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, April 30, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1996 Topps #84 Omar Vizquel

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, April 30, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1996 Topps #84.
  • Player Name, position, team: Omar Vizquel, shortstop, Cleveland Indians.
  • Major League Debut: April 3, 1989.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1995 stats (Indians): 136 G, 542 AB, 87 R, 144 H, 28 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 56 RBI, 29 SB, .351 SLG, 59 BB, 59 SO, .266 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Mariners as a Free Agent 04/01/1984. Traded by the Mariners to the Indians 12/20/1993. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Vizquel's ninth regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). The design for 1996 Topps really works for this card. One large picture, with an unobtrusive name box below. A picture like this would have normally been saved for the borderless and photo-inspired Stadium Club set. So it's even more thrilling that a shot like this was saved for the Tops eponymous set. And while there have been shots similar to this one taken in the past, this one is so upclose, you can see how high Vizquel had to jump, just to get the ball to first base (look ma, he's flying!!!) The back of the card mentions that like his Indians teammates, "things just fell into place...set career highs for SB's, HR's, and RBI...hit three home runs in a span of 14 (ab's)"
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.10-$0.30.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 49 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1980 Topps #521. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1976 Topps #481 Rudy May

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, April 29, 2010:



  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1976 Topps #481.
  • Player Name, position, team: Rudy May, pitcher, New York Yankees.
  • Major League Debut: April 18, 1965.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1975 stats (Yankees): 32 G, 212 IP, 14-12, 87 R, 72 ER, 145 SO, 99 BB, 3.06 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Twins as a Free Agent 11/05/1962. Contract purchased by the Yankees from the Angels 06/15/1974. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: May's eighth regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). How does Topps out do themselves for their 1976 Topps design after a successful and popular 1975 product? This set. The two colored frame and name box are their (even though green and powder blue is awkward for Yankees team colors), but what really stands out is the picture used on the left side of every player card. Depending on the position, you got a different picture. Rudy May was, at this point in his career, a journeyman. He was a decent pitcher, and even made it to the 80's. But May found a home in the Yankees starting rotation. The blurb on the back indicates that May is "a hard thrower. Rudy's strikeout high was 16 vs. Twins 08/10/1972.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 10 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1996 Topps #84. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Guess Who's Back in the NFL Football Card Business???


Well that didn't take long.

I'm sure you've already heard today that the NFL AND the NFLPA have given BACK the rights to produce football cards to the Topps Company. This move should make collectors of football cards breathe a huge sigh of relief since the news came that the other card company lost their rights, leaving Panini as the, up to now, only company making football cards.

Someone already mentioned that because (see Drew Brees card above), the base card shares the same design as the baseball card design, that Topps has is going to be lazy with their football products. Here's a question, "If Topps wasn't going to be in the football market, why would they have bothered coming up with a brand new design?"

I, for one, don't see a problem with the 2010 design. If it's good enough for baseball (and for that matter, the WWE), then why not for football? Don't make it sound like this is the first time that Topps utilized the same design (or concepts) for multiple sports (you'd have to go back to 1991 when Topps Baseball, Football, and Hocky had similar design elements). If a design is fantastic enough, and many have to agree that the 2010 design is great, why not use it in other products (okay, so 2008 wasn't one of the better designs of the decade, but still was pretty nice).

Along with the base set (and the inevitable Chrome set that collectors seem to love), plans for Topps Platinum, Finest, and Triple Threads are in the works. And just like in baseball with the wildly successful "Million Card Giveaway," Topps Football will have its own version of it called the Gridiron giveaway. Get a code, get a football card from Topps' 55 year history.

So it's a wonderful day for football collectors. Topps is back in the game. And the 55th consecutive Topps will be out just in time for the football season.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2002 Topps #335 Rickey Henderson Season Highlight

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, April 21, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2002 Topps #335.
  • Player Name, position, team: Rickey Henderson, outfielder, San Diego Padres.
  • Special: Season Highlights: Henderson Reaches 3,000 Hit Plateau
  • Any special information about this specific card: There really wasn't much else left that Rickey needed to do in baseball. He pretty much accomplished everything a legendary baseball player could possibly accomplish. He's won multiple World Series, he's a Gold Glove Winner, won a few 1981 Silver Slugger Awards, he was the 1990 AL MVP, and, oh yeah, he's the All-Time Stolen Base King!!! He also is the scored the most runs in MLB history, and for a while, was the MLB leader in walks too (and was the subject of another card in the 2002 Topps set)...but that's not what this specific card highlights. On October 7, 2001, on what was to be Tony Gwynn's final game in the majors, Rickey led off the bottom of the first, and hit the first pitch he saw to right field, stopping at second base. This double would become Rickey's 3,000th career hit. And for the first time ever, two National League teammates were members of the 3,000 hit club. Said Gwynn afterwards, "Of all the things I wanted to have happen today, Rickey getting his 3,000th hit was at the top of the list." This would also be Rickey's only plate appearance, thus ending his season as well. The card itself is printed on a foil board surface, which was not used for the regular players cards. This gives the card a reflective shine that makes the card look like it's a gold card. Ironically, for those looking to complete their 2002 Topps Gold card sets, this wasn't one of the cards the gold card treatment (quite frankly, any card printed using the same foil-plated surface didn't not get a gold card parallel).
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.20-$0.50.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1976 Topps #481. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2010 Topps 206 Baseball Sell Sheets are Live!!!

Topps 206 is returning for the 2010 baseball season. And the highly anticipated sell sheets for 2010 Topps 206 Baseball appeared on Monday. See scans below for more information.





The official breakdown of the 300 card set includes:
226 veterans
18 Legends
56 Rookies

But then you factor in an extra 50 Short Print Variation cards, and you have a 350 card set. The short prints are scheduled to be (and this list is subject to change):

301 Kendry Morales
302 Alex Rodriguez
303 Brian McCann
304 Roy Halladay
305 Jacoby Ellsbury
306 Adrian Gonzalez
307 Gordon Beckham
308 Cliff Lee
309 Shin-Soo Choo
310 Evan Longoria
311 Rick Porcello
312 Ian Kinsler
313 Zack Greinke
314 Hunter Pence
315 Ryan Braun
316 Joe Mauer
317 Ryan Zimmerman
318 Matt Kemp
319 Aaron Hill
320 Chris Coghlan
321 Albert Pujols
322 Ubaldo Jimenez
323 Pablo Sandoval
324 Joey Votto
325 Andrew McCutchen
326 Carlos Zambrano
327 Rajai Davis
328 Adam Jones
329 Jason Bay
330 Justin Upton
331 Jenrry Mejia
332 Babe Ruth
333 Tim Lincecum
334 Tom Seaver
335 Jason Heyward
336 Ryan Howard
337 Ian Desmond
338 Austin Jackson
339 Neftali Feliz
340 Mickey Mantle
341 Jason Heyward
342 Stephen Drew
343 Stan Musial
344 Tim Lincecum
345 Mickey Mantle
346 Justin Upton
347 Albert Pujols
348 Ryan Braun
349 Joe Mauer
350 Roy Halladay

Information can be seen here (upon further inspection, this link shows LAST YEAR'S INFORMATION...my apologies).

Just like the Topps 206 cards in the early part of the decade, these cards will also come with mini parallels with backs featuring many of the old cigarette brands that the original T206 cards were inserted:

Polar Bear, Old Mill, Piedmont will be the more common backs
Cycle numbered /99
Carolina Brights are one of ones and Hobby Exclusive.

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

Bring on November!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1983 Topps Traded #8T Steve Baker

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, April 27, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1983 Topps Traded #8T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Steve Baker, pitcher, Oakland Athletics.
  • Major League Debut: May 25, 1978.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1982 stats (Athletic): 5 G, 25.2 IP, 1-1, 14 R, 13 ER, 14 SO 4 BB, 3 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 4.56 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Tigers as a Free Agent 05/10/1976. Signed with the Athletics as a Free Agent 03/03/1982. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Baker's first and only regular Topps card. The original purpose of the Traded sets were to update the regular sets. As the regular set reviewed the players and stories of the previous year, the Traded set featured those players who may have changed teams during the off season or featured the rookies that didn't make the cut in the original set. On some occasions, the cards in the traded set feature rookies who shared cards with other similar prospects. In the case of Steve Baker, he saw action in five games (started 3 of them) in 1982, but didn't make the 1983 Topps regular set. Because he pitched in 35 games for the A's (what isn't shown was that he actually finished the year, and subsequently his major league career with the Cardinals), Topps included him in the Traded set. The back of the card features a number of Steve's highlights during the 1983 season, including a victory over the Tigers on April 29, a save on May 24, and another on June 9. More highlights are discussed in the "highlights" section (the first three were part of the blurb below the statistics), including a victory over the Twins on April 13, a save on April 18, and how he hurled 4 scoreless innings for the win on May 23.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.08-$0.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 1 card.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2002 Topps #335. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1996 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

bdj610's End of Year MLB All-Star Teams: 2007 Edition

Changes were in the air in 2007. The heroics from a decade ago were now being questioned. The players may have changed, and the style of player may have changed, but while the game continued on, the home front started looking up. Literally. As our lives started coming back to normal, our kids continued their journeys in grade school, and my wife and I settled into our roles as parents of grade school kids. Our kids were still going to separate schools at the time, but we were happy to hear that in the fall, that our son's program was being moved to where our daughter was going. And to make things even better, after years of being a stay-at-home mom, my wife got a job. Albeit part-time, it was work, added income, and she was still able to take care of the kids in the afternoons.

The year 2007 saw the Red Sox totally bust out of that curse (wish I could say the same for some Chicago ball club) as they won another WS, the Rockies finish on an incredible team just to get to the World Series, and the Cubs actually won the division for the first time since 2003. Okay, so they didn't win the first round, but it was a start. The Topps cards were all in black for the first time since 1971, meaning chipped borders made a comeback to boot. Add the fun of photoshopping, and the eventual sale of Topps to Mike Eisner's Tornante Company and Madison Dearborn Partners (in hindsight, did UD really have the money to buy Topps?) and it made for an interesting year to say the least.

Twenty baseball seasons ago, I began the tradition for naming All-Star teams at the end of the year. What began as the thoughts of an unaware (at the time) 12 year old has now become a tradition that I am proud to continue now. With the help of the internet, and years of actually reading about the game and its players, I have been able to pick players to these teams that had good seasons, and not feel embarrassed about the choices years later. And thanks to SBS (the baseball simulation program I've used), my teams have now literally come to life. I've had fun bringing back my childhood during the offseason, and although it's taken me longer than I would have liked, I'm happy to now introduce the last All-Star team that had yet to be announced here, my 2007 All-Star Teams (the 2008 and 2009 teams, which will be featured soon, were already introduced on the blog...I'll still do the simulations and am looking forward to what hopefully is a fun side project).

As stated when I introduced my 2006 teams, there are now 36 spots on each of the rosters. Both teams get: 3 first basemen, 3 second basemen, 3 third basemen, 3 shortstops, 9 outfielders (regardless of position), 3 catchers, 1 designated hitter, 6 starting pitchers, 1 middle relief pitcher, and 4 closers. The rule that every team gets a representative remains after all these years. And regardless of what league hosts the ASG, there will be a DH chosen. In cases where an AL team is hosting (the 2008 game was played at Yankee Stadium), the DH will be part of the lineup. In cases where the NL is hosting (as was the case with the previous series), the DH will be used as a pinch hitter when needed.

Without further ado, for the first time online, I am proud to introduce my 2007 End of Year MLB All-Star Teams (in alphabetical order by position):

(space space space space)









American League

First Basemen

  • Justin Morneau, Twins
  • Carlos Peña, Devil Rays*
  • Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox*

Second Basemen

  • Robinson Cano, Yankees
  • Mark Grudzielanek, Royals
  • Placido Polanco, Tigers*

Third Basemen

  • Adrian Beltre, Mariners
  • Mike Lowell, Red Sox
  • Alex Rodriguez, Yankees

Shortstops

  • Orlando Cabrera, Angels
  • Derek Jeter, Yankees
  • Michael Young, Rangers

Outfielders

  • Carl Crawford, Devil Rays
  • Jermaine Dye, White Sox
  • Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
  • Torii Hunter, Twins
  • Nick Markakis, Orioles*
  • Magglio Ordoñez, Tigers
  • Alex Rios, Blue Jays*
  • Shannon Stewart, Athletics
  • Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners

Catchers

  • Victor Martinez, Indians
  • Jorge Posada, Yankees
  • Jason Varitek, Red Sox

Designated Hitter:

  • David Ortiz, Red Sox

Pitchers

  • Josh Beckett, Red Sox*
  • Rafael Betancourt, Indians*
  • Joe Borowski, Indians
  • Fausto Carmona, Indians*
  • Bobby Jenks, White Sox
  • Scott Kazmir, Devil Rays*
  • John Lackey, Angels*
  • J. J. Putz, Mariners*
  • Francisco Rodriguez, Angels
  • C. C. Sabathia, Indians
  • Chien-Ming Wang, Yankees

Manager:

  • John McLaren, Mariners

The Starters:

  • 1B: Morneau
  • 2B: Polanco
  • 3B: Rodriguez
  • SS: Jeter
  • OF: Guerrero
  • OF: Ordoñez
  • OF: Suzuki
  • C: Posada
  • DH: Ortiz
  • P: Beckett

*First-Time All-Star


National League

First Basemen

  • Prince Fielder, Brewers*
  • Ryan Howard, Phillies
  • Dmitri Young, Nationals

Second Basemen

  • Brandon Phillips, Reds*
  • Freddy Sanchez, Pirates
  • Chase Utley, Phillies

Third Basemen

  • Chipper Jones, Braves
  • Aramis Ramirez, Cubs
  • David Wright, Mets

Shortstops

  • Hanley Ramirez, Marlins*
  • Jose Reyes, Mets
  • Jimmy Rollins, Phillies

Outfielders

  • Carlos Beltran, Mets
  • Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks*
  • Adam Dunn, Reds
  • Brad Hawpe, Rockies*
  • Matt Holliday, Rockies
  • Carlos Lee, Astros
  • Aaron Rowand, Phillies*
  • Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
  • Randy Winn, Giants

Catchers

  • Russell Martin, Dodgers*
  • Brian McCann, Braves
  • Bengie Molina, Giants

Designated Hitter:

  • Albert Pujols, Cardinals

Pitchers

  • Heath Bell, Padres*
  • Francisco Cordero, Brewers
  • Jeff Francis, Rockies*
  • Trevor Hoffman, Padres
  • Tim Hudson, Braves
  • Jake Peavy, Padres*
  • Brad Penny, Dodgers*
  • Takashi Saito, Dodgers*
  • Jose Valverde, Diamondbacks*
  • Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
  • Carlos Zambrano, Cubs

Manager:

  • Bob Melvin, Diamondbacks

The Starters:

  • 1B: Fielder
  • 2B: Utley
  • 3B: Wright
  • SS: HRamirez
  • OF: Beltran
  • OF: Holliday
  • OF: Soriano
  • C: Martin
  • DH: Pujols
  • P: Peavy



Including the 72 players listed above, 535 individual players have been named onto these teams. Ivan Rodriguez holds the record for most All-Star appearances with 14 (Barry Larkin, Cal Ripken, and Tony Gwynn each made 13 appearances).

Twenty-four players are first-time all-stars (11 for the American League, 13 for the Nationals). One-person teams on my 2007 rosters include the Athletics (Stewart), Blue Jays (Rios), Orioles (Markakis), Rangers (MYoung), Royals (Grudzielanek), Astros (Lee), Cardinals (Pujols), Marlins (HRamirez), Nationals (DYoung) and Pirates (Sanchez). The Indians, Red Sox, and Yankees each send five representatives to the AL roster, leading both leagues. The Angels and Phillies each send four players to the squads. Lesser Chicago bias here as there are 5 players on both rosters.

As always, seven regular games (10,000 simulations each, six with the same starting pitchers, one where lineups and starting pitchers change), and one All-Star Game will be simulated during the course of the week. I hope to have the results of all the games by the end of the week.

Now it's time for me to create the .DAT files before getting the games set. Game results coming next week. Here's hoping that I don't take too long with this...

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

2010 Topps Factory Set Sell Sheets are Live!!!

The sell sheets for this year's Topps Baseball Factory Sets are now live. Please take a look and see what is in store for 2010:





My comments:

Again, they're hawking team sets. Not surprising since this has been done since 2004. Three teams this time (the Yankees and Red Sox...geez, what a surprise...and the Phillies!!!) No Cubs? No Dodgers? What, are there not 27 other teams? Don't they play in the midwest and west coast? Why even bother this year???

The checklist (third picture) shows card #638 as Babe Ruth/Lou Gehrig & Paul Konerko??? Granted, Konerko is a slugger, but I think this is a mistake. Upon further review, card #636 looks to be Evan Longoria/B. J. Upton, meaning that #637 is probably the Ruth/Gehrig card, and #638 is slotted for Konerko.

With the bonus in the regular set being red parallels (of what I'm assuming to be the base set), and they're numbered to boot, I guess that means that there won't be any rookie exclusives this year (unless they're saving them for the Target/Walmart sets and the Holiday factory sets). Hey, that means I don't actually have to go out and buy a factory set for the bonus cards.

The exclusives in each of the team sets are veteran/All-Star player heavy. The Yankees (#'d NYY1-5) are:
  • Derek Jeter
  • Alex Rodriguez
  • Mariano Rivera
  • Mark Teixeira
  • Curtis Granderson
Representing the Red Sox (BOS 1-5):

  • Dustin Pedroia
  • Jacoby Ellsbury
  • Victor Martinez
  • John Lackey
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka
Finally, the Phillies (PHI 1-5):
  • Roy Halladay
  • Ryan Howard
  • Chase Utley
  • Jimmy Rollins
  • Jayson Werth


Also, in case you haven't seen it yet, there will be an All-Star FanFest exclusive Topps factory set:


A bonus 5-card pack of Angels cards will be included with this set. Who's on it at this point has not been announced yet.

As always, the checklists are all subject to change. Happy Hunting!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, April 26, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2000 Topps #425 Greg Maddux

We reset the Topps Card Randomizer to come up with seven new cards to present for this week. Introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, April 26, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2000 Topps #425.
  • Player Name, position, team: Greg Maddux, pitcher, Atlanta Braves.
  • Major League Debut: September 2, 1986.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1999 stats (Braves): 33 G, 219.1 IP, 19-9, 103 R, 87 ER, 136 SO, 37 BB, 33 GS, 4 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 3.57 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by Cubs #2nd, June 1984. Signed with the Braves as a Free Agent 12/09/1992. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Maddux' sixteenth regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only; doesn't include any all-star, combo, league leader cards). The gray-bordered 2000 set made sure that the picture was the most important element in the design. And what better way to remember the best pitcher of our generation by picturing him at bat, ready to bunt? Now, before you think I don't like the picture, not true. I love it. I will confess that my favorite card from that other card company was the 1991 Upper Deck Jim Abbott baseball card. Why? Because it showed Abbott at the plate. How many cards show the pitcher at bat? Not too many. Now Maddux, a lifelong National Leaguer, had the luxury of having to bat for himself. And for a pitcher, he didn't do badly. His batting stats show that in the 23 years he's been baffling hitters, he has a decent .171 batting average, along with 5 home runs and 84 runs batted in (it's true, chicks do dig the long ball...remember that commercial in the mid 90's???). I remember one time, and I might have mentioned htis on the blog before, that Jeff Foxworthy was in Chicago one year and spent the day as a guest conductor for the 7th inning stretch at Wrigley. After being greeted by Pat Hughes and Ron Santo, the first thing Foxworthy says (and I will never forget this), "Thank you very much for having me, and thank you very much for Greg Maddux." Way to stick it to us, Jeff!!! Topps must have figured out the exact moment when Greg turned his career around. The back of the card reads, "Since the '91 All-Star break, Greg is 118-43 with a 2.99 ERA." That's eight-and-a-half seasons of brilliance.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.30-$0.75.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 93 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1983 Topps Traded #6T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. See you then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

bdj610's 2006 End of Year All-Star Teams Simulated Games Results

I have finally finished simulating the All-Star Games using my 2006 End of Year All-Star Teams. I thought that the 2002 teams were close in terms of talent and evenly matched. Then I simulated games with the 2006 rosters. For the first time ever, one 10,000 game series ended in a tie. Each team won 5,000 games. So I was stuck with a dilemma. I didn't want to play a one game ASG with the rosters used in series 2, and I didn't just want the program to simulate one game only. Nor did I want to run another 10,000 game simulation. So what I did was run one 162 game season using the same lineups, and this time, a winner was determined. Going into today's results, the NL holds a 10-9 advantage in both the seven-game series and the 1 game ASG. Will records even out again in the 20th edition of this All-Star simulation? Stay tuned.

As previously stated, I simulated seven games (six series between starters, and one series where the lineups, starting rotations changed on a daily basis), by playing each one 10,000 times. And if you follow me on Twitter, you would have already seen the results. For those that don't, please keep reading.

The first six games I simulated used each starting pitcher on both sides at least once, and all position players started a minimum of two games each. Here are the results:

  • Game 1: AL vs. NL, Johan Santana vs. Chris Carpenter. The AL wins 5,273 games out of 10,000 simulations.
  • Game 2: AL vs. NL, Chien-Ming Wang vs. Carlos Zambrano. Series tied at 5,000 games. In 162-game tiebreaker, the NL wins 92-70.
  • Game 3: NL vs. AL, John Smoltz vs. Kenny Roger. The NL wins 5,365 games (using a DH).
  • Game 4: NL vs, AL, Brandon Webb vs. Jon Garland. The NL wins 5,984 games (using a DH).
  • Game 5: NL vs. AL, Derek Lowe vs. Justin Verlander. The NL wins 5,106 games (using a DH).
  • Game 6: AL vs. NL, Roy Halladay vs. Roy Oswalt. The AL wins 5,400 games.
  • Game 7: AL vs. NL, anything goes. The NL wins 5,219 games.
So the NL wins the seven game series 5-2-1 (I am including the to show that one of these series actually ended in a 5,000 game deadlock...just like they do in hockey), including the ever important "anything goes" series. This gives the NL a 11-9 edge in the seven game series. Will the AL stop the bleeding in the ASG?

For the official All-Star Game, I decided to just simulate one game and one game only. The starting pitchers were Santana and Carpenter and I let them pitch two innings (unless they struggled badly). The rest of the pitchers would get one inning each (unless they struggled badly). The position players were replaced every three innings. Double switches were performed on both sides when the case allowed it. And the two "DH's" (David Ortiz and Garett Atkins) were the first pinch hitters used when needed.

The starting lineups, first for the American League (I'm using 2007 Topps cards because these are the cards I used to imagine my All-Star teams. It's getting harder and harder to find all the cards of the starters in the regular Topps designs because they've taken the liberty to update the teams too quickly):


Now the National League starting lineup:


Here is the result:


The 2006 NL All-Stars beat the 2006 AL All-Stars by a final score of 3-2 in 10 innings. Dominant pitching by both teams, outstanding defense in the outfield (Alfonso Soriano nailed Mark Teixeira at home preventing a run, and Gary Matthews, Jr. not only robbed Aramis Ramirez of a home run, but also gunned down Adam Dunn at third base), and some incredibly clutch hitting by the National League sent the game to extras.

The box score is below (Just click on the picture to take a closer look).


The scoring plays were like this:

Bottom 2: Johan Santana pitching. Jason Bay lined out to Vladimir Guerrero (9). David Wright hits a double, and reaches third on an error by Guerrero (2B/E9). Chase Utley hits a single, Wright scores.

Top 6: Brandon Webb pitching. Jermaine Dye draws a walk, and on a wild pitch, advances to second. Justin Morneau draws a walk. Victor Martinez hits a single, Dye scores, Morneau advances to second.

Top 8: Billy Wagner pitching. Gary Matthews, Jr. hits a double. Paul Konerko flies out to Adam Dunn (7). Ivan Rodriguez grounds out to Lance Berkman (3-1), Matthews, Jr. advancing to third. Adrian Beltre hits a single, Matthews, Jr. scores.

Bottom 9: Bobby Jenks pithcing. Billy Wagner grounds out to Tadahito Iguchi (4-3). Freddy Sanchez draws a walk. Michael Barrett grounds out to Tadahito Iguchi (4-3). Juan Pierre hits a double, Freddy Sanchez scores.

Bottom 10: Roy Halladay pitching. Adam Dunn grounds out to Tadahito Iguchi (4-3). Aramis Ramirez hits a double. Lance Berkman hits a single, Ramirez scores.

The MVP for the 2006 All-Star Game is Juan Pierre.

If this game actually existed, the MVP would have been Juan Pierre (2-2, two doubles, game tying rbi). Derek Lowe picks up the win, Roy Halladay suffers the extra inning loss, and the only players who did not get in the game were pitchers Francisco Rodriguez & Joel Zumaya of the AL and Joe Borowski, Tom Gordon, & Trevor Hoffman of the NL.

In twenty ASG simulations, the NL now also has a 11-9 lead over the AL in both the seven game series and the one game All-Star Game.

If you want to see the .DAT files that I used (I still don't know how to download these onto the blog , so please just take a look at the screen caps below). If anyone can e-mail me instructions, please do so at bdj610@hotmail.com. Below is the AL .DAT file, then the NL .DAT file:




Now that the 2006 All-Star Games are officially over, on Wednesday, I will introduce the 2007 End of Year All-Star teams. This is the final team I have to introduce as my 2008 and 2009 teams are already on the blog.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1975 Topps #619 1975 Rookie Outfielders Ayala, Nyman, Smith, Turner

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, April 25, 2010:



  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1975 Topps #619.
  • Player Name, position, team: 1975 Rookie Outfielders: Benny Ayala, New York Mets; Nyls Nyman, Chicago White Sox; Tommy Smith, Cleveland Indians; Jerry Turner, San Diego Padres.
  • Major League Debut: August 27, 1974 (Ayala); September 6, 1974 (Nyman); September 6, 1973 (Smith); September 2, 1974 (Turner).
  • Any special information about player: Ayala: Bats: right, Throws: right; Nyman: Bats: left, Throws: left; Smith: Bats: left, Throws: right; Turner: Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: The first card for Ayala, Nyman, and Turner. The second card for Smith (appeared in another four-player Rookie outfielder card in the 1974 Topps set). The first multi-player card the randomizer has picked this year. The 1975 Topps set is one of the most iconic sets of all-time. With its two color borders and number of Hall of Famers in the set, even Topps Magazine awarded this set as the best of the 1970's. Ayala played for ten seasons for the Mets, Cardinals, Orioles, and Indians more as a bat off the bench/defensive replacement. He did win a World Series with the Orioles in 1983. Nyman played in four seasons for the White Sox, including 106 games in 1975, playing all three outfield positions. Smth spent five years in the bigs between Cleveland and Seattle, but played in no more than 55 games in a season. Turner, of the four players on this card, had the best career, playing regularly with the Padres in the late 70's. As a Padre, he recorded a .259 batting average, along with 37 home runs and 209 rbi's.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.40-$1.00.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: Ayala: 7 cards; Nyman: 1 card; Smith: 1 card; Turner: 9 cards.


In case you're actually wondering, I don't own this card, but was able to get a crystal clean copy of the image from the from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. So thank you Joe McAnally and the folks at the BCCM.

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 2000 Topps #425. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Come on back then to see what the Topps Card Randomizer gets us to look at then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1994 Topps #101 Mark Dewey

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, April 24, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1994 Topps #101.
  • Player Name, position, team: Mark Dewey, pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Major League Debut: August 24, 1990.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1993 stats (Pirates): 21 G, 26.2 IP, 1-2, 8 R, 7 ER, 14 SO, 10 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 7 SV, 2.36 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by Giants #23rd, June 1987. Acquired via Waivers from Mets to the Pirates 05/11/1993. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Dewey's first regular Topps card (total does not include his card in the 1991 MLB Debut set). The gold colored, home plate shaped frame really stands out on the card, especially because it goes so well with the gold trim on the uniform of the Pittsburgh Pirates. You know what worked well even when there were 28 teams in the majors in 1994??? The concept of including the middle relief pitchers onto the set. And I'm not talking about the fireball throwing set up man that every team had...I'm talking about the mop up guys and bridge from starter to holds leader. Dewey here was actually one of the better relievers the Pirates had in the first year of the "After Bonds" era. Even the blurb on the back mentioned how dominant he was "Opponents batted a mere .157 with no HR's against him in 1993." Alas, there is only one other card of Mark Dewey in Topps' sets. He also appeared in the aforementioned 1991 MLB Debut set featuring all the players who made their debut during the 1990 season.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 3 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: 1975 Topps #619. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, April 23, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1990 Topps Traded #8T Willie Blair

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, April 23, 2010:



  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1990 Topps Traded #8T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Willie Blair, pitcher, Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Major League Debut: April 11, 1990.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1989 stats (AAA-Syracuse): 19 G, 106.2 IP, 5-6, 55 R, 47 ER, 76 SO, 38 BB, 17 GS, 3 CG, 1 SHO, 0 SV, 3.97 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Blue Jays #11th, June 1986. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Blair's first regular Topps card (his rookie card). Back in 1990, Topps actually selected the players that would get in the traded sets properly. Because there was no second series, and because Topps didn't try and airbrush the logos of a player's new team going into the 1990 season on any of the cards in the base set, many of the players who switched teams in the off-season were saved for the Traded sets. Willie Blair played in the minors in 1989, and didn't make his debut until 1990. Topps did the right thing by holding him off until the end-of-the-year Traded set. If you notice, the borders on the 1990 Topps set change from red to yellow (with orange in the middle there). Which, in hindsight, actually makes sense. Can you imagine if the entire card had yellow borders (or yellow to white borders?) You'd need sunglasses to look at the cards they'd be so bright. The blurb on the back acknowledges the scout who signed Blair (Don Welke). Blair ended up with a very decent career as a spot starter/middle reliever for a number of teams. His best year would have been in 1997 as a Detroit Tiger (16-8, 90 K's). He played for the first edition of the Arizona Diamondbacks, if only for half the season. And after his two-team season in 1998, returned to the Tigers, finishing his career with them after the 2001 season.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 7 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1994 Topps #101. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1998 Topps #185 Mike Holtz

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, April 22, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1988 Topps #185.
  • Player Name, position, team: Mike Holtz, pitcher, Anaheim Angels.
  • Major League Debut: July 11, 1996.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1997 stats (Angels): 66 G, 43.1 IP, 3-4, 21 R, 16 ER, 40 SO, 15 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 2 SV, 3.32 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Angels #17th, June 1994. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Holtz' first (and believe it or not) and only regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). Mike Holtz, along with teammate Jason Dickson, were named to Topps' All-Star Rookie Team in 1997, marking the first time ever that teammates won both pitching positions (Holtz was the LHP) on the ASRT. The gold borders on the 1998 Topps set must have been hard to replicate because Topps has done a really poor job of using it for reprints (see Mickey Mantle 1998 design and the 2005 Topps Rookie Card Reprints). While you might not initially see the Angels logo on the card, if you look closely at the box where the name is, you'll see many "Angels logos" flying around (pun intended...the 'A' has wings...you get the idea). The back of the players cards utilizes the team's colors in the color scheme (for the Angels, a light blue, for example) and the blurb on the back mentions the scout who signed him (Tony LaCava), and the fact that he became a premier set-up reliever (to Troy Percival). The bio also mentions Holtz' fashion sense, ie. the rookie hazing that forced him to wear a wig on flights. He said that he prefers "the blond one (wig) because it was softer and more manageable." That might be a bit too much information their Mike. Unfortunately, even though Holtz won the LHP spot on the rookie team, he does not have any more Topps cards to his credit. That's a shame, especially since he was the Halo's better relievers going into the 21st century. He signed on as a free agent with the Athletics in 2002, but then was released, latching on with Padres a few weeks later. Thus began his journeyman career, playing in the minor league systems for the Pirates, Devil Rays, and, after taking the year off, the Red Sox before calling it a career. Again, because Topps' 1998 set only had 503 cards in it, guys like Holtz were left off. I'm pretty sure if he played for the Yankees, he'd have had a card. But alas, playing for a west coast team, plus being a relief pitcher, equals no card. Go figure. But at least he has one. And it's one that is wanted by Topps ASRT collectors because of that trophy.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 1 card.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1990 Topps Traded #8T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Time to Clean out the Blogroll!!!

A few days ago, the Sports Card Blogroll celebrated adding it's 300th blog to the roster. And before I remove any inactive blogs tonight, there are 306 blogs listed in the index to the right side of the roll. By the time I'm done, we won't be at 300 anymore, and it is my hope that in the coming months, not only will we get back to 300, there will be so many blogs added that when I clean house again, we won't get below that number any more.

No use waiting for the inevitable. You know how this works: I list the sites that have not been updated within six months here for posterity, and they are removed from the big blogroll. So without further ado, here are the sites going to be removed:
That's thirteen blogs going into the "Blogs Being Removed" section of the sidebar. This brings down the number of blogs down to 293 (we were at 283 last month, so we gained 10 blogs in April).

If any of these sites are yours and you plan on making these active again, please send me an e-mail at bdj610@hotmail.com and let me know that you want to have your site added back. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1996 Topps #71 Felipe Lira

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, April 21, 2010:



  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1996 Topps #71.
  • Player Name, position, team: Felipe Lira, pitcher, Detroit Tigers.
  • Major League Debut: April 27, 1995.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1995 stats (Tigers): 37 G, 146.1 IP, 9-13, 74 R, 70 ER, 89 SO, 56 BB, 22 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 1 SV, 4.31 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Tigers as a Free Agent 02/20/1990. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Lira's second regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). If nothing else, I love designs that utilize a really large picture, and 1996 certainly counts as one of my favorites. The only hint of design other than the team logo somewhere on the card is the blue tinted name plate that runs below the picture (with the distorted headshot of the player from the same picture. Notice that with AL players, the border around the blue colored name plate is red, while the NL players have theirs in green. Notice that in the following year's design that the use of these two colors would be more prevalent. What does it say about your team when the pitcher who leads in wins and innings pitched had a record of 9-13??? The 90's and early 2000's was a dark time in Detroit Tigers history. Losing seasons, sometimes in the 100's, abounded then. Lira made the best of it though. The blurb on the back talks of Lira's 8.2 inning effort against the Texas Rangers, a 1-0 shutout (why they didn't let him finish the game is beyond me...) Even "Big Daddy" Cecil Fielder, in talking about Lira, "This kid is afraid of nothing and no one." Ringing endorsement from a man who's definitely been around the game for a while.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 3 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1998 Topps #185. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1982 Topps #719 Jerry Narron

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, April 20, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1982 Topps #719.
  • Player Name, position, team: Jerry Narron, catcher, Seattle Mariners.
  • Major League Debut: April 13, 1979.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1981 stats (Mariners): 76 G, 203 AB, 13 R, 45 H, 5 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 0 SB, .291 SLG, 16 BB, 35 SO, .222 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Yankees #5th, June 1974. Traded by the Yankees to the Mariners 11/01/1979. Bats: left, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Narron's third regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). The 1982 Topps set is mostly remembered for being the set that holds the rookie card of an Iron Man, but what is significant about this set is that it was the first of a long string of sets that held 792 cards. No more was there a need to double print an entire row of cards on each of the six sheets that made up a full set. And once again, green seems to be the favorite color choice when it comes to the backs of the cards (although the traded sets have orange backs). This was also the first set that incorporated the modern Topps logo as part of the design. Narron, at this time, was the back up catcher for the Mariners. Where space allows, the backs of the players cards include a comic and a quick blurb that do not involve the subject of the card whatsoever. In the cartoon, it reads, "Glenn Abbott combined with 3 other A's pitchers in a no-hitter 09/28/1975 (against the Angels, with Vida Blue who started the game, Paul Lindblad, and Rollie Fingers). The blurb mentions how Jerry Reuss "posted his 30th career shutout on 08/21/1981 vs. the Cardinals."
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 10 cards.

Tomorrow's card will be: 1996 Topps #71. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1996 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

A Plea to Fix and Save the Topps Message Boards. @toppscards

Dear Mr. Mader:
 
If you have not had an opportunity to see what is going on Topps' own message boards lately, it has not been pretty. 
 
http://forums.etopps.com/toppsforum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=7

The members, many who have been around since these boards were "new" back in 2002, have been inundated recently with spam.  And it's not the pretty kind either.  It's Russian Porn, Chinese black market dealers, and although the one moderator (from Prospero) does his best to remove these posts, sometimes action isn't taken for long periods of time, and the spammers continue to post garbage.
 
I know that many of the established board members are adults, but I can only imagine a number of children frequent the boards as well.  The lack of constant moderation, or for that matter, a lack of the ability to screen "new members," is downright appalling. 
 
Is there anything that can be done so that this doesn't continue?  I am afraid that many of the members will just up and leave, abandoning this site to the spammers and pornographers.  And it isn't going to make Topps' image look any better, even with all the hard work you've done lately giving Topps an online prescence (is it a bad thing that the Topps Blog doesn't even have a link to Topps' Message Boards?).
 
Please let me know if there is anything that can be done.  I'll be more than happy to pass along any information to the members who have been crying out for massive changes to the boards.  Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama


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Monday, April 19, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1985 Topps #194 Dave Stegman

We reset the Topps Card Randomizer to come up with seven new cards to present for this week. Introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, April 19, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1987 Topps Traded #115T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Dave Stegman, outfielder, Chicago White Sox.
  • Major League Debut: September 4, 1978.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1984 stats (White Sox): 55 G, 92 AB, 13 R, 24 H, 1 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 3 SB, .380 SLG, 4 BB, 18 SO, .261 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by Tigers #1st (Special), June 1976. Signed with the White Sox as a Free Agent 04/01/1983. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Stegman's third and final regular Topps card. As the 1984 season was his last in the majors, the statistics on the back are complete. Stegman was a part time player during his major league career, spending most of his seasons in the minors and joining the big club for stretches at a time. He did play for two more seasons for the AAA teams for both the Blue Jays and Yankees, but after the 1986 season, called it a career. The blurb on the back indicates that Dave was an All-American at the University of Arizona. As with all the 1985 Topps cards, there is a Baseball Trivia Quiz section. On Stegman's card, the question is: "In the 1982 World Series, who became the first player in series history to achieve two 4-hit games?" The answer.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 3 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1982 Topps #719. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. See you then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Blog Bat Around - If I Had $50,000, I'd Buy Me A...

The Blog Bat Around call has been sent out to the Hobby Blogging Community, and once again, the concept and the question comes from Gellman's place at SCU.

To review, this wildly popular phenomenon was started by Gellman, who also hosted the second one. The baton was passed to Dave of Fielder's Choice for Fiesta #3, Patricia of Dinged Corners took the next turn for #4, and dayf the Cardboard Junkie grabbed the reins for #5. The sixth one was came back home to Gellman, and while the seventh bat around was hosted by Thorzul Will Rule, not too many responded to it (or so it seemed), and the BBA was left for dead. (Please take this time to click on all the links and then remember to come back here to see what I actually wrote).

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

Remember those days on Nickelodeon where they would hold contests for their version of a kids' ultimate shopping spree? They would let the winner loose in a Toys R Us for however long and let them keep what they could fit in the cart, right? Well, if you were given $50,000 and 15 minutes on ebay, what cards/memorabilia would you buy with the money? Break it down card by card, and give us a price and a reason for what you are buying. Not everyone would go out there and buy a Joe Jackson cracker jack, but some people would. So, with that, what would you spend the mother lode on? Happy buying.

Oh geez. I get to spend $50,000 in 15 minutes on eBay??? Pinch me, I must be dreaming (okay, this is a fantasy anyway, but bear with me).

As a loyal Topps Baseball Card set collector, I don't have particular cards in mind (wait...I do!!!). I'll budget about $1,000, and I'd buy every card off my want list (although if you dear reader have any of these cards, I'd prefer to trade for them)!!!

2003 Topps Nolan Ryan Record Breakers No-Hitters:

1 Angels (at Royals, May 15, 1973)
2 Angels (at Tigers, July 15, 1973)
3 Angels (vs. Twins, September 28, 1974)
4 Angels (vs. Orioles, June 1, 1975)
6 Rangers (at Athletics, June 11, 1990)
7 Rangers (vs. Blue Jays, May 1, 1991)

2005 Topps Barry Bonds MVP:

BB1 1990 Topps Design Pirates #'d 25

2008 Topps Updates and Highlights:

Sarah Palin Beauty Queen card

2009 Topps MLB Short-Prints Series 2:

#353b Cal Ripken, Jr.
#495b Brooks Robinson

2009 Topps Updates & Highlights Short-Prints:

#71c Ryne Sandberg
#150b Ty Cobb
#330b Babe Ruth BSB

2009 Topps Walmart Legends of the Game Series 2:

LLP12 Jackie Robinson
LLP13 Babe Ruth
LLP14 Honus Wagner

2009 Topps Target Legends of the Game Series 2:

LLG13 Babe Ruth

2009 Topps Target Legends of the Game U & H:

LLG21 Rickey Henderson
LLG22 Ozzie Smith
LLG23 Babe Ruth
LLG25 Nolan Ryan
LLG26 Reggie Jackson
LLG27 Frank Robinson
LLG28 Ryne Sandberg
LLG29 Steve Carlton
LLG30 Johnny Bench

2010 Topps Legends Short-Prints Series 1:

#1b Hank Greenberg
#20b Warren Spahn
#50b Cy Young
#85b Jackie Robinson
#90b Rogers Hornsby
#94b Carlton Fisk
#95b Rickey Henderson
#100b Stan Musial
#110b Willie Stargell
#116b Robin Yount
#125b George Sisler
#130b Reggie Jackson
#175b Roger Maris
#200b Walter Johnson
#222b Curtis Granderson NYY
#250b Lou Gehrig

2010 Topps Cards Your Mother Threw Out Backs (Original Backs, not the Inserts Backs!!!):

1953, 1954, 1955, 1958
1961, 1962, 1963, 1967, 1968, 1969
1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1978
1984, 1988, 1989
1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
2005

2010 Topps Red Backs (Target):

2, 8,

2010 Topps Blue Backs (WalMart/Meijer):

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14

With that out of the way, and if I used Wrigley Wax's eBay Topps Complete Set price index, I'd budget about $6,000 buying complete Topps Baseball card sets from 1969, 1970, 1971 (that 1971 set is a doozy because of condition), 1972, 1973, 1974, AND 1975 (I might have to change the banner at the end of the blog). Hey, I collect complete sets, and I figure, if I'm going to spend...why not spend??!

That's $7,000. Now what?

How about complete sealed factory sets? Yeah, that would work. Okay, throw me every sealed factory set from 1974 to 2009 (2010's have not come out yet, but I will have something to say about them soon...I promise!). Give or take, that could run me at least $3,000 or so, especially because the older sets should command a premium SEALED. You know what? I'll go $4,000.

That's $11,000. What else? As I'm not an expert, nor collect anything outside of baseball cards, I might have a bit of a struggle trying to spend $39,000. But who am I kidding???

I also would like the following five pack inserts that were included in the following Topps factory sets. And if I can't find those, by themselves, I'll buy the factory sets. At $50.00 on average, this should cost a grand at least:

2006: Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees, Pirates, Cardinals
2007: Dodgers, Yankees, Cardinals, Fanfest HR Derby, All-Star Edition
2008: Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, Mets
2009: Hobby (10 exclusive rookies), Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees, Mets, All-Star Edition

That's $12,000. I think that should do me for sets. Or does it??? I'm not going to be extremely picky on condition, but if they look good, then why not get:

1968: There's one on BIN for $2,400. Got it. And I'll take that complete game set from 1968 for $100.00 (it's going for 80, but for the sake of rounding up, I'll calculate $100).
1967: There's one on BIN for $1,600. Mine.
1966: There's one on BIN for $2,570. Why not?
1965: Lots here, but I'll take the BIN for $3,000.
1964: A BIN for $1500, plus the stand up set for $3,505 (not my money remember). Both mine and mine.
1963: BIN for $3,100. Nobody wants it? I'll get it.
1962: One for $7,130 is getting my attention, but I'll take the one for $5,135 BIN instead.
1961: There's a BIN for $4,500 that looks rather nice.
1960: At $3,300, and this guy has two of them? I'll take one please.
1959: Does $5,705 for and EX-MT set sound too high? Of course not.

Wow, my decade's worth of cards splurge just sent me back $36,395.00. And with everything else I want at $12,000, I'm left with $1,605.00 to spend. I think I'll end my run of complete sets at 1959 and find something else to spend the last of the money on.


Per the auction description: This is a stylish diamond and 14K white gold tennis bracelet with a classy S style. The impressive bracelet is 7 MM wide by 7 inches long and is set with thirty-five (35) full cut, fully faceted, bright, white, fiery, natural, genuine, untreated round brilliant diamonds of J to K color and SI2 to I1 clarity with absolutely no visible imperfections. The diamonds look amazing with tons of fire and brilliance, totaling 3.50CTS. They give this solid 14K gold bracelet an impressive and expensive look at a fraction of its retail value. The bracelet has a double locking clasp and has been professionally polished and cleaned to look new.

This is on BIN for $1,595.00 Free shipping. And I'll buy this after I buy a complete set of 1974 Topps Traded for $10.00 (in effect, spending all $50,000.00). Why?

Because after spending $48,405 on baseball cards, I'm going to have a lot of explaining to do to my wife. Here's hoping that this arrives before all the cards do.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1974 Topps #657 Jim Shellenback

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, April 18, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1960 Topps #310.
  • Player Name, position, team: Jim Shellenback, pitcher, Texas Rangers.
  • Major League Debut: September 15, 1966.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1973 stats (Rangers): 2 G, 2 IP, 0-0, 3 SO, 0 BB, 0.00 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed by Yankees as a Free Agent before the 1962 season. Traded by the Pirates to the Senators 05/17/1969. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Shellenback's fifth and final regular Topps card. The 1974 Topps design was relatively simple, with the use of colored banners and with the team's name on them above and below a curved rectangular picture. In fact, if you separated the colored banners above and below the picture, and switched the places of the name and position of the player, you'd kinda have the 1980 Topps design. If collectors at the time only knew what Topps would unleash to the masses the following year. 1974 was the first year that the entire 660 card set was sold in one series. It was also the first year that Topps factory sets were sold exclusively at your JC Penneys and Sears stores. It's too bad they don't make those catalogs anymore. That's the price we pay for living in an internet world I guess (along with being more ecologically sound...how many trees died to make one of those 1000 plus page catalogs anyway???) Shellenback was just your average pitcher, sometimes a starter, often a reliever. But he filled a role and managed to do so in a 10-season career. Out for most of the 1973 season, he only appeared in two late-September games. The back of his card, using green boxes above the gray card stock, featured a brief bio, and a cartoon. The cartoon mentions that Jim throws a "palm" ball (the cartoon shows a pitcher throwing a palm tree on the mound). The blurbs on the bac mention that Jim "tied for Western Carolinas League lead wit 17 wins & 4 shutouts at Gastonia" in 1963; as well as hurling "sparkling complete game wins vs. Brewers and Angels" in 1970.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.20-$0.50.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 0 cards.
In case you're actually wondering, I don't own this card, but was able to get a crystal clean copy of the image from the from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. So thank you Joe McAnally and the folks at the BCCM.

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 1985 Topps #194. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Come on back then to see what the Topps Card Randomizer gets us to look at then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1995 Topps #188 Billy Spiers

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, April 17, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1988 Topps #465.
  • Player Name, position, team: Billy Spiers, second baseman-shortstop, Milwaukee Brewers.
  • Major League Debut: April 7, 1989.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1994 stats (Brewers): 73 G, 214 AB, 27 R, 54 H, 10 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 17 RBI, 7 SB, .308 SLG, 19 BB, 42 SO, .252 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by Brewers #1st, June 1987. Bats: left, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Spiers' seventh regular Topps card. What a picture on this card. How close was the camera when this picture was snapped? Was there a photographer at the shortstop position? It's fantastic. As Spiers is sliding towards the bag, you can see the dirt flying into his face (which is probably why he has his eyes and mouth closed). The 1995 set...with the "torn on the edges" look of the pictures, and the funky foil lettering that was used for the player's name...it was a unique looking set to say the least. And the cards that were designed horizontally in this set, as long as it was an action shot, were fantastic. It does look tacky when you have a horizontal card, and it's just a headshot. A lot of kind words were written about Billy on the back of his card. His "mental toughness has helped him become a quality player under circumstances that would have caused others to quit." The portrait on the back features Mitsubishi's "diamond vision," giving the appearance of what his picture would look like on a scoreboard. Spiers would not be seen on a Topps card again until 2000. Which means Topps missed his one year as a Met and his first three seasons with the Astros. Which makes no sense whatsoever because he played more than 100 games every season in those four seasons. But due to "space limitations," he was not added any of those sets. And they wonder why I've been clamoring for the return of the 792 card set.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 12 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: 1974 Topps #657. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, April 16, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2002 Topps Traded and Rookies #T242 Garrett Guzman

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, April 16, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2002 Topps Traded and Rookies #T242.
  • Player Name, position, team: Garrett Guzman, outfielder, Minnesota Twins.
  • Major League Debut: n/a.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2001 stats (GCL Twins): 39 G, 138 AB, 22 R, 49 H, 14 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 22 RBI, 4 SB, .572 SLG, 9 BB, 16 SO, .355 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Twins #10th, June 2001. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Guzman's first (and so far only) regular Topps card. If there was ever a case FOR the Rookie Card rules mandated by the MLBPA, this would be one of them. In the battle to get the most rookies onto the regular cards, prospects like Garrett Guzman found their way onto the Traded and Rookies sets that came out at the end of the year. If Topps had followed the 2006 guidelines back in 2002, Garrett Guzman would have been included in the Bowman Prospects insert set instead of the Topps Traded set. Guzman has yet to make it to the major leagues, and is now a journeyman minor leaguer. A car accident almost ended his career in 2005, and off the field issues aside (I know what they are, and you might know what they are, but this is a family blog, so please don't post anything about it in the comments, got it??!) are among the number of obstacles that has taken him off the road to the majors. In 2009, he was last seen playing for Camden Riversharks of the independent Atlantic League. And there is no sign of him anywhere in the 2010 MLB or MiLB rosters.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 1 card.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1995 Topps #188. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Answers for the Topps Roundtable.

I know that some of the bloggers who participated in Topps Round Table discussion have already posted their answers to the questions on their blog. I have already sent my response to Mike Mader, and will post them here now.

I know that not all of my answers will be posted. I answered them as best as I could. I did tell Mr. Mader that he could edit my responses for space reasons (and you'll see why...if you're still awake trying to read all of this).

Here goes:

1. How long have you been collecting? What are your favorite players, teams, sets, etc. to collect? Which card in your collection means the most to you and why?

I have been an active collector for the last 22 years now (I was introduced to baseball cards in 1987 by my mother, but not really serious about them until 1988). I primarily collect Topps Baseball Card sets, and have every complete base and traded set since 1976. Since 2000, I started collecting the basic insert & reprint sets (the non-relic or non-autographed cards) that came with each year's product. I also own many of the Topps "vintage sets" (the Topps 206, 205, Cracker Jack, Allen & Ginter, Turkey Red), along with various sets (minis, Big) from the 80's and 90's, and the Archives/Fan Favorite sets from early in the decade. If I were to add all my cards together, I have in my collection (officially) 45,364 cards.

If there is one card in my entire collection that means the most to me, it would have to be the 1992 Topps #541 Jose Tolentino. Not because he's my favorite player (he's not, that would be Ryne Sandberg), or because he played for my favorite team (he didn't, I root for the Cubs). But because it is the one card that reminds me of how important it is for me to complete a set. Tolentino's card was the last one I needed to complete my 1992 Topps set, and while it would have been easy to wait and buy the factory set, the 1992 Topps set became the first set I ever completed on my own. The chase just to find #541 reminds me never to give up when it's hard finding the cards I need to complete a set.

2. In the time that you have been collecting, what is your favorite story, memory, experience, etc?

If I had to pick one story or experience (and there have been many), it would have to be the first time that I really became "hooked" to the Hobby of baseball card collecting. It was in 1988 (I was 12), and some of the neighborhood kids were sorting out baseball cards on the sidewalk. I just sat there and watched them trade, shout that they got this player or "look at his numbers..." And then suddenly, they looked at me and asked if I wanted some for myself? No strings attached. They were giving me the cards that they had doubles of. I couldn't say no, and right there and then, I was the proud "owner" or about 200 1988 Topps Baseball cards. It was after that moment that my interest in baseball, and of course, card collecting, began.

3. What are the effects on the hobby of major card companies moving toward exclusivity deals with sports leagues? Given that this could be the direction that the industry is headed, what should card companies do to continue to provide a quality product to collectors.

As a Topps set collector (and a big fan of the products), I'm really mixed about the "exclusive deals" with the sports leagues. Competition makes for better products. And my biggest concern is that whoever has the "exclusive" will slowly become "lazy" with the products that they put on the market, as if there wasn't any effort put into properly building them. Even though it is hard for me to accept that in the last year that Topps no longer has the "rights" to produce NBA and now NFL cards (along with not attempting to re-capture the NHL market, although Puck Attax was a really nice product), it is my hope that the resources the company had budgeted for those sports can now be utilized to rejuvenate the Baseball card market. As long as Topps is still in the Baseball card game, I am happy.

4. Pick a timeframe- 5, 10, or 20 years. In that timeframe, what has been the single best and worst development in the hobby?

I think in the last 20 years, the best development in the hobby is the innovation, the technology, and the products that each of the companies produced. Gone are the days where it was one product per company and that was it (and that included the traded/update set). The pictures were clearer, the card stock brighter, and how each company wanted to out-do their competition made for a great Hobby experience.

The worst? Probably a combination between the lockouts/strikes and other issues that all the leagues went through (the strikes in MLB and NBA, the lockout in the NHL, the ongoing struggles in the NFL), plus all the "speculators" that invaded the hobby, thinking that their stash of cards would "increase in value" the way that vintage cards seemed to do. When the bottoms fell out, and it was found that these "collectors" weren't going to make their money, that's when the reputation of the Hobby came crashing. We're still trying to dig out of it, and it was not just one side to blame for the mess. But slowly but surely, the Hobby will get back the popularity it once held in the late 80's.

5. What are your thoughts on prospecting? Do you do it personally? Why? Has the clamoring to find the next big rookie affected the quality of products, either positively or negatively?

I don't prospect. I don't find anything wrong with it. I understand why people do it. But I'm not THAT aware of who the next "greatest player" is going to be, nor do I have the time and energy to do what prospectors do and collect the way they do. As a set collector, I don't really worry about a certain player or his cards unless I need that player's card to complete a set I'm trying to build.

I think since Ichiro and Albert Pujols took the baseball world (and the baseball card world) by storm, prospectors have been trying to find this next "greatest player." I think that the prospect heavy sets like Bowman are great for those who like to gamble on a player's future. But after a while, it becomes more about "how much can I sell 'player x's' card for before the bottom drops out" than about the player himself or "how great the set looks with 'player x' in it."

6. We are collecting tangible products in an increasingly intangible world. As our lives move more and more online, what will the effects on the industry be? Will the next generation of kids be as excited about collecting cards as we are? How should the major card companies respond?

It doesn't matter if it's stamps, postcards, dolls, comics, buttons, whatever; it is human nature for people to collect things. And the Hobby of collecting cards, regardless of the subject, will never go away. Whether a person is online or not, the interest in collecting will always be there. But now the industry has to find a way to utilize the internet to create and market a product so that it is seen by the correct demographics through the proper channels of advertising and marketing. Meaning it would be best, for example to heavily market the gaming cards like Topps Attax, and the ever popular Topps brand (low price points) to kids and their parents, and the higher priced products to the more serious collectors.

I'd like to think that kids nowadays can be excited about collecting cards as we are. It's just that there are so many choices that a kid can have. If there is one thing that the major card companies can do, it would be to market their products (and I mean the proper products) on the sites where the kids go, without over-extolling the reasons why they should buy them. It's one thing to see cards online, or even on the pages of a magazine, and admire them from a distance. It's entirely different to get those cards in your hands because now a kid can claim that he or she has touched the card, and is in possession of the card that they saw online.

If we're talking about the Hobby of Card Collecting in general, then I have no doubt that children can be excited over doing so, especially if they like a certain show, movie, or sport and there is a product out there for them. It's just that with all the buzz generated by "collectors" about the more expensive products and the perceived "value" of the cards, then kids start to get away from "how great this product is" to "how much money can I get for it."

7. How has new media changed the way you collect? How should the major card companies utilize new media to connect with their consumer base? How can new media change and/or revitalize the hobby?

New media, whether blogs, forums, social sites, or company websites, have not really changed the way I collect. I've been a collector from the very beginning, and my collecting habits won't change any time soon. If there is anything it has done, it has made me more informed about what is out there and has fueled my interest in other products that otherwise I would not have even noticed before. Information is power, and new media (plural of medium) have given the collector the opportunity to be more involved in the Hobby then ever before. It's given the average collector a voice. And those voices are getting stronger and louder every day.

8. How has the recent rise in counterfeits and scams affected the way you collect? What advice would you give the major card companies to help combat this?

Since I don't really collect autographs and relics, it doesn't affect me or the way I collect. Because I don't collect by player or by team, I'm not concerned about getting the best card of that player, or every card for a particular team. I collect sets based on loyalty to the brand (or type of set), and if the retro sets (I became a student of the Hobby thanks to these kinds of sets) pique my interest, I may well invest in the set too.

If there way I could think of to deter counterfeiting, specifically on relics, it would be to find a way to include a picture of the actual item that the relic came from on the card itself. The note telling the collector that it's a real piece of something is one thing, but to see the actual jersey, patch, or even bat that the piece came from makes us realize that the piece truly did come from something. As for serial numbered autographed cards and more "valuable" relic cards, include scans of all the cards on a website somewhere (with watermarks to prevent copying) that shows what the cards looked like before they were inserted into the products. That way it would be easy to see if someone is selling a card the way it was meant to look like, or if somebody altered it.

9. The poor economy has affected all of us in recent years. In what ways would you like to see card companies respond to provide interesting, affordable products for collectors?

By going back to the basics. Not the pre-1989 basics of one set per company and that's it. But by creating products where the autograph or relic isn't the main selling point. It has to be all about the regular cards again and the players on them. Make THEM more important than the rare inserts.

10. We've done autographs. We've done just about every kind of relic/game used product you can think of. What's next? Where do we go from here?

Improve the quality of the designs of the base cards that make up the majority of your products. Outside of the flagship cards and the reprint/retro/heritage/vintage lines, the designs of the other products that came out were weak and unappealing. Which is why many set collectors tend to ignore them.

11. If you could say one thing-anything- to Topps and know that the CEO will read it, what would you say?

Where to begin? As a loyal Topps set collector, there are a couple of things I'd like to say, knowing that the CEO of Topps will read it:

Please increase the number of cards of your base brand back to 792, or if you must have 110 cards per sheet, 880. There are now 30 MLB teams, meaning that there are at least 750 players on MLB rosters on any given day (not including those on the DL) during the season. Even the team's third string catcher and the mop up reliever deserve a card if they played that year. When I started collecting, it was fun sorting the cards by team, knowing that you had enough to build an actual 25 man roster, and still have room for the manager, a few key rookies and prospects, the All-Stars, league leaders, and any other random subsets. I got to know the players on EVERY team that way. There are 28 other teams out there than the Yankees and Red Sox; and it seems that unless a middle relief pitcher or benchwarmer plays for either of these two teams, they're not getting a card.

For your other sets, if you're going to limit the base set to 110 or 220 cards, at least give each team equal representation (or close to it) so that team collectors have something to shoot for (instead of the same token one or two players). If it's too much to ask, (and unless it's not allowed per the MLBPA rules), please bring back the Major League Debut sets (last seen in 1990-1992). Even the guys who pitched 1/3 of an inning in a Major League Baseball game is 1/3 more innings than many of us will get to do. After all the hard work, all the struggles, all the hardships these athletes had to go through just to get to the majors, it would be nice for Topps to give even these players a piece of cardboard history.

And finally, ENOUGH WITH THE MICKEY MANTLE LOVEFEST!!! We know that Topps "retired" then "un-retired" card #7 because of the Mick. And I do respect the impact that Mickey Mantle has not only on the Hobby, but for the Topps Company. But five years is more than enough time to pay homage to the man. Give the spot that you've held for the Mick to a current player now. It's just time.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama