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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1983 Topps Traded #34T Julio Franco

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, February 28, 2013:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1983 Topps Traded #34T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Julio Franco, shortstop, Cleveland Indians.
  • Major League Debut: April 23, 1982.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1982 stats (Phillies): 16 G, 29 AB, 3 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB, .310 SLG, 2 BB, 4 SO, .276 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Phillies as a Free Agent 04/23/1978. Traded by the Phillies to the Indians 12/09/1982. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 20. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Julio smashed inside-the-park Homer, April 30, 1983."
  • Commentary: The card above is considered an XRC. What is an XRC? According to Beckett, it means Extended Rookie Card. It was designated by Dr. James Beckett, who had to find a way to determine what to call cards that were not distributed through normal channels, in this case, packs sold in Hobby stores and retail shops across the country. Even though under "normal" circumstances, this card, as it is Julio's first Topps card, would be considered a Rookie Card, because this card was included in a complete set that was exclusively sold in Hobby Shops, it did not fit the definition as established by Dr. Beckett. So hence the tag "XRC." Who knew that a throw-in to the infamous Phillies-Indians trade that sent Von Hayes to Philly for five players would have a long and prosperous career in baseball, not just in the United States, but around the world. He has spent time with teams in Japan (Chibe Lotte Marines 1995 & 1998), Mexico (Mexico City Tigres 1999 & 2001) and Korea (Samsung Lions 2000). But before he traveled the world as a professional hitting machine, Franco was a shortstop who wanted to show that he was worth keeping on a major league roster. After being traded to the Indians, he did just that. In 149 games, Franco hit for a .273 batting average, with 8 home runs (one an inside-the-park job as mentioned on the blurb on the back), 80 rbi's, 32 stolen bases, and by the time it was all said and done, runner-up in the AL Rookie of the Year race. In eight seasons at shortstop and eventually second base with Cleveland, Franco would hit 62 home runs, drive in 530 rbi's, hit for an average of .297, steal 147 bases, and one Silver Slugger Award. In December of 1988, Franco was traded to the Texas Rangers. In five seasons, he became a three-time All-Star (winning the MVP award in 1990's affair) won the batting title in 1991 (.341), consistently one of the Rangers' best hitters. He signed with the White Sox in a one-year deal and won his final Silver Slugger Award thanks to a .319 average and a career high 20 home runs. After the 1994 season, Julio began his world tour. He signed with the Chibe Lotte Marines in 1995, then returned to Cleveland in 1996, hitting .322 and an OPS of .877. He was released by the Indians during the 1997 season, but signed that day with the Brewers. He returned to Japan in 1998 to play for the Marines again. He returned to the US in 1999 after spending most of the year in Mexico City for an appearance with the Devil Rays. For the 2000 campaign, he signed with Samsung in South Korea. In 2001, after playing most of the season with Mexico City, the Braves purchased his contract. Now in his 40's, he would sign four one-year deals with Atlanta, serving as the Braves primary first baseman...IN HIS 40'S!!!. In each season, the Braves would make the playoffs. At the end of the 2005 season, he signed with the Mets. Even though father time was finally catching up to him, Franco still contributed with 3 home runs and 34 rbi's and 8 stolen bases (please note, the man was on the back end of 40, and he stole 8 bases). Released by the Mets in July, he returned to the Braves three days later, and after 15 games, rode off into the sunset. He played for 23 years in the majors. In 2527 games, his final numbers of .298, 173 home runs, 1194 rbi's, 281 stolen bases, and a .782 OPS. In 2013, only 6 BBWAA voters thought he was worth of being inducted into Cooperstown. At 1.1% he was removed from further consideration. Which is a shame. He had a wonderful career, playing well into his 40's, and still showed that he could hit...and do it well. As with many cards from 1983, Franco's card includes a couple of season highlights. However, these were not from games played in 1982 (which was the norm with 1983 Topps cards), but from the '83 season. These include: April 9: walloped first Major League homer in 8-4 win vs. Orioles; May 8: went 3-5 with homer and 4 rbi's in Indians' 13-6 verdict at Comiskey Park.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $3.00-$8.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 45 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2005 Topps #203. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Team Set of the Week: 2011 Topps New York Mets

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:
  • Jenrry Mejia was knocked out of the 2011 season thanks to Tommy John surgery. He did not get a regular Topps card in the 2011 Topps set nor the Update Series set. So the only place you'll find a card of Mejia as a member of the Mets using the 2011 Topps design is in the retail set.
  • Dillon Gee gets a different picture in the retail set. Here is his base card:

  • And so does Mike Pelfrey:

  • Fernando Martinez did not make the regular set, but he does appear in the Update Series:

So of the 16 players included in this set, there are three cards that feature different pictures in the retail set that was used in either 2011 Topps or 2011 Topps Update Series, and one card that you're not going to find in either set. The other 13 cards use the same pictures.

Next week's featured set will be the 2012 San Diego Padres. 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, February 27, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1981 Topps #508 Rob Dressler

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, February 27, 2013:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1981 Topps #508.
  • Player Name, position, team: Rob Dressler, pitcher, Seattle Mariners.
  • Major League Debut: September 7, 1975.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1980 stats (Mariners): 30 G, 149 IP, 4-10, 75 R, 66 ER, 50 SO, 33 BB, 14 GS, 3 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 3.98 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Giants #1st, June 1972. Contract purchased by the Mariners 06/07/1979. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 4. This is his fourth and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Rob combined on shutout vs. Rangers, 9-5-79."
  • Commentary: I have to be honest. This is the best picture that Topps could come up with for Rob Dressler? You can barely see his face thanks to the shadow caused by the bill of his cap. Then again, you have to wonder if he even has a ball in his glove as he is posing in the windup (if you want to even call it that). And this is Dressler's final Topps card too, so there was no chance of redemption. I guess this is the most that has ever written about Dressler's card. The randomizer chose it, so I should make a bit more of an effort. Dressler's major league career spanned five seasons. He spent most of his time in the minors throughout his career, making brief appearances in the majors until 1976. On the strength of a 5-1 record and 1.12 ERA with the minor league affiliate in Phoenix (AAA-PCL), Dressler was called up in May and joined the Giants rotation. With the Giants in 1976, he started 19 of the 25 games he appeared in, went 3-10 with a 4.42 ERA and 33 strikeouts. He spent all of 1977 and part of 1978 in the minors before being the PTBNL in an earlier deal with the Cardinals. He made 3 appearances with the Cardinals, all after being a September call-up. He went 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings of work. He was traded to the Mariners in April 11, 1979, and after a brief stint with the M's AAA team in Spokane, he joined the big club in Seattle in June, where he went 3-2 in 21 games of work. Dressler finally broke camp with a big league team in 1980 as he was selected to join the M's bullpen. However, he was promoted to the starting rotation in the end of July and as a full-time starter, he went 4-6 in thirteen starts, with an ERA of 3.39 and 19 strikeouts. He was released from the Mariners before the end of Spring Training in 1981 and ended his playing career. As 1980 would be his final season, the career statistics on the back of Dressler's Topps card is complete. There are two cartoon blurbs on the bottom of the card, the first mentions that Rob "hurled one-hitter for Lafayettte vs Alexandria, Opening Day, 1975." The second caption mentions that Rob "majors in Accounting at Portland State University during off-season." There is a post on another blog (called the Playful Utopia) that does a better job of describing Rob Dressler's career. And if you decide to click on the link, keep an eye on the comment section. It looks like somebody is doing rather well for himself since his playing days after all.
  • Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 4 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be 1983 Topps Traded #34T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1980 Topps #225 Lou Piniella

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, February 26, 2013:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1980 Topps #225.
  • Player Name, position, team: Lou Piniella, outfielder, New York Yankees.
  • Major League Debut: September 4, 1964.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1979 stats (Yankees): 130 G, 461 AB, 49 R, 137 H, 22 2B, 2 3B, 11 HR, 69 RBI, .297 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Indians as a Free Agent 06/09/1962. Traded by the Royals to the Yankees 12/07/1973. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 34 (19 as a player, 15 as a manager). This is his fifteenth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Hit .372 as DH during 1978 season."
  • Commentary: Normally, when a player appears on more than one multi-player rookie card, that player isn't going to last long in the majors. Lou Piniella appeared in THREE multi-player "Rookie Stars" cards, and of the three, two were with teams that he never actually played. His rookie card comes from the 1964 Topps set as a member of the Washington Senators, paired with catcher Mike Brumley. But let me explain how he got to Washington (almost). He signed with the Indians in 1962, but the Washington Senators (the second version of the team), selected him in a special first-year draft. In August of 1964, Lou was the PTBNL (player-to-be-named-later) in a trade that was consummated earlier in the year with the Orioles. He made his MLB debut with the Orioles that year, appearing in four games with one plate appearance. He remained in the O's minor league system until 1966 when he was traded to the Indians (the team he had signed with in the first place). But once again, until the end of the 1967 season, remained in the Tribe's minor league system. In the 1968 Topps set, he was paired with Indians catching prospect Richie Scheinblum. This time, he was called up to the big league team, appearing in six games, all but one in a pinch-hitting or pinch-running role. At the end of the year, Cleveland exposed Lou to the expansion draft, and this time, the Seattle Pilots selected him as their 14th pick. While he did suit up for the Pilots in spring training (thus, his 1969 Rookie Star card with infielder Marv Staehle), he was traded on April 1, 1969 to the Kansas City Royals. By this time, even Lou had to wonder if baseball was going to be a good career choice. But the Royals stuck with the outfielder, and in his first full season in the majors, six years after making his big league debut, Piniella hit .282 with 11 home runs, 68 rbi's, and owned an OPS of .741. He committed just seven errors in 298 chances for a fielding percentage of .977. He was named the American League Rookie of the Year that year, and was also selected to Topps 1969 All-Star Rookie Team. In five seasons and 700 games with the Royals, Lou became an All-Star, hit 45 home runs, drove in 348 rbi's, and hit .286. In December of 1973, the Royals sent Piniella to the New York Yankees, showing that the KC/NY pipeline still existed, this time with KC's second major league team. With the Yankees, Lou became the Bombers' primary left fielder (he did play in right field from time to time, with some days as the DH). He appeared in 3 straight World Series, helping the Yankees to two championships. In 1980, Piniella hit .287 with 2 home runs and 27 rbi's and a OPS of .704. The Yankees returned to the playoffs in 1980, but lost in the ALCS to...the Kansas City Royals. He played for parts of four more seasons with New York, finishing an 11 year run with a high .295 average, 57 home runs, and 417 rbi's before calling a career. In 1986, Lou began an even longer career as a MLB manager, first with the New York Yankees. He would go on to a phenomenal and extremely well documented 23-year career as a big league skipper. Taking the helm of five teams (the Yankees, Reds, Mariners, Devil Rays, and Cubs), teams under "Sweet Lou's" leadership went 1835-1713. In 1990, his first with the Reds, Lou led the team to their first World Series title since 1976.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.30-$0.75.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 32.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1981 Topps #508. 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, February 25, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2010 Topps #161 Denard Span

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, February 25, 2013:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2010 Topps #161.
  • Player Name, position, team: Denard Span, outfielder, Minnesota Twins.
  • Major League Debut: April 6, 2008.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2009 stats (Twins): 145 G, 578 AB, 97 R, 180 H, 16 2B, 10 3B, 8 HR, 68 RBI, 23 SB, .415 SLG, 70 BB, 89 SO, .807 OPS, .311 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Twins #1st, June 2002. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 6. This is his third Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "'He's really turning into a great player,' hails teammate Scott Baker of Denard. 'He's patient...he can hit the ball when we've got guys on base. and he plays great defense. There's not a lot he can't do.'"
  • Commentary: Nothing like celebrating being the sole licensee of MLB Properties than to use the team logos prominently in the design of your baseball cards. Topps caught the wave and rode it back to become the sole manufacturer of MLB baseball cards (as you can see, I do not count those other companies...because they are not allowed to use the team logos...they have the feel of those late 80's - early 90's cards that came with pizza or some other kind of food). I was curious as to whether or not I could figure out what game the picture on the card was taken. The only clues I have is that the Twins were playing in Kansas City (I've seen Royals cards with similar backgrounds wearing their home jerseys) and that, based on the scoreboard, Arizona was playing at Houston, with #52 starting for the D-Backs. After careful research, the game depicted took place on August 23, 2009. How do I figure? Jon Garland (#52 for Arizona) was the starting pitcher that day against Houston, and by the time the picture was taken, Jeff Fulchino of the Astros (#39 in 2009) was on the mound. Fulchino was the fourth pitcher Houston used that day, coming in to start the 7th inning of that ball game (he stayed for 2/3'rds of the eighth). Fulchino was also the only pitcher with a number beginning with "3" used by the Astros that day. This would lead me to believe that the play on the card could have occurred in the bottom of the eighth inning, as Span caught a Alberto Callaspo flyball in centerfield. When he returned the ball to the infield, the picture was taken. Now that we've solved when the picture was taken, let's talk about the player. Because of the MLB Properties Rookie Card rule, Keiunta Denard Span's "Official" rookie cards came in 2008. But do you know what year and what product his first "REAL" rookie cards are from? You would have to go all the way back to the 2002 Topps 206 set (card #421) to find his first Topps card. That's six years before his first eponymous card. After six years in the Twins' farm system, Span was called up in 2008 as an injury replacement for Michael Cuddyer. In his rookie year, Span hit a high .294 with 6 home runs, 47 rbi's, and stole 18 bases. He was named to the 2008 Topps All-Star Rookie Team. After a fantastic 2009 campaign, where he led the American League in triples (10), including hitting a career high .312 (as of the end of the 2012 campaign), his 2010 was a bit of a letdown. Although he had 51 more at bats from 2009 to 2010 (578 to 629), he had 14 fewer hits (180 to 166), leading to a "disappointing" .264 average. In 2011, Span was limited to 70 games thanks in part to suffering from concussion-like symptoms during a game against the Indians that knocked him out for more than a month. After returning to the Twins lineup in August, but nine games later, was put back on the DL due to a shoulder injury that put him on the shelf through the middle of September. After the 2012 season, Span was traded to the Washington Nationals. He finished his five year run with the Twins with a .284 average, 23 home runs, 230 rbi's, 90 stolen bases, and an OPS of .746. He comes into the 2013 campaign as the Nationals' starting centerfielder, moving NL Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper to left field and keeping Jayson Werth in right. With a potent lineup behind him, it is hoped that Denard Span will have a great 2013 campaign.
  • Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 20 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1980 Topps #225. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1962 Topps #315 Ford Tosses a Curve

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, February 17, 2013:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1962 Topps #315.
  • Player Name, position, team: Whitey Ford, pitcher, New York Yankees.
  • Special: "Ford Tosses a Curve."
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1961 stats (Yankees): 30 G, 283 IP, 25-4, .862 PCT, 210 SO, 92 BB, 3.21 ERA.
  • Commentary: In the big book from the Number One Source in the Hobby, this card is described as Whitey Ford IA (In Action), part of a nine-card subset of cards (#311-319). What is pretty cool about this card is not necessarily what is on the front of it. Yes, today's RoTC shows four pictures of Edward Charles Ford's delivery of a curveball to whichever batter he was facing at that time (most likely than not, the poor guy may have swung and missed the pitch). It is what is on the back of the card that makes it truly special. Because it isn't a long winded description of how Ford throws a curve, nor does the back of the card describe the scene on the front. The back of the card shows Ford's full career statistics (the eight that mattered at the time). On his regular card (#310), you get a long blurb, his previous year's statistics (the above eight plus hits allowed, runs allowed, and earned runs allowed) and career totals. Card #315 shows all of Ford's yearly numbers from his professional debut year of 1947 (with the Butler Yankees of the C-Middle Atlantic League) through his minor league stops in Norfolk, Binghamton, and Kansas City, to his MLB debut year in 1950. It also reserves a line to let fans know that from 1951-52, he was out of the game due to military service (he served in the Army during the Korean War). The year before (1961), Ford led the American League in wins (25) and innings pitched (283.0) en route to winning that year's Cy Young Award. He also went 2-0, allowing no runs whatsoever in 14 innings of work, during the 1961 World Series. The following year (1962) was an off year for him, even though he finished with a 17-8 record with an ERA of 2.90 and 160 strikeouts. After 16 years in Yankees pinstripes, Ford would retire as the all-time team leader in wins (236) and his career ERA of would be the lowest in all of baseball among starting pitchers since 1920.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $6.00-$15.00.
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 #161. 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, February 23, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1993 Topps #579 Neil Garrett/Jason Bates

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, February 23, 2013:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1993 Topps #579.
  • Player Name, position, team: Neil Garrett, pitcher, Colorado Rockies; Jason Bates, shortstop, Colorado Rockies.
  • Major League Debut: Garrett: n/a. Jones: April 26, 1995.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1992 stats: Garrett (Mesa, Rookie-AZ): 11 G, 52.2 IP, 3-3, 36 R, 23 ER, 23 SO, 16 BB, 10 GS, 1 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 3.93 ERA; Bates (Bend, A-Northwest) 70 G, 255 AB, 57 R, 73 H, 10 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 31 RBI, 18 SB, .420 SLG, 56 BB, 55 SO, .286 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Garrett: Drafted by the Rockies #40th, June 1992. Bats: right. Throws: right.; Jones: Drafted by the Rockies #7th, June 1992. Bats: both. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): Garrett: 1. This is first and only Topps card; Bates: 4. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a.
  • Commentary: The 1993 Topps set featured the first ever cards of the Colorado Rockies.  Not only did they feature cards of the players selected by the expansion draft, but five cards were reserved for ten of the Rockies top prospects, two per card.  It was pretty tempting to cut the cards in half, giving each player their own "card," and looking back, seeing how many of these cards were produced. Yes, the value of the card would be worthless, but cutting the card in half doesn't sound like that bad of an idea now.  Both Garrett and Bates were drafted by the Rockies in the 1992 free agent draft.  Garrett never did make it to the majors.  While never making it past the Rockies' Carolina League (A) level, he did pitch for six years in the organization, going a career 24-23 with a 4.57 ERA and 323 strikeouts.  Somehow, I was under the impression that Bates was the first draft pick of the Rockies, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  Bates did make it to Denver, becoming one of the team's first prospects to do so.  In 1995, he became the team's primary second baseman, forcing Eric Young to the outfield, and making Don Baylor look good in his decision to plant him in second over Roberto Mejia. While he could hit at home (who couldn't in the Rocky Mountain air), his road numbers were not so good. EY would return to second base and Bates was relegated to pinch-hitting duty. In 1996, he was given the starting spot over Young again, but a slow start and an energized Young off the DL (EY would make the All-Star team) would put Bates back on the bench. Even after Young was traded off to LA, Bates could not maintain the second baseman's job, the team deferring to out-of-position Neifi Perez. He would remain with the Rockies in a bench role in 1998 as well. A foot injury sidelined Bates for part of the 1998 campaign, and during the off-season, he developed complications (a sever infection) after he underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his foot. It would knock him out for the 1999 season, and after trying to comeback with the Angels in 2000, he did not make the team out of spring training. He signed a minor league contract with the Orioles, but after 15 games in Rochester, he decided to call it quits. He worked as a minor league hitting instructor for both the Brewers and Diamondbacks, and has also worked as an instructor for a baseball training facility in Colorado.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: Garrett: 1; Bates: 5.
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: 1962 Topps #315. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, February 22, 2013

It Looks Like Topps Made Some Changes to My Million Dollar Chase Roster

You might want to double check your rosters for the 2013 Topps Million Dollar Chase. It looks like four of my players were removed and replaced with other players. On my team, the following players are now off the roster and replaced by:
  • Jean Segura (Brewers) by Albert Pujols
  • Wil Myers (Rays) by Albert Pujols (yes, I got him twice)
  • Carlos Ruiz (Phillies) by Mike Trout (not complaining)

  • Danny Espinosa (Nationals) by Albert Pujols (I get him three times???)
I have rechecked the players chosen for the Chase. What once was a list of 115 is now down to 100. The following players, besides the four previously on my team are now out of the game. If you had these players, you may want to double check to see how your team has been affected:
  • Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
  • Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
  • Nolan Arenado, Rockies
  • Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
  • Wilin Rosario, Rockies
  • Carlos Peña, Astros
  • Travis d'Arnaud, Mets
  • Daniel Murphy, Mets
  • David Murphy, Rangers
  • Mike Olt, Rangers
  • Michael Morse, Nationals
Now, you may not have been gifted with Angels to replace your players, but it makes you wonder why Topps took these players off the eligible list.

I have seven more players to add to my team thanks to a bit of a shopping spree (will explain this at another time). Here are the additions to my team:

  • WTRHH7XW = Congratulations! You've unlocked Carlos Santana
  • B36886H9 = Congratulations! You've unlocked Albert Pujols (for the fourth time)
  • S8WNJG3Q = Congratulations! You've unlocked David Wright
  • RX3HHKGX = Congratulations! You've unlocked Adrian Beltre
  • KM6X278J = Congratulations! You've unlocked Curtis Granderson
  • RNK4M6GP = Congratulations! You've unlocked Justin Morneau
  • K9D9KLMB = Congratulations! You've unlocked Yadier Molina

I think I will ask @toppscards why they removed the fifteen players and replaced them with either Pujols or Trout. Not that I'm complaining mind you...but I am just curious. The six new players that are on my team are proven hitters. I can't wait to see how this game plays out.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2012 Topps #386 Ryan Zimmerman

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, February 22, 2013:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2012 Topps #386.
  • Player Name, position, team: Ryan Zimmerman, third baseman, Washington Nationals.
  • Major League Debut: September 1, 2005.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2011 stats (Nationals): 101 G, 395 AB, 52 R, 114 H, 21 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 49 RBI, 3 SB, 41 BB, 73 SO, .443 SLG, .798 OPS, .289 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Nationals #1st, June 2005. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 9. This is his eighth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Ryan continued his 'Captain Clutch' routine in 2011, ending a game with a two-out/full-count grand slam. His eighth career walk-off homer made him one of three actives with multiple game-ending slams."
  • Commentary: Forget Bryce whats-his-name. That Strasburg guy? Can't pitch a full season. If you want to know who the face of the Washington Nationals franchise is right now, it's the man who is pictured on the card right above me. Ryan Zimmerman (with one "n", not two...you'll confuse him with their pitcher). He was drafted in the June, 2005, free agent draft. After a 67-game stint in the minors (A-level Savannah and AA-level Harrisburg) in which he hit a robust .336 with 11 home runs, 38 rbi's, and an OPS of .941, he was called up to the major league roster when teams expanded THAT YEAR. Okay, so the Nationals weren't going to win the NL East division even with a good 69-64 record going into September. But they took a chance and brought up their future franchise player. In 20 games, Zimmerman showed that he belonged on the big team by hitting .397 (23-58) with 6 rbi's and an OPS of .988. It was a sign of things to come as the Nationals would grow as an organization while Zimmerman would grow as a potential superstar in DC. Before the 2012 season, Ryan would already be a Rookie of the Year runner-up, an All-Star, an two-time MVP candidate, a Gold Glove Award winner, and a two-time Silver Slugger. He was rebounding from a subpar year (for him) that saw him knocked out in early April through the middle of June thanks to an abdominal injury that required surgery. In what would be a comeback season of sorts for Ryan, he hit a good .282 with 25 home runs while driving in 95. While his offensive numbers would help carry any other team to a division championship, his numbers were complemented by outstanding offensive seasons by Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, and some guy named Harper. Add a pitching staff that featured a 20 game winner, a 30 save closer, and a strikeout machine (11.1 K's per 9 innings), and you have a team that exceeded everybody's expectations and won the tough NL East in 2012. While the 2013 season looks like it's the Nationals' to lose, under the leadership of the team's Dean, it looks to be a great year to be a baseball fan in the DC area.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.25-$0.60.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 114.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1993 Topps #579. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1980 Topps #300 Ron Guidry

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, February 21, 2013:



  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1980 Topps #300.
  • Player Name, position, team: Ron Guidry, pitcher, New York Yankees.
  • Major League Debut: July 27, 1975.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1979 stats (Yankees): 33 G, 236 IP, 18-8, 83 R, 73 ER, 201 SO, 71 BB, 2.78 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by Yankees #3rd, June 1971. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 14. This is his fifth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Was A.L. Cy Young Award winner in 1978, led majors with 25 Wins, 1.74 ERA and 9 shutouts for year."
  • Commentary: A repeat Random Card of the Day subject (figures it would be the same exact CARD). This is what I wrote on January 7, 2010: "In 1979, Ron lead the AL in ERA, was an All-Star, and finished third in the AL Cy Young voting, behind Cy Young winner Mike Flanagan and teammate Tommy John. The blue background on the backs of each 1980 Topps cad made for easy reading of the text. A cartoon featuring a trivial stat regarding Guidry (establishing Yankee record for K's in a season) and a blurb regarding his Cy Young award the year before complement Guidry's career statistics." Yikes!!! Okay, let's improve upon this, especially since it's been more than two years since this first was posted. In 1980, Guidry finished the season with a 17-10 record, a higher (for him) ERA of 3.56 and 166 strikeouts in 29 games started. In his lone post-season appearance in the 1980 ALCS, he pitched Game 1 against the Royals, and lasted three innings against KC, allowing five hits, four walks, and four earned runs (an ERA of 12.00) amongst the 17 batters he faced. This would technically be considered an off year for him. The following year he led the AL in WHIP with a scant 0.992 and a strikeout/walk ratio of 4.00 to go with a 11-5 record, 2.76 ERA, and 104 strikeouts in a strike-shortened season. He finished his career with the Yankees, spending fourteen seasons in the Bronx. He won five straight Gold Glove awards (1982-1986), was a four-time All-Star, six-time Cy Young candidate (winning it in 1978), and a five-time MVP candidate. Of the 368 games he pitched, 323 of them starts, Guidry went 170-91 with a 3.29 ERA, 1778 strikeouts, and a 1.184 WHIP. He was in the HOF balloting for 9 years, before a 4.9% vote in 2002 took him off for good. He remains a Yankee great, and his uniform #49 was retired on August 23, 2003. He has served the Yankees as both a pitching coach (in 2006-2007), and a spring training instructor.  On the back of Guidry's card is a cartoon mentioning that his "248 strikeouts in 1978 established a new all-time Yankee club record."
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.30-$0.75.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 40 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2012 Topps #386. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Team Set of the Week: 2008 Topps Cincinnati Reds

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:
  • The base card of Francisco Cordero shows you more of the picture from the retail set:

  • Ditto for Aaron Harang:

  • And Adam Dunn:

So of the 14 players included in this set, three are closeups of their eponymous card. The other 11 cards use the same pictures.

Next week's featured set will be the 2011 New York Mets. 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, February 20, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1976 Topps #275 Rick Manning

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, February 20, 2013:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1976 Topps #275.
  • Player Name, position, team: Rick Manning, outfielder, Cleveland Indians.
  • Major League Debut: May 23, 1975.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1975 stats (Indians): 120 G, 480 AB, 69 R, 137 H, 16 2B, 5 3B, 3 HR, 35 RBI, .285 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Indians #1st, June 1972. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 14. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a.
  • Commentary: Do you notice the drawing of the outfielder running to make the catch on the bottom left corner of the card? That could easily have been inspired by the play of Rick Manning (or maybe not, but work with me here). In 118 games in the field, he committed 9 errors in 352 chances for a .974 fielding average. Okay, that might not be impressive, but the following year, as the Tribe's primary centerfielder, his .987 fielding percentage thanks to committing only 5 errors in 372 chances earned him the Gold Glove award in 1976. He was no slouch at the plate either, hitting .292 with six home runs, 43 rbi's, and 16 stolen bases in 138 games. In 1977, his was knocked out for the better part of two months thanks to an awkward slide on the base paths, which caused him to hurt his back and require surgery. He remained with the Indians until 1983, when he was traded to the Brewers in a five player trade that sent Brewer fan-favorite Gorman Thomas to the "Mistake by the Lake." In his nine years with the Tribe, he hit for a good .263 with 36 home runs and 336 rbi's, and stole 142 bases. After five seasons and 492 games with the Brewers (.237, 20 HR, 122 RBI), Manning retired as a player. Since 1990, Manning has been the color commentator for Cleveland Indians telecasts. On the back of Manning's 1975 Topps card, there is a cartoon sketch of a baseball caroming off the fence much to the dismay of the fielder and the words "Cookie Lavagetto's 9th inning single with 2 out spoiled Bill Bevens' no-hit bid in the 1947 World Series (according to Baseball-Reference, Lavagetto's hit was a double). In a sign of things that were yet to come, in 1981, Rick Manning made the final catch that clinched Len Barker's perfect game.
  • Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 14 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be 1980 Topps #300. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1994 Topps #162 Bob MacDonald

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, February 19, 2013:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1994 Topps #162.
  • Player Name, position, team: Bob MacDonald, pitcher, Detroit Tigers.
  • Major League Debut: August 14, 1990.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1993 stats (Tigers): 68 G, 65.2 IP, 3-3, 42 R, 39 ER, 39 SO, 33 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 3 SV, 5.35 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Blue Jays #19th, June 1987. Contract purchased by the Tigers 03/30/1993. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 3. This is his third and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Purchased from Toronto just days before the season opener, Bob went on to lead the Detroit staff in appearances. Over the last two years, lefthanders have hit only .191 against him."
  • Commentary: I learned something yesterday. I was on a baseball website that was trying to determine how many spots are open on the Cubs roster. They described reliever James Russell as the team's LOOGY. And I wondered, "What's a LOOGY?" It turns out that there are LOOGY's and ROOGY's. What does that mean? LOOGY is an acronym which stands for "Lefty One-Out GuY (which means that ROOGY is a Righty One-Out GuY). These are pitchers who appear in tons of games (like Russell) and face just one batter, with the hope that they get their guy out before being replaced by the next batter, or to get out of an inning without causing any damage whatsoever. In many cases, it is an exaggeration that every big league team needs has these kinds of pitchers. It is insane to think that for the money that these athletes are paid that a manager would use a guy for just one batter in a game EVERY TIME. Even the mop-up reliever gets an inning or two of work from time to time. But there are times when it is in the best interest of the manager to use a guy for one batter. So I understand the point of it. Such was the role of Bob MacDonald in 1993. Yes, he led the team in appearances, and with a .191 batting average against vs. left-handers, he was the team's LOOGY. In 1993, he faced only one batter in 10 of the 68 games he appeared (he faced 293 batters in 1993, so he did more than a one-batter appearance). MacDonald did not pitch in the big leagues in 1994. What happened? He signed with the Astros as a Free Agent in February, but was released just before spring training ended. He then signed on with the Mariners and pitched with the team's AAA team in Calgary, going 2-2 with 26 strikeouts in 25 games and 31 innings of work. But because he was charged with 26 earned runs (to give him an ERA of 7.55), he was released by the Mariners organization in June. On July 1, the White Sox took a chance on Bob and signed him to a minor league contract. He fared much better in the 25 games with both Birmingham (AA-Southern) and Nashville (AAA-American Association), earning a 4-4 record with an ERA of 1.73. He bounced around between the major and minor league organizations of both the New York Yankees (in 1995) and Mets (1996). He even played for the Hanshin Tigers in 1997 before calling it a career. While he may not have enjoyed a fruitful career in baseball, it turns out that MacDonald is a local legend on the basketball courts in the Clearwater, Florida, area. He also manages a semi-pro slow pitch softball team, showing off his hitting prowess in the sport. He is also an award winning cook, winning area chili competitions, including a first place award in 2009. Hey, if you have to keep busy...
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 5.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1976 Topps #275. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1976 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, February 18, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1985 Topps #108 Darnell Coles

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, February 11, 2013:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1985 Topps #108.
  • Player Name, position, team: Darnell Coles, third baseman, Seattle Mariners.
  • Major League Debut: September 4, 1983.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1984 stats (Mariners): 48 G, 143 AB, 15 R, 23 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 2 SB, .196 SLG, 17 BB, 26 SO, .161 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Mariners #1st, June 1980. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 8. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a.
  • Commentary: I love the colors on this card. The yellow and blue almost matches the uniform and logo of the Mariners. The team logo (or at least some semblance of it) makes its first appearance on a Topps card since 1965. Here is another player who I didn't realize appeared in the majors long after his last Topps card was produced. It turns out that Darnell Coles' last appears on a Topps card in 1991 (when he played for the Tigers). However, a season plus stint in Japan with the Chunichi Dragons and Hanshin Tigers, he played in the big leagues until 1997 (with the Colorado Rockies). But today's card features a young Darnell Coles, the team's first round draft pick in 1980 (6th overall), who at that point in time was shuttling between the Mariners and their AAA team in Salt Lake City. In 1985, he joined the team in the middle of May, making his season debut on May 17. Though primarily a third baseman, he was called in as a defensive replacement at left field as well as at shortstop. He started in 16 of the 27 games he appeared for the M's that year, hitting for an average of .237 with a home run and 5 rbi's in 71 plate appearances. In December of 1985, Coles was traded to the Tigers, who planned on making Coles their primary third baseman. In his first full season in the majors, he showed the Tigers' brass that he could hit, with 20 home runs and 86 rbi's, an average of .273, and an OPS of .786. He was traded in a mid-season deal to the Pirates in August, 1987, who in turn traded him back to the Mariners in July, 1988. In his first and final full season with the Mariners of 1989, he appeared in 146 games, hitting a decent .252 with 10 home runs and 59 rbi's. But as the M's decided to go with a younger team that included superstar-in-the-making Ken Griffey, Jr, as well as stars to be Edgar Martinez, Tino Martinez, Randy Johnson, et.al, Coles found himself traded AGAIN to the Detroit Tigers. He would begin his trek through the majors in 1991 signing with the Giants. He would play for the Reds in 1992, the Blue Jays in 1993-94 (just in time to earn a World Series ring), and the Cardinals in 1995 before heading off to Japan in 1996 to play in Nagoya with the Dragons. He returned to the US, signing with the Rockies for the 1997 campaign. But he returned to Japan after the Hanshin Tigers purchased his contract, ending his playing career in the Far East. In 2006, he was hired by the Nationals to be a roving hitting instructor. In 2007, he began his journey as a minor league manager, first with Vermont (short season A), and then the next year with the Hagerstown Suns (A-South Atlantic). He was named the hitting coach of the Nationals' AAA team in Syracuse for the 2009 season. He is now the manager of the Huntsville Stars, the AA team of the Brewers.
  • Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 10 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1994 Topps #162. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1952 Topps #345 Sam White

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, February 17, 2013:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1952 Topps #345.
  • Player Name, position, team: Sam White, catcher, Boston Red Sox.
  • Major League Debut: September 26, 1951.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1951 stats (Red Sox): 4 G, 11 At Bat, 0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Home Runs, 0 RBI, .182 Batting Average, 15 Putouts, 1 Assists, 0 Errors, 1.000 Fielding Avg.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Red Sox as a Free Agent before the 1949 season. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 8. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Sammy still attends the University of Washington, where he starred in Basketball as well as Baseball before he turned pro. In his first time at bat for Seattle in 1949, Sam slammed out a Homer. He played for Roanoke in '50 where he made the Piedmont League All Star team. In '51, he was promoted to Scranton and was brought up by the Red Sox late in the season for a brief trial. Sam served in World War II"
  • Commentary: It must have been a successful trial for Sammy White (his full name is Sammy Charles White). Because the Red Sox made him their primary starting catcher from 1952 to 1959. In his first full season in Boston, White hit a good .281 with 10 home runs and 49 runs batted in. He finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting, and was considered in the MVP voting. He made his lone All-Star team the following year. During his nine year career in Boston, he hit 63 home runs, drove in 404 rbi's, and hit a good .264 with an OPS of .689 in 981 games. He became known for his defense, committing 76 errors in 5016 chances (for a .984 fielding percentage). He must have liked playing for the Red Sox because when he was traded off to the Indians in March of 1960, he refused to report to Cleveland. The trade would be subsequently voided and White did not play that year, opting to "retire." His contract was purchased by the Milwaukee Braves and he joined the team for 21 games. He was eventually released by the Braves after the 1961 season and signed with the Phillies in 1962, reuniting with teammate Gene Mauch, who was now manager of the Phils. He retired from the game after being released by the team after the 1962 season. A great athlete, he was courted by the Minneapolis Lakers to play in the NBA (the Red Sox didn't like the idea).  He had bought a bowling alley during his stay in Boston and became a professional bowler. When he left the mainland and relocated to Hawaii, he became a pro golfer. Sammy White passed away on August 5, 1991 at the age of 64 years old in Princeville, Hawaii.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $150.00-$250.00.
  • 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: 1985 Topps #108. 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, February 16, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH37 Adam Kennedy

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, February 16, 2013:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH37.
  • Player Name, position, team: Adam Kennedy, second baseman, Oakland Athletics.
  • Major League Debut: August 21, 1999.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2008 stats (Cardinals): 115 G, 339 AB, 42 R, 95 H, 17 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 36 RBI, 7 SB, 21 BB, 43 SO, .372 SLG, .693 OPS, .280 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Cardinals #1st, June 1997. Traded by the Rays to the Athletics 05/08/2009. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 17. This is his thirteenth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Adam opened 2009 in the Tampa Bay farm system, but after being shipped to Oakland,he hit better than at any point in his career. In his first 18 games for the Athletics, he swatted .408."
  • Commentary: If there is one thing you've noticed about these commentaries, it's that I normally start off with how much I like (or might not like) the design of the card. It's what makes Topps baseball cards unique among its competitors. The designs become classics, even the bad ones. Everyone can recognize the year of the card based on the design. And after a couple of blah designs, including one that featured circus circles and a small picture, the design Topps came up with in 2009 was a nice change of pace. I have said before that I really like the 2009 Topps design, even if the placement of the base with the logo now reminds me of the third-year effort of that other card company. After ten years that included two postseason trips, including one World Series Championship with the Angels (both Anaheim and Los Angeles of Anaheim versions), and two stints with the St. Louis Cardinals, Adam Kennedy latched on with the Tampa Bay Rays in the hopes of getting a big league job. When the Rays traded him to Oakland, Kennedy seemed to come alive. In 129 games back in the California sun, Kennedy hit .289 with 11 home runs and 63 runs batted in, his highest total since 2000. Although primarily a second baseman, Adam found himself playing at third base for most of the year (82 games), and even took in games at first and in right field. The stay in Oakland was brief as he began his journeyman career with the Nationals in 2010. He has since played for both the Mariners (2011) and Dodgers (2012) and is presently looking for a team to join for the 2013 season.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.12-$0.30.
  • 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: 1952 Topps #345. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, February 15, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1988 Topps #605 Kirk Gibson

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, February 15, 2013:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1988 Topps #605.
  • Player Name, position, team: Kirk Gibson, outfielder, Detroit Tigers.
  • Major League Debut: September 8, 1979.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1987 stats (Tigers): 128 G, 487 AB, 95 R, 135 H, 25 2B, 3 3B, 24 HR, 79 RBI, 26 SB, .489 SLG, 71 BB, 117 SO, .277 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Tigers #1st, June 1978. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 17. This is his eighth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Kirk was a key factor in Evansville's capture of the 1979 American Association Title. In the Playoffs he had .429 Batting Average with 4 Doubles in 6 Games.".
  • Commentary: When it comes to Kirk Gibson, I just have one question: HOW IN THE HECK DID THIS GUY NEVER BECOME AN ALL-STAR??! (Upon further review, it turns out that he was named to two All-Star teams in 1985 and 1988, but declined the invitation to participate both times.) After nine seasons and 893 games with his hometown Detroit Tigers (he was born in Pontiac, MI, and played for the Michigan State Spartans), in which he hit for a .276 average with 150 home runs, 499 rbi's, 166 stolen bases, and an OPS of .836, Gibson took his talents to the bright lights of Hollywood, signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers on January 28, 1988. It was in his first season in LA that he had his greatest season ever. In 150 games, the man hit for a career high .290, slammed 28 home runs, drove in 76 runs batted in, stole 31 bases, and had an OPS of .860. He was named the NL MVP that year and also earned his only Silver Slugger Award. But it is not these numbers that make Gibson a fan favorite and endeared in the hearts of Dodgers fans everywhere. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, all I have to do is quote the great Jack Buck (which you'll see in a couple of minutes). Gibson played all seven game in the NLCS against a tough Mets team, but could only muster 4 hits in 30 plate appearances. Two of those hits, though were home runs. But the long series took a toll on his both his legs, and along with a stomach virus, it was doubtful that Gibson would be able to play at all. But (cliché time), in a scene that could have only been written in Hollywood, with the Dodgers down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth in Game 1 of the World Series, facing the Athletics' dominant closer, Dennis Eckersley, and a man on first base, manager Tommy Lasorda inserted Gibson to pinch hit in the pitcher's spot. Gibson managed to work the count full, and on the 7th pitch in the at bat, (cue Mr. Buck). "Gibson...swings and a fly ball to deep right field. This is gonna be a home run! UNBELIEVABLE! A home run for Gibson! And the Dodgers have won the game, five to four; I don't believe what I just saw! I don't BELIEVE what I just saw!" The dramatic home run shifted the momentum over from the powerful A's lineup and the Dodgers would win the World Series in 5 games.  Injuries limited his playing time the following two seasons in LA. He signed with the Royals in time for the 1991 season, where he played more than 100 games for the first time since that magical 1988 season. He was traded to the Pirates in 1992, but after 16 games, he was released by the team. After taking the rest of the year off to heal, he re-signed with the Tigers on February 10, 1993, and finished his major league career with Detroit. Post playing career, he became an analyst for Fox Sports Detroit for four seasons before being named the bench coach of the team by manager (and Tigers legend) Alan Trammell. After two seasons as the team's bench and hitting coach, he joined the Arizona Diamondbacks as their bench coach. In 2010, he was promoted to interim manager, then named the permanent manager after the season ended. In 2011, Gibson led the DBacks to their first NL West title since 2007 and was named the NL Manager of the Year. He finally did get to participate in All-Star activities when the ASG was hosted by his Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 38.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2009 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH37. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Three More Players Added to Team bdj610!

Bought a few more packs of 2013 Topps Series 1 last night and came up with three more Million Dollar Chase code cards. So now I have the pleasure of introducing my readers to the newest members of Team bdj610, whose sole purpose is somehow to achieve a 57 game hitting streak. Here goes.
  • 4T37NL2R = Congratulations! You've unlocked Pedro Alvarez (okay, this works)
  • 3TFMPSMG = Congratulations! You've unlocked Dexter Fowler (like this one)
  • TKWFFZH9 = Congratulations! You've unlocked Joey Votto (WINNER!!!)

Yes, now I have the last two NL MVP's in my lineup. It's going to be a good year after all. I think all of you planning to compete should just give up now. I have the winning team right here. (Ego, that's not nice.)

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Topps $1 Million Dollar Chase is On!



It looks like if Topps is finally ready for collectors to enter their codes from those Million Dollar Chase cards that they've been finding in packs, blasters, and so forth. I have nine cards so far, and will enter them into the system now (note: even if you participated in Topps other online giveaways like the Golden Giveaway, the Diamond Giveaway, and the Cards Your Mother Threw Out Giveaway, you will still need to register before you can participate).

So here goes:

  • CPZXRJZ5 = Congratulations! You've unlocked Jean Segura (will have to look this guy up)
  • KRN4F4P8 = Congratulations! You've unlocked Wil Myers (I think I've heard of him)
  • 3H8PN4RW = Congratulations! You've unlocked Carlos Ruiz (great, can't use him until after he serves his suspension...)
  • 975RS22T = Congratulations! You've unlocked Asdrubal Cabrera (finally, somebody good)
  • K7MH992Z = Congratulations! You've unlocked Torii Hunter (okay, now we're getting somewhere)
  • DB6PZQLS = Congratulations! You've unlocked Starlin Castro (YES!!!)
  • SJFTGN4G = Congratulations! You've unlocked Buster Posey (getting better and better, can't go wrong with the reigning MVP)
  • CTDCBGZ8 = Congratulations! You've unlocked Danny Espinosa (works for me)
  • 65BX6D67 = Congratulations! You've unlocked Melky Cabrera (well that's just great)

There you have it. My starting 9. With Cabrera, Castro, and Posey, I should do better than average. Having Ruiz and Cabrera in my lineup however...suspensions aside, I know they can hit.

I'll be looking for more cards this weekend. Hopefully I'll find some so I have a deeper lineup.

There are 115 players that Topps has selected for their contest. They are:

  • Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Aaron Hill, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Jason Kubel, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Miguel Montero, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
  • Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves
  • Dan Uggla, Atlanta Braves
  • B.J. Upton, Atlanta Braves
  • Justin Upton, Atlanta Braves
  • Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
  • Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
  • Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
  • Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
  • Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox
  • Will Middlebrooks, Boston Red Sox
  • Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
  • Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs
  • Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
  • Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs
  • Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox
  • Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox
  • Alex Rios, Chicago White Sox
  • Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds
  • Shin-Soo Choo, Cincinnati Reds
  • Ryan Ludwick, Cincinnati Reds
  • Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds
  • Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
  • Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians
  • Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians
  • Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians
  • Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
  • Michael Cuddyer, Colorado Rockies
  • Dexter Fowler, Colorado Rockies
  • Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
  • Wilin Rosario, Colorado Rockies
  • Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
  • Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
  • Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers
  • Torii Hunter, Detroit Tigers
  • Austin Jackson, Detroit Tigers
  • Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
  • Carlos Pena, Houston Astros
  • Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals
  • Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
  • Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals
  • Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals
  • Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels
  • Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels
  • Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
  • Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles Angels
  • Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Hanley Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
  • Norichika Aoki, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Jean Segura, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
  • Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins
  • Josh Willingham, Minnesota Twins
  • Travis d'Arnaud, New York Mets
  • Ike Davis, New York Mets
  • Daniel Murphy, New York Mets
  • David Wright, New York Mets
  • Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
  • Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees
  • Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
  • Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees
  • Kevin Youkilis, New York Yankees
  • Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics
  • Josh Reddick, Oakland Athletics
  • Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies
  • Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies
  • Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies
  • Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Garrett Jones, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Chase Headley, San Diego Padres
  • Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants
  • Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
  • Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants
  • Marco Scutaro, San Francisco Giants
  • Jesus Montero, Seattle Mariners
  • Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners
  • Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Allen Craig, St. Louis Cardinals
  • David Freese, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Matt Holliday, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays
  • Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
  • Wil Myers, Tampa Bay Rays
  • Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays
  • Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers
  • Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
  • Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers
  • David Murphy, Texas Rangers
  • Mike Olt, Texas Rangers
  • Jurickson Profar, Texas Rangers
  • Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Melky Cabrera, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Brett Lawrie, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Colby Rasmus, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Jose Reyes, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Ian Desmond, Washington Nationals
  • Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals
  • Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
  • Adam LaRoche, Washington Nationals
  • Michael Morse, Washington Nationals
  • Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals
  • Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals
To all who plan on participating, good luck.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Responding to Comments from Yesterday's Pete Rose Article (Again, It's Not Topps' Fault!!!)

I have to thank friend of the blog and all around good guy Craig Parker for the kind words about the article that I wrote yesterday regarding the Pete Rose mess caused by a misinformed writer who happens to have links to a major newspaper here in Chicago. Even though I know my article was not well written, he thought enough of it to pass on to his followers on Twitter. I also have to thank Chris Olds of the Number One Source in the Hobby for retweeting my story to his millions of followers.

Anyway, the point of this post is to respond to some of the comments that showed up after my article. It goes to show that people are still reading this humble, little blog, and I appreciate the input. So here goes.

lifetimetopps wrote:

"A couple other things - first, I do find it hypocritical that MLB puts his name on their website. The website is most certainly an MLB-licensed product. They sell everything from advertising space to gear to game tickets on the website. The point is - it's MLB's decision, not that of Topps.

"Also, I did find it interesting about the Heritage buyback card (full disclosure - the guy who commented referenced a post on my website).

"Yes it isn't a new card - but Pete Rose was technically included in the product. There's no way around that - you could get a card of Pete Rose from packs of an MLB licensed product last year. Whether there were 3 other players or not isn't really relevant.

"I was surprised they did a stamped buy back of the card. Maybe MLB was OK with it because it wasn't a new printed card, or maybe it was an oversight on Topps part, who knows."


I find this similar to when Mickey Mantle was an exclusive with that other card company (thus the reason Topps "retired" the #7 for ten years). If you remember, Topps had this incredible buyback program where they were inserting cards from all 50 years of their existence (or redemptions for cards from 1952-1957) into packs of their 2001 product. They did this again with cards of Hall of Famers in 2002. The sell sheets (at least from 2002 that I recall) included an image of the Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps card. And the caption below the card said "Buyback card." Now, of course Topps could not create a new card of the guy (which is why they went nuts when they finally signed the estate in 2005), but there was apparently nothing wrong in the eyes of MLB, or of Upper Deck, to include an image of the iconic Topps card in sell sheets, and for that matter, including the card in packs of 2001 Topps. Of course, the difference is that they didn't stamp the card to signify that it was a buyback, but still. And I'm sure that Rose's cards were included in the program as well...although ironically, Topps never seemed to mention it.

I need to make a note though that for the 2005 Topps Rookie Cup product, cards of EVERY All-Star Rookie Team member had a one of one card that was actually a buyback card that was altered to include an actual gold cup on the card. They did this for EVERY player...except Pete Rose.

AdamE wrote:

"So Topps can't put him on a card because he isn't part of MLB properties. I don't buy that. Allen & Ginger (sic) is a MLB licensed product and here are plenty of people on cards in the set that are not part of MLB properties. I think it is because of the exclusive deal that Rose signed with Leaf which I don't see anyone mentioning."

Funny how Leaf card has been quiet the entire time. I was surprised that Brian Grey didn't go onto EVERY article and leave a comment about how he created and a Pete Rose set. I'm sure there is a very good reason behind it though. But back to the point. Remember, Topps may have the exclusive licenses, but they sign players to individual contracts. There is no blanket contract that the other card companies had the luxury of using when they were around. When it comes to A & G, and signing the non-baseball players who are not affected by MLB Properties, they just sign them to a regular contract like everybody else.

Finally, Jim from Downington commented:

"If MLB (and for that matter MLB Properties) tells Topps that they aren't allowed to insert Rose's name, even on a little stat line, then Topps is going to take every effort to exclude the guy's name on their cards.

"Jay, I saw your comment similar to the above on a Chicago news website. My question is: If Topps is the one PAYING all that dough, why aren't they the ones telling MLB what they want to buy (instead of the other way around)?

"Seems like the TV networks are always telling MLB how the games will be broadcast."


Topps may be the one having to pay all the dough, but they're not going to tick off the organization who can determine the Company's ultimate fate. The baseball card business is so important to Topps, and the Hobby as a whole, that one bad move can kill the Company and thus kill the Hobby. I don't care what anyone says, but the day Topps is no longer licensed by MLB and MLB Properties to produce Major League Baseball cards, the Hobby will die a slow and painful death. Topps is the name everybody knows, even by those who are not directly involved in the Hobby. All the Paninis, Upper Decks, and heck, let's even throw in Leafs in the world will not make up for the loss of the Topps Company in the Hobby.

Even if Topps does not have the money that the TV networks have, it's easy to think that the TV networks would have a bit more of a pull with MLB than the Topps company would. Heck, more people watch the games than collect the cards. But if Topps, or even a TV Network, says something that MLB doesn't approve of or totally disagrees with, what makes you think that MLB will not just say, "thank you for your time, support, and cooperation over the years, but we're going to go elsewhere going forward."

Now keep in mind, I'm not privy to the dealings with MLB and their corporate partners, so obviously I really have no idea how all of this works. But I know one thing, the firestorm that was caused yesterday made for a really fun day in the Hobby.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1980 Topps #208 Wayne Cage

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, February 14, 2013:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1980 Topps #208.
  • Player Name, position, team: Wayne Cage, first baseman, Cleveland Indians.
  • Major League Debut: April 22, 1978.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1979 stats (Tacoma, AAA-Pacific Coast): 86 G, 315 AB, 47 R, 98 H, 14 2B, 3 3B, 13 HR, 55 RBI, .276 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Indians #3rd, June 1971. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 3. This is his third and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "His 1st big league Hit was a Homer."
  • Commentary: You get players whose only opportunity in the majors would be as either a September call-up or a defensive replacement for the team's regular starter. You also get players who hit well in the minors, but have trouble finding the ball during his time in the big leagues. These kinds of players are just happy to be there.  Such is the tale of Wayne King. The back of his card includes a cartoon that indicates that he was an International League All-Star first baseman at Toledo in 1977. And he did have a good year (.301 with 13 home runs and 77 rbi's) with the Mud Hens. In 1978, he joined the Indians to back up the team's regular 1st baseman Andre Thornton. He did get an opportunity to start a few games, but he couldn't figure major league pitching. By the middle of June, he was hitting .212, and not having much luck as a pinch hitter. He was sent to Tacoma (the Indians changed their AAA affiliation) and he found his stroke. In 77 games, he was hitting .368 with 18 home runs and 69 rbi's. He was called back to Cleveland in September, becoming the team's designated hitter when teams expanded the rosters. During his 19 games back, he went 17 for 65 (.262 average), hit three home runs, drove in 9, had an OPS of .810. He made the Opening day roster for the Tribe in 1979, but was once again found himself struggling with his hitting. After spending all of April under the Mendoza line (.161 average), he reached .220 before being sent back to Tacoma. He didn't return until September again, and by the time he finished the season, he had hit .232 with 1 home run and six rbi's. It would be the last time Wayne would be on a major league roster. He spent all of 1980 with Tacoma, and once again hit over .308 with 19 home runs and 89 rbi's. His contract was sold to the Hankyu Braves of the Japanese Pacific League, and spent two years in Nishinomiya before returning to North America, playing for both Yucatan Leones and Veracruz Aguila of the Mexican League.
  • Beckett value: $0.10-$0.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 3 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1988 Topps #605. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Team Set of the Week: 2008 Topps Florida Marlins

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:
  • The base card of Hanley Ramirez shows you more of the picture from the retail set:

  • A different picture of Andrew Miller was used in the eponymous set:

  • Cody Ross was not part of the base set, but did show up in the Updates and Highlights set as a Marlin:

So of the 14 players included in this set, one is a closeup of their eponymous card, and two use totally unique pictures only found in the retail set.

Next week's featured set will be the 2008 Cincinnati Reds. Hope you'll be here when we compare the cards from the retail set to their counterparts found in Topps and Topps Updates and Highlights.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama