card is a puzzle piece, and when you get all 42 cards together, you have (hoping that all cards are reasonably centered) a copy of the Constitution (seven cards across by six cards down), suitable for framing (or whatever you want to do with the cards...)

There were 39 men who signed this most important document (and the checklist of the set itself) were:

George Washington — President and deputy from Virginia
New Hampshire John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman
Massachusetts Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King
Connecticut William Samuel Johnson
Roger Sherman
New York Alexander Hamilton
New Jersey William Livingston
David Brearley
William. Paterson
Jonathan Dayton
Pennsylvania Benjamin Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
Robert Morris
George Clymer
Thomas FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson
Gouverneur Morris
Delaware

George Read
Gunning Bedford Jr

John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jacob Broom

Maryland James McHenry
Dan of St. Thomas Jenifer
Daniel Carroll
Virginia John Blair
James Madison Jr.
North Carolina William Blount
Richard Dobbs Spaight
Hugh Williamson
South Carolina John Rutledge
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler
Georgia William Few
Abraham Baldwin


William Jackson, the Secretary at the Convention, is notably absent in this set.

There are three header cards, each with a picture of the Constitution (the same image). The only way to differentiate which header card you have is by looking at the back to see what part of the Constitution you have for the puzzle.

As much as a fantastic set this is, they could have used a different painting for the front of the cards. Realistically, they could have gotten the rights to use Howard Chandler Christy's "Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States" as it would have been more appropriate based on the theme of the set. And like with the Signers of the DOI set, I would have preferred to have a quick bio on each of the signers (some of these men were part of the DOI set too), and why they were there instead of a small picture of each person.

But it is a great set regardless, even if it was included in a baseball card product. For history buffs, this is a must have (no word yet if my daughter bragged about her daddy owning a full set yet). Yes, they could have done more with this set, but as it was, each man is now remembered and immortalized permanently on Topps cards. Sets are hard to come by, especially because of the number of cards in the set. But "commons" can be found at reasonable prices (okay, most under a buck) at shows, shops and on the internet.

I hope my daughter had a good play today.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Meet the Possible Contenders for the 2009 Topps All-Star Rookie Team

Okay, there is still three full weeks left in the season. Things can change really fast in three weeks (like a hopeful collapse of a certain St. Louis team while a certain Chicago team goes on a 20 game win streak...hey it could happen...see Colorado Rockies circa 2007).

Anyway, perusing the MLB website, they have added a new set of statistics in a section called the Top Rookie Tracker. This section features just a handful of the players MLB believes are contenders for either League's Rookie of the Year. And believe it or not, the players on the list they have provided stats for well represent each of the positions Topps uses for their Rookie All-Star team (1b, 2b, 3b, ss, three outfield, c, rhp, lhp). With that said, unless somebody comes up with a strong finish in September, here is what should be the list of contenders for the 2009 Topps All-Star Rookie Team:


First basemen:
Travis Ishikawa SF

Second basemen:
Chris Getz CWS
Jayson Nix CWS

Third basemen:
Gordon Beckham CWS
Casey McGehee MIL

Shortstop:
Elvis Andrus TEX
Everth Cabrera SD

Outfielders:
Chris Coghlan FLA
Chris Dickerson CIN
Dexter Fowler COL
Brett Gardner NYY
Garrett Jones PIT
Andrew McCutchen PIT
Gerardo Parra ARI
Colby Rasmus STL
Nolan Reimold BAL

Catchers:
Matt Wieters BAL

Right Handed Pitchers:
Andrew Bailey OAK
Brad Bergesen BAL
Tommy Hanson ATL
Kenshin Kawakami ATL
Jeff Niemann TB
Rick Porcello DET
Randy Wells CHC
Jordan Zimmermann WSH

Left Handed Pitchers:
Brett Anderson OAK
Brett Cecil TOR
J.A. Happ PHI
Josh Outman OAK
Ricky Romero TOR

The only thing that could be of possible concern for now is the fact that Wieters had that deal with Razor, and if you recall, Razor specifically stated that if Topps wanted to sign him, they'd have to go through them to do it.

Am I missing anybody? Please let me know so they can be added to the lists above. Start drafting your picks for the All-Star Rookie team now folks. A contest will be in the offering here soon (I promise...)

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, September 11, 2009

We Will Never Forget...


At 7:46 AM Central time, eight years ago, American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the World Trade Center's North Tower. By 9:28 AM Central time, the North Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed to the ground. In between the timeline, United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, thanks to the bravery shown by some of the passengers on the flight.

Two thousand, nine hundred, seventy-four people lost their lives on this day eight years ago because of a senseless attack on our country. Countless lives, eight years later, are still affected by the events of this day.

We will never forget...

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

P.S. I wrote a post last year at this time too. If you wish to read it, please click here. jba

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What's Left for Topps to Make for Baseball Cards in 2009?

As there hasn't been anything for me to talk about lately, I started thinking about what's left for Topps to make in 2009. You see, this is the final year in the four-year agreement that Topps and UD made with MLB Properties. If you recall, both Topps and UD agreed to produce 20 products each in 2006 and 2007, and then 17 products each in 2008 and 2009.

So far, Topps has either put out or announced the following products for 2009:

Topps Baseball 1 & 2 (yes, their flagship set counts as one product, not two)
Topps Updates and Highlights (coming soon, counts as a separate product)
Topps Chrome
Topps Heritage
Topps Heritage High Numbers (coming soon, counts as a separate product)
Topps Finest
Topps Triple Threads (coming soon)
Topps Allen & Ginter
Topps Ticket to Stardom (new in 2009, coming soon)
Topps Unique (new in 2009, coming soon)
Topps T206 (returning in 2009, coming soon)
Topps Tribute (returning in 2009, coming soon)
Bowman
Bowman Chrome

That's 14 products with three more to be announced before the end of the year. And if you notice, I did not include Topps Attax in the above list. Why? Because, products similar to Topps Attax is exempt from the official list of products that MLB Properties considered as part of the agreement (just replace Topps Hot Button with Topps Attax in the original contract and you'll see what I mean).
From the above list, there are four new products in 2009, two of which are making their return to the lineup (T206 and Tribute). That means four products from last year's list won't be back for the 2009 season.

Now let's compare last year's product list:

Topps Baseball 1 & 2
Topps Updates and Highlights
Topps Chrome
Topps Heritage
Topps Heritage High Numbers
Topps Finest
Topps Triple Threads
Topps Allen & Ginter
Topps Opening Day (did not return in 2009)
Topps Co-Signers (did not return in 2009)
Topps Moments & Milestones (did not return in 2009)
Topps Sterling
Stadium Club
Bowman
Bowman Chrome
Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects
Bowman Sterling

Collectors who keep tabs of this stuff knew that Opening Day, Co-Signers, and Moments & Milestones were not going to come back in 2009. With four new products, that means one product will not be coming back for sure. But which one would that be?

If Topps does not want to tick off a lot of prospect collectors (those affectionately known as Chromies), they're going to want to bring back the Bowman Chrome DPP. That should be product number 15. That leaves either Sterling brand (Topps and Bowman) and Stadium Club as the odd product out. Now, let's say for a moment that Topps is not going to be introducing (or re-introducing) any more new products this year. Which product do you see not returning?

Topps Stadium Club made it's triumphant return last year after a long hiatus, making many who petitioned to have it brought back happy. However, while the cards in the set were fantastic, bringing back the focus on photography thad made the set great, the price point was too high for a product (to super-premium product levels) that was should have been a premium product at best. So it wound up on many collectors "most disappointing products" list. Will it make a return in 2009? If it does, will the SRP's be lower?

Both Sterling (either Topps or Bowman) products are marketed as incredibly super high end products with super high SRP's to boot. With laminated wood boxes and packs featuring just one player (three cards) and a relic of another player, either one is not for the faint at heart. But with the economy the way it stands, will people WANT something that retails for more than $50.00 (possibly into the triple digits?) If you discontinue one brand's Sterling, do you cancel the other one as well? And to top it all off, the sell sheets for Topps Unique show cards that look to blow away any previous Sterling cards ever produced.

In defense of the brand though, Topps Sterling normally utilizes legends and the uber-uber superstars. This is a set tailor made to use the CMG exclusives. Bowman Sterling traditionally focuses on rookies and prospects, thus making it something for prospectors to fight over.

So, I ask (and will probably put a poll in later...) which of these four remaining products should be left off the 2009 product list:

Bowman Chrome Draft Picks and Prospects
Bowman Sterling
Stadium Club
Topps Sterling

Leave comments, or vote on the poll at the top of the blog.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

6 in 30...Which Binder Do I Use???

The girls at Dinged Corners did it again. In a successful attempt to get the hobby bloggers to do something together in a show of unity, they have challenged everyone to a game called The Six-Cards-in-30-Seconds Binder Test.

The challenge:

"...take one of your binders down from the shelf...Make sure the binder is stuffed with lots of cards, to make sure this is fair and you don't allow yourself any time to think, just react. Put the binder down on the table. Okay. Give yourself 30 seconds and pull out six cards that make you happy. You have to turn the pages pretty quickly. What did you end up with? Did you surprise yourself?"

I have too many binders. Which one should I use for this game???

I could use my 1988 Topps binder, but then again, there's a whole blog devoted to the 1988 Topps Baseball set, so it's been done.

I could use my 1992 Topps binder, but does anyone really want me to wax poetic again about Jose Tolentino???

I know...I'll use my randomizer in MS Excel program to pick a year for me. I'll be right back...

(several attempts later...)

So the Excel Randomizer thingy suggested that I use the binder that houses my 1989 Topps binder. So here goes. Start the time...30, 29, 28...5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Time's up!!! Let's see what I got:


Top row, from left to right: Carlton Fisk, Andre Dawson, Tim "Rock" Raines.
Bottom row, from left to right: Bo Jackson, Jim Abbott, Ryne Sandberg.

Now to answer, why these make me happy.

First, 1989 Topps is my favorite set of all time in terms of design. It's simple, and the colors used for each of the team names...love them.

Fisk, with bat in hand, looks like he's ready to step into the batter's box and send the next offering to the 90-94 Expressway.

Dawson, how can you not like this card? He's smiling...

Raines. In 1988, he was Tim? How did he become "Rock"???

Jackson, no athlete in baseball like him in 1989. Larger than life and a positive personality on and off the field.

Abbott, who made it to the big leagues without ever stepping foot in the minor leagues. Unfortunately, Topps doesn't make draft pick cards, and this one blatantly features Jim's alma mater of Michigan University. The future looked bright in 1989.

Sandberg...it's Ryne Sandberg. How could I not pick this card???

There you have it. My 6 in 30 seconds. I was going to stall on this to be honest, then I saw that Patricia added all the other bloggers' posts, and then at the end said that I was working on mine. I had to follow through then. It would have been embarassing if I didn't.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

An Excuse to Break Out the Basketball Cards.

Not included in the official number of how many cards I have in my card collection, is a 150-card set...of basketball cards.

(What? Basketball cards? I thought this was a Topps BASEBALL CARD blog??!)

Put down the torches and pitchforks, let me explain.

This 150-card set is called 1992-1993 Topps Archives NBA "the Lost Years." The tag line "Lost Years" is appropriate for this set because Topps did not make any basketball cards from 1980-1981 season to the 1990-1991 season. This set features what would have been the rookie cards of many NBA players had Topps been in the basketball card business during the 80's. And the cool thing about this set is that it utilizes all of Topps Baseball card designs from 1981 to 1991. How cool is that???

So anyway, (and this is how clueless I am about matters outside of baseball), this weekend, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inducts its latest class into its hallowed halls in Springfield, MA. In it's 50th year, five legends will be inducted, including:
  • Jerry Sloan, coach of the Utah Jazz, and winner of 1,000 games with a single team while maintaining a .600 winning percentage,
  • C. Vivian Stringer, an NCAA women's basketball coach who has won more than 800 games in her career with Cheyney State, the University of Iowa and Rutgers University,
  • John Stockton, who retired as the all-time assists leader with 15,806 assists and 3,265 steals with the Utah Jazz,
  • David Robinson, a two-time champion with the San Antonio Spurs, nicknamed "the Admiral,"
  • Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all-time!!! His accomplishments are too numerous to put on here (would be a post all on it's own, but there are many sites that already have this information). Let's just say that he's a six-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls and had the attention of every sports fan in Chicago, the US, and the world (how's that for a glowing sentiment).
To commemorate their upcoming enshrinement into basketball's "Gallery of the Immortals", let me show off what would have been the rookie cards of Stockton, Robinson, and Jordan, had Topps made cards in the 80's.

One-fourth of the 1992 "Olympic Dream Team," John Stockton, Michael Jordan, and David Robinson.

Congratulations to Coach Sloan, Coach Stringer, and to the three legends featured today on your HOF induction this weekend.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

I Haven't Been Posting Lately Because...

Drat that Bejeweled Blitz game on Facebook. I've found myself addicted to it, and the sad part is that I'm actually bad at the game. The version on FB gives you just one minute...SIXTY SECONDS...to clear out as many jewels (in groups of three or more) off the board. The normal game let's you run until you can't get any more pieces off. And the reward (stars for points) reaches up to 250,000 points. How in the heck can anyone get up that high??? And there are people on my friends list who have (you know who you are...one of them actually reads this blog...)

To make matters worse, playing the game has taken too much time away from me writing and maintaining this humble little blog. That is about to change.

From here on out, no more Bejeweled Blitz (let's see how long this lasts). I'm sticking to Typing Maniac (something more suited for me as a typist). Until then, here is what to expect from the blog this week:
  • Responses to comments (the Monthly Comment Mailbag).
  • An update on the careers of the ten "first year" players added to the 2005 Topps Rookie Cup (promised before, but now I'm ready to write).
  • My 6 in 30 that Dinged Corners threw out for the blogging community.
  • Any Hobby news and things that pique my interest.
It's a brand new, but shortened week. I can't wait to get started.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, September 4, 2009

I've Decided to Steer Clear From the Latest Blogging vs. Media Controversy Because...

I've already talked about it before!!!

Let me just say one thing about this whole mess though. I don't really know who started it. I don't really care. The fact is once again, the "bigger voices" in the Hobby Blogging Community are up in arms over what they feel is the latest salvo in the "us vs. them" saga (them being the number one source in the Hobby). And it sickens me. Not because of the events leading up to this, but because this isn't the first time this has happened, and trust me, it won't be the last.

To top it all off, (first of all, welcome back Harner. I've added your site back onto the Sports Card Blogroll), the return of Cardboard Mania and one of his latest posts has now brought to mind the question of whether or not the blogs can be considered "real media." Other than the backpeddling and explanation, I found his original post to be very hard-hitting and in way, I agreed with some of what he wrote (SOME OF IT).

While none of the independent hobby bloggers, whether it's me or one of those other guys, will ever have the influence that the "established media" has in this Hobby, it doesn't mean that we can't break through and make people think. Blogging is a way for us to comment about what we care about, throwing our voices into the mix, and letting everyone know what we think about the "topic of the day." When it comes to reporting, whether it's Hobby Happenings or local news, to me it's not a matter of who reported the story first, (back to the us vs. them), it's a matter of who puts out the most detail when the story comes out, and who can make it look good. We (the bloggers) can all claim to have all our facts straight before hitting the "publish post" button, but in the end, most people will rely on the information passed on by "established media." Why? Because they have the connections, they have the sources, they can take the time to get everything together, and they don't look they're jumping the gun on a story. On the other hand, even if we had those same connections, same sources, and were given the same amount of time to get our facts straight, it would still look like we've put the cart in front of the proverbial horse.

And there is really nothing wrong with that. As I said before, "They are the established media. They've reported on it longer, they've been immersed in it longer, and heck, they promote the Hobby (despite opinions claiming otherwise) like nobody else can. And unless one of these days, somebody decides to bring the best Hobby Blog writers together and create a "printed" magazine with the articles we write, there is truly no comparison with who the Hobby consumer will trust."

So what am I saying here...that the bloggers should pack it in, and leave well enough alone? Of course not. There is enough room in the pool for everybody to continue on with what they write about. I'm saying that there has to be a balance so that we can meet the same goals when we write: promote the hobby. We should be more focused on being a complement to the news that has been reported, not be a hindrance or become the news ourselves. Because whether we are showing off our collections, or commenting on the topic du jour, we are all doing our fair share of passing along information that may not have previously been seen anywhere.

I once asked in a previous post, "Are we the new media? Will we take down the establishment?" and answered those questions with "Perhaps," and, "That remains to be seen. If that ever happens, at least we're here to pick up the slack." I think I can say with confidence that we the bloggers are the new media. While it still remains to be seen if we can take down the establishment (we have a long way to go if that was ever the goal), based on the number of blogs on the big blogroll, our numbers have increased, and we have done more than "picked up the slack." But more importantly, our voices will be heard more frequently as we move along on this crazy journey called the Hobby.

I'm going back to make some more mock ups for the 2011 Topps Archives Project. That'll keep me busy until this last embers of this latest controversy dies down.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, September 3, 2009

2011 Topps Archives: Harold Baines

He defined the role of designated hitter in the American League in the 80's and 90's. He was a hitter that knew what was necessary to succeed in every at-bat. He was also one of the few players in big league history to have his number retired by one team while still active with another. He was one of the classiest players on and off the field. And this past Saturday, the Baltimore Orioles thanked him for his seven years of service by inducting him to their Hall of Fame. A native Marylander, and by all accounts, an all around good guy, there is no doubt that he should be added to the 2011 Topps Archives project. He is Harold Baines.

Baines played 22 seasons in the big leagues, all in the American League. He started his career as an outfielder for the Chicago White Sox, and after seven productive seasons manning Comiskey Parks right field, he became their designated hitter. After being traded to the Texas Rangers (a trade that would introduce a young Sammy Sosa to Chicago), the White Sox retired his #3, becoming the third player to have this honor while still an active player (Frank Robinson and Phil Niekro, both Hall of Famers are the other two).

He was then traded to Oakland, helping the Athletics get to the World Series in 1990. In 1993, he began his first stint with the Orioles. In 1996, he came back to the White Sox (who let him wear his #3 jersey), only to go back to the Orioles a season and a half later. He was traded to the Indians during the 1999 season, only to return to the O's to begin the next. On July 29, 2000, he was traded back to the White Sox to finish his career. He is now the Pale Hoses' first base coach.

After 22 seasons, Baines ended his career with a .289 lifetime batting average, 384 home runs, 1628 runs batted in, stole 34 bases, and an OPS of .820. He was a six-time all-star, won the Silver Slugger award in 1989 as the AL's best DH, and was in the running for the MVP four times during the "Winning Ugly" era in the early 80's. With numbers like these, along with being honored by O's over the weekend, we tip our collective caps and add Harold Baines to the 2011 Topps Archives Project.

First card: 1981 Topps #347. Last card: 2001 Topps #78.

Here's to you Harold. With a career like yours, we look forward to seeing you in Cooperstown one day.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

And the 2009 Topps Red Hot Rookie #10 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 #10, the final card in the 2009 Topps Red Hot Rookie Redemption set, belongs to none other than Chris Coghlan of the Florida Marlins.

Coghlan, an outfielder for the Marlins, made his major league debut on May 8 against the Colorado Rockies. In 97 games, he is hitting a respectable .296, with 9 home runs, 38 runs batted in, and 6 stolen bases (as of September 1, 2009).

Although this card is not autographed, fans of the Marlins will want to add this card to their collections. Ladies and Gentlemen, START REDEEMING!!!

The final checklist for the 2009 Topps Red Hot Rookie Redemption set: Sincerely,

JayBee Anama