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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1975 Topps #273 Steve Braun

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, January 30, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1975 Topps #273.
  • Player Name, position, team: Steve Braun, outfielder, Minnesota Twins.
  • Major League Debut: April 6, 1971.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1974 stats (Twins): 453 AB, 127 H, 12 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 40 RBI, .280 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Twins, 10th, June 1966. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 14. This is his fourth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Always high on the On Base Average" statistics, Steve is a key weapon in the Twins' offensive attack. He enjoyed first two-homer day of his career, 05/30/1973, with two Wallops against Orioles which sparked a 10-3 Minnesota triumph. Comic: When was Steve Braun married? Answer: October 6, 1973.
  • Commentary: The 1975 set was voted by Topps collectors as the #1 set of the 70's (Topps Magazine #7, 1991 Summer). With it's multi colored borders, and the rash of HOF's that would eventually be on it, it is no wonder why this set has been mimicked by that other card company when they did their "Tribute to the 1970's" (or whatever they called it) set. Steve Braun's card above tells us two things: One, that Topps really gets into the personal lives of the players they sign (how many kids would have known the answer to the cartoon question above?), and that that even then, On Base Percentage (On Base Average from the blurb) was starting to become a very important statistic. I don't know when the sabermetrics started, but apparently it was important and showed baseball fans what the Twins already knew...that Braun was a very important player on their team. One error of note. That two-homer game against the Orioles did not happen on 05/30/1973 as the blurb on the back indicates. It happened two days earlier on May 28.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.20-$0.50.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 10 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: 2000 Topps #134. 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, January 29, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2003 Topps #614 Kevin Brown

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, January 29, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2003 Topps #614.
  • Player Name, position, team: Kevin Brown, pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Major League Debut: September 30, 1986.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2002 stats (Dodgers): 17 G, 63.2 IP, 3-4, 36 R, 34 ER, 58 SO, 23 BB, 10 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 4.81 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Rangers, #1st, June 1986. Signed with the Dodgers as a Free Agent 12/12/1998. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 18. This is his sixteenth card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a.
  • Commentary: The 2003 set, with it's easy to chip blue borders, was the last set in the "colored borders" era for Topps baseball card sets. Because there were two pictures in the front (following a tradition that goes back to 1963), there were no color pictures on the back of the card, save for the team logo that could have easily gone on the front. But that's neither here nor there. Kevin Brown, who by now was a four-time All-Star and a perennial Cy Young candidate, was the prize free agent of the 1998 off-season. Pried away from the defending NL Champion Padres, Brown signed for a deal that reached into the 100 million dollar range. And in his first year in LA, he delivered. An 18-9 record to go with an ERA of 3.00 and a WHIP of 1.066 gained him votes in that year's Cy Young voting. The following year, he became an All-Star (his fifth appearance), and led the NL in ERA with 2.58 and WHIP with a incredibly low 0.991. But in 2001, injuries began to damper on his stay in Tinseltown. By 2002, he only started 10 games for the Dodgers. The next year, he rebounded nicely, even making it to his final ASG. But by year's end, it was felt that he wasn't worth the money, so he was traded to the Yankees in the offseason, where he finished his illustrious career.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 33 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 #273. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, January 28, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1984 Topps #89 Mike Smithson

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, January 28, 2011:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1982 Topps #470.
  • Player Name, position, team: Mike Smithson, pitcher, Texas Rangers.
  • Major League Debut: August 27, 1982.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1983 stats (Rangers): 33 G, 223.1 IP, 10-14, 102 R, 97 ER, 135 SO, 71 BB, 33 GS, 10 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 3.91 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Red Sox, #5th, June 1976. Traded by the Red Sox to the Rangers 04/09/1982. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 9. This is his second Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Mike recorded 7 strikeouts in pitching 6-5 Complete Game Victory vs. Athletics, June 24, 1983."
  • Commentary: I think it was the 1984 set that made it's way into the TV show Silver Spoons (the episode called The Great Baseball Card Scheme) where Ricky and was it his grandfather somehow managed to manipulate the prices of Tommy Lasorda's baseball cards by saying that he made it to the Hall of Fame? While Lasoda did eventually make it to Cooperstown, Mike Smithson became a regular in the Texas Rangers' rotation in 1983. While he didn't necessarily did a bad job, he was consistent. However, this was his last card as a Ranger as he was traded to the Minnesota Twins before the end of the year. Joining the Twins, he was rather reliable as a starting pitcher, although his ERA left much to be desired. With the Rangers, he was 13-18 with an ERA of 4.10 and 159 K's.
  • Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 11 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2003 Topps #614. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Who Wants to Win...This Diamond Ring???



It could all be yours if you wind up redeeming the correct code in the Topps Diamond Anniversary Giveaway that will be held when Series 1 makes its way to the stores.

Now the boys and girls at the number one source in the Hobby says that they're going to get one ring to giveaway to its readers. Ten stores will be randomly selected to get one as part of the 2011 promotion, and the rest (about 50 or so???) will be planted as giveaways at the Topps Diamond website.

At 50 diamonds a ring, this is going to be an extremely rare commodity. All I know is...

I want one!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1989 Topps #710 Dave Cone

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, January 27, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1989 Topps #710.
  • Player Name, position, team: Dave Cone, pitcher, New York Mets.
  • Major League Debut: June 8, 1986.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1988 stats (Mets): 35 G, 231.1 IP, 20-3, 67 R, 57 ER, 213 SO, 80 BB, 28 GS, 8 CG, 4 SHO, 0 SV, 2.22 ERA.
  • Any special information about players: Drafted by the Royals, #3rd, June 1981. Traded to the Mets from the Royals, 03/27/1987. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 18. This is his third card.
  • Blurb on the back: "He earned his 1st major league Win: 05/12/1987. Recorded 1st major league Shutout: 05/03/1988."
  • Commentary: Just two weeks ago, Cone appeared on this little segment thanks to the Randomizer. Now another Cone card shows up, and it's from my favorite set of all-time, the 1989 Topps set. The card from two years ago showed how great a pitcher Cone had become over the years. This card features Cone as he was making a name for himself as a pitcher to be reckoned with in the National League. A dominating 20-3 record, a stellar 2.22 ERA, 213 strikeouts, the Mets couldn't have asked for anything more from a young pitcher who seemed to be going nowhere the year before. He made his first All-Star team that year, placed third in the Cy Young voting, and even finished 10th in the NL MVP balloting. Because he only had three lines of major league statistics, his complete minor league stats are on the back of his card as well. We learn here that Cone was on the DL the entire year while assigned to Jacksonville in 1983, that while he showed visions of things to come in the lower leagues (including as a member of the Sarasota Royals "B" team), his stints with Memphis and Omaha didn't do him any favors. But he was called up anyway in 1986. But in a year where Orel Hershiser kept runners from scoring, and Danny Jackson would pitch a perfect game, the man my brother came to know as "Enoc" paced the Mets to the NL East division title.
  • Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 27 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1984 Topps #89. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Just a Quick Reminder...

for those of you who have not yet finished entering your 2010 Topps Attax or ToppsTown code cards into the ToppsTown website (http://toppstown.com/):

You have until 02/01/2011 to enter your codes!!!

I'm probably going to spend the weekend at the local library entering all the code cards my kids and I have acquired. Figures we wait until the last minute.

That is all.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Topps 60 Best Cards...#23-28!

The countdown is inching its way towards #20. Until then, and because it's been awhile since the last update, it's time to announce the cards that have been added to the countdown so far this week.

Here are card #'s 23-28 "on Topps 60 Greatest Cards of All Time":
  • #28: 1982 Topps #21 Baltimore Orioles Future Stars Bob Bonner/Cal Ripken/Jeff Schneider
  • #27: 1954 Topps #94 Ernie Banks
  • #26: 1979 Topps #116 Ozzie Smith
  • #25: 1957 Topps #1 Ted Williams
  • #24: 1953 Topps #1 Jackie Robinson
  • #23: 1971 Topps #5 Thurman Munson
Thoughts: A couple of the cards I voted for are starting to show up. The Banks card is where I thought it should be (at least within the Top 30), the Ripken card I thought should have been voted a bit higher. That's all right though as his solo Traded card is still in play. Although now Bonner and Schneider can at least say their card was the 28th most popular according to those who voted. Gotta love the Ozzie RC. At least the Company is acknowledging their big screw up by using his 1980 Topps card as his rookie in the Archives set ten years ago (was it really that long ago???). Also a good reminder that Smith was a Padre before becoming a Cardinal (next stop...Saint...oh wait...they play in the NFL...never mind). Two #1 cards (Williams and Robinson) that are key not only because of the players depicted (and how could you go wrong with Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson), but because of the abuse the first cards always took with rubber bands and other handling. The 1971 Topps Munson card ranked within the Top 30 at #23 could have been at least in the top 15 of all time. But nevertheless, I have no arguments here. As Topps started to use action shots in their cards, how could you go wrong with a play-at-the-plate shot?

Card #22 on the countdown will be announced maybe tomorrow, maybe on Friday, depending on when it shows up on the website. Whenever it shows up, we'll get to it...eventually.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1983 Topps #618 LaMarr Hoyt

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, January 26, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1983 Topps #618.
  • Player Name, position, team: LaMarr Hoyt, pitcher, Chicago White Sox.
  • Major League Debut: September 14, 1979.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1982 stats (White Sox): 39 G, 239.2 IP, 19-15, 104 R, 94 ER, 124 SO, 48 BB, 32 GS, 14 CG, 2 SHO, 0 SV, 3.53 ERA.
  • Any special information about players: Drafted by the Yankees, #5th, June 1973. Traded by the Yankes to the White Sox 04/05/1977. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 8 This is his third card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Pitched complete game win vs. Royals, 05/24/1982. Hurled complete game victory, July 8, 1982."
  • Commentary: Hoyt was just starting to come into his own as the White Sox new ace. His 19-15 record, along with the 124 K's and 48 walks (and a WHIP of 1.235) was just a preview of what would become his best year ever. The White Sox won their first American League West division title in 1983, no thanks in part to Hoyt's Cy Young Award winning effort. But if we want to know how well he did in 1983, we'd have to wait for his 1984 cards to come. The card we're looking at today reviews his fantastic nonetheless 1982 season. Below the stats and the blurb is a section called 1982 Highlights. Included are three more Hoyt gems: May 13: Turned in a complete game victory; June 15: Fired 3-hit shutout & fanned 7 at Oakland. August 14: Scattered 6 hits in 6-0 shutout over New York Yankees.
  • Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 16 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1989 Topps #710. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Before You Send Your 2011 Topps Wrappers to the Trash Bin...

If you're like me, after ripping pack after pack of Topps cards, you probably throw them in the garbage, except maybe one or two clean examples to put in your binder along with your collection. Okay, maybe not, but you get the idea.

Well, after seeing the success of past wrapper redemptions with its other brands, Topps has decided to include one with their flagship product (that's coming out in less than two weeks!!!)




Self explanatory here folks!!! Hobby boxes hold 36 packs of cards. Jumbos have ten. Save all the wrappers, and send it to the address on the flyer (P.O. Box 2008, Duryea, PA 18642, Attn: Topps Baseball Series 1 Wrapper Redemption) and you get five cards from a newly created 60-card set combining Topps famous 1952 baseball card design and the new black diamond parallels to create "Special 1952 Topps Black Diamond Cards!!!!"

To whet your appetite for these cards even more, they are including autograph cards of 34 players who were around for the 1952 set.

Personally, I would have preferred to see this as the HTA giveaway. But hey, whatever works to sell the product. The checklist is above (see picture 2). Subject to change as always. The promotion ends on 08/01/2011 (on my anniversary no less).

Being able to get a complete set (of just the 60 cards) will not an easy task though. Why???

Because even if you get proper collation, and the slim chance that duplicates won't happen, you'd need a minimum of 12 36-pack hobby boxes (isn't that a full case???) for a complete 60-card set. And that's not including the possibility of landing any autographs along the way.

I think I'll wait until some brave soul manages to complete a full set and puts it on the 'Bay before considering it. Although initially, I'm not too keen on the Company's use of the now often-repeated use of the 1952 design (see 2006-2007 Topps '52 Rookies, the 2001 Topps Heritage, the plethora of reprints over the years...).

And then you wonder...what kind of wrapper redemption are they going to come up with for series 2???

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2002 Topps #93 Esteban Loaiza

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, January 25, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2002 Topps #93.
  • Player Name, position, team: Esteban Loaiza, pitcher, Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Major League Debut: April 29, 1995.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2001 stats (Blue Jays): 36 G, 190 IP, 11-11, 113 R, 105 ER, 110 SO, 40 BB, 30 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 0 SV, 5.02 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Pirates as a Free Agent 03/21/1991. Traded by the Rangers to the Blue Jays 07/19/2000. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 10. This is his fifth card.
  • Blurb on the back: "On Opening Day '01 Esteban defeated the world champ Yankees, yielding one run in seven innings."
  • Commentary: Readers of this humble little blog already know what I feel about the 2002 Topps design, so I will spare all the details about it. I have a hard time spelling this guy's last name. I know it's LoAIza, but because of how I heard it pronounced when he was with the White Sox, I always believed it was LoIAza. Speaking of which, his best year happened to come after signing with the White Sox in 2003. With a 21-9 record, a 2.90 ERA, and a league leading 207 K's, there wasn't a better pitcher in the American League. He even started the ASG that year...at the newly named US Cellular Field. With the Blue Jays, Esteban went 25-28, striking out 259 batters (this is a three year season total boys and girls), and really needed that change of scenery. Everything fell together in 2003. His run of success didn't last long, though, and by the middle of 2004, Loaiza was traded to the Yankees in the middle of their run for the playoffs.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 21 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1983 Topps #618. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1983 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, January 24, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1980 Topps #686 Giants Future Stars Johnston, Littlejohn, Nastu

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, January 24, 2011:



  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1980 Topps #686.
  • Player Name, position, team: Future Stars: Greg Johnston, outfielder; Dennis Littlejohn, catcher; Phil Nastu, pitcher; San Francisco Giants.
  • Major League Debut: July 27, 1979 (Johnston); July 9, 1978 (Littlejohn); September 15, 1978 (Nastu).
  • Any special information about players: Johnston: Bats: left. Throws: left; Littlejohn: Bats: right. Throws: right; Nastu: Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): Johnston: 3 (second Topps card); Littlejohn: 2 (first Topps card); Nastu: 1 (first and only Topps card).
  • Any special information about this specific card: Marquess' first and only regular Topps card (total includes both Topps and Topps Traded cards).
  • Commentary: These multi-player rookie/prospect cards are some of the harder ones to write about, only because many of them eventually didn't pan out the way their respective teams (and Topps for that matter) would have liked or hoped. In the case of this card, each of these three players were out of the majors by the end of the 1980 season (or in Johnston's case, the first month of 1981). Johnston must have made an impression on Topps because this was his second "Future Stars" card (he was also in the 1979 set). In 63 career games, he hit a paltry .168, with 1 home run and 8 runs driven home. Littlejohn, who did appear in the 1981 set, saw action in 78 games, hitting .203 with 1 home run and 15 rbi's. Nastu pitched for parts of three seasons, but this is the only Topps card he has. He appeared in 34 games, finished with a 3-5 record, an ERA of 4.50, and struck out 53 batters. But at least he claim to have one card AND play in the majors. Many of these future stars never get that opportunity. And at least their pictures are in color. Last year's "stars" were featured in black and white.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.08-$0.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: Johnston: 3; Littlejohn: 2; Nastu: 1.

Tomorrow's card will be: 2002 Topps #93. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. See you then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's a Brand New Year, So Let's Clean Up the Blogroll!!!

If you noticed, the list of blogs that were added to the Sports Card Blogroll in 2010 is now gone (which in hindsight was a mistake since Stale Gum is running the Gummies, and one of his categories is Best NEW Blog and I had the full list of new blogs for candidates) and has now been replaced with new blogs added in 2011. And as of today, the Blogroll welcomes 11 new blogs to the fold. A good start for the year, which brings the number of active blogs on the roll to an astonishing 325!

But of course that also means that a number of blogs reached the six month mark of inactivity, and will now be removed from the active roster, and placed in the "Blogs Being Removed" section on the sidebar. This month, the SCBR says farewell to the following blogs:
We were at 314 blogs before the beginning of 2011. Adding the 11 new blogs and removing the six above now gives us 319 blogs going into next month (a gain of +5). What worries me is that unless some of the blog writers whose blogs are at five months of inactivity don't come back, the Blogroll is going to take a serious hit in February, especially in the Baseball Card Blogroll section. Maybe with 2011 Topps coming soon (sooner than the original date if it is to be believed), we'll see a spike of new blogs or some returning ones.

Many of the new blogs contacted me via e-mail requesting to be added. I am more than happy to oblige. If you or someone you know has a blog devoted to our Hobby of Sports Card Collecting, please send me an e-mail at bdj610@hotmail.com.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1972 Topps #151 Jim Brewer

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, January 23, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1972 Topps #151.
  • Player Name, position, team: Jim Brewer, pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Major League Debut: July 17, 1960.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1971 stats (Dodgers): 55 G, 81 IP, 6-5, .545 PCT, 66 SO, 24 BB, 1.88 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Cubs as a Free Agent 06/06/1956. Traded by the Cubs to the Dodgers 12/13/1963. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 16. This is his twelfth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: Comic: Who threw the 'Folly Floater'? Answer: Steve Hamilton of the Yankees.
  • Commentary: The 1972 set must have surprised many who bought the set by its psychedelic design (compared to the all black design the year before). With the company leaning towards more action photos (the In Action subset featured many of baseball's stars of the day) than the traditional head shots and posed action shots. The bold colors and the font of the team names made this a favorite of the 70's. Sign of the times, I guess. Jim Brewer was the Dodgers' closer in the mid 70's. Coming over from the Cubs, Jim was in the middle of a six year string of double digit saves. He even was named to the All-Star team in 1973. What the card doesn't say is that Jim finished 41 of the 55 games he appeared in, earning 22 saves. He had incredible control during his prime, and in 1971, achieved an astonishingly low .971 WHIP (his career low came the following year at .843). Appeared in three World Series, winning the World Series against the Twins in 1965. During the 1975 season, he was traded across the city to the Angels, where he finished his career the following year.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.40-$1.00.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 2 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: 1980 Topps #686. 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, January 22, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2005 Topps #44 David Bell

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, January 22, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2005 Topps #44.
  • Player Name, position, team: David Bell, third baseman, Philadelphia Phillies.
  • Major League Debut: May 3, 1995.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2004 stats (Phillies): 143 G, 533 AB, 67 R, 155 H, 33 2B, 1 3B, 18 HR, 77 RBI, 1 SB, 57 BB, 75 SO, .458 SLG, .821 OPS, .291 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Indians, #7th, June 1990. Signed with the Phillies as a Free Agent 11/24/2002. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 12. This is his tenth card.
  • Blurb on the back: "David hit for the cycle on June 17, 2004 - a feat that had been accomplished only 242 times before, including by his grandfather Gus."
  • Commentary: The 2005 Topps set, in my opinions, is one of the better sets of the 2000's. If I had to rank it among the ten sets of the decade, it would be at least a strong top 3, if not 4th, in the design category. The large pictures, easy to sort by either player name (can't go wrong with the player's last name in big bold gold letters above the picture), or by team name (where the team name stands out against the black at the bottom of the picture). The only drawback is that the gold foil sometimes doesn't reflect well when scanning the card, or at certain angles when looking at it. Otherwise, it was a great set to collect and look at, even six years later. The game of baseball has seen fathers and sons play in the majors (in one case, as teammates), brothers, uncles and nephews, and grandfathers and grandsons. There are few families that can claim to have multiple generations of major league ball players. Actually, as of right now, I can think of two. The Bells and the Boones. David (David Michael Bell) is the son of Buddy Bell (David Gus Bell), the grandson of Gus Bell (David Russell Bell), and the brother of Mike Bell (Michael John Bell). David was the Phils' starting third baseman in the mid 2000's, but had a run of success with the Mariners and Giants after the turn of the century. In his four season run in Philadelphia, David hit 38 home runs, drove in 209 rbi's to go with a .258 average and an OPS of .715. Before moving on to Philly, David was one of the hitting stars of the NL Champion Giants, getting 17 hits in 56 at bats (.303 average, one home run), scored 11 runs, drove in six combined during the 2002 NLDS, NLCS, and World Series.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 15 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: 1972 Topps #151. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, January 21, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1982 Topps #470 John Mayberry

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, January 21, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1982 Topps #470.
  • Player Name, position, team: John Mayberry, first baseman, Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Major League Debut: September 10, 1968.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1981 stats (Blue Jays): 94 G, 290 AB, 34 R, 72 H, 6 2B, 1 3B, 17 HR, 43 RBI, 1 SB, .452 SLG, 44 BB, 45 SO, .248 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Astros, #1st, June 1967. Traded by the Royals to the Blue Jays 04/04/1978. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 14. This is his twelfth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a.
  • Commentary: It's hard to believe that the alternate uniforms being used by the Blue Jays now are called "retro" when the team last used those jerseys in 1983. Is 27 years really retro??? I feel old. Anyway, John Mayberry was a slugger for the Royals and was still providing the power when he arrived in Toronto. In his five seasons with the Blue Jays, Mayberry hit 92 home runs, drove in 272 rbi's, had a high .802 OPS, and a .256 batting average. By 1982, though, the skills were starting to diminish, and Mayberry was traded to the Yankees in the middle of the season.
  • Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 12 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2005 Topps #44. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Topps 60 Best Cards...#29-34!

We're getting close to the Top 20 of this 60 card countdown. And the closer we get to #1, the closer we get to 2011 Topps Series One. Onto the countdown.

Here are card #'s 29-34 "on Topps 60 Greatest Cards of All Time":
  • #34: 1955 Topps #2 Ted Williams
  • #33: 1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente
  • #32: 1985 Topps #3 Dwight Gooden Record Breaker
  • #31: 1969 Topps #260 Reggie Jackson
  • #30: 1953 Topps #82 Mickey Mantle
  • #29: 1963 Topps #537 1963 Rookie Stars Pedro Gonzalez/Ken McMullen/Pete Rose/Al Weis
Thoughts: Sure enough, the Roberto Clemente Rookie card ranked higher than his second year card, but not by much. And to the anonymous poster questioning MY LOGIC? This is just my opinion only. Yes, maybe "book value" or rookie cards matter. But for as long as I have collected, they ALWAYS have mattered. I'm still wondering why the record breaker card was selected over Doc's regular card. But hey, I didn't pick the 100. More rookie cards are prevalent heading up the countdown, seeing that Clemente's, Jackson's, and yes, #29 is considered Pete Rose's rookie card, even though it is shared with three other players.

Card #28 on the countdown will be announced tomorrow, or on the weekend, depending on when it shows up on the website.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1988 Topps #330 Eddie Whitson

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, January 20, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1988 Topps #330.
  • Player Name, position, team: Eddie Whitson, pitcher, San Diego Padres.
  • Major League Debut: September 4, 1977.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1987 stats (Padres): 36 G, 205.2 IP, 10-13, 113 R, 108 ER, 135 SO, 64 BB, 34 GS, 3 CG, 1 SHO, 0 SV, 4.73 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Pirates, #6th, June 1974. Traded by the Yankees to the Padres 07/09/1986. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 17. This is his thirteenth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: none.
  • Commentary: The set that inspired the Hall of Fame blog 88 Topps Cards. The set so popular, they made school folders based on cards from this set. The set that really got me going into this hobby. It was the baseballs on the back of the card that made me realize that the cards could be put together as a puzzle (hey, I didn't know that these were printed in sheets). The orange background made it really easy to read the statistics. Even if I didn't know what the numbers meant (hey, I was only 12...still learning about the game). Looking back, I wondered why Ed Whitson's card number ended in "0." I came to learn, eventually, that Topps would reserve the "0" and "5" cards for the stars of the game. So why did 1980 All-Star, who finished his year with a 10-13 record and a 4.73 ERA, get a card #330? Because compared to the other pitchers on the rotation, Whitson was their ace. With 13 years of statistics on the back, there was apparently no room for a bio or the "This Way to the Clubhouse" that appeared on many players' cards.
  • Beckett value: $0.01-$0.05.
    How many cards of this player do I own?: 21 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1982 Topps #470. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1995 Topps #189 Derek Lilliquist

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, January 19, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1982 Topps Traded #76T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Derek Lilliquist, pitcher, Atlanta Braves.
    Major League Debut: April 13, 1989.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1994 stats (Braves): 36 G, 29.1 IP, 1-3, 17 R, 16 ER, 15 SO, 8 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 1 SV, 4.91 ERA.
  • Any special information about players: Drafted by the Braves, #1st, June 1987. Selected off Waivers by the Indians from the Padres 11/20/1991. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 6. This is his sixth and final card.
  • Blurb on the back: "When Bill Clinton traveled to Cleveland to throw out the first pitch of the Indians' 1994 season, he forgot to bring along the presidential glove. A major diplomatic embarrassment was avoided when Derek (a southpaw as is Mr. Clinton) loaned him his."
  • Commentary: The era after the strike was a dark period for MLB, and the hobby. Topps wisely made less cards in 1995 (and even less in 1996-1997). Thus when people started coming back to the Hobby, these three years were not as easy to find. If there is anything that the bio on the back teaches us, it is that President Clinton is a lefty. Who knew? It wasn't Derek's best year in 1994. Two years removed from his best season with the Indians (probably to show the Padres that he still had it), Lilliquist's struggles didn't necessarily hurt the Indians (a second place finish in the AL Central before the strike). Sure didn't help them either. I wonder how much Mitsubishi paid Topps (or would it be the other way around) for the use of the three-diamond logo. Either way, almost every card in the set subliminally served as a Mitsubishi car advertisement (although the trademark is from the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation).
  • Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 9 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1988 Topps #330. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1977 Topps #599 Mike Tyson

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, January 18, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1977 Topps #599.
  • Player Name, position, team: Mike Tyson, second baseman, St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Major League Debut: September 5, 1972.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1976 stats (Cardinals): 76 G, 245 AB, 26 R, 70 H, 12 2B, 9 3B, 3 HR, 28 RBI, .286 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Cardinals, #3rd, January 1970. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 9. This is his fourth card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Mike's first major league Homer came on June 19, 1973 and gave Cardinals a rain-shortened 1-0 victory over the Expos. he was named Cardinals' Rookie of Year with 6 game-winning hits."
  • Commentary: Another 70's design. Bit lackluster and less colorful compared to the last two years, but it works for its era and is now more appreciated today. This isn't the boxer Mike Tyson, but based on that stare, it looks like he could knock anybody out. One of the few who can lay claim to playing with both the Cardinals and the Cubs. Was the Cardinals' second baseman throughout the mid to late 70's. Although injuries did take him out for half the season in 1976. He was not known for power (27 home runs in 1o seasons), but very good with the glove.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.12-$0.30.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 7 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1995 Topps #189. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1982 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Topps 60 Best Cards...#35!

And sure enough, Topps hasn't added any new cards to their countdown since this card was announced on Friday, so I guess it's safe to put this post on by itself before the next card or cards make their debut. On Friday, the Topps Company announced which card took in the 35th most votes.

Card #35 is...

(drumroll please)

1956 Topps #33 Roberto Clemente


Thoughts: Although not his rookie card, you have to love the background shot of him leaping against the outfield wall. A classic card in a set that was full of them, I think the ranking here is justified. But that better mean that his 1955 RC is higer up on the countdown. This was also the last card until 1970 that referred to him as Roberto Clemente. From 1957 to 1969, his cards included the name Bob Clemente. Why is that?

Beckett has this listed between $250.00-$400.00 (January 2011)

Card #34 on the countdown will be announced today, or tomorrow, or whenever Topps feels like updating their site.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, January 17, 2011

2011 Topps Series 2 Sell Sheets are Live!!!

So on Sunday, before the Bears game, I was sitting at the social hall (yes, my church has a social hall...) and surfing the 'net on my phone (ain't technology wonderful), when on Twitter, word was out that the sell sheets for 2011 Topps Series 2 was already out.

What??? Series 1 hasn't even come out yet (are you counting down the days???) and now the sell sheets for the second series is live?

Well sure enough, when I (finally) got home, sure enough, there they are. The sell sheets for the now highly anticipated 2011 Topps Baseball Series 2 product is now live!!!
And wouldn't you know it, the it may be Topps' "Diamond Anniversary," but it's the collectors who could be getting the "bling" (can't believe I used the word bling)...literally!!!

















Where should I begin? First, notice that there is no mention of the Red Hot Rookie program. Maybe they realized that if they wanted this program to succeed, they should pick actual "good rookies". Not that all their picks were duds, but some of the guys who were picked left collectors scratching their heads.

The program that will succeed the MCG website (diamondtopps.com...wait wasn't it toppsdiamond.com in series 1???) will now give you the chance of not only getting cards encrusted with diamonds, but actual jewelry (check out the rings on picture number 3). Now personally, I want one. And who wouldn't? But I would feel kind of awkward having a ring with more diamonds on it than the one I bought my wife for her engagement ring.

Many of the other inserts sets that are going along with the basic 330-card set continue what was started in Series 1 (Diamond Duos, the Kimball Champions, Diamond Stars). But there are a couple of new insert sets for this series, including the Diamond Stars and Before there was Topps; and the return of the Topps Attax will replace the Tickets to Toppstown.

And at least we know that two of the 25 legend shortprints in series 2 will be of Nolan Ryan and Babe Ruth (that canary parallel of the Ryan card looks awesome, especially since he's depicted on the front as an Astro.

The base set consists of 330 cards, which breaks down as:
  • 280 veterans
  • 30 rookie cards (with the now exclusive rookie card logo)
  • 15 team cards
  • 5 record breakers
  • 25 cards variation cards featuring legendary players (again)...
You have the usual suspects in the parallel world (golds #'d to 2011, blacks #'d to 60, platinums are 1 of 1), and then you have the diamond parallels (canary diamond- the Ichiro card in the sell sheet - are 1 of 1, the platinum diamond - the Jeter card used in the sell sheet - comes 1 in every four packs). Printing plates (1 of 1, four colors), and silk cards (100 subjects per series) return. But wait. Series one made no mention of team cards. Does this mean that series 2 will contain two teams per card???

Must say that based on what I've seen based on the sell sheets that Topps Series 2 will be something to look forward to during the 2011 MLB season.

There is no product information (yet), but the checklist can be found here. Remember, that everything is subject to change.

Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in about a month. And right around that time, we will have baseball cards. Rejoice!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1988 Topps Traded #65T Mark Marquess

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, January 17, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1988 Topps Traded #65T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Mark Marquess, head coach, Team USA.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Marquess' first and only regular Topps card (total includes both Topps and Topps Traded cards).
  • Commentary: Making it's second appearance on the blog thanks to the Randomizer (last seen on September 8, 2010), I'm just going to save the time and copy everything that I wrote the last time about this card. Here goes: As the 1988 Topps Traded set included most of the players on the Gold-Medal Winning USA Baseball team, it was only fitting that their head coach appear in the set as well. Coach Marquess' real job is Head Coach of the Stanford Cardinal baseball team (yes, it's Cardinal...no 's'), and the bio on the back of the card mentions that he "has guided Stanford to two consecutive College World Series championships" in 1987 and 1988. It goes on to say that he is a former First Team All-American (with Stanford...as a player), being a first baseman. He helped the club to the 1967 College WS with a .404 average. At this point in his career, he has a record of 497-251-4 in 12 seasons as coach. He is still the coach of the Cardinal team, finishing his 34th season this year (his first year was in 1977). He has been involved with USA Baseball as a player and a coach. At the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, baseball was an exhibition sport. Marquess' team put on a show, finishing their tour of duty om Seoul with a 4-1 record, including the gold medal winning game against Japan on September 28, 1988.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 1 card.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1977 Topps #599. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. See you then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1957 Topps #219 Tom Acker

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, January 16, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1957 Topps #219.
  • Player Name, position, team: Tom Acker, pitcher, Cincinnati Redlegs.
  • Major League Debut: April 20, 1956.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1956 stats (Reds): 29 G, 84 IP, 4-3, .571 PCT, 54 SO, 29 BB, 2.36 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the White Sox as a Free Agent before the 1948 season. Traded by Buffalo (International League) to the Reds 10/14/1951. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 4. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Ack' was one of the most dependable members of the Cincinnati bull pen crew last season. His debut into Major League Ball was a big success as he was called on to relieve bombarded teammates 22 times. Although he started only 7 games, one was a sparkling three hit whitewash over the Phillies late in the season."
  • Commentary: The 1957 set would be the last with the old dimensions (before the 2½" by 3½" pieces of cardboard we know today, they used to be 2 5/8" x 3 3/4"). Headshots and posed shots abound in the 1957 set, the only use of design being the player's name and team name/position below it. Lots of information on the back. And that's what cards were. Before the Internet, before the baseball encyclopedia's, baseball cards were the only way for many kids (and adults) to know who the players were. Sure there was the newspaper, but there would be more information about the individual players on their own cards than there would be in the dailys. Acker went 19-13 in his four years with the Reds (or Redlegs...that thing with the USSR I guess urged them to change the team name temporarily and Red Sox was already taken). In 380 innings of work, he struck out 256 batters, and had a WHIP of 1.354 (and back then, the only whips people knew were the ones they'd see or hear about on the westerns).
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $4.00-$8.00.
  • How many cards of each 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: 1988 Topps Traded 65T. 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

If I Can Get to a Computer (and Away From the Bears Game...)

I heard through the grapevine that the sell sheets for 2011 Topps Series 2 are already up. Unfortunately, I'm away from home, so I can't see them (my cell phone doesn't open .pdf files). But when I get home, I'll get them on here.

Also, #35 on the big Topps 60 countdown was announced as the 1956 Roberto Clemente card. Commentary to come soon.

All this and repairing the Randomizer coming soon.

And before I forget. I finally had some time to put some cards in binder sheets. The Topps Attax codes (and Toppstown card codes) have to be entered by 02/01/2011. So get them entered soon before the new cards show up in a month.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1978 Topps #306 Joe Niekro

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, January 15, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1978 Topps #306.
  • Player Name, position, team: Joe Niekro, pitcher, Houston Astros.
  • Major League Debut: April 16, 1967.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1977 stats (Astros): 44 G, 181 IP, 13-8, 66 R, 61 ER, 101 SO, 64 BB, 3.03 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Cubs, #3rd, June 1966 (Special). Traded by the Braves to the Astros 04/05/1975. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 23. This is his twelfth card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Joe had 5 Saves for Astros in 1977."
  • Commentary: The 1978 has now become a classic in its own right, its' blandness being its most endearing quality. A simple design, most distinguished by the fonts and colors used for the team name. The baseball that holds the player's position looks like it's ready to bean Niekro as he takes his pose. Although this Niekro brother did not have the career his big brother had, he did have his best seasons with the Astros in 1979 and 1980. An All-Star in 1979, he led the NL in wins with a 21-11 record, and finished second in the Cy Young voting. In 1980, he again reached the 20 win plateau, going 20-12 with 127 K's. Niekro, who passed away in 2006, is the father of Lance Niekro, who played for the Giants between 2005 and 2007.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.25-$0.60.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 17 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: 1957 Topps #219. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, January 14, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2004 Topps Traded and Rookies #T123 Tyler Davidson

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, January 14, 2011:



  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2004 Topps Traded and Rookies #T123.
  • Player Name, position, team: Tyler Davidson, pitcher, New York Mets.
  • Major League Debut: n/a.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2003 stats (Kingston-Rookie/Brooklyn-A): 65 G, 218 AB, 36 R, 72 H, 13 2B, 8 3B, 11 HR, 40 RBI, 7 SB, 17 BB, 50 SO, .615 SLG, .999 OPS, .330 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Mets, #8th, June 2002. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 1. This is his first and only Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "In 2003, the Mets unveiled a secret weapon in their system in Davidson, a strapping first baseman who had missed his '02 pro debut with a wrist injury. When he finally got on the ballfield, he did so a sthe Appalachian League (R) Player of the Year and circuit leader in slugging percentage (.669). Despite his size (6' 5", 240 lbs), Davidson - a former high school basketball standout - is surprisingly athletic."
    Commentary: By 2004, Topps (and the other companies) went prospect happy. Adding many prospects to their base sets, there was no doubt that many of the players who made the end-of-the-year sets would not pan out. Davidson, alas, is one of those players. His last appearance in the minors was in 2005 (with St. Lucie of the Florida State League). He was soon cut by the team, and appears to have quit baseball. He had the numbers, but it appears injuries held him back. At least he can say, though, that he has a Topps card.
  • Beckett value: $0.20-$0.50.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 1 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1978 Topps #306. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Topps 60 Best Cards...#36-38!

I really think that Topps is just throwing these out there whenever they want. Nothing appeared on Tuesday, and two days later, we now have three more cards making their way onto the big countdown.

Here are card #'s 36-38 "on Topps 60 Greatest Cards of All Time":
  • #38: 1985 Topps #536 Kirby Puckett
  • #37: 2001 Topps Traded & Rookies #T247 Albert Pujols
  • #36: 1960 Topps #148 Carl Yastrzemski
Thoughts: In what was a HUGE upset, the first Topps Pujols card (alright, not really the first Topps card of Pujols) makes the list at #37??? I would have thought that they voters would have ranked way way higher than this. The parade or rookie cards continues as sandwiching Pujols' rookie card are RC's of HOF's Puckett and Yastrzemski. The Topps Puckett card unfortunately, doesn't hold much in terms of RC demand because the Fleer and Donruss update cards came out the year before...as did the Clemens card quite frankly. The Yaz card, one of the few that Topps has used as an example of the 1960 Topps set over the years of reprints, makes its way here. I would have ranked it right about here, if the ballots had given me 60 votes.

Card #35 on the countdown will be announced tomorrow, or on the weekend, depending on when it shows up on the website.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2000 Topps Traded and Rookies #T134 Bruce Chen

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, January 13, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2000 Topps Traded and Rookies #T134.
  • Player Name, position, team: Bruce Chen, pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies.
  • Major League Debut: September 7, 1998.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1999 stats (Braves): 16 G, 51 IP, 2-2, 32 R, 31 ER, 45 SO, 27 BB, 7 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 5.47 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Braves as a Free Agent 07/01/1993. Traded to the Phillies by the Braves 07/12/2000. Bats: both. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 4. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "One of Atlanta's most promising prospects, Chen had struggled to find a home in the Braves' vaunted rotation. Philadelphia acquired him...in exchange for Andy Ashby. Chen is expected to be a cornerstone of the Phil's rebuilding process in 2001."
  • Commentary: Because of the vertical orientation of the back of the 2000 Topps cards (and the traded set), the numbers are a bit hard to read, but it leaves a bit more room for a bio. His stay with the Phil's was brief, as he was traded before the August deadline to the Mets. From there, Chen began his journeyman career, from the Mets to the Expos, then with the Reds, Astros, Red Sox, Orioles, Rangers, and Royals. With the Phil's, he was 7-9, with a 4.28 ERA, 159 K's, and a WHIP of 1.268. And because of my ignorance, I didn't know this. As I always thought he was Korean or Chinese, Chen hails from Panama City, Panama.
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
    How many cards of this player do I own?: 4 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2004 Topps Traded and Rookies #T123. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1982 Topps Traded #76T Keith Moreland

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, January 12, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1982 Topps Traded #76T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Keith Moreland, catcher-outfielder, Chicago Cubs.
    Major League Debut: October 1, 1978.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1981 stats (Phillies): 61 G, 196 AB, 16 R, 50 H, 7 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 37 RBI, 1 SB, .383 SLG, 15 BB, 13 SO, .255 AVG.
  • Any special information about players: Drafted by the Phillies, #7th, June 1975. Traded by the Phillies to the Cubs 12/08/1981. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 12. This is his third card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Keith belted 2 homers and scored 3 runs in helping Phillies to 8-4 win over Astros, August 22, 1981."
  • Commentary: Ever notice that while the back of the cards of the base set is predominantly green, the backs of their traded cards are bright orange??? This was even before the Topps Company used the white cardboard that we became accustomed to in later Traded sets. Topps could have easily used this the 1982 design for their NHL Hockey set (see below for an example):


    But alas, the design is now more associated with baseball cards than anything, especially since this set is the home of the Ripken (rookie cards). Keith Moreland was one of the sparkplugs of the legendary 1984 Cubs team. Along with players like Dernier, Sandberg, Durham, Sutcliffe, et.al, Moreland helped the Cubs win their first ever Eastern Division title. It would be the Cubs' first appearance in the postseason since that dreaded 1945 WS. And although the Cubs didn't get to the promised land, many of the team's players continue to stir great memories in Chicago baseball.
  • Beckett value: $0.20-$0.50.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 13 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2000 Topps Traded and Rookies #T134. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH292 Ryan Dempster NL All-Star RHP

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, January 11, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH292.
  • Player Name, position, team: Ryan Dempster, Pitcher, 2008 National League All-Star Team.
  • Commentary: What a career Ryan Dempster has had for the Chicago Cubs. Not long ago, this man was the Cubs' closer. And he was a good one at that, saving 85 games for the team between 2005 and 2007. But in 2008, he rejoined the starting rotation, and became one of the reasons why the Cubs finished first in the NL Central Division. By the All-Star break, he has 10-4, struck out 104 batters, and a dazzling WHIP of 1.179. At the 2008 All-Star Game, he pitched in a familiar inning...the 9th. He faced three batters: Ian Kinsler, Dioner Navarro, and J. D. Drew. It took 18 pitches, but Kinsler and Navarro both struck out swinging, and Drew struck out looking. The back of this card says that no pitcher was more overpowering than Ryan. This was his second ASG, as he represented the Marlins back in 2000.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.12-$0.30.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1982 Topps Traded #76T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1982 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Topps 60 Best Cards...#39-41!

Is it just me, or did the Vote Topps site not have card #'s 41 and 40 posted until Monday. And since I missed posting card #39 on Monday, and they haven't announced #38 yet, maybe now is a good time to run this post.

Here are card #'s 39-41 "on Topps 60 Greatest Cards of All Time":
  • #41: 1955 Topps #123 Sandy Koufax
  • #40: 1977 Topps #110 Reggie Jackson
  • #39: 1985 Topps #181 Roger Clemens
Thoughts: Okay, this Koufax makes sense as it is his rookie card compared to the 1957 issue (thanks for the explanation friend of the blog tdlindgren, but I'm still not convinced that the 57 card should have made the list at all). The 1977 Reggie Jackson card was his first as a Yankee, but had Topps not made the attempt to airbrush the card, it should have shown him as a member of the Orioles. Don't believe me, ask the guy who has the eBay handle merkle923. He has the proof. Regarding Roger Clemens...now some people on facebook when this was announced wanted this card tossed because "he's a cheater." Really? This countdown is not about the players. It's about the cards. And this card was a big one for the hobby in the 80's and 90's. Granted, it was one of the contributors of overproduction, but then again, at the time, the speculators were driving the hobby to that point...and the Hobby is still recovering.

Card #38 on the countdown will be announced today or tomorrow, depending on when it shows up on the website.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, January 10, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1976 Topps #319 Larry Gura

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, January 10, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1976 Topps #319.
  • Player Name, position, team: Larry Gura, pitcher, New York Yankees.
  • Major League Debut: April 30, 1970.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1975 stats (Yankees): 26 G, 151 IP, 7-8, 65 R, 59 ER, 65 SO, 41 BB, 3.52 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by Cubs #2nd, June 1969. Traded by the Rangers to the Yankees 05/08/1974. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 15. This is his sixth card.
  • Blurb on the back: Comic blurb "Pete Gray, a one-armed outfielder, played in 77 games with the St. Louis Browns in 1945."
  • Commentary: The iconic 1976 Topps design, utilizing the position specific drawing of each player on the lower left corner of the card, failed to follow the Topps status quo of using team specific color borders. To wit...sky blue and green? For the Yankees? Larry didn't stay long with the Yanks. Although as fate would soon have it, he was traded to the Yankees' favorite patsy, the Kansas City Royals, during the 1976 season. But with KC, he flourished. He became an All-Star in 1980, finishing the year with an 18-10 record and a 2.95 ERA. With the Yankees, however, Gura went 12-9, a decent 3.21 ERA and a WHIP of 1.350.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 13 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH292. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. See you then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1963 Topps #181 Sammy Esposito

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, January 9, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1963 Topps #181.
  • Player Name, position, team: Sammy Esposito, infielder, Chicago White Sox.
  • Major League Debut: September 28, 1952.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1962 stats (White Sox): 75 G, 81 AB, 14 R, 19 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, .235 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the White Sox as a Free Agent before the 1952 season. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 7. This is his seventh and final card.
  • Blurb on the back: "A great defensive infielder, Sammy is an important member of the White Sox's bench." Comic shows that Sammy plays a lot of handball in the winter.
  • Commentary: Ahh the 1963 Topps design. With it's easy to chip, bold colored bottom borders, it is no wonder that you will be hard pressed to find any in good condition. I always wondered how these were printed? I mean, were some cards upside down on the full sheet? Was Topps careful and actually placed the cards gently on the cutter to ensure that no color appears on the top of the cards? Then I learned, yes, that there would be rows of cards that would appear upside down on the printer sheet. Makes you wonder how they got that final Whitey Ford card printed (last card in the set sequentially with the green border). I boldly predict that the 2023 set will have a similar design (big picture with a little picture by the player's name somewhere). Why? Because we've seen it with the 1983 set, and the 2003 set design as well (also in 1984, but we won't count that here). Esposito was a bench player at best for the team that made it to the World Series in 1959. Never appeared in more than 98 games a season (high water mark was in 1958). Listed on here as an infielder because he had no set position. Sammy played third base most of the time, but was inserted in second and short from time to time. But he was a whiz defensively. In ten seasons, had a fielding percentage of .959, and committed only 42 errors.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $1.50-$4.00.
  • How many cards of each 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: 1976 Topps #319. 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, January 8, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1979 Topps #687 Rennie Stennett

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, January 8, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1979 Topps #687.
  • Player Name, position, team: Rennie Stennett, second baseman, Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Major League Debut: July 10, 1971.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1978 stats (Pirates): 106 G, 333 AB, 30 R, 81 H, 9 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 35 RBI, .243 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Pirates as a Free Agent 02/12/1969. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 11. This is his eighth card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Set modern record by going 7 for 7 in 9-inning game, 09/16/1975. also tied mark with 2 hits in each of 2 innings in same game. Had 12 hits in 3 games."
  • Commentary: In my opinion, Topps designs in the 1970's came roaring in like a lion and out like a lamb. Classic designs from 1970, 1971, and 1972 (the gray border, black border, and psychedelic banners respectively) to start the decade, and pretty generic designs to end it (unless you're really good, you couldn't recognize which set was 1977, or 1979, or even 1978). As the years go on, these designs have become classics, and are now seen as appropriate for the era. This was also the first time Topps utilized their logo on the front of the card. Rennie Stennett was the Buc's second baseman throughout the 1970's. Though never an All-Star, the Panamanian native was an MVP Candidate in 1974 and 1977. In 1979, the "We are Family" Pirates won the World Series. Looking at Stennett's picture on the card, you have to wonder why the Pirates don't use the yellow uniforms anymore. They had a ton of success wearing them. Maybe the color was to blinding to the opposition. I don't know. But if the Blue Jays can bring back the 80's powder blue jerseys, why not the yellow and black 70's jerseys for the Pirates. Who wouldn't want to see Andrew McCutchen turning into a yellow blur in the outfield???
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.10-$0.25.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 8 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 #181. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

The Results are in: We Want More Retro Sets (Just Not so Many in One Year).

The announcement of Topps' newest retro line, the Gypsy Queen, led to some really good debate as to whether or not the Topps Company has worn down the novelty of these tributes to the Hobby's past. Not counting their own Heritage line, Topps has paid homage to the following 1800's to early 1900's brands:

  • T206 (2002-2003, 2009, 2010)
  • T205 (2003-2004)
  • Cracker Jack (2004, 2005)
  • Turkey Red (2005-2006, 2007)
  • Allen & Ginter (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • National Chicle (2010)
Heck, even that other card company got into the act with their own line of tributes, including:
  • Play Ball (2003, 2004)
  • Goudey (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Goodwin Champions (2009)
  • Others I may or may not be missing
And within their own insert sets, they've featured the T202 Triple Folders (from Topps 205), DeLong set (2006) Turkey Red (2009-2010) and in 2011 will honor the N184 Kimball's Champions set from 1888 (which could have been a set in it's own right for 2011, but that's another topic for another day).

But after almost 10 years, the retro craze is starting to wear thin, and now collectors (or at least those who go online on message boards and fire at all cylinders) have been clamoring for the company to slow down if not end the concept. And, it looks like the Topps Company is listening.

In 2011, a video was posted on the Topps Blog (and on Facebook, and on Twitter) talking about the newest retro product, the Gypsy Queen. And according to Clay Luraschi, of Topps baseball product lines this year, there will only be two...that's right...2...retro lines this year. The aformentioned Gypsy Queen, and the ever popular Allen & Ginter. That's it. Just the two.

Which for me, sounds about right. Allen & Ginter has become such a successful product line that it now ranks among the most anticipated products of the year. Everyone looks forward to what craziness the Topps company has in store. And they deliver in huge ways. Although I can't imagine how many more champions they have yet to find (I thought the beard champion and the rock/paper/scissors champion were a bit of a stretch), there are competitions out there every year, and somebody has to win them.

I think one retro product outside of A & G makes sense. We've seen where having too many of these special products brought forth for the masses in one year can kill the interest of set collectors. But the question still remains. Should Topps continue to create more vintage/retro trading cards? A poll put up on this humble, little blog, aimed to find out.

So after 14 days and 59 votes, here are the results:
  • 34 votes (57%) said Yes. There are more designs they can utilize from the Hobby's rich history.
  • 25 votes (42%) said No, the appeal of these kinds of cards is gone and Topps should stop producing them.
The voting was kind of close for a while, but it seems that the yes votes started to out run the no's. You have to admit, even though the Yes votes won by 15%, it still seems pretty even in terms of people's opinions of the topic.

I do like the retro products. There is so much out there that the Topps Company can still use. And if you were collecting their 2007 WalMart cards or the Trading Card History set from 2008, you can see that they were able to recreate many classic sets. Who knows, maybe in 2012, they can recreate the T204 Ramly's (Topps 204), the 1904 Fan Craze set, use the Mayo Cut Plug (all black borders...) that they did for football a couple of years ago, the V61 Neilson's Chocolates from 1921, or maybe stun the world with a set honoring Japan's baseball card heritage.

Who knows what the future will hold. But for now, it's A & G and the Queen in 2011. And Topps Series 1 comes out in just over a month. Can't we get them sooner??!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, January 7, 2011

Topps 60 Best Cards...#42!

Now that Topps has finally brought the public up to speed on their countdown of their greatest cards of all-time as voted on by the collecting public, this morning, they announced which card took in the 43rd most votes.

Card #42 is...

(drumroll please)

1983 Topps #482 Tony Gwynn


Thoughts: One of the three important RC's in the 1983 Topps set (along with HOF's Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg), Gwynn is sporting the unfamiliar, "destined-to-start-the-season-in-the-minors" number 53. He sure showed the Padres that he was worth keeping around huh? At #42, this card is a lot lower than I thought it should be (at least in the mid '30s), but then again, the other '83 card (Wade Boggs) showed up at #59.

Beckett has this listed between $10.00-$25.00 (January 2011)

Card #41 on the countdown will be announced tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1989 Topps #559 Juan Agosto

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, January 7, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1997 Topps #360.
  • Player Name, position, team: Juan Agosto, pitcher, Houston Astros.
  • Major League Debut: September 7, 1981.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1988 stats (Astros): 75 G, 91.2 IP, 10-2, 27 R, 23 ER, 33 SO, 30 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 4 SV, 2.26 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Red Sox as a Free Agent 08/29/1974. Signed with the Astros as a Free Agent 04/27/1987. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 10. This is his sixth card.
  • Blurb on the back: "He made Championship Series Debut: 10/08/1983; Achieved first National League Win: 08/03/1987; Achieved first National League Save: 08/20/1987."
    Commentary: I love the 1989 Topps design. I can't say that enough. Although contrary to what was said in Craig Biggio's 1989 Cards Your Mother Threw Out blurb, I never called it the "Wave", although I do see the similarities to one. Probably had his best year in the majors as a member of the 1988 Houston Astros. Agosto appeared in 75 games, reaching career lows in ERA with 2.26 and WHIP with a cool 1.135. Was the most reliable reliever in the Astros' bullpen. Agosto also pitched for the White Sox during their AL West Division winning season in 1983.
  • Beckett value: $0.01-$0.05.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 10 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1979 Topps #687. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1997 Topps #360 David Cone

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, January 6, 2011:



  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1997 Topps #360.
    Player Name, position, team: David Cone, pitcher, New York Yankees.
    Major League Debut: June 8, 1986.
    Last Line of Statistics: 1996 stats (Yankees): 11 G, 72 IP, 7-2, 25 R, 23 ER, 71 SO, 34 BB, 11 GS, 1 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 2.88 ERA.
    Any special information about players: Drafted by the Royals, #3rd, June 1981. Traded to the Yankees from the Blue Jays, 07/28/1995. Bats: left. Throws: right.
    Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 18. This is his thirteenth card.
    Blurb on the back: "Among pitchers with 750 or more IP since 1992, only Greg Maddux (2.13) has a lower EAR than David's 3.15."
    Commentary: One of my brother's favorite memories of Harry Caray was when Cone faced the Cubs and Harry, who always liked to spell players' last names backwards, promptly announced on the air, "Cone, spelled backwards, is Enoc." For some reason, I enjoy it when my brother relates that story, even many years after he first heard it. It just reminds me when we were younger and just enjoying the summer at home. Cone made it to the other side of New York just in time for the stretch run. The Yankees may not have made it far into the playoffs (although he did earn a victory in the ALDS against the Mariners). But the following year, Cone helped the Yankees get to the World Series, including a win in the WS vs. the Braves in game 3.
    Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
    How many cards of this player do I own?: 27 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1989 Topps #559. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama