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

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Slow Month on the Blogroll...This Can't be Good!!!

It's now been a month since I last cleaned the Sports Card Blogroll and what better time to maintain it (meaning removing the inactive blogs) than inbetween finally (long overdue) putting those 17-card team sets that I bought months ago into binder sheets (which...by the way...I'm wondering what the heck happened Ultra-Pro??? These sheets are horrible!!!)

So to recap, before the cleanup, only four blogs were added to the blogroll, bringing up our count from 313 last month to 317. The following blogs are being moved to the inactive section of the sidebar and off the active blogroll:
Nine blogs are now off the roll. This brings the blog population down to 308 blogs (or a -5 decline). As always, if any of these are your blogs and you plan on starting them up again, please let me know so I can take them off the inactive list. And once again, if you do have a blog, or follow a blog that isn't on the Sports Card Blogroll, send me an e-mail at bdj610@hotmail.com and I will be more than happy to add them to the active roster of Hobby bloggers. I know it's been a rough year. Even my collecting habits have taken a hit. But the phenomenon of blogging about the Hobby we love can't possibly have peaked now. So keep on writing, keep on commenting, keep on collecting, and keep on sharing those journeys.

The more, the merrier.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, October 24, 2010

And thewritersjourney Comes Up With the Answer...

You know, I did have a feeling that I saw or heard about those cards before...and I did have a sinking feeling that they had something to do with either the All-Star FanFest or the All-Star Factory sets. And thewritersjourney does confirm my hunch regarding the All-Star FanFest.

Enclosed is a picture from an auction from the Bay. These are cards MM1-MM5 in the now confirmed 10-card Mickey Mouse All-Star Game set:


The auction goes on to say that these five cards came from a wrapper redemption at the 2010 FanFest. The cards are of:
  • MM1 2010 All-Star Game
  • MM2 American League
  • MM3 National League
  • MM4 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • MM5 Los Angeles Dodgers


This now wraps up the mystery. Thanks to thewritersjourney for the quick response. The above auction has about 11 hours to go before it ends. And with more of the other five cards now appearing on the Bay, why not complete a full set by winning both auctions. And then contact me if you wind up with all ten cards. Only because my daughter saw them and said she was interested in the whole set...not just the five cards.

That's my girl. She's got the completist mentality as well. A partial set is not good enough...she wants them all!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

M-I-C...K-E-Y...M-O-U-S-...WHAT??!

To respond to Don, who complained about the SP Mickey Mouses (or would that be Mickey Mice) cards in 2010 Topps Update Series, let me give a bit of an update myself.

brentandbecca, one of the biggest case breakers in the hobby, broke forty cases (or so) of the latest product, and determined that there are only...FIVE MICKEY MOUSE CARDS!!!


Yes, friends, only five of these Disney creatures showed up in the cases found so far. In fact, the one auction that had this (which as we speak has only seven minutes or so left, and one bid...) has the five above cards on display.

The description on said auction goes on to read that these carsd are numbered MM6-MM10:
  • MM6 Braves
  • MM7 Cubs
  • MM8 Mets
  • MM9 Yankees
  • MM10 Giants
Which now leads to one great question, one that I think I know the answer to, but I doubt it...

What were the first five cards and where do you find them??? Does anybody know? Does anybody have scans?

Let the hunt continue...Sorry Don.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1961 Topps #458 Willie Tasby

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, October 24, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1961 Topps #458.
  • Player Name, position, team: Willy Tasby, outfielder, Washington Senators.
  • Major League Debut: September 9, 1958.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1960 stats (Orioles-Red Sox): 144 G, 470 AB, 77 R, 126 H, 19 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 40 RBI, .263 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Browns as a Free Agent before the 1950 season. Selected by the Senators in the Expansion Draft #37th, 10/14/1960. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Tasby's third regular Topps card (total includes regular cards only). After a colorful start to the 1960's, Topps returned (thankfully) to a vertically oriented design for the 1961 campaign. It may have been a bit bland compared to what was named the "Set of the Decade" by Topps Magazine readers in 1991, but what was found in packs of 1961 Topps were cards filled with large pictures, headshots and poses alike, dominating the 2½ x 3½ piece of cardboard, with the only design element the rectangles that held the name, position, and team name of the player above. Willie Tasby made it to the big leagues when rosters expanded in September, 1958. He did well enough to impress the coaching staff that he won the centerfield position for the 1959 Orioles. He even was named to the first ever Topps All-Star Rookie team. Traded to Boston in June, 1960 (the bio on the back goes into full detail about the transaction that sent him to the Red Sox in exchange for Gene Stephens) he hit for a .281 average (108 hits), 7 hrs, 37 rbi. Tasby was exposed by the Red Sox in the AL expansion draft in December. The expansion teams, the Los Angeles Angels, and the Washington Senators (the original Senators moved to Minneapolis), were set to choose players from the eight existing American League teams only. And Tasby was selected as the 19th player for the new Senators. And it was with the Senators that he achieved career highs in home runs and rbi's (17 and 63 respectively). Below his statistics are cartoons depicting Tasby's minor league career (leading the Piedmont League with 27 home runs in 1954; hitting for a .322 average with AAA-Louisville in 1958), and his interests off the field ("Willie enjoys listening to modern jazz recordings. Solid.")
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $3.00-$8.00.
  • 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. (You have to stop by and visit them now. They just announced that they are allowing more people to enter the museum at one time.)

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 1983 Topps #299. 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, October 23, 2010

And So It is Set that on Wednesday, the World Series Begins...

in San Francisco, CA!!!

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants, the 2010 National League Champions!!!

The Giants make their first appearance in the World Series since 2002. So now the World Series pits a team that has never been to the big dance before vs. a team that hasn't won it since moving to the West Coast in 1958 (the Giants last won it all in 1954).

So the Freak, Kung Fu Panda, and the rest of the boys are moving forward while the Fighting Phils are left to wonder what could have been. Hats off to them though for making the series worth watching.

Would it be too cliché to say...THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!!! THE GIANTS WIN THE
PENNANT!!! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

One Final Note: If Topps Total was Still Around...


Then this guy's card would have been number #666.

Have a nice day.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1977 Topps #594 Biff Pocoroba

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, October 23, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1977 Topps #594.
  • Player Name, position, team: Biff Pocoroba, catcher, Atlanta Braves.
  • Major League Debut: April 25, 1975.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1976 stats (Braves): 54 G, 174 AB, 16 R, 42 H, 7 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 14 RBI, .241 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Braves 17th, June 1971. Bats: both, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Pocoroba's second regular Topps (total includes regular and traded cards only). The only problem I have with the cards from 1977 Topps (at least the ones in my possession anyway) are that many are so off-center, you have to wonder if quality control was asleep at the wheel back then. Of course, if you've ever seen pictures of the process of cutting cards (I think Topps Magazine #5 had this), you could only imagine that with millions of sheets to print, certainly some would have been cut improperly. Such is the case of this second-year card of Biff Pocoroba. Now I have to admit, until I pulled this card for the CotD, I have only heard the name Biff used twice in my lifetime. The first Biff I knew was the muppet from Sesame Street (Biff and Sully), and the other was Biff from the Back to the Future movie. Thanks to a great 1974 season in AA-Savannah (.311, 9 HR, 45 RBI's), Biff made the jump to the majors in 1975 (that's according to the bio. It also goes on to say that he hit left part of the season. Of course he did, he was a switch hitter). It was in 1977 that he appeared in 113 games, the only season in his ten seasons, all with Atlanta, that he reached 100 games. Of course, with the number of games played that year, he reached career highs in a number of offensive statistic (46 runs, 96 hits, 8 home runs, 44 runs batted in, .290 average, .445 slugging). In fact, the following year, he made the NL All-Star team. Injuries over the years cost him playing time, and after the 1984 season, he called it a career.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.12-$0.30.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 9 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: 1961 Topps #458. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

You Can Put the Sign Down Now Ian...


...because pretty soon the world will know your names.

They outhit, they outpitched, they outran, they flat out dominated the Yankees in this best of seven series. As Harold Reynolds of MLB Network said, "It was a beatdown!"

Congratulations to the Texas Rangers, the 2010 American League Champions!!! Best of luck to you in the World Series.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, October 22, 2010

Whoops!!! Missed One.

I mentioned last night that there were 21 SP's. Today, not only was it noted that there were five more Pie in the Face cards, but also another Stephen Strasburg SP. And if you've scoured the Bay and found 30 Mickey Mouse cards (one for each team...celebrating the All-Star Game this summer in Anaheim), those come one per case if it's to be believed.

Anyway, there was one more SP card that I didn't find last night and it was brought to my attention this morning.


2010 Topps Update Series Boston Americans #US220.

That makes seven teams and 15 legends for a grand spanking total of 22. There were supposed to be ten teams. Nobody's found the other three...yet. If they are found, I'll post the scans here.

And to thewritersjourney who commented about Bench's SP card with the wrong logo. I don't think the Reds ever used a "C" with that shape. I get a sinking feeling that Topps may have inserted the Cubs' "C" logo instead of the Reds' "C" logo (the Reds use a more oval shaped letter C right???)

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Pies in the Face Cards Make a Comeback in 2010 Topps Update Series.


Just found on Cardboard Connection...more Pies in the Face cards.

The pictures may turn out a bit small, and I know that all five cards have now shown up on the Bay individually. But to save time, I'm just going to leave this picture up and mention that the five players with Pies in the Face are:

661 Stephen Strasburg
US-59 Jeanmar Gomez
US-399 Matt Garza
US-251 Jake Arrieta
US-315 Edwin Jackson

This bring us up to 26 SP's...but I'm not going after them. More to come soon.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1981 Topps Traded #778 Ruppert Jones

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, October 22, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1981 Topps Traded #778.
  • Name, position, team: Ruppert Jones, outfielder, San Diego Padres.
  • Major League Debut: August 1, 1976.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1980 stats (Yankees): 83 G, 328 AB, 38 R, 73 H, 11 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 42 RBI, 18 SB, .357 SLG, 34 BB, 50 SO, .223 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Royals #3rd, June 1973. Traded by the Yankees to the Padres 04/01/1981. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Jones' sixth regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). If you ever wondered why the Padres colors were brown and yellow, it's not because brown was the color of the Friar's robes (although it is a striking coincidence), nor is it because the team's owner, Ray Kroc, wanted the team to wear the color of hamburgers and mustard to remind fans to go to McDonalds. It was because brown was his favorite color of the team's original owner C. Arnholt Smith. Everything had to be brown, from the car he drove, to the team's official stationary (must have been hard to read then). This is Ruppert Jones' second appearance on the Random Card of the Day. The first was his 1977 rookie card shared with Jack Clark, Lee Mazzilli, and Dan Thomas on 05/11/2010. By this time, he had already been drafted by the Seattle Mariners and had a good three-year run with the fledgling franchise. He was one of the M's first all-stars in 1977 and even hit the Mariners first inside the park home run on 08/06/1977 (that's according to one of the two comics at the back of his card). He was traded to the Yankees after the 1979 season and even though he only appeared in 83 games, he finished third on the team in stolen bases with his 18 (that's a bit of stretching isn't it???). He was traded again on 04/01/1981 to the Padres and appeared in 105 games for the Friars. He hit for a .249 clip to go with 4 home runs and 39 rbi's. The following year, he became an All-Star. The other comic on the back of his card mentions that Ruppert was on the same high school team as major leaguers Claudell Washington and Glenn Burke.
  • Beckett value: $0.08-$0.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 15 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1977 Topps #594. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2010 Topps Update Series on the Bay!!! Take A Look at the SP's!!!

Singles, autos, relics, inserts, and full master sets of 2010 Topps Update Series are starting to trickle in on the Bay. And so I know what I want to go after once I get my complete set, enclosed are pictures of the 21 SP Legend Variation cards found in the Update series. Among the cards being discovered right now is probably my number one want from the Update series.


A 2010 Topps ANDRE DAWSON SP CARD!!! #US85B.

There are 21 SP's to chase, including:


Group shot of Willie McCovey #US15, Rickey Henderson #US276, Brooks Robinson #US225, Bruce Sutter #US175, Dave Winfield #US214, and Reggie Jackson #US50. These pictures are awesome...don't you think???


Group shot of Andre Dawson #US85, Steve Carlton #US45, Tony Gwynn #US203, Bo Jackson #US318, Jim Palmer #US185, and Bob Gibson #661.


Group shot of Franchise History cards of the New York Giants #US58, St, Louis Browns #US200, Washington Senators #US320, Cleveland Naps #US330, and Philadelphia Athletics #US25.


Group shot of Johnny Bench #US330, Brooklyn Dodgers #US260, and Babe Ruth #US317.

Robin Roberts #US100.

The cards look great. And together, there are 6 Legendary Teams to go with 15 legendary players. And when I get my master set, then I'll start hunting. I'm still way behind with the legend SP's in 2010 Topps, so this just makes the wantlist grow larger.

Let the games begin.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

P.S. Oops. Found a 22nd Legend SP. jba

Eureka!!! Now I Got It!!!

After months of trying, I finally found a way to post on this humble little blog without having to send a short text message or an email.

I don't know if anybody noticed, but the sitemeter counter indicated that this blog now has more than 100,000 hits (not including my own...I had the counter exclude my visits). So to everyone who managed to find their way here, accidentally or otherwise, I thank you for taking time out of your day to read what I have to say about this incredible Hobby of Sports Card Collecting and allowing me to share my collection of Topps Baseball Cards with you.

Now, 2010 Update Series should be making its way to the Bay soon. And I can't wait to see what the sp's are going to be (remember, it's 15 players and 10 legendary teams) and who knows what other surprises may come our way. I just want to get my hands on a master set before the year lets out.

Don't forget to enter the contest to predict who makes the 2011 Topps All-Star Rookie team.

And this offseason, we will revisit all of my All-Star teams to determine which one (out of 48 teams, 24 AL & 24 NL) is the best of all-time. There may be a few roster changes (especially in the pitching department) to even things out hy position. We'll see.

So much to do, and I'm still trying to catch up to my Random Card of the Day segment. I'm almost there. If you want to get a sneak peak to what the Randomizer selected, it's on the sidebar.

Speaking of the sidebar, a new Blogger gadget has been added to show the top ten posts viewed by you the readers as determined by the host site. Now I will know what posts everybody's reading or finding through search engines.

Well that's it for now. Again, thank you for reading. Enter the contest. And enjoy the journey.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1996 Topps #423 Mark Langston

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, October 21, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1996 Topps #423.
  • Player Name, position, team: Mark Langston, pitcher, California Angels.
  • Major League Debut: April 7, 1984.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1995 stats (Angels): 31 G, 200.1 IP, 15-7, 109 R, 103 ER, 142 SO, 64 BB, 31 GS, 2 CG, 1 SHO, 0 SV, 4.63 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Mariners #2nd, June 1981. Signed with the Angels as a Free Agent 12/08/1989. Bats: right, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Langston's fifteenth regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). If you haven't figured it out by now, here is what I look for in a great baseball card design: large picture, design elements that utilize color scheme of the team player represents, design elements that do not interfere with the picture, and finally, less wasted space. The 1996 Topps design hits at least three of the qualifications. The blue name plate complements the picture on the card (I think that the blue works with the headshots...no other color would have made worked here). After a number of years being one of the Mariners' best pitchers, he was traded off to Montréal in 1989 for a run at the division (he was traded for prospects pitchers Gene Harris, Brian Holman, and some guy named Randy Johnson). He went 12-9 for the Expos, but even those numbers didn't help the team win the division. So on December 1, 1989, Langston signed with his home-state team, the California Angels. And it is with the Angels that Langston had some of his best seasons. With the Halos, he was a three-time All-Star, a five time Gold Glove winner, had a won-loss record of 88-74 and struck out 1112 batters. A great defensive pitcher, it is noted on the back of his card that (at the time) only Jim Kaat and Bob Gibson had won more Gold Gloves as a pitcher. At this time, Langston had won seven of the last nine AL awards.
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 24 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1981 Topps Traded #778. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH320 Heath Bell

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, October 20, 2010:



  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH320.
  • Player Name, position, team: Heath Bell, pitcher, San Diego Padres.
  • Major League Debut: August 24, 2004.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2007 stats (Padres): 81 G, 93.2 IP, 6-4, 21 R, 21ER, 102 SO, 30 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 2 SV, 0.96 WHIP, 2.02 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Mets as a Free Agent 06/16/1998. Traded by the Mets to the Padres 11/15/2006. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Bell's first regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). The purpose of the Updates and Highlights set was to include players Topps couldn't fit within the confines of its 660-card set. This caused middle relievers like Heath Bell to show up on the U&H sets two years in a row. And why was Heath Bell stuck in a middle relief role? Because the Padres of the late 2000's had enough aces in their rotation to staff a boatload of teams (Jake Peavy, Chris Young, Greg Maddux), and they had most prolific closer of all-time, Trevor Hoffman to save games. But there was something special about Bell. Sure he was durable (he literally appeared in half the Padres' games in 2007), but look at that WHIP (0.96) and the strikeouts (102). The Padres saw potential, and with Hoffman getting up there in years/ability, the decision was made to begin grooming Heath, or "Taco," "Heater," or, "Sticky Buns" (the guy collected nicknames like people collect baseball cards) to become the Friar's future closer. And when he did take over the role in 2009, which eventually sent Hoffman to the Brewers, Bell flourished. In his last two seasons, Bell has rung up (pun intended) 165 batters, recorded 91 saves (including a league leading 42 in '09), has a low 2.31 ERA, and a 1.160 WHIP. Not to mention two All-Star Game selections. The Padres rode their young staff into contention for most of the 2010 season, and on the strength of their bullpen, look to gain a few NL West titles and more for years to come.
  • Beckett value: $0.12-$0.30.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 4 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: Thursday: 1996 Topps #423. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1990 Topps #36 John Costello

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, October 19, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1990 Topps #36.
  • Player Name, position, team: John Costello, pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Major League Debut: June 2, 1988.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1989 stats (Louisville-AAA): 4 G, 5 IP, 0-0, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 SO, 1 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 1 SV, 1.80 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Cardinals #25th, June 1983. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Costello's second and final regular Topps card (totals include regular and traded cards only). One of the most colorful border designs ever used by the company, Topps collectors rang in the new decade with six different colored borders (red, orange, green, blue, dark blue...I likened it to indigo, and violet). And in many cases, the strong colored borders complimented the picture on the card. To wit, a blue border for a Cubs player worked. Green and the Athletics, perfect. Even red and the Cardinals (or Reds), looked great. Orange and the Athletics? Green and the Dodgers? Not so much. Here is an example of a card that worked. John Costello in his red Cardinals Spring Training attire really pops with the red borders, specifically, the solid red that appears at the bottom of the card. It looks natural. If he appeared in the sheet that was green, or even blue, his card would not look as nice. Costello himself had a brief career with the Redbirds. And the only reason why I used his minor league numbers in the "last line of statistics" was because his major league numbers were above his for games with St. Louis. In reality, Costello pitched in 48 games in 1989, worked 62.1 innings, had a record of 5-4, sported an ERA of 3.32, and even recorded three saves. He spent three seasons with the Cards, compiling a 10-6 record and a good 2.97 ERA to go with 79 K's. He was traded to the Expos on April 23, 1990, for Rex Hudler. The back of Costello's card shows how loyal he was to the Cardinals organization, specifically, his manager Whitey Herzog. The bio on the back reads "John has worked as a greeter at the restaurant of Cardinals' manager Whitey Herzog during wintertime." Even then, baseball players needed a second job.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.01-$0.05.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 2 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH320. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 2008 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Who Will Be Named to Topps 2010 All-Star Rookie Team?


With the Rangers up 2-1 against the Yankees, and the Phillies and Giants tied at one game a piece, there's no better time to get this going than right now. The Topps Company has already sent the 30 MLB managers a ballot that will determine who will get voted into the 2010 Topps All-Star Rookie Team, and will get that lovely silver trophy added to their 2011 Topps baseball cards (unless they forget to put the cup on a card like everybody in series 2...I digress...)

So who's going to be named to the ASR team? Here are my predictions, and if you think you can outguess me, you could win a complete 150-card set of 2005 Topps Rookie Cup (contest rules here...):

  • 1B: Ike Davis, New York Mets (.274 batting average, 19 HR, 71 RBI, 2010 stats)
  • 2B: Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates (.296, 12, 66)
  • 3B: Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates (.256, 16, 64)
  • SS: Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs (.300, 3, 41)
  • OF: Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves (.277, 18, 72)
  • OF: Austin Jackson, Detroit Tigers (.293, 4, 41)
  • OF: Tyler Colvin, Chicago Cubs (.254, 20, 56)
  • C: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants (.305, 18, 67)
  • RHP: Neftali Feliz, Texas Rangers (4-3, 2.73 ERA, 71 K's, 40 saves)
  • LHP: Jaime Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals (13-8, 2.70 ERA, 132 K's)
For sure there will be players like Alcides Escobar of the Brewers, Ian Desmond of the Nationals, Brennan Boesch of the Tigers, and John Jaso of the Rays who warrant consideration, as well as Jon Niese of the Braves, Brian Matusz of the Orioles, Sergio Santos of the White Sox, Wade Davis of the Rays, and others will have their votes (from either the MLB managers, or you the readers). Don't forget to send your picks to bdj610@hotmail.com if you want to enter the contest. Good luck.

Let the debates begin!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, October 18, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1993 Topps #90 Scott Erickson

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, October 18, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1993 Topps #90.
  • Player Name, position, team: Scott Erickson, pitcher, Minnesota Twins.
  • Major League Debut: June 25, 1990.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1992 stats (Twins): 32 G, 212 IP, 13-12, 86 R, 80 ER, 101 SO, 83 BB, 32 GS, 5 CG, 3 SHO, 0 SV, 3.40 ERA.
  • Any special information about players: Drafted by the Twins #4th, June 1989. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Erickson's fifth regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only, does not include his 1991 Topps '90 MLB Debut card). I love the 1993 design for how the pictures really shine out against a very minimal design. This is where a simple design really makes a set stand out. The white card stock makes the text easier to read, even though the card backs are vertically-oriented. The team's colors accentuate the design elements of both the front and back of the cards. Scott Erickson was pegged to be the future ace of the Twins when he debuted in 1990. And by all accounts, he delivered. In 1991, he finished the campaign with a league leading 20 wins, 108 K's, and a decent 3.18 ERA. He also finished second in the Cy Young Award voting, and 17th in the MVP voting. And did I mention that he helped the Twins win their second World Series in five years? The following year, he finished with a 13-12 record and a 3.40 ERA, still decent numbers, but then things bottomed out the following year. In 1993, he led the league in losses (19), and hits allowed (266), and the next two seasons weren't any better. And by 1995, the Twins traded him off to the Orioles. Now this is one of those situations where a change of scenery really helps a player. Scott emerged from his funk to become the most reliable starter on the O's pitching staff. But back to the card. The back of his card mentions all three of his shutout victories in 1992: his first one-hitter against the Red Sox on 07/24/1992; a 4-hit shutout against the Brewers on 08/02/1992, and his final blanking of the Blue Jays on 08/23/1992.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 14 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1990 Topps #36. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. See you then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

ANNOUNCEMENT: Contest Involving 2010 Topps All-Star Rookie Team!!!

Both championship series are tied at 1 game a piece. It's anybody's ballgame as to who will get into the 2010 World Series.

It is also anybody's guess as to who will win the individual awards (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year) when either the Rangers, Yankees, Phillies, or Giants win it all and close out the 2010 season.

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

On Tuesday, October 18, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. CST, I am going to post my predictions as to who I think will make the 2010 Topps All-Star Rookie Team. There are ten spots open for this team, one for each of these positions: 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 2010 All-Star Rookie Team (normally announced late in November), you will automatically win a hobby pack of 2010 Topps Updates and Highlights (the regular packs, not the jumbos). So let's say I get seven of the ten spots right (just like I did last year), and you get eight to all 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 blog soon afterwards.

Only one entry per person. Entries must be received by Monday, November 1, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST.

Again, please wait until after the announcement post on Tuesday, October 18, to leave your picks via e-mail. Good luck to all.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1963 Topps #277 Dick Farrell

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, October 17, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1963 Topps #277.
  • Player Name, position, team: Dick Farrell, pitcher, Houston Colt .45's.
  • Major League Debut: September 21, 1956.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1962 stats (Colt .45's): 43 G, 242 IP, 10-20, .333 PCT, 203 SO, 55 Walks, 3.01 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Phillies as a Free Agent before the 1953 season. Selected by the Colt .45's in the Expansion Draft #4th, 10/10/1961. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Farrell's sixth regular Topps card (total includes regular cards only). With those easy to chip color edges at the bottom of most of the player's cards in the 1963 set, finding any with sharp corners is a challenge indeed. But the picture that the Card Museum used for Farrell's card shows that it can be done. Many baseball fans argue nowadays that a pitcher's win-loss record really is insignificant to how good he is a pitcher that year. And to wit, Seattle's Felix Hernandez had a really great year, leading (2.27 ERA led the AL in 2010), or being around the leaderboard (232 K's, good for 2nd), in many pitching categories. However, thanks in large part to his team's horrible record in 2010, King Felix' record wasn't as good as you would have expected. He barely was above the .500 mark in his decision (13-12). Prior to his majesty, another King, HOF Nolan Ryan had a disastrous record with the Houston Astros in 1987. Although he led the NL in strikeouts with 270, and had an ERA of 2.76 (also led the league here), he had an 8-16 record. Speaking of Houston pitchers, Dick Farrell is also an interesting case. He was selected in the expansion draft before the 1962 season (was with the Dodgers and Phillies the season prior). He struck out 203 batters in 242 innings of work. He had a WHIP of 1.097, and was named as the Colt .45's first All-Stars. But alas, as one of the first expansion teams in baseball, the team finished eighth in the NL (this was before divisional play), and "Turk" Farrell finished the year with 10 wins and 20 losses. Ouch!!! Even the bio on the back of his card, as positive as it sounds, doesn't tell the whole story. It says "Dick led the Houston Colts' pitching staff in 1962 in strikeouts with a microscopic E.R.A." Then you find out his ERA in 1962 was 3.01. Microscopic? No. But good enough to lead his staff? Yes. He was the staff ace on a team of inexperienced rookies and castoffs from other teams. Things could only get better, right? The following year, his WHIP was a microscopic 0.969, and he even had a record of 14-13. He made two more All-Star teams, this time as a member of the Houston Astros, and returned to the Phillies in 1967.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $2.00-$5.00.
  • 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. (You have to stop by and visit them now. They just announced that they are allowing more people to enter the museum at one time.)

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 1993 Topps #90. 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, October 16, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2000 Topps #114 Neifi Perez

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, October 16, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2000 Topps #114.
  • Player Name, position, team: Neifi Perez, shortstop, Colorado Rockies.
  • Major League Debut: August 31, 1996.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1999 stats (Rockies): 157 G, 690 AB, 108 R, 193 H, 27 2B, 11 3B, 12 HR, 70 RBI, 13 SB, .403 SLG, 28 BB, 54 SO, .280 AVG.
  • Any special information about players: Signed with the Rockies as a Free Agent 11/09/1992. Bats: both, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Perez' fifth regular Topps (total includes regular and traded cards only). Okay. I will be the first to admit that Topps isn't perfect, especially when it comes to predicting who will be a star in the game. Of course, they've had success, but sometimes you read the backs of the cards of some of these players, and think, "Really???" If you read the first sentence on the bio on the back of his card now (vertically oriented for the first time since 1993) you have to ask yourself, "Really?" Topps writes, "Although overshadowed by that Rodriguez-Jeter-Garciaparra trio of young shortstops, Neifi may soon approach their class." What??! But back then, before you begin to question the sanity of the writer who had to come up with a bio for Neifi, there were reasons behind the high accolades. In his time with Colorado, he was a defensive star, even won the Gold Glove in 2000 at short. Even the year before, he was starting to show that he could become a star. But how big? He had the speed (13 stolen bases in 1999), he could hit for power (12 home runs), and he could definitely throw ("a strong arm and he likes to use it," says former teammate Quinton McCracken), But he was never the same player once he left the high air of Colorado, having been traded to the Kansas City Royals for Jermaine Dye in 2001. While he was still one of the better defensive shortstop in baseball, his hitting took a dive. He continued on with the Giants, Cubs, and Tigers, even playing in the World Series for Detroit in 2006. But injuries wore him down, and by 2007, he retired from baseball. But for a while, he was compared to some of baseball's brightest young stars. And for a while, the comparison was well deserved.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 11 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: 1963 Topps #277. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, October 15, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1976 Topps #576 Maximino León

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, October 15, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1976 Topps #576.
  • Player Name, position, team: Maximino Leon, pitcher, Atlanta Braves.
  • Major League Debut: July 18, 1973.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1975 stats (Braves): 50 G, 85 IP, 2-1, 52 R, 39 ER, 53 SO, 33 BB, 4.13 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Braves as a Free Agent 07/31/1972. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: León's second regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). I mentioned before about the use of colors in Topps' many designs, and over the years, there have been hits and misses. And I understand that using the same colors over and over would make the designs incredibly boring for a team collector. So would that be the reason why the Braves cards have the 'kind of' correct shade of blue with the totally incorrect shade of orange??? Anyway, Maximino León was a mainstay in the Braves bullpen in the mid-1970's. While not necessarily the closer, he did finish the previous year with 7 saves. He may have had more if the defense behind him wouldn't have failed him (13 unearned runs). But he did finish 20 of the team's games that year. Believe it or not, he was a pretty decent hitter. In his career, he went 13 for 52 (good for .250) and drove in 5 runs. How many relief pitchers in today's game can make that claim? In six seasons, León 14-18 with 13 saves, 170 K's, and a whip of 1.337. The back of León's card is unique as it shows his career stats (up to that point) during his time in the Mexican Central League. How's this for a Mexican geography lesson. It shows here that Max played in Fresnillo, Jalisco, and Puerto Mexico before his first taste of USA ball with Savannah. What the numbers also say is that he was a great pitcher in the Mexico. After his stay with the Braves, he returned to Mexico and competed for another decade, finally retiring in 1989. He finished his career with a 142-92 record in the Mexcian League. In 1997, Maximino León was inducted into the Salon de la Fama, the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 2 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2000 Topps #114. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2003 Topps #59 Brad Wilkerson

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, October 14, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2003 Topps #59.
  • Player Name, position, team: Brad Wilkerson, outfielder, Montréal Expos.
  • Major League Debut: July 12, 2001.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2002 stats (Expos): 153 G, 507 AB, 92 R, 135 H, 27 2B, 8 3B, 20 HR, 59 RBI, 7 SB, .469 SLG, 81 BB, 161 SO, .266 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Expos #33rd June, 1998. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Wilkerson's third regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). Brad Wilkerson gave Expos fans someone to cheer for during the team's final run in Montréal with his bat and his glove. With 20 home runs and a .266 batting average, along with helping the Expos finish second place during a year where it was thought that the team would be disbanded, earned Brad a second-place finish in the NL Rookie of the Year voting and a "rookie cup" for this, his 2003 Topps card. By 2004, Wilkerson became the Expos' power hitter, leading the team in almost all the major hitting categories. Brad sure made things exciting during those final years in Canada. The bio on the back under the stats reads that "on May 12, his foul ball shattered glass behind home plate, causing an eight-minute delay." And in a situation that every player dreams of, "on May 21, trailing Atlanta 5-4, Wilkerson batted with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th - and stroked the winning hit." He will always be known as the last Montréal Expo in Major League history. Why? Not because he hit the final home run in Expos's history. But because after the 2004 season, he was part of the MLB contingent that went to Japan to play against the Japanese All-Stars. As the franchise that was to play in Washington had not yet been created, he wore the red, white, and blue of the Expos. No stranger to competing in foreign countries, Brad Wilkerson was also part of the 2000 US Olympic Baseball team that took home the gold medal at the Sydney games. He did play for what was now called the Nationals in 2005.
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 23 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1976 Topps #576. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1994 Topps #225 Greg Vaughn

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, October 13, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1994 Topps #225.
  • Player Name, position, team: Greg Vaughn, outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers.
    Major League Debut: August 10, 1989.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1988 stats (Brewers): 154 G, 569 AB, 97 R, 152 H, 28 2B, 2 3B, 30 HR, 97 RBI, 10 SB, .482 SLG, 89 BB, 118 SO, .267 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Brewers #4th (Special) June, 1986. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Vaughn's fifth regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only, not including his 1990 Topps '89 MLB Debut card). When I first started following baseball, many card companies touted Vaughn as the next big slugger for the Brewers. He was a "Future Star" in Topps 1990 set and by the end of the 1993 season, he had just finished his first All-Star campaign, pacing the Brew Crew with his 30 home runs and 97 rbi's while manning left field. It certainly wasn't his fault that the team finished in 7th place that year. But he and teammate Darryl Hamilton gave the team some solid offense during future HOF Robin Yount's final stand in Milwaukee. The back of his card includes a picture of Vaughn relaxed during warmups. And why not. The bio on the back reads "Brewers' leading home run hitter each of the last three seasons, (Greg) set personal highs in batting average and roundtrippers in 1993." Vaughn played for 8 seasons with the Brewers before being traded in mid 1996 to San Diego. He never missed a beat playing in southern California. He even hit 50 home runs in 1998, which in a normal year would have led the majors in that statistical category. However, in the National League of 1998, 50 homers was only good for fourth place. Ouch. Vaughn continued his career with All-Star career with the Reds, Devil Rays, and Rockies before calling retiring in 2003. He finished his career with 355 home runs, 1072 rbi's, a batting average of .242, and an OPS of .807. That, along with 4 All-Star selections, a Silver Slugger, and consecutive fourth place finishes in the MVP race, makes for a great career.
  • Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 25 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: Thursday: 2003 Topps #59. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH60 Brandon Inge Home Run Derby

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, October 12, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH60.
  • Player Name, position, team: Brandon Inge, third baseman, Detroit Tigers.
  • Special: 2009 MLB Home Run Derby
  • Any special information about this specific card: One of the features in the Updates and Highlights set since 2005 was the inclusion of the eight players who participated in the Home Run Derby that took place at the annual All-Star Game. Brandon Inge, who made the 2009 All-Star Team in the Final Man vote (remember Bran-torino???), and his 21 home runs in the first half of the season, agreed to participate in the annual event? How did he do? Not too well. Topps writes on the back of his card that "though his line drives came up short of the St. Louis fences, he said he enjoyed his first 'David and Goliath' effort." Translation...zero home runs, and an eighth place finish. It's just as well that he didn't jeopardize his swing too much in the derby. He finished the year with 27 home runs.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.12-$0.30.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1994 Topps #225. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1994 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, October 11, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1999 Topps Traded and Rookies #T75 Carl Crawford

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, October 11, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1999 Topps Traded and Rookies #T75.
  • Player Name, position, team: Carl Crawford, outfielder, Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
  • Major League Debut: July 20, 2002.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1999 stats (Houston High School): Statistics Not Available.
  • Any special information about players: Drafted by the Devil Rays #2nd, June 199. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Crawford's first regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). Lost in the popularity of the Josh Hamilton card within the 1999 Topps Traded and Rookies set is the tenth card in the draft picks segment of the set. It was the last "rookie card" before the set was taken over by the traded veterans. Yes, Carl Crawford's rookie card lies within this set as well. The autographed version books for $75.00-$150.00. But his base card is today's topic. Putting Crawford in this set was a great move by Topps. A second round draft pick, Carl was already being touted as a star "reminiscent of Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders." He was a three-sport prodigy at Houston High. He was an option quarterback and a point guard as well as an outfielder. Topps writes in his bio (one of the few I've seen that doesn't even have stats), "Carl is the stellar package of strength, speed and athletic grace. He has awesome raw power and a physique comparable to Ken Griffey Jr..." What a comparison. And what's even great about it is that he actually is living up to all the hype. He's already a four-time all-star, (even won an MVP award), a threat on the basepaths, and is at this moment, the Dean of the Rays. After years of playing out the string of last place finishes, Crawford has helped take the Rays to the promised land of first place (twice in the last three years) as well as an appearance in the 2008 World Series. But that's all in the future. A young Crawford smiles for the camera in this card in the original Devil Rays jersey, full of potential, full of promise, and a great future would await him.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $1.50-$4.00.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 38 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH60. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. See you then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Comparing the Major League Debut Classes of 1990 and 2010.

1991 Topps Major League Debut 1990: Luis Gonzalez, Frank Thomas.

I had so much fun last year comparing the MLB Debut classes of 1989 and 2009 that I thought since Topps produced three MLB Debut sets in the early 90's that I would do this kind of article again this year and will most likely do one again next year after the 2011 season.

According to Baseball Reference, 17,498 athletes got their names into the annals of Major League Baseball record-keeping. In fact, 203 of them made their MLB Debuts in 2010. That's 203 more players that have etched their names into history books, baseball encyclopedias, and 203 more players who finally reached the pinnacle of their professional careers, no matter how long or how brief their stay was. They can honestly say that they have arrived.

After the success of the 1990 product, Topps once again created a box set featuring all 159 players who made their big league debuts throughout the 1990 season. The 161-card set (featuring two checklists), was similar in design to the 1991 Topps set, but lacked the 40th Anniversary logo that was seen on the top left corner of the regular cards, and instead of a team name, the banner that appeared on the right side of the card held the date of the player's first appearance. And once again, the players' cards were numbered in alphabetical order, even though the checklists listed all the players by the date of their debut.

Everyone from Delino DeShields (who debuted on April 9, 1990 and was one of six players to make his debut that day) to Glenn Sutko (who made his first appearance on October 3, 1990, the last player to debut that season) was included in this set. Nineteen players would go on to become All-Stars at some point in their careers. We'd all get to know their names on a regular basis like Frank Thomas, Luis Gonzalez, Carlos Baerga, Moises Alou, Charles Nagy, Steve Avery, Todd Hundley, and more who were part of this set. Players who had high expectations, but eventually faded from the spotlight (Kevin Maas, Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes, Scott Chiamparino) were also in this set. This was the only set that would have Topps cards of Mets catcher Dave Liddell, Ramon Manon of the Rangers, and Howard Hilton of the Cardinals. And if you're asking who these last three guys are, let's just say that they are among the few players whose major league career lasted no more than two games (and in the case of Manon, just two innings in one game).

Believe it or not, as of the end of the 2010 season, every player who made their debut in 1990 were no longer in baseball. In fact, the last 1990 debutant finished his career in 2008 (actually, two of them did). So unless somebody makes a surprising comeback next year, the final stats for the debut class of 1990 are complete. Combined, the debutantes of 1990 combined for 46 All-Star Game appearances, 5,007 home runs, 23,011 runs batted in, 3,379 stolen bases, and a batting average of about .266. Pitchers who debuted in 1990 have gone on to a combined record of 1695-1690, saved 667 games, completed 214 games, faced 133,003 batters, struck out 19,889 of them, gave up 3,296 home runs, and had a cumulative ERA of 4.41.

At any given point during the 2010 season, there were 750 players on active rosters (not counting those on the disabled list). And in amongst the shuffling of talent, 203 baseball players, some who've toiled in the minors for a very long time, and at least one player who was just drafted in the 2010 free agent draft, got to step onto the field of a major league stadium for the very first time and play at least one inning of major league baseball. Ninety-eight of them were position players, the other 105 stepped onto the pitcher's mound for the very first time. Of the 203, one was born in 1990 (Starlin Castro), and the oldest player to debut was 35 years old (Hisanori Takahashi).

The 2010 debutantes combined for one All-Star Game appearance (Jason Heyward), 239 home runs, 1172 runs batted in, 170 stolen bases, and a cumulative .249 batting average. Pitchers went 155-180 with an ERA of 4.38, striking out 2,565 batters, and saved 35 games.

Just for fun, let's compare both classes:

Of the players from the debut class of 2010, just like in 1990, there could be some Hall of Fame candidates. Most may go on to All-Star caliber, or very long careers in the bigs. And for some, this may be their only year in the majors. But all of them can say that they achieved their dream of being a Major League Ballplayer.

And nothing can take that away from them.

I've clamored before about wanting to bring back the Major League Debut set. But I know in today's age of exclusive contracts and rookie card restrictions that a set of this type might never see the light of day again. And although I have a feeling that many collectors would not want to get a set that might have stars but plenty of "never will be's" amongst them, a set like this could contain the only card of a player who played in one inning of major league ball.

1991 Topps Major League Debut 1990: Dave Liddell, Jeff Richardson.

At least both Dave Liddell and Jeff Richardson have cards in the 1990 set. Who knows what the future will bring for the 203 players who first appeared in 2010. Most might never play in the majors again, disappearing in the obscurity of minor league baseball for the rest of their professional careers. A set like this would give them an albeit slim piece of cardboard immortality.

Oh well, I can dream, can't I???

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

P.S. Later on this week, I will post my picks as to who I think will make the 2010 Topps All-Star Rookie team. There will be a contest involved. Details to come soon. jba

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1955 Topps #42 "Windy" McCall

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, October 10, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1955 Topps #42.
  • Player Name, position, team: "Windy" McCall, pitcher, New York Giants.
  • Major League Debut: April 25, 1948.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1954 stats (Giants): 33 G, 61 IP, 2-5, .286 PCT, 50 Hits, 26 Runs, 22 ER, 38 SO, 29 Walks, 3.25 E.R. Avg.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Red Sox as a Free Agent before the 1947 season. Traded by San Francisco (PCL) to the Giants 10/08/1953. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: McCall's first regular Topps card (total includes regular cards only). The difference between the 1955 and 1956 Topps sets, while both are horizontally oriented and features both a headshot and a secondary picture next to each other, is the background on the card. The 1955 Topps design uses a color background, while the 1956 design utilizes an painted action shot (the picture was real, but painted over). John "Windy" McCall played for both the Red Sox and Pirates in a very limited capacity. It wasn't until the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League traded him to the New York Giants after of the 1953 season that he would finally got his opportunity to play in the majors full-time. McCall pitched in 33 games in 1954, all but four in relief. According to the bio on the back, McCall "was called upon to bolster the Giants' bull pen crew last year and came through in fine style." Back then, this was the only way kids (or the adults that may have bought the gum back then, could get information on a certain player. And Topps always tried to find the positives in a player's career, even if there wasn't much to work with. They do mention that he "harnessed the wildness that hampered him in the Minors to earn a berth on the World Champions." The 1954 Giants won the World Series, beating the Cleveland Indians in four straight games. This would be the last time the Giants would win the World Series. McCall, however, didn't get to play in the series. He didn't have to. But he certainly got his ring. He autographed cards for the 2006 Topps Heritage set (which honored the 1957 Topps design), 200 regular cards and 57 in red ink. Lo-Hi Beckett value: $6.00-$12.00.
    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. (You have to stop by and visit them now. They just announced that they are allowing more people to enter the museum at one time.)

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 1999 Topps Traded and Rookies #T75 . 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, October 9, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1989 Topps #387 Ryne Sandberg NL All-Star 2B

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, October 9, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1989 Topps #387.
  • Player Name, position, team: Ryne Sandberg, All-Star Second Baseman, National League.
  • Any special information about this specific card: The popular Sandberg made his fifth consecutive appearance at the All-Star Game in 1988 and was included in Topps' All-Star subset for the following year's set. It would be his second Topps' AS card, his first since 1985. The back of the card is split into two sections. The section on the left recalls the game where he hit his 100th career home run on 06/19/1988, which helped the Cubs beat the Montréal Expos 9-3. The section on the right lists the 1988 NL League Leaders in triples, with Sandberg's 8, good enough for fourth (ahead of him were Andy Van Slyke (15), Vince Coleman (10), and the trio of Brett Butler, Juan Samuel, and Gerald Young (9), and was tied with teammate Andre Dawson, Andres Galarraga, and Ron Gant).
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.08-$0.25.
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: 1955 Topps #42. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, October 8, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2004 Topps Traded and Rookies #T127 Jon Connolly

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, October 8, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2004 Topps Traded and Rookies #T127
  • Name, position, team: Jon Connolly, pitcher, Chicago Cubs.
  • Major League Debut: n/a.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2003 stats (West Michigan Whitecaps-Midwest A): 25 G, 166 IP, 16-3, 37 R, 26 ER, 104 SO, 38 BB, 25 GS, 5 CG, 2 SHO, 1.00 WHIP, 1.41 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Tigers #28th June, 2001. Traded by the Tigers to the Cubs 04/29/2004. Bats: right, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Connolly's first and only regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). I love the 2004 set design not only because of the fact it was the first set to feature white borders since 1997, but because of those silhouette outlines at the bottom left corner of every card. Yes, the uniform numbers could be confusing, but you have to admit that having the silhouette match the player's picture was pretty cool. Connolly would be one of those players wouldn't have a Topps card now if he was still trying to get to the majors now. But what potential this kid had. Yes, it's lower A ball, but you have to admire a record of 16-3, 104 K's, and a whip of 1. That's right...1.00. Connolly stay in the Cubs' minor league system was extremely brief. He returned to the Tigers' organization in 2006, bouncing around with 4 minor league teams that year. He was last seen playing for the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League. He has one other Topps card, included as one of the bonus players in the 2004 Topps MLB Chicago Cubs factory set.
  • Beckett value: $0.40-$1.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 2 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1989 Topps #387. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1982 Topps #92 Brad Havens

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, October 7, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1982 Topps #92.
  • Player Name, position, team: Brad Havens, pitcher, Minnesota Twins.
  • Major League Debut: June 5, 1981.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1981 stats (Twins): 14 G, 78 IP, 3-6, 33 R, 31 ER, 44 SO, 24 BB, 12 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 0 SV, 3.58 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Angels #8th, June 1977. Traded by the Angels to the Twins 02/03/1979. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Havens' first regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). I think one of the other bloggers (I'm going to guess the Night Owl) calls this set the hockey stick set. And I never noticed that until he pointed that out. I always thought of the multi colored lines going down the left side of the cards as just an extension to where the team and player names are located, like ribbons. But hockey sticks makes more sense. Havens will be remembered as being included in the deal that sent Hall of Famer Rod Carew to the Angels. Prior to joining the Twins, the blurb on the bottom of the stats says that he was the "California League's strikeout leader in 1980" with 179 K's. Which wasn't even his career high up to that point. In 1978, with Quad Cities, he struck out 197 batters. Above Havens' card is a cartoon and another fact describing a feat in MLB history. The cartoon features Carl Yastrzemski, who hit 5 home runs in 2 straight games, on May 19 and 20, 1976. The factoid features Frank Robinson, the Giants Manager at the time, who, with a career total of 586 HR's, hit one in every 17.08 times at bat. Havens would go on to play for Orioles, Dodgers, Indians and Detroit, finishing his career with a 24-37 record, 370 K's, and 3 saves. He also did get a World Series ring as a member of that 1988 Dodgers team.
  • Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 7 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2004 Topps Traded and Rookies #T127. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

bdj610's 2010 End of Year MLB All-Star Teams...The Final Rosters

Compared to past years when deciding who makes my End of the Year All-Star Teams, and who doesn't, making my picks was a bit of a challenge. There were many players who had such great seasons, and often had similar numbers, that choosing one player over another was difficult. Do I pick a player that's been on a team before, or do I pass him over for a guy that's never been selected. Should the fact that his team is in the playoffs matter or not? Was he really the best player on his team that year (and yes, I actually did have to think that one over)?

But after pouring over stats and arguing with myself as to who deserves to be on the team, I have finally finished completing my 36-man teams. I think I can say with confidence that the players who made my "All-Star Teams" were worthy of inclusion, not just because many of them are major superstars, but because the their statistics were high enough above their peers that made them stand out from the rest.

So, without further ado, here are the players who made my 2010 MLB End of Year All-Star Teams (in alphabetical order by position):

(Lots of space here when I added the table. Don't know why...)










American League

First Basemen

  • Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
  • Paul Konerko, White Sox
  • Mark Teixeira, Yankees

Second Basemen

  • Robinson Cano, Yankees
  • Chone Figgins, Mariners
  • Howie Kendrick, Angels

Third Basemen

  • Adrian Beltre, Red Sox
  • Evan Longoria, Rays
  • Alex Rodriguez, Yankees

Shortstops

  • Derek Jeter, Yankees
  • Alexei Ramirez, White Sox
  • Marco Scutaro, Red Sox

Outfielders

  • Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
  • Shin-Soo Choo, Indians
  • Carl Crawford, Rays
  • Josh Hamilton, Rangers
  • Torii Hunter, Angels
  • Nick Markakis, Orioles
  • Juan Pierre, White Sox
  • Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
  • Delmon Young, Twins

Catchers

  • John Buck, Blue Jays
  • Victor Martinez, Red Sox
  • Joe Mauer, Twins

Designated Hitter

  • Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers

Pitchers

  • Daniel Bard, Red Sox
  • Trevor Cahill, Athletics
  • Neftali Feliz, Rangers
  • Felix Hernandez, Mariners
  • Jon Lester, Red Sox
  • David Price, Rays
  • Mariano Rivera, Yankees
  • CC Sabathia, Yankees
  • Joakim Soria, Royals
  • Rafael Soriano, Rays
  • Justin Verlander, Tigers

National League

First Basemen

  • Aubrey Huff, Giants
  • Albert Pujols, Cardinals
  • Joey Votto, Reds

Second Basemen

  • Martin Prado, Braves
  • Dan Uggla, Marlins
  • Rickie Weeks, Brewers

Third Basemen

  • Casey McGehee, Brewers
  • David Wright, Mets
  • Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals

Shortstops

  • Stephen Drew, Diamondbacks
  • Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
  • Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies

Outfielders

  • Ryan Braun, Brewers
  • Andre Ethier, Dodgers
  • Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
  • Corey Hart, Brewers
  • Matt Holliday, Cardinals
  • Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
  • Hunter Pence, Astros
  • Justin Upton, Diamondbacks
  • Jayson Werth, Phillies

Catchers

  • Brian McCann, Braves
  • Yadier Molina, Cardinals
  • Buster Posey, Giants

Designated Hitter

  • Adrian Gonzalez, Padres

Pitchers

  • Mike Adams, Padres
  • Heath Bell, Padres
  • Roy Halladay, Phillies
  • Tim Hudson, Braves
  • Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies
  • Josh Johnson, Marlins
  • Tim Lincecum, Giants
  • Carlos Marmol, Cubs
  • Billy Wagner, Braves
  • Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
  • Brian Wilson, Giants



Most of the position players were chosen based on statistics comparing the top eight position players in each league (hits, runs, home runs, rbi's, walks, strikeouts, stolen bases, caught stealing, and batting average). In most cases, the players I had chosen earlier due to the one person per team rule made the top three.

In previous years, I tended to show a little more bias to Chicago players (on both sides) in cases where if I thought I could choose them over another person, I would (hey, I'm from Chicago, what can I say). But since I'm now announcing these publicly (compared to doing this privately in my mind), I thought I'd try to be as open minded as I can and pick the proper deserving players. And while there is only one Cub on the team this year (Marmol), there are three White Sox players on the AL side. Other one-person teams this year include the Athletics (Cahill), Indians (Choo), Orioles (Markakis), Royals (Grienke), Astros (Pence), Dodgers (Ethier), Mets (Castillo), Nationals (Zimmerman), Pirates (Laroche), and Reds (Votto). The Yankees send six players to the AL squad, including their entire infield (not a precedent, the 1987 Cardinals did the same thing), the Red Sox send five. On the NL side, the Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, and Giants each send four players to the team.

Are there snubs? You bet. Prince Fielder isn't on the NL side. Neither is Ryan Howard. It would have been easy to pick either guy, but out in San Francisco, Aubrey Huff had a pretty good year (.290, 26 HR, 86 RBI, 100 runs scored, .891 OPS). Should he be penalized because he only played 100 games at first, and the rest of the time in the outfield? I don't think so. And compared to Fielder, Howard, and about six other candidates (excluding Votto and Pujols), Huff ranked higher in my statistical calculations then all of them. Ethier is the only Dodger on this year's team, and it was a toss up between him and teammate Matt Kemp. I actually had Kemp slated for the spot because of his power numbers, but while Ethier had lower numbers in the home runs and rbi's, he had the better averages, so I chose him instead. I was really pushing to get Marlon Byrd on to the All-Star team, but after filling the squad with five players to get teams represented, the remaining four had to be good choices. Cargo, Hart, Holliday, and Werth were the best of the group, so they were added.

On the AL, I mentioned pitching. David Ortiz had a great year and if I allowed three DH's, he'd certainly be listed above. Last year I chose Michael Young over A-Rod. This year, the roles reversed. If Beltre wasn't on here, Young definitely would be. Should I have chosen Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Ty Wigginton (the O's rep at the ASG) or even Luke Scott as the representing Oriole? Markakis had probably the best averages of the four, so he was picked for the second straight year.

So ends the presentation for my 2010 End of Year MLB All-Star Teams. Please feel free to comment, debate, tell me that I did a good job, or that I don't know what I'm talking about and should have put in this person for another.

Later on, I will run the simulations, just like I did last off-season, for these teams to see which one is better. And, as long as I can do better, (and because I've already introduced all the teams), I'll run simulations to see which of my teams over the last 24 seasons is the best of all-time. And it will give me something to do before the 2011 Topps cards come out.

Let the debates continue.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Congrats to the Doctor!!!


As you've probably read by now, Roy Halladay pitched a no-hitter last night against the Reds in the first game of the NLDS. It is the first post-season no-hitter since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series. And this makes Halladay the first pitcher to throw a perfect game AND a no-hitter in the same year (albeit regular season and post-season).

So after years of playing for the Blue Jays, who had never finished higher than third place in his years in Toronto, Halladay finally makes it to postseason play.

What a way to make a debut and set the tone for the rest of the series.

Congrats, and good luck the rest of the way.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1994 Topps #404 Jim Edmonds

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, October 6, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1994 Topps #404.
  • Player Name, position, team: Jim Edmonds, outfielder, California Angels.
  • Major League Debut: September 9, 1993.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1993 stats (Angels): 18 G, 61 AB, 5 R, 15 H, 4 2B, 1 EB, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB, .344 SLG, 23 BB, 16 SO, .246 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Angels #7th June, 1988. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Edmonds' second regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). Edmonds was the Angels' "Coming Attraction" in the 1993 Topps set, and what a future he would have in the majors. But before the defensive highlights, the four All-Star Game appearances, eight gold gloves, and World Series championship, he was a future star who made his debut after spending the last two years in the Angels minor league system in Canada (playing for Edmonton and then Vancouver the following year). As he didn't have many highlights in the majors during the 1993 campaign, Topps wrote about a couple of his minor league exploits. Topps writes that Jim "enjoyed some explosive games with Vancouver in 1993, including one with 6 hits and two with 5-one of which featured 8 RBI's). Obviously he'd have many more highlights in the majors to come, and he was still at it in the 2010 season, helping the Reds win the 2010 NL Central title, the teams' first since 1995.
  • Beckett value: $0.20-$0.50.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 53 cards.

Tomorrow's card will be: Thursday: 1982 Topps #92. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

bdj610's 2010 End of Year MLB All-Star Teams...Every Team Needs a Representative

With the pitching staffs set in our last All-Star Team post, the next step is to make sure that every team gets at least one representative. I believe in the All-Star rule that every team, no matter how well or how poorly they did, has at least one person they could tag as an All-Star, based on his performance on the field. If it means that another person gets snubbed, that's sadly the way it goes. It does not matter how many spots there are on an All-Star team, someone always manages to be left out.

Now the pitching staffs from both sides locked in one representative from eight of the NL teams and eight of the AL teams, pretty much half the teams in either league. So that means in this post, I am going to name six position players in the AL, and eight in the NL.

On the American League side, the Red Sox, Tigers, Royals, Yankees, Athletics, Mariners, Rays, and Rangers, have representatives. These six players will ensure that the AL has all 14 teams represented:

  • OF Nick Markakis, Orioles (.297, 12 HR's, 60 RBI's)
  • 1B Paul Konerko, White Sox (.312, 39 HR's, 111 RBI's)
  • OF Shin-Soo Choo, Indians (.300, 22 HR's, 90 RBI's)
  • OF Torii Hunter, Angels (.281, 23 HR's, 90 RBI's)
  • C Joe Mauer, Twins (.327, 9 HR's, 75 RBI's)
  • OF Jose Bautista, Blue Jays (.260, 54 HR's, 124 RBI's)
Because I have nine outfield spots on each side, I have noticed that many players who wind up being the only person on their team to make the list normally is an outfielder. And that might be the case here with these AL picks as now four of the slots are filled.

In the NL, the Braves, Cubs, Rockies, Marlins, Phillies, Cardinals, Padres, and Giants have representatives. These eight players will ensure that the NL has all 16 teams represented:

  • OF Justin Upton, Diamondbacks (.273, 17 HR's, 69 RBI's)
  • 1B Joey Votto, Reds (.324, 37 HR's, 113 RBI's)
  • OF Hunter Pence, Astros (.282, 25 HR's, 91 RBI's)
  • OF Andre Ethier, Dodgers (.292, 23 HR's, 82 RBI's)
  • OF Ryan Braun, Brewers (.304, 25 HR's, 103 RBI's)
  • 3B David Wright, Mets (.283, 29 HR's, 103 RBI's)
  • OF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates (.286, 16 HR's, 56 RBI's)
  • 3B Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals (.307, 25 HR's, 85 RBI's)
As mentioned with the AL, it is usually the outfield positions that fill up quickly. And that is certainly the case here as five of the nine spots have been filled. That leaves only four spots to fill, and there are a lot of deserving outfielders that could easily take their place here.

Now before you start to say, "Where's this guy?" or, "Why didn't my guy make the team?" Please keep in mind that I'm not done filling out the team. These 14 guys are only here so that all 30 teams have a player. The best (trust me) is still yet to come.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama