Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Quick Lesson For Budding Set Collectors and Even For Those Who've Done This For a While...

In these economic times, I find myself buying more sets off the Bay than trying to build one from scratch. Does it make me less of a collector? No. Hoarder? Depends on who you ask (my wife has a few choice words to answer that one).

But to be honest, time is at a premium and card shows seem to come when my funds have gone to more important things (like a mortgage, bills, and groceries). So eBay (and other sites too, don't get me wrong) have been my salvation since that fateful day in 2012 (when that company decided to close shop, and put me and about 110 other people out of work).

Anyway, I just purchased the 2014 Topps Pro Debut MiLB set. I've been lucky to get my hands on this set and have all of the regular sets since Topps got the exclusive license to distribute minor league cards in 2010 season.  The 2010 edition consisted of 440 cards split into two 220-card series, and includes the minor league cards of Mike Trout, Jurickson Profar, Philippe Aumont, Brandon Belt, etc. The thing is that the first series is a lot hard to find in set form. Come to mention it, cards from this series are hard to find...period.

The 2011 edition consisted of one series of 330 cards, and includes cards of that kid in DC, Billy Hamilton, and other stars who are just now making their marks in the majors.

Since 2012, the now 220-card set has included the best prospects that will eventually make their way to the majors.

Back to the point. When I started to put the cards in the binders, I noticed that there I had some cards missing. Card #'s 65 and 183 were missing. I was starting to think that the guy that I bought this set from may have misled me. I was starting to think of what cards I may have been missing, since I never even looked at the checklist. Was Kris Bryant missing? He'd probably be the number one guy in this set? Now it may be missing??!

I kept going though, leaving the spots for card 65 and 183 open so that when I start looking for the missing cards online, I'll have space for them.

Then I got to card 220, Jorge Alfaro of the Hickory Crawdads, and noticed I had two more cards. Were these my missing cards? Nope. It turns out that while 65 and 183 are indeed missing, Topps added card #'s 221 (Jesus Galindo, Augusta GreenJackets) and 222 (Dilson Herrera, Savannah Sand Gnats). So now what to do? Should I put these guys in where the missing cards would have gone in the sheets, or should they be displayed after #220?

Best to put them after #220.

So what's the lesson? Even for a collector like me, who has been in the Hobby for more than 26 years?

Study the checklist first when it comes out. In this age of instant information, someone would have pointed out if there were cards missing on the checklist.

At least I have my 220 card set now in a binder and added to my growing collection.

Shame though. I would have loved to have a Kris Bryant card.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1976 Topps #15 George Scott

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, July 22, 2014:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1976 Topps #15.
  • Player Name, position, team: George Scott, first baseman, Milwaukee Brewers.
  • Major League Debut: April 12, 1966.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1975 stats (Brewers): 158 G, 617 AB, 86 R, 176 H, 26 2B, 4 3B, 36 HR, 109 RBI, .285 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Red Sox as a Free Agent 05/28/1962. Traded by the Red Sox to the Brewers 10/10/1971. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 15. This is his eleventh Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Has led Brewers in RBI's 4 years."
  • Commentary: George Charles Scott found his way to the Brewers when he was included in a ten-player trade with the Boston Red Sox. He left the Red Sox after six seasons which saw "Boomer" hit .260 with 105 home runs, 390 rbi's, and an OPS of .743. He would have his best year as a Brewer in 1975, as he led the American League in both homers and rbi's (36 and 109 respectively), as well as being named to his second All-Star team, and finish 8th in the MVP voting. An extremely steady fielder at first, he also won his seventh Gold Glove award, Believe it or not, the Brewers traded Scott BACK to the Red Sox after the 1976 season, where he would continue his career in Beantown for another three seasons. After a short stints with the Royals and Yankees in 1979 (he was traded to KC in June, only to be released two months later), his MLB career was over. Although skipped over by the Baseball Hall of Fame, he was inducted into the Boston Red Sox HOF in 2006. George Scott passed away on July 28, 2013. He was 69-years old.
  • Beckett value: $2.00-$5.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 8 cards.

Tomorrow's card will be: 1979 Topps #435. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1979 here on the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

Monday, July 21, 2014

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1996 Topps #114 Todd Stottlemyre

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, July 21, 2014:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1996 Topps #114.
  • Player Name, position, team: Todd Stottlemyre, pitcher, Oakland Athletics.
  • Major League Debut: April 6, 1988.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1995 stats (Athletics): 31 G, 209.2 IP, 14-7, 117 R, 106 ER, 205 SO, 80 BB, 31 GS, 2 C, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 4.55 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Blue Jays #1st (Special), June 1985. Signed with the Athletics as a Free Agent 04/11/1995. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 15. This is his tenth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "On May 20, Todd's 30th birthday, he retired 22 consecutive Royals and allowed only 6 balls out of the infield in an 11-1 win. His 10 SO's that day tied a career high but, on June 16, he whiffed 15."
  • Commentary: After seven seasons in Toronto, where he earned a 69-70 record, 4.39 ERA, 662 strikeouts, and two World Series championships in 206 games, Todd Vernon Stottlemyre took his talents to Oakland. With the strike finally over, and teams scrambling to get going after the long layover, the Athletics signed Todd to a one-year deal. While the Athletics finished in last place that year, Todd kept the A's competitive during his starts going 14-7 in 31 games. While it was Tony LaRussa's last season in Oakland, he did sign on to manage the St. Louis Cardinals. Among the players that followed the eventual Hall of Fame manager was Stottlemyre. Todd was traded to St. Louis for four players and what would be a three-year run, held down a steady job on the starting rotation. In his first year in St. Louis, Todd would earn a 14-11 record, achieve an ERA of 3.87, strike out 194 batters, and have a WHIP of 1.272 in 34 games and 223.1 innings of work. In the playoffs, he would earn the victory against the San Diego Padres in the NLDS, and split his two decisions against the eventual NL champion Atlanta Braves. His time with the Cards ended when Todd was shipped to Texas as a rent-a-player in 1998. The following year, he signed with the Diamondbacks, finishing his career with Arizona in 2002. He now spends his time as a motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and company called Team World Class.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 18 cards.

Tomorrow's card will be: 1976 Topps #15. 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 #340 Casey Coleman

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 #340.
  • Player Name, position, team: Casey Coleman, pitcher, Iowa Cubs.
  • Level-League, Team Affiliation: AAA-Pacific Coast League, Chicago Cubs.
  • Minor League Stats (stats with team depicted only): 20 G, 117.1 IP, 10-7, 63 R, 61 ER, 59 SO, 35BB, 20 GS, 2 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 1.202 WHIP, 4.07 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Chicago Cubs #15th, June 2008. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Major League Debut: August 2, 2010.
  • Baseball America Organizational Ranking After Season with Team: n/a
  • Blurb on the back: "Coleman's grandfather and father (both Joe) were selected to the AL All-Star team during their careers, and now Casey is one step away from the Majors at Triple-A Iowa. The youngest Coleman, who was the Cubs 2009 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, is a change-up specialist with polish and poise."
  • Official Topps Rookie Card: 2011 Topps Update #US307.
  • Commentary: Thanks to Joseph Casey Coleman (yes, his name is also Joe) making it to the major leagues in 2010, the Colemans are now the 4th third-generation major league family, joining the likes of the Bells, the Boones, and the Hairstons. His debut was rather unauspicious, as he was sent into his debut in mop-up duty during what was then a 10-1 shellacking of the Cubs by the Brewers. In his 2.1 innings of work, he allowed 6 runs (giving him a disastrous 23.14 ERA), but did strike out a batter. Casey would make the short trip from Des Moines to Chicago for parts of three seasons, compiling a 22-16 record with the I-Cubs while earning a 7-13 record with the C-Cubs. He was released by the Cubs organization on April 14, 2014, signing with the Kansas City Royals the following day. After a three-game trial in Omaha, the now 26-year-old Coleman was called up to Kansas City on July 2.
Next week's featured card will be: 2011 Topps Pro Debut #26. Post will arrive at 9:00 AM CST. Hope you enjoyed this week's installment of Minor League Monday.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, July 20, 2014

This is What I Get for Not Updating the Sports Card Blogroll!!!

Warning: Lots of rambling below. Bare with me. My thoughts are a bit scrambled as I post this while I'm downtown.

It's been months since I last did this, and I'm really sad.

You see, I started worrying about the popularity of Hobby Blogs as soon as I started realizing that I was neglecting my own. Correction. I started worrying about it when many of the bloggers that inspired me to begin my own journey started drifting away. Stale Gum can be found within the twitterverse, and Dinged Corners shows up too infrequently that it becomes big-time news when Patricia posts. Do many people who follow the blogs even remember Mario, Wax Heaven, and the drama that ensued?

Sure, guys like Greg (Night Owl), Gellman (SCU), and even dayf (the Cardboard Junkie) are still around, and guys and the grandfather of the Hobby blogs (The Baseball Card Blog) returned after a one-year hiatus when Ben Henry started posting again, this time with two other writers supplementing the blog.

But it seems that with all things, even the world of Sports Card blogging has evolved. It seems thata number of the Hobby bloggers have seemed to move on to other forms of social media and have either put their blogs on hiatus, or have just stopped blogging entirely. Heck, some have gone on to better (and actual) paying gigs (and if Sooz still reads this blog, congrats on the gig at Topps).

Have I lost interest in blogging? No. Have I had the time and energy that I once did when I started? Not really. Will I ever get back to devoting more time to this humble, little blog? One day, just not now.

So here I am, looking at the old Sports Card Blogroll, which also is now six years old. A lot of great blogs have seen time on the big blogroll. While some blogs have been around since the SCBR started (and then when it became the blogroll of choice for those curious about the Hobby), many have come and gone. A lot of blogs and blog writers had potential for great things, but then vanished. I would put blogs on the roll, and then within six months, they'd be gone.

But it's been a number of months since I did a through cleaning of the inactive blogs that it should not be considered an update, but an overhaul. Before the purge, there were 336 blogs on the active rolls. Here are the blogs being removed after six or more months of inactivity:

That's 28 card blogs that will be taken off the active rosters. But I did say "more on this one later" for two blogs. Let me explain.

Baseball 1977 was a blog about the cards from 1977 Topps (along with some other oddball sets from that year). As the blog was able to include posts about all 660 cards from the 1977 set, I am moving this from the active rolls to the "Retired but Relevant" section of the blogroll. 

PunkRockPaint was a blog that came out shortly after I started, but Travis' blog wasn't one of those "here is a card, let's discuss it" kind of blogs. He would take card designs from Topps' library and make his own cards. Many of them could have passed for real Topps cards. He knew which fonts to use for the lettering, he knew how to add items into existing pictures. Heck, he's even made his own card set, inspired by esteemed twitter fiend Old Hoss Radbourn and it sold. Travis is one of the other collaborators for Ben Henry's The Baseball Card Blog, which probably explains why he hasn't written anything on PRP since November. But because he was one of the best graphic card bloggers, I am adding a sixth inductee to the SCBR Hall of Fame. So congratulations Travis, as your blog will be a permanent resident of the SCBR HOF.

So the active roll is now down to 308 active blogs. I had hoped that the roster would reach 400, but I think I'd be happy if the SCBR stays at above 300. Less than that, then I'll probably start to panic a bit more.

As always, if there are any blogs out there that are focused on the Hobby of sports card collecting, please feel free to email me at, or send me a tweet (@bdj610). If you have a blog that hasn't been active in a while and you feel like diving back into the Hobby Blogging pool again, let me know. The number of voices may be down, but the community is still strong. Thank you very much.


JayBee Anama 

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1959 Topps #490 Frank Thomas

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, July 20, 2014:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1959 Topps #490.
  • Player Name, position, team: Frank Thomas, third baseman-outfielder, Cincinnati Redlegs.
  • Major League Debut: August 17, 1951.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1958 stats (Pirates): 149 G, 562 AB, 89 R, 158 H, 26 2B, 4 3B, 35 HR, 109 RBI, .281 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Pirates as a Free Agent 07/23/1947. Traded by the Pirates to the Redlegs 01/30/1959. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 10. This is his fourth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "The biggest trade of the Spring sent Frank to Cincinnati. Immediately Redleg fans contracted an ailment known as pennant fever. Frank is one of the real distance hitters and if you doubt it ask the Dodgers. He hit 7 homers in his first 8 games at Los Angeles in '58."
  • Commentary: It's funny to see the word Redlegs on a baseball card in reference to the team in Cincinnati. But then again, there is some historical significance to it. To avoid being associated to what was then the USSR and the threat of being called Communists, the Reds organization changed their name to "Redlegs" from 1954 through 1959. So before there was a slugger named Frank Thomas, who crushed the ball for a long time as a member of the White Sox (then Athletics, then Blue Jays), there was Frank Joseph Thomas, a three-time All-Star with the Pirates. In his eight seasons with Pittsburgh, Thomas hit for a respectable .275, with 163 homers, 562 rbi's, and OPS of .807 in 925 games. No wonder Redlegs' fans were excited to get him and three other players in a seven-player exchange. In his lone season with Cincinnati, Thomas hit for a .225 average, 12 home runs, and drove in 47 rbi's, not really numbers that fans and the organization were expecting from the 30-year-old Thomas. By the end of the year, would be traded to the Cubs for three players, thus beginning a tour of duty that would include stops with the Milwaukee Braves, Mets, Phillies, Astros, and Atlanta Braves. He would play for 16 seasons, finishing with a .266 average, 286 home runs, 962 rbi's, and percentages of .320/.454/.774. 
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $4.00-$8.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 2.

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: 1996 Topps #114. 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

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

And Now, Your Starting Lineups...

First of all, circumstances beyond my control prevented me to continue posting about the events and important news (like roster changes) leading up to the All-Star Game on Tuesday. However, I had the blog posts ready, and thought I had them scheduled. Apparently, I did not. With that, I apologize. This is what should have been posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2014:

As announced at All-Star Media Day:

For the National League:

1. Andrew McCutchen, PIT, cf
2. Yasiel Puig, LAD, rf
3. Troy Tulowitzki, COL, ss
4. Paul Goldschmidt, ARI, 1b
5. Giancarlo Stanton, MIA, dh
6. Aramis Ramirez, MIL, 3b
7. Chase Utley, PHI, 2b
8. Jonathan Lucroy, MIL, c
9. Carlos Gomez, MIL, lf

And the American League:

1. Derek Jeter, NYY, ss
2. Mike Trout, LAA, lf
3. Robinson Cano, SEA, 2b
4. Miguel Cabrera, DET, 1b
5. Jose Bautista, TOR, rf
6. Nelson Cruz, BAL, dh
7. Adam Jones, BAL, cf
8. Josh Donaldson, OAK, 3b
9. Salvador Perez, KCR, c

The starting pitchers for the 85th ASG are Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals and Felix Hernandez of the Mariners.

Enjoy the game everyone.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bumgarner and Ross out of the ASG, Hudson and Street Named Replacements.

As soon as I said that pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Tyson Ross would need to be replaced on the NL All-Star Team, NL Manager Mike Matheny named their replacements. And this time, he didn't have to go too far to find them. While both are now back in the west coast, both of Matheny's choices were former pitching prodigies for the Oakland Athletics.

Replacing Bumgarner on the NL squad is teammate Tim Hudson. Hudson, who joined the Giants after a successful career in Atlanta, has done well in his return to the Bay Area (he started his career in Oakland), is 7-6 with a 2.87 ERA, 78 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.10 in 18 starts. He is now a four-time All-Star, his first since 2010. He joins Hunter Pence and the aforementioned Bumgarner on the NL squad.

Tyson Ross was the Padres' lone rep when announced to what was then a 33-man roster. It was also noted by MLB Network that he was on pace to start Sunday's game against the Dodgers. With the Padres at the bottom of the offensive benchmarks (.214, 279 runs scored, 65 home runs, and an OPS of .610 in 94 games going into Sunday), the only hope to get a Padre onto the team would be a pitcher. And Matheny had no problem finding one in closer Huston Street.

Street was another player who was on top of many fans' "Snubbed" lists. Apparently having a 1-0 record, an ERA of 1.09, a WHIP of 0.76, and saving 24-25 games was not enough to make it onto the team initially. And even Street had hopes that somehow he would manage to change his travel plans from Austin, TX, to Minneapolis, MN. But now he gets to join Ross at Target Field as one of the durable arms in the NL's bullpen.

So add Street's #264 Topps card or his team set card #SDP8 and Hudson's #446 or team set card #SFG7 to the binder.

Will there be more names added to the rosters? We'll just have to wait and see.


JayBee Anama

Cueto and Teheran out of the ASG, Simon and Clippard Named Replacements.

Here is the wording set in the 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the MLB Player's Association regarding All-Star pitchers who start on the Sunday before the ASG:

"A pitcher who starts on the Sunday before the All-Star Game may elect not to participate and, if he does, would be limited to one inning and may set a pitch limit."

This explains why in last year's game that Travis Wood, the Cubs sole representative, was not replaced on the NL team. He didn't pitch, but it seems that he would have made himself available if it became necessary.

While there will be more names for replacements coming (both Madison Bumgarner and Tyson Ross were the starting pitchers in their ballgames), earlier in the day, both Johnny Cueto and Julio Teheran started their games against the Pirates and Cubs respectively. Their replacements have already been named.

Taking Cueto's place on the NL roster is teammate Alfredo Simon. Simon was another one of the snubs when the initial roster was announced. And he had a good case going for him. He is among the MLB leaders in wins, thanks to a 12-3 record, a 2.70 ERA, 75 strikeouts and 1.05 WHIP in 18 starts. His is a good story as he was just a temporary starter with Mat Latos out. But he performed so well that he became a mainstay on the Reds' starting rotation.

The Reds are well represented with the addition of Simon, who now joins Cueto, closer Aroldis Chapman, catcher Devin Mesorasco, and third baseman Todd Frazier to Minnesota.

Meanwhile, with Jordan Zimmermann out because of injury, there was a fear that no Nationals would represent the National League in Minnesota. That has now been avoided. With Teheran taking the mound against the Cubs today, reliever Tyler Clippard, an All-Star in 2011 who took the W that night, was named his replacement.

Clippard, who previously held the closer's role for the Nats but is now one of the team's most valuable middle relievers, has a 6-2 record and one save, with a 2.03 ERA, 53 strikeouts, a WHIP of 1.23 in 40 innings of work.

While Zimmermann will get the accolades that come with being an All-Star, Clippard will go to the Twin Cities, representing our nation's capital city.

Add Simon's #21 (no team card) and Clippard's #574 or WAS10 to your All-Star binder.

Stay tuned as the replacements for Ross and Bumgarner will be announced shortly.


JayBee Anama

Rodney Replaces Price on AL ASG Roster

Two years ago, these two teammates took part in the 2012 All-Star Game. This time, one replaces the other.

David Price was scheduled to start on Saturday, but fell ill, and his start was moved to Sunday. That brought out the "Sunday Starter Rule" and with Price deciding that he did not want to take a chance and pitch on one day's rest, a replacement had to be named.

Enter former teammate, 2012 AL Comeback Player of the Year, presently the AL's 2014 league leader in saves, and present Mariners closer Fernando Rodney. Rodney received the phone call from John Farrell that he was now added to the All-Star team to take Price' place.

The Mariners are in a bit of a resurgence thanks in part to Rodney at the back end of the bullpen. In 38 appearances, Rodney has earned a 1-3 record with a 1.98 ERA, 28 saves, 42 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.13, while holding opposing batters to a minuscule .220 average.

Rodney's 2014 Topps card is #497. He has no retail card in the team set.

With a number of All-Stars slated to start the last game before the All-Star Break, get ready for more roster shuffling. And of course, this humble, little blog will let you know who and what cards to get for your All-Star binders.


JayBee Anama

Martinez and Zimmermann out of the ASG, Kinsler and Alvarez Named Replacements.

Since the announcement of the All-Star Teams, Tigers' designated hitter Victor Martinez has not appeared in one game for the Detroit due to a strained lower right side. And while he was not placed on the DL, it was decided that he would not take part in the All-Star Game. He'll still go to Minnesota though to take in the festivities, but he will be bringing an extra teammate as Ian Kinsler, the Tigers' second baseman, was named as his replacement on the 34-man roster.

Kinsler, who was considered one of the biggest snubs amongst those who did not make the initial roster, is hitting .307 with 11 home runs, 51 rbi's, and has percentages of .340/.475/.815. Along with Martinez, Kinsler, now a four-time All-Star, joins fellow Tigers' first baseman Miguel Cabrera, and pitcher Max Scherzer among the AL contingent.

For the second year in a row, Jordan Zimmermann was named an All-Star. That's something worth mentioning. The bad news is that for the second year in a row, he is injured and while will most likely be taking part in all of the festivities that come with being an All-Star, he will not be able to participate in the game itself.

Last year, Zimmermann (not to be confused with the Nat's long-time Ryan Zimmerman - one "n") was on the shelf with tightness in his neck. This time around, it's biceps cramps that will keep the Nat's star pitcher out of the game. Taking his spot on the NL roster will be Marlins starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez.

The man with two last names has taken the helm as the staff ace once Jose Fernandez, 2013's NL Rookie of the Year, was shut down due to Tommy John surgery. Alvarez is 6-4 with a 2.63 ERA and leads the NL with 3 shutouts. Until a 7-1 loss to the Mets on Friday, the Marlins had won Alvarez' 10 most recent starts. Now a first-time All-Star, he joins fellow Marlin Giancarlo Stanton on the NL roster.

So add Kinsler's card #'s 534 or DET7 and Alvarez' card #'s 241 or MIA12 to your binders (I'm trying to help here...)

More news to come. Something about the AL's saves leader finally joining his league's All-Star Team.


JayBee Anama

Friday, July 11, 2014

Montero Replaces Molina on NL ASG Roster

Cardinals' fans were disheartened to learn that their superstar catcher, Yadier Molina, would now miss 8-12 weeks of the season due to a ligament tear in his right thumb. Voted as a starter in this Tuesday's All-Star Game, he now will have to watch the game from the dugout as he will miss the game. This now means that both of the fan-voted starters at catcher are off the official 34-man rosters.

Brewers' catcher Jonathan Lucroy will now take Molina's spot in the starting lineup, the third Brewer (with Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Gomez) to do so. Taking Molina's spot on the roster is Diamondbacks' catcher Miguel Montero.

Montero, now a two-time All-Star, is presently batting .265 with 11 home runs, 52 rbi's, and 33 walks. He joins fellow D-Back Paul Goldschmidt on the NL All-Star Team.

So switch out Molina's card with Lucroy's, and add Montero's card #287 or his retail card #ARI6 to your All-Star album. Remember, if there is any more roster shuffling before the big game next week, we'll help you figure out who's on the team. Stay tuned.


JayBee Anama

Sale and Rizzo win the Final Man Vote!!!

Maybe when the final man ballots were announced, and teams paired up together to try and get both of their boys onto the rosters (think Bran-Torino in 2009), that the two Chicago teams should have joined forces instead of pairing with the Nationals (White Sox) and Tigers (Cubs).

The final vote count reached a combination of 52.5 millions of votes, and tweets. When all was said and done, starting pitcher Chris Sale of the White Sox and first baseman Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs won the Final Man Voting and have been added to their respective All-Star Teams.

Chris Sale seemed to have led the balloting from the very beginning, earning 6.7 million votes, besting his fellow starting rivals Garrett Richards of the Angels, Rick Porcello of the Tigers, Corey Kluber of the Indians, and Dallas Keuchel of the Astros.

Meanwhile, Rizzo faced an uphill battle and two rivals with international followings. Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau, a former Twin, not only had the sentimental support (imagine him returning to the place he called home for so many years), but as a Canadian, had an entire North American country behind him. Casey McGehee of the Marlins spent some time in Japan, and found big-time success in the Orient. So not only did Japan have his back, so did Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka. And Morneau even had the lead heading into Wednesday, before Rizzo passed him. By the time the dust settled, Rizzo received 8.8 million votes, tweets, and a ticket to Minnesota.

Sale, now a third-time All-Star, is the fourth White Sox player to be named to the All-Star Team thanks to the Final Man Ballot (Paul Konerko-2011, A.J. Pierzynski-2006, and Scott Podsednik-2005 being the others). He joins rookie wunderkind Jose Abreu and veteran shortstop Alexei Ramirez onto the team.

Rizzo, a first-time All-Star, is the first Cubs player to win the Final Man Ballot, and now the second/third Cub to be named onto the NL All-Star Team, joining Starlin Castro and now-Oakland A's pitcher Jeff Samardzija in the Twin Cities.

For the first time in a long-time, the All-Star Game has a very strong Chicago contingent. Even though the teams on both sides of town have had rough seasons, at least there is something to watch come Tuesday afternoon for Chicago baseball fans.


JayBee Anama

Aybar Replaces Gordon on AL ASG Roster

While baseball fans around the world were busy voting, tweeting, and hash-tagging on the last day of Final Man voting (I'll get to this in a separate post), Alex Gordon of the Royals sprained his right wrist. While he is not being placed on the 15-Day DL, it has been decided that he will not participate in the All-Star Game, as well as not playing in a key 4-game series against the divisional rival Tigers. Taking his spot on the All-Star team is Angels' shortstop Erick Aybar.

Coming into today's action, Aybar is hitting at a .282 clip, with 6 home runs, 48 rbi's (which leads AL shortstops), 11 stolen bases, and percentages of .319/.415/.714. The long-time Angel shortstop makes his first trip to the All-Star Game, is the first Halo's shortstop since Gary DiSarcina (1995), the fourth Dominican-born Angels All-Star (Ervin Santana, Bartolo Colon, and Vladimir Guerrero the others), and will join fellow Angel Mike Trout in Minneapolis.

For those keeping up their All-Star binders, Aybar's eponymous Topps card is #369, and his retail team set card is #LAA14.

More news to come, especially since Yadier Molina of the Cardinals will now be out for 8-12 weeks.


JayBee Anama

Thursday, July 10, 2014

#VoteRizzo And Now a Friendly Reminder #VoteRizzo

What are you all waiting for??! The Final Man Voting ends at 3:00 CST. From now until then, go on Twitter, and every time you post, make sure you use the hashtag #VoteRizzo. It doesn't matter what your post is about, just type in #VoteRizzo at the end. Every #VoteRizzo is another vote to get the most deserving NL player among the five final vote nominees onto the 34-man NL All-Star Team!

Get to it!!!


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Uehara Replaces Tanaka on AL ASG Roster

On Sunday, Masahiro Tanaka, the biggest name in the free agent market during the offseason, was named to the AL All-Star team. However, because he was in line to pitch on Sunday, he would have to be replaced by another due to the "No Sunday Starters" rule. Well, the good news is that he won't be pitching on Sunday after all. The bad news is that he was just placed on the 15 Day DL due to inflammation in his right elbow. While he's recuperating, fellow countryman, and Boston Red Sox closer Koji Uehara was named as his replacement by AL Manager John Farrell and MLB.

Uehara has earned a 4-2 record, a nice 1.30 ERA, and 18 saves in 40 appearances. He also has struck out 52 batters in 41.2 innings of work. He was an eight-time All-Star in Japan, and this is the first time he's been named an All-Star in MLB. He joins fellow pitcher Jon Lester on the AL squad.

Uehara's 2014 Topps card is #426, and from the retail exclusive team set, his card is #BOS7.

Stay tuned as this humble, little blog switches gears to All-Star Game roster information, along with relevant Topps card numbers for your All-Star binder (please tell me I'm not the only one who's doing this).


JayBee Anama

Monday, July 7, 2014

Seager Replaces Encarnacion on AL ASG Roster

Just before the announcements for the All-Star Rosters were made, Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays strained his right quadriceps running to first base in the first inning of the Blue Jays/Athletics game. To replace Encarnacion, AL All-Star Team Manager John Farrell has added Mariners' third baseman Kyle Seager to the roster.

Seagar begins the week with a .274 average, 13 home runs, 59 runs driven in, and a .483 slugging percentage. He was named the M's Most Valuable Player by the Seattle BBWAA for the last two seasons. It will be Kyle's first time as an All-Star and he joins second baseman Robinson Cano and pitcher Felix Hernandez on the AL squad.

For those adding cards to your All-Star Game binder ('re NOT??!), Seager's 2014 Topps card is #73, and from the retail exclusive team set, his card is #SEA3.

More players will inevitably have to be replaced on these rosters, so stay tuned.


JayBee Anama

2014 Topps Allen & Ginter's Checklist is Live. So Who Else is in This Set?

Since 2006, Topps Allen & Ginter's World Champions sets featured not only baseball players, but in tribute to the original 1886 product, it included historical subjects, world champions from various sports and events, actors/actresses, broadcasters, even inventions (like the revolving door) and places (Area 51).

After the first couple of years, when Topps included champions like the guy with the air guitar champion (really), to the world record card stacker, to the guys who conquered Donkey Kong and Pac Man, as well as Hobby Bloggers who cracked the Ginter Code (no one's cracked the last one...maybe everyone stopped caring about that poor guy floating through time). But I felt that in recent years, that they were really stretching for champions to include in the set.

This year's edition is coming out this week. As usual, it is a 350-card set, 50 cards are going to be short-printed. But after going through the checklist, there are 47-non baseball subjects amongst the current and retired players scattered within the set? They range from businessmen to actors, from comedians to broadcasters. Yes there are some sports champions too. But check out the list of people who are in this set, and ask yourself...


I swear, for some of these people, I had to look them up to see what they've done. Shows that I don't pay much as much attention to pop culture as I used to:

  • 287 Chuck Zito, Actor (Carlito's Way, Sons of Anarchy)
  • 119 Felicia Day, Actress (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Red: Werewolf Hunter)
  • 70 Dr. James Andrews, Surgeon (helped to continue the careers of many injured athletes)
  • 259 Jim Calhoun, Basketball Coach (former coach of the UConn men's basketball team)
  • 283 Gar Ryness, Batting Stance Guy (Internet sensation who's major talent is copying the stances of baseball players)
  • 241 Dave Portnoy, Blogger (Barstool Sports)
  • 267 Kevin Clancy, Blogger (Barstool Sports)
  • 211 Mark Roth, Bowler (PBA Hall of Famer)
  • 118 Adam Schefter, Broadcaster (ESPN-NFL)
  • 164 Jenny Dell, Broadcaster (CBS Sports-NFL)
  • 262 Mike Pereira, Broadcaster (former VP of Officiating-NFL)
  • 81 Larry King, Broadcaster (legendary interviewer at CNN, now with RT America News)
  • 89 Chuck Todd, Broadcaster (NBC Chief White House Correspondent)
  • 28 Bill Rancic, Businessman (winner of the first "The Apprentice," works with the Trump Organization)
  • 22 Michael Eisner, Businessman (former CEO of Disney, now runs the Tornante Group. Along with Madison Dearborn Partners, purchased The Topps Company in 2007).
  • 265 Sam Calagione, Businessman (founder of Dogfish Head Brewery)
  • 210 Anthony Bourdain, Chef, Author, and World Traveler (No Reservations, Off Limits, Layover)
  • 216 Matt Besser, Comedian/Actor (Upright Citizens Brigade)
  • 238 Bert Kreischer, Comedian/Actor (Travel Channel's Bert The Conqueror, and host of Flip Trip)
  • 30 Judah Friedlander, Comedian/Actor (30 Rock)
  • 276 Samantha Briggs, Fitness Champion (CrossFit Champ, "Fittest Woman on Earth")
  • 273 Danielle Kang, Golfer (2-time US Women's Amateur Champion, LGPA Tour)
  • 254 Maria Gabriela Isler, Miss Universe (Venezuela, won 2013 Miss Universe)
  • 112 Erin Brady, Miss USA (Connecticut, won 2013 Miss USA, represented country in 2013 Miss Universe)
  • 23 Snoop Lion, Musician (aka Snoop Dogg)
  • 180 Ryan Riess, Poker Champion (won the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event)
  • 224 Tanner Foust, Racecar Driver (X-Games racing champion, hosts American version of BBC hit Top Gear)
  • 125 Glen Waggoner, Rotisserie Baseball Co-Creator (for you fantasy baseball guys, thank him and others for creating this segment of the baseball fandom)
  • 160 Daniel Okrent, Rotisserie Baseball Co-Creator (ditto for this guy...and about six other guys as well)
  • 153 The Iron Sheik, Pro Wrestler (WWE)
  • 214 Carli Lloyd, Soccer Player (two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, plays for the Western New York Flash in the NWSL...not to be confused with the volleyball player of the same name)
  • 213 Allyson Felix, Sprinter (won the 2012 gold medal in 200 Meters at the London Olympics, medaled in 100 meters and 400 meters, as well as various women's relay teams)
  • 6 Laura Phelps Sweatt, Powerlifter (record breaking powerlifter, can bench press over 700 lbs)
  • 62 Diana Nyad, Long-distance swimmer (recently swam from Cuba to Florida at the age of 64)
  • 95 Austin Wierschke, Texting Champion (17-year-old "Fastest Texter in the World")
  • 176 Anthony Robles, Wrestler (2010-11 NCAA Wrestling champ 125-lbs)
  • 188 Jordan Oliver, Wrestler (Schalles Award winer 2012, Oklahoma State University)
  • 191 Jordan Burroughs, Wrestler (Olympic and World champion in freestyle wrestling)
  • 271 Chuck Klosterman, Writer (columnist for Esquire Magazine and
  • 152 Vince Gilligan, Writer/Director (credits include Breaking Bad and The X-Files)
  • 52 Kevin Smith, Writer/Director (Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob, Dogma)
  • 88 Buffalo Bill Cody (Wild West Legend)
  • 46 John L. Sullivan (bare-knuckle boxing champion)
  • 100 Queen Victoria (Queen of England from 1837-1901)243 Hellen Keller (blind and deaf since birth, became a renowned writer, and inspiration for The Miracle Worker)
  • 302 Polar Vortex (if you survived this past winter, you know exactly what this is)
  • 341 Barbed Wire (invented and patented in 1864)
Couple of liner notes:
  • Mr. Eisner finally has his Topps card (unlike that other company's sour grapes attempt in 2007)
  • Bert the Conqueror and Anthony Bourdain join Adam Richman as reps for the Travel Channel. Hopefully next year, they'll have the Ghost Adventures Crew.
  • Nothing against the "Bloggers," but until today, I've never heard of Barstool Sports. Hey Topps, how about putting some of the Hobby Bloggers on future sets, and I don't just mean the Ginter Code Champs?
  • I get the athletic/competitive champions, but I think they're really stretching on the broadcasters and actors. None of the broadcasters cover MLB (maybe Dell when she was with NESN). And Chuck Todd??!
Looking forward to the Hellen Keller card though when my master set comes in next week (or so).


JayBee Anama

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The 2014 All-Star Rosters Have Been Announced...What Do You Think???

Sorry for not posting for a while. Major conversion happening at work, so I've been busy. But that does not mean I've not paid attention to the game, not made some big purchases (I finally have my hands on the 2014 Topps Pro Debut set and got a heck-of-a-deal on a pre-sale for a full-size master set of this year's Allen & Ginter's product), and I most certainly did NOT forget that the All-Star Game is coming up.

Today, is one of my favorite days of the baseball season, the day that the rosters for the All-Star Game are announced. This time, the rosters were officially named in the evening (6:00 pm CST), so I made sure that the TV was mine and that I was by a computer to start typing the names as they were announced. Yes, I'm a geek, and soon, you'll know why.

The MLB All-Star Game rosters as announced tonight:

American League Starters (with 2014 Topps Card # and retail team set if applicable.)

American League Leading Vote-Getter: Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays

1B-Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (#323, DET2)
2B-Robinson Cano, Mariners (#500, SEA12)
3B-Josh Donaldson, Athletics (#134, OAK8)
SS-Derek Jeter, Yankees (#134, NYY1)
OF-Jose Bautista, Blue Jays (#323, TOR2)
OF-Adam Jones, Orioles (#398, BAL1)
OF-Mike Trout, Angels (#1, LAA1)
C-Matt Wieters, Oriolesº
DH-Nelson Cruz, Orioles (#453)

American League Pitchers

P-Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays (#30, TOR14)
P-Yu Darvish, Rangers (#300, TEX1)
P-Felix Hernandez, Mariners (#401, SEA1)
P-Scott Kazmir, Athletics (#371, OAK3)
P-Jon Lester, Red Sox (#258, BOS4, selected by MGR)
P-David Price, Rays (#489, TAM2, selected by MGR)
P-Max Scherzer, Tigers (#297, DET4, selected by MGR)
P-Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees (#661)
RP-Dellin Betances, Yankees
RP-Sean Doolittle, Athletics (#226, OAK9)
RP-Greg Holland, Royals (#617, KCR14)
RP-Glen Perkins, Twins (#492, MIN11)

American League Reserves

1B-Jose Abreu, White Sox (#496)
1B-Brandon Moss, Athletics (#471, OAK15, selected by MGR)
2B-Jose Altuve (#210, HOU1)
3B-Adrian Beltre, Rangers (#161, TEX2)
SS-Alexei Ramirez, White Sox (#308, CHW9)
OF-Michael Brantley, Indians (#261, CLE10)
OF-Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics (#14, OAK1)
OF-Alex Gordon, Royals (#97, KCR2)
C-Derek Norris, Athletics (#346, OAK11, selected by MGR)
C-Salvador Perez, Royalsª (#655, KCR13)
C-Kurt Suzuki, Twins (#104, MIN13, selected by MGR)
DH-Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays (#98, TOR4, selected by MGR)
DH-Victor Martinez, Tigers (#31, DET13)

American League Final Man Candidates

P-Dallas Keuchel, Astros (#482, HOU15)
P-Corey Kluber, Indians (#279, CLE3)
P-Rick Porcello, Tigers (#384, DET8)
P-Garrett Richards, Angels (#306, LAA9)
P-Chris Sale, White Sox (#148, CHW1)

National League Starters

National League Leading Vote-Getter: Troy Tulowtizki of the Rockies

1B-Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks (#15, ARI1)
2B-Chase Utley, Phillies (#502, PHI6)
3B-Aramis Ramirez, Brewers (#560, MIL6)
SS-Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (#25, COL2)
OF-Carlos Gomez, Brewers (#302, MIL2)
OF-Andrew McCutchen, Pirates (#150, PIT1)
OF-Yasiel Puig, Dodgers (#331, LAD7)
C-Yadier Molina, Cardinals (#57, STL7)

National League Pitchers

P-Madison Bumgarner, Giants (#537, SFG4)
P-Johnny Cueto, Reds (#16, CIN3)
P-Zack Greinke, Dodgers (#142, LAD9, selected by MGR)
P-Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (#400, LAD3)
P-Tyson Ross, Padres (#87, SDP12, selected by MGR)
P-Jeff Samardzija, Cubs/Athleticsⁿ (#239, CHC9)
P-Julio Teheran, Braves (#288, ATL14, selected by MGR)
P-Adam Wainwright, Cardinals (#50, STL2)
P-Jordan Zimmermann, Nationalsª (#107, WAS5)
RP-Aroldis Chapman, Reds (#396, CIN2)
RP-Craig Kimbrel, Braves (#46, ATL1)
RP-Pat Neshek, Cardinals (selected by MGR)
RP-Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers
RP-Tony Watson, Pirates (selected by MGR)

National League Reserves

1B-Freddie Freeman, Braves (#579, ATL9)
2B-Dee Gordon, Dodgers (#587)
2B-Daniel Murphy (#155, NYM5, selected by MGR)
3B-Matt Carpenter, Cardinals (#44, STL9, selected by MGR)
3B-Todd Frazier, Reds (#580, CIN11)
SS-Starlin Castro, Cubs (#603, CHC2)
OF-Charlie Blackmon, Rockies (#20, COL6)
OF-Josh Harrison, Pirates (selected by MGR)
OF-Hunter Pence, Giants (#412, SFG14)
OF-Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins (#217, MIA1)
C-Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers (#285, MIL12)
C-Devin Mesoraco, Reds (#393, CIN15)

National League Final Man Candidates

3B-Casey McGehee, Marlins (#340, MIA6)
1B-Justin Morneau, Rockies (#465, COL13)
2B-Anthony Rendon, Nationals (#521, WAS16)
1B-Anthony Rizzo, Cubs (#71, CHC1)
OF-Justin Upton, Braves (#229, ATL2)

º Injured, will not participate
ºº Elected not to participate
ª Named as replacement
ⁿ Selected by player vote, but was traded to AL

If you notice, not counting those injured, there will be two 34-man rosters here (including the Final Man winners).

Including the players on the Final Man balloting, six players do not have any cards from either the eponymous Topps set or the retail sets. This year, they include All-Stars Dellin Betances of the Yankees, Pat Neshek of the Cardinals, Francisco Rodriguez of the Brewers, Tony Watson of the Pirates (I swear, relief pitchers do not get the Hobby love...and they're becoming more important to the game now more than ever), Josh Harrison of the Pirates (okay, maybe the Pirates don't get the Hobby love that they deserve), and Matt "I'm-Never-Going-to-Sign-a-Topps-Contract-Ever" Wieters. Just as well, he was elected to start, but is injured and unable to play. Salvador Perez of the Royals, who won the player vote, will take his spot in the starting lineup. The remaining five should be getting cards in the Update series in one way or another. To alleviate their slights, I will be using the team's stadium cards to fill-in for them (found only in the team retail sets although that would be hard with two Pirates without cards...I don't have two PNC Park cards).

For the first time since Carlos Beltran in 2004 (the Royals outfielder was named to the 2004 AL team, but was traded to the NL Astros before the All-Star Break), a player who was traded away from the team he was to represent made it to the All-Star Game. Maybe the Cubs should have waited until after the ASG to trade Jeff Samardzija to Oakland (does this give the Athletics seven All-Stars, or do the Cubs have two), but even with the less-than-stellar run support, and an extremely bad (on paper) won-loss record, the players voted "Shark" (really, when did he start getting called by this nickname?) as one of the five SP's to the NL roster. However, now that he's in the American League, he is no longer "eligible" for the game. He will still get the benefits that come with being named an All-Star, but he most likely will be suiting up with the rest of the guys on the A's. With Jeff now off the team (technically, he still represents the Cubs), Jordan Zimmermann (who was sixth in the player voting) takes his place.

Lots of youth on both rosters. And a ton of first-time All-Stars to boot (about 25 at last count). If you look at the Final Man Nominees, all five AL candidates are starting pitchers (compared to five relievers the year before). Both Chicago teams have a guy on the final man ballot. I've already done my part, I hope by voting for both Sale and Rizzo. Once again, teams are starting to pair up (Cleveland Rox anyone??!) I have already implored whatever Chicago baseball fans I can reach (which is not a lot, let me tell you) to put aside their differences and get both of our boys to the All-Star Game.

After watching the hour-long program on ESPN, I turned over to the MLB Network for the analysis. One of the more interesting tidbits I found was that four All-Stars are presently slated to start on the last day before the break (July 13). Now the rule for pitchers is that if they are set to pitch on the last day before the All-Star break, they become ineligible to appear in the game. They still get to participate in the All-Star festivities, are still officially All-Stars, but just won't play. If that is the case, then Masahiro Tanaka (Yankees), Madison Bumgarner (Giants), Johnny Cueto (Reds), and Tyson Ross (Padres), are presently ineligible to participate in the game, and may need replacements. Now, unlike last year when Adam Wainwright begged to be moved to the final Sunday start to avoid playing in the game, there is no word yet if anyone plans on doing the same.

So now that we know the players, I am getting my All-Star binder out and will begin the fun process of putting the cards of the All-Stars/Final Man Candidates into it. I do this every year (what, don't YOU??!) I'll probably be adding to it between now and July 15, and I'll make sure to make note of every roster replacement here.

Let's hear the answers to these questions:

Who do you think should have been chosen that wasn't (not even for the Final Man ballot)?

Of the players selected, who shouldn't be going to the game?

Were the guys you wanted from your team chosen?

If not, then who should have represented your team?

Let the debates begin.


JayBee Anama