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

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1981 Topps #16 Ron Davis

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, October 24, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1981 Topps #16.
  • Player Name, position, team: Ron Davis, pitcher, New York Yankees.
  • Major League Debut: July 29, 1978.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1980 stats (Yankees): 53 G, 131 IP, 9-3, 50 R, 43 ER, 65 SO, 32 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 7 SV, 2.95 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Cubs, #3rd, June 1976.  Traded by the Cubs to the Yankees 06/12/1978.  Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 9. This is his second Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Ron won 2 games vs. Red Sox in Yankees 4-game sweep of crucial series at Fenway Park, Sept., 1980."
  • Commentary: The baseball cap set finally broke the string of actually boring designs from 1977 through 1980.  The wildly colored borders (that didn't really match the team colors...pink...really?)  Ron Davis had a wildly successful run out of the Yankees bullpen as the decades changed.  His 14-2, 2.86, 43-strikeout rookie season earned him a fourth place finish in the AL Rookie of the Year voting.  He followed that up with a 9-3, 2.95, 65 K season to show he did not suffer the ills of a sophomore slump.  So how did he do in 1981?  He was named to the 1981 AL All-Star Team, finished with a 4-5 record (for an up to career record of 27-10 record), 2.71 ERA, 83 K's, and a WHIP of 0.986.  He was traded to the Twins as the 1982 season was going underway (the trade also included future Twins star Greg Gagne).  Not finding as much success with the Twins as he did in his time with the Yankees, he was traded to the Cubs during the 1986 season, and finished his career in the west coast with both the Dodgers and Giants.  Although out of baseball now (except for the camps he runs for youths in Arizona), he is living vicariously through the exploits of his son, first baseman Ike Davis of the New York Mets.
  • Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 10 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be 1993 Topps #424. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Happy Halloween 2012!!!

This year I get to stay home and cook the Halloween spaghetti. I feel bad though because that means my wife and kids have to go out in the cold. I don't dress up much on this night anymore. I really lost all motivation to do so after I left high school (but I've felt that way prior to that...sixth grade I guess). It's more for my kids now, but as they get older, it's become less of a big deal for my daughter anyway. My son is still fixated on all the candy and chocolates.


So in honor of Halloween, I present a complete set of Allen & Ginter cards that I actually collected by hand (and then somehow managed to get a second set thanks to a recent purchase from the Bay). The 2011 Topps A&G Uninvited Guests insert set features 10 places that are have gained notoriety for being some of the most haunted locations in the United States. I think short of the White House, either T.A.P.S. (Syfy's Ghost Hunters) or the G.A.C. (Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures) have visited all of these sites (love both shows, although my daughter has favored Zac, Nick, and Aaron lately).

While many of us know what the true meaning of Halloween is (It's All Hallow's Eve, the night before we honor All Saints), many kids know the day (or night) as one of fun, costumes, and candy. The storms and the resulting damage on the east coast has ruined the day for many kids my children's age. While I've read that some states have already discussed the possibility of "rescheduling" Halloween for another day (which is nice), I'm pretty sure that it's the last thing on many people's minds.

So if you're able, have a good and safe Halloween. If you can and are able to do so, please visit the website of the American Red Cross and donate funds. Or go to the Salvation Army site and do the same thing there. I've just linked two of the big ones, but there are many other places, websites, and charities you can send help (just make sure your charity of choice is legitimate...scam artists are just ready to pounce on those who aren't careful).

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2012 Topps #323 Jason Isringhausen

(To those affected by the effects of Hurricane Sandy, my family and I send our prayers out to you.)

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, October 30, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2012 Topps #323.
  • Player Name, position, team: Jason Isringhausen, pitcher, New York Mets.
  • Major League Debut: July 17, 1995.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2011 stats (Mets): 53 G, 3-3, 46.2 IP, 36 H, 23 R, 21 ER, 24 BB (W), 44 SO, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 7 SV (S), 1.29 WHIP, 4.05 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Mets, #44th, June 1991.  Signed with the Mets as a Free Agent 02/15/2011. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 16. This is his fifteenth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a
  • Commentary: I added the 2012 Topps cards to the Randomizer once I had the Update Series added to my collection.  This marks the first card that the TCR chose from this year's set.  Earlier in the year, it was pointed out that Topps decided to change some of the statistic headers.  That's why there were two columns for "W" and "S."  I think the stat header on the cards, beginning in series 2, and then all cards included in the factory sets, were corrected (that's why I have both category headers listed...because the card I have was from a pack).  In the mid 1990's, the Mets were crowing about their stockpile of young arms.  Akin to the Oakland A's of the 1991, the 1995 Mets had these pitching prodigies that they believed would be the foundation of a deep starting rotation that would be successful and give the Braves some competition.  Bill Pulsipher, Paul Wilson, and Jason Isringhausen all made it onto the roster that year at different points in 1995, but injuries started to derail each of their seasons.  While Pulsipher's major league career ended too soon (he did attempt a comeback with the Mariners in 2001), and Wilson found himself a journeyman reliever (doing well with the Reds in the mid 2000's), Isringhausen seemed to find the most success of the three.  So he didn't pan out as a starter, but as a closer, he became the 23rd pitcher in history to save 300 games, tying him with HOF Bruce Sutter in the All-Time Saves category.  He won the closer role with the Oakland Athletics, saving 75 games for the A's and making his first All-Star team in 2000.  Upon joining the Cardinals, he found tremendous success under the tutelage of Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan.  In seven years with St. Louis, Isringhausen saved 217 games, including a career high 47 in 2004 (he made his second All-Star team that year as well).  After a lackluster year with the Tampa Bay Rays (and being out of the majors in 2010), Jason returned to the Mets and took over the 8th inning role in the bullpen once Francisco Rodriguez was traded.  In 2012, Issy signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, going 3-2 in fifty games.  He didn't have any saves, but struck out 31 batters in 45.2 innings of work.  
  • Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 23 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be:  1981 Topps #16. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1981 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cards I Didn't Know I Even Had: 2011 Topps #405 Ian Kinsler Sparkle Variation

Ever since "discovering" COMC and now Sportlots (notice how the number of cards I have in my wantlist is shrinking???), I've been giving a lot of thought about sending my cards to either or both places as the Bay really hasn't been kind to anybody selling off the kind of inserts I have.

As I was looking at a box of inserts that I marked "2011 Topps Inserts," I noticed that I had a few cards from the base set mixed in among the others.  Which is not surprising since sometimes if I have a bit of room I'll throw some base cards in to fill up the box.  But for some reason, I was taking stuff out to look and this one caught my eye:


No, it wasn't the fact that Kinsler is fully focused while the umpire and the catcher are blurred (that's a pretty cool effect though, you have to admit).  Wait.  What's that on his bat?  Let's get a closer look...


Is that...


Why yes, it is.  It's one of those Sparkle Variations that made everyone actually look at their cards to see if they had one.  I guess I failed on that as I didn't even know I had it. 

Or did I?

I am very sure that I didn't find this card in any of the packs that I opened.  That must mean that somebody had to give it to me?  But who?  And why?  Regardless, if it is indeed somebody being kind enough to give me a card to tell me what one of these look like up close, thank you very much for your generosity.  I truly appreciate it.

The lesson here is that you really have to pay attention to the cards you have.  You never know what you have until you look at them.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1979 Topps #582 Paul Blair

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, October 29, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1979 Topps #582.
  • Player Name, position, team: Paul Blair, outfielder, New York Yankees.
  • Major League Debut: September 09, 1964.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1978 stats (Yankees): 75 G, 125 AB, 10 R, 22 H, 5 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 13 RBI,  .176 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Mets as a Free Agent 07/20/1961.  Traded by the Orioles to the Yankees 01/20/1977.  Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 16. This is his fifteenth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a.
  • Commentary: I'm looking really closely at this card, and I'm seeing that it is subtly airbrushed.  The pinstripes look to be drawn with a pen, and you can even see, right in the middle, the stripe is cut off and there is a pen line going down further.  Look at his left sleeve, the lines aren't even connected.  But he joined the team in 1977, how could they not have an actual card of the guy?  Even an action shot would have been better.  Paul Blair was winding down his career by this time. He was released by the Yanks after playing in two games only to sign on with the Reds in May of 1979 (and then re-signed with NYY in time for the 1980 season).  In 75 games with Cincinnati, he hit a low .150, with 2 home runs and 15 rbi's.  His nickname of "Motormouth" notwithstanding, and even with a number of superstar players he was proud to call his teammates, Paul was an outstanding player on the Orioles.  With the O's, Blair was a two-time All-Star, an 8 time Gold Glove winner, and a 4-time MVP candidate.  In 13 seasons and 1700 games with the O's, he hit 126 home runs, drove in 567 runs, stole 167 bases, and hit .254 (.694 OPS).  His last cards appeared in 2003 as part of Topps All-Time Fan Favorites product.  
  • Beckett value: $0.30-$0.75.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 10 card.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2012 Topps #323. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

And Just Like That...

I fell asleep last night...you mean to tell me that was it???

The score was tied at three, and the game somehow went to extras.  Before I knew it, it was one-in-the-morning, and the local Fox affiliate was showing informercials.  So I tune in to the MLB Network to find that the Giants scored in the tenth, and held on to win Game 4 with a score of 4-3.

So congratulations once again to the San Francisco Giants, the 2012 MLB World Series Champions.  And  congratulations to the AL Champion Detroit Tigers for an incredible run in the postseason.

It's going to be a wild offseason, with free agent getting ready to move, and teams ready to restock for the 2013 season.  The Astros are moving to the American League, we're ready to have interleague games all year.  Topps is getting their final stats ready for the 2013 campaign.

I can't wait.  And for now, every team, even my Cubbies, are 0-0.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1973 Topps #389 New York Mets Team Card

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, October 28, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1973 Topps #389.
  • Team: 1972 New York Mets.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1972 stats: Manager Yogi Berra, 83-73, .532 PCT., 13.5 GB, Third Place NL East.
  • Commentary: Hey, the Randomizer has picked another team card.  Maybe with the addition of the retail team sets, it's trying to find more of these to highlight.  It's always nice to have these team cards included in the base set only because a handful of the players who show up on team picture day won't get a card in the eponymous set.  The Mets had won the World Series in 1969, and since then had won exactly 83 games in the following three seasons (they must have cancelled six games because they played a grand total of 156 in '72).  The back of the card shows all-time team season leaders for a wide variety of statistics, with players like Tommie Agee, Cleon Jones, Donn Clendenon, Tommy Davis, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Jerry Koosman, Roger Craig holding down team records.  The bottom of the card shows the yearly standings of the Mets, including names of all five managers, of the NY NL franchise: Casey Stengel, Wes Westrum, Salty Parker, Gil Hodges, and Berra.  How would the team do in 1973?  The team won the NL East Division title with a 82-79 record, and then go on to beat a very powerful Cincinnati Reds team in the five-game NLCS.  They lost to the Oakland A's in a seven-game World Series.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $1.50-$4.00.
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: 1979 Topps #582. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Come on back then to see what the Topps Card Randomizer gets us to look at then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1994 Topps #271 Brad Pennington

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, October 27, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1994 Topps #271.
  • Player Name, position, team: Brad Pennington, pitcher, Baltimore Orioles.
  • Major League Debut: April 17, 1993.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1993 stats (Orioles): 34 G, 33 IP, 3-2, 25 R, 24 ER, 39 SO, 25 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 4 SV, 6.55 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Orioles, #12th, June 1989.  Bats:  left.  Throws:  left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 2. This is his second and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Brad made the Orioles' roster after a scoreless spring training, then did not allow a rn in 15 of his first 19 appearances."
  • Commentary: Brad Pennington is the first player that I can recall having Kane County appear in the statistics box on the back of his card.  The Kane County Cougars were just a new minor league team in 1991, and at the time was part of the Orioles' farm system.  While I lived nowhere near Geneva, it was close enough to be called the minor league team of the NW suburbs.  Pennington was one of the players under the "Coming Attractions" subset in the 1993 subset, and he impressed the O's management enough to earn a spot on their roster that year.  Yes, his ERA is ridiculously high, by any standards, but when you only average an less than an inning per appearance, any runs you're credit with will bloat that number.  In 1994, Brad spent most of the year in AAA, but when called up to Baltimore, he struggled.  By the middle of June of 1995, the O's traded him to Cincinnati.  He last appeared in the majors with the Devil Rays in a game where he faced four batters and allowed one earned run without getting an out...his ERA that year...infinity.  His final season in pro baseball was with the Allentown Ambassadors of the Northern League.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 2.
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: 1973 Topps #389. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, October 26, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1987 Topps #749 Ozzie Smith

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, October 26, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1987 Topps #749.
  • Player Name, position, team: Ozzie Smith, shortstop, St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Major League Debut: April 07, 1978.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1986 stats (Cardinals): 153 G, 514 AB, 67 R, 144 H, 19 2B, 4 3B, 0 HR, 54 RBI, 31 SB, .333 SLG, 79 BB, 27 S0, .280 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Padres, #4th, June 1977. Traded by the Padres to the Cardinals 12/10/1981.  Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 18. This is his ninth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Ozzie has been recognized as one of the ten best casually dressed men of America.  He and hs wife have a son, Osborne Earl, Jr. (04/28/1982)."
  • Commentary: When all is said and done, regardless of how many cards were produced for the 1987 Topps set, this will be one of the iconic sets of all-time.  How many of us collectors either started with this set (I'm raising my hand) or can picture EVERY card from this set in their head as soon as they either hear a name or card number (okay, I'm not that good, but...).  The set was used for the mini retro insert set in the 2012 Topps set, and those who still read this blog (there are people out there who read this blog...right???) know I wished that Topps used the wood borders for the 2012 base set.  Topps' experts believe that 1987 was the Wizard's best season.  They reprinted this card in their 2002 Topps Archives:  The Best Years set, they used this for the 2001 Topps Through the Years reprint set, and even the 2011 Topps 60 Years of Topps set.  What did he do exactly?  In 1987, Ozzie was an All-Star, finished second in the MVP voting, won his eighth Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger, hit career highs in batting average (.303), rbi's (75), OPS (.775), runs scored (104), hits (182)...need I continue???  He even led the Cardinals to the NL pennant and a trip to the World Series.  For those of you who decry his HOF selection because of his lack of hitting numbers (.262, 28 HR, 793 RBI's), keep in mind that they man played defense like nobody before him or since.  Look at his defensive numbers:  4249 putouts, 8375 assists, 1590 double plays, in 12905 chances, which helped him win 13 straight Gold Gloves. For those who believe in WAR (wins against replacement), he may be 187th in offensive WAR (44.5), but he is number one in defensive WAR (43.4).
  • Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 95 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1994 Topps #271. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

2013 Topps Card Images on Twitter

I actually didn't see this on Twitter until after reading the article from Chris Creamer's Sportslogos.  But it looks like Topps posted a picture of a sheet of their 2013 Topps cards.


Why was Chris Creamer thrilled to see this?  Take a look at the not yet officially seen Houston Astros logo (or at least what should appear on their caps in 2013).

It loos like cards are being printed by team.  And it looks like I can now see why they no longer do 132 cards per sheet.  Take a look at the gaps between the cards (or for that matter, the lines where the cards are going to be cut).  

That is all. If there are more images, I'll see what I can do to put them on here.  That is all.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2010 Topps #547 Brett Gardner

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, October 18, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2010 Topps #547.
  • Player Name, position, team: Brett Gardner, outfielder, New York Yankees.
  • Major League Debut: June 30, 2008.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2009 stats (Yankees): 108 G, 248 AB, 48 R, 67 H, 6 2B, 6 3B, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 26 SB, 25 BB, 40 SO, .379 SLG, .724 OPS, .270 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Yankees, #3rd, June 2005. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 4. This is his second Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "On May 15, 2009, just hours after a little girl at a children's hospital gave him a bracelet she said would help him hit a home run, Brett cracked the first inside-the-parker at the new Yankee Stadium".
  • Commentary: The 2010 set could be remembered not only for the wave design and large team name logo on the left side of the card, but also as being the set that could be nicknamed the "All-Yankees, All-The-Time."  Why?  They won the World Series the year before, and it seemed that every player, down to the third string catcher and mop up closer, managed to get a card in the set that year.  There were even pie-in-the-face cards, an overload of World Series Relics, every third card was of someone in NY pinstripes (okay, I'm exaggerating this last one, but you get the idea).  There is even a card out there with the 2010 Topps design that is called "27 World Championships."  The Yankees are usually derided for "buying" players from other teams. Not too many realize, however, that most of the Bombers are actually home-grown talents.  Gardner is among them.  In 2010, Brett primarily patrolled left field for the Yanks.  In 123 games in left, he proved to be indispensable with a .995 fielding average, one error in 210 chances.  Just look at that picture on the card.  But it was on the basepaths that he showed the Bronx faithful that he would be one to watch in the future.  Patient at the plate (79 walks), a good hitting eye (132 hits in 477 at bats, a .277 avg), and speed to burn (47 stolen bases), helped to keep Gardner in Manager Joe Girardi's lineup.  His 2012 season was shortened thanks to injuries, appearing in only 16 games at the beginning and at the end of the campaign.  It is hoped that he returns to full strength for the 2013 season. 
  • Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 17 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1987 Topps #749. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Team Set of the Week: 2008 Los Angeles Dodgers

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Team Set of the Week:


The checklist consists of the following players:
The cards in order from the set (the checklist at the end was cut from the back of the package. What, you don't do that?):



Key differences between the team set and 2008 Topps eponymous set:
  • Manager Joe Torre's card shows what team he manages, not just a headshot.:


And unbelievably, that's it. The cards of all thirteen players in this set use the same picture as their base card in the 2008 Topps set. That's no fun.

Next week's featured set will be the 2008 San Francisco Giants. Hope you'll be here when we compare the cards from the retail set to their counterparts found in Topps and Topps Update & Highlights.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2009 Topps #623 Aaron Hill

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, October 24, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number:  2009 Topps #623.
  • Player Name, position, team: Aaron Hill, second baseman, Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Major League Debut: May 20, 2005.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2008 stats (Blue Jays): 55 G, 205 AB, 19 R, 54 H, 14 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 4 SB, 16 BB, 31 SO, .361 SLG, .685 OPS, .263 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Blue Jays, #1st, June 2003.  Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 8. This is his fifth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "One year removed from a breakout campaign, aaron was limited to two months of action by a concussion in 2008.  In '07, however, his 47 doubles and 66 extra-base hits were a positional record for a franchise that counts Roberto alomar among its second basemen.  Only a dozen second sackers in AL history have ever compiled a higher doubles total."
  • Commentary: Topps unleashed one of its best designed sets ever with their 2009 Topps Baseball set. Larger picture than last year's design, with triangles (imagine scrapbook picutre holders) on two opposite corners of the picture, the home plate with logo (reminds me of a design element used in a 1991 design by some card company...), and a black name plate at the bottom in silver foil.  Really loved it.  I can't believe it's been four seasons since this came out.  As the blurb in the back kindly pointed out, 2008 was a down year for Aaron Hill thanks to concussion related matters.  This might be the first card I've seen include the word concussion (I'm sure it's been brought up before), and in this day and age where concussions are a big deal, what better way, probably, to introduce kids to the word than with a baseball card.  How did Aaron do in 2009?  He was named an All-Star, he reached career (as of 2012) highs in home runs (36), RBI's (108), led the AL in plate appearances (734), scored 103 runs, had an OPS of .829, won the Silver Slugger, and was 12th in MVP voting.  I think he did rather well.  After parts of seven seasons with the Blue Jays, Aaron was traded to the Diamondbacks on August 23, 2011.  He had a fantastic 2012 season (.302-26-85-.882 OPS), and looks to be one of the D'back's key players in 2013.
  • Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 30 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be 2010 Topps #547. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2001 Topps #349 Tony LaRussa

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, October 23, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2001 Topps #349.
  • Player Name, position, team: Tony LaRussa, manager, St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Major League Debut: May 10, 1963. Managerial Debut: August 03, 1979.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2000 stats (Cardinals): 95-67 managerial record.
  • Any special information about manager: Hired as Manager 10/23/1995.
  • Any special information about this specific card: LaRussa's seventeenth regular Topps card, fourteenth as a manager (total includes both Topps and Topps Traded cards). 
  • Commentary:  The 50th and real Golden Anniversary Topps set featured green borders, which varied by shade (some cards were light green, others a darker green), depending on the sheet the card was printed.  To celebrate, Topps brought back manager cards, which were last seen in the 1993 Topps set (and at that, the cards featured two managers).  There has been so much written about Mr. LaRussa, good and bad, over the years that it would take a few books to cover it all, and still would do the man justice.  Let's just say that Mgr. LaRussa had been in the business for 22 seasons when this card came out, and he would continue to do so for 11 more.  He holds the distinction of being the winningest manager in both Oakland Athletics (note I didn't say Athletics) and St. Louis Cardinals' history.  He ranks third all-time (behind Connie Mack and John McGraw) in wins with 2,728 victories (to go with 2,365 losses).  He has helmed three World Series winning teams (the A's in 1989 and the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011).  He is a four-time Manager of the Year.  In 2001, both the Cardinals and the Houston finished the season with identical 93-69 seasons.  The reason why the Cardinals were not officially named NL Champs is because the 'Stros won the season series against them.  But all was not lost for the St. Louis faithful.  It was that year that the city, and all of Major League Baseball, were introduced to a young player who would become one of the most popular players in the 21st century.  That man was Albert Pujols.  The rest is history.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 34 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2009 Topps #623. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. 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

Monday, October 22, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1997 Topps #15 Andy Ashby

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, October 22, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1997 Topps #15.
  • Player Name, position, team: Andy Ashby, pitcher, San Diego Padres.
  • Major League Debut: June 10, 1991.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1996 stats (Padres): 24 G, 150.2 IP, 9-5, 60 R, 54 ER, 85 SO, 34 BB, 24 GS, 1 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 3.23 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Phillies as a Free Agent 05/04/1986.  Traded by the Rockies to the Padres 07/27/1993.  Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 12. This is his sixth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Andy has quietly fashioned three consecutive outstanding seasons since 1993, a juncture at which his career ERA stood at an unencouraging (yes, that was the word Topps used) 6.77 after 50 ML games.  His improvement can be traced to junking his slider, adding a cut fastball and improving his control.  He has also improved his hitting.  A .146 swatter entering '96, he became (on April 16th), the first pitcher to record a four-hit game since 1993."
  • Commentary: The 1997 Topps set combined the both a glossy (the picture) and matte (the border) finish to the cards, giving them a unique look and feel upon close inspection.  While a little more subdued with the 1996 Topps design, the reason why the cards of players from NL teams are in green while those in the AL were red were because for many years (and I don't know if they still make these now), MLB published press books for both leagues and they were called National League Green Book and American League Red Book.  The camera used to take this picture must have some long range zoom to get a shot that close.  I'm sure he was able to catch the ball, but the ball appears to be coming to him in slow motion in this picture.  After two years of travelling between Philadelphia and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Andy Ashby was selected by the Rockies in the 1992 Expansion Draft.  But when he went 0-4 for Colorado and an 8.50 ERA, he was traded to divisional rival San Diego before the July trading deadline.  In 1997, he went 9-11 with a 4.13 ERA and 144 strikeouts.  It was the following year when Ashby finally hit his stride holding his own with a 17-9 record and 3.34 ERA.  He was selected to the first of two consecutive NL All-Star teams that year as well.  At the end of the 1999 season, he was traded to the Phillies, but his originally team let him go again, this time sending him to the Braves (where he did rather well with an 8-6 record) for their annual playoff push.  He spent three seasons with the Dodgers later, he finished his career with the Padres in 2004.
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 13 card.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2001 Topps #349. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1965 Topps #298 Jim Stewart

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, October 21, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1965 Topps #298.
  • Player Name, position, team: Jim Stewart, shortstop-second baseman, Chicago Cubs.
  • Major League Debut: September 3, 1963.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1964 stats (Cubs): 132 G, 415 AB, 59 R, 105 H, 17 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 33 RBI, .253 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed by the Chicago Cubs as a Free Agent 06/02/1961. Bats: both. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 8. This is his second card.
  • Blurb on the back: "The Cubs first were impressed by Jim during the winter of 1963 when he hit .312 in the Arizona Instructional League.  In his second season in the minors, Jim finished among the top three batters in the Northern League with his .307 average in 1962.  A daring baserunner, Jim stole 10 bases for the Cubs last season."
  • Commentary: The 1965 Topps set is a classic in its own right.  The team name in pennants is the key design element to the set, which fits nicely with the curved borders used to frame the picture.  Jim Stewart was primarily used as a backup for either Joey Amalfitano or Andre Rogers in 1964, starting at either second or shortstop when either man was given the day off.  Versatile was he that he sometimes was placed in the outfield as well.  This was the most productive season of his career.  Above the blurb and his statistics was a cartoon that noted that Jim "was a track star at college (Austin Peay State University). In 1965, he appeared in 116 games, starting games as either the left fielder or shortstop.  But while his most of his hitting numbers were down, he did steal three more bases.  He was later traded to the other team in Chicago (1967), and after a year off due to injury, found himself in Cincinnati thanks to the Rule 5 draft, contributing to the Reds' NL pennant.  Stewart was eventually traded to Houston in an eight-player deal that included future HOF Joe Morgan.  By 1973, he was out of baseball as a player.  He was named a special assignment scout for the Phillies in 1991.  
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $1.50-$4.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: none.
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: 1997 Topps #15. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Come on back then to see what the Topps Card Randomizer gets us to look at then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1977 Topps #584 Ed Goodson

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, October 20, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1977 Topps #584.
  • Player Name, position, team: Ed Goodson, third baseman-first baseman, Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Major League Debut: September 5, 1970.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1976 stats (Dodgers): 83 G, 118 AB, 8 R, 27 H, 4 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 17 RBI, .229 AVG.
  • Any special information about players: Drafted by the Giants, #1st (Special), June 1968. Traded by the Braves to the Dodgers 11/17/1975.  Bats:  left.  Throws:  right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 6. This is his fifth card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Ed has a reputation as an outstanding pure hitter and helped Dodgers as left-handed pinch-hitter & in infield, 1975."
  • Commentary: How do you top the classic and colorful 1976 Topps design?  By creating this in 1977.  Imagine if the Hobby Blogging Community was around back then...they would have panned this design mercilessly.  And then still buy it because:  1.  It's Topps.  2.  It's the only thing out there.  Fans eventually (as they always do) liked the design, so much so that the 2012 Topps Archives used this design for their Cloth Stickers insert set.  James E. Goodson was not an everyday player, but did start 267 of the 314 games he played.  As the blurb on the back stated, he was primarily used as a pinch-hitter.  The Dodgers won the NL pennant in 1977 and Goodson even got an at bat (his only one) in Game 6.  Alas, 1977 was his last year in the majors.  He spent the 1978 season with the Indians' AAA team in Portland, and then hung up the spikes for good not long afterwards.  I couldn't find what he did after his playing career ended, but I don't think he's the same Ed Goodson character from that TV show inspired by a twitter feed...what's it called (no, I'm not mentioning it here or linking to it...there are kids here.  But William Shatner played the dad on the TV show before it got cancelled).  
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.12-$0.30.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 3.
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: 1965 Topps #298. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, October 19, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2008 Topps #485 J. J. Putz

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, October 19, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2008 Topps #485.
  • Player Name, position, team: J. J. Putz, pitcher, Seattle Mariners.
  • Major League Debut: August 11, 2003.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2007 stats (Mariners): 68 G, 71.2 IP, 6-1, 11 R, 11 ER, 82 SO, 13 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 40 SV, 0.70 WHIP, 1.38 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Mariners, #6th, June 1999. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 8. This is his fourth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "In 1990, Dennis Eckersley turned in the most dominant season ever by a closer. Last year, J. J. got close, allowing only 6.53 runners per nine innings - the second-lowest rate ever (behind Eck's 5.52) by a pitcher with 70 or more innings. Manager John McLaren calls him "the ultimate gamer" because, in save opportunities, Putz's ratio was even better: 6.21."
  • Commentary: No matter how reviled the 2008 Topps design was with many of the bloggers (and there weren't that many at the time...believe me), you have to give Topps credit for making sure that the proper team colors were used for the circles which hold the team name's letters. The green and blue perfectly match the Mariners' color scheme. Remember to check the color foil on the bottom of your cards. The base set uses the regular silver foil, but the (unannounced) parallels of these cards use gold foil. Joseph Jason Putz had quite a year in 2007. With 40 saves, an ERA of 1.38, a WHIP of 0.698, and a 6-1 record, it was no wonder he was selected as an AL All-Star and an MVP candidate. In 2008, arm injuries limited him to 47 games, saving 15. At the end of the year, he was involved in a three-team, twelve-player trade that sent him to the Mets. After two years as a middle reliever (with both the Mets and White Sox), he earned the closer role with the Diamondbacks, and has flourished. In two years with the DBacks, he has saved 77 games 117 appearances, struckout 126, and has a WHIP of 0.970.
  • Beckett value: $0.12-$0.30.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 19 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1977 Topps #584. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

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



Then this guy's card would have been number #666.  How's that trade for Curtis Granderson looking now?

Have a nice day.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1999 Topps #65 Mo Vaughn

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, October 18, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1999 Topps #65.
  • Player Name, position, team: Mo Vaughn, first baseman, Boston Red Sox.
  • Major League Debut: June 27, 1991.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1998 stats (Red Sox): 154 G, 609 AB, 107 R, 205 H, 31 2B, 2 3B, 40 HR, 115 RBI, 0 SB, .5961 SLG, 61 BB, 144 SO, .337 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Red Sox, #1st, June 1989. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 13. This is his ninth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Mo socked a record-breaking home run on 07/19/1998, in a 9-4 taming of the Tigers.  Following blasts by teammates Donnie Sadler, Darren Lewis, and Nomar Garciaparra, he made the Sox the first AL team in history to hit four two-out HR's.  The MLB mark is five by the 1939 NY Giants."  Actually, the game happened on 07/18/1998.
  • Commentary: The second year in a row that Topps uses a non white border, this time using a lighter gold border.  One of the cleanest Topps designs ever with a really large photo with the only the player's name in gold foil and the team name (not in gold foil) unobtrusive to the picture.  Yes, you can clearly see dings and dents if those happen (keep in mind that the smudge on the card is from the plastic holder that I use, and is not on the card), but overall, I like the design.  The back of the card not only includes the statistics of said player, but if he won an award (Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, MVP), a star on the side will indicate as such.  In this case, the card reminds us that Mo was the AL MVP in 1995.  Mo, also known as Greg Vaughn's cousin, was a dominant player in his own right during the 1990's.  Not only did he win the MVP, but he was an annual candidate throughout his career.  He was also a three-time All-Star, and a Silver Slugger award winner.  Although his 1999 card depicts him as a Red Sox, he signed with the Anaheim Angels on December 11, 1998.  Nowadays, Topps would have found a way to photoshop the Angels jersey or worse, create an SP card variation.  (Okay, rant over).  In his first year with the Halos, he racked up less-than-stellar (for him) numbers, hitting .281 and .866 OPS with 33 home runs and 108 runs driven in.  Injuries kept him   out for the entire 2001 season, but at the end of the year, he was traded to the Mets, where he finished his playing career.   
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 32 cards.

Tomorrow's card will be: 2008 Topps #485. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Team Set of the Week: 2012 Houston Astros

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Team Set of the Week:


The checklist consists of the following players:
The cards in order from the set (the checklist at the end was cut from the back of the package. What, you don't do that?):



Key differences between the team set and 2012 Topps eponymous set:
  • Jed Lowrie has the same picture, but on the base set, the picture is further out and you can see more of the bat and even the catcher's knees:

  • Jordan Schafer is fielding in his base card:

  • Chris Johnson is pictured fielding, but in a different uniform:

  • In the base set, Wandy Rodriguez is pictured in a different uniform:

  • Jimmy Paredes' card features him fielding, and is also horizontally oriented, but...(theme here):

  • You can see what Humberto Quintero looks like in his base set card:

  • Brian Bogusevic did not have a base card in the eponymous set, but he was added to the Update Series:


We could play "If This is His Topps Card, What Card is This?" all day long with this set as seven of the sixteen players have different cards found exclusively in this team set.

Next week's featured set will be the 2008 Los Angeles Dodgers.  Hope you'll be here when we compare the cards from the retail set to their counterparts found in Topps and Topps Update Series.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1978 Topps #370 Rusty Staub

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, October 17, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1978 Topps #370.
  • Player Name, position, team: Rusty Staub, first baseman, New York Mets.
  • Major League Debut: April 9, 1963.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1977 stats (Tigers): 158 G, 623 AB, 84 R, 173 H, 34 2B, 3 3B, 22 HR, 101 RBI, .278 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Colt 45's as a Free Agent 09/11/1961. Traded by the Mets to the Tigers 12/12/1975. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 24. This is his fifteenth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a
  • Commentary: The Randomizer picks it's second Rusty Staub card (the first one was back in August, 20, 2010).  He was also featured as part of the 2011 Topps Archives Project (that maybe I'll get back to doing...even though we're careening towards 2013 now).  Anyway, the 1978 Topps design features a very unique font for the team name (which distinguishes it from the other rather plain looking sets that came between 1977 and 1980).  On the back of the 1978 Topps cards, you could play a game called "Play Ball" which is "Played by two."  Basically, you flip the card over, and a play is listed.  You could basically play a simulated game of ball with your '78 cards.  If playing the Staub card, you would "fly out."  As part of the Tigers in 1978, he reached career highs in runs driven in (121).  Along with the 24 home runs, 175 hits, and other intangibles, he placed fifth in the AL MVP voting.  Now I'm going to steal from my last Staub RotD post:  He is the last Colt .45 player to play in the majors. He was a member of the first Expos team in 1969, and endeared himself to the French-Canadian fan base by learning how to speak French. He became known as "Le Grande Orange" thanks to his red hair. During his second tour of duty with the Mets, not only did he serve as the team's first baseman, but he also became one of the team's coaches. Since his retirement, he was a restaurant owner, a Mets broadcaster, and more importantly, established the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund in 1986, which raises and distributes money to the families of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty.
  • Beckett value: $0.50-$1.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 16 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be 1999 Topps #65. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1983 Topps #162 Mark Clear

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, October 16, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1983 Topps #162.
  • Player Name, position, team: Mark Clear, pitcher, San Francisco Giants.
  • Major League Debut: April 4, 1979.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1982 stats (Red Sox): 55 G, 105 IP, 14-9, 39 R, 35 ER, 109 SO, 61 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 14 SV, 3.00 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Phillies, #8th, June 1974.  Traded by the Angels to the Red Sox 12/10/1980. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 12. This is his fifth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Pitched 2-2/3 scoreless innings for Save vs. Orioles, 4/21/1982.  Put out the fire for Save vs. A's, 05/21/1982."  1982 Highlights:  May 9:  Chalked up save in 1-0 win at Texas.  June 6:  Silenced Angels for save at California.  July 17:  Gained credit for 8-4 victory over Kansas City Royals.
  • Commentary: Mark Clear was one of the Red Sox' closers in 1982 (the job shared with Bob Stanley), but based on the the five games that Topps decided to include on the blurb and the highlights, he was the better of the two.  Even though he is credited for a low 14 saves, he finished 44 of the 55 games he entered, and was named to the All-Star Team that year.  The following year, he saved four games, but finished 33 of the 44 games he was called to pitch.  Remember, closer roles were different back then. In five seasons and 225 games with the Red Sox, he compiled a 35-23 record, saved 38 games, struck out 403 batters, and compiled a WHIP of 1.634.  He was traded to the Brewers after the 1985 season.  
  • Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 12 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1978 Topps #370. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1978 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, October 15, 2012

Meet the Possible Contenders for the 2012 Topps All-Star Rookie Team

Okay, the season is more than two weeks over, and the Championship Series on both sides are getting extremely interesting. But before the World Series begins, I'd like to go over the Top Rookies of 2012.

Why?

Because these are the guys that are going to be strong contenders for the 2012 Topps All-Star Rookie Team, that's why.

Anyway, perusing the MLB website, they have added a set of statistics in a section called the Top Rookie Tracker. This section features just a handful of the players MLB believes are contenders for either League's Rookie of the Year. And believe it or not, the players on the list they have provided stats for well represent each of the positions Topps uses for their Rookie All-Star team (1b, 2b, 3b, ss, three outfield, c, rhp, lhp, and relief pitcher…ahem...will explain this in a minute). So below is a list of potential nominees that the 30 MLB managers will see when they cast their votes for the 2012 Topps All-Star Rookie Team. The stats are as of the end of the 2012 regular season:

First basemen:
Yonder Alonso, SD (155 G, 0.273, 9 HR, 62 RBI, 0.741 OPS, 3 SB)
Matt Carpenter, STL (114 G, 0.294, 6 HR, 46 RBI, 0.828 OPS, 1 SB)
Chris Parmelee, MIN (64 G, 0.229, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 0.671 OPS, 0 SB)
Anthony Rizzo, CHC (87 G, 0.285, 15 HR, 48 RBI, 0.805 OPS, 3 SB)

Second basemen:
Freddy Galvis, PHI (58 G, 0.226, 3 HR, 24 RBI, 0.617 OPS, 0 SB)
Steve Lombardozzi, WSH (126 G, 0.273, 3 HR, 27 RBI, 0.671 OPS, 5 SB)

Third basemen:
Todd Frazier, CIN (128 G, 0.273, 19 HR, 67 RBI, 0.829 OPS, 3 SB)
Elian Herrera, LAD (67 G, 0.251, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 0.671 OPS, 4 SB)
Will Middlebrooks, BOS (75 G, 0.288, 15 HR, 54 RBI, 0.835 OPS, 4 SB)
Jordan Pacheco, COL (132 G, 0.309, 5 HR, 54 RBI, 0.762 OPS, 7 SB)

Shortstop:
Zack Cozart, CIN (138 G, 0.246, 15 HR, 35 RBI, 0.687 OPS, 4 SB)
Brian Dozier, MIN (84 G, 0.234, 6 HR, 33 RBI, 0.603 OPS, 9 SB)
Tyler Pastornicky, ATL (76 G, 0.243, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 0.613 OPS, 2 SB)

Outfielders:
Norichika Aoki, MIL (151 G, 0.288, 10 HR, 50 RBI, 0.787 OPS, 30 SB)
Quintin Berry, DET (94 G, 0.258, 2 HR, 29 RBI, 0.684 OPS, 21 SB)
Yoenis Cespedes, OAK (129 G, 0.292, 23 HR, 82 RBI, 0.861 OPS, 16 SB)
Bryce Harper, WSH (139 G, 0.270, 22 HR, 59 RBI, 0.817 OPS, 18 SB)
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, NYM (91 G, 0.252, 7 HR, 28 RBI, 0.691 OPS, 4 SB)
Mike Trout, LAA (139 G, 0.326, 30 HR, 83 RBI, 0.963 OPS, 49 SB)

Catchers:
Martin Maldonado, MIL (78 G, 0.266, 8 HR, 30 RBI, 0.729 OPS, 1 SB)
Jesus Montero, SEA (135 G, 0.260, 15 HR, 62 RBI, 0.685 OPS, 0 SB)
Wilin Rosario, COL (117 G, 0.270, 28 HR, 71 RBI, 0.843 OPS, 4 SB)
Hector Sanchez, SF (74 G, 0.280, 3 HR, 34 RBI, 0.685 OPS, 0 SB)

Right-Handed Starting Pitchers:
Yu Darvish, RHP, TEX (29 GS, 16-9, 3.90 ERA, 221 SO, 1.28 WHIP)
Randall Delgado, RHP, ATL (17 GS, 4-9, 4.37 ERA, 76 SO, 1.414 WHIP)
Nathan Eovaldi, RHP, MIA (22 GS, 4-13, 4.3 ERA, 78 SO, 1.508 WHIP)
Mike Fiers, RHP, MIL (22 GS, 9-10, 3.74 ERA, 135 SO, 1.262 WHIP)
Lucas Harrell, RHP, HOU (32 GS, 11-11, 3.76 ERA, 140 SO, 1.358 WHIP)
Liam Hendriks, RHP, MIN (16 GS, 1-8, 5.59 ERA, 50 SO, 1.547 WHIP)
Drew Hutchison, RHP, TOR (11 GS, 5-3, 4.60 ERA, 49 SO, 1.347 WHIP)
Hisashi Iwakuma, RHP, SEA (16 GS, 9-5, 3.16 ERA, 101 SO, 1.277 WHIP)
Joe Kelly, RHP, STL (16 GS, 5-7, 3.53 ERA, 75 SO, 1.383 WHIP)
Zach McAllister, RHP, CLE (22 GS, 6-8, 4.24 ERA, 110 SO, 1.364 WHIP)
Jarrod Parker, RHP, OAK (29 GS, 13-8, 3.47 ERA, 140 SO, 1.263 WHIP)
Tyson Ross, RHP, OAK (13 GS, 2-11, 6.5 ERA, 46 SO, 1.814 WHIP)
Jacob Turner, RHP, DET (10 GS, 2-5, 4.42 ERA, 36 SO, 1.200 WHIP)

Left-Handed Starting Pitchers:
Travis Blackley, LHP, OAK (15 GS, 6-4, 4.10 ERA, 71 SO, 1.207 WHIP)
Wei-Yin Chen, LHP, BAL (32 GS, 12-11, 4.02 ERA, 154 SO, 1.261 WHIP)
Scott Diamond, LHP, MIN (27 GS, 12-9, 3.54 ERA, 90 SO, 1.243 WHIP)
Christian Friedrich, LHP, COL (16 GS, 5-8, 6.17 ERA, 74 SO, 1.560 WHIP)
Wade Miley, LHP, ARI (29 GS, 16-11, 3.33 ERA, 144 SO, 1.182 WHIP)
Tommy Milone, LHP, OAK (31 GS, 13-10, 3.74 ERA, 137 SO, 1.279 WHIP)
Matt Moore, LHP, TB (31 GS, 11-11, 3.81 ERA, 175 SO, 1.348 WHIP)
Drew Pomeranz, LHP, COL (22 GS, 2-9, 4.93 ERA, 83 SO, 1.479 WHIP)
Jose Quintana, LHP, CWS (22 GS, 6-6, 3.76 ERA, 81 SO, 1.350 WHIP)
Drew Smyly, LHP, DET (18 GS, 4-3, 3.99 ERA, 94 SO, 1.268 WHIP)

Right-Handed Relief Pitchers:
Ryan Cook, RHP, OAK (71 G, 6-2, 2.09 ERA, 80 SO, 0.941 WHIP, 14 SV)
Steve Delabar, RHP, TOR (61 G, 4-3, 3.82 ERA, 92 SO, 1.091 WHIP, 0 SV)
Jim Henderson, RHP, MIL (36 G, 1-3, 3.52 ERA, 45 SO, 1.272 WHIP, 3 SV)
Kelvin Herrera, RHP, KC (76 G, 4-3, 2.35 ERA, 77 SO, 1.186 WHIP, 3 SV)
Jared Hughes, RHP, PIT (66 G, 2-2, 2.85 ERA, 50 SO, 1.150 WHIP, 2 SV)
Addison Reed, RHP, CWS (62 G, 3-2, 4.75 ERA, 54 SO, 1.364 WHIP, 29 SV)
Dale Thayer, RHP, SD (64 G, 2-2, 3.43 ERA, 47 SO, 1.127 WHIP, 7 SV)

Left-Handed Relief Pitchers:
Rex Brothers, LHP, COL (75 G, 8-2, 3.86 ERA, 83 SO, 1.478 WHIP, 5 SV)
Lucas Luetge, LHP, SEA (63 G, 2-2, 3.98 ERA, 38 SO, 1.500 WHIP, 2 SV)
Robbie Ross, LHP, TEX (58 G, 6-0, 2.22 ERA, 47 SO, 1.200 WHIP, 0 SV)
Hector Santiago, LHP, CWS (42 G, 4-1, 3.33 ERA, 79 SO, 1.336 WHIP, 4 SV)

If you're wondering why I separated the starting pitchers from the relief pitchers, and then if they are right handed or left handed, allow me to explain (conspiracy theory time folks…get something to drink, this may take a while).

As you all know, Topps instituted what I am calling the "Stephen Strasburg" rule in 2010 (Somehow, Strasburg was added to the ASRT even though he only pitched in 12 games. Now, Strasburg is a right-handed pitcher. But so is Neftali Feliz, the star closer for the Rangers, and a player many people believed should have been named onto the team as the RHP. In past years, it didn't matter if a pitcher was a starter or a reliever, only ONE RHP or ONE LHP was chosen for the team (of course there were exceptions…tie votes came into play).

So what does Topps do? For the 2010 Topps All-Star Rookie Team, they added a relief pitcher spot. This ensured not only Feliz' spot on the team, but gave Topps justification to include their poster boy Strasburg.

Then in 2011, instead of continuing the trend of having three pitchers (a RHP, a LHP, and a RP), Topps went back to the two-pitcher format, but instead of it being a RHP and LHP as in years past, the 2011 Topps All-Star Rookie Team included just one Starting Pitcher and one Relief pitcher.  From 2009 through 2011, it was the third straight year that the pitching positions were changed.

Back to the point. As in past years, this blog has done a contest where the object is to outguess me in choosing the Rookie Teams. The Grand Prize, if a contestant correctly guessed all the members of said team, was a complete 150 card set of 2005 Topps Rookie Cup (appropriate, no?). Anyway, while few have come close, none have won the grand prize. Those who did guess more players correctly than I did would win a pack of that year's Updates and Highlights/Update Series.

Well, we're doing it again.

So take a look at the list above, send me an e-mail (bdj610@hotmail.com) with your picks by November 1, 2012. You can pick the following (12 players total):
  • One player each for 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, C,
  • Three players for OF,
  • One Starting RHP, Starting LHP, Relief RHP, Relief LHP.
The reason why I'm asking for four pitchers is because who knows how Topps is going to designate the pitchers for the 2012 ASRT.  Picking four pitchers will cover all bases.  That way, however Topps announces the final selections, your choices will count.

After November 1, I will make my selections and then we will all wait together until the formal announcements have been made. If you out guess me, let's say I guess seven of the 10 or 11 spots correctly, and you guess eight or more, then you automatically win a Hobby pack of 2012 Topps Update Series. If you guess all the players correctly (if there are ten or eleven, who knows), then you will be entered into a drawing to win the 2005 Topps Rookie Card base set (Beckett Value $20.00 - $40.00). It's that easy.

So here's to hopefully many entries by November 1. Good luck.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2010 Topps #482 Mike McCoy

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, October 15, 2012:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2010 Topps #482.
  • Player Name, position, team: Mike McCoy, shortstop, Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Major League Debut: September 9, 2009.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2009 stats (Colorado Springs AAA-Pacific Coast): 132 G, 462 AB, 102 R, 142 H, 27 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 52 RBI, 40 SB, 80 BB, 70 SO, .400 SLG, .805 OPS, .307 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Cardinals, #34th, June 2002.  Selected by the Blue Jays off Waivers 11/09/2009.  Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 1. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Blue Jays scouts found a nugget over the winter when they claimed Mike from the Colorado Rockies.  A torrid spring landed him on a Major League Opening Day roster for the first time.  In 2009, he played seven positions (including pitcher, retiring all three batters he faced) for Colorado Springs, and led the Sky Sox with a .405 on-base percentage."
  • Commentary: The picture was taken during 2010 Spring Training.  How else would Topps have known that this guy would have made the Blue Jays roster?  Blue skies, Blue Jays logo, blue wave on the left side of the card...lots of blue here.  And is that a lawn mower (the orange thing) all the way in the back???   McCoy is one of the players whom the Rookie Card Rules that MLB Properties asked the card companies to implement in 2006 really worked.  He was drafted too far to be considered for a 2002 Topps or Bowman card (34th round by the Cardinals), so his only cards before 2010 were all found in minor league sets.  Mike has only played in 158 games during his three-year stretch with the Jays so far, but he has been inserted in almost every position in the lineup with the exception of catcher and first base.  McCoy has even pitched in a game (06/11/2011).  Because he been bouncing between Las Vegas (the Jays' AAA team) and the main club, he hasn't really been getting much cardboard press since this rookie card.   
  • Beckett value: $0.25-$0.60.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 1 card.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1983 Topps #162. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

ANNOUNCEMENT: Contest Involving 2012 Topps All-Star Rookie Team!!!

It is time once again start the one contest that I hold on this humble, little blog every year. It is a contest of a very high magnitude (for me anyway).

Later today, my annual post on "Meeting the Possible Candidates for the 2012 Topps All-Star Rookie Team" will appear on the blog. When the post appears, the contest begins.

What do you have to do to enter???

To enter the contest, e-mail me your twelve picks for the team at bdj610@hotmail.com with "All-Star Rookie Team Contest" in the subject line (do not leave your picks in the comments section). Your job is to select the players who you think Topps will bestow their Rookie Cup for their eponymous 2013 Topps set. There are twelve spots open for this team, one for each of these positions: 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, C, three outfielders (regardless of where they play), one left-handed starting pitcher, one right-handed starting pitcher, one left-handed relief pitcher, and one right-handed relief pitcher. I will explain why the need for four pitchers on my post later today.

If you get more players correct than I do when Topps officially announces the 2012 All-Star Rookie Team (normally announced late in November), you will automatically win a hobby pack of 2012 Topps Updates and Highlights (the regular packs, not the jumbos). So let's say I get seven of the ten spots right, and you get eight to all ten correct, you win a free pack of cards!!! (This means if I totally bomb and get all ten players wrong, then EVERYBODY wins!!!)

Anybody who correctly predicts all the players on the team will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win the grand prize:

A complete 150-card set of 2005 Topps Rookie Cup (suggested Beckett Value $20.00-$40.00).

The drawing (if needed) will be held after the official announcement is made and all winners will be notified via e-mail. Their names will be announced on the blog soon afterwards.

Only one entry per person. Entries must be received by Monday, November 1, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST.

Again, please wait until after "Meet the Candidates" post to leave your picks via e-mail. Good luck to all.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1961 Topps #567 Danny Murtaugh NL All-Star Manager

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, October 14, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1961 Topps #567.
  • Manager Name, team: Danny Murtaugh, All-Star Manager, National League.
  • Commentary: This technically wouldn't count as one of Murtaugh's regular MGR card as this card was part of the All-Star subset sponsored by Sporting News (his regular card is #138 in the 1961 Topps set).  Murtaugh inherited a team in 1957 that was 36-67 before taking it over.  He finished the year with a respectable 26-25 record.  Three years, and three winning records later, the Bucs beat the Yankees in the 1960 World Series.  And as the manager for the 1961 All-Star Game, the NL beat the AL in the first game (they played two back then) 5-4 in ten innings and went to a 1-all tie in the second game.  In fifteen years as the Pirates manager, his teams went 1115-950, won two World Series.  He passed away on December 2, 1976, after leading the Pirates to a 92-70 record.  
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $12.50-$30.00.
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: 2010 Topps #482. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Come on back then to see what the Topps Card Randomizer gets us to look at then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1990 Topps #527 Ron Hassey

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, October 13, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1990 Topps #527.
  • Player Name, position, team: Ron Hassey, catcher-designated hitter, Oakland Athletics.
  • Major League Debut: April 23, 1978.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1989 stats (Athletics): 97 G, 268 AB, 29 R, 61 H, 12 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 23 RBI, 1 SB, .328 SLG, 24 BB, 45 SO, .228 AVG.
  • Any special information about players: Drafted by the Indians, #10th, June 1976. Signed with the Athletics as a Free Agent 12/06/1987.  Bats:  left.  Throws:  right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 15. This is his fourteenth card.
  • Blurb on the back: none.
  • Commentary: Normally, I would say that maybe all the cards of the Athletics players should have been printed with the green borders (see Jose Canseco's 1990 Topps card). It makes sense visually.  But I look at the background on Hassey's card and the "indigo" borders work here as well.  It is not as striking visually as let's say Pat Perry's card (a pitcher from the Cubs, his card has red borders) or Kal Daniel's card (Dodgers with an orange border).  Ron Hassey is one of those players who may not have the Hall-of-Fame credentials, but during his 14-year career in MLB, he's been involved in a lot of historic events.  Hassey caught not one, but TWO PERFECT GAMES, (Len Barker's on 05/15/1981 and Dennis Martinez' on 07/28/1991). Chicago Cubs fans will recognize him as one of the players sent to the Cubs in the Rick Sutcliffe trade (the one which sent Joe Carter to the Indians).  He was a part of three Oakland A's World Series rosters (winning it all in 1989).  In 1990, he was Bob Welch's personal catcher, the year in which he won the Cy Young award on the strength of a 27 win season.  After one last go with the Expos in 1991, he went to become a coach with the Rockies (1993-1995), Cardinals (1996) and Mariners (2005-2006), a scout with the Diamondbacks (1997-2003), a minor league manager, and a minor league manager, spending the 2012 season with the New Orleans Zephyrs.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.01-$0.05.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 17.
Tomorrow is Retro Sunday, the one day of the week that we feature a card from 1951-1975. The card we will feature tomorrow is: 1961 Topps #567. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama