Saturday, June 29, 2013

Two 2013 Gypsy Queen Orioles Blue Parallel Cards Showed Up at my Door from Across the Atlantic ...

The above title sounds like the set up to a horrible joke. But trust me, it's very far from the case. Would you like to know how I got my hands on the cards below?:

2013 Topps Gypsy Queen Jim Palmer and Brooks Robinson Blue Frame Parallel Cards

About a month or so ago, I get a note on my email saying that somebody on Twitter mentioned me. Now, normally, it's because of Twitter's traditional Follow Fridays where people who tweet post a list of names who they believe their followers should follow as well. I get a few of these from time to time, and thanks to whoever says to #FF @bdj610 (and while you're at it, take some time after reading this post to do the same).

Well, it seems that many of the card bloggers take to twitter to give cards away to their followers. And that's what Andy Bates (who writes the fantastic blog The Wax Fantastic and can be followed on twitter @thewaxfantastic) does. Did I mention that the guy is based out of London??!

Back to the point.

The note from Twitter was not a FF, but a tweet from Andy stating:

Hey, I won two cards...I didn't even know I entered anything. That's the fun about these random long as you're a follower of a guy (or gal), you could get free stuff. So I sent the man my address and a few weeks ago the pair finally arrived.

These cards are beautiful up close. The blue really pops on these cards. And even though they are of Orioles, I'll be more than happy to add them to my 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen binder.

So an overdue (I promised I'd write this a few weeks ago...and you know what happened) thank you to Andy for the pair of blue O's.


JayBee Anama

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Quick Two Pack Break of 2013 Topps Series 2

So the other day, my family ran to the nearest big box store to buy some much needed supplies (that's our story and we're sticking to it). Along the way, we were able to find five of the last six Series 10 Lego Minifigures we need to complete the set of 16 (as much as my son wants to be optimistic, there is no way in heck that we're going to find that Mr. Gold guy, nor am I willing to spend $600.00 on the bay for one plastic figure). We still need to find the Librarian and I'm having a fun time trying to figure out how to feel for the larger than usual book. Can't really rely on the cup as Grandpa has one as well.

But I digress.

Target now has Topps Series 2 out on the shelves. So I picked five random packs, and two random jumbo packs and placed them ever so nicely into the shopping cart. I have two of them with me today (see picture below). Let's see what I got.

Now understand that these are not the first Series 2 cards I was able to find. I got that mystery five pack at the card shop on Father's Day. For the record, here is what came out of the pack:

  • #588 Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
  • #641 Bruce Chen, Royals
  • #504 Michael Bourn, Indians
  • #435 Brandon Maurer, Mariners
  • #411 Jesus Guzman, Padres, Sparkle Blue parallel (which looks to be exclusive to these giveaway packs).
So now on to the actual packs.

Pack 1 consists of:
  • #553 Josh Rutledge, Rockies
  • #506 Andy Pettitte, Yankees
  • #563 Nate Eovaldi, Marlins
  • #585 Homer Bailey, Reds
  • #645 Luis Cruz, Dodgers
  • Million Dollar Chase Card
  • #CD-12 Carlos Gonzalez Chase it Down 
  • #420 Rick Porcello, Tigers
  • #567 Alfonso Soriano, Record Chase 400 Home Runs (checklist)
  • #409 Logan Morrison, Marlins
  • #539 Phil Coke, Tigers
  • #356 Greg Dobbs, Marlins
Comments: All kidding aside, this is a pack that a Marlins fan would love as a third of the pack consists of Miami players. At least now I know why Soriano is being featured in the Record Chase subset, even if it eventually is a checklist card.  Nice to see the Million Dollar Chase card, even though I've really stopped paying attention to the game lately.

Pack #2:
  • #578 Brett Jackson, Cubs
  • #519 Zack Greinke, Dodgers
  • #552 Francisco Cervelli, Yankees
  • #654 Brandon Barnes, Astros
  • #359 CC Sabathia, Record Chase 200 Wins (also a checklist)
  • #422 Alfredo Marte Target Red parallel card
  • Million Dollar Chase Card (yay, two of them)
  • #435 Brandon Maurer, Mariners (great, my first double)
  • #652 Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers
  • #510 Nate McLouth, Orioles
  • #375 Wilin Rosario, Rockies (nice to see Topps stopped the two cards per ASRT player)
  • #625 Domonic Brown, Phillies
Comments: Yes, finally a Cubs card, even if it is of a player who hasn't been on the roster. Nothing much to write home about, but another MDC card doesn't hurt.

Overall, a nice two-pack break before heading towards the weekend. Maybe I'll get the Random Cards posted...or so I hope.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

So the 2013 Topps Series 2 Checklist is Out and Final (or so they say)

While I was laid out thanks to allergies (that's my story, and I'm sticking to it), it turns out that 2013 Topps Series 2 Baseball went live. Figures I'd miss it while droning in and out of consciousness.

So for the benefit of those who somehow think that this blog is the pulse of the Hobby (and why not??!) here are the cards that I will be making sure to add to my ever growing collection...with the goal of getting these cards before the All-Star Break!!!


332 Cole Hamels
333 Santiago Casilla
334 Derek Norris
335 Chris Herrmann RC
336 Hank Conger
337 Chris Iannetta
338 Mike Trout AL ROY
339 Nick Swisher
340 Franklin Gutierrez
341 Lonnie Chisenhall
342 Matt Dominguez
343 Alex Avila
344 Kris Medlen
345 Jenrry Mejia
346 Aaron Hicks RC
347 Brett Anderson
348 Jonny Gomes
349 Ernesto Frieri
350 Albert Pujols
351 Asdrubal Cabrera
352 Tommy Hanson
353 Bud Norris
354 Casey Janssen
355 Carlos Marmol
356 Greg Dobbs
357 Juan Francisco
358 Henderson Alvarez
360 Khristopher Davis RC
361 Erik Kratz
362 Yoenis Cespedes
363 Sergio Santos
364 Carlos Pena
365 Mike Baxter
366 Ervin Santana
367 Carlos Ruiz
368 Chris Young
369 Bryce Harper NL ROY
370 A.J. Griffin
371 Jeremy Affeldt
372 Jeff Locke
373 Derek Jeter RECORD CHASERS
374 Miguel Cabrera AL MVP
375 Wilin Rosario
376 Juan Pierre RECORD CHASERS
377 J.D. Martinez
378 Joe Kelly
379 Madison Bumgarner
380 Juan Nicasio
381 Wily Peralta
382 Jackie Bradley Jr. RC
383 Matt Harrison
384 Jake McGee
385 Brandon Belt
386 Brandon Phillips
387 Jean Segura
388 Justin Turner
389 Phil Hughes
390 James McDonald
391 Travis Wood
392 Tom Koehler RC
393 Andres Torres
394 Ubaldo Jimenez
395 Alexei Ramirez
396 Aroldis Chapman
397 Mike Aviles
398 Mike Fiers
399 Shane Victorino
400 David Wright
401 Ryan Dempster
402 Tom Wilhelmsen
403 Hisashi Iwakuma
404 Ryan Madson
405 Hector Sanchez
406 Brandon McCarthy
407 Juan Pierre
408 Coco Crisp
409 Logan Morrison
410 Roy Halladay
411 Jesus Guzman
412 Everth Cabrera
413 Brett Gardner
414 Mark Buehrle
415 Leonys Martin
416 Jordan Lyles
417 Logan Forsythe
418 Evan Gattis RC
419 Matt Moore
420 Rick Porcello
421 Jordy Mercer RC
422 Alfredo Marte RC
423 Miguel Gonzalez
424 Steven Lerud RC
425 Josh Donaldson
426 Vinnie Pestano
427 Chris Nelson
428 Kyle McPherson RC
429 David Price
430 Josh Harrison
431 Blake Beavan
432 Jose Iglesias
433 Andrew Werner RC
434 Wei-Yin Chen
435 Brandon Maurer RC
436 Elvis Andrus
437 Dayan Viciedo
438 Yasmani Grandal
439 Marco Estrada
440 Ian Kinsler
441 Jose Bautista
442 Mike Leake
443 Lou Marson
444 Jordan Walden
445 Joe Thatcher
446 Chris Parmelee
447 Jacob Turner
449 Michael Cuddyer
450 Jay Bruce
451 Pedro Florimon
452 Raul Ibanez
453 Troy Tulowitzki
454 Paul Goldschmidt
455 Buster Posey NL MVP
456 Pablo Sandoval
457 Nate Schierholtz
458 Jake Peavy
459 Jesus Montero
460 Ryan Doumit
461 Drew Pomeranz
462 Eduardo Nunez
463 Jason Hammel
464 Luis Jimenez RC
465 Placido Polanco
466 Jerome Williams
467 Brian Duensing
468 Anthony Gose
469 Adam Warren RC
470 Jeff Francoeur
471 Trevor Cahill
472 John Mayberry
473 Josh Johnson
474 Brian Omogrosso RC
475 Garrett Jones
476 John Buck
477 Paul Maholm
478 Gavin Floyd
479 Kelly Johnson
480 Lance Berkman
481 Justin Wilson RC
482 Emilio Bonifacio
483 Jordany Valdespin
484 Johan Santana
485 Ruben Tejada
486 Jason Kubel
487 Hanley Ramirez
488 Ryan Wheeler RC
489 Erick Aybar
490 Cody Ross
491 Clayton Richard
492 Jose Molina
493 Johnny Giavotella
494 Alberto Callaspo
495 Joaquin Benoit
496 Scott Sizemore
497 Brett Myers
498 Martin Prado
499 Billy Butler
500 Stephen Strasburg
501 Tommy Milone
502 Patrick Corbin
503 Clay Buchholz
504 Michael Bourn
505 Ross Detwiler
506 Andy Pettitte
507 Lance Lynn
508 Felix Doubront
509 Brennan Boesch
510 Nate McLouth
511 Rob Brantly RC
512 Justin Smoak
513 Zach McAllister
514 Jonathan Papelbon
515 Brian Roberts
516 Omar Infante
517 Pedro Alvarez
518 Nolan Reimold
519 Zack Greinke
520 Peter Bourjos
521 Evan Scribner RC
522 Dallas Keuchel
523 Wandy Rodriguez
524 Wade LeBlanc
525 J.P. Arencibia
526 Tyler Flowers
527 Carlos Beltran
528 Darin Mastroianni
529 Collin McHugh RC
530 Wade Miley
531 Craig Gentry
532 Todd Helton
533 J.J. Hardy
534 Alberto Cabrera RC
535 Philip Humber
537 Neil Walker
538 Brett Wallace
539 Phil Coke
540 Michael Bourn NL DEFENSIVE POY
541 Jon Lester
542 Jeff Niemann
543 Donovan Solano
544 Tyler Chatwood
545 Alex Presley
546 Carlos Quentin
547 Glen Perkins
548 John Lackey
549 Huston Street
550 Matt Joyce
551 Welington Castillo
552 Francisco Cervelli
553 Josh Rutledge
554 R.A. Dickey
555 Joel Hanrahan
556 Nick Hundley
557 Adam Lind
558 David Murphy
559 Travis Snider
560 Yunel Escobar
561 Josh Vitters
562 Jason Marquis
563 Nate Eovaldi
564 Francisco Peguero RC
565 Torii Hunter
566 C.J. Wilson
567 Alfonso Soriano RECORD CHASERS
568 Steve Lombardozzi
569 Ryan Ludwick
570 Devin Mesoraco
571 Melky Cabrera
572 Lorenzo Cain
573 Ian Stewart
574 Corey Hart
575 Justin Morneau
576 Julio Teheran
577 Matt Harvey
578 Brett Jackson
579 Adam LaRoche
580 Jordan Danks
581 Andrelton Simmons
582 Seth Smith
583 Alejandro De Aza
584 Alfonso Soriano
585 Homer Bailey
586 Jose Quintana
587 Matt Cain
588 Jordan Zimmermann
589 Jose Fernandez RC
590 Liam Hendriks
591 Derek Holland
592 Nick Markakis
593 James Loney
594 Carl Crawford
595 David Ortiz
596 Brian Dozier
597 Marco Scutaro
598 Fernando Martinez
599 Carlos Carrasco
600 Mariano Rivera
601 Brandon Moss
602 Anibal Sanchez
603 Chris Perez
604 Rafael Betancourt
605 Aramis Ramirez
606 Mark Trumbo
607 Chris Carter
608 Ricky Nolasco
609 Scott Baker
610 Brandon Beachy
611 Drew Storen
612 Robinson Cano
613 Jhoulys Chacin
614 B.J. Upton
615 Mark Ellis
616 Grant Balfour
617 Fernando Rodney
618 Koji Uehara
619 Carlos Gomez
620 Hector Santiago
621 Steve Cishek
622 Alcides Escobar
623 Alexi Ogando
624 Justin Ruggiano
625 Domonic Brown
626 Gio Gonzalez
627 David Price AL CY YOUNG
628 Martin Maldonado RC
629 Trevor Plouffe
630 Andy Dirks
631 Chris Carpenter
632 R.A. Dickey NL CY YOUNG
633 Victor Martinez
634 Drew Smyly
635 Jedd Gyorko RC
636 Cole De Vries RC
637 Ben Revere
638 Andrew Cashner
639 Josh Hamilton
640 Jason Castro
641 Bruce Chen
642 Austin Jackson
643 Matt Garza
644 Ryan Lavarnway
645 Luis Cruz
646 Phillippe Aumont RC
647 Adam Dunn
648 Dan Straily
649 Ryan Hanigan
650 Nelson Cruz
651 Gregor Blanco
652 Jonathan Lucroy
653 Chase Headley
654 Brandon Barnes RC
655 Salvador Perez
656 Scott Diamond
657 Jorge De La Rosa
658 David Freese
659 Mike Napoli
660 Miguel Cabrera
661 Hyun-Jin Ryu RC

By my count, that's 29 Rookie Cards with the official MLB Rookie Card Logo (compared to 32 in series 1). You have eight cards honoring each league's MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Cy Young winners, as well as each league's Defensive Player of the Year (Mike Trout and Michael Bourn). Nice touch Topps, although shouldn't these honors have been saved for Series 1? It's a bit too late to include these in Series 2 in my opinion, especially since both R. A. Dickey and Michael Bourn aren't even in the NL anymore. Five Record Chasers (Sabathia, Jeter, Pierre, Hudson, and Soriano) make up the checklist cards. And note that there will be a card #661 again (of Korean sensation Hyun-Jin Ryu). The good news is that it's not going to be a SP (although as you will see below, there will be a SP variation). Now if Topps wanted to mess with certain people, they would have found a way to include rookie phenom Yasiel Puig as #662, but I digress.

Again, there are 25 short-printed variations of the base cards, many of which are numbered as if they're from Series 1. Makes little sense once again, but I'm not in the room when they make the decisions. The SP's, which this time follows no set "chasing" theme, include:

1 Bryce Harper
6 Ryan Howard
10 Adam Jones
11 Yu Darvish
11 Yu Darvish
22 Clayton Kershaw
26 Chase Utley
27 Mike Trout
27 Mike Trout
28 Prince Fielder
34 Felix Hernandez
55 Tim Lincecum
78 Dylan Bundy
110 Justin Upton
122 Andrew McCutchen
127 Giancarlo Stanton
228 Adrian Gonzalez
242 Matt Kemp
316 Josh Reddick
331 Jose Reyes
362 Yoenis Cespedes
456 Pablo Sandoval
595 David Ortiz
660 Miguel Cabrera
661 Hyun-Jin Ryu

So five of these cards look like they'd be SP's in series 2, but the rest? Series 1, and now there are two variations for certain guys (like Harper) and two more variations (for a guy like Trout). This is why I'm so glad I'm a set collector, and not a player collector. I'm not going to lose sleep over trying to get these cards. Although, if I manage to get one by sheer luck...

Parallels come in the usual color schemes: Emerald Foil - 1:6 packs, Blue (WalMart), Purple (Toys R' Us), Red (Target), Emerald Blue (Hobby Shop Promo Packs, this is a new one), Gold #/2013, Desert Camo Foil #/99, Black #/62 (Hobby/HTA), Pink #/50, Silver Slate #/10 (Hobby Shop Promo Packs, a continuation from the pack redemption from Series 1), Platinum 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1 (Hobby/HTA).

On to the inserts. Now every insert set will also come in autograph, relic, or a combination of the two forms. Here are the basic insert sets that should be included in Master Set auctions on the Bay:


CH-51 Jason Kipnis
CH-52 Gary Sheffield
CH-53 Jered Weaver
CH-54 Anthony Rizzo
CH-55 Ken Griffey Jr.
CH-56 Matt Holliday
CH-57 Cal Ripken Jr.
CH-58 Rickey Henderson
CH-59 Fred Lynn
CH-60 Derek Jeter
CH-61 David Price
CH-62 Willie McCovey
CH-63 Jordan Zimmermann
CH-64 Mike Trout
CH-65 Gary Carter
CH-66 Adrian Gonzalez
CH-67 Stephen Strasburg
CH-68 John Smoltz
CH-69 Sandy Koufax
CH-70 Miguel Cabrera
CH-71 Buster Posey
CH-72 Carlos Gonzalez
CH-73 Robinson Cano
CH-74 Stan Musial
CH-75 Dustin Pedroia
CH-76 Tony Gwynn
CH-77 Roberto Clemente
CH-78 Mark Trumbo
CH-79 Hank Aaron
CH-80 Yu Darvish
CH-81 Cliff Lee
CH-82 Felix Hernandez
CH-83 Willie Mays
CH-84 Mariano Rivera
CH-85 Tim Lincecum
CH-86 Roy Halladay
CH-87 Lance Lynn
CH-88 Justin Verlander
CH-89 Darryl Strawberry
CH-90 Prince Fielder
CH-91 Joey Votto
CH-92 Mike Schmidt
CH-93 Manny Machado
CH-94 Ty Cobb
CH-95 Matt Cain
CH-96 Dylan Bundy
CH-97 Troy Tulowitzki
CH-98 Carl Crawford
CH-99 David Wright
CH-100 Phil Niekro

Remember, there are parallels to this set, depending on what pack you buy (retail wise anyway).


CTC-1 Mike Trout
CTC-24 Buster Posey
CTC-26 Albert Belle
CTC-27 Ralph Kiner
CTC-28 Al Kaline
CTC-29 Tom Seaver
CTC-30 Rickey Henderson
CTC-31 Matt Holliday
CTC-32 Harmon Killebrew
CTC-33 Jered Weaver
CTC-34 Ernie Banks
CTC-35 Chris Sale
CTC-36 Joe Morgan
CTC-37 Albert Pujols
CTC-38 Prince Fielder
CTC-39 Yoenis Cespedes
CTC-40 Cal Ripken Jr.
CTC-41 Stephen Strasburg
CTC-42 R.A. Dickey
CTC-43 Miguel Cabrera
CTC-44 Manny Machado
CTC-45 Bryce Harper
CTC-46 Duke Snider
CTC-47 Alex Rodriguez
CTC-48 Sandy Koufax

So the set winds up being a 48-card set instead of a 50-card one. Card #'s 1 and 7 are added to this one, which probably makes up for the earlier loss of the Ichiro and Mickey Mantle estates (you know that those HAD to be the original players in the checklist...speculation of course).

CHASE IT DOWN (a new insert set for Series 2)

CD-1 Mike Trout
CD-2 Pablo Sandoval
CD-3 Ryan Zimmerman
CD-4 Jason Heyward
CD-5 Adam Jones
CD-6 Mike Moustakas
CD-7 Bryce Harper
CD-8 Chase Headley
CD-9 Josh Reddick
CD-10 Jon Jay
CD-11 Alex Gordon
CD-12 Carlos Gonzalez
CD-13 Manny Machado
CD-14 Cameron Maybin
CD-15 Giancarlo Stanton


TM-51 Ken Griffey Jr.
TM-52 David Freese
TM-53 Gio Gonzalez
TM-54 Roy Halladay
TM-55 Miguel Cabrera
TM-56 David Wright
TM-57 Albert Pujols
TM-58 James Shields
TM-59 Shelby Miller
TM-60 Yoenis Cespedes
TM-61 Brooks Robinson
TM-62 Paul O'Neill
TM-63 Yogi Berra
TM-64 David Price
TM-65 Manny Machado
TM-66 Troy Tulowitzki
TM-67 Tim Lincecum
TM-68 Matt Cain
TM-69 Robin Yount
TM-70 Justin Upton
TM-71 Reggie Jackson
TM-72 Brandon Phillips
TM-73 Dylan Bundy
TM-74 Johan Santana
TM-75 Willie Stargell
TM-76 Jose Altuve
TM-77 Fred Lynn
TM-78 R.A. Dickey
TM-79 Josh Hamilton
TM-80 Johnny Bench
TM-81 Eric Davis
TM-82 Gary Sheffield
TM-83 Don Mattingly
TM-84 Ryan Howard
TM-85 Matt Williams
TM-86 George Brett
TM-87 Jurickson Profar
TM-88 Jose Bautista
TM-89 Will Middlebrooks
TM-90 Joe Morgan
TM-91 Stephen Strasburg
TM-92 Cole Hamels
TM-93 Robinson Cano
TM-94 David Ortiz
TM-95 B.J. Upton
TM-96 Jason Heyward
TM-97 Josh Johnson
TM-98 Ernie Banks
TM-99 Ozzie Smith
TM-100 Eddie Mathews

The 1972 Mini set concludes with Series 2 as we just found out that 1971 mini cards will be included in the Update Series program.

MAKING THEIR MARK (Another insert set making it's debut in Series 2)

MM-1 Yoenis Cespedes
MM-2 Mike Trout
MM-3 Andrelton Simmons
MM-4 Jason Kipnis
MM-5 Jeremy Hellickson
MM-6 Ike Davis
MM-7 Mike Olt
MM-8 Kris Medlen
MM-9 Tyler Skaggs
MM-10 Wilin Rosario
MM-11 Trevor Bauer
MM-12 Zack Cozart
MM-13 Matt Moore
MM-14 Lance Lynn
MM-15 Salvador Perez
MM-16 Will Middlebrooks
MM-17 Anthony Rizzo
MM-18 Wade Miley
MM-19 Bryce Harper
MM-20 Dylan Bundy
MM-21 Jurickson Profar
MM-22 Yu Darvish
MM-23 Todd Frazier
MM-24 Manny Machado
MM-25 Stephen Strasburg

THE ELITE (replaces THE GREATS...also a HTA exclusive insert set)

TE-1 Miguel Cabrera
TE-2 Ryan Braun
TE-3 Josh Hamilton
TE-4 Tom Seaver
TE-5 Sandy Koufax
TE-6 Nolan Ryan
TE-7 Reggie Jackson
TE-8 Rickey Henderson
TE-9 Johnny Bench
TE-10 Ernie Banks
TE-11 Ozzie Smith
TE-12 Bob Gibson
TE-13 Joe Morgan
TE-14 Buster Posey
TE-15 Willie Mays
TE-16 Mike Schmidt
TE-17 Babe Ruth
TE-18 Ted Williams
TE-19 Jackie Robinson
TE-20 Lou Gehrig

WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC STARS (featuring players who participated in the WBC earlier this year, won by the Dominican Republic)

WBC-1 Jose Reyes
WBC-2 Anthony Rizzo
WBC-3 Joey Votto
WBC-4 Robinson Cano
WBC-5 Hanley Ramirez
WBC-6 Giancarlo Stanton
WBC-7 Adrian Gonzalez
WBC-8 Justin Morneau
WBC-9 Carlos Beltran
WBC-10 Miguel Cabrera
WBC-11 Pablo Sandoval
WBC-12 Carlos Gonzalez
WBC-13 Joe Mauer
WBC-14 David Wright
WBC-15 Ryan Braun

Seven insert sets to go with a 330 card regular set. It may look like a lot to go after, but it isn't so bad, especially if you rely on case breakers to do the work for you.

That's it for now. Time for the meds to kick in.


JayBee Anama

Monday, June 24, 2013

I'm Not Dead...I Swear (Although Last Week Was Another Issue).

When last this blog was updated, I was just reviewing a 2-pack break of 2013 Topps Archives on Father's Day. While the packs were decent, there wasn't much to write home about. But then after that was a blur.

Why? Do you even want to know? I'll tell you anyway.

Let's just say that a major league allergic reaction pretty much incapacitated me all week and killed any desire to go to the basement computer and blog about the Hobby we all know and love (and boy was there a ton to talk about). It got to the point where I couldn't swallow at all last Monday and on Tuesday through Thursday, my body was over-reacting to the combination of allergy medicine, cough medicine, and whatever it was my mother gave me. It was really brutal. I don't even know how I made it through the week. Needless to say, I was useless at home, and I have apologized to my wife and kids for not being "there" this past week.

So beyond all that, let's just say that the Random EVERYTHING Cards of the Day will be updated hopefully by the end of the week. If people are even still reading those posts anyway. I swear, when the All-Star Game news and player announcements come out, I'll be back to my normal self (I hope).

To update what happened to me (that didn't involve getting sick, medicine, and whatever), let's go back to Father's Day. As we all know Topps, with the help of their Hobby shop partners, were running promotions coinciding with Father's Day and Topps Archives and the upcoming release of Topps Series II.
So as any good Dad would do, I took my son to the closest card shop that was hosting this promotion (in this case, it was AU Sports in Morton Grove...yes, they moved remember??!), and lo and behold, they had packs galore to host for the promotion. We had to hurry though, because the guy wanted to close the shop early so he can spend father's day with his dad.

And even though I missed Week 1's promo, the shop owner was kind enough to give me a couple of packs from that week's promotion as well as what looks to be a week 2 promotion pack of Archives. Unfortunately, I didn't bring in any 80's cards from my boxes of extras (I would have made a killing had I known this) and was even willing to buy a common from his shop so I can get a pack of Series 2 Topps. Needless to say, the guy was kind enough to let me have that one for free. Yay!!! So I have all four packs of cards in my possession.

UNOPENED SINCE FATHER'S DAY!!! (yes, that's how sick I was). Take a look:

The top packs were part of the week 1 giveaway. The pack on the bottom right was the Archives promo for week 2. Which really is confusing, because the guy at the counter said that this was the pack of Series 2 and that it just says "Topps Archives" promotion because that's the official name of the promotion. That leaves the pack on the bottom left being the one-card "vintage" pack which could be anything from the 1950's through the 1980's. I'm kind of curious as to what I have on me. Let's see what it is:

Yes, friends, I am now the proud owner of a 1957 Topps Saul Rogovin card. Beckett books it anywhere from $4.00 to $8.00 EX-MT to NR MT condition. What a find!!! It's nice to win a card from the 50's, even if it's of a player who finished his career in 1957 (this is his final Topps card).

I have to get going. I'll look over the rest later. But the whole point of posting today was to rest assure anybody left who reads my blog that I'm still here, I have a lot to get through, and will get through it I promise.

If only these darn allergies and coughing will go away!!!


JayBee Anama

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day. Now, Who's Up For a 2-Pack Archives Break

Father's Day 2013 started with a quick breakfast in bed, some coffee, and a nice present from my wife and children. They bought these wooden letters D A D and each of them painted one of the letters in their own unique way. I really like these home-made crafts because it shows that they took time out of their busy days to make something nice for me. But what was more important was the gifts I received...the two kids that have been my world for the last 13 years.

We are right now sitting in the social hall next to the church. Mass ended a bit more than an hour ago, and while my wife back in the church practicing with the choir, the kids are re-discovering the joys of Nintendo DS. They haven't played with these devices since spring break, using their parents' smartphones for their gaming escape. Now that summer is here, hopefully they'll play their games as sparingly as they did during the school year. But I digress. While everyone is busy, what better time than now to do a pack break?

Yesterday, while my wife was with her dad, and my daughter was at a dance audition, my son and I went to our local big box store in hopes of just hanging out and finding any of the newest Lego Minifigures. On the minifig note, series 10 is out and so far we have the Roman Commander and Warrior Woman. Sure enough, we found the minifigs and selected five at random (I mean, what would the odds be of getting the same two figures, right)? Okay, not so random, we did feel for the prop. We picked five, and along with a Kreo Donkey Kong Mario Kart car, we now own the Trendsetter (with dog), the Skydiver, the Motorcycle Mechanic, the Paintballer, and Tomahawk Warrior (so many figures with weapons in these's like watching that Deadliest Warrior show to see which would win in a one-on-one duel). I also bought two packs of the newest Topps sensation (at least before series 2), Topps Archives and one jumbo pack of 18-cards. Let's see what's in these packs.

Pack 1 (in order of appearance):
  • #184 Kyle Seager, Mariners, 1990 design
  • #041 Doug Fister, Tigers, 1972 design
  • #057 Todd Frazier, Reds, 1982 design
  • #69S-BBMP Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench, Joe Mauer, Buster Posey 4 in 1 mini stickers, 1969 design
  • #004 Marco Scutaro, Giants, 1972 design
  • #078 Johan Santana, Mets, 1982 design
  • #141 Adam Jones, Orioles, 1985 design
  • #151 Jason Motte, Cardinals, 1990 design
Comments: For those who do not like the 1990 Topps design, the cards in this pack make a great argument as to why this design is awesome. The Motte card uses the red design, reminding me of some of how the red color really worked when the subject was from the Cardinals. The stickers look nice. Glad that there was a theme to the subjects (all-star catchers). Otherwise, nothing much to write home about.

Pack 2 (in order of appearance):
  • #110 Josh Hamilton, Angels, 1985 design
  • #187 Alex Gordon, Royals, 1990 design
  • #032 Wade Boggs, Red Sox, 1972 design
  • #085 Tony Perez, Reds, 1982 design
  • #214 Fred McGriff, Blue Jays, 1989 design (All Time Fan-Favorites subset SP found 1:4 packs)
  • #175 Yogi Berra, Yankees, 1990 design
  • #018 Jon Lester, Red Sox, 1972 design
  • #062 Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox, 1982 design.
Comments: Now we're talking. An SP card, and the card design is my favorite of all-time, 1989. Three Red Sox cards in the pack though...not that there is anything wrong with that but I didn't get any Cubs or *cough* White Sox cards in either pack.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads in my life: Leslie Anama, Charles Mok, Anamite Anama, Richard Lee, Charles Mok Jr., Sam Bell. Happy Fathers Day to all Dads, Dads-to-Be, Grandfathers, Great Grandfathers, Foster Dad's, Stepdads, and Just-Like-Dads out there. Remember, anyone can be a father, but it takes a real man to be called "Daddy."


JayBee Anama

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2003 Topps Traded and Rookies #T130 Jeff Mathis

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, June 15, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2003 Topps Traded and Rookies #T130.
  • Player Name, position, team: Jeff Mathis, catcher, Anaheim Angels.
  • Major League Debut: August 12, 2005.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2002 stats (Cedar Rapids, A-Midwest League): 128 G, 491 AB, 75 R, 141 H, 41 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 73 RBI, 7 SB, .444 SLG, 40 BB, 75 SO, .287 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Angels #1st, June 2001. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 7. This is his second Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Jeff possesses all the skills big-league managers look for in a catcher. Fundamentally sound behind the plate, he releases the ball quickly and fires hard strikes to second base. He's also a natural-born leader. At the dish, Mathis powers the ball with quick, strong wrists. For Cedar Rapids (A) in 2002, he slugged 10 homers while ranking second in the Midwest League with 41 two-bases hits."
  • Commentary: Before the Rookie Card Rules mandated by MLB properties (which indicated that no player could get a Rookie card until they make their debut in the major leagues), card companies went all out to try and get every top prospect in the minors they could and include them in their products. In the case of Jeff Mathis, his first Topps rookie card apeared in the 2001 Topps Traded and Rookies set because he was one of the first ten players selected in the 2001 MLB draft to sign with their club. For the record, Mathis was the 33rd player selected in the first round of the 2001 draft, third pick in the supplemental round. Through his development in the minors, he appeared in the 2003 Traded set as a top prospect, based on his banner year with the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Midwest League. But what did he do in 2003? Playing for both the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (97 games) of the A-California League and the AA-Southern League Arkansas Travelers (24 games), Mathis hit a combined .315 with 13 home runs, 68 rbi's, and an OPS of .872. Behind the plate, he was successful in catching 30 of 119 runners who made an attempt to steal a base off him and his pitchers (25% success rate). Since making his MLB debut in 2005, the Angels utilized Mathis in a platoon role, first with Jose Molina, and then Mike Napoli. In his five plus seasons with the Angels, Mathis hit for a low .195 average with 26 homers and 139 rbi's in 476 games. He served as the backup catcher for the Blue Jays in 2012, and in 2013, signed a contract with the Miami Marlins. After spending the first month and a half warming up in the Marlins' AAA affiliate in Salt Lake, he is now in Miami, filling in as the team's regular catcher.
  • Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 13 cards.
Tomorrow is Retro Sunday, the one day of the week that we feature a card from 1951-1975. The card we will feature tomorrow is: 1953 Topps #147. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.


JayBee Anama

Friday, June 14, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1990 Topps Traded #107T John Russell

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, June 14, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1990 Topps Traded #107T.
  • Player Name, position, team: John Russell, catcher, Texas Rangers.
  • Major League Debut: June 22, 1984.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1989 stats (Braves): 74 G, 159 AB, 14 R, 29 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 0 SB, .233 SLG, 8 BB, 53 SO, .182 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Phillies #1st, June 1982. Signed with the Rangers as a Free Agent 05/09/1990. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 7. This is his fourth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "John caught Nolan Ryan's sixth No-Hitter, 6-11-90."
  • Commentary: The problem with the 1990 Topps set is three-fold. First, there was so much of it printed out, whether in box form (the traditional white cardstock) or in retail packs (I'm sure this was an experiment...and they used grey cardstock to boot). Secondly, although it uses the regular 1990 elements, the design's color scheme was just awful and inconsistent with how the regular set worked. Kudos to Topps for putting yellow to complete "the rainbow" but the transition to red was just not necessary. Third, short of hosting the rookie cards of Dave Justice and Scott Erickson, Cecil Fielder's first Topps card as a Tiger, there really isn't much happening in this set. Heck, even Cubs cult legend Hector Villanueva couldn't save this set from being valuable. As of now, box loads of this set could be sold for pennies on the dollar, and if I had to buy this set now, I wouldn't spend more than $5.00 on it...and even that seems to be a bit too much. But I digress. John William Russell was the Phillies' first round draft pick, eventually became their regular catcher in 1986. But other than that, he wasn't really used to his full potential. He never played more than 100 games in the majors during the season (the most he appeared in was 93 that magical year in '86, when he hit .241 with 13 homers and 60 rbi's). But he did manage to play well enough in the minors that when needed in Philly, his name was on the "must call up" list. After a season in Atlanta, the backup catcher signed on with the Texas Rangers. Eventually, he would be the mentor to Texas' budding superstar, Ivan Rodriguez. But finally, something good happened to John Russell. He was entered into a unique fraternity of catchers, joining the likes of Jeff Torborg, Art Kusnyer, Tom Egan, Ellie Rodriguez, and Alan Ashby (eventually joined by Mike Stanley). What did all these players have in common? Each one of them caught one of Nolan Ryan's seven no hitters. Russell caught the sixth one on June 11, 1990 against the Oakland Athletics. It would be the first of two no-nos for Ryan as a Ranger. For his part, Russell went 1-3 with a solo home run in the second inning off of Scott Sanderson. He finished the season appearing in 68 games, hitting a good .273 with 2 home runs and 8 rbi's...and one no-hitter. And although he would appear in a grand total of 115 games over the course of his Rangers career, the game on 06/11/1990 put him in the history books. Russell retired after the 1994 season, playing in two games for the Cardinals' AAA team in Louisville and turned to coaching. He was named manager to the Pittsburgh Pirates for the 2008 season, a role he would hold until 2010.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.01-$0.05.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 7.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2003 Topps Traded and Rookies #130T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1981 Topps #666 Detroit Tigers Team Card

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, June 6, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1981 Topps #666.
  • Team: 1980 Detroit Tigers.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1980 stats: Manager Sparky Anderson, 84-78, .519 PCT., 19 GB, Fourth Place AL East.
  • Commentary: When I saw the number of today's card, I really thought, "Yes, a player who knocked the Yankees out of the playoffs." Then I saw the year and remembered, "Drat, this isn't Topps Total!" Besides, the Yankees, who finished first in the AL East were eliminated by the Royals in the ALCS (yes folks, the Royals were a very good team back then). The Tigers, on the other hand, finished in fourth place, 19 games behind the Yankees (and a half game up on Boston). But the Tigers had young stars in Alan TrammellLou Whitaker manning the middle infield (as they would all throughout the 80's and early 90's), sluggers Lance ParrishKirk Gibson, along with skipper Sparky Anderson, a nucleus was there that would in four seasons steamroller all over the AL. Parrish led the 1980 Tigers in home runs (24) while Trammell was the hitting star with an even .300 average. The Tigers ace, Jack Morris, was a workhorse at the plate, with a record of 16-15, 11 complete games, and two shutouts, even with an ERA of 4.18. Closer Aurelio Lopez anchored the bullpen with 21 saves as well as a 13-6 record and 3.77 ERA. In 1981, thanks to a strike-shortened season, the Tigers finished a combined 60-49, good for a cumulative third in the AL East. The back of the card provides team collectors a complete Tigers team checklist. There are 26 players on the list: 10 pitchers, 2 catchers, 6 outfielders, 6 infielders, and two guys (Rick Peters and Johnny Wockenfuss) who played multiple positions (the utility guys).
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1990 Topps Traded #107T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.


JayBee Anama

Random Topps Team Set of the Week: 2009 Topps Arizona Diamondbacks

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 2009 Topps eponymous set:
  • Here is a closer look at Dan Haren in his base card, but it's a different picture than what was used in the retail set:

  • Funny story about Felipe Lopez's career with the D-Backs. It was brief. He signed with Arizona on December 8, 2008 and was traded to the Brewers on July 19, 2009. He was not part of the base set, but does appear in the Updates and Highlights set as a Brewer. So if you don't know the drill by now, the only place you can get a 2009 Topps card of Felipe Lopez as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks using the 2009 Topps design, it's in the retail set. For the sake of comparison, here is Lopez' U&H card:

  • Here is Stephen Drew's base card, horizontally-oriented, which works well with the design of the card:

  • Okay, it's the same exact picture of Miguel Montero on the base card, but just off by less than an quarter of an inch or so. You can see more of the "p" in the background of his retail card:

  • Chris Young, on base in his eponymous card:

  • Eric Byrnes has a different picture on his base card compared to the retail version too:

  • Gotta love the base card of Chad Qualls...:

  • Here's Chris Snyder celebrating with teammates in the dugout on his base card:

  • And finally, Doug Davis, pitching, and depicted in a different photo than on his retail card:

So of the 14 players included in this set, seven use totally different pictures that can be found exclusively within the retail set, and one player's card (Lopez) that can only be found in this product as a member of the Diamondbacks.

Next week's featured set will be the 2010 Florida Marlins. Hope you'll be here when we compare the cards from the retail set to their counterparts found in Topps and Topps Update Series sets.


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1994 Topps Traded #92T Charlie O'Brien

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, June 12, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1994 Topps Traded #92T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Charlie O'Brien, catcher, Atlanta Braves.
  • Major League Debut: June 2, 1985.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1993 stats (Mets): 67 G, 188 AB, 15 R, 48 H, 11 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 0 SB, .378 SLG, 14 BB, 14 SO, .255 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by Athletics #5th, June 1982. Signed as a free agent with the Braves 11/27/1993. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 10. This is his eighth card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Because of his defensive genius, Charlie was hand-picked by the Braves as a back-up and mentor to super-rookie Javy Lopez."
  • Commentary: If this card looks familiar as a previous Card of the is. This is the second time that the Randomizer picked this card for today's subject. And as much as I would have loved to switch cards (using maybe the card before or after this one), I thought to honor the Randomizer's wishes and use this card again. The original post became one of the most read post on my blog thanks to an article linking my post and this card to his site (there were over 4000 hits to this humble, little blog thanks to this). To save time and agony, I'll just keep the original commentary, just changing a couple of things. Making his third appearance on the Randomizer, Charlie O'Brien, who never played more than 70 games up to this point in his career, was known more for his defense than he was for his bat. But it was what he brought to the game later on that revolutionized the catcher's position. Inspired by the goalie masks that hockey players use, he created a mask for catchers that was, yes a bit larger, but provided more protection for the man behind home plate against foul balls, against bats against the back of the head, et al. And, the view was amazing. You didn't even have to remove the mask to catch those pesky foul balls. And once it was approved by MLB to use in play, well, lets just say his mask added years to a catcher's health. At this time, the Braves had a young superstar waiting in the wings to become their primary catcher. O'Brien's signing guaranteed that a young Javy Lopez would learn from one of the better defensive catchers in the game.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 10 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be 1981 Topps #666. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1993 Topps Traded #73T Pete Incaviglia

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, June 11, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1993 Topps Traded #73T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Pete Incaviglia, outfielder, Philadelphia Phillies.
  • Major League Debut: April 8, 1986.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1992 stats (Astros): 113 G, 349 AB, 31 R, 93 H, 22 2B, 1 3B, 11 HR, 44 RBI, 2 SB, .430 SLG, 25 BB, 99 SO, .266 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Expos #1st, June 1985. Signed with the Phillies as a Free Agent 12/08/1992. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 12. This is his eleventh Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Belted 2 Home Runs and had career0best 7 RBI in 15-7 win vs. Giants, 06-14-92."
  • Commentary: After years of ensuring that the cards within Topps Traded are in numerical sequence by last name. Thus if the 1993 Topps traded retained the traditional sequential order, today's subject would have been Greg Maddux as a Brave. But instead, today's subject was one of Philly's unwashed heroes. Pete Incaviglia, the former #1 draft pick, found himself in search for a new team after a season   with the Astros. The Phillies took a chance and sign "Inky" to a one-year deal, and boy did he pay dividends. In 1993, the Phillies ran roughshod over every team in the National League, upset the Braves in the NLCS and found themselves in the World Series for the first time since 1983. For his part, "Inky" hit for a .274 average (would be a career high), 24 home runs, drove in 89 rbi's, and an OPS of .848. In the playoffs, he went a combined 3 for 19 (.158) with a solo home run in the NLCS. He played in Philly for one more season before taking his talents to Japan, playing for the Chiba Lotte Marines in the Japanese Pacific League.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 23 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1994 Topps Traded #92T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1994 here on the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

Monday, June 10, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1977 Topps #653 Diego Segui

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, June 10, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1977 Topps #653.
  • Player Name, position, team: Diego Segui, pitcher, Seattle Mariners.
  • Major League Debut: April 12, 1962.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1975 stats (Red Sox): 33 G, 71 IP, 2-5, 41 R, 38 ER, 45 SO, 43 BB, 4.82 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Redlegs as a Free Agent before the 1958 season. Contract purchased by the Mariners from the Padres 10/22/1976. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 14. This is his fourteenth and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a.
  • Commentary: Funny how baseball works. One year you pitch in the World Series with the Red Sox (the picture on this card shows today's subject wearing a jersey with the Sox' red trim although there is no logo on the batting helmet), the next you're stuck in the minors for a whole season. Such was the tale of Diego Segui's career. An established veteran pitcher with the A's (three stints), Senators, Pilots (one of the few who can lay claim to that honor), Cardinals, and Red Sox, Segui had compiled a record of 92-104 and an ERA of 3.68 with 1,207 strikeouts in more than 599 games pitched as a starter and reliever. After the '75 World Series, Segui was released by the Red Sox. Unable to find a MLB team to sign him, he signed a minor league deal with the Padres' AAA-team in Hawaii. It would be his third go-around with the Hawaii Islanders with three different organizations: the Washington Senators, the Kansas City Athletics, and now the Padres. Already a legend in the Aloha State, Segui would guide the Islanders to an incredible 11-5 record with a 3.18 ERA to go with 105 strikeouts in 147 innings of work. After the 1976 season concluded, the expansion Seattle Mariners took a chance and signed Diego to a one year deal. Rejuvenated by the return to Seattle, not only did he make the team out of spring training, he was their first ever starting pitcher. Unfortunately, the Angels spoiled Segui's homecoming, and the Mariners lost the game 7-0. Segui would finish the 1977 season with an 0-7 record, a career worst 5.69 ERA, two saves, and strikeout 91 batters in 40 games (7 were starts). Unable to find the form that once made him one of the games more unique pitchers, Segui would pitch his last season with Cordoba in the Mexican League. After retiring, he watched his son David develop into a bonafide major leaguer in his own right. The SABR BioProject has a very in-depth article about the career of Diego Segui that can be accessed here.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.30-$0.75.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 1 card.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1993 Topps Traded #73T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

Random Topps Pro Debut Card of the Week: 2010 Topps Pro Debut #358 Jurickson Profar

It's Minor League Monday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Pro Debut Card of the Week:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2010 Topps Pro Debut #358.
  • Player Name, position, team: Jurickson Profar, shortstop, Spokane Indians.
  • Level-League, Team Affiliation: Low A-Northwest League, Texas Rangers.
  • Minor League Stats (stats with team depicted only): 63 G, 252 AB, 42 R, 63 H, 19 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 8 SB, 28 BB, 46 SO, .373 SLG, .696 OPS, .250 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Rangers as a Free Agent 07/02/2009. Bats: both. Throws: right.
  • Major League Debut: September 2, 2012.
  • Baseball America Organizational Ranking After Season with Team: Texas Rangers #2 prospect after the 2010 season .
  • Blurb on the back: "Many American fans recognize Profar as a star for two tremendous Curacao teams in the Little League World Series. A BB-throwing pitcher for years, he was asked to play shortstop after signing with the Rangers in 2009. He made his pro debut in '10 for Spokane, and went 7-for-21 in his first five games."
  • Official Topps Rookie Card: 2013 Topps #286.
  • Commentary: Because Topps' first Pro Debut product came out in two series (the first 220 cards harder to find than the second group of 220, where this card resides), and because he made his MilB Debut in 2010, Topps was able to include the Rangers' top prospect into the 2010 set. Yes, his numbers don't look all that much extraordinary, even if it's against competition from the Northwest League, but consider that even before he took the field, according to Baseball America, Jurickson Barthelomeus Profar was already the Rangers' number 5 prospect after the 2009 season. And keep in mind that he was born on 02/20/1993. So when he made his pro debut in 2010, he was only...17 YEARS OLD!!! As he climbed the organizational ladder (playing with the A-South Atlantic League Hickory Crawdads in 2011 and the AA-Texas League Frisco Roughriders in 2012), his offensive numbers were getting better, and BA as the team's #1 prospect at the end of those two seasons. The Rangers decided to bring Profar up in September, 2012 - at the age of 19 - as one of their end-of-the-year call-ups. Now the Rangers have a very interesting dilemma. You see, Texas already has a superstar shortstop in Elvis Andrus. Presently, Profar is with the big league team and playing at second base because their all-star second baseman, Ian Kinsler, is on the DL. The main concern is that when Kinsler returns from the DL, somebody will have to be relegated to the bench. With two established All-Stars covering the middle infield in Arlington, is there room for Jurickson Profar on this team? Will he be moved the outfield? Will he go back to the minors to develop a bit more? Or will he be moved to another team???
Next week's featured card will be: 2012 Topps Pro Debut #5. Post will arrive at 9:00 AM CST. Hope you enjoyed this week's installment of Minor League Monday.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1973 Topps #621 Joe Ferguson

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, June 9, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1973 Topps #621.
  • Player Name, position, team: Joe Ferguson, catcher, Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Major League Debut: September 12, 1970.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1972 stats (Dodgers): 24 AB, 7 H, 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, .292 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Dodgers #8th, June 1968. Bats: right. Throws: right..
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 12. This is his second Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "On July 18, 1971 Joe hit a 9th inning Homer vs. Bucs to spoil Luke Walker's bid to become the first Pirate pitcher ever to hurl a no-hitter in Pittsburgh. Hit .400 in 10 games with Dodgers team in 1971 Arizona Instructional League."
  • Commentary: I love the silhouette that appears on the player cards in 1973 Topps. It's really the only design element used by Topps that year. After four full seasons in the minors plus three very brief cups of coffee with the Dodgers, Joseph Vance Ferguson (the player's full name appears on the back of the cards), made it onto the Dodgers' Opening Day roster as the everyday catcher for the 1973 season. When Steve Yeager was inserted into their lineup, Ferguson would play either of the corner outfield positions. By the end of the year, Joe appeared in 136 games, hit for a .263 average, hit what would eventually be a career high 25 home runs, drive in a career high 88 rbi's, and have an OPS of .839. He finished 21st in the MVP voting. He also committed 3 errors in 817 chances (.996 fielding percentage) that year as well, which should have put him in consideration for the Gold Glove award as well. By 1974, Yeager became LA's everyday backstop, and Ferguson would become his back-up. Although he was no longer the everyday catcher, Ferguson still contributed to the Dodgers cause, helping them get to the World Series in 1974 (and hitting a two-run homer in Game 2, which would be the only game LA would win that year against the Oakland A's.) In June of 1976, Ferguson and Bob Detherage were traded to Cardinals in the deal that sent Reggie Smith. After half a season in St. Louis, both Ferguson and Detherage were traded to Houston. When Joe was traded by the Astros to LA in 1978, he would spend the rest of his career in SoCal. After three plus seasons with the Dodgers, he signed with the Angels, finishing his career with the Halos in 1983. In 14 years in the majors, Joe would hit for a cumulative .240 average with 122 homers, 445 rbi's, 22 stolen bases, and an OPS of .767. On the back of his 1973 Topps card, there is a cartoon of a catcher (Ferguson) catching a basketball, with the caption "Joe once scored 40 points in a college basketball game."
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $2.00-$5.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 8.
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: 1977 Topps #653. 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.


JayBee Anama

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1989 Topps Traded #80T Larry McWilliams

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, June 8, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1989 Topps Traded #80T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Larry McWilliams, pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Major League Debut: July 17, 1978.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1988 stats (Cardinals): 42 G, 136 IP, 6-9, 64 R, 59 ER, 70 SO, 45 BB, 17 GS, 2 CG, 1 SHO, 1 SV, 3.90 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Braves #1st, June 1974. Signed with the Phillies as a Free Agent 01/30/1989. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 12. This is his twelfth and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "His first major league Two-Hitter: 9-18-81."
  • Commentary: Now this is more like it. Because the Topps Traded set was printed on white card stock (at least the sets sold at Hobby shops everywhere), you can actually read the statistics on the back a lot better than on the regular grey-stock printed cards. The pink background really helps, although the black borders still are condition sensitive. Larry McWilliams 1985 Topps card was a previous Random Card of the Day subject, so today's commentary will be a brief summary of his 1989 season. Long past his glory days with the Pirates in the early 80's, McWilliams signed with the Phillies in 1989 after a subpar year with St. Louis. In 40 games, 21 as a starter, McWilliams had a record of 2-11, 2 saves, an ERA of 4.10, 54 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.425 in 120.2 innings pitched. Needless to say, his stay in Philly was a disaster. So much so that by September 2, long after the trading deadline, McWilliams was traded to the Kansas City Royals for a player-to-be-named-later. He appeared in 8 games for KC, earning a 2-2 record, one save, 4.13 ERA, and 24 strikeouts in 32.2 innings of work. In 1990, the Royals released McWilliams after appearing in 13 games. In 8.1 innings, Larry's year ended with a high ERA of 9.72 (9 earned runs) and a WHIP of 2.280.
  • Beckett value: $0.01-$0.05.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 13 cards.
Tomorrow is Retro Sunday, the one day of the week that we feature a card from 1951-1975. The card we will feature tomorrow is: 1973 Topps #621. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.


JayBee Anama

Friday, June 7, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2011 Topps Update Series #US102 Sean Burnett

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, June 7, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2011 Topps Update Series #US102.
  • Player Name, position, team: Sean Burnett, pitcher, Washington Nationals.
  • Major League Debut: May 30, 2004.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2010 stats (Nationals): 73 G, 1-7, 63 IP, 52 H, 17 R, 15 ER, 20 BB, 62 SO, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 3 SV, 1.14 WHIP, 2.4 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Pirates #1st, June 2000. Traded by the Pirates to the Nationals 06/30/2009. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 6. This is his fifth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "The emergence of Sean as a lights-out reliever gives the Washington Nationals an additional ninth inning option to go to wiht Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard. Burnett converted his first three save chances of '11, and extended his two-year scoreless streak to 22 2/3 innings."
  • Commentary: I guess when a first round draft pick becomes a middle relief pitcher, he stops getting the attention of collectors. Why? Because although Sean Burnett made his debut in 2004 and has been a bonafide major leaguer since 2008, as of 2013, he has made only six appearances in a Topps or Topps Traded/U and H/Update Series product. Only six. And of the six, two of them were because he was a high draft pick for the Pirates in 2000. In fact, before this card was added to the Update Series set, the last time Burnett appeared on a card was in 2005 Topps! Nothing between then. It's like he fell of the face of the earth or something. Topps might as well call their Update series set, "the middle relievers and third string catchers set" because they seem to include a ton of them in these products. Okay, granted, in 2005, Burnett was injured for the entire season, and he was stranded in the Pirates minor league system in 2006 and 2007. But you'd think that a guy like Burnett would get cards on a regular basis. I guess when you're a relief pitcher for the Pirates, you don't get cards. Burnett was traded to the Nationals in a deal that sent All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan to the Bucs. In his first two years of service in DC, Sean appeared in 106 games, had a combined earned record or 2-8, 3 saves, 82 strikeouts, and an ERA of 2.44. In 2011, Burnett pitched in 69 games, earned a 5-5 record, had an ERA of 3.81, and struck out 57 batters in 56.2 innings of work. At the plate, he appeared twice, had a single and drew a walk. He also scored a run. His batting average that year was a perfect 1.000 and because his OBP and SLG numbers were the same 1.000, his OPS is a call 2.000 (in seven years, he has a combined batting average of .069, 2 hits in 29 at bats). With the Nationals adding superstar closer Rafael Soriano in the 2013 season, Burnett signed with the Angels, leaving the Nats after four very successful years.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.12-$0.30.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 6.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1989 Topps Traded #98T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

2013 Topps Update Series Sell Sheets are Live!!! And Have Been for Some Time!!!

Because I was so far behind with the Random Card of the Day posts (due to poor planning ahead on my part), in my rush to catch up, I had little to no time (or energy) to post these images when they first came out a couple of weeks ago. For consistency's sake, I am posting these now. For those who have been bombarded with previews, or for those who have been busy getting every pack of Topps Archives you can find, let me (finally) announce that for quite some time now...

the 2013 Topps Update Series sell sheets are now live!!!

Once again, the Update Series will consist of 330 cards. There is no breakdown (seems to be a disturbing trend from Topps lately that they don't provide one. I guess it's to soften the blow of the "subject to change deal.") as in previous years, but you can expect the same number of cards reserved for the following subsets:
  • 330 cards, 86 of them are accounted for based on the preliminary checklist (subject to change, of course). Sad that players like Joba Chamberlain, Mitchell Boggs, and James Russell, all relievers, have been skipped over in the eponymous set and are relegated to appear in the update set?
  • 10 "Rookie Debut" cards featuring ten rookies and what they did in his major league debut.
  • 8 Home Run Derby participants (TBD of course)
  • 5 Record Breakers/Checklists
  • 60 All-Stars (not necessarily the ones on the active roster, as we've seen in previous years).
The problem here is that unless MLB plans on increasing or decreasing the number of players on each roster, there will be 68 All-Stars on both rosters. Eight guys, possibly more, will be missing in this subset. That's misleading and not "EVERY" one will be included.

There is no checklist on which legends will appear as variations to the regular set , but I get a sinking feeling that the theme of SP cards of current players making some kind of spectacular catch or play will make their appearance here as well.

The usual rainbow of parallels make their continued run here for those who have been actively collecting them: Gold, Pink, Camo, Green, Black, Platinum, Red (Target), Blue (Walmart) Purple (Toys R Us), the printing plates, the silk collection, and to throw everybody for a loop, there will be SAPPHIRE FOIL (blue) parallel cards for all 990 cards (including series 1 and 2) that will be included in packs of Update Series. Yay!!!

The Chasing History continuity insert series concludes in Update. The set of mini cards honoring 1972 Topps cards will NOT continue in this product. It turns out that after you collect your cards from series 2, that's it. It's done. In it's place, however, will be mini cards honoring the 1971 Topps set (those wonderful black bordered beauties). Personally, I think that Topps should have just finished of the 1972 set here and use 1971 next year. But that's just me, and that's why I don't work for Topps. Three new insert sets make their debut here as well: Making their Mark (futue stars), Postseason Heroes (celebrating players and their heroic feats during the playoffs), and Franchise Forerunners (think of the Legendary Lineage and Timeless Talents insert cards from the last two years and you get the idea). The 2013 set will also feature autos and relics from the All-Star Game. And all the insert sets mentioned in this paragraph will have autos and relics to boot.

A preliminary checklist can be found here, but as repeated constantly (I can't stress it enough), it is always subject to change.

Bring on November!!!


JayBee Anama

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH104 Geoff Blum

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, June 6, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH104.
  • Player Name, position, team: Geoff Blum, third baseman, Houston Astros.
  • Major League Debut: August 9, 1999.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2008 stats (Astros): 114 G, 325 AB, 36 R, 78 H, 14 2B, 1 3B, 14 R, 53 RBI, 1 SB, 21 BB, 54 SO, .418 SLG, .705 OPS, .740 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Expos #7th, June 1994. Signed with the Astros as a Free Agent 11/19/2007. Bats: both. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 8. This is his sixth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "By shocking the Cubs on June 10 and 11, 2009, Geoff became the first Astros player sine Derek Bell in 1996 to notch game-ending hits in back-to-back games."
  • Commentary: The one thing I love about horizontally oriented cards is that the pictures, if properly utilized, can bring you so close to the action, it's almost cliché to say that it's like you're right there. Now obviously the photographer isn't really at the home plate area when this shot was taken, but it is so close, and Topps cropped it just right, that you can see the dirt coming up as Geoff Blum is sliding towards home, trying to beat the catcher's tag. You can see the pitcher just standing there (arm on the left) hoping that Blum is out. The first base umpire, albeit blurred, can still be seen in the background watching the play. The only thing you don't see? Home plate. And even that is fine, because thanks to the design element of home plate used on the lower right hand corner of the card, it's like Blum is sliding into that instead. Based from what I can see, it looks like the Pirates were visiting Minute Maid Park that night. I'm not going to take the time this time around to figure out what game this because there is no way to tell if Blum was safe or called out. The only run he scored against the Bucs at home in 2009 (if that was when this shot was even taken) occurred on June 7 and the game summary does not indicate if there was a play at the plate. Geoff Blum had been with the Astros once before, spending two seasons with Houston before he was traded away to Tampa Bay after the 2003 season. After being released by the Devil Rays in 2004, he signed on with the Padres. His stay in San Diego didn't last long in 2005 as he was traded to the White Sox in a deadline deal, just in time to help the White Sox win the 2005 World Series (he hit the eventual game winning home run in the 14th inning against (ironically enough) the Astros in Game 3. Instead of sticking around in Chicago, he re-signed with the Padres after the 2005 season (talk about your rent-a-player). Blum re-signed with the Astros after the 2007 season ended, becoming the 'Stros primary third baseman. Oddly enough, even though he played in 114 games in 2008, he did not get a card in the 2009 Topps set. Instead, he was relegated to the Updates and Highlights set. In 2009, Blum appeared in 120 games, hit for a .247 average, hit 10 home runs, drove in 49 rbi's, and committed only 3 errors in 212 total chances (.986 fielding percentage). After the Astros declined his option for the 2011 season, Geoff signed with the Diamondbacks. But after two years and a combined 40 games, the D-Backs released him in 2012. He retired as a player soon afterwards and in 2013 returned to the Astros again, this time as a color analyst.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.12-$0.30.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 14.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2011 Topps Update Series #US102. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.


JayBee Anama

Random Topps Team Set of the Week: 2008 Topps St. Louis Cardinals

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:
  • Scott Spiezio does not appear in either 2008 Topps or 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights sets. This is the only product you will find a card of him using the 2008 Topps design.
  • Ryan Ludwick did not appear in the 2008 base set, even though he appeared in 120 games for the Redbirds. He does make it into the Updates and Highlights set. Probably helps that he was an All-Star that season:

  • Yadier Molina's retail card uses the same picture as his base card, but his base card shows more of the intended shot:

  • Ditto for Braden Looper:

  • Adam Kennedy? Same thing:

  • And Brendan Ryan...ever so slightly:

So of the 14 players included in this set, only one uses a totally different picture for the retail set, and one player's card (Spiezio) can only be found in this product.

Next week's featured set will be the 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks. 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 Sets.


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Now That I'm Caught Up...

If you're still a regular reader of this humble, little blog, you'll notice that I fell behind quite a bit with the Random Card of the Day posts and have not even had time to post anything new, like:

  • the fact that the sell sheets for 2013 Topps Update Series are live
  • the fact that 2013 Topps Archives are live, and that I was debating doing the autograph set this year, but then I saw what they look like, and am not leaning towards not doing so (that may change...)
  • the fact that Topps is coming out with something called a Qubi? (I think that's the name...)
  • the fact that I have all 2013 Topps retail team sets and have not had the opportunity to OPEN THEM YET!!!
Well now that I'm caught up, I will finally get to commenting about all of the above and much more.

In the mean time, do you like the new layout for the blog? It's been five full years now since I started this one-trick pony and I thought it was time to change. After trying to figure out the best blogger layout to do so, I found what you see now. And what's even cooler is that I can change the background whenever I want. If you've seen the blog since the makeover, I've had my All-Time All-Star Teams from 2012, 1987, and 1988 as background images. As the year goes on, all the other teams I've made up in the last 25 plus years will be utilized.

So stay tuned. After I get my posts on the 2008 Topps Cardinals team set and the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, I'll get started.

Or maybe I'll fall behind and then forget everything I've written here.


JayBee Anama