Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Now This is How You Display a Complete Set of 1999 Topps Mark McGwire #220 Cards...

Not only do I enjoy reading blogs and twitter feeds (you can follow me @bdj610), but I am on Facebook as well. I don't know how, I'm guessing probably because I am a Hobby blogger, but I've been added to a lot of sports card trading groups. I guess these trading groups have replaced the old Hobby message boards (yes, there are still a lot of them out there, but each cater to their own loyal members).

These guys are crazy serious when it comes to trading and selling. Some of the mods are sticklers to the rules and if you don't follow them to the letter, your posts get deleted and you may be banned. Now although I don't do a lot of trading (send your wantlists...seriously), I do try to answer questions about cards if I can. There was a big discussion lately about why Bip Roberts was included in 2015 Stadium Club. Apparently, not too many of these Facebook guys understand the significance of Bip in the Hobby Blogging Community.

Anyway, many of these people post pictures of cards that they have for trade or for sale. Not too many grab my attention. But this one caught my eye. It made me stop what I was doing and just stare.


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on a complete set of 1999 Topps Mark McGwire Home Run Record #220 cards. All 70 cards are individually framed in a beautiful, hand-crafted oak and walnut display that measures in at 24 square feet (6 feet x 4 feet). Each card, in order, surrounds a centerpiece with the year the record was broken, McGwire's name and uniform number, and a large number "70," complete with a Rawlings bat.

Enjoy the rest of these pictures:

I had to ask the person who posted this for sale about the history of the piece.

The gentleman who is putting this item up for sale is Perry Chaney. While he didn't build the piece, he did give me the background story about how it was made. "A guy in Chicago built it. Took him 4 months. He spent $2300 on the cards in 09 (they were expensive back then). I don't know how long it took him to find the cards but had to have been awhile...When I bought it, I was regretting the purchase the whole 3 hour drive. When I seen it, my jaw hit the floor."

Quite frankly, so did mine. "The size and little details were unexpected," Chaney says.

No kidding.

Chaney is selling this incredible display, cards and all for $750.00. "The set alone would cost $600+ to put together," he says. Add the cost of the woodwork involved, and $750 looks to be a bargain.

For serious Mark McGwire collectors, this would be the penultimate piece for your collection. What better way to show your appreciation for the man who broke a record that was once thought to be impossible to break. Regardless of how you feel about the man and the feat, what Mark McGwire did in 1998 "saved baseball, so that was his (the gentleman who built this masterpiece) inspiration," concludes Chaney. Controversy aside, this is just an incredible piece of work, and if I had the money, I'd probably spend on it (but then I'd be insane enough to take the cards out and put them in my 1999 Topps binder).

If you have any questions about the piece, Perry Chaney can be reached via email (perry.chaney@gmail.com). More pictures can be found on Facebook, but you'd have to be a member of the closed Facebook group called Baseball Cards Rule to see it.

And before you question how much of a collector Chaney is, "I am one of only 3 people on the psa set registry with all 5 set variations in a average grade of 9.57." Now, I'm not a graded card aficionado, but that's one serious collection.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

And Now, Your Starting Lineups...

As announced at All-Star Media Day:

For the American League:

1. Mike Trout, LAA, cf
2. Josh Donaldson, TOR, 3b
3. Albert Pujols, LAA, 1b
4. Nelson Cruz, SEA, dh
5. Lorenzo Cain, KCR, rf
6. Adam Jones, BAL, lf
7. Salvador Perez, KCR, c
8. Jose Altuve, HOU, 2b
9. Alcides Escobar, KCR, ss

And the National League:

1. Andrew McCutchen, PIT, cf
2. Todd Frazier, CIN, 3b
3. Bryce Harper, WAS, rf
4. Paul Goldschmidt, ARI, 1b
5. Buster Posey, SFG, c
6. Anthony Rizzo, CHC, dh
7. Jhonny Peralta, STL, ss
8. Joc Pederson, LAD, lf
9. DJ LeMahieu, COL, 2b

The starting pitchers for the 86th ASG are Dallas Keuchel of the Astros and Zack Greinke of the Dodgers.

Enjoy the game everyone.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Braun Replaces Holliday on NL ASG Roster

When Matt Holliday of the Cardinals was voted as one of the starting outfielders for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game, he was on the team's disabled list with a strained right quadriceps muscle. Although he was slated to return some time this past week, Cardinals' staff decided to hold off on his return until after the All-Star Break. Because he has not yet returned to the active roster on his own team, he will not be ready to participate in next Tuesday's game.

Because he was voted to start the game next Tuesday, Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers will now take his place in the starting lineup and Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers will now take Holliday's spot on the NL All-Star Team.

Braun has returned to form as one of the Brewers' best offensive player, hitting Gardner was hitting .272 along with a team best 15 home runs (tied), 55 rbi's, 12 stolen bases (tied) and an OPS of .824. This will be Braun's sixth time as an All-Star and will join Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez Dellin Betances in Cincinnati.

So add Braun's #262 or MB-1 to your All-Star Binder (please tell me I'm not the only one doing this...AGAIN!!!)

Stay tuned for more All-Star team roster updates as they happen.


JayBee Anama

Gray and Scherzer out of the ASG, Santiago and Kershaw 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 year both starting pitchers who pitch on Sunday will participate in the festivities, just not in the game.

As soon as both Sonny Gray of the Athletics and Max Scherzer of the Nationals took the mound against the Indians and Orioles respectively, MLB has announced that they will be replaced on the active All-Star Rosters with the following pitchers.

Taking Gray's place on the AL roster is Hector Santiago, a starting pitcher from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Santiago is quietly having a very good year for the Halos, taking a 6-4 record, 2.33 ERA, 98 K's, and a 1.10 WHIP in 108.1 innings of work with him to Cincinnati. Of the five Angels in the starting rotation, Santiago has allowed the least runs and hits and is tied for the lead in strikeouts.

Santiago, a first-time All-Star, now joins fellow Angels Albert Pujols and Mike Trout on the AL roster.

Meanwhile, Scherzer's replacement is last year's reigning MVP and Cy Young winner, Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Although Kershaw's record is an 6-6), not too many people would call a 2.85 ERA, 160 strikeouts, a WHIP of 1.02 in 123 innings pitched a down year for one of the NL's best pitchers.

Kershaw, who finished third in the Final Man balloting, is a now five-time All-Star, He joins four other Dodgers to the Queen City: Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson, Yasmani Grandal, and fellow starter Zack Greinke.

Add Santiago's #664 or A-14 and Kershaw's #100 or LAD-1 to your All-Star binder.


JayBee Anama

2015 Topps Pro Debut at the Futures Game

The All-Star festivities are now in full swing and the highlight of this first day's events is the annual Futures Game.

Since the first Futures Game in 1999, 120 players who were named to either the US or World rosters have become MLB All-Stars, with 30 of them are participating in this year's All-Star Game. Eighteen players on last year's roster have already played in the majors, one of them is an All-Star this year (that would be wonderkid Kris Bryant of the Cubs).

Back to the point.

Today, the best minor leaguers from the United States take on the best prospects from around the world (Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Curacao, Germany, Nicaragua, and Taiwan to be exact). Of the 52 players (50 on active rosters, plus 2 selected players who were replaced due to injury) who were named to either team, 29 of them appear in the 2015 Topps Pro Debut set. Who made the cut?

From Team USA:
  • Mark Appel, P, Astros (#84)
  • Tyler Beede, P, Giants (#27)
  • Josh Bell, IF, Pirates (#187)
  • Michael Conforto, OF, Mets (#62)
  • J. P. Crawford, IF, Phillies (#39)
  • C. J. Edwards, P, Cubs (#126)
  • Lucas Giolito, P, Nationals (#75)
  • Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees (#159)
  • Sean Newcomb, P, Angels (#171)
  • Brandon Nimmo, OF, Mets (#86)
  • Aaron Nola, P, Phillies (#166)
  • Matt Olson, IF, Athletics (#176)
  • Alex Reyes, P, Cardinals (#195, injured)
  • Kyle Schwarber, C, Cubs (#100)
  • Trea Turner, IF, Nationals (#116)
  • Kyle Waldrop, OF, Reds (#37)
  • Nick Williams, OF, Rangers (#191)
  • Bradley Zimmer, OF, Indians (#29)

From Team World:
  • Ozhaino Albies, IF, Braves (#145)
  • Orlando Arcia, IF, Brewers (#53)
  • Jose Berrios, P, Twins (#134)
  • Rafael Devers, IF, Red Sox (#185)
  • Manuel Margot, OF, Red Sox (#8)
  • Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers (#90)
  • Raul Mondesi, IF, Royals (#19)
  • Francelis Montas, P, White Sox (#153)
  • Renato Nunez, IF, Athletics (#48)
  • Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees (#147)
  • Raimel Tapia, OF, Rockies (#70)
This is a prospector's dream with many ready to sell if their guy has a breakout game. Team USA has won the last five Futures Games, and own a 10-6 record over their World counterparts. With many of these players ranked in their respective team's top 30 prospect list, this won't be the last we hear from any of them.

Let the games begin.


JayBee Anama

Bautista and Gordon out of the ASG, Dozier and Tulowitzki Named Replacements.

Another round of player replacements were named yesterday as both Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays and Dee Gordon of the Marlins are pulling out of the game due to injuries.

With a sore shoulder bothering Blue Jays' slugger Jose Bautista, he will not be participating in the game as well. He will be replaced on the active roster by Twins second baseman Brian Dozier.

Dozier, the runner-up in the AL Final Man voting, was considered one of the biggest snubs amongst those who did not make the initial roster. But the Twins' second baseman made a huge case for himself this past week with two walk-off home runs this past week. He's hitting .259 with 19 home runs, 49 rbi's, and an OPS of .849 (leads the team in each of the last three categories). He joins Twins closer Glen Perkins on the AL team.

Gordon, who was voted onto the NL roster as the starting second baseman, dislocated his left thumb sliding headfirst into first base during the team's win over the Reds on Saturday. X-rays came back negative, with no ligament damage found. So while Gordon will be out of action for a while, The effect of the Gordon's lost won't be known for a few days, but it does affect the NL's roster. Rockies' second baseman DJ LeMahieu will now take Gordon's spot in the starting lineup, as he won the player vote. Taking Gordon's spot on the roster is another Rockies infielder, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Tulowitzki, who finished fourth in the Final Man voting and is currently on a 37-game on-base streak, is hitting .314 (team leader) with 9 home runs, 47 rbi's, and an .825 OPS. This will be his fifth All-Star game appearance and his third in a row. He joins fellow Rockies infielders LeMahieu and third baseman Nolan Arenado on the NL roster.

So add Dozier's card #'s 259 or MT-2 and Tulo's card #'s 125 or COL-1 to your binders (I'm trying to help here...)

Max Scherzer and Sonny Gray are slated to start their team's games today. Stay tuned as we learn who's taking their spots as the All-Star Game approaches.


JayBee Anama

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Responding to Comments: 5-Card Packs

I just saw this comment on an post that I wrote earlier this year regarding the 5-card packs that I bought at the Dollar Tree. The thing is that the person who left the comment did so anonymously. So instead of leaving a response on the post, I'm going to respond here so that it can be seen by whoever sent the question.

Anonymous writes:

"Do the 5-card 2014 Topps Update packs contain insert cards, or just base cards? I just bought a 60-pack gravity feed box on eBay for $39.99. I thought it was for the regular 10-card packs, but noticed later they were 5-card packs. Just wondering if I got ripped off. Thanks."

The quick answer is no, the 5-card packs you bought will not have insert cards in them. They will be all base. However, you may get some of the short-printed cards (or even a super short-printed card) in your packs.

The short prints come in three categories (in order of rarity):
Keep an eye out for them.

2014 Topps Update Series #US-245B Andrew Heaney SP

While the card is in a box somewhere near me (can't find it for some reason), I know that I pulled this one from one of the three packs I bought at the Dollar Tree last year.

Regarding as to whether or not you were ripped off? I couldn't tell you for sure. If the description on the auction didn't specify what packs were in the gravity feed, or the pictures didn't show you what kind of packs you were getting, then it's hard to say. If it was described as 10-card packs in the gravity box, the picture showed 10-card packs, and you got 5-card packs? Then yes, you were ripped off.
So go ahead and open them. You never know what you'll find. Or give them out as favors. Whatever you decide, good luck.

I hope this answers your question. If you have any more, please feel free to contact me here on this humble, little blog, or send me an email (bdj610@hotmail.com).


JayBee Anama

Moustakas and Martinez win the Final Man Vote!!!

Missouri's presence at this year's All-Star Game has increased by 2.

An incredible 111.8 million votes were tallied after the Final Man candidates were announced on Monday. Alliances were made, one guy was even taken off the balloting when he was added to the team. When all was said and done, it was the #VoteMo pairing of Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and starting pitcher Carlos Martinez of the Cardinals that won the Final Man Voting and have been added to their respective All-Star Teams.

Mike Moustakas, who was leading in the All-Star voting until the very last week, led the balloting from the very beginning, received 19.3 million votes, earning more votes than second baseman Brian Dozier of the Twins, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes of the Tigers, and shortstop Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox.

Meanwhile, Carlos Martinez had a tougher ballot to overcome. But in the end, the Tsunami won the five-day poll with 14.1 million votes, beating out a former Cy Young winner/MVP (Clayton Kershaw), a hometown hero (Johnny Cueto), Mets closer Jeurys Familia, and Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Moustakas, a first-time All-Star, is the seventh Royal player to be named to the All-Star Team and the first to win the Final Man Ballot. He joins a strong contingent of KC players, including Lorenzo Cain, Wade Davis, Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon, Kelvin Herrera, and Salvador Perez.

Martinez, also a first-time All-Star, is the second Cardinals player to win the Final Man Ballot (David Freese-2012), and now the sixth Cardinal to be named onto the NL All-Star Team, joining Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Jhonny Peralta, Trevor Rosenthal, and Michael Wacha as the St. Louis reps in the Queen City.

Both Missouri teams have the best records in their respective leagues. The state has become the hotbed of baseball in 2015 and will be proudly represented as the game's best meet this coming Tuesday.


JayBee Anama

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Gardner Replaces Gordon on AL ASG Roster

Last night, Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals was carted off the field at Kauffman Stadium after trying to make a play in the outfield. He was placed on the 15-Day DL after an MRI found he suffered "Grade 2-plus strain of his left groin." He may be out for up to 8 weeks. This is the second year in a row that Gordon was selected to the AL Team but became unable to participate (last year he sprained his wrist, and while he was not placed on the DL, as a precaution, he did not play).

Because he was voted to start the game next Tuesday, Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles will now take his place in the starting lineup. But who takes Gordon's spot on the roster?

It was announced today that Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees, a Final-Man candidate, will now take Alex Gordon's spot on the AL All-Star Team. Coming into today's action, Gardner was hitting .298 (team leader) with 9 home runs, driving in 39 rbi's, stole 15 bases (also a team best), and has an OPS of .856. This will be Gardner's first time as an All-Star and will join fellow Yankees Dellin Betances and Mark Teixeira in the Queen City

So take Gardner's card out of the Final Man Section of your All-Star Binder and move him to the main team (his card numbers are #21 or NYY-3 on the retail set).

Stay tuned for more All-Star team roster updates as they happen.


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The 2015 All-Star Rosters Have Been Announced...What Do You Think???

On Sunday, we learned who the fans voted onto the respective NL and AL All-Star Teams. For the most part, it looks like the fans picked the right players.

On Monday, the reserves, pitchers, and final man candidates were announced. Both teams were extremely well balanced, there are even more set up men going to this game than ever before, showing how important these guys are becoming in today's game. We even learned who was going to replace injured starters Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Cabrera.

So without further ado, here are the 2015 MLB All-Star Game rosters as announced on Monday night (with 2015 Topps Card # and retail team set # if applicable, for those of you playing along and putting them into your All-Star Binders):

American League Starters

1B-Miguel Cabrera, Tigersº (#200, DT-1)
2B-Jose Altuve, Astros(#620, HA-1)
3B-Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays (#5 with the Athletics, TBJ-12)
SS-Alcides Escobar, Royals (#137, KCR-4)
OF-Mike Trout, Angels (#300, A-1)
OF-Lorenzo Cain, Royals (#516, KCR-12)
OF-Alex Gordon, Royals (#456, KCR-11)
C-Salvador Perez, Royals (#39, KCR-5)
DH-Nelson Cruz, Mariners (#411, SM-17)

American League Pitchers

P-Chris Archer, Rays (#324, TBR-7)
P-Sonny Gray, Athletics (#305, OA-1)
P-Dallas Keuchel, Astros (#477, HA-16)
P-David Price, Tigers (#550, DT-16)
P-Chris Sale, White Sox (#376, CWS-10)
RP-Dellin Betances, Yankees (#532, NYY-4)
RP-Wade Davis, Royals (#454, KCR-16)
RP-Glen Perkins, Twins (#197, MT-8)
P-Felix Hernandez, Mariners (#325, SM-3, selected by MGR)
RP-Brad Boxberger, Rays (#538, selected by MGR)
RP-Zach Britton, Orioles (#190, BO-5, selected by MGR)
RP-Kelvin Herrera, Royals (selected by MGR)
RP-Darren O'Day, Orioles (#670, BO-6, selected by MGR)

American League Reserves

1B-Albert Pujols, Angels (#600, A-10, will start for Cabrera)
2B-Jason Kipnis, Indians (#221, CI-8)
3B-Manny Machado, Orioles (#136, BO-7)
SS-Jose Iglesias, Tigers (#239, DT-7)
UT-Brock Holt, Red Sox (selected by MGR)
1B-Mark Teixeira, Yankeesª (#307, NYY-11, replaces Cabrera)
OF-Jose Bautista, Blue Jays (#25, TBJ-1)
OF-Adam Jones, Orioles (#169, BO-1)
OF-J. D. Martinez, Tigers (#148, DT-5)
DH-Prince Fielder, Rangers (#422, TR-6)
C-Stephen Vogt, Athletics (#652, OA-9)
C-Russell Martin, Blue Jays (#436, TBJ-4, selected by MGR)

American League Final Man Candidates

SS-Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox (#327, BRS-6)
OF-Yoenis Cespedes, Tigers (#120 with the Red Sox, #DT-8)
2B-Brian Dozier, Twins (#259, MT-2)
OF-Brett Gardner, Yankees (#21, NYY-3)
3B-Mike Moustakas, Royals (#461, KCR-10)

National League Starters

1B-Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks (#203, AD-1)
2B-Dee Gordon, Marlins (#559, MM-14)
3B-Todd Frazier, Reds (#42, CR-5)
SS-Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals (#311, SLC-5)
OF-Bryce Harper, Nationals (#207, WN-1)
OF-Giancarlo Stanton, Marlinsº (#150, MM-1)
OF-Matt Holliday, Cardinals (#361, SLC-10)
C-Buster Posey, Giants (#275, SGF-12)

National League Pitchers

P-Gerrit Cole, Pirates (#671, PIP-15)
P-Jacob deGrom, Mets (#129, NYM-17)
P-Zack Greinke, Dodgers (#267, LAD-5)
P-Shelby Miller, Braves (#220 with the Cardinals, AB-2)
P-Max Scherzer, Nationals (#586, WN-14)
RP-Aroldis Chapman, Reds (#268, CR-9)
RP-Mark Melancon, Pirates (#124, PIP-6)
RP-Trevor Rosenthal, Cardinals (#286, SLC-6)
P-Madison Bumgarner, Giants (#20, SFG-1, selected by MGR)
P-A.J. Burnett, Pirates (#466, #PIP-2, selected by MGR)
P-Michael Wacha, Cardinals (#60, SLC-7, selected by MGR)
RP-Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies (#143, PHP-8, selected by MGR)
RP-Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers (selected by MGR)

National League Reserves

1B-Anthony Rizzo, Cubs (#47, CHC-1)
2B-DJ LeMahieu, Rockies (#438, COR-10)
3B-Nolan Arenado, Rockies (#62, COR-8)
SS-Brandon Crawford, Giants (#159, SFG-7)
1B-Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers (#328, LAD-4, selected by MGR)
2B-Joe Panik, Giants (#503, SFG-8, selected by MGR)
3B-Kris Bryant, Cubsª (#616, replaces Stanton)
OF-Andrew McCutchen, Pirates (#400, PIP-1, will start for Stanton)
OF-Joc Pederson, Dodgers (#192, LAD-9)
OF-A. J. Pollock, Diamondbacks (#572, AD-11)
OF-Justin Upton, Padres (#69 with the Braves, #SDP-6, selected by MGR)
C-Yadier Molina, Cardinals (#647, SLC-11)
C-Yasmani Grandal, Dodgers (#338 with the Padres, LAD-12, selected by MGR)

National League Final Man Candidates

SP-Johnny Cueto, Reds (#375, CR-13)
RP-Jeurys Familia, Mets (#402)
SP-Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (#100, LAD-1)
SP-Carlos Martinez, Cardinals (#527, SLC-9)
SS-Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (#125, COR-1)

º Injured, will not participate
ª Named as replacement

The rosters once again will consist of 34 active players. Each team is already at 34 players and we haven't even gotten the final man voting in yet. Why is that?

Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates will start in place of Stanton on the NL team, and Cubs wunderkind Kris Bryant will take Stanton's spot on the roster (and possibly the Home Run Derby...we'll see).

On the American League side, Albert Pujols of the Angels will start at 1st in place of Cabrera, and Mark Teixeira of the Yankees takes Cabrera's spot on the roster.

Including the players on the Final Man balloting, only three players do not have cards in the eponymous Topps set or any of the retail sets. Those players include Kelvin Herrera and Brock Holt on the AL side, and Francisco Rodriguez on the NL. Each should have cards in the expanded Update series. In the meantime, every other player has a card that at least features them on their current team as long as you count the retail sets.

As it seems to be the case these past few years, there is a lot of youth on both rosters, as well as a ton of first-time All-Stars to boot (about 26 at last count). If you look at the Final Man Nominees, all five AL candidates are hitters, (compared to five starting pitchers the year before and five relievers the year prior to that). The NL includes 4 pitchers and Tulo. How deep is the NL starting staff? I know he's having a down year, but when Clayton Kershaw is relegated to Final Man balloting, you know that if the starters on the NL roster were all on the same team, they'd be nothing short of dominant.

Chicago is well represented this year with three players between both teams (Rizzo, Bryant, Sale). Thanks to the early Royals voting surge, KC brings six players to Cincinnati, and Moustakas could be number 7 as he's on the final man ballot. The Cardinals, who have the best record in baseball, send 5 players, and a sixth, Martinez, is also on the final man ballot.

Now I didn't get a chance to hear which of the starting pitchers are scheduled to pitch for their respective teams this Sunday. The rule is in effect that if any of them are in line to pitch that day, they will have to be replaced. This is just the beginning. If history is an indicator, expect both active rosters to dramatically change by the time July 14 comes. As always, I'll make sure to help you add cards to your All-Star binders by providing card numbers for the players added onto the All-Star teams.

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

Monday, July 6, 2015

The 2015 All-Star Starters Have Been Announced...What Do You Think???

It's that time of the year again here at this humble, little blog. It's probably my favorite time of the year.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's MLB All-Star season!!! And this year, MLB decided to make things interesting.

As you probably all know, there were no paper ballots being distributed at the stadiums. Every ballot cast (over 620 million) were done electronically. Which made for very interesting ballot updates.

To wit, for the first few weeks, the AL All-Star Team starters, if there were only two weeks of balloting, would have consisted of Mike Trout...and 8 Kansas City Royals. It seems that on the heels of their unbelievable run to the AL title last year, KC fans (and fans who thought it would be a good idea to really mess things up), voted en masse (you were allowed 35 votes per LEGITIMATE email address) for their Royals heroes. Even Norichika Aoki, a former Royal who is now with the team that BEAT them in the World Series (that would be the Giants) finished fourth in the NL balloting.

Not since 1957, when Reds fans (coincidentally, this game is being played in Cincinnati) successfully voted 7 of their players onto the starting lineup. It was only because the commissioner intervened that prevented this from happening. This also ended fan voting for a long period of time.

But finally reality kicked in, and it looks like deserving players pulled through.

Back to my point.

Every year, I keep tabs on every All-Star Roster move from the time the rosters are announced until game day. I do this not only because I really REALLY love the All-Star Game, but because I also take the cards of the All-Stars from the eponymous set and put them in a special All-Star binder. This binder is not permanent (no, I do not have a separate collection of All-Star cards), and once the game is over, I put everybody back in their respective pockets within the main set. I use the cards of the players so I can keep track of who's in the game, who has already made an appearance, and who is still waiting to get in the game. In past years, managers try to get everybody in the game. But since that debacle in 2002, the games now "count," with the winning league winning home field advantage for the World Series. So now the game is played for keeps, and if a player doesn't get in because it's a close game, then, "oh well."

Now in recent years, full rosters, (starters, pitchers, reserves, and final man candidates) were announced ten days before the game. This year, the results of the voting were announced on Sunday, and the rest of the players will be announced on Monday.

So who were the big winners in the All-Star voting? Let's find out:

American League Leading Vote-Getter: Josh Donaldson of the Blue Jays

American League Starters (with 2015 Topps Card # and retail team set if applicable):
  • 1B-Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (#200, DT-1)
  • 2B-Jose Altuve, Astros(#620, HA-1)
  • 3B-Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays (#5, Athletics, TBJ-12)
  • SS-Alcides Escobar, Royals (#137, KCR-4)
  • OF-Mike Trout, Angels (#300, A-1)
  • OF-Lorenzo Cain, Royals (#516, KCR-12)
  • OF-Alex Gordon, Royals (#456, KCR-11)
  • C-Salvador Perez, Royals (#39, KCR-5)
  • DH-Nelson Cruz, Mariners (#411, SM-17)

National League Leading Vote-Getter: Bryce Harper of the Nationals

National League Starters:
  • 1B-Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks (#203, AD-1)
  • 2B-Dee Gordon, Marlins (#559, MM-14)
  • 3B-Todd Frazier, Reds (#42, CR-5)
  • SS-Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals (#311, SLC-5)
  • OF-Bryce Harper, Nationals (#207, WN-1)
  • OF-Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins (#150, MM-1)
  • OF-Matt Holliday, Cardinals (#361, SLC-10)
  • C-Buster Posey, Giants (#275, SGF-12)

Now the votes may be in, but we have a few situations. Miguel Cabrera, Giancarlo Stanton, and Matt Holliday are all currently on the DL, with Holliday scheduled to return some time this week. So for the moment, there will be injury replacements for at least two players. Who will they be?

We'll have to watch tomorrow night to find out. In the mean time, I'm going to go ahead and add these cards to my All-Star binder. Who's with me.


JayBee Anama

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Cleaning Up the Sports Card Blogroll on the Fourth of July

Its the Fourth of July!

Happy Birthday America!!!

While many of you are out celebrating our nation's birthday, my wife and daughter are at a dance competition. It's the big one, the "Nationals" where kids from all over the country get to compete after surviving a tough regional season (my daughter's was in February). So this is the culmination of hard work, practice, sacrifice, etc. Good luck sweetheart. We're rooting for you.

Anyway, what better day to celebrate for my son and me by just staying home and relaxing. Something that I haven't gotten to do in a while.

But before enjoying the rest of my afternoon, I thought that this would be about as good a time as any to clean up the Sports Card Blogroll. I can't believe that it's been seven years since I created it. So many blogs have been graced it. Maybe it's time for a makeover. We'll see what happens.

Now I know I've been really bad lately and have seemed to neglect this important duty. But something inspired me lately and I promise to be a bit more vigilant when it comes to the upkeep of my big blogroll. A few weeks a go, the Topps Company tweeted:

@toppscards: Do you read sports card blogs? If so, which ones?

Now, many twitter followers mentioned a lot of the usual suspects. Some tried for self promotion (ahem).

@bdj610: @toppscards Too many to list. Most can be found on the Sports Card Blogroll (bdj610scblogroll.blogspot.com). @nightowlcards has some that I don't

To which Topps responded:

@toppscards: @bdj610 Yep, we check that out. It's a great resource. Thanks for putting it together.

Oh wow. Topps actually has seen my blogroll? Topps actually checks it out?

No, I'm not that skinny. But you get the idea.
That's exciting news for me anyway. I thought, "if they like it that much, maybe I should clean it up more often."

So here I am.

Get ready. After the purge, I'll be adding four new blogs (I haven't forgotten you guys and gals). Let's go.

At the beginning of the clean up, the SCBR contained 321 blogs about the Hobby. Here are the ones that are being removed because they've been inactive for more than six months:

That's 41 blogs being removed from the SCBR. Well almost.

Brian Applebaum was the writer of 30-Year Old Cardboard. The blog made it's debut on August, 2008 and Brian made it his mission to post about the Hobby he loved and share it with the Hobby Blogging Community. It was a labor of love for sure as he did his best to keep his readers entertained with well written posts and pictures of the cards he received from trades or what was already in his collection.

In one of his final posts, he wrote:

For more than six years, this blog has been a big part of my life. And in that time, I have interacted with hundreds of great people who share common interests with me and dozens of people interested in taking their love for the hobby and the sport of baseball to the blogging world.

One of the most common questions I get asked is, ‘How do you do so much’? My answer is always the same – ‘This is my passion. This is my hobby. For me, baseball card collecting and blogging are linked. And the moment that blogging about my hobby feels like a chore and less like a hobby is when I will stop’.

Well, that time has come. As my personal life has gotten more and more busy with two kids in elementary school while also being very active in sports, my available time has been diminished. The task of logging in a huge stack of cards, then scanning them all, and then creating drafts for all of them, is something I used to tackle with energy and vigor. Lately, that same task has become one that I no longer have time to attack with the same energy.

Two posts later, he bid adieu. He wrote an amazing 12,268 posts on his blog. And now he is enjoying life with his two sons and thanks to an incredible diet/workout regimen, has lost a lot of weight and will now focus his energies on running (a 5K was something he mentioned in his last post).

So with that, 30 Year Old Cardboard will not be removed for good, but will be added to the Sports Card Blogroll Hall of Fame. Congratulations Brian. Good luck with everything. Sorry I missed out on saying good bye and good luck to you on your blog. I hope this makes up for it.

With 41 blogs off the active books, the SCBR now stands at 280. I am going to add four more blogs to the big blogroll shortly and then start looking for more.

As always, if you or someone you know has a blog about the Hobby of Sports Card Collecting that is not listed here, please send me an email at bdj610@hotmail.com or contact me via twitter @bdj610. If you haven't written in a while and feel that you are ready to dive back into the blogging pool, please let me know. I'll be more than happy to add your site back to the active roster.

Although I do understand that as social media evolves, blogs may become less relevant. But they're still there. There are many writers out there still passionate about the Hobby and want to share with the world their collections, their opinions, and their voices. Yours one of them?


JayBee Anama