Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Surprise Halloween Mailday

I'm taking a bit of a work break (I also have my articles lined up for my end-of-the-year All-Star teams, but it's too busy workwise to post, but I'll get there) because I received something in the mail directly from the Topps Company.

Allow me to explain.

As you know, my last post on this humble, little blog, was a call to get as many Dummy Hoy and Curtis Pride cards from 2015 Topps Update Series Pride and Perseverance set. As soon as it was announced that Hoy and Pride were going to be added to this set, I sent word to a couple of people who I thought would be interested in this.

Among them is Steven Sandy, a researcher who has been one of the main proponents in getting William Hoy enshrined into Baseball's Hall of Fame. Sandy said that he had tried to get Topps to do a set of cards on Deaf players and was surprised that they would include Hoy in the Update Series. After expressing his opinion that Topps should have added more Deaf players into the set, I explained to him that he's only there as part of an insert set, and not the base set (did I forget to mention that Mr. Sandy is Deaf?) I did suggest he come up with a series of cards featuring Deaf players, something he's wanted to do for some time. Maybe get together with Gallaudet University? Who knows. Can't wait to see what he comes up with.

Anyway, my tweets reached every Hobby blogger's favorite Topps employee, Susan Lulgjuraj, aka Sooz, former Becket sports editor, also a SCBR Hobby Blog Hall of Famer (A Cardboard Problem for those who weren't aware that she wrote a blog before joining Team Topps). After asking me to DM my address to her, she said she'd send something my way.

Well, it's Halloween. And it looks like I got a treat:

Let's see what's inside, shall we?

It's a complete set of Pride and Perseverance!!!

Whoa!!! This is an awesome surprise.

This set has been getting a lot of positive press from sources outside the Hobby media since Update Series came out a couple of weeks ago. Very interesting story on how this set was conceptualized. You can check here or here, but it looks like in 2014, "the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) proposed a special card series, featuring players with disabilities, within Topps' 2015 set." And Topps did well with this set.

A brief summary of what obstacle (disease, disability, Deafness) each person overcame to achieve their dreams of reaching the Major Leagues is included on the back of each card. How cool would it be for a kid, or the parent of a child, with similar circumstances to open a pack of cards and see that even baseball players had their own adversities as well?

Sooz, thank you so much for the cards. This definitely was one of the best things I've received in the mail in quite some time.


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

WANTED: 2015 Topps Update Series Pride and Perserverance #PP11 Dummy Hoy

This is a call to anyone who still reads this humble, little blog, and are planning on buying packs, boxes, or lots of 2015 Topps Update Series:


I will take as many copies of this card as I can get! Tell me what it would take for me to get one if you find it in amongst your packs. Would prefer to trade than buy, but will buy if the price is reasonable enough.

William Ellsworth "Dummy" Hoy was a Deaf baseball player in the late 19th Century - early 20th Century. It is said that he was the main reason why umpires signal balls and strikes today. He may not have been the first Deaf player in the major leagues, but he was the most influential back in his day. During my first forays on the Internet ( anyone???) I met a gentleman online named Steven Sandy. His mission was to get Hoy into Baseball's Hall of Fame. He certainly has the numbers (1888-1902) for it. But it would take serious consideration from the Veteran's Committee to get him in there. It's long been Mr. Sandy's dream to see him in the Hall one day. It certainly is nice to see Topps add him to this list. Now fans in the 21st century will get to know the story (haven't seen the back of the card yet...hope Topps did him justice) of Dummy Hoy.

If you can get me the Curtis Pride card (see below):

That would be great as well.

Yes, I plan on getting these cards as part of my collection as well as a complete master set. I thought it would be great to pass these on to those in the Deaf Community in Chicago as well.

Please email me at or send me a direct message on Twitter @bdj610.

Thank you very much in advance.


JayBee Anama

Comparing the Major League Debut Classes of 1995 and 2015.

In 1990, Topps created a set honoring the players who made their MLB debut during the 1989 campaign. It was a relatively successful set, with future HOF's like Ken Griffey, Jr., and Deion Sanders (okay, he's in the Football HOF) and others. In 2009, I created a post comparing the MLB Debut classes of 1989 and 2009 in honor of that set. To coincide with the MLB Debut 1990 and 1991 boxed sets, I also wrote a post comparing the MLB Debut classes of 1990 and 2010 and again for the MLB Debut classes of 1991 and 2011.

Sadly, they stopped creating this set. I wish they would bring it back, if only so that every player who makes it to the majors has at least one Topps card to call his own. But even though Topps stopped the MLB debut sets (and they don't plan on making them any time soon), I continued comparing the MLB Debut classes of 1992 and 2012, 1993 and 2013, & 1994 and 2014. As the 2015 MLB season ended a few weeks back, and it looks like we know who's going to the World Series (maybe next year guys), now would be a good time to review this year's 2015 MLB debutantes and compare them to the class of 1995. These have been fun posts for me to write, and it's nice to look back to see how the future stars of my youth (I was 19 in 1995), performed over the years.

According to Baseball Reference, 18,662 athletes have entered their names into the annals of Major League Baseball record-keeping. In fact, 254 of them made their MLB Debuts in 2015. That's 254 more players that have etched their names into history books, baseball encyclopedias, and baseball websites. Two hundred fifty-four more players who finally reached the pinnacle of their professional careers, no matter how long or how brief their stay was. They can honestly say that they have arrived.

In 1995, 247 players made their big league debuts, up from 114 players the year before. Remember, the strike that started in 1994 carried over into 1995. Spring Training consisted of 27 teams of replacement players (the Orioles did not run a MLB camp, their minor leaguers did get their work in though). When the strike ended all 28 teams had three weeks to get their rosters together. One location was set up for MLB players who were free agents and were looking for a place to play. Among the first of nine players to debut was Todd Hollandsworth (who debuted on April 25, 1995), the last was Gary Bennett (who made his first appearance on September 24, 1995). Thirty players who would debut during the 1995 campaign would go on to become All-Stars at some point in their careers. We'd all get to know their names on a regular basis like Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Billy Wagner, Jason Giambi, Jorge Posada, Mike Sweeney, Troy Percival, Andy Pettitte, Jason Schmidt, Johnny Damon, and the man who is credited for breaking down the door for Japanese players to make their impact in MLB, Hideo Nomo. Players who had high expectations, but eventually faded from the spotlight (Jason Bates, Carlos Perez, Terrell Wade, Vaughn Eshelman) also made their debuts in 1994.

Believe it or not, one player who made his debut in 1995 was still on a MLB roster during the 2015 season (and he announced that 2015 would be his final year in the majors). The debutantes of 1995 (as of the end of the 2015 season) combined for 31 All-Star Game appearances, 5,658 home runs, 26,050 runs batted in, 4,011 stolen bases, and a batting average of about .267. Pitchers who debuted in 1995 have gone on to a combined record of 3344-3417, saved 2,820 games, completed 300 games, faced 263,361 batters, struck out 43,084 of them, gave up 7,265 home runs, and had a cumulative ERA of 4.50.

At any given point during the 2015 season, there were 750 players on active rosters (not counting those on the disabled list). And in amongst the shuffling of talent, 254 baseball players, some who'd toiled in the minors for a very long time (Junior Guerra signed with the Braves in 2001 and spent more than 14 years between the minor and independent leagues), and at least six players who were drafted in the 2015 free agent draft, got to step onto the field of a major league stadium for the very first time and play at least one inning of major league baseball. One hundred four of them were position players, the other 150 stepped onto the pitcher's mound for the very first time. Of the 254, one was born in 1995 (Roberto Osuna), and the oldest player to debut was 32 years old (Angel Castro).

The 2015 debutantes combined for one All-Star Game appearance (Kris Bryant), 360 home runs, 1,396 runs batted in, 206 stolen bases, and a cumulative .249 batting average. Pitchers went 235-280 with an ERA of 4.42, striking out 3,936 batters, and saved 38 games.

Just for fun, let's compare both classes:
Of the players from the debut class of 2015, just like in 1995, there could be some Hall of Fame candidates. Most may go on to All-Star caliber, or very long careers in the bigs. And for some, this may be their only year in the majors. But all of them can say that they achieved their dream of being a Major League Ballplayer.

And nothing can take that away from them.

I've clamored before about wanting to bring back the Major League Debut set. But I know in today's age of exclusive contracts and rookie card restrictions that a set of this type might never see the light of day again. And although I have a feeling that many collectors would not want to get a set that might have stars but plenty of "never will be's" amongst them, a set like this could contain the only card of a player who played in one inning of major league ball.

Who knows what the future will bring for the 254 players who first appeared in 2015. Most might never play in the majors again, disappearing in the obscurity of minor league baseball for the rest of their professional careers. Creating a set called the 2016 MLB Debut 2015 would give them a slim piece of cardboard immortality.

Oh well, I can dream, can't I???


JayBee Anama

P.S. The annual Guess the Topps All-Star Rookie Team contest will be postponed this year because of time restraints. No sense in trying to get contest entries when, one, I haven't had time to write up the annual Rookie Review, and two, the readership of this humble, little blog has nosedived. I will still write my thoughts on who will make the team, but we'll skip the contest for this year. Hopefully, I'll have a bit more time next year to devote to the blog. jba

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Everything You Want to Know about 2015 Topps Update Series

Because work has been really busy, I have not had much time to write about my thoughts about the sets that I'm really looking forward to now that the regular season is a distant memory and the playoffs are in full swing.

But before we get to next year's eponymous (and borderless) set (which I'll discuss in another post...when I can get to it), let's talk about everyone's favorite end-of-the-year set, 2015 Topps Update Series.

This year's set consists of 400 cards (up from 330 cards from the previous 11 years). It was announced that there will be 73 players making their Rookie Card debut in this set, including Topps' newest exclusive, Carlos Correa of the Astros. Check out the image of the card of the Astros' shortstop that Topps released online today along with the upcoming checklist (it's further me).

One thing I did forget to post on this humble, little blog, was the set of images from the "sell sheet" for Update. For those who missed them when they first came out this past May, or for those who want to see them again, here you go:

As always, it's nice to see how the images that we had all seen when the set was first announced come into play on the sell sheet.

Now, the set is supposed to come out on October 21. I say supposed to. Why?

Courtesy of Facebook

There was another image I wanted to find, but I think this works as well.

So, what do we see here:

  • A Kris Bryant All-Star Game card (which means that he's part of the All-Star Game subset)
  • A Rookies Rising card (probably a checklist, sharing the space with fellow super-rookie Addison Russell)
  • A Kris Bryant Rookie Debut (which we knew was coming...look on the sell sheets)
  • And what's this? A Kris Bryant throwback card with the old Topps logo? With Bryant wearing a Throwback Jersey?
So the checklist came out earlier this week. Let's see if what is below can clarify the four-card lot of Kris Bryant cards, shall we?:


US1 Aaron Thompson Minnesota Twins
US2 Wilmer Difo Washington Nationals Rookie
US3 Tyler Wilson Baltimore Orioles Rookie
US4 Jean Machi Boston Red Sox
US5 Ryan Vogelsong San Francisco Giants
US6 David DeJesus Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US7 Brad Miller Seattle Mariners
US8 Alex Claudio Texas Rangers Rookie
US9 Shane Greene Detroit Tigers Future Star
US10 Bobby Parnell New York Mets
US11 Evan Gattis Houston Astros Future Star
US12 Travis Ishikawa Pittsburgh Pirates
US13 Tommy Pham St. Louis Cardinals Rookie
US14 Joey Gallo Texas Rangers Rookie Debut
US15 River City Rakers Pittsburgh Pirates
US16 John Axford Colorado Rockies
US17 Manny Machado Baltimore Orioles
US18 Michael Blazek Milwaukee Brewers
US19 Erasmo Ramirez Tampa Bay Rays
US20 Cole Hamels Texas Rangers
US21 High-Voltage Battery San Francisco Giants
US22 Jake Diekman Texas Rangers
US23 Kevin Plawecki New York Mets Rookie
US24 Chris Young New York Yankees
US25 Byron Buxton Minnesota Twins Rookie
US26 Jack Leathersich New York Mets Rookie
US27 Nathan Eovaldi New York Yankees
US28 Miguel Cabrera Detroit Tigers
US29 Ben Paulsen Colorado Rockies
US30 David Phelps Miami Marlins
US31 Gordon Beckham Chicago White Sox
US32 Blake Swihart Boston Red Sox Rookie
US33 Alex Rodriguez New York Yankees
US34 Matt Andriese Tampa Bay Rays Rookie
US35 Justin Bour Miami Marlins Rookie
US36 Roberto Perez Cleveland Indians
US37 Luis Avilan Los Angeles Dodgers
US38 Michael Lorenzen Cincinnati Reds Rookie
US39 Potent Padres San Diego Padres
US40 Sam Dyson Miami Marlins
US41 Travis Shaw Boston Red Sox / Allan Dykstra Tampa Bay Rays Rookie Combos
US42 Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants
US43 Randall Delgado Arizona Diamondbacks
US44 Tim Cooney St. Louis Cardinals Rookie
US45 Ryan Lavarnway Atlanta Braves
US46 David Price Toronto Blue Jays
US47 Jeremy Jeffress Milwaukee Brewers
US48 Carlos Perez Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Rookie
US49 Mark Canha Oakland Athletics Rookie
US50 Alex Guerrero Los Angeles Dodgers
US51 Yasmani Grandal Los Angeles Dodgers
US52 Cody Anderson Cleveland Indians / Phil Klein Texas Rangers Rookie Combos
US53 Daniel Norris Detroit Tigers Rookie
US54 Tyler Ladendorf Oakland Athletics / Max Muncy Oakland Athletics Rookie Combos
US55 Hank Conger Houston Astros
US56 Kevin Siegrist St. Louis Cardinals
US57 Nick Ahmed Arizona Diamondbacks
US58 Josh Donaldson Toronto Blue Jays
US59 Rafael Martin Washington Nationals / Matt Grace Washington Nationals Rookie Combos
US60 Branden Pinder New York Yankees Rookie
US61 Dallas Keuchel Houston Astros
US62 Brian Dozier Minnesota Twins
US63 Kelvin Herrera Kansas City Royals
US64 David Price Detroit Tigers
US65 Todd Frazier Cincinnati Reds
US66 Neftali Feliz Detroit Tigers
US67 Leonel Campos San Diego Padres Rookie
US68 Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US69 Zach McAllister Cleveland Indians
US70 Vance Worley Pittsburgh Pirates
US71 Joakim Soria Pittsburgh Pirates
US72 Brett Gardner New York Yankees
US73 Tyler Saladino Chicago White Sox Rookie
US74 Giovanny Urshela Cleveland Indians Rookie
US75 Ross Detwiler Atlanta Braves
US76 Lorenzo Cain Kansas City Royals
US77 Joe Smith Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US78 Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs
US79 Rookies Rising Chicago Cubs
US80 Juan Uribe New York Mets
US81 Pat Venditte Oakland Athletics Rookie
US82 Francisco Lindor Cleveland Indians Rookie
US83 Mason Williams New York Yankees Rookie
US84 Sean O'Sullivan Philadelphia Phillies
US85 Justin Nicolino Miami Marlins Rookie
US86 Chris Colabello Toronto Blue Jays
US87 Zack Greinke Los Angeles Dodgers
US88 Marc Rzepczynski San Diego Padres
US89 Kendall Graveman Oakland Athletics
US90 Jacob deGrom New York Mets
US91 Brad Boxberger Tampa Bay Rays
US92 Justin Upton San Diego Padres
US93 Sonny Gray Oakland Athletics
US94 Shane Victorino Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US95 Elvis Araujo Philadelphia Phillies Rookie
US96 Ben Zobrist Kansas City Royals
US97 Josh Ravin Los Angeles Dodgers Rookie
US98 Josh Fields Houston Astros
US99 Daniel Fields Detroit Tigers Rookie
US100 Andrew McCutchen Pittsburgh Pirates
US101 Jumbo Diaz Cincinnati Reds
US102 Chi Chi Gonzalez Texas Rangers Rookie
US103 Joey Gallo Texas Rangers Rookie
US104 Steve Cishek St. Louis Cardinals
US105 Brandon Moss St. Louis Cardinals
US106 Shelby Miller Atlanta Braves
US107 Carlos Gomez Houston Astros
US108 Adonis Garcia Atlanta Braves / Jefry Marte Detroit Tigers Rookie Combos
US109 Anthony Ranaudo Texas Rangers Rookie
US110 Andrew McKirahan Atlanta Braves / Sugar Ray Marimon Atlanta Braves Rookie Combos
US111 Todd Cunningham Atlanta Braves
US112 Conor Gillaspie Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US113 Eric Campbell New York Mets
US114 Jason Garcia Baltimore Orioles / Scott Copeland Toronto Blue Jays Rookie Combos
US115 Stephen Vogt Oakland Athletics
US116 Miguel Castro Colorado Rockies Rookie
US117 Enrique Hernandez Los Angeles Dodgers
US118 Jason Frasor Atlanta Braves
US119 Jacob Lindgren New York Yankees Rookie
US120 Brandon Cunniff Atlanta Braves Rookie
US121 Alexi Ogando Boston Red Sox
US122 Marlon Byrd Cincinnati Reds
US123 Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners
US124 Preston Tucker Houston Astros Rookie
US125 Ben Revere Toronto Blue Jays
US126 Tyler Olson Seattle Mariners Rookie
US127 Eduardo Rodriguez Boston Red Sox Rookie
US128 Brock Holt Boston Red Sox
US129 David Ross Chicago Cubs
US130 Jonathan Villar Houston Astros
US131 Jordan Pacheco Arizona Diamondbacks
US132 Gerardo Parra Baltimore Orioles
US133 Vinnie Pestano Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US134 Steven Matz New York Mets Rookie Debut
US135 Jason Heyward St. Louis Cardinals
US136 Byron Buxton Minnesota Twins Rookie Debut
US137 Andrew Romine Detroit Tigers
US138 Dellin Betances New York Yankees
US139 Mike Moustakas Kansas City Royals
US140 Mark Melancon Pittsburgh Pirates
US141 Glen Perkins Minnesota Twins
US142 Kendrys Morales Kansas City Royals
US143 Tommy Hunter Chicago Cubs
US144 Delino DeShields Jr. Texas Rangers Rookie
US145 Yasmany Tomas Arizona Diamondbacks Rookie Debut
US146 Aaron Harang Philadelphia Phillies
US147 Chris Archer Tampa Bay Rays
US148 Taylor Featherston Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Rookie
US149 Thomas Field Texas Rangers
US150 Eric Sogard Oakland Athletics
US151 Colby Lewis Texas Rangers
US152 J.R. Graham Minnesota Twins Rookie
US153 Archie Bradley Arizona Diamondbacks Rookie Debut
US154 Paul Goldschmidt Arizona Diamondbacks
US155 Yoenis Cespedes New York Mets
US156 Amazing Astros Houston Astros
US157 Noah Syndergaard New York Mets Rookie
US158 Jason Kipnis Cleveland Indians
US159 Darren O'Day Baltimore Orioles
US160 Slade Heathcott New York Yankees Rookie
US161 Jeff Samardzija Chicago White Sox
US162 Jorge Soler Chicago Cubs Rookie Debut
US163 Andrew Heaney Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US164 Johnny Giavotella Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US165 Seth Maness St. Louis Cardinals
US166 Severino Gonzalez Philadelphia Phillies Rookie
US167 Derek Norris San Diego Padres
US168 George Kontos San Francisco Giants
US169 Max Scherzer Washington Nationals
US170 Mike Foltynewicz Atlanta Braves Rookie
US171 Jhonny Peralta St. Louis Cardinals
US172 Adrian Gonzalez Los Angeles Dodgers
US173 Salvador Perez Kansas City Royals
US174 Carlos Correa Houston Astros Rookie
US175 Edinson Volquez Kansas City Royals
US176 Austin Hedges San Diego Padres Rookie
US177 Matt Holliday St. Louis Cardinals
US178 Zach Duke Chicago White Sox
US179 Adam Liberatore Los Angeles Dodgers Rookie
US180 Tyler Collins Detroit Tigers
US181 Jimmy Paredes Baltimore Orioles Future Star
US182 Scott Van Slyke Los Angeles Dodgers
US183 Justin Turner Los Angeles Dodgers
US184 Sean Rodriguez Pittsburgh Pirates
US185 David Murphy Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US186 A.J. Pollock Arizona Diamondbacks
US187 Heart of the Order Toronto Blue Jays
US188 Young & Relentless New York Mets
US189 Adam Warren New York Yankees
US190 Shelby Miller Atlanta Braves
US191 Royals Crush Kansas City Royals
US192 Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US193 Angel Castro Oakland Athletics / Arnold Leon Oakland Athletics Rookie Combos
US194 Chris Rearick San Diego Padres / Cory Mazzoni San Diego Padres Rookie Combos
US195 A.J. Ramos Miami Marlins
US196 Paulo Orlando Kansas City Royals Rookie
US197 Wandy Rodriguez Texas Rangers
US198 Brett Anderson Los Angeles Dodgers
US199 Troy Tulowitzki Colorado Rockies
US200 Adam Jones Baltimore Orioles
US201 Jose Altuve Houston Astros
US202 Manny Machado Baltimore Orioles
US203 Jesse Hahn Oakland Athletics
US204 Jeff Francoeur Philadelphia Phillies
US205 Andres Blanco Philadelphia Phillies
US206 Mike Pelfrey Minnesota Twins
US207 Chris Young Kansas City Royals
US208 Addison Russell Chicago Cubs Rookie Debut
US209 Prince Fielder Texas Rangers
US210 Yunel Escobar Washington Nationals
US211 Tommy Milone Minnesota Twins
US212 Scott Carroll Chicago White Sox
US213 Home Run Halos Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US214 Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals
US215 Jonathan Papelbon Washington Nationals
US216 Carlos Peguero Boston Red Sox
US217 Franklin Morales Kansas City Royals
US218 Pedro Ciriaco Atlanta Braves
US219 Michael Morse Pittsburgh Pirates
US220 Addison Russell Chicago Cubs Rookie
US221 Francisco Rodriguez Milwaukee Brewers
US222 Arquimedes Caminero Pittsburgh Pirates
US223 Kevin Jepsen Minnesota Twins
US224 Ezequiel Carrera Toronto Blue Jays
US225 Keone Kela Texas Rangers Rookie
US226 Josh Donaldson Toronto Blue Jays
US227 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US228 Geovany Soto Chicago White Sox
US229 Hector Gomez Milwaukee Brewers
US230 Shawn Tolleson Texas Rangers
US231 Felipe Rivero Washington Nationals Rookie
US232 Hansel Robles New York Mets Rookie
US233 Danny Muno New York Mets Rookie
US234 Noah Syndergaard New York Mets Rookie Debut
US235 Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs
US236 Angel Nesbitt Detroit Tigers Rookie
US237 Craig Kimbrel San Diego Padres
US238 A.J. Cole Washington Nationals Rookie
US239 Michael McKenry Colorado Rockies
US240 Jonathan Papelbon Philadelphia Phillies
US241 Sluggers Supreme Boston Red Sox
US242 Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs
US243 Austin Adams Cleveland Indians
US244 Colby Rasmus Houston Astros
US245 Rubby De La Rosa Arizona Diamondbacks
US246 Blaine Hardy Detroit Tigers
US247 Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers
US248 Lance McCullers Houston Astros Rookie
US249 Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs
US250 Danny Valencia Oakland Athletics
US251 Carlos Correa Houston Astros Rookie Debut
US252 Francisco Rodriguez Milwaukee Brewers
US253 Trevor Rosenthal St. Louis Cardinals
US254 Billy Burns Oakland Athletics
US255 Sean Gilmartin New York Mets Rookie
US256 Darrell Ceciliani New York Mets / Danny Dorn Arizona Diamondbacks Rookie Combos
US257 Josh Hamilton Texas Rangers
US258 Vincent Velasquez Houston Astros / Ryan O'Rourke Minnesota Twins Rookie Combos
US259 John Jaso Tampa Bay Rays
US260 Andrew Miller New York Yankees
US261 R.J. Alvarez Oakland Athletics Rookie
US262 Eric Young Jr. Atlanta Braves
US263 Pedro Strop Chicago Cubs
US264 Brock Holt Boston Red Sox Future Star
US265 Brett Lawrie Oakland Athletics
US266 Ike Davis Oakland Athletics
US267 Joe Ross Washington Nationals Rookie
US268 Troy Tulowitzki Toronto Blue Jays
US269 Burke Badenhop Cincinnati Reds
US270 Craig Breslow Boston Red Sox
US271 Mike Leake San Francisco Giants
US272 Matt Duffy San Francisco Giants Future Star
US273 Justin Upton San Diego Padres
US274 Tucker Barnhart Cincinnati Reds
US275 Casey McGehee Miami Marlins
US276 Alex Wilson Detroit Tigers
US277 Yasmani Grandal Los Angeles Dodgers
US278 Rene Rivera Tampa Bay Rays
US279 Juan Nicasio Los Angeles Dodgers
US280 Mike Bolsinger Los Angeles Dodgers Future Star
US281 Manny Banuelos Atlanta Braves Rookie
US282 Jose Iglesias Detroit Tigers
US283 Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs Rookie Debut
US284 Matt Wisler Atlanta Braves Rookie
US285 Josh Rutledge Boston Red Sox
US286 Francisco Lindor Cleveland Indians Rookie Debut
US287 Jim Johnson Los Angeles Dodgers
US288 Matt Joyce Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US289 Williams Perez Atlanta Braves Rookie
US290 Zach Britton Baltimore Orioles
US291 Eddie Butler Colorado Rockies Future Star
US292 Chad Qualls Houston Astros
US293 Cesar Ramos Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US294 Mark Trumbo Seattle Mariners
US295 Russell Martin Toronto Blue Jays
US296 J.B. Shuck Chicago White Sox
US297 Wade Davis Kansas City Royals
US298 Rey Navarro Baltimore Orioles / Dusty Coleman Kansas City Royals Rookie Combos
US299 Mikie Mahtook Tampa Bay Rays Rookie
US300 Max Scherzer Washington Nationals
US301 Carlos Villanueva St. Louis Cardinals
US302 Chris Sale Chicago White Sox
US303 Asher Wojciechowski Houston Astros Rookie
US304 Johnny Cueto Kansas City Royals
US305 Ryan Tepera Toronto Blue Jays Rookie
US306 Vidal Nuno Seattle Mariners
US307 Hector Santiago Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US308 Joey Butler Tampa Bay Rays
US309 Howie Kendrick Los Angeles Dodgers
US310 Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
US311 Carlos Martinez St. Louis Cardinals
US312 Scott Oberg Colorado Rockies / Deolis Guerra Pittsburgh Pirates Rookie Combos
US313 Jose Urena Miami Marlins Rookie
US314 Rafael Betancourt Colorado Rockies
US315 Kyle Kendrick Colorado Rockies
US316 Tyler Clippard New York Mets
US317 Luis Sardinas Milwaukee Brewers
US318 Phillippe Aumont Philadelphia Phillies
US319 Will Harris Houston Astros Future Star
US320 Josh Donaldson Toronto Blue Jays
US321 Chris Heston San Francisco Giants Rookie
US322 Mat Latos Los Angeles Dodgers
US323 Joc Pederson Los Angeles Dodgers
US324 Carlos Rodon Chicago White Sox Rookie
US325 Matt Kemp San Diego Padres
US326 Jonathan Herrera Chicago Cubs
US327 Ryan Webb Cleveland Indians
US328 Brandon Morrow San Diego Padres
US329 J.D. Martinez Detroit Tigers
US330 Nate Karns Tampa Bay Rays
US331 Orlando Calixte Kansas City Royals Rookie
US332 Matt Boyd Detroit Tigers Rookie
US333 Mark Reynolds St. Louis Cardinals
US334 Clint Barmes San Diego Padres
US335 Norichika Aoki San Francisco Giants
US336 Mark Teixeira New York Yankees
US337 Martin Prado Miami Marlins
US338 Pete Kozma St. Louis Cardinals
US339 Jose Alvarez Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US340 Fernando Salas Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US341 Eddie Rosario Minnesota Twins Rookie
US342 Todd Frazier Cincinnati Reds
US343 A.J. Burnett Pittsburgh Pirates
US344 Aramis Ramirez Pittsburgh Pirates
US345 Blaine Boyer Minnesota Twins
US346 Brandon Crawford San Francisco Giants
US347 Joe Blanton Pittsburgh Pirates
US348 Jonathan Broxton St. Louis Cardinals
US349 DJ LeMahieu Colorado Rockies
US350 Didi Gregorius New York Yankees
US351 Mike Fiers Houston Astros
US352 Jose Reyes Colorado Rockies
US353 Michael Wacha St. Louis Cardinals
US354 Brandon Finnegan Cincinnati Reds Rookie
US355 Gerrit Cole Pittsburgh Pirates
US356 Miguel Montero Chicago Cubs
US357 Joe Panik San Francisco Giants
US358 Nolan Arenado Colorado Rockies
US359 Enrique Burgos Arizona Diamondbacks / Oscar Hernandez Arizona Diamondbacks Rookie Combos
US360 Joc Pederson Los Angeles Dodgers
US361 LaTroy Hawkins Toronto Blue Jays
US362 Rick Porcello Boston Red Sox
US363 Chasen Shreve New York Yankees
US364 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US365 J.P. Howell Los Angeles Dodgers
US366 Kelly Johnson New York Mets
US367 Frank Garces San Diego Padres Rookie
US368 Aroldis Chapman Cincinnati Reds
US369 Cory Rasmus Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US370 Prince Fielder Texas Rangers
US371 Carson Smith Seattle Mariners Rookie
US372 Alex Wood Los Angeles Dodgers
US373 Mitch Harris St. Louis Cardinals Rookie
US374 Tyler Moore Washington Nationals
US375 Mark Lowe Toronto Blue Jays
US376 Joc Pederson Los Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Dodgers Rookie Debut
US377 Taijuan Walker Seattle Mariners Future Star
US378 Devon Travis Toronto Blue Jays Rookie Debut
US379 Cameron Maybin Atlanta Braves
US380 Buster Posey San Francisco Giants
US381 Sergio Romo San Francisco Giants
US382 Dan Uggla Washington Nationals
US383 Nelson Cruz Seattle Mariners
US384 Melvin Upton Jr. San Diego Padres
US385 Collin Cowgill Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
US386 Alcides Escobar Kansas City Royals
US387 Jonny Gomes Atlanta Braves
US388 Kevin Pillar Toronto Blue Jays Future Star
US389 Seth Smith Seattle Mariners
US390 Donovan Solano Miami Marlins
US391 Clayton Richard Chicago Cubs
US392 Odrisamer Despaigne San Diego Padres Future Star
US393 Dan Haren Chicago Cubs
US394 Scott Kazmir Houston Astros
US395 Dexter Fowler Chicago Cubs
US396 Ichiro Miami Marlins
US397 Bryce Harper Washington Nationals
US398 J.T. Realmuto Miami Marlins
US399 Jace Peterson Atlanta Braves
US400 Logan Verrett New York Mets Rookie

Quick breakdown and some notes:
  • 193 Veterans
  • 74 Rookies with the Rookie Card Logo. This should not include the two pairs of Kris Bryant and Joc Pederson cards, which should be their Home Run Derby and All-Star Cards that were listed on the checklist as Rookie Cards
  • 72 All-Stars. Each league had 38 players named to its respective All-Star teams in 2015 including injured players. Four players who were excluded were injured All-Stars Jose Bautista, Alex Gordon, Dee Gordon, and Giancarlo Stanton
  • 14 Rookie Combo cards. Apparently, to fit an extra 28 players who qualify for rookie card status into this set, Topps is returning to the multiple-player cards.
  • 13 Rookie Debut cards. Topps way of appeasing those of us (okay, me only) who want to bring back the Major League Debut set.
  • 11 Future Stars. Those players who already have cards and will have the words Future Star above them
  • 10 Veteran Combos/Team cards. This year's subjects include the Pirates, Giants, Padres, Cubs, Astros, Blue Jays, Mets, Royals, Angels, and Red Sox
  • 8 Home Run Derby cards, featuring the eight players who participated in this year's Derby
  • 5 Highlight cards/checklists (which were not listed in the checklist, but that should be the number.
Oh, yes. Check who gets card #396...ICHIRO!!!

Now on to the insert sets. There are seven regular insert sets appearing in Update Series. One will conclude the year-long series that were included in both Series 1 and Series 2 (Highlight of the Year). The other six are unique to this year's Update set. And of course, get ready to visit your local big box store for a couple of retail-exclusive inserts. Now, as usual, I'm only listing the regular insert cards. If you want to see the lists of autograph, relic, auto-relic, manufactured relic, and other cards, click here:

H-61 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
H-62 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees
H-63 Babe Ruth Boston Braves
H-64 Joe DiMaggio New York Yankees
H-65 Bob Feller Cleveland Indians
H-66 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox
H-67 Red Schoendienst St. Louis Cardinals
H-68 Bob Lemon Cleveland Indians
H-69 Hank Aaron Milwaukee Braves
H-70 Hoyt Wilhelm Baltimore Orioles
H-71 Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers
H-72 Tom Seaver New York Mets
H-73 Tom Seaver New York Mets
H-74 Harmon Killebrew Minnesota Twins
H-75 Willie Mays New York Mets
H-76 Hank Aaron Atlanta Braves
H-77 Reggie Jackson New York Yankees
H-78 Lou Brock St. Louis Cardinals
H-79 Dwight Gooden New York Mets
H-80 Fernando Valenzuela Los Angeles Dodgers
H-81 Robin Yount Milwaukee Brewers
H-82 Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle Mariners
H-83 Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers
H-84 Randy Johnson Arizona Diamondbacks
H-85 John Smoltz Atlanta Braves
H-86 David Ortiz Boston Red Sox
H-87 Ivan Rodriguez Detroit Tigers
H-88 Ubaldo Jimenez Colorado Rockies
H-89 Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals
H-90 Yasiel Puig Los Angeles Dodgers

RS-1 Hanley Ramirez Florida Marlins
RS-2 Ichiro Seattle Mariners
RS-3 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
RS-4 Mike Piazza Los Angeles Dodgers
RS-5 Carlton Fisk Boston Red Sox
RS-6 Nomar Garciaparra Boston Red Sox
RS-7 Troy Tulowitzki Colorado Rockies
RS-8 Jose Fernandez Miami Marlins
RS-9 Jacob deGrom New York Mets
RS-10 Fernando Valenzuela Los Angeles Dodgers
RS-11 Dwight Gooden New York Mets
RS-12 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox
RS-13 Jeff Bagwell Houston Astros
RS-14 Jose Abreu Chicago White Sox
RS-15 Dustin Pedroia Boston Red Sox
RS-16 Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers
RS-17 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
RS-18 Derek Jeter New York Yankees
RS-19 Neftali Feliz Texas Rangers
RS-20 Tom Seaver New York Mets
RS-21 Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals
RS-22 Bryce Harper Washington Nationals
RS-23 Buster Posey San Francisco Giants
RS-24 Livan Hernandez Florida Marlins
RS-25 Mark McGwire Oakland Athletics

R-1 Frank Robinson Baltimore Orioles
R-2 Shawn Green Los Angeles Dodgers
R-3 Daniel Nava Boston Red Sox
R-4 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox
R-5 Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates
R-6 Mariano Rivera New York Yankees
R-7 Anibal Sanchez Detroit Tigers
R-8 Mike Mussina Baltimore Orioles
R-9 George Brett Kansas City Royals
R-10 Rod Carew Minnesota Twins
R-11 Asdrubal Cabrera Cleveland Indians
R-12 Don Mattingly New York Yankees
R-13 Randy Johnson Arizona Diamondbacks
R-14 Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle Mariners
R-15 Billy Williams Chicago Cubs

WW-1 Mark Teixeira New York Yankees
WW-2 Tim Lincecum San Francisco Giants
WW-3 Wade Boggs Boston Red Sox
WW-4 Nomar Garciaparra Boston Red Sox
WW-5 Craig Biggio Houston Astros
WW-6 Max Scherzer Washington Nationals
WW-7 Joe DiMaggio New York Yankees
WW-8 Roger Clemens New York Yankees
WW-9 Richie Ashburn Philadelphia Phillies
WW-10 Jim Palmer Baltimore Orioles
WW-11 Mike Napoli Boston Red Sox
WW-12 Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers
WW-13 David Ortiz Boston Red Sox
WW-14 Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves
WW-15 Alex Gordon Kansas City Royals

TMB-1 Jose Canseco Oakland Athletics
TMB-2 Andres Galarraga Colorado Rockies
TMB-3 Mark McGwire St. Louis Cardinals
TMB-4 Reggie Jackson Oakland Athletics
TMB-5 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
TMB-6 Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies
TMB-7 Giancarlo Stanton Miami Marlins
TMB-8 Adam Dunn Arizona Diamondbacks
TMB-9 Bo Jackson Kansas City Royals
TMB-10 David Ortiz Boston Red Sox
TMB-11 Mark McGwire Oakland Athletics
TMB-12 Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates
TMB-13 Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals
TMB-14 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox
TMB-15 Josh Gibson

MLB-1 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
MLB-2 Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
MLB-3 Brock Holt Boston Red Sox
MLB-4 Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals
MLB-5 Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants
MLB-6 Joc Pederson Los Angeles Dodgers Rookie
MLB-7 Joe Panik San Francisco Giants
MLB-8 Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs Rookie
MLB-9 Jacob deGrom New York Mets
MLB-10 Adam Jones Baltimore Orioles
MLB-11 Manny Machado Baltimore Orioles
MLB-12 Zack Greinke Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB-13 Andrew McCutchen Pittsburgh Pirates
MLB-14 Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs
MLB-15 Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB-16 Sonny Gray Oakland Athletics
MLB-17 Prince Fielder Texas Rangers
MLB-18 Max Scherzer Washington Nationals
MLB-19 Todd Frazier Cincinnati Reds
MLB-20 Lorenzo Cain Kansas City Royals
MLB-21 Alcides Escobar Kansas City Royals
MLB-22 Nelson Cruz Seattle Mariners
MLB-23 Jose Altuve Houston Astors
MLB-24 Josh Donaldson Toronto Blue Jays
MLB-25 Bryce Harper Washington Nationals

PP-1 Buddy Carlyle New York Mets
PP-2 Curtis Pride Detroit Tigers
PP-3 George Springer Houston Astros
PP-4 Jake Peavy San Francisco Giants
PP-5 Jason Johnson Baltimore Orioles
PP-6 Jim Abbott California Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
PP-7 Jim Eisenreich Philadelphia Phillies
PP-8 Jon Lester Chicago Cubs
PP-9 Pete Wyshner Gray St. Louis Browns
PP-10 Sam Fuld Oakland Athletics
PP-11 William Hoy Washington Senators
PP-12 Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs

FHR-1 Ernie Banks Chicago Cubs
FHR-2 Brandon Belt San Francisco Giants
FHR-3 Adrian Beltre Los Angeles Dodgers
FHR-4 Craig Biggio Houston Astros
FHR-5 Wade Boggs Boston Red Sox
FHR-6 Kole Calhoun Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
FHR-7 Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates
FHR-8 Jacoby Ellsbury Boston Red Sox
FHR-9 Edwin Encarnacion Cincinnati Reds
FHR-10 Nomar Garciaparra Boston Red Sox
FHR-11 Carlos Gomez New York Mets
FHR-12 Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle Mariners
FHR-13 Jonathan Lucroy Milwaukee Brewers
FHR-14 Starling Marte Pittsburgh Pirates
FHR-15 Edgar Martinez Seattle Mariners
FHR-16 Willie Mays New York Giants
FHR-17 Devin Mesoraco Cincinnati Reds
FHR-18 Paul O'Neill Cincinnati Reds
FHR-19 Brandon Phillips Cleveland Indians
FHR-20 Dalton Pompey Toronto Blue Jays
FHR-21 Hanley Ramirez Florida Marlins
FHR-22 Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers
FHR-23 Ryne Sandberg Chicago Cubs
FHR-24 Mike Schmidt Philadelphia Phillies
FHR-25 Mark Teixeira Texas Rangers
FHR-26 Kennys Vargas Minnesota Twins
FHR-27 Kolten Wong St. Louis Cardinals
FHR-28 Mike Zunino Seattle Mariners
FHR-29 Ichiro Seattle Mariners
FHR-30 Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs

The one insert set that grabbed my attention is called "Pride and Perseverance." The subjects include players who did not let disabilities, diseases, or being Deaf get in the way of pursuing the major league dreams. I am especially excited not only to add my Curtis Pride collection, but I am looking forward to add a card of a guy that many in the Deaf community should be in the Hall of Fame, William Ellsworth "Dummy" Hoy, to my collection.

There will be short-prints, and super-short print cards added to the mix, much to the dismay of a certain Twitter former-card blogger. One that should make his blood pressure rise is one that replaces the card of Philippe Aumont (#US318):

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's a Squirrel card!!!

The product is due to arrive next Wednesday, on October 21. But as you can plainly see, some retailers already have put the product onto the shelves. One group of short-printed cards that looks to be retail exclusive are the throwback cards with players in throwback uniforms. I did pictures of cards of other players similar to the Bryant card. Supposedly, the card numbers are the same as their base card in the set but have the words "Update Series" above the card number instead of "Series One" or "Series Two."

There are also the sparkle variations, the rainbow of color parallels, and the return of the Sabermetric Stat cards (if you get one, and want to know what some of the stats mean, click here.)

I'm going to see if some of the stores in my area managed to get these cards on the shelves. I doubt it, but you never know. It'll keep me distracted while my nerves go on edge during tonight's NLCS. The Cubs may have swept the Mets during all 7 games in the regular season, but that was before the Mets' pitching staff figured themselves out and that was before Yoenis Cespedes showed up. Keeping my fingers crossed. The Cubs should win at least one game in NY. Hoping for two. Go Cubs!!!

And, oh yes, let the hunt continue. Good luck.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Final Five #1 Candidates for 2016 Topps: Bryant, Donaldson, Harper, Posey, Trout

Thousands of votes were cast on a ballot that included 34 players (and one write-in space). After all was said and done, the players below were the top five vote-getters from that first round ballot. In no particular order, these are the contenders for card #1 for the 2016 Topps Baseball product:

Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays

Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

Okay boys and girls, you have from now until 11:59 PM EST on Monday, October 12, to cast your votes. May the best card win.


JayBee Anama

Monday, October 5, 2015

And Then, There Were 10...and The Cubs are Still Playing...

The end of the MLB season means a lot of things to the writer of this humble, little blog.

Usually, the team I follow (you know, the Cubs???) are packing up for another season of disappointment and "what could have been?" But not this season.

The 2015 edition of the Chicago Cubs finished with the third best record in MLB at 97-65. Too bad that they also finished with the third best record in the NL Central. The boys in blue managed to finish 3 games behind the 100-62 Cardinals and one game behind the 98-64 Pirates, the only two teams with a better record. This means that the Cubs finished with the best third place record in MLB history...and they get to play a one-game Wild Card playoff against the Pirates at PNC Park. I like their odds, but hold some caution as anything can happen in one game.

Anyway, the end of the MLB season means a ton of other articles that I usually write at or after the end of the regular season:
  • The 2015 Rookie Review (which leads to the annual "Guess the players for the 2015 Topps All-Star Rookie Team)
  • The comparison between the players who made their Major League Debuts in 2015 vs. those who debuted in 1995 (and the annual "I Wish Topps Brought Back the MLB Debut Set")
  • The announcement of my 2015 End of the Year All-Star Teams!!!
In the mean time, I finally got my hands on a master set of 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter's. Now I have to find a way to get some plastic sheets.

Tomorrow, Topps will announce the results of their first round of votes to determine who will grace card #1 for the eponymous 2016 Topps set. The top five players will be added to a final ballot and fans/collectors will get to vote for subject number 1.

Now, I've read the few comments that I received last week. While it might be a nice sentiment, no, I don't think Yogi Berra would make a good card number 1 in next year's set. And that's not because I'm from Chicago. A lot of other MLB players passed away last year (Minnie Minoso, Ernie Banks to name a few...okay, so I'm biased).

I did find it funny that somebody suggested that we stuff the ballot box with (and I'm paraphrasing here...this is a family friendly blog) "one of the 'not-so-good' players in the MLB right now the first card." Sure, maybe we should have stuffed the box with Kyle Kendrick or Mike Zunino (I didn't pick these guys, and I'm sure they're better ball players than 99 percent of us in the Hobby), but that would be akin to picking all 9 KC Royals in the All-Star ballot this year. Just not right.

One more note. To @lifetimetopps, I did get your email. I actually do have three of the seven 2003 Topps Nolan Ryan Record Breakers No-Hitters. Yes, they were a special subset to the large Record Breakers insert Set Topps included in that year's set.  Each card highlights Ryan's seven no-hitters. They are extremely hard to come by. The last time I saw them on eBay, one guy had all seven cards graded and sold each one individually. I don't remember how much they sold for, but I recall that the end prices were not cheap. I'm still looking for four of them. If you need scans, let me know.

It may have been a quiet season on the blog, but I swear, it will get much busier pretty soon. Stay tuned to this space.


JayBee Anama