Saturday, May 29, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2002 Topps #225 Ichiro Suzuki

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, May 22, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2002 Topps #225.
  • Player Name, position, team: Ichiro Suzuki, outfielder, Seattle Mariners.
  • Major League Debut: April 2, 2001.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2001 stats (Mariners): 157 G, 691 AB, 127 R, 242 H, 34 2B, 8 3B, 8 HR, 69 RBI, 56 SB, .457 SLG, 30 BB, 53 SO, .350 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Mariners as a Free Agent 11/22/2000. Bats: left, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Suzuki's second regular Topps card (total includes base and traded cards only). Okay, I might as well put it out there. Why I'm not a big fan of the 2002 Topps design. Is it because of the large picture? No. Is it because of the ribbons used on the top left corner and the name banner? No. Is it because of the words 2002 Topps above the picture? No. Then why? Why? What's the matter with the 2002 design? The orange. Orange!!! The inconsistent orange color. Can you even call it orange? What color is it??! They could have picked any shade of color, and they came up with this? At least the 2001 set was the perfect shade of green, and the 2003 set was the perfect shade of blue. This set looks to be a few shades away from what orange should be. (And before you say anything, at least with the 1999 Topps design, the borders were so thin that the picture dominates the card...that's a good thing). There is also so much space at the bottom left where the "Topps" logo is, it just feels like there could have either been a better use of space, or at least even the positions of both the team logo and the Topps logo (so the word Topps is on the top left ribbon), but that might make having the words "2002 Topps" in white letters a bit too repetitive. Okay, enough discussion on the design. In the history of Major League Baseball. Nobody...and I mean NOBODY...carried great expectations coming into a season than Ichiro Suzuki. Already one of the greatest players in Japan, many wondered how he would adjust playing in the USA? Until he (and Tsuyoshi Shinjo showed up), the only Japanese players in MLB were pitchers. This guy was an outfielder. Meaning he'd have to hit and play the field. Already a legend in his homeland, how would he fare here? The media hounded him daily, and those were just of the Japan press. The pressure was on. How would he do? Well, by the end of the 2001 season, not only did the Mariners come away with one of the best records in baseball EVER (116-46), but Ichiro led the league in batting average (a staggering .350, 242 hits/692 ab's), and won every award possible. He became the first player since Fred Lynn in 1975 to be named the AL's Rookie of the Year and it's Most Valuable Player in the same season. He was also voted as a starter in the 2001 All Star Game, but also won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. And if you thought there would be a let down after're still waiting for it because it hasn't happened, and nine seasons later, it probably won't.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.40-$1.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 127 cards.
Tomorrow is Retro Sunday, the one day of the week that we feature a card from 1951-1975. The card we will feature tomorrow is: 1973 Topps #412. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.


JayBee Anama

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