Thursday, July 15, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2003 Topps #257 Elmer Dessens

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, July 15, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2003 Topps #257
  • Player Name, position, team: Elmer Dessens, pitcher, Cincinnati Reds.
  • Major League Debut: June 24, 1996.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2002 stats (Reds): 30 G, 178 IP, 7-8, 70 R, 60 ER, 93 SO, 49 BB, 30 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 3.03 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Pirates as a Free Agent 01/27/1993. Signed with the Reds as a Free Agent 12/13/1999. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Dessens' first regular Topps card (regular cards are just his base and traded cards only). You know what I think of the 2003 Topps design (easy to chip blue borders, large main picture, smaller second picture in a baseball diamond/infield shape, beautiful shade of blue, gold foil), so we'll go straight to discussing the player. This is what frustrates me about Topps. Now as you probably know, I collect cards because I love baseball, and I use the cards to keep track of who's in the game presently. Now Elmer Dessens is a pitcher who began his major league career as a reliever, and became a starting pitcher for a three-year stretch before going back to the bullpen. He has played literally everywhere: Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Arizona, Los Angeles (NL), Kansas City, LA (again), Milwaukee, Colorado, Pittsburgh (again), Atlanta, and New York (NL). Talk about your journeyman pitcher. In fact, and I didn't know this until I looked it up on the old Baseball-Reference website, but he's still with the Mets in 2010. Do you want to know how many regular Topps cards Mr. Dessens has (and I mean the Topps eponymous regular or traded sets)? A grand total...OF FOUR CARDS!!! FOUR CARDS!!! The number one source in the hobby says that he has 151 cards...TOTAL!!! Derek Jeter gets that many in half the baseball card season, and Dessens only has 151 total!!! He last appeared on a Topps card in 2006 (Topps Updates and Highlights). In fact, the last time the Topps Company included him in a set was the Bowman Chrome Draft World Baseball Classics insert set because he played for Team Mexico. Otherwise, did you know that he was still around??? I may not pay that close attention to all 750 active players on the 30 rosters on a daily basis, but for this man to only have four regular Topps cards and not one since 2006 is a crying shame. And to probably throw more kerosene in the fire, Topps, who normally tries to put a positive spin on a player who had a sub par season, their summary of Dessens' career (up to that point in 2002 anyway) doesn't do him any favors. "Elmer Dessens must feel as much frustration as Elmer Fudd trying to catch that wascally wabbit. Long considered to own premier stuff, he had trouble 'putting it all together.' Then in 2002, pitching the best ball of his life, he couldn't buy a run of support...he failed to get the 'W' in six starts in which he allowed two or fewer runs." It didn't help that at this time, he was playing for some pretty lousy Reds teams. Which could explain the 7-8 record while maintaining a 3.03 ERA. But come on Topps. He may be a relief pitcher with the Mets, but doesn't he deserve his picture on cardboard? I'm sure if he was playing for the other NY team, it wouldn't even be an issue. Rant over.
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 4 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1978 Topps #378. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.


JayBee Anama

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