Select The Player Who Should Be Added onto the 2014 All-Star Teams below as the HBC AL Final-Man

Select The Player Who Should Be Added onto the 2014 All-Star Teams below as the HBC NL Final-Man

Friday, November 30, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1999 Topps #274 Brian Hunter

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, November 30, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1999 Topps #274.
  • Player Name, position, team: Brian Hunter, outfielder, Detroit Tigers.
  • Major League Debut: June 27, 1994.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1998 stats (Tigers): 142 G, 595 AB, 67 R, 151 H, 29 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 36 RBI, 42 SB, .333 SLG, 36 BB, 94 SO, .254 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Astros, #2nd, June 1989. Traded by the Astros to the Tigers 12/10/1996. 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: "Brian has had more productive offensive seasons than in 1998, but he won games with his legs, arm and durability. He stole 20 bases without being caught to open the season (a Tigers record); once threw out runners at the plate on consecutive plays (a May 18 game versus the Angels in which he added four hits and three runs scored); and concluded a consecutive games streak of 239."
  • Commentary:  Not to be confused with the former outfielder Brian Raynold Hunter, outfielder Brian Lee Hunter was a speedy center fielder who tore up the base paths in the late 90's and early 2000's with the Astros, Tigers, and Mariners (he also played for the Rockies, Reds, and Phillies before returning to the Astros to finish his career).  He stole a league high 74 bases in 1997, and as of the end of the 1998 season, had stolen 177 bases in 520 games.  Is there any wonder why he is playfully pictured holding a couple of bases while wearing a mask?  Eighteen games into the 1998 season, Hunter was traded to the Mariners for a couple of minor leaguers.  With Seattle that year, he hit the same number of home runs (4), drove in the two less rbi's (34), but made up for it with two more stolen bases (44) than in his last season with Detroit.  His batting average plummeted to the low to mid .230's though and before the 2000 season, he was released by Seattle.    
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 12.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1999 Topps Traded and Rookies #T19. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1987 Topps Traded #91T Matt Nokes

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, November 29, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1987 Topps Traded #91T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Matt Nokes, catcher, Detroit Tigers.
  • Major League Debut: September 3, 1985.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1986 stats (Tigers): 7 G, 24 AB, 2 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB, .500 SLG, 1 BB, 1 SO, .333 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Giants, #20th, June 1981. Traded by the Giants to the Tigers 10/07/1985. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 10. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a.
  • Commentary: I was always fascinated with logos when I was younger.  And when I first saw these cards in 1987, all I wanted to do was take out the scissors and cut each of the 26 different team logos from each card.  I had no idea that baseball cards were valuable.  And looking back, it probably would not have made a difference if I cut the logos off or not (they made tons of 1987 Topps product).  Not so much with 1987 Topps Traded.  These were just a smidge harder to find.  Matt Nokes wasn't going to unseat Bob Brenly as the Giants catcher, so San Francisco traded him off to Detroit before the end of the 1985 season.  After a cup of coffee in 1986, Nokes became the Tigers' primary catcher.  Sparky's decision to make Nokes his #1 paid massive dividends for the Tigers.  In 135 games, Nokes hit .289 with 32 home runs and 87 rbi's with his OBP/SLG/OPS percentages were .345/536/.880.  Behind the plate, he had a fielding percentage of .992 (5 errors in 632 chances), and caught 18 of 89 would be base stealers.  He made the All-Star team that year, finished third in the Rookie of the Year balloting, won the Silver Slugger, and was selected as the catcher for the 1987 Topps All-Star Rookie team . With Detroit, he hit .268 with 61 home runs, 189 rbi's, and an OPS of .780.  He was traded to the Yankees in 1990, where he would spend five seasons as starter, then mentor to Jorge Posada.  After a season in which he played for both the Orioles and Rockies in 1995, his last in the majors, Matt Nokes continued his career playing in the independent leagues.  On the back of many of the player's cards, there was a section called "On This Date" which not only highlighted a particular event during a random day, but also the Topps card of the player being mentioned.  On the back of Nokes' card, the date is "July 25, 1972:  Royals' Cookie Rojas delivered pinch-HR in the All-Star Game at Atlanta. Cookie's 1972 Topps card was #415."
  • Beckett value: $0.08-$0.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 18 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1999 Topps #274. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Team Set of the Week: 2011 Chicago Cubs

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 2011 Topps eponymous set:
  • The picture used in Starlin Castro's card has the Rookie Cup on it in the retail set, but not in the regular set.  He had two cards in the eponymous 2011 set, and it's the other card that has the Cup:

  • Kerry Wood appeared in the regular 2011 set as a rent-a-Yankee.  He returned to the Cubs as a Free Agent in time for the 2011 season:

  • Carlos Peña is pictured with the Rays for the base set (by the looks of things, Topps photoshopped the Cubs uni on the same picture), and then as a Cub in Update Series.  He returned to the Rays in 2012:

  • Matt Garza made it into the 2011 Topps set with a Cubs uniform, but in their travelling grays:

So of the 17 players included in this set, only four had obvious picture variances, and two of them were because they played for another team.  They were both included as Cubs in the Update Series though.  So the photoshopped images that were included in the retail set are unique to that set.

Next week's featured set will be the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates. 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, November 28, 2012

The 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot Has Been Announced. Who's In?

At 12:00 p.m. EST, The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced the players that were placed on the ballots sent to the members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).  There are 24 players making their debut (highlighted in bold), so along with thirteen players who met the criteria in last year's HOF balloting, that means 37 players are on this year's ballot.  The players (with years on ballot and % of ballots in the 2012 election):

Who do you think will be inducted into Cooperstown in 2013? Good luck to all.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1978 Topps #266 Bob Shirley

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, November 28, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1978 Topps #266.
  • Player Name, position, team: Bob Shirley, pitcher, San Diego Padres.
  • Major League Debut: April 10, 1977.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1977 stats (Padres): 39 G, 214 IP, 12-18, 107 R, 88 ER, 146 SO, 100 BB, 3.70 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Padres, #1st, January 1976 (Special). Bats: right. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 13. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "A non-roster invitee to Padres' 1977 Spring Training Camp, Bob surprised onlookers by making staff. He became workhorse of staff last season, topping club in Innings, Wins, and K's.  Helped pitch Univ. of Oklahoma to 3 Big Eight Conference Titles, 1973-75."
  • Commentary: With a unique font used for the team name on the lower left corner of the cards, plus the floating baseball that stated the player's position, the 1978 Topps set was probably the simplest designed of the 70's in terms of elements used.  Based on the back of his Topps card, Bob Shirley performed so well in Arizona that when camp ended, he was added to the 25-man roster.  Shirley was used primarily as a starter that year, and he was an innings-eater to boot, leading the team in that department.  In 1978, he was cast as the team's spot-starter/set-up reliever.  In 20 starts, he had a 6-9 record.  As a reliver, he finished 10 games and earned saves in five of them.  For the year, he went 8-11, with an ERA of 3.69, struck out 102 batters in 166 innings of work.  He would spend two more seasons with the Padres before being traded to the Cardinals in a eleven-player deal.  After a year in St. Louis, he was traded to Cincinnati.  He spent six seasons with the Yankees soon afterwards.  During that time, he was involved in an altercation with Yankees star Don Mattingly, and the roughhousing landed "Donnie Baseball" onto the disabled list.  Released by the Bombers soon afterwards, Shirley signed on with the Royals.  But after three disastrous outings, he was soon released.  On many of the cards in the 1978 Topps set, there was a game that could be "Played by Two" called Play Ball, in which every card would include a play that could be used in a simulated game.  Drawing Bob Shirley's card would give you a single.
  • Beckett value: $0.10-$0.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 13 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be 1987 Topps Traded #91T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2003 Topps #333 Season Highlights Shawn Green

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, November 27, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2003 Topps #333.
  • Player Name, position, team: Shawn Green, outfielder, Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Special: Season Highlights, Shawn Green Hits 9 Homers in One Week.
  • Any special information about this specific card: The blurb on the back of the card explains that through the first month-and-a-half of the season, Green hit only three home runs in 42 games. But in one week, he hit three times as many and then some. On Tuesday, 05/21/2002, Green hit two home runs against the Brewers, even though the Brew Crew won the game 8-6. Two nights later, to borrow a phrase from Rich Eisen during his ESPN days, Green "busted out the whooping stick," going six-for-six with four home runs, seven rbi's, and a record 19 total bases in one game, leading the Dodgers to an easy 16-3 win.  Even the Milwaukee faithful gave the LA's right fielder a standing ovation.  The power switch stayed on as the Dodgers travelled to Phoenix to take on the Diamondbacks.  From 05/24-25/2002, Green went a combined 5-7, with three more home runs and seven runs driven in.  That's nine home runs in the span of a calendar week.  What the card does not mention is that on 05/27/2002, the Brewers arrived in Los Angeles, and Green hit another home run against them, helping the Dodgers to a 5-3 win.  Which means in seven days (05/21 through 05/27/2002), in 35 plate appearances, Shawn Green went 17-32 (.531 average), hit 10 home runs, drove home 18 rbi's, 2 doubles, 1 triple, walked twice, and had an OBP/SLG/OPS of .543/1.594/2.137.  Baseball knew how good a player Shawn Green was.  For one seven-day stretch in the 2002 season, he was unstoppable.
    Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
Tomorrow's card will be:  1978 Topps #266. 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

RIP Marvin Miller 1917-2012

Found out today, on twitter of all places, that Marvin Miller passed away this morning.

2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites #80 Marvin Miller

No man in the history of baseball changed the way the business of the game is changed today than the man you see above. He helped end the reserve clause, which now allows players to move freely from team to team via free agency (source: 2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites #80).

Not only did he change the course of baseball history, but he was the man that challenged the monopoly that Topps had over the baseball card industry as well. Read any of the books that are out there about baseball cards (The Card, Mint Condition, even Card Sharks), and you will find that it was Mr. Miller that convinced that the players could earn a lot more for their likenesses on items like Topps cards after finding that the players were being taken advantage of via Topps' compensation (which was either a small amount of money derisively called "steak money" to a catalog of appliances).  Taking on Sy Berger, Miller successfully convinced the players that they could get more than a toaster for signing the Topps contract.  After the players went along with it, Berger had to comply (read the books, I'm just going on memory here).  Every major league player owes Miller a debt of gratitude for the benefits he helped provide.

It is rare on this humble, little blog that we pay tribute to people who pass away. But it is because of all that Marvin Miller had accomplished as the Executive Director of the MLB Players Association that he is being honored here today.  Maybe now, just like another player who was denied entry into Baseball's Hall of Fame, he will be formally inducted into Cooperstown.  Our condolences to his family and friends.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, November 26, 2012

2012 Topps All-Star Rookie Team Contest Winners!!!‏

Now that the 2012 Topps All-Star Rookie Team has been announced, I have spent the good part of the afternoon going over all the e-mails I received, seeing who outguessed me in the All-Star Rookie Team contest.

Even with all the unanimous picks of Cespedes, Harper, Trout and Darvish, nobody correctly predicted all eleven players who would make the team this year. The fact that Topps named returned to eleven players for this year's team (unlike last year when the team consisted of ten players) makes me glad that I covered all bases and asked those participating to name four pitchers (a right-handed and left-handed starter, and a right-handed and left-handed reliever). But once again, nobody wins the 2005 Topps Rookie Cup set grand prize.

More entries were sent to me this year than in last year's contest, so needless to say I was a bit nervous that the results would be expensive on my part. But out of all the entries I did receive, only five people beat my score of nine. Congratulatory e-mails have already been sent, so it's okay for me to announce the winners:

Congratulations to Jason Carter, Reilly Cotter, Tyler Geivett, Don Sherman, and Anthony Zarriello!!!

Many of the people who participated in the contest did get the same number of players right that I did...a big fat nine. If Steve Lombardozzi was a unanimous pick by all of our participants in the contest, two of the men above would have had perfect scores and would have been in the drawing to win the grand prize. Regardless, all five gentlemen will receive a Hobby pack of 2012 Update Series for outguessing me.

Thank you very much to all who participated in the contest. Although nobody got all ten to win the grand prize, I promise to run this contest again next year. Hopefully somebody will win it.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2000 Topps #42 Chili Davis

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, November 26, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2000 Topps #42.
  • Player Name, position, team: Chili Davis, outfielder, San Francisco Giants.
  • Major League Debut: April 10, 1981.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1999 stats (Yankees): 146 G, 476 AB, 59 R, 128 H, 25 2B, 1 3B, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 4 SB, .445 SLG, 73 BB, 100 SO, .269 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by Giants, #11th, June 1977. Signed with the Yankees as a Free Agent 12/10/1997. Bats: both, Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 21. This is his twenty-first and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a.
  • Commentary: Yesterday, the RotC featured a card from the gray-bordered 1970 Topps set. For an encore, it picked the gray(some may call it silver)-bordered 2000 Topps set. You know, I've made a habit of pointing out on this humble little blog that Topps utilized a similar design for their 1963, 1983, and 2003 Topps sets: a large picture of the subject above with a smaller headshot below next to the player's name (okay, they used it in 1984 and in a sense 1996). Maybe in 2030, Topps will bring back the silver borders. It could happen. You never know. Chili Davis was the first subject of the Random Card of the Day program in 2010. The card featured then, his 1982 Topps Traded #23T card, was his first solo Topps card (like with Cal Ripken, he appeared in the 1982 set with two other prospects). Flash forward 18 years and Chili Davis is one of MLB's elder statesmen. In fact, with 1999 being Davis' final season in the majors, the statistics on the back of his Topps cards are complete and final. What a career it was though for the first player born in Jamaica to play in the majors. Charles Theordore Davis' final numbers include a batting average of .274, 350 home runs, 1372 rbi's, .451 slugging percentage, 142 stolen bases, and thanks to his two years with the Yankees plus a magical 1991 season with the Twins, three World Series titles (thanks to Dean for pointing this out...#facepalm!!!). After spending time in Australia as the hitting coach for the National Baseball Team, he returned to the US to take on a hitting instructor's role with the Dodgers. In 2012, Davis was named the hitting coach of the Oakland Athletics. With him helping out the teams' young stars, the A's wrestled away the AL Western Division title over the 2-time defending AL Champion Texas Rangers.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 28 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2003 Topps #333. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Introducing the 2012 Topps All-Star Rookie Team!!!

The MLB managers have spoken, and today, Topps has announced the players named to the 54th All-Star Rookie Team!!! (If the player's name is in bold, it means I predicted that they would make the team earlier this month).

  • 1B: Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs (0.285 batting average, 15 HR, 48 RBI, 2012 stats)
  • 2B: Steve Lombardozzi, Washington Nationals (.273, 3, 27)
  • 3B: Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds (.273, 19, 67)
  • SS: Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds (.246, 15, 35)
  • OF: Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics (.292, 23, 82)
  • OF: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals (.270, 22, 59)
  • OF: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (.326, 30, 83)
  • C: Wilin Rosario, Colorado Rockies (.270, 28, 71)
  • RHP: Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers (16-9, 3.90 ERA, 221 K's)
  • LHP: Wade Miley, Arizona Diamondbacks (16-11, 3.33, 144)
  • RP:  Addison Reed, Chicago White Sox (3-2, 4.75, 54, 29 saves)
So I guessed 9 out of now 11 spots correctly.  I guessed Jesus Montero for the catcher spot (I guess if he had stayed with the Yankees he would have won this outright), and Ryan Cook & Rex Brothers as my relief pitchers.  I did a lot better than last year (when I got 6 of 10 correct).  

Now my comments. Hey, Topps brought back the Strasburg rule for 2012.  Instead of having just one starting pitcher and one relief pitcher, they have returned to the right-handed and left-handed starting pitchers to go with one relief pitcher.  Maybe it was a good thing that I asked those entering the All-Star Rookie Team contest to name four pitchers (two right-handers, two-left handers) just in case.

While I have not yet seen if there were any unanimous votes, there was little doubt that Cespedes, Harper, Trout, and Darvish would be selected.  It could have gone either way with Rizzo and the Padres' Yonder Alonso.  But Rizzo had considerably comparable numbers while playing in less games.  Personally, I'm totally surprised that Ryan Cook was not selected as the relief pitcher for the team.  He definitely had the numbers to warrant him getting the nod, but Reed was a closer for the entire year, while Cook was a middle reliever who took the closer role in the middle of the season (and later returned to set-up when closer late in the year).

So congratulations to all. Each player will now get the illustrious rookie cup trophy added to their 2013 Topps cards.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1970 Topps #254 Camilo Pascual

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, November 25, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1970 Topps #254.
  • Player Name, position, team: Camilo Pascual, pitcher, Cincinnati Reds.
  • Major League Debut: April 15, 1954.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1969 stats (Reds): 5 G, 7 IP, 0-0, .000 PCT, 3 SO, 4 BB, 9.00 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Senators as a Free Agent before the 1952 season. Contract purchased by the Reds 07/07/1969. Bats: right. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 16 (not counting the 1959 Topps Ralph Lumenti #316 card that actually pictures Pascual). This is his sixteenth and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Camilo tied major mark for hurlers with 3 sacrifices, 05/27/1956."
  • Commentary: The grey-bordered 1970 Topps set, I found out, uses a whiter card stock than what we were accustomed to seeing throughout the 70's and 80's (up until 1991).  Unfortunately, many of the cards that I've also seen are miscut (like the card above), so finding cards with decent centering is a challenge to say the least.  There was a stretch during the early years of Camilo's career with the Senators (then Twins...he moved with the team) that he was one of Major League Baseball's best pitchers.  From 1959 through 1964, he was a five-time All-Star, a three-time MVP candidate, and had a combined record of 100-66 with a 3.04 ERA, 1170 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.195.  He started 185 of the 194 games he appeared in and completed 90 of them, 26 were shutouts.  On the heels of a dominating 21-9 record with 18 complete games in 1963 (ironically, the only year in this six season stretch in which he did NOT make the All- Star Team), Topps assigned card #500 to him for their 1964 Topps set, the first pitcher bestowed with the milestone card number.  In 1967, he returned to Washington, DC, to pitch for the second incarnation of the Senators.  He was still an effective starter, although not as dominant as he had been just a few years ago.  He was released by the Senators after going 2-5 with a 7.04 ERA and had his contract purchased by the Reds.  In 1970, Pascual signed on with the Dodgers, but was released after appearing in 10 games.  He finished his major league career with the Indians in 1971.  He was named the pitching coach for the Twins in 1978 (job lasted through the 1980 season), and has sinced worked as an international scout for a number of teams.  He is credited for signing (and perhaps unleashing to the world) Jose Canseco when he was a scout for the Athletics.  Camilo Pascual is also a Hall of Famer.  Although he failed to be enshrined into Cooperstown (two attempts with only 4 votes of support combined), he was inducted into the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame (1983), the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame (2010, inaugural class), and in 2012, was the 24th player to be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame.  His cards have been used in Topps Heritage Buyback programs since 2008.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.40-$1.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 0.
In case you're actually wondering, I don't own this card, but was able to get a crystal clean copy of the image from the from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. So thank you Joe McAnally and the folks at the BCCM..

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 2000 Topps #42. 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, November 24, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH219 Damaso Marte

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, November 24, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH219.
  • Player Name, position, team: Damaso Marte, pitcher, New York Yankees.
  • Major League Debut: June 30, 1999.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2007 stats (Pirates): 65 G, 45.1 IP, 2-0, 14 R, 12 ER, 51 SO, 18 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 1.10 WHIP, 2.38 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Mariners as a Free Agent 10/28/1992. Traded by the Pirates to the Yankees 07/25/2008. 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: "Needing a reliable left-hander in the bullpen, the Yankees made a 2008 trade for Damaso, who posted a World Series victory for the White Sox in 2005."
  • Commentary: After years of Topps baseball card obscurity (with the exception of Topps Total where the Company was OBLIGATED to include EVERYONE), Damaso Marte did not make an eponymously designed Topps debut until the 2005 Topps White Sox World Series set.  He wouldn't make his eponymous set debut until the 2006 Topps set, seven seasons after making his major league debut.  Again, I find this appalling, especially when the man made a combined total of 279 games for the Pale Hose prior (appearing in more than 70 games in both 2003 and 2004).  Maybe because it was the fact that the White Sox managed to win the World Series that Topps HAD to put him on a card (because if he played for the Red Sox or the Yankees, it would have been automatic).  Oh wait...this card is of Marte...after being traded TO THE YANKEES!!!  As a middle reliever for the Pirates, he couldn't even get any Topps cardboard love.  But trade him to the Yankees...and voila, he gets a card.  See the injustice here folks?  WHAT??!  The man plays in more than 210 games for the Pirates (including a 23 game stint in 2001) and nothing.  No record of him in a Pirates jersey whatsover by the Topps company.  As soon as he hits the Bronx, he must have been shellshocked by the Topps photographers and their attention.  Okay, rant done...again.  But keep in mind where I stand on the topic.  Marte appeared in 25 games after arriving in New York, but did not find the success he achieved in Pittsburgh.  He went 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA, and struck out 24 batters in 18.1 innings of work.  He did not fare any better in 2009, the year the team won their last WS.  He had the same 1-3 record in 21 games pitched and an ERA of 9.45.  In his last major league season (2010), he appeared in 30 games, no record, and struck out 12 batters with a better ERA of 4.08.  Injured in 2011, he made one rehab appearance with the Yankees' Gulf Coast Rookie team.  In .2 innings of work, he allowed six runs, leaving him with an ERA of 81.00.  He did not pitch in 2012, but may be looking for a shot in 2013.
  • 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: 1970 Topps #254. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, November 23, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2008 Topps #545 Chris Young

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, November 23, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2008 Topps #545.
  • Player Name, position, team: Chris Young, outfielder, Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Major League Debut: August 18, 2006.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2007 stats (Diamondbacks): 148 G, 569 AB, 85 R, 135 H, 29 2B, 3 3B, 32 HR, 68 RBI, 27 SB, 43 BB, 141 SO, .467 SLG, .762 OPS, .237 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the White Sox, #16th, June 2001. Traded by the White Sox to the Diamondbacks 12/20/2005. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 7. This is his third Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Chris, landed as a prospect from the White Sox following the 2005 season, may turn out to e one of the Diamondbacks greatest acquisitions.  In '07, the strong, swift center fielder became the first rookie in MLB history to pair 30 homers with 25 steals.  Young hit the sixth-most leadoff bombs (nine) ever and smashed virtually every Arizona rookie record."
  • Commentary:  Not to be confused with the current Mets pitcher Christopher Ryan Young, outfielder Christopher Brandon Young has exceeded the expectations that were written about on the back of this card.  You can see that he was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team, and the numbers he produced certainly back up his selection.  It's what he has done for the D-Backs since then that have made him one of the games bright stars.  In 2008, he did not experience the dreaded sophomore slump.  Although he hit less home runs than the year before (22), he did drive in 17 more rbi's than in the previous campaign (85).  His average went up to .248 and he hit 42 doubles and 7 triples to help his OBP go up to .315.  Defensively, he only had three errors in 401 chances (.993 fielding %), to go with five outfield assists.  He made his first All-Star team in 2010, and was the "Dean of the Diamondbacks" at the end of the season ahead of fellow All-Star catcher Miguel Montero by only 19 days (Montero's MLB Debut was on 09/06/2006).  However, he was traded to the Athletics on October 20, 2012.  
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.12-$0.30.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 33.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH219. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1983 Topps #279 Greg Gross

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, November 22, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1983 Topps #279.
  • Player Name, position, team: Greg Gross, outfielder, Philadelphia Phillies.
  • Major League Debut: September 5, 1973.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1982 stats (Phillies): 119 G, 134 AB, 14 R, 40 H, 4 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 10 RBI, 4 SB, .328 SLG, 19 BB, 8 SO, .299 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Astros, #4th, June 1970. Traded by the Cubs to the Phillies 02/23/1979. 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: "Greg drilled Double with RBI and scored Run in helping Phillies defeat Cardinals at St. Louis, 06/23/1982."
  • Commentary: Doesn't he look happy in his portrait card at the bottom left of the card?  Greg Gross started his career in Houston (he was a member of the 1974 Topps All-Star Rookie Team, finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting), and then had two good years with the Cubs (a career high 5 home runs in 1977). But he will always be associated with the Philadelphia Phillies.  Although he didn't get to start many games, he was more known for his pinch-hitting and defense.  He was a member of the 1980 World Series winning team, and a mainstay in Philadelphia throughout the 80's.  In 1983, Gross had a good year at the plate, hitting .302 with 29 rbi's and .761 OPS.  Able to play all  three outfield positions, and a bit at first, Gross' contributions in September (.333 average, 26-78) as a starter helped the team win it's second NL East title in the decade.  When his playing days were over, he became a color commentator for the Phillies and worked as a coach in the Rockies organization.  He returned to the Phils as their bench coach in 2001, and worked as a hitting coach or instructor for the organization's minor league system.  He came back in 2010 as the team's hitting coach in 2010, a position he held through 2012.
  • Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 15 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2008 Topps #545. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Team Set of the Week: 2010 Minnesota Twins

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 2010 Topps eponymous set:
  • You get a more up-close-and-personal look at Carl Pavano in his base card:

  • Michael Cuddyer makes a run for it in the eponymous Topps set:

  • You get a bit closer to Glen Perkins in his base card:

  • Here is another shot of Delmon Young taking a swing:

  • It's the same shot, but this time, you're seeing more of the scene in Nick Punto's Topps card:

  • We need a closer to take a closer look at Alexi Casilla on his card:

  • Finally, you get to see the same picture of Justin Morneau, at a different angle:

So of the 17 players included in this set, only two had obvious picture variances, while five more used the same picture, but either brought you closer or moved your perspective back a bit.  The variations are subtle, but Topps, if you're going to use the same picture for both the regular set and the team set, at least be consistent and don't mess around with the cropping.

Next week's featured set will be the 2011 Chicago Cubs. 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

What Am I Thankful For in 2012?

It's been a long time since I last did one of these kinds of posts. Yes, the blog is about Topps cards, and as you'll see, the Random Team Set and Card of the Day will be posted later on. But I've had a lot of time to sit and think about what has happened to me and my family this past year. Many of the things were good, some not so much. But luck and timing seemed to have come at the right times and apart from other debts that still need to be paid, most have been and the future somehow looks a lot brighter than it did during the year.

By the time this post comes online, I will be getting ready to celebrate with both my family and my wife's family. We have a busy day ahead as we start in Skokie and move on to Palatine in the late afternoon, partaking in Thanksgiving festivities.

Anyway, I can rattle on and on about how tough it is nowadays, but everyone already has an idea. For all the bad news out there (and it seems there is plenty), there is so much for me personally to be thankful for.

I am thankful that I have a wonderful family that gives me a reason to be alive. My wife and I have been together for 14 wonderful years, and I look forward to many more with her. Though we may have had our share of disagreements, the good times outweigh all the bad. We continue to talk about how it would be nice if we went to this place, or if we had this car, or whatever. While those dreams are still just that, I take comfort in knowing that we have been able to go to some places this year, even if it is just crossing the Mississippi River into Dubuque in a new (rented) car. It was an adventure. For now, we just have to keep going with what we have. As with many who took this vow of marriage, I promised to be with her for richer or poorer, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I loved her then, and I love her more so now.

I am thankful for being the father of two beautiful children who I love with all my heart. I am truly grateful to have them in my life. Both are growing up to be fine individuals. I know that they are still trying to find their own identities as they adjust to the responsibilities that come with being older, but in my heart, they will always be my little babies. It turns out that I don't have to be that strict with them about their grades in school (oh my gosh, I've become MY OWN FATHER), but there is always room to be better. I know that both of them take the initiative to be better students (or at least that's what their teachers say about them), so I am confident that they will do well in and out of school. I still love to hear them laugh, and while I don't look forward to the eventual disagreements and struggles that come with raising future adolescents, to see them show both their mother and me how much they love us makes up for all of that. Both their mom and I still have a lot of work to do raising them, but it is something that I would never exchange.

I am thankful to have a family to lean on when times are hard. My parents, who have been my support when I have nobody to turn to when I'm having troubles and give me good advice whether I ask or not. My siblings, who keep me grounded as a person (based on whatever they're doing in their lives). Even my in-laws...who help keep my wife in check and make sure that she's doing well.

I am thankful for the fourteen years I had working for DPI Specialty Foods. I practically grew up as a person there as I started as the youngest person with the company and left as one of the most tenured. It was a hard pill to swallow when it was announced that they were closing our doors and (almost) all of us would be out of work. I was fortunate to be given the severance that was granted to me, as we have been able to stay afloat financially while I've been looking for work. If all goes well, by the end of the year I will start over with a new company and able to continue to support my family. I miss the people I've worked with over the years and continue to think about them. I wish them well and hope that most have found new jobs.

I am thankful for having a roof over my family's head. Yes, I have to admit it's been rough at times, both financially and physically (and by this, I mean our house is old, and there has been a lot of work that needed to be done with it). Somehow we are able to scrape through another month. I've had a lot of sleepless nights, especially since being unemployed. But through it all, I am grateful that my family still has a place to call home.

I am thankful that we have food on our table. We try not to eat out, although at times with our children's schedules it has become a necessity at times. We've had to cut back on many luxury items (seafood, steaks), but we still try to have a sense of normalcy when it comes to cooking at home, whether it's my wife cooking or me taking a turn. I'm not saying that we've had to totally give up on good food, but as long as we have the basics (milk, bread, eggs), and we're never out of pasta, I'm happy.

The final thing I am for which I am thankful, for all intents and purposes, is the reason I am able to keep sane through all the things going on in my life. It is something that many understand, but few will admit relating to it. Many people, no matter what their situation, have at least one. And often times, use it for the same reasons I do. For the goals this one thing accomplishes is not just to give joy to my life, but to give it an escape. An outlet if you will, to a time where I didn't have stress, or have much to worry. This one thing is the reason why I write this humble little blog. I give thanks to the Hobby. Because with everything going on in the world today, second to my family, it is the one thing that gives me comfort. Being out of work has caused me to delve deeper than ever before as collecting cards and all that is involved has allowed me not to overstress as I try to find a new beginning in my professional life. If anything, it has allowed me to catch up and see what I've been missing. This blog has been better for it as I've been able to post more often now than at any time during the last two years.

If this sounds like I'm whining at the same time that I'm being grateful, I apologize as that was not the intent of my writing. There are many people out there who are struggling and somehow surviving on less than what we have. To them I pray that things will get better. It will take some work, but it will get better.

If there is one thing I have forgotten to do above, it's to say thank you to those who have read my blog, left comments, accepted me into this crazy community, and have added to my card collection since I started this blog. Thank you for adding me to your blogrolls, your blog readers, and welcoming me into your online lives. I will do my best to fill this blog with information about the Hobby and the cards that we all enjoy. After all, 2013 Topps Series I won't be out until February, and I don't plan on leaving this site hanging until then.

On behalf of my family, may you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Please stay safe if you are travelling this year.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1982 Topps #282 Ken Macha

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, November 21, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1982 Topps #282.
  • Player Name, position, team: Ken Macha, third baseman, Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Major League Debut: September 14, 1974.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1981 stats (Blue Jays): 37 G, 85 AB, 4 R, 17 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 R, 6 RBI, 1 SB, .224 SLG, 8 BB, 15 SO, .200 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Pirates, #6th, June 1972. Contract purchased by the Blue Jays 01/15/1981. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 6. This is his second and final Topps card as a player (his other four are as a manager).
  • Blurb on the back: "Ken's 1st big league Homer came May 4, 1980."
  • Commentary: If you didn't know any better (and I think it was mentioned before...but not by me, I think the Night Owl pointed this out), this design could have easily been used for a Topps Hockey set.  Look at the hockey sticks coming down on the left side of the card.  There is a comic and a fun fact on the back of most of the player cards.  On the card of Ken Macha, the comic mentions that Bob Horner had 35 RBI's during the month of July 1980, and the fun fact mentions that "In 1977, Gaylord Perry was the only A.L. pitcher to defeat each of the other 13 clubs."  Before being known to us younger folk (remember, I didn't start following baseball until after 1987) as manager for the Athletics and Brewers, Ken Macha was a frequent traveller between the Pirates' AAA clubs in Charleston and Columbus and the big club in Pittsburgh.  He was exposed to the Rule V draft and was selected by the Expos.  With his contract purchased by the Blue Jays, he spent his final year as a bench player with Toronto.  It would turn out to be his last season in the majors.  He spent the next four seasons with the Chunichi Dragons of the Japanese Central League.  After he retired as a player in 1985, he returned to the Expos as a coach.  He was named manager of the Red Sox' minor league teams in Trenton and Pawtucket before returning to the majors as a coach for former teammate Art Howe in Oakland.  When Howe left for the Mets after the 2002 season, Macha was promoted to manager.
  • Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 6 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be 1983 Topps #279. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1998 Topps #443 Dennis Reyes

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, November 20, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1993 Topps Traded #80T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Dennis Reyes, pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Major League Debut: July 13, 1997.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1997 stats (Dodgers): 14 G, 47 IP, 2-3, 21 R, 20 ER, 36 SO, 18 BB, 5 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 3.83 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Dodgers as a Free Agent 07/05/1993. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 3. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Dennis was the ML's youngest pitcher when he made his debut last July 13.  To many, he looked like hte second coming of Fernando Valenzuela in style and appearance.  Said teammate Brett Butler:  'He walks like him, he takes deep breaths, he pulls up his pants like him...the whole thing.  It's kind of comical.'"
  • Commentary: One of my biggest complaints (yes twitterverse, I do have some problems with some of Topps decision making) is that at 660 cards, there is no way to get a complete team's worth of players in the eponymous set (unless you're on the *cough  - Yankees - cough*).  When I started looking for "Dennis" Reyes' Topps cards, the Number One Source in the Hobby indicates he had a total of 10 cards (this is just Topps, not Bowman, not Fleer, not Donruss, not UD...just Topps), and that his latest card is from 1999.  I thought that couldn't be right only because Reyes' career spanned all the way to 2011!  Then I went to Baseball-Reference only to find that spells his name "Dennys."  Typing Topps Dennys Reyes comes up with an additional eighteen cards, with the last one from 2005 Topps Total.  His last Topps card in the big set is from 2001.  WHAT??!  This is why I get upset because he was a middle reliever (spot starter with the Royals in 2004) for ten teams during his career, and Topps didn't think he was good enough to get a card after 2001?  He had some great years with the Twins and Cardinals from 2006-2010.  And in 2006, with the Twins, he was 5-0 with an ERA of 0.89 (that is not a typo...there is a zero in front of the decimal point) in 66 games.  With the Twins, he went 10-1 with an ERA of 2.14.  In two seasons with St. Louis, he appeared in 134 games, and must have done well enough to have LaRussa and Duncan constantly go to him in games.  In 1998, after 11 games where Reyes went 0-4, he was traded to the Reds (with Paul Konerko) and as a starter, went 3-1 in seven games.  Yes, Topps has slighted this man from having more cards in the base set.  He should at least have gotten cards during his Twins and Cardinals years.  But I guess if you're a middle reliever, you're not worthy of getting a Topps card.  Rant over.  After a year with the Red Sox (he appeared in four games), he signed with the Orioles for the 2012 campaign, but did not report to camp and was subsequently released.  It is unclear if he is going to tryout somewhere for the 2013 campaign.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 3 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be:  1982 Topps #282. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1982 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, November 19, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1987 Topps #343 Hal Lanier

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, November 19, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1987 Topps #343.
  • Name, position, team: Hal Lanier, manager, Houston Astros.
  • Major League Debut: June 18, 1964. Managerial Debut: April 8, 1986.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1986 stats (Astros): 96-66 1st (NL West).
  • Any special information about manager: Hired as Manager 11/06/1985.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Lanier's thirteenth regular Topps card, second as a manager (total includes both Topps and Topps Traded cards).
  • Commentary: A former Topps All-Star Rookie team member (1964) who played in ten Major League seasons with the Giants and Yankees, and after learning the ropes as a minor league manager and as a coach for the 1982 WS winning Cardinals, Hal Lanier walked into a great opportunity when he was hired as the Astros manager after the 1985 season.  With a pitching staff that included Mike Scott, Jim Deshaies, Bob Knepper, and some guy named Nolan Ryan, along with a mix of veterans (Davey Lopes, Jose Cruz) and youth (Glenn Davis), Lanier and the Astros won the wild NL West by more than ten games over the Cincinnati Reds.  He was even named NL Manager of the Year.  The Astros couldn't keep that success going in 1987, as they finished third with a 76-86 record.  The back of Lanier's card features the players on the 1986 NL West winning team, a total of 26 players:  10 pitchers, 3 catchers, 6 infielders, 5 outfielders, and 3 IF-OF.  That's an entire team.  Why Topps can't feature a complete team nowadays (note that the THIRD STRING CATCHER had a card that year), is beyond me.  Lanier's run in Houston finished in 1988 and after the season, he was replaced by future Art Howe.  Lanier never managed in the majors again, so his 254-232 record remains intact. He did lend some credibility to some independent minor league teams over the last decade or so.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.01-$0.05.
  • How many cards of this person do I own?: 4 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1998 Topps #443. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Live From the Sun-Times Show in Chicago (okay, Rosemont...but Still...)

My son and I are sitting at one of the tables near the snack line at the Sun-Times show today. It's the last big show of the year held in Chicago (actually, we're in Rosemont, the same place they do the National). We're on a limited budget, and short of not finding any Wacky Packages for my son (we did get Series 8 Lego Mini Figures instead), I did find a total of nine cards to add to my collection. To wit (pictures coming live from the show thanks to my phone, typing on a laptop computer.  Man, do I feel all high-tech and stuff):


The final four cards from Golden Giveaway. Now I know some people were going to send their extras, and if you did, you will still get a thank you from me via cards. And if I owe you cards, let me apologize for not sending them yet. It's been very busy on the job hunting front lately, and it looks like the light might be at the end of the tunnel. Okay, I digress. Moving on.


Three 60 Years of Topps Original Backs Series 1 cards (Dennis Eckersley 1987, Mark Teixeira 2004, Johnny Cueto 2008)


Finally, two shortprints from 2011 Topps Update Series. A Joe DiMaggio for $7, and a Frank Thomas for $8. Weird enough that the Big Hurt is wearing the green and gold of Oakland instead of the silver and black, but then again, this is an SP from the Traded set.

The show is at it's usual Sunday pace. People are trying to sell as much as they can so they don't have to take much back with them. Many vintage sellers as always, and a few sellers of stuff I'm looking for. It was funny though when I was looking over the SP's at one dealer only to find that I had all but the Thomas card. I think I may have bought the rest from him too...maybe.

I like spending time at these shows even though I don't have much in funds. To see that the Hobby is alive and well here in Chicago makes me confident that the future of this Hobby, contrary to popular belief, will remain strong.

Shows like this prove that the Hobby is not dead, and I can't wait for when the National comes back to town next year.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1966 Topps #338 Dal Maxvill

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, November 18, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1966 Topps #338.
  • Player Name, position, team: Dal Maxvill, infield, St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Major League Debut: June 10, 1962.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1965 stats (Cardinals): 68 G, 89 AB, 10 R, 12 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 10 RBI, .135 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed by the Cardinals as a Free Agent before the 1960 season. Bats: right. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 12. This is his fourth card.
  • Blurb on the back: "A valuable utility man for the Cardinals, Dal has played second, third, shortstop, and the outfield for The Birds.  In the 1964 World Series, he caught the final out in the 7th game and snapped the locks of defeat upon The Yankees.  He started 7 games at 2nd base."
  • Commentary: For the first time EVER, the Topps Card Randomizer picks a card from the 1966 Topps set.  All it needs now is to pick a card from 1964 and this blog will have covered all 62 seasons of Topps cards.  Charles Dallan Maxvill may not have had much success with the bat, but his ability to play in multiple positions, and field them all well made him a valuable part of the team that only a year before this card came out, beat the mighty New York Yankees in the 1964 World Series (he did go 4-20 during the WS with an rbi).  In 1966, Dale appeared in over one hundred games for the first time in his career (134 games).  In his first year as a regular, he hit .244 with 24 rbi's, 3 stolen bases, and an OPS of .606.  He won his first and only Gold Glove award at short in 1968.  Dal finished his run with the Cardinals in 1972, as he was traded to the eventual WS champion Athletics at the end of August.  He would go on to play for parts of four seasons with the Athletics, sandwiched by a stint with the Pirates for part of the 1973 season.  In 2002, Topps included him as part of their Topps Super Teams set.  Since his rookie card appeared in the 1963 set, Topps also included Maxvill's card as part of their buyback inserts in their 2012 Topps Heritage set.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $1.25-$3.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 0.
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 #343. 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, November 17, 2012

The Philippines in the World Baseball Classic? Maybe Next Time.


I may have jinxed the boys from home.  Ikinalulungkot ko tungkol doon. (I'm sorry about that.)

After my post celebrating their victory over Thailand (yes, I wrote Taiwan at first, thanks to the vexillologists who pointed that out to me),

And I even had the flag card for Thailand too.  #headslap

the WBC team from the Philippines promptly lost to the heavily favored Chinese Taipei team 16-0 (that's right...they had to end the game thanks to the Mercy Rule) in the final play-in game, and then lost to the New Zealand team in the losers bracket by a score of 10-6.

Now New Zealand, who lost to Chinese Taipei 10-0 in their first meeting, gets to face them a second time in the finals.  The winner gets to play in next year's tournament.  The losing team goes home.  Now, upsets are possible.  Maybe the Kiwis can pull it off.

Then again, if Taipei hasn't even allowed a run in this entire tournament, the chances are pretty good that they will win this bracket.

Hey, but for one day, it was good to be a fan of the Philippines.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2012 Topps #476 Ramon Hernandez

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, November 17, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2012 Topps #476.
  • Player Name, position, team: Ramon Hernandez, catcher, Colorado Rockies.
  • Major League Debut: June 29, 1999.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2011 stats (Reds): 91 G, 298 AB, 28 R, 84 H, 13 2B, 0 3B, 12 HR, 36 RBI, 0 SB, 23 BB, 41 SO, .446 SLG, .788 OPS, .282 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Athletics as a Free Agent 02/18/1994. Signed with the Rockies as a Free Agent 11/30/2011. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 15. This is his fifteenth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a.
  • Commentary: With the addition of 2012 Topps cards into the Topps Randomzier, I am not surprised that it would pick a second card from this set to be part of the RotC segment.  I love the fact that Topps has begun to incorporate the proper team colors in their designs for each team.  It would have been awkward, in my opinion, to feature the Rockies in any other color besides purple, black, and gray.  Not to be confused with Ramon Hernandez, the pitcher whose MLB career spanned from 1967 through 1977 (of which only he appears in seven total Topps cards), this Ramon Hernandez has been a backstop mainstay since 1999.  As the catcher for a young A's staff that included Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and Tim Hudson, he should have been given just as much credit for the teams' success during the "Moneyball" era (he was not mentioned in the book).  An All-Star with the Athletics in 2003, he has since traveled across the country to be either a primary catcher (for the Padres and Orioles) or as a formidable backup (Reds and Rockies).  He signed with the Rockies after the 2011 campaign to be the mentor to the Rox' catching prospect Wilin Rosario.  Injuries knocked Hernandez out for all of June, but in the games he did start, he produced.  In 52 games, Ramon hit 5 home runs and drove in 28 in 196 plate appearances (a low .217, but decent OPS of .601).  As a catcher, he only had 2 errors in 355 total chances (.994 fielding average) which included 17 assists and four double plays.  As the Rockies look to 2013, they expect a healthy Hernandez to help Wilin Rosario become a better defensive catcher.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 28.
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: 1966 Topps #338. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, November 16, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2007 Topps #338 Juan Pierre

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, November 16, 2012:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2007 Topps #338.
  • Player Name, position, team: Juan Pierre, outfielder, Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Major League Debut: August 7, 2000.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2006 stats (Cubs): 162 G, 699 AB, 87 R. 204 H, 32 2B, 13 3B, 3 HR, 40 RBI, 58 SB, 32 BB. 38 SO, .388 SLG, .718 OPS, .292 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Rockies, #13th, June 1998. Signed with the Dodgers as a Free Agent 11/22/2006. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 15. This is his ninth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Florida Marlins general manager Larry Beinfest once said of Juan, "He taught this organization what hard work was." In 2006, Pierre was a Cubs catalyst and, '07, he moves to the Dodgers to do the same."
  • Commentary:  The best player on the Cubs in 2006, he was one of the few players to cheer for as the Cubs crash landed into last place.  His stint with the Cubs, though, was brief as he signed with the Dodgers the following season.  Including Pierre in it's series 2 product gave Topps plenty of time to photoshop the Dodgers jersey onto his picture.  So how did he do with the Dodgers in 2007?  Quite well.  He played in all 162 games that year (as he had done for five straight years), hit .293 with 0 home runs and 41 rbi's.  The speedy Pierre finished with 64 steals that year, which would be (until that point) a career high.  As the Dodgers center fielder, he had a fielding percentage of .987 on the strength of 366 putouts and 4 assists in 375 chances.  He spent three seasons in Hollywood before coming back to Chicago, this time playing a couple of seasons with the White Sox.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 49.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2012 Topps #476. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Introducing Your 2012 MLB Most Valuable Players - Who Would Have Thought?

2012 MLB Most Valuable Players

In recent years, Topps has reserved six cards within Series 1 for the AL and NL award winners that are being announced this week. Unfortunately, this year's preliminary checklist doesn't specify what numbers are being held for the them.  But yesterday, MLB announced the Most Valuable Players in both the National and American Leagues.

Congratulations to both Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants and Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers for being named the National League and American League Most Valuable Players for 2012.  Incredible seasons by both players (a comeback season of epical proportions and the first batting Triple Crown winner since 1967) gave the voters enough reason to select these two extraordinary players the award.

What else can be said about the year Miguel Cabrera had.  After moving back to third base to accommodate the signing of first baseman Prince Fielder, Cabrera had the season for the ages.  Leading the league in home runs (44) rbi's (139), and batting average (.330) won him the Triple Crown, but he also led the AL in Slugging Percentage (.606), and OPS (.999).  Cabrera has been in the running for MVP awards since his rookie year in 2003, and after placing second in 2010, and seeing Tigers teammate Justin Verlander win it last year, Cabrera now has his first MVP award to cap of his unbelievable season.  Cabrera captured 22 of the 28 first place votes, which gave him 362 points in the overall ballot.  In second place was Rookie of the Year winner Mike Trout of the Angels (281, 6 first place votes), Adrian Beltre of the Rangers (210), Robinson Cano of the Yankees (149), Josh Hamilton of the Rangers (127), Adam Jones of the Orioles (124), Derek Jeter of the Yankees (73), last year's MVP and teammate Justin Verlander (58), fellow corner mate Prince Fielder (56), Yoenis Cespedes of the Athletics (41), Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays (33), Cy Young winner David Price of the Rays (26), Fernando Rodney of the Rays (24), Jim Johnson of the Orioles (22), Alex Rios of the White Sox (17), Josh Reddick of the Athletics (14), Albert Pujols of the Angels (8), Ben Zobrist of the Rays (7), Joe Mauer of the Twins (6), Rafael Soriano of the Yankees (5), Matt "I'm Not With Topps" Wieters of the Orioles (4), Felix Hernandez of the Mariners (2), Jered Weaver of the Angels (2), and Raul Ibanez of the Yankees (1).

Buster Posey, the first Giants player to win the MVP award since Barry Bonds, caps of his comeback season in which he won two of the Comeback Player awards, a Silver Slugger, the Hank Aaron Award, and the Willie McCovey Award for being San Francisco's most inspirational player.  He becomes the first catcher to win the batting average title (major league leading .336) since Ernie Lombardi in 1942.  Hitting 24 home runs and driving in 103 rbi's is just the icing on the cake.  He received 27 of the 32 first place votes (422 points), which outdistanced him from last year's NL MVP Ryan Braun by over a hundred points.  Braun (285, 3 first place votes) leads the pack of runners-up which also includes Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates (245), Yadier Molina of the Cardinals (241, 2), Chase Headley of the Padres (127), David Wright of the Mets (86), Adam LaRoche of the Nationals (86), Craig Kimbrel of the Braves (73), Aramis Ramirez of the Brewers (47), Jay Bruce of the Reds (46), Matt Holliday of the Cardinals (34), Reds players Aroldis Chapman (20), Brandon Phillips (18), and Joey Votto (16), Cy Young winner R. A. Dickey of the Mets (16), last year's Cy Yong winner Clayton Kershaw (15), Ian Desmond of the Nationals (15), Michael Bourn of the Braves (12), Allen Craig of the Cardinals (10), Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals (8), Alfonso Soriano (8), Braves teammates Kris Medlen (8), and Martin Prado (8), Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals (7), Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins (7), Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals (6), Aaron Hill of the Diamondbacks (6), Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies (4), Jason Heyward of the Braves (4), Johnny Cueto of the Reds (2), NL Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper of the Nationals (2), Chipper Jones of the Braves (1), Miguel Montero of the Diamondbacks (1), and Giants outfielders Angel Pagan (1), and Hunter Pence (1).

That ends the individual awards, as well as my use of the 2012 Topps '87 mini cards to celebrate the announcements.  Too bad they didn't make cards for the managers (congratulations to both Bob Melvin of the Athletics and Davey Johnson of the Nationals by the way).  With everything all said and done, did your guy win?

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Philippines in the World Baseball Classic? It Could Happen!!!

Okay, it's a long shot, and they are just in the qualifying bracket with a powerful (and heavily favored) Chinese Taipei team.

But the Philippines made their debut today against Thailand (and Johnny Damon is on the team) and beat them soundly 8-1.



If you can't see the video link here, just click on this link:

Qualifying rounds took place back in September, with Canada and Spain winning their brackets to advance to the field of 16.  Chinese Taipei won their game over New Zealand 10-0, so it will be the Philippines vs. Chinese Taipei in the final play-in game while Thailand and New Zealand battle to avoid elimination.

I honestly don't know how far these guys are going to go.  But that doesn't matter.

I just want a hat.  Too bad there aren't any t-shirts, jackets, jerseys, etc.

Mabuhay!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama