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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Skipping the Sports Card Blogroll Update This Month...Let Me Explain

It's not because I haven't posted in a week.  But the SCBR is presently out of date.  And it's not my fault.

There is an ongoing issue lately that has been affecting a lot of the blogs on blogger.com regarding link lists an blog lists gadgets.  I tried adding seven new blogs last week, and while they were added to some of the rolls, they were not added to the two most important ones:  The Blogroll Index and Most Recent Posts.  Fortunately, the seven blogs did make the New in 2012 blog list. 

I am going to remove Jaybarkerfan's list and the New in 2011 roll (it is 2012 you know, and I kept it up for those bloggers who did "blog rookie of the year" kinds of polls).  But the actual removal of blogs from the other rolls will not be happening until blogger corrects this little syntax error:

Syntax error

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Code: 0
URI: http://www.blogger.com/static/v1/widgets/1519702309-widget-config.js
Line: 94
Char: 43

I will say that the picked up 18 new blogs this month, bringing the total number of blogs on the active roll to 354.  The following blogs will be moving to the inactive list as soon as the problem is fixed:
With these fourteen blogs off the active roster, the SCBR presently holds 340 blogs, for a net gain of +4. 

As always, if you or someone you know has a blog about our Hobby of Sports Card Collecting, please send me an e-mail at bdj610@hotmail.com and let me know. If you have a blog that hasn't been worked on lately and you plan on becoming active in the Hobby Blogging Community, let me know that as well.  So far, we have a number of new collectors jumping into the proverbial blog pool.  With 2012 Topps Baseball due officially arriving tomorrow, it is only a matter of time before the number of blogs increases.  Here's hoping.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

2012 Topps is Now Live!!! Guess What I'm Not Getting This Year?

The reason why I have not been posting this past week is because of a transition in jobs.  I still am employed at the same place I've worked for the last thirteen plus years, but have been asked to take back some older responsibilities.  The adjustment isn't all that bad, I just needed a refresher course in a few things, plus I have to learn new things, but it's nothing I can't handle.  It beats the alternative, although I'm getting the feeling...no, I won't go there.  Anyway, the new work also means I get to leave work earlier.  So I'm posting now.

I have been online and have seen that auctions have shown up on the Bay for 2012 Topps S1, and all the goodies that are included within.  One thing I have noticed though is that the legendary SP's have seemed to nowhere in sight.  There will still be short-printed cards in Series 1, but instead of legends, Topps is returning to variation cards of current players in limited quantities.  And it seems that the SP's can be grouped in a few categories:  (hopefully playful) fights with mascots, frivolity in the dugout, or celebrations (think Pie in the Face from 2010). 

To wit, here are the 20 SP cards (not including the already known Pujols and Reyes cards):
  • #1B Ryan Braun (celebration with teammates)
  • #35B Eric Hosmer (dugout photo with teammates)
  • #35C Eric Hosmer (Gatorade bath)
  • #76B Ian Kennedy (Pie in the Face)
  • #93B Skip Schumaker (It's The Rally Squirrel...and Schumaker's right foot)
  • #145B Billy Butler (Gatorade bath...at least the Royals need a way to celebrate)
  • #165B Michael Morse (Gatorade bath...okay, so do the Nationals)
  • #173B Ryan Roberts (pre-Pie in the Face)
  • #185B Pablo Sandoval (fighting with Parrot Pete...again, Pete shows up at the weirdest times)
  • #185C Pablo Sandoval (fighting with the Swinging Friar...have you no shame, sir?)
  • #188B Bobby Abreu (dugout photo)
  • #215B Freddie Freeman (dugout "celebration" with teammates)
  • #256B Mat Latos (dugout "celebration" with teammates...Topps couldn't photoshop the Reds jersey on him yet)
  • #270B Starlin Castro (dugout photo...great, something for Cub fans to chase)
  • #308B Mike Leake (fighting with the Gapper...isn't he on your team???)
  • #400B Robinson Cano (dugout photo with teammate)
  • #411B Tsuyoshi Nishioka (dugout photo with teammate)
  • #421B Heath Bell (dugout photo..with a jar of gumballs)
  • #450B Justin Upton (celebration photo)
  • #470B Howie Kendrick (dugout "celebration" with teammates)




Now I like the cards.  They show the lighter side of the game, with many happy moments being shared with players and their teammates.  But, just like other variation cards (see 2007 Topps), I'm not really interested in collecting them.  I'll already have each player's regular card, I won't really need the variation.  But that won't mean that I'll be disappointed if I get one (I'll be ecstatic).  But don't expect me to put these in my wantlist on the side bar.  And at least we have a clue as to what number (possibly...there has been a sense of discontinuity with these things) a player will get in series 2 (see #400, 411, 421, 450, and 470).

And I was hoping for a 2012 card of Roberto Clemente or Willie Mays.  Maybe in series 2.  You never know. 

Series 1 is (supposed) to arrive in stores tomorrow.  Are you ready?

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1999 Topps #261 Gregg Olson

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, January 24, 2012:




  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1994 Topps #726.
  • Player Name, position, team: Gregg Olson, pitcher, Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Major League Debut: September 02, 1988.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1998 stats (Diamondbacks): 64 G, 68.2 IP, 3-4, 25 R,23ER, 5 SO, 25 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 30 SV, 3.01 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Orioles #1st, June 1988. Signed with the Diamondbacks as a Free Agent 01/31/1998. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 9. This is his ninth and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: None. On the back of the card, the stats include a black star on the year 1989, and below the picture on the back, the black star represents that he was Rookie of the Year.
  • Commentary: Funny isn't it?  Card #261, and it appears in series 2??!  Well, this was about the time when Topps was inconsistent with the number of cards for their eponymous set (463 card numbers, 462 cards with the Mantle retirement).  It had been five years since Gregg Olson appeared on a Topps card when 1999 Topps Series 2 went live.  This means that after leaving the Orioles as a Free Agent to join the Braves, he did not appear in any of Topps products.  Which means that Topps missed the journeyman middle-reliever phase of his career (not surprising as Topps stopped including these unsung players in their products).  After stopping in Atlanta in what was an injury riddled year, Olson travelled around the majors, making stops in Cleveland, Kansas City, Detroit, Houston, Minnesota, and back again to KC.  Within those five lost years, the man who beat Ken Griffey, Jr. as the AL Rookie of the Year, and had saved 160 games for the O's, went 11-8, and had a grand total of 13 saves, with a high water mark of 8 with the Tigers.  Hoping to revive his career as a closer, he signed on with the expansion Diamondbacks. It was just the thing he needed.  He saved 30 games for the expansion franchise, the most he had saved since 1993.  In two years with the D'Backs, he went 12-8, finished 85 games, saved 44 of them, struck out 100 batters, and had an ERA of 3.34. Although he was longer the baby-faced youngster that we all saw on his 1989 Topps card, he had found his fountain of youth in the hot desert of Phoenix.  At the end of the 1999 season, Olson signed with the Dodgers.  I'll always remember Gregg Olson because he made his lone All-Star Team in 1990 at Wrigley Field.  While he didn't pitch in the game, it would have been phenomenal if he had the opportunity to face the Braves' lone representative that night.  His name?  Greg Olson.
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 14 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1994 Topps Traded #105T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. 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, January 23, 2012

The Countdown to 2012 Topps Has Begun...With Super Short Prints?



Remember last year when Topps took advantage of the Red Sox' high profile free agent signings of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez by inserting super short printed variation cards of both players in their soon-to-be-new jerseys (photoshopped for your convenience of course)?  Well, they're at it again.

Above is the preliminary cover for March's Beckett Baseball (Thanks Chris for the clarification).  I'm going to make sure I get a copy as it's about Topps and it's a must have for this collector.  But take a look at the main cards in the photo.  No, not the Pablo Sandoval card that depicts Kung Fu Panda fighting Parrot Pete (what is with that bird anyway??!)  It's Albert Pujols in an Angels jersey and Jose Reyes in his new Miami Marlins uniform. 


According to the Number One Source in the Hobby, Topps managed to print these two cards (#'d 331 and 332 respectively) and add them to packs of the new 2012 Topps Series 1...IN LIMITED QUANTITIES!!!  And there will be more news to come until T-Day.

Somewhere, in an almost abandoned blog on the outskirts of Philadelphia, a writer is preparing (if he has not already done so) to continue his war against gimmicks.  And Topps has fired the first shot.

To paraphrase that great Miami philosopher Horatio Caine, "Things...(puts on shades)...are about to get interesting."  (cue Roger Daltrey's "Yeahhhhh!" from The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again!")

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1990 Topps #33 Greg Walker

Due to the delays described on Sunday, the Random Topps Card of the Day posts for Thursday, January 19, through Sunday, January 22, will be posted during the week.

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, January 23, 2012:



  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1990 Topps #33.
  • Player Name, position, team: Greg Walker, first baseman, Chicago White Sox.
  • Major League Debut: September 18, 1982.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1989 stats (White Sox): 77 G, 233 AB, 25 R, 49 H, 14 2B, 0 3B. 5 HR, 26 RBI, 0 SB, .335 SLG, 23 BB, 50 SO, .210 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Phillies, #20th, June 1977. Drafted by the White Sox in the Rule V Draft, 12/03/1979. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 8. This is his eighth and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: None. There is a 1989 Monthly Scoreboard which splits Walker's runs and hits by month.
  • Commentary: I don't see why people get so down on the 1990 Topps set. The design shows a lot of color with the borders, and if you have a factory set, you could pretend you have a jigsaw puzzle and try to reassemble what the printing sheets look like before they were cut. In fact, I have three of the six sheets of 1990 Topps somewhere in my basement. Granted, unless you have the orange sheet (with a nameless Frank Thomas), they aren't worth much either. But I'm sure they would look nice framed anyway. Greg Walker was the White Sox' first baseman throughout most of the 1980's. He was a member of the "Winning Ugly" White Sox from 1983, and 22 home runs and 78 rbi's from 1984 through 1987. He saw limited time in 1988, and in 1989, was replaced by eventual 1989 Topps All-Star Rookie Team member Carlos Martinez. Walker was released by the White Sox at the end of April, 1990, and signed with the Orioles a few days later. He played with the O's for two months before being released by the team in July, 1990. It would be the end of his major league career as a player. He returned to the Sox as their hitting coach in 2003. In 2012, he joins the Atlanta Braves as their new hitting coach.
  • Beckett value: $0.01-$0.05.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 11 cards.

Tomorrow's card will be: 1999 Topps #261. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Making Up for Lost Time

For those wondering why the posts suddenly stopped, I have a very good explanation:

Our computer was infected with a virus. (cue ominous music...dun dun dunnnnnnnnnn)

It was one of those things were the program hid all of our files, shortcuts, and everything and then started sending messages like "your OS is failing" or "your hard drive is going to crash due to memory loss". Worse was the "click here to scan." When you do, this thing called System Check, which looks like something from Microsoft (but it's NOT) started "scanning" for errors, "found" sixteen, "fixed" seven of them, and suggested that if I wanted to fix the other nine, I had to "buy this program."

Red Flag!!!

Already something was fishy.

Then when I tried to close the program, it wouldn't. At that point I knew we had a virus. But that was Friday.

It's just that on Tuesday, I didn't know what was happening. So I turned off the computer. Unfortunately after shutting down the computer, it would not reboot. Some file was missing or corrupted and Windows would not start.

Thanks to Kevin, a friend of mine who knows his way around computers and even built our now disabled computer, we were able to log in. But because of concerns about our hard drive, he suggested to keep the computer off.

On Friday, I had a hunch that something else could be happening. All that stuff I mentioned earlier happened, leading me to believe our computer was infected.

But how was I going to get online if this trojan horse hid all of our files? Thank you Google Desktop. The programs that appear on the bottom right of the desktop (we still use xp) were not affected and once I knew that our files were still safe, I started to search for a site that could clear out the System Check virus. It is a relatively new virus as the website I found had only four comments, first from January 10. Following the steps, including a download of a free program (paying would give more features...didn't need them), allowed me to find and erase all traces of System Check.

On Saturday, Kevin came back and after taking apart the computer, gave it a thorough cleaning (admittedly, he said ours was relatively clean on the inside), installed more ram to our computer. I tested it last night. Our computer is now fast. Not Tony Campana fast (hey, needed to reference baseball somehow), but faster than what my family is used to with this machine.

So there you have it. The Random Card of the Day posts will be done today, and I have six or seven blogs to add to the Sports Card Blogroll. I have a lot of catching up to do.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1985 Topps #67 Rafael Santana

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, January 18, 2012:




  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1985 Topps #67.
  • Player Name, position, team: Rafael Santana, shortstop, New York Mets.
  • Major League Debut: April 5, 1983.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1984 stats (Mets): 51 G, 152 AB, 14 R, 42 H, 11 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 0 SB, .382 SLG, 9 BB, 17 SO, .276 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Yankees as a Free Agent 08/31/1976. Signed with the Mets as a Free Agent 01/27/1984. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 7. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Rafael participated in 2 Triple Plays during 1979."
  • Commentary: Regarding the blurb, that is exactly how it is written...verbatim. Apparently, Topps was in a bit of a rush to edit the sentence. But it's been more than 27 years since the card was printed, so hey...history right? Santana's breakout season came in 1985 as he was became the team's primary shortstop. While not exactly Ozzie Smith in the field, he led the NL in putouts with 301, so committing 25 errors (fifth in the NL) in 722 chances isn't all that bad. At the plate, he hit a decent .257 with a homer and 29 driven in. He went 5-20 during the 1986 World Series, scoring three runs and driving in 2 more. What I'll remember him for is that he was card #792 in my all-time favorite Topps set from 1989. Although out of Topps' spotlight since 1990, he did make a couple of appearances in three of Topps sets in 2005: Super Teams, Retired, and All-Time Fan Favorites. And he has autograph cards in each set.
  • Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 10 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: Thursday: 1981 Topps Traded #749. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Topps is live? A Quick Update From Craig!

Craig Parker was kind enough to update us on the situation with the 2012 Topps Gold Rush cards that popped up on the Bay earlier:

"Well, JayBee, when I first saw these on EBay, I got excited because I knew 2012 Topps must be live! However, it has been confirmed to me by the seller that these cards are promotional cards sent by Topps to dealers to help promote 2012 Topps. The dealer told me he received 30 different cards. I'm unsure if all 330 cards are paralleled or if the same 30 were sent to all dealers. Maybe some of your loyal followers will be able to answer that. :)


Oh well. So we will have to keep waiting for the release of 2012 Topps.


Craig from Texas"

More to come as it transpires.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1994 Topps #726 Alvaro Espinoza

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, January 17, 2012:





  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1994 Topps #726.
  • Player Name, position, team: Alvaro Espinoza, third baseman-shortstop, Cleveland Indians.
  • Major League Debut: September 14, 1984.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1993 stats (Indians): 129 G, 263 AB, 34 R, 73 H, 15 2B, 0 3B. 4 HR, 27 RBI, 2 SB, .380 SLG, 8 BB, 36 SO, .278 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Houston Astros as a Free Agent 10/30/1978. Signed with the Indians as a Free Agent 04/03/1992. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 6. This is his sixth and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "After 15 three-hit games in his career, Alvaro enjoyed his first four-hit outburst on July 2, 1993, against California."
  • Commentary: Once again, the Randomizer picks a card from 1994. I think it's due for a tune-up. It's either that or that's just how the randomizer works. I don't know. The coolest thing about this card is the back photo of Alvaro sporting a straw hat and glasses. Although I like the action shot on the front of the card, I would not have minded Topps using the back photo for the front. Besides, this is the same set that includes Jose Rijo with a water blaster.



    Espinoza played all four infield positions in 1994, committing a grand total of 10 errors in 313 chances for a .968 fielding percentage. He saw action in 90 games that year, batting .238 with a homer and 19 driven in. Although this is his last regular Topps card, Alvaro went on to play parts of two seasons with the Tribe.  In a midseason deadline deal, Espinoza was traded to the Mets with Carlos Baerga for Jeff Kent and Jose Vizcaino, a straight-up trade for middle infielders.
  • Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 8 cards.

Tomorrow's card will be: 1985 Topps #67. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1985 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

2012 Topps is live?

Friend of the blog, and all around good guy Craig Parker sent me an e-mail last night (didn't see it until this morning):

"Hey JayBee!


Check out my page here:


http://www.facebook.com/pages/2012-Topps-Fan-Page/150721531706845 


I think 2012 Topps is live! But I REALLY would like to know how these "redemption" cards have already surfaced! Sounds fishy to me! What do you think?


Craig in Texas"





If you're not able to get onto facebook (like I am at the moment), after doing some digging, I found a site called 2012 Topps (Craig, is this your site?) and saw the photo you see above from this link.

Well Craig, I'm stumped. What are these? And if Topps 1 isn't live until February, how did this person get them? And why is it now on the Bay? Are these an unannounced parallel? Can anybody explain this?

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Sell Sheets are Live!!!

In trying to find last year's post, it turns out that I may not have done one for this set in 2011 (another should have posted in 2011 post coming up eventually).

The sell sheets for the product that EVERYBODY waits for with baited breath are now live. Please take a look and see what is in store for the 2012 edition of Topps' Allen & Ginter set:




























The preliminary checklist (subject to change) breakdown includes:

  • 350 card set, 50 short prints,
  • 260 veterans,
  • 29 Retired Players (think Aaron, Clemente, and about eight Yankees)
  • 31 "Rookie Card Logo" players, five TBD
  • 25 Public figures/Champions (all TBD)
Mini inserts this year include People of the Bible (15 cards), Man's Best Friends (20 breeds of dogs), the 20-card World's Greatest Military Leaders, Giants of the Deep (15 species of whale), Musical Masters (16 composers), Culinary Curiosities (10 cards of odd dishes), among others (you know, those that aren't announced until the product becomes live...it's all right people...breathe...breathe...)

Full size insert cards (not of the baseball variety) are World's Tallest Buildings (10 cards), Historical Turning points (20 cards), and "You've Gotta Be Kidding Me" which is a 15 card set of unbelievable things that certain bloggers have mentioned over the years about the things that the Topps Company has done (think the Uzuki, the Jeter, the...I'm kidding folks). This year's special rip card is called "Colony in a Card." Bust open the card, put contents in water, and you have a living colony of creatures (along the line of sea monkeys).

Full size insert cards of the baseball variety (which will most likely be part of many master sets sold on the Bay) are "What's in a Name?" a 100-card set, and baseball highlight sketches (25).

Of interest is this little note on the sell sheet about a "relic" product called "Lepidoptery Cards":




"An exciting, never-before-seen type of card! These hand-crafted cards will each feature a full, pressed butterfly in an exquisite window-box-style card. These cards will be inserted into packs as redemptions."


Never-before-seen, huh??? No comment because I do not want to point out that it's been done before...especially by that other card company.

Product information can be found here. As always, the checklist is subject to change. Are you looking forward to the upcoming baseball card schedule? I can only hope that I manage to buy a 2010 and 2011 set before even thinking about 2012. Oh well, maybe this is the year.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2004 Topps #431 Horacio Ramirez

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, January 16, 2012:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2004 Topps #431.
  • Player Name, position, team: Horacio Ramirez, pitcher, Atlanta Braves.
  • Major League Debut: April 02, 2003.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2003 stats (Braves): 29 G, 182.1 IP, 12-4, 91 R, 81 ER, 100 SO, 72 BB, 29 GS, 1 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 1.39 WHIP, 4.00 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Braves, #5th, June 1997. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 4. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Manager Bobby Cox compares Horacio to a young Tom Glavine, saying "He's a pitcher. He can drop any type of pitch on you i any count. He can spot it in and out; he can do a lot of stuff.""
  • Commentary: It's like the Randomizer knows what sets I like.  Once again, it picks a card from 2004.  Maybe I should have it looked at to make sure it's not doing this on purpose. Horacio Ramirez was one of the players the Braves were planning would be the future for the Braves.  With mentors like Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz, it was hoped that their experience would rub off on the pitching prospects.  In 2003, it looked like they had succeeded with Ramirez.  In 29 starts, he went 12-4 with 100 strikeouts.  But in 2004, he saw limited action thanks to injuries. In 10 games, he went 2-4 with a ERA of 2.39 and 31 K's.  He was traded to the Mariners at the end of the 2006 season for Rafael Soriano.  Although he has been active going into the 2012 campaign (with the exception of 2010 when he was out of baseball) he has not been seen on a Topps card since 2008.
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 5 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1994 Topps #726. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1971 Topps #462 Washington Senators Team Card

(Figures that my posts from yesterday and today didn't get published while I was out this weekend.  My apologies.)

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, January 15, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1971 Topps #462.
  • Team: 1970 Washington Senators.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1970 stats: Manager Ted Williams, 70-92, .432 PCT., 38 GB, Sixth Place AL East.
  • Commentary: I know the Randomizer has picked manager cards in the past, and I know that it has selected team leader cards as well. I think this is the first team card utilizing a team photo on the front of the card. The 1971 set was bold in its design using a black border. Cards from this set are really hard to find in Near Mint or Mint condition. So much so that cards that ARE found in those conditions are usually sold at much higher prices. Anyway, after the original Senators left for the Twin Cities, MLB granted Washington, DC another franchise to take their place. After suffering through futility throughout the 1960's, the Senators hired Ted Williams was hired to lead the team in 1969.  Under Williams' leadership,these Senators did have their first (and only) winning season with an 86-76 record. They weren't able to build on that success as the team faltered the following year to 70-92. The back of the card features team leaders in statistical categories, not from the previous season, but the franchise's all-time leaders. Left fielder Frank Howard was the team's offensive leader with 44 home runs, 126 rbi's, a .283 batting average and a .962 OPS. Dick Bosman was the staff ace with a 16-12 record and 3.00 ERA while Joe Coleman paced the team with 152 strikeouts. Closer Darold Knowles finished 49 games, earning 27 saves. It didn't get much better in 1971, and the team headed to Texas soon afterwards, becoming the Texas Rangers.  Washington DC would not get another franchse until the Montréal Expos moved to DC to become the Washington Nationals.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $2.50-$6.00.
In case you're actually wondering, I don't own this card, but was able to get a crystal clean copy of the image from the from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. So thank you Joe McAnally and the folks at the BCCM.

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 2004 Topps #431. 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 14, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2010 Topps #494 Andrew Miller

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, January 14, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2010 Topps #494.
  • Player Name, position, team: Andrew Miller, pitcher, Florida Marlins.
  • Major League Debut: August 30, 2006.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2009 stats (Marlins): 20 G, 3-5, 80 IP, 85 H, 52 R, 43 R, 43 BB, 59 SO, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 1.60 WHIP, 4.84 ERA.
  • Any special information about players: Drafted by the Tigers, #1st, June 2006. Traded by the Tigers to the Marlins 12/05/2007.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 4. This is his fourth card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Back in 2007, Andrew's first MLB start was something to build on - six scoreless innings. The all-time strikeout record holder at the U. of North Carolina has had a rocky go since then, often due to injuries that have affected his command. A consistent positive has been his ability to retire left-handed hitters, who have batted only .246 against them.
  • Commentary: Securing both the MLB Properties and MLB Player's Association licenses, Topps became the Exclusive Trading Card company of Major League Baseball. Free and clear from any competition, Topps' design for their first product of 2010 included a rather large MLB team name logo on the lower left side of the card. Along with the team specific colored, but sometimes intrusive "wave", it made for easy sorting by team. Andrew Miller was one of the pitching prospects the Tigers had stockpiled in the early-to-mid 2000's. And had it not been for the injuries, he would be showing the world how good a pitcher he could be. He was traded to the Marlins in a multi-player deal that saw both Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, two of the last remaining pieces of the team's 2003 World Series run, join the Tigers for the 2008 campaign. Injuries limited Miller to nine games in 2010 (seven of them starts). In 32.2 innings of work, Andrew went 1-5 with an ERA of 8.54. Hoping that a change of scenery would do him well, the Fish traded Miller to Boston after the 2010 season.  He did not have any Topps cards in 2011 (at least from the eponymous set).
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 7.
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: 1971 Topps #462. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Monthly Comment Mailbag - January 2012 Edition

One thing that I want to start back up again is the Monthly Comment Mailbag.  I love reading comments (it shows that people are actually reading this humble, little blog of mine).  But instead of responding to the comments left on individual posts, I thought it would be better to consolidate all of my responses and just create a new post.
 
So here, hopefully, is the first of many responses to comments. 
 
To lifetimetopps, my theory wasn't that Topps didn't pick the best player, it was that they were just finally getting around to posting the results and the Lineage subset was their sheepish way of doing it.  I stole the checklist from baseballcardpedia. I didn't realize that Manny was not in the set, and was replaced by Andruw Jones (I don't think the boys at baseballcardpedia know that either). What that development only means to me is that Manny was still voted is as the third outfielder from the 2008 thing, but because of the circumstances regarding his sudden "retirement," it may have been better to switch him out with Jones. 
 
To hiflew, when I said that "Terry Mulholland does not have a card depicting either of his stints with the Cubs," I meant Topps cards.  According to the number one source in the Hobby, there are a total of 9 cards of Mulholland in a Cub uniform (only Fleer, Pacific, and Upper Deck chose to include him in their product as a Cubbie).  But I don't collect those brands, so I have no idea.  I can tell you that even though his career spanned 21 seasons (1986-2006), he only appeared on 12 years of Topps products, skipping 1988 (although he didn't pitch in the 1987 season, so this probably doesn't count), 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2006.
 
Oh yeah, I also agree that those who send back blank ballots in the HOF voting should be eliminated as future voters.  I read somewhere that one voter doesn't even send her ballot back, and her vote doesn't count or take away from other player's chances.  So maybe it would have been better if these nine people just didn't send them back.
 
Well, that's a start anyway.  Hope to do more of these as the year goes on.
 
Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1994 Topps #542 Chris Sabo

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, January 13, 2012:
 
 
  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1994 Topps #542.
  • Player Name, position, team: Chris Sabo, third baseman, Cincinnati Reds.
  • Major League Debut: April 04, 1988.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1993 stats (Reds): 148 G, 552 AB, 86 R, 143 H, 33 2B, 2 3B. 21 HR, 82 RBI, 6 SB, .440 SLG, 43 BB, 105 SO, .259 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Reds, #2nd, June 1983. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 9. This is his seventh Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Chris led the NL with 3 grand slams in 1993, one of which came in the same game as a "grannie" by Joe Oliver - the first time Reds' teammates had done that since 1955."
  • Commentary: The year I was scheduled to graduate high school and begin my life as an adult was 1994. Topps design of a home-plate shaped picture frame with a patch of green where the player's name began was a nice. So nice in fact, that similar designs would be used for both Topps' efforts in their eponymous football and basketball sets as well (with football and basketball shaped frames). Now I don't know if it was just me, but when the Reds started to wear the sleeveless jerseys again, all I could think of was that these guys looked like they should be serving ice cream instead of playing baseball. Maybe it was because EVERYTHING was red-pinstriped, even the caps they wore on the field. Nothing against them, mind you, but that was just the impression I got. Anyway, I will always remember Chris Sabo, not for his glasses, not for his unique nickname "Spuds", nor for the fact that he won a World Series in 1990. I will always remember him for being the guy that beat out Mark Grace for NL Rookie of the Year in 1988. In reality, Sabo signed with as a free agent with the Orioles after the 1993 season. Even though this card was part of Series 2, Topps still had him pictured in a Reds uniform. If this had happened today, Topps would not have hesitated to photoshop an O's jersey on him to avoid adding him to the Update series (in reality, he did appear in the Traded set that year as a member of the Orioles). In limited action as the O's 3rd baseman, Sabo appeared in 68 games, hit 11 home runs, drove in 42 rbi's, and batted a decent .256. Released by the O's at the end of the year, he signed with the Chicago White Sox soon afterwards.
  • Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 20 cards.
 
Tomorrow's card will be: 2010 Topps #494. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.
 
Sincerely,
 
JayBee Anama

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1999 Topps Traded and Rookies #T118 Terry Mulholland

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, January 12, 2012:
 
 
  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1999 Topps Traded and Rookies #T118.
  • Player Name, position, team: Terry Mulholland, pitcher, Atlanta Braves.
  • Major League Debut: June 08, 1986.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1998 stats (Cubs): 70 G, 112 IP, 6-5, 49 R, 36 ER, 72 SO, 39 BB, 6 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 3 SV, 2.89 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Giants, #1st, June 1984. Traded by the Cubs to the Braves 07/31/1999. Bats: right. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 14. This is his twelfth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Terry won his first start as a Brave, 08/07/1999."
  • Commentary: We're only 12 days into the new year and this is the second card from 1999 the Randomizer selected. Granted, it's from the traded set, but still. Terry Mulholland does not have a card depicting either of his stints with the Cubs. In fact, this was his first Topps card in more than four years (last seen in a Topps set in 1995 Topps Traded). Mulholland was a key player during the Cubs' wild card chase in 1998. Whether starting or in relief, he was one of the more dependable arms in the Cubs' pitching staff. As the Braves were going for another division crown, and the Cubs were sinking fast as usual, a deal was struck between the two franchises before the August trading deadline, sending Terry to Atlanta in exchange for two (eventually three as there was a player to be named later) young pitchers. As usual, none of the three lasted long in Chicago. So once again, the Cubs were left holding the bag on this transaction. Mulholland's time in Atlanta was very productive. In two seasons, he went 13-11 with two saves, striking out 117 batters in 217 innings of work. But Atlanta was just another stop on his long journey throughout the majors as he would eventually pitch for five more franchises before his career ended in 2006. He can lay claim to being one of the few pitchers to defeat all 30 Major League teams.
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 15 cards.
 
Tomorrow's card will be: 1994 Topps #542. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.
 
Sincerely,
 
JayBee Anama

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Things That Should Have Been Posted in 2011: Which Players Were Selected for Topps Golden Anniversary All-Time Rookie Team???

The first Topps All-Star Rookie Team was announced at the end of the 1959 season and cards of the ten players who received this honor (C Johnny Romano, 1B Willie McCovey, 2B Pumpsie Green, 3B Jim Baxes, SS Joe Koppe, OF's Bob Allison, Ron Fairly, Willie Tasby, RHP Jim Perry, LHP Jim O'Toole) were part of a ten-card subset within the 1960 Topps set.

To coincide with the anticipation of the announcement of the 50th Topps ASRT, in 2008, Topps created a 110-card insert set (split within both Series 1 and 2) to honor those players who were selected to the team over the years. Not included as part of the set, but inserted in packs was an advertisement card giving collectors the opportunity to vote for the Topps Golden Anniversary All-Time Rookie Team. There was a website (http://topps.com/rookievote - don't bother clicking the link as the site no longer exists) you had to go to so you can cast your votes from a list of selected players:

Catcher:
  • Bob Boone (1973)
  • Carlton Fisk (1972)
  • Charles Johnson (1995)
  • Gary Carter (1975)
  • Ivan Rodriguez (1991)
  • Johnny Bench (1968)
  • Mike Piazza (1993)
  • Sandy Alomar (1990)
  • Thurman Munson (1970)
First baseman:

  • Eddie Murray (1977 "designated hitter")
  • Jeff Bagwell (1991)
  • Kent Hrbek (1982)
  • Mark Grace (1988)
  • Mark McGwire (1987)
  • Prince Fielder (2006)
  • Todd Helton (1998)
  • Tony Perez (1965)
  • Willie McCovey (1959)
  • Wally Joyner (1986)
Second Baseman:

  • Alfonso Soriano (2001)
  • Dave Lopes (1973)
  • Jeff Kent (1992)
  • Joe Morgan (1965)
  • Juan Samuel (1984)
  • Paul Molitor (1978)
  • Pete Rose (1963)
  • Rod Carew (1967)
  • Steve Sax (1982)
  • Willie Randolph (1976)
Third Baseman:

  • Albert Pujols (2001)
  • Bill Madlock (1974)
  • Chipper Jones (1995)
  • Chris Sabo (1988)
  • Rickie Allen (1964)
  • Robin Ventura (1990)
  • Ron Santo (1960)
  • Ryan Braun (2007)
  • Ryne Sandberg (1982)
  • Scott Rolen (1998)
Shortstop:

  • Cal Ripken (1981, 1982)
  • Derek Jeter (1996)
  • Gary Sheffield (1989)
  • Hanley Ramirez (2006)
  • Jimmy Rollins (2001)
  • Julio Franco (1983)
  • Nomar Garciaparra (1997)
  • Ozzie Smith (1978)
  • Ozzie Guillen (1985)
  • Troy Tulowitzki (2007)
Outfielders:

  • Andre Dawson (1977)
  • Andruw Jones (1997)
  • Billy Williams (1961)
  • Bobby Bonds (1968)
  • Boog Powell (1962)
  • Buddy Bell (1972)
  • Cory Snyder (1986)
  • Darryl Strawberry (1983)
  • Dave Justice (1990)
  • Don Baylor (1972)
  • Ellis Burks (1987)
  • Fred Lynn (1975)
  • Ichiro Suzuki (2001)
  • Jim Rice (1975)
  • Joe Charboneau (1980)
  • José Canseco (1986)
  • Ken Griffey, Jr. (1989)
  • Kirby Puckett (1984)
  • Larry Walker (1990)
  • Magglio Ordoñez (1998)
  • Manny Ramirez (1994)
  • Matt Holliday (2004)
  • Moises Alou (1992)
  • Pete Incaviglia (1986)
  • Reggie Smith (1967)
  • Ron Kittle (1983)
  • Tim Raines (1981)
  • Tony Conigliaro (1964)
  • Tony Oliva (1984)
  • Willie McGee (1982)
  • Vince Coleman (1985)
Left-Handed Pitcher:

  • Billy Wagner (1996)
  • C. C. Sabathia (2001)
  • Dontrelle Willis (2003)
  • Fernando Valenzuela (1981)
  • Frank Tanana (1974)
  • Jerry Koosman (1968)
  • Jim Abbott (1989)
  • Mark Langston (1984)
Right-Handed Pitcher:

  • Brandon Webb (2003)
  • Dwight Gooden (1984)
  • Hideo Nomo (1995)
  • John Montefusco (1975)
  • Justin Verlander (2006)
  • Kerry Wood (1998)
  • Mark Fidrych (1976)
  • Roger McDowell (1985)
  • Roy Oswalt (2001)
  • Todd Worrell (1986)
  • Tom Gordon (1989)
  • Tom Seaver (1967)
I voted, and I'm sure many voted as well. But was there ever an announcement regarding who actually won this election? I never saw one, and I'm sure it would have been debated to death if the results were ever posted somewhere.

Fast forward to 2011 and the highly popular Topps Lineage product. Included in the 200 card base set was a ten-card subset (is this beginning to sound familiar) featuring players with the All-Star Rookie Team trophy (the one used in throughout the 60's and early 70's). The ten players already had regular cards in the regular set, so this would be their second card within the set. Here are the players within this subset:

  • 191 Johnny Bench All-RC
  • 192 Willie McCovey All-RC
  • 193 Joe Morgan All-RC
  • 194 Cal Ripken, Jr. All-RC
  • 195 Chipper Jones All-RC
  • 196 Ichiro All-RC
  • 197 Andre Dawson All-RC
  • 198 Manny Ramirez All-RC
  • 199 CC Sabathia All-RC
  • 200 Tom Seaver All-RC
Now all ten of these players were on the ballot back in 2008. Could these be the players that eventually were selected for the Topps' Golden Anniversary All-Time Rookie Team? There was never an official announcement made by the Topps Company presenting the results of the balloting.

Whatever the case, I believe that the ten cards at the end of Topps Lineage gives a semblance of closure for Topps and honors the players who were selected by the collecting public three years earlier. What do you think?

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1980 Topps #48 Rick Miller

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, January 11, 2012: 




  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1980 Topps #48.
  • Player Name, position, team: Rick Miller, outfielder, California Angels.
  • Major League Debut: September 4, 1971.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1979 stats (Angels): 120 G, 427 AB, 60 R, 125 H, 15 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 28 RBI, .293 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Red Sox, #2nd, June 1969. Signed with the Angels as a Free Agent 12/21/1977. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 15. This is his eighth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Hit Grand-Slammer to propel the Angels to win vs. Twins, 04/12/1978. Earned Gold Glove Award for fielding excellence during 1978 season."
  • Commentary: The 1980 Topps set is the last set Topps produced before Donruss and Fleer joined the fray and began the modern card era. Topps cards from 1980 shared similar design elements from its effort from 1974, including the rounded oval picture frame, banners indicating team name and position, and the player's name outside of the border. Rick Miller played for the Angels for three seasons (1978-1980), hitting a decent .276 with five home runs and 103 rbi's. Although decent with the bat, he was very good defensively, winning a Gold Glove in 1978. He was traded back to the Red Sox after the 1980 season and finished his career after the 1986 season with them. One quick note: the back of his 1980 card includes a cartoon mentioning that "Rick married the sister of Red Sox' catcher Carlton Fisk."
  • Beckett value: $0.10-$0.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 12 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1999 Topps Traded and Rookies #T118. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Things That Should Have Been Posted in 2011: Survey Says Aroldis Chapman Should Be the 2011 Topps LHP on the ASRT.

Because this blogger spent a lot of time away from this humble little blog, there were a lot of posts that should have been written but for reasons beyond comprehension, just were not. Here is the first of what hopefully isn't an ongoing series of posts (but there are a number of them).

When the 2011 Topps All-Star Rookie Team was announced, to my surprise, instead of three pitching spots (thanks to the Strasburg rule in 2010), there were two pitchers named to the ASRT. While that ideally brings the team back to the traditional ten spots, what made it a bit of a shock was that instead of the usual right handed pitcher and left handed pitcher categories, reigning MLB Rookies of the Year Jeremy Hellickson of the Rays was named the Starting Pitcher and Craig Kimbrel the Relief Pitcher.

And that was it. Again, not only was my contest scrambled (don't worry guys, I haven't forgotten to send the prizes...will get to the store by the end of next week). But now that means the pitching positions have changed for the third straight year.

So for the sake of tradition, I created a poll asking which of the following left handed rookie pitchers should have been named by Topps as their LHP on the All-Star Rookie team. Forty-nine readers responded to the survey. The results were interesting to watch during the course of the voting.

Initially, Cory Luebke of the Padres was had a good lead over the field of seven (plus two other choices), with Zach Britton of the Orioles just behind him. But as the polls reached the finish, Aroldis Chapman of the Reds took the victory, thanks to the ten voters who put him over the top (by one vote over Luebke). The rest of the results:

  • Luebke with 9 votes,
  • Who Cares took third with 8 (which probably means that it doesn't matter what Topps does...it's their thing),
  • Britton of the O's follows with 7 votes (he lost to Who Cares??!),
  • Chris Sale of the White Sox follows with 6,
  • Somebody Else (realistically, there wasn't really anybody else to consider if you follow the MLB Rookie Tracker),
  • Danny Duffy of the Royals trails with 3,
  • Tim Collins, Duffy's teammate on the Royals, received no votes.
So thanks to the voters who participated, and congrats to Chapman for winning the poll. You should have a trophy next to your 2012 Topps card, but you won't. Sorry about that.

#ThanksTopps

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2003 Topps #120 Bernie Williams

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, January 10, 2012:




  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2003 Topps #120.
  • Player Name, position, team: Bernie Williams, outfielder, New York Yankees.
  • Major League Debut: July 7, 1991.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2002 stats (Yankees): 154 G, 612 AB, 102 R, 204 H, 37 2B, 2 3B, 19 HR, 102RBI, 8 SB, .493 SLG, 83 BB, 97 SO, .333 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Yankees as a Free Agent 09/13/1985. Bats: both. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 16. This is his thirteenth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "On May 18, 2002, Bernie homered from both sides in the same game for the eighth time in his career - most among active Major Leaguers." A quick note.  While the blurb on the back says that the game was on May 18, Baseball Reference indicates that the game happened on May 17.  On May 18, Williams went 2-4 but singled both times.  The link will bring you to the correct game. 
  • Commentary: Following a 20-year pattern (1963, 1983) of utilizing a design with a large picture and a smaller picture in a circle (or in this case, a baseball diamond), Topps pays tribute to its past. Makes me wonder why they didn't do the same thing with the wood bordered designs (1962, 1987, should have been 2012...especially since the wood works so well with that design). Anyway, what a coincidence. I used this card in my montage of the 27 players on the HOF ballot in 2012, and now it gets its own "Random" treatment. Bernabe Williams, not to be confused with Bernard Williams (he's a player from 1970 - 1974 and yes, he has his own Topps cards), was a lifetime Yankee who won four World Series titles, was a part of five All-Star Game rosters, a four-time Gold Glove winner (see the card...he patrolled CF as well as anybody in the game), a Silver Slugger Winner, an AL batting champion (.339 in 1998), and perennial MVP candidate. The achievements are there, and Williams is definitely a worthy HOF candidate. In fact, of the 13 newcomers in this year's ballot, he is the only one who exceeded the 5% threshold and will be on the 2013 ballot. He is a classically trained guitarist, who has been nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2009.
  • Beckett value: $0.10-$0.30.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 51 cards.

Tomorrow's card will be: Wednesday: 1980 Topps #48. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1980 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Finally Have One!!!

It didn't matter what player I got.  It didn't matter what team he plays for.  But after 35 codes entered in this 2011 Topps Diamond Giveaway, I can finally say that I redeemed a card that made getting my cards from Topps worth it.


Yes, ladies and gents, I am now the proud owner of a Diamond Cut card. I don't even care if it is of Marlins' ace Josh Johnson.  I am just thrilled to get one.  After redeeming 33 cards of players that I either already have, or of players I've never heard of, I have one card that made it worth sending in my order to get my cards out of Topps hands and into mine.

Yay!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Hallbound...2012!!!


Your 2012 Baseball Hall of Famer: Barry Larkin!!!
The votes are in...
  • Barry Larkin 495 (86.4%);
  • Jack Morris 382 (66.7%);
  • Jeff Bagwell 321 (56.0%);
  • Lee Smith 290 (50.6%);
  • Tim Raines 279 (48.7%);
  • Edgar Martinez 209 (36.5%);
  • Alan Trammell 211 (36.8%);
  • Fred McGriff 137 (23.9%);
  • Larry Walker 131 (22.9%);
  • Mark McGwire 112 (19.5%);
  • Don Mattingly 102 (17.8%);
  • Dale Murphy 83 (14.5%);
  • Rafael Palmeiro 72 (12.6%);
  • Bernie Williams 55 (9.6%);
  • Juan Gonzalez 23 (4.0%);
  • Vinny Castilla 6 (1.0%);
  • Tim Salmon 5 (0.9%);
  • Bill Mueller 4 (0.7%);
  • Brad Radke 2 (0.3%);
  • Javy Lopez 1 (0.2%);
  • Eric Young 1 (0.2%);
  • Jeromy Burnitz 0;
  • Brian Jordan 0;
  • Terry Mulholland 0;
  • Phil Nevin 0;
  • Ruben Sierra 0;
  • Tony Womack 0;
Congratulations to Barry Larkin for being elected into the Hall of Fame in what was third year on the ballot!!!

To get in this year, a player had to appear on 430 ballots. The players whose names are italicized will appear on next year's ballot, having surpassed the five percent rule to stay on (30 votes).

According to the Baseball Hall of Fame website, 573 ballots were cast. Nine of the ballots returned were left BLANK!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1987 Topps #184 Bobby Bonilla

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, January 9, 2012:





  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1987 Topps #184.
  • Player Name, position, team: Bobby Bonilla, outfielder-first baseman, Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Major League Debut: April 9, 1986.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1986 stats (Pirates): 63 G, 192 AB, 28 R, 46 H, 6 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 4 SB, .307 SLG, 29 BB, 39 SO, .240 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Pirates as a Free Agent 07/11/1981. Traded by the White Sox to the Pirates 07/23/1986.Bats: both. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 18. This is his second Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Bobby plays paddleball in his leisure time."
  • Commentary: The 1987 was the first set, it seemed, that EVERYBODY collected as a first set. Or at least, one of the most memorable. It was 25 years ago that this wood-bordered card design (akin to the 1962 Topps set created 25 years earlier) was unleashed to the masses in such mass quantities that it seems that as a collector, something was wrong with you if you DIDN'T have cards from this set. In 2012, there are so many of these cards still in circulation (probably so many more still in packs) that this set should have been tossed in that infamous trash dump that saw countless 1952 Topps cards lost to the waters.But 25 years later, there has been a bit more of an appreciation for this set. So much so, that Topps is even honoring the set in 2012 by as its "vintage continuation" insert set (as mini cards) and including them in packs of the new product coming out in February. Bobby Bonilla originally signed with the Pirates in 1981, but was drafted by the White Sox as a Rule V draftee before the 1986 season. Somehow, they decided to trade him back to the Pirates before the season was out. But his first Topps card (from 1986 Topps Traded) depicts him as a member of the Pale Hose (I guess they couldn't stop the presses or airbrush the card fast enough to change the team affiliations, something companies have no problem doing now). But back in Pittsburgh for the rest of the 80's and early 90's, he became an offensive force, helped in large part with the development of another "BB," Barry Bonds. The alliterative duo helped the Bucs win the NL East division in 1990-1991. He left for greener pastures (literally and figuratively) after the 1991 season, signing a long term deal with the Mets. He was then traded to the Orioles as a deadline deal and signed with the Marlins before that team's first World Series championship in 1997. He was then traded in 1998 to the Dodgers (which saw Mike Piazza going to the Marlins for his one-week stint), and then traded back to the Mets. On 01/03/2000, the Mets released Bonilla, but for some reason, created a contract that would defer his final year (about $6 million) and pay him in installments (with interest) for 25 years starting in 2012. Well, those payments start now, and with interest, the Met will now have to pay Bobby Bo 1.2 million dollars every year in the next quarter century. Read all about that here.
  • Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 36 cards.

Tomorrow's card will be: 2003 Topps #120. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1960 Topps #354 Bob Lillis

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, January 8 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1960 Topps #354.
  • Player Name, position, team: Bob Lillis, shortstop, Los Angles Dodgers.
  • Major League Debut: August 17, 1958.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1959 stats (Dodgers): 30 G, 48 AB, 7 Runs,11 Hits, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, .229 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers as a Free Agent 06/18/1951. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 11 (six as a player, one as a coach, four as a manager). This is his second card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Bob lived up to his reputation when he joined the Dodgers in 1958. After a whirlwind career at U.S.C. he went to Pueblo in '51, advanced to Newport News and moved on to St. Paul in '56 for three years. At L.A. late in '58 he played in 20 games, hitting safely in 16 of the last 17 games of the season. H He finished with a .391 mark"
  • Commentary: The 1960 set was the last set Topps designed as a primarily horizontal-oriented set (the others being from 1955 and 1956). The cards utilized what would be a reverse in standards today: a large headshot or posed shot with a smaller (and black & white) action picture next to it. The 1960 set was named by Topps Magazine readers in 1991 as the "set of the decade." The blurb on the back summarizes Lillis' travel as a veteran minor leaguer, with stops in Pueblo, Newport News, and St. Paul during a six year run. After serving time as a utility infielder in his four years with LA, he was traded to St. Louis, where he spent half a season with the Cardinals at either short or second. He was selected fifth in the 1962 Expansion Draft by the Houston Colt .45's, where he was the team's primary shortstop. He finished his playing career with the renamed Astros in 1967, and resurfaced with the team as its Manager in 1982 (and on Topps cards in 1983).
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $1.50-$4.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 4 cards (as manager).
In case you're actually wondering, I don't own this card, but was able to get a crystal clean copy of the image from the from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. So thank you Joe McAnally and the folks at the BCCM.

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 1987 Topps #184. 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 7, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2004 Topps #484 Jeremy Bonderman

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, January 7, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2004 Topps #484.
  • Player Name, position, team: Prospects Jeremy Bonderman, pitcher, Detroit Tigers.
  • Major League Debut: April 02, 2003.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2003 stats: Bonderman (Tigers): 33 G, 16 IP, 6-19, 118 R, 100ER, 108 SO, 58 BB, 28 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 1.55 WHIP, 5.56 ERA.
  • Any special information about players: Drafted by the Athletics, #1st, June 2001. Traded by the Athletic to the Tigers 08/22/2002.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 9. This is his second card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Thrust into an impossible situation - asked to join the rotation for a team that would score the fewest runs and make the most errors in the American League - Jeremy came directly out of A-ball and handled it with amazing composure in 2003. His memorable first ML win came on April 23 in Oakland when he defeated Barry Zito, 4-1, who had been 22-1 in his previous 31 home starts.
  • Commentary: The 2004 set was one of my favorite sets in the 2000's in terms of its design and unique silhouette on the lower left corner. Easy to sort by teams thanks to the large team name above the picture in large silver foil letters, the 2004 Topps set for me to build/acquire. The insert sets were classy too. But back to the player. There was a time in the early 2000's when the Tigers were circled on everyone's schedule, just because many teams knew they were guaranteed a win...or two...or three...against them. I don't know of a tougher way to break a player into the big leagues than to have him pitch for a team as the 2003 Tigers (43-119, ranked 14th in almost all hitting categories and at or near the bottom in the pitching statistics). But alas, Bonderman persevered and was able to stick around for the renaissance that took place a few years later when the Tigers found their way to an AL pennant and perennial contenders status afterwards. Bonderman went 61-58 the rest of the way during his tenure with the Tigers and was granted free agency after the 2010 season. He did not pitch in he majors in 2011.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 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: 1960 Topps #354. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, January 6, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1983 Topps Traded #131T Pat Zachry

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, January 6, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1983 Topps Traded #131T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Pat Zachry, pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Major League Debut: April 11, 1976.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1982 stats (Mets): 36 G, 137.2 IP, 6-9, 69 R, 62 ER, 69 SO, 57 BB, 1 GS, 2 CG, 0 SHO, 1 SV, 4.05 ERA
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by Reds #19th, June 1970. Traded by the Mets to the Dodgers 12/28/1982. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 11. This is his ninth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "1982 Highlights: May 19: Pitched 4-2 Complete Game Victory Vs. Reds.  August 7:  Hurled Complete Game Win at Pittsburgh. August 15: Was Credited With 1st Big League Save."
  • Commentary: I miss the old days of Topps Traded card numbering.  You couldn't get a card number like #131T unless your last name began with a Z (or maybe the occasional Y or W...I don't think there's been a player with a last name that began with X...just confirmed...no player in MLB history whose last name started with X). Having card #131T also meant that this was the last player card before the checklist.  Now I know that the Randomizer is just warming up, so rejoice that it didn't pick a checklist today.  Pat Zachry is a name I really haven't heard of to be quite honest. His playing career ended in 1985, long before I took an interest in baseball card collecting.  But what a career.  Thanks  to a 14-7 record, 143 K's, and a dazzling 2.74 ERA, Zachry was named the NL Rookie of the Year in 1976 as a member of the Big Red Machine (helps that the Reds also made it to the World Series too). He was also an All-Star with the Mets in 1978.  But at the twilight of his career, he was traded to the Dodgers before the 1983 season.  As a member of the Dodgers' bullpen in 1983, Zachry went 6-1 with an ERA of 2.49, struck out 55 batters in 61.1 innings of work.
  • Beckett value: $0.08-$0.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 11 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2004 Topps #484. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

2012 Topps Series 2 Sell Sheets are Live!!!

It's the new year. The new baseball cards from Topps (the highly anticipated 2012 Topps Series 1) won't be out for another month. Now, the sell sheets for 2012 Topps Baseball Series 2 are live!!!



















They even have a preliminary checklist for the second half of the eponymous Topps set...but the 295 "veteran" players aren't assigned any card numbers (yet) and the 30 Rookies are still TBD.

Even though the images were already shown last week, it's nice to see how it all fits on the sell sheets. And those "A Cut Above" insert cards are die-cut after all. More to come.Enjoy.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

P.S. There is also a preliminary checklist for this year's 30 Topps Team retail sets that was posted this morning too. Yes, there will also an NL and AL All-Star Team set this year as well, there may be 17 or 19 cards, depending on how you read the checklist. The thing that bothers me, and if I was a Boston Red Sox fan I'd get out the pitchforks and torches, but if the prelim checklist is correct your team set will consist of fourteen players and three cards of Fenway Park. If you like the ball park that's one thing, but I'd be miffed if deserving players on my team were given the shaft. And I thought Topps gave preferential treatment to the Red Sox. jba

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1999 Topps #267 Rick Helling

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, January 5, 2011:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1999 Topps #267.
  • Player Name, position, team: Rick Helling, pitcher, Texas Rangers.
  • Major League Debut: April 10, 1994.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1998 stats (Rangers): 33 G, 216.1 IP, 20-7, 109 R, 106 ER, 164 SO, 78 BB, 33 GS, 4 CG, 2 SHO, 0 SV, 4.41 ERA.
  • Any special information about players: Drafted by the Rangers, #1st, June 1992. Traded by the Marlins to the Rangers, 08/12/1997. 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: "Rick's 20-win season (quadrupling his previous high) in 1998 was only the third in team history, as he followed the sizable footsteps of Ferguson Jenkins and Kevin Brown. The last pitcher to nab 20 without having ever won more than five previously was David Cone in 1988."
  • Commentary: Another design that focuses more on the picture than the design itself, Topps' unique gold border and unobtrusive name plate alongside a gold line that leads to the team name at the bottom, makes for a great card.  Rick Helling was part of the USA Baseball, the organization that competes for the Olympics and other international competitions, and thus had cards in both the 1991 and 1992 Topps Traded set as part of Team USA. His third card, from the 1994 Traded Set was his last card up until this one you see above.  I guess when you win 20 games, you deserve a card. Heck, he was even traded to the Marlins and didn't get a Topps card during his tenure in Florida.
    Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
    How many cards of this player do I own?: 9 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1983 Topps Traded #131T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

One (or More) of These Players Could Be Voted into Baseball's Hall of Fame


On Monday, January 9, 2012, at 2:00 PM CST, we will find out which of the 27 players above will join Ron Santo as inductees to Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.  If you look at the above photo, you will see that I was able to find a card for all of the players using Topps' designs from 1981 to 2007 and each of the players represents one year's design.  Mind you, it wasn't easy at first, but after doing a bit of juggling, it actually turned out rather well.

Now why couldn't we get an insert set like this in 2011 or 2012 Topps?

Good luck to all.  The results of the election will be posted here afterwards.  And maybe, just maybe, it will be the start of the Archives project...just don't know which year to use yet.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2009 Topps #640 B. J. Upton

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, January 4, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2009 Topps 640.
  • Player Name, position, team: B. J. Upton, outfielder, Tampa Bay Rays.
  • Major League Debut: August 2, 2004.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2008 stats (Rays): 145 G, 531 AB, 85 R, 145 H, 37 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 67 RBI, 44 SB, 97 BB, 134 SO, .401 SLG, .784 OPS, .273 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Devil Rays, #1st, June 2002. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 9. This is his seventh card.
  • Blurb on the back: "B. J. took dead aim at the postseason record books in 2008, and hit the bull’s-eye with both his power and speed. He tied the AL record with seven home runs in the postseason, and was the first player to hit more than four following a regular season of fewer than 10. And in Game 3, Upton was the first AL player to steal three bases in a World Series championship contest."
  • Commentary: Readers of this blog know that I love…LOVE…the 2009 Topps design. The design was one of the best of the decades in my opinion, and the use of the team-colored scrapbook-type corners used in the design made the cards something even my wife could appreciate. Granted, the team logo on the home plate at the bottom right corner reminds long-time collectors of that other card company’s 1991 design…but hey, it still works in contrast with the solid black nameplate. B. J. Upton is presently the Dean of the Devil Rays/Rays franchise (meaning he’s been around the longest in terms of continuous service on the team), making his MLB debut at 19 years old. In fact, his first Topps cards appeared all the way back in 2002 as one of the prospects in the Topps 206 set (he even had a variation card to boot). Bossman Junior is both a threat at the plate and the base paths, and has been one of the main reasons that the franchise’s fortunes have changed for the better. And folks, he turns 28 this August.
  • Beckett value: $0.25-$0.60.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 34 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1999 Topps #267. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1985 Topps Traded #45T Terry Harper

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, January 3, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1985 Topps Traded #45T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Terry Harper, outfielder, Atlanta Braves.
  • Major League Debut: September 12, 1980.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1984 stats (Braves): 40 G, 102 AB, 4 R, 16 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 8 RBI, 4 SB, .206 SLG, 4 BB, 21 SO, .157 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Braves #16th, June 1973. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 8. This is his fifth card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Was born and raised in Douglasville, Georgia, just ½-hour from Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium."
  • Commentary: Because he only played in 40 games during the 1984 season, it seemed to reason, at least in the minds of the Topps Company that year, that Harper either would not be with the Braves going into the 1985 season, or be playing in the majors at all. Thus, he was excluded from the 792-card set in 1985. However, Harper was the Braves' everyday left fielder during the '85 season, appearing in 138 games, batting .264 with 17 home runs and 72 rbi's. This would be his best season in his career (up to that point and eventually as his MLB career ended after the 1987 campaign). So Topps had to include him in the "Traded" set. As with many 1985 Topps cards, there was a Baseball Trivia Quiz question on the back of Harper's traded card: (Who) Holds Major League record for most career pinch-hit homeruns (19)? The answer: Cliff Johnson.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 8 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2009 Topps #640. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 2009 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama