Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Did Anybody Watch American Greed featuring Bill Mastro (and Doug Allen)?

Image courtesy of eBay. A Mastro Auctions catalog. Yes, I actually have this one.

I'll be honest. As soon as I saw that there would be a one-hour documentary regarding Bill Mastro on CNBC, I was intrigued and wanted to watch it when it first came out. Unfortunately, we had other tv-viewing plans as Escaping Polygamy (guilty pleasure show...don't judge me) was on at the same time. So I caught the repeat of the show that came on after midnight. Needless to say, it was a good episode, even if it did bring a light onto the shady side of the Hobby.

American Greed is a show that features stories (one hour episodes) profiling people that were caught up in their own personal issues getting as much money as they can, mostly through acts that are considered criminal, and were caught and punished for said crimes (or in some cases, allowed their families to suffer the consequences after taking themselves to the afterlife).

The episode did also dwell into the biggest controversy involving Mastro, The Card. The T206 Honus Wagner that he acquired and then trimmed, had graded, and sold, acquired, and sold again, with each new final price reaching astronomical values. The card today is in a private collection. And if you read the book, The Card, you know exactly what happened.

In any event. Mastro, and his COO Doug Allen, were sent to prison for committing acts of auction fraud (shill bidding, misrepresenting product, not disclosing information regarding authenticity on items that came back as fraudulent). Mastro is now out of jail, while Allen will be out some time in the coming months. I'm pretty sure neither will be allowed to take part in the collectibles industry ever again. There are a lot of info on the interwebs regarding the case, and you have time, look up Mastro Auctions on your favorite search engine.

Now let me tell you, thanks to a former co-worker and card shows I attended at the big convention center, I have a number of Mastro Auctions catalogs in my possession. Short of the fraud and taken at face value, these catalogs were produced very well. With full bleed images and well written descriptions for each item in the book, for me, these catalogs were as good as any reference book I've acquired over the years. If you've ever read any of these, you have to appreciate the work that was put into the making of these catalogs. After working for an office supplies company in their visual content department, I have a good understanding on the processes that goes into making one of these books.

I actually have the catalog that features the Elvis hair. The auction description, with pictures of the King and the container holding the locks of hair, took up at least more than two pages of the book. It made me wonder, how someone would have come across this in the first place, and of all the auction companies to give it to, why Mastro? Of course, the episode went on to show that not only was the hair faked, but that the money was "refunded" and the hair separated and put into subsequent auctions (and I think I have one of those catalogs as well).

What wasn't reported on the show was that after Mastro shut down his auction company, Allen started his own called Legendary Auctions. The catalogs that were published for Legendary were of the same quality as the ones created by Mastro Auctions. This makes sense as Allen looks to have retained many of Mastro's employees (and most likely...depending on who you ask...many of Mastro's assets and inventory). I have a couple of those catalogs too.

Yes, what Mastro, Allen, and others, did was horribly, horribly wrong, and has put a cloud over the Hobby that will not dissipate any time soon. Nor am I condoning or trying to justify what they did (what they did was wrong, and personally I feel that they should have been given harsher punishment). But the catalogs remain as a part of the history of the Hobby. And I'm happy to have them in my collection.

What did you think of the show (if you watched it)? If you have any of these auction catalogs, what do you think of them? Let me know in the comments.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pack Break: 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter's. 2017 Stadium Club, and 2017 Topps Series 2


Since I bought two packs each of 2017 Allen & Ginter's and 2017 Stadium Club, along with a pack of 2017 Topps Archives and five packs of 2017 Topps Series 2 last weekend during the National Baseball Card Day festivities, I thought I would try and post the result of the pack breaks here. Because I missed out on doing it last year, I am going to save one pack each of A&G, Stadium Club, and the one pack of Archives for Pack Break Week in November (I need something to open, right???) and will open the rest now.

Here are the results.

Let's start with one pack of 2017 Topps Series 2.


  • #354 Nick Tropeano, P, Angels
  • #628 Domingo Santana, OF, Brewers
  • #360 Jon Lester, P, Cubs
  • #565 J. D. Martinez, OF, Tigers
  • #581 Brock Holt, OF, Red Sox
  • #87-193 Addison Russell, SS, Cubs 1987 Tribute All-Star Card
  • #541 Dennis Lamp, P, White Sox Rediscovering Topps 1984 Original Topps Card
  • #364 Koda Glover, P, Nationals RC
  • #421 Santiago Casilla, P, Athletics
  • #602 Alex Dickerson, OF, Padres


Hey, I got two Cubs cards in this pack (Lester base and Russell insert) and an original 1984 Topps card of a White Sox player. Not bad. It's my third "Rediscover Topps" card. I'm not sure if I'm honestly liking the idea of putting a foil stamp on an old card, but I guess now it's worth more than the original.

I normally don't buy packs of this product, but in the spirit of the day, I thought, "Why not?" So this is what came out of that pack of 2017 Topps Stadium Club, Topps' ode to great photography:


  • #247 Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees
  • #285 Orlando Arcia, SS, Brewers RC
  • #160 Julio Urias, P, Dodgers
  • #189 Justin Upton, OF, Tigers
  • #238 Sonny Gray, P, Athletics
  • #CS-DM Daniel Murphy, 2B, Nationals Contact Sheet
  • #56 Ian Kinsler, 2B, Tigers
  • #10 Danny Santana, OF, Twins


Thoughts? Pretty soon, the question would be, "What's the point of this set?" With Topps going with borderless cards in its eponymous product, and the pictures already up-close-and-personal, I honestly don't see the reason to bring this back another year. But I do like the photo choices, especially of Gray in a throwback Athletics' jersey.

Finally, to the 2017 Allen & Ginter's pack. I have complete sets of every A&G set since they first came out in 2006, and as soon as I have money, I will invest in a set on the Bay. But to see what the cards look like, I decided to get two packs. Here is what was inside the pack I opened:


  • #265 Kevin Kiermaier, Rays
  • #205 Alex Bregman, Astros RC
  • #WF-19 Worlds Fair Habitat '67 Motreál
  • #72 Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox Mini Card
  • #RIP-48 Noah Syndergaard, Mets Rip Card 14/60 (umm...WHAT??!)
  • #166 Manny Margot, Padres


Wait...go back a sec. Did I just say RIP CARD??!


Yes...Yes I Did!!!

In all my years of collecting, I've never opened a pack with a RIP card inside it.

Now I'm torn (pun intended). Do I rip it open? Or do I keep it as is?

The back says:

This is a Genuine Allen & Ginter's RIP Card. If you dare...rip this card open...to discover a collectible exclusive mini-card embedded inside!

Inside this card will be:
  • A Red Mini Autograph Card, or...
  • An Exclusive Mini Parallel, or...
  • An Exclusive Mini Wood Parallel, or...
  • An Exclusive Mini Metal Parallel, or...
  • A One-of-a-Kind Sketch Card.
Rip It or Keep It

What am I going to do? What should I do? I've already posited this question on Twitter (follow me @bdj610) and I've gotten two responses:

So now what??! Either way, I'm told to rip the card. But should I? Are there people that hold on and have not ripped the RIP cards, opting to keep what's inside and then collecting cards from them later on the Bay? I think I'll put a poll up. Tell me what I should do with it:
  • Keep it sealed
  • Rip it
  • Sell it on eBay unripped
  • Sell whatever is inside on eBay
Post in the comments, and vote for the poll at the top. I'll leave it up for a week. Whatever the decision is...I'll take it into consideration before making a decision.

Unless, of course, somebody wants it so badly that they're willing to buy it or trade for it...

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Pack Break: 2017 Topps National Baseball Card Day 3 Packs

A couple of quick responses to comments that came after my last blog post:

To Billy Kinsgley: I was not aware that Mr. Lemke had passed away. I think I may have heard something about it earlier this year, but it just didn't connect. So I apologize for my ignorance.

Also, to Dan, regarding Ben Henry's Baseball Card Blog: I should have mentioned that. Ben Henry's Baseball Card Blog is already a part of the SCBR HOF. When he went on his one-year hiatus, I made sure to add his site to the HOF. I was surprised that he or any of the other contributors had not written anything in 9 months. Even when he and his group came back, I added the site to the main roll, even though it was still in the HOF.

Okay, on to the point of the story.


As you may remember, I drove to three different card shops in my area. At each store, not only did I purchase some packs, but I also received a free 5-card pack of 2017 Topps National Baseball Card Day packs. I opened them (finally) last night. Here are the results.

The pack received from Chicagoland Sports Cards and Memorabilia in Buffalo Grove, IL, contained the following five cards (and a Topps Now ad card):


  • #13 Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals
  • #10 Justin Verlander, P, Tigers
  • #27 Jacob deGrom, P, Mets
  • #8 Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
  • #24 Robinson Cano, 2B, Mariners

The pack received from The Baseball Card King in Palatine, IL, contained these five cards (and the Topps Now ad card):


  • #21 Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
  • #29 Adrian Beltre, 3B, Rangers
  • #17 Jharel Cotton, P, Athletics (Rookie Card)
  • #25 Manny Machado, 3B, Orioles
  • #5 Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves

The pack from Sport and Gaming Cards in Niles, IL, contained these five cards (and again, a Topps Now ad card):


  • #27 Jacob deGrom, P, Mets
  • #8 Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
  • #24 Robinson Cano, 2B, Mariners
  • #18 Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates
  • #12 Dellin Betances, P, Yankees

First thought, before anyone asks...YES!!! The deGrom, Arenado, and Cano cards came exactly out of both packs in that order. Remember in years past if you had opened enough packs of a product (let's say 1989 Topps) and could see Mark Grace on the top that you were almost always guaranteed a Chris Sabo card right after it (or was it the other way around...can't remember the exact order...but you get the idea)? Well, it seems that these three come together in order. Now, obviously it's a really small sample size, but you can't deny two different packs from two different stores contained the same three cards in that order.

Of the thirty cards (including Trout, and I have three of them) that make up this set, I have a combined total of 13 cards. The rest of the checklist includes (for those who missed NBCD over the weekend):

  • #1 Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
  • #2 Carlos Correa, SS, Astros
  • #3 Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers
  • #4 Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies
  • #6 Chris Sale, P, Red Sox
  • #7 Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks
  • #9 Joey Votto, 1B, Reds
  • #11 Aledmys Diaz, SS, Cardinals
  • #14 Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins
  • #15 Orlando Arcia, SS, Brewers (Rookie Card)
  • #16 Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins
  • #19 Wil Myers, 1B, Padres
  • #20 Brandon Crawford, SS, Giants
  • #22 Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs
  • #23 Yoan Moncada, 2B, White Sox (Rookie Card)
  • #26 Josh Donaldson, 3B, Blue Jays
  • #28 Chris Archer, P, Rays

Just my luck, no autographs, but more disappointing...NO CARDS OF A PLAYER FROM CHICAGO!!! Maybe if I went to that fourth store as I had originally planned.

Well, I do have five extra cards that I'd be interested in trading away to get some, if not all of these cards. It's either that, or purchase a complete set on the Bay (they're going anywhere from 10-30 bucks).

With my current situation, I think I'd be better of trading. So in the spirit of trading cards, does anybody have any cards to trade? Please send me an email at bdj610@hotmail.com with what you have and what you're looking to trade for? I'm sure I can find something to send out if you have any of the 17 cards I need to complete this set.

While we're on the subject of trading, I am on the hunt for the retail exclusive insert cards from 2017 Topps Series 2. Specifically the All-Time All-Star Team (which has 50 cards...please note while there is no card #22 in the set, Andre Dawson is listed as card #61), the Home Run Derby Champion set (21 cards), and the All-Star MVP set (25 cards). All are retail exclusive, with cards from the MVP set found only at Walmart. If you have any cards from any of these three sets and are also willing to trade, I will be more than happy to trade for them.

I did buy more packs, but didn't get a chance to open them. When I do, I'll post the results here.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, August 14, 2017

Responding to Comments...Finally! Some Closing Thoughts on Baseball Card Day.

So I'm back blogging on a more regular basis, and it's great to know that people are still (I'm hoping) reading what I have to say. (Ego, pipe down will you??!)

Anyway, the post that I wrote last week about updating the Sports Card Blogroll got a bit of attention. To wit:
  • Ernest Reyes wrote: "You should keep Bob Lemke's blog just for posterity sake. He was a legend in the hobby."
  • Adam wrote: "...tough to see Lemke's blog fall off. Maybe it could fit in "Retired but Relevant?"
  • San Jose Fuji then wrote: "Was bummed to see Lemke's blog removed. Definitely like Reyes' idea."

So then it hit me...why not???

For those who don't know who Bob Lemke was "the former editor and publisher of the sportscards and memorabilia periodicals and books at Krause Publications (SCD, et al). I am the former editor of the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards." He was Beckett's competition. And he definitely knew his stuff. Check out his blog to see what I mean. So I have added his blog to the Retired but Relevant section of the blogroll. It keeps his blog, and the wealth of information it contains, on the roll, even though he hasn't added anything new since last December.

Next topic of discussion: National Baseball Card Day!!!

Friend of the blog P-Town Tom wrote, regarding the number of card shops I visited: "Three card shops in under a few hours... Wow. I need to move to Chicago."

Realistically, Tom, I was trying to go to at least four shops, if not five. I could have made the fourth one had it not been for the fact I was scheduled to pick up my kids at 1 in the pm. It did take me a while to drive from place to place. Overall, I put in at least over 30 miles on the van making the three stops I did.

Before I forget, I'd like to thank Chicagoland Sports Cards & Memorabilia in Buffalo Grove, IL, The Baseball Card King in Palatine, IL, and Sport & Gaming Cards inside Golf Mill Mall in Niles, IL for the hospitality. I hope business was good throughout the day and that there were a lots of kids who turned out for the event.

Funny thing, the guy in front of me at the Buffalo Grove shop bought three boxes of 2017 Topps Chrome. He spent over six hundred bucks total, and then asked if he could get more than one pack of NTCD cards because he spent so much. The guy behind the counter said it didn't matter how much he spent, he was still going to get one pack. Kudos to you, sir. The customer understood (good sport...I probably would have asked the same thing) and should now be sorting through his boxes (if he hadn't done it already).

Speaking of breaking cards, I was too busy the rest of weekend to open what I got. I don't even know if I have any autographs (yeah...that's going to happen with my luck). I'll post updates when I can.

One last response to comments. Colbey Hopper, regarding my Dollar Tree pack from a week or so ago, wrote: "I assume Topps and Panini manufacture these smaller packs specifically for the Dollar Tree, am I correct?"

That is absolutely correct. If you have a Dollar Tree, or any other kind of dollar store in your area, you'll find that they might (some don't) carry packs of cards for sale at a $1.00 (or less...if they forgot to program their pricing database so that you can get older packs for a penny). While my store does carry them. it's a mess. Packs are everywhere, mixed in with everything else. It's not a pretty sight. I remember when you could find regular packs of cards everywhere (think late 80's-early 90's). But at least you could get 15 cards for 50 cents. Now, it's five cards for a buck. Boy, has time changed.

The mailbox is empty, and it's time for lunch. Later, job hunting.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, August 12, 2017

How My National Trading Card Day is Going

So today is officially National Baseball Trading Card day. Most baseball card shops here in the Chicago area are not open until after 11. I did find one about 10 miles away from my house that opened at 10, so I went there first.

Funny thing, but as soon as I pulled into the parking lot the guy that I guess owns the store just unlock the doors to the place. So I'm going to just sit here in the parking lot for about another 10 minutes so doesn't look like I was just casing the place before he got there. Another family looks to have just walked in. So maybe I'll go now. Stay tuned for more updates as I let you know how my day has gone so far.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

UPDATE: 10:39 AM CST

While customers at the shop do not really need to buy anything to get the free pack of NTCD cards, you should be courteous and buy something to make it worthwhile not only for the store you are visiting, but also for yourself. You never know what you'll find in the shops you're going to today.


The store I just left was selling packs of 1986 through 1991 Topps baseball cards. Six packs for $5. I wound up buying three packs of 2017 Topps Series 2 and two packs of this year's edition of Allen and Ginter's. So not only did I get my free pack of cards, I also received the Mike Trout exclusive which was what you'd get if you bought $10 worth of product. I am going to one more store before maybe heading home, or I might go to another one. I don't know yet. I still have a few hours left before picking up my kids from band, so I'll just hit the road some more. jba

UPDATE: 11:39 AM CST

Just left the second card shop now. There were more kids in this store this time probably because it's after 11. It's great to see kids coming out to the shop that's what this Hobby needs. The more kids that come out today, my hope for the future of this Hobby grows.


So in any event, I wound up buying one pack of 2017 Topps Archives and two more packs of the 2017 Topps series 2. So now I have two Mike Trout cards, and I have some options. Maybe sell it on eBay to get to recoup my funds from today. Maybe do a Twitter giveaway? Hold on to it perhaps? I don't know. The next store I go to, I will not buy $10 worth of stuff to get a third Trout card. If the idea of this event is to get the kids out no sense in me trying to get as many of them as I can. On to the next. jba

UPDATE: 12:39 PM CST

Went to the last store I'm going to go to today and I only have 20 minutes before picking up the kids from band. So this will be the last stop for me. The third shop is inside a shopping mall. And while it was quiet when I went inside, the gentleman behind the counter said it was pretty busy from the time he opened.


The original plan was to go get a pack and then call it a day. I also was going to get just a box of sheets but the price was too high so I nixed that deal. So instead I bought two packs of the 2017 Topps Stadium Club, and that apparently gets me a third Mike Trout card. Yeah what happened to being generous to the kids??! Well the guy said if I bought $10 worth of stuff, I'd get a free Mike Trout card as well. I wasn't about to tell him I've already been to the two other stores, so now I have three Trout cards.

I definitely will now have to find a way to give these cards away. Maybe I'll send a trade request after I go through what cards I got from baseball card trading day. I have 3 packs of those so I should have 15 cards from the set today. I'll post my needs and any extras I have later this afternoon. And in the spirit of the day, I might have to make some trades.

Thank you following me on my card adventure today. Hope you had a good time. As I said I'll let you know what I got later today. jba

Friday, August 11, 2017

Finally Getting Around to Updating the Sports Card Blogroll

It's been more than two years since I last updated the Sports Card Blogroll, and boy am I depressed. I knew I should have taken more time to do some house cleaning. Before, being able to do this once a month, was all right. But two years??? Wow, a lot of good sites have been inactive.

Long story short, since I've been back on a "semi-regular" basis, I have added six sites to the blogroll. I'm still trying to dig older emails to see if I've missed any. The bad news is that there have been 89 blogs that have not been active within the last six months (and this humble, little blog was almost one of them). A handful hadn't been touched in two years. TWO YEARS!!! So I've finally done some housecleaning around the SCBR. It is as up-to-date as I can get it. What once had an list of 297 blogs on the main roster, there are now 209.

So, for posterity, the following blogs have been removed from the Sports Card Blogroll. If you're site is among them, thank you very much for adding your voices to what was a great community:


Although these sites are no longer active, there are two blogs that have been inducted into the SCBR Hall of Fame.

The first blog inductee into the SCBR HOF is Stale Gum, which was written and hosted by Chris Harris. He was around long before many of us joined the Hobby Blogging Community, writing his take on the state of the Hobby for many years. His views weren't always positive, but there were a lot of collectors who shared his sentiments. Others (myself included) did not necessarily agree with most of his opinions, but you can't fault him for his passion for the Hobby of sports card collecting. He has since taken his musings to Twitter, where he has been an active presence and has no love lost for the bane and sole reason for his existence, the Topps Company.

The other newest inductee into the HOF is Rob, also known as the Voice of the Collector. He started in 1997 as well, just as the Hobby Blogging Community was just in its infancy. He had a unique take on the Hobby as he was one of the handful that started to rebel against the "Number One Source of the Hobby." It was this blog, along with the still going Sports Card Uncensored, and at the time Wax Heaven, that really started to get under the skin of those who ran Beckett and its Sports Card Magazines. Nowadays, Rob, who has worked with Cardboard Connection and their radio show, along with Leaf Trading Cards as a writer, works with GTS Distribution as its Marketing Manager and oversees the content that goes on the GTS website. He also hosts a web show called Go GTS Live. So his voice, although no longer active with the Blogging Community, is still strong in other media.

Removing all of these sites has been a sad endeavor. For a long time, blogging about the Hobby was a strong way to communicate our feelings and opinions about sports cards, as well as show off our collections, and make trades with others. Although there are still a lot of long-time blogging veterans still cranking out educational and inspiring posts, that number has drastically been reduced. I have always called for new voices to dive into the blogging pool, and there have been many that I have not yet discovered.

If you or someone you know has a blog about the Hobby that you would like to be added to the Sports Card Blogroll, or you had one and you are making plans to return to the Hobby Blogging Community, please feel free to contact me a bdj610@hotmail.com or follow me at Twitter @bdj610 and send me a message.

Sincerely,,

JayBee Anama

UPDATE: THURSDAY, AUGUST 17, 2017, 11:15 PM .

It occurs to me that there was one more site listed above that should have been inducted into the Blogroll Hall of Fame. I already made the announcement on Twitter, so I thought I'd do it here as well.

A third site was added to the Hall of Fame this evening: garveyceyrusselllopes, written by gcrl. Over the years, gcrl wrote about his love of the Dodgers growing up, including the infielders that he grew up watching: Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, and Davey Lopes. He joined the Hobby Blogging Community as it started to grow in 2008 and was one of the first card blogs dedicated to the Dodgers. Although this blog's run has ended, gcrl made his return to blogging with a new site called cardsasiseethem.

This brings the total of HOF blogs to ten. jba

UPDATE: TUESDAY, AUGUST 22, 2017, 12:15 PM .

After even more careful review of the sites that were removed from the active blogroll, there is one more (and I promise...for now) blog that should have been inducted into the Blogroll Hall of Fame. It's a blog that has not seen any action in just under three years, but it was worthy of consideration and should have been enshrined two years ago.

So it is with great pleasure that Emerald City Diamond Gems, written by Mariner1, into the Sports Card Blogroll Hall of Fame. A Mariners (and Dale Murphy) collector, Mariner1 introduced us to a unique perspective in card collecting in the Pacific Northwest, sharing his love of both the Mariners and their baseball cards. He started in 2010, and his Retro Mariner Sunday posts introduced us to many of the players who suited up for the M's in the early years of the franchise's existence. He decided to call it a blogging career at the end of 2014 and he has been missed. Mariner1 also contributed to two other Hobby Blogs: Ride of the Ancient Mariner, and 1979 Topps.

This brings the total of HOF blogs to eleven. jba

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Dollar Tree Pack of 2017 Topps Series 2


Over the weekend, Topps held giveaways on all of its social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with factory sets of the 2017 baseball set as the prizes. The FB contest asked for people to follow Topps and comment with his or her favorite 2017 Toppa card.

The most popular response looks to be Aaron Judge's rookie card. Other participants included his or her favorite player or someone on the team he or she roots for. I picked the Cubs Game 7 WS card. Hope I win. Today, Topps will announce the winners.

Anyway, over the weekend, I took my daughter to the dollar store becausw she wanted to get some back to school items. She said she would buy me a pack of cards for taking her there. How can I say no?

So above is the pack that she bought. It's a 5-card pack. Just base cards, no inserts, no autos, no relics. Maybe a short-printed variation (doubtful, but I've gotten those before from similar packs). Let's see what's inside.

  • #406 Stephen Vogt, Athletics 
  • #426 New York Mets Team Card
  • #564 Washington Nationals Team Card
  • #451 Jharel Cotton, Athletics 
  • #682 James Shields, White Sox


When I get a new computer, I plan to rescan this.

So I get two A's, two team cards, and "Big Game" James. Not the greatest pack in the world for a Cubs fan, but it will do for a card fix.

Not a bad way to start the week. Now...on to the hunt. Job hunt that is.

Sincerely,

Jaybee Anama

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen, Introducing 2018 Topps Baseball

It's that time of year again. And if this time of the year hasn't been marked on your calendar as a Topps Baseball Card Collector, I do not know what is wrong with you.

Because it's August! That means the preview of next year's Topps baseball cards should be coming out just...about...NOW!!!

Yes, we still have two months more of baseball season (not counting playoffs), and 2017 Topps Update Series hasn't come out yet. And don't forget National Baseball Card Day on August 12.

Today, The Topps Company introduced its newest design for the eponymous set, the one that starts off the 2018 Baseball Card Season starts.

Are you ready?

Are you excited?

I know I am.

So what are we waiting for?

Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the design for 2018 Topps Baseball:


Initial thoughts: I love how this looks on screen. It's borderless once again, and has some elements that remind me of 2014 Topps (the wave that's holding the logo like it's going down a waterslide). But the key design elements, to me anyway, are the digital looking bands that contain the name of the player, his position, and the team name. Note how on the right the digital bits look like they are coming together to form them (or maybe breaking apart)?

This looks great on screen, and I can't wait to see how these look physically. Again, I wish they would show off the back of the cards too, but that would be wishful thinking. Besides, the company had to leave us in suspense somehow.

But what do you think? Do you like the design? Hate it? Thoughts?

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Wow!!! What Happened to This Place??!

It's a barren wasteland...

Nothing's happened here in almost six months...

What happened to this place???

It seems like this place is just about dead...

Or is it???

It's been almost six months since anything was written on this humble, little blog. Let me tell you, this was not what I had in mind when I first joined the Hobby Blogging Community.

A lot of things have changed since I last posted on a regular basis. Specifically, the fact that I didn't have much free time while I was working. The fact is that the job I had since the end of 2013 has now been phased out and I have a bit more free time on my hands now. It's no fault of mine or the company. The company has grown leaps and bounds, and my position was something that they felt was no longer necessary in the way it was first created. So they will move on without me. Consider me a free agent.

So, now what???

Well, short of the idea of looking for full-time work, I have a lot more time to dedicate to the blog (and the Sports Card Blogroll - you may have noticed that I added about five sites to it yesterday). There have been a lot of reasons for the inactivity. The main reason is probably the lamest: my flash drive died.

That's right. My flash drive that contained all of my spreadsheets, my SBS rosters, card images...stopped working back in 2015. I could not get it to connect to any computer, so all of my information is in a physical limbo until I can afford to get them all retrieved (if I can even do that at all). I have finally found a place that can try and pull my data from the dead drive, so after I send it out in a couple of weeks, I'm crossing my fingers.

With my flash drive dead, my motivation to keep up the site went south. It had all of my all-star rosters, and I was just starting on the 2015 All-Star teams when it went kaput. So if you're wondering (and I'm hoping that there are people who have wondered what my deal was), that's the main thing of it.

Also, earlier this year, I had written that my dad was diagnosed with liver and rectal cancer. He has since been on therapies and radiation treatments. All the while, he has remained extremely positive, even though there have been days when he's totally drained. But he fights on as best we could, and his children and grandchildren have been his support along the way. There is still a long way to go, but by all accounts, he's doing well. That's not a reason why I had stopped writing, but I figured I'd update his condition to those that sent well-wishes.

I'll be honest, I did write some articles for the blog, including a blog bat-around article back in March. However, with work responsibilities, I never got around to finishing them. Now that I have a bit more time on my hands, and probably when I get a new home computer, I'll work on finishing them.

This blog is now nine years old. That's almost a lifetime in blog years. I may not have written much these last few years, but I've never forgotten the reasons why I started writing. I've never fully abandoned the Hobby, let's just say I've been on a bit of a break. I had previously discussed the possibility of scaling back and just focus on the eponymous sets. That for sure has not been decided as there is still so much that I would like to get my hands on. But I think I'll take a bit more of a patient approach. Instead of rushing out to add to the collection immediately, I think I'll take my time. So what if I have to wait a year or so to get this year's A&G set. I should practice being patient (and hoping for lower prices) with buying sets.

But until then (and yes, I've promised this so many times before), I'm back. I'll be writing a bit more when I can (like when that flash drive comes back), and I'll try to make up for lost time.

Until then...if you're at the National, have fun!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, February 18, 2017

What Would Make Me Want to Buy 2017 Topps Archives...Maybe

I'd like to thank everyone who has left comments, sent me emails and DM's regarding my dad. He had his first chemo cocktail this past Tuesday, and seems to have been in great spirits since. Yes, he was in pain, and it was noticeable on Monday when my family did see him. But he put up a brave front and carried on as if nothing was going on. He's been a symbol of strength and we continue to pray that as the treatments continue, he will continue to fight this and, more importantly, win.

Now, this was what I was trying to write about last week.


The product called Topps Archives really tugs at my heartstrings. I loved the concept of it when 2001 Topps Archives was launched.

For those unfamiliar with the product, The first time the words Topps and Archives were put together, it was in 1983, when Topps created a set honoring their iconic 1952 set. With certain exceptions (because they could not get the subjects or his estate's permission) it was a standard-sized reprint set of all 1952 Topps cards. It was an alternative for those who could not afford the actual cards.

In 1991, Topps reprinted it's 1953 set, again with a couple of omissions. But this time, Topps added a number of "what could have been" cards had they thought doing them. Among the subjects were a young Hank Aaron (imagine if he had a card in the 1953 set).

Two more editions were unleashed to the masses. In 1994, Topps Archives put out a 1954 revival that needed help from that other card company. Because it had the rights to Ted Williams' likeness and images, Upper Deck included card #'s 1 and 250 in it's 1994 All-Time Heroes product. Along with these two cards, UD was nice enough to make a card #259 (Topps did create card #'s 251-258, including a "rookie card" of Roberto Clemente)...of Mickey Mantle.

Finally, in what was to be a foreshadowing of what would eventually the Topps Archives I'd come to love in the first part of the new century, 1995 saw the creation of a Brooklyn Dodgers commemorative set, featuring reprints of all the Brooklyn Dodgers (plus some new ones created just for this product) that graced its cardboard.

Fast forward to 2001, Topps' 50th anniversary. Part of its year-long celebration was the return of Topps Archives. The concept of recreating the first and last cards of 200 retired players was pure genius. Yes, there'd be reprint rookie cards of Hall of Famers (many of whom I'd never be able to afford), but there were also the "Fan-Favorites." Role players, as well as those legendary in the collective hearts and minds of their fans and franchises, were included in this production that took two series to complete. This is the set I loved and cherish so much that I have it stored in a Topps binder that has, what else, Topps cards on the front of it. The following year, Topps brought back the Archives name, featuring reprinted cards from 200 player's "best seasons." It was a great concept. It featured a number of players that didn't appear the previous year. The only drawback was the fact that Topps "included" the player's stats from that year's design. This was great for cards from the 50's through 70's. But cards of players who were "traded" or signed as free agents, and had actual cards from the Traded era were relegated to their cards before the transaction. So you had a 1987 card of Andre Dawson, not as a Cub, but as an Expo.

Now fast forward to 2011. Topps Lineage was introduced in 2011. Although the base cards included had a generic design, the big draw of the product was the tribute to past insert sets, cards included in packs from the 60's and 70's. Although Lineage was a one-year wonder, Topps thought to bring back the Archives name the following year. This time, the concept consisted of featuring four designs from the company's history, featuring a mix of current and past players, as well as featured inserts from the past as well. The insert sets featured throughout the years not only consisted of cards from the eponymous product, but from other brands as well (Stadium Club) and other sports (I think there was a basketball insert one year...and some were from Topps' NFL product).

This was all well and good. But Topps already has a Heritage line honoring past sets. Why create a second set that utilizes past designs with present players. I have the first two years' sets of this current revival. But after 2014, I stopped. It's become "Heritage Lite" to me. The inserts and autographs are fine (at least the first year's worth), and some of the inserts themes are great (one year included cards from the movie Major League), but I couldn't see my self continuing buying this set other than a few packs. I wasn't then, nor am I now, a Topps Heritage collector, and this set was just a reminder of it.

By now, if I haven't bored you with Archives' long celebrated history (at least you must be wondering what's my point??!), you're asking yourself why did I waste my time...

Well, I'll tell you (and now for more backstory).

From 1996 through 2000, Topps included a retrospective set of cards, honoring one player. In 1996, as he had passed away the year before, Topps included reprinted cards from Mickey Mantle's legendary Topps cardboard career. The set consisted of 19 Topps and Bowman cards featuring the Commerce Comet, split into two series. Card #20, a reprint of the Mick's 1952 Bowman card, was included in 1996 Bowman. Another 16, featuring Mantle and other players, were inserted the following year in packs of 1997 Topps. Not only did Topps include reprints of Mantle, but they also included reprinted cards from Willie Mays' career, split into two series, from 1952 through 1973. In 1998, reprints of Roberto Clemente's cards from 1955 through 1973 were inserted into packs. Nolan Ryan, and his 27 Topps cards, were featured in 1999. Finally, Hank Aaron was honored with a commemorative set of his own.

Last week, Topps announced that a 23-card Tribute to Derek Jeter will be among the inserts in its 2017 Topps Archives product. It will consist of reprinted cards of Derek Jeter's Topps cards from 1993 (the draft pick card) through 2015.

But there's a catch.

There will be 20 cards that will be easy to find. Three will be short-printed:
  • His 1993 rookie card


  • His 2015 card (his final card)


  • His infamous 2007 card, complete with Mickey Mantle in the dugout and President George W. Bush in the stands

Remember that one?


Now, this isn't the first time Topps has honored Jeter in this way. A couple of years ago, Topps included "framed reprint" cards of the Yankee legend. These cards were more expensive individually than the cards they were honoring.

I think if anyone tried hard enough, he or she can get all of Jeter's cards, from rookie to final - including the Bush/Mantle version - for just under 100, and that's being liberal. It's bad enough that Topps is putting this set (with variations, parallels, and the like) in Archives, but as I have every Topps set since 1976, I have every single one of Derek Jeter's eponymous cards.

Now I know he's been retired for a couple of seasons now (and he'll be a first-time dad to boot). But is it too soon for a Jeter retrospective? Was there nobody available? Were there no other players whose name could have been uttered in the same breath as Mantle, Mays, Clemente, Ryan, and Aaron that could have gotten the reprint treatment? Is there not another player with enough of a card library that could have been featured?

So I have to ask myself: do I want to have a go at trying to complete this set (or getting one off the Bay)? Should I do it? Would it be worth the time, money, effort? If I find one on the auction site, should I just focus on the reprint set? Or should I swallow my pride and buy an Archives set?

It's early yet. The product doesn't come out until later in the year. Maybe I will...maybe I won't. I don't know.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, February 13, 2017

Dad...

Today I planned to write about my thoughts on the Derek Jeter retrospective set that's being included in 2017 Topps Archives.

I'll save it for another day.

I'm having a tough time trying to get my thoughts out about this, but it's a bit hard for me. I know that this is a baseball card blog, and I know that I haven't been on here a lot the last two years. I also know that I try not to talk about personal things about my life, but that's happened from time to time (the death of my grandmother, losing a job, the struggles to find another, and ultimately finding one). But today, something has hit me...hard. And although this has been going on for quite some time, as I've already seen my siblings post on FB about it, I guess it's time for me to pour my heart out about it as well.

Late last year, my parents had announced that were taking a trip to the Philippines. It would be the first time they'd go home in more than 30 years. They'd be seeing family, friends, and classmates (at least my dad would...I'm sure my mom would figure out how to get her friends together) they haven't seen in years. They'd be visiting places they had not been to in a very long time. We were really happy that they'd be going.

After getting through with the Philippines Embassy (and the funny story about getting passport pictures), they went to get physicals. My mom was okay. But the news my dad got was (cue the clickbait headlines...) shocking.

He was diagnosed first with rectal carcinoma. Translation: rectal cancer. From what we were told, they caught it early, and it was treatable. As shocking as it was, hearing that it was caught early and that treatment was going to be radiation or surgery was a big relief. The more important thing was that he'd survive this. He was scheduled to get a cat scan so the doctors could figure out how and where to begin.

Then we got the results of the cat scan.

They found cancer in his liver. And it was more serious. Now, I'm not fully aware of all of the details about this. I know that apparently this has been developing in him for about a year now, and who knows how many tumors they were able to spot. His liver is functioning, so they said chemotherapy was the way to go. Shrink the cancer in his liver and it should also work in the rectum. The doctors said that it's not genetic, but for us kids (and his grandkids) we should seriously consider getting checked once we all reach 45-years old (which for me is about 4 years from now).

For the last year now, my dad has made it a habit to call me on a daily basis, right around 8-9 in the am. Today, he's on his way to the hospital to get a port installed to prepare for the chemo cocktail. He's supposed to stay in the hospital for a few hours afterwards for observation. As I started writing this, he called. I certainly was not expecting it. But he said he was on his way to the hospital and just wanted to say hi. We're making plans on seeing him later tonight after everything settles down.

So for now, as you'll see on the top right corner of this humble, little blog, I have a picture with two ribbons: a blue one for colo-rectal cancer awareness, and a green one for liver cancer awareness. It's my one way to show support for my dad virtually.


I'm not expecting anyone to get through this entire article. Nor am I asking for sympathy. This is not a pity party. This is a call to arms. I am asking for a couple of things though:

  • Prayers for my dad. He's agreed to the chemo and all the after effects. Pray that all of this does its job and helps rid the cancer.
  • Prayers for my mom to help her stay strong. She's a strong woman already, but all of this has taken a toll.
  • Prayers for my family that we can show and supply all the support that he's going to need.

And while this last request might sound cliché, please consider getting checked and screened when that time comes. Health is something we've all taken for granted from time to time and may have been set lower on our priority lists. But it's better to check now and make sure you're healthy instead of finding out too late that...something's not right somewhere.

Dad, I'm praying for you. You've remained (for the most part) upbeat and positive throughout this entire ordeal. I know that the trip you and mom has been postponed indefinitely. I do hope that when all of this is over that you two can go back home.

I Love You. See you tonight.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, February 10, 2017

Rediscovering Topps: 1987 Topps Tom O'Malley #164

After opening five regular packs and two jumbo packs of 2017 Topps products, let's just say I'm so happy that I finally was able to get into the frenzy, albeit a week late.

I have a decent amount of base cards for a starter set (which I'm most likely going to give to my nephew). The inserts look really nice. This is what I have so far:

  • Three MLB Award cards (retail exclusive): Kris Bryant (NL Hank Aaron Award), Jose Fernandez (NL Comeback Player of the Year). David Ortiz (AL Hank Aaron Award)
  • One MLB Award Red parallel (retail exclusive): Corey Seager (NL Rookie of the Year)
  • One Topps Gold card: Jonathan Villar (0023/2007)
  • One Rainbow Foil card: Andrew Cashner
  • Three Discover Topps: 1975 George Brett, 1989 Traded Ken Griffey, Jr, 2012 Mike Trout
  • One First Pitch: Bethanie Mattek-Sands (Tennis Player)
  • Three 1987 cards: Sandy Koufax, Miguel Sano Future Stars, Rickey Henderson
  • Three 5-Tool Players: Wil Myers, Noah Syndergaard, Madison Bumgarner

And one more:


A 1987 (fitting) Topps Tom O'Malley card with the words "Rediscover Topps" in bronze foil.

So, who's Tom O'Malley???

A few years ago, I did a daily segment called "Random Topps Card of the Day." Using an Excel spreadsheet, based on what the numbers randomly appeared (a year, and then a number), I would feature that card as the Topps Card of the Day. I haven't done it in a while, and my randomizer is lost in my flash drive that needs to be data recovered (long story). I haven't had a chance to make a new one, so why not do one now.

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1987 Topps #164.
  • Player Name, position, team: Tom O'Malley, third baseman, Baltimore Orioles.
  • Major League Debut: May 8, 1982.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1986 stats (Orioles): 56 G, 181 AB, 19 R, 46 H, 9 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 18 RBI, 0 SB, .320 SLG, 17 BB, 21 SO, .254 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Giants #16th, June 1979). Bats: leftt. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 6. This is his third Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Tom batted over .600 as a high school senior."
  • Commentary: In honor of the 30th anniversary of the now famous (or infamous) 1987 set, Topps is including "tribute" cards as one of it's inserts. It harkens back to last decade, when Topps would honor a mini set, akin to the tobacco cards. In fact, one of the sets they featured was a miniaturized version of the 1987 set. The set in series 1 includes 100 current and former players, including some players who had cards in the original 1987 set. Tom O'Malley spent most of his 19-year professional career travelling back and forth between the majors and minor leagues for seven different franchises. His only full season in the majors came in 1983, when he appeared in 135 games for the Giants. That season, he hit for a .259 average with 5 home runs and 45 rbi's. After the 1986 campaign, O'Malley signed with the Texas Rangers. He would spend most of the year with the Rangers' AAA team in Oklahoma City. Thanks to a .311/12 HR/70 RBI season with the 89ers, he earned a call-up to the Rangers in August. In 45 games for Texas, O'Malley would hit for a .271 average, hitting one home run, driving in 12 rbi's, and had a slash line of .351/.368/.718. He'd be traded to the Expos after the season ended. A few years later, with time spent with Montreal and the Mets, he signed with the Hanshin Tigers in the Japan Central League. Finally getting more playing time in Japan, O'Malley would hit 123 homers and 488 rbi's in six seasons.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.01-$0.05.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 6 cards.

If anybody is interested in any of the cards I listed above, please send me an email at bdj610@hotmail.com or send me a message on Twitter (follow me @bdj610). Or if you have a want list, send one over, and if I have the cards, I'll be more than happy to send them your way.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

2017 Topps Series 1 Cards in Hand...FINALLY!!!


After a week of waiting and watching everyone else enviously opening packs, boxes, and cases full of the stuff, I finally have my hands on some packs of 2017 Topps Series 1. Needless to say, I'm thrilled. I've been dying to see these cards up close and personal, and now I have my chance.

So without further ado, my first card of 2017 is:


This is a good card to get as the first of the year (last year's was Nick Ahmed of the Diamondbacks). It's a Rookie Card, complete with the MLB RC logo. Bregman was the 3B for the 2016 Topps All-Star Rookie Team. He's expected to do big things for the 'Stros in 2017. He's on an infield that includes Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve. As Harold Reynolds says, "What's not to like? He's tremendous!" (I've been watching waaaay too much Hot Stove on the MLB Network...can baseball start up already??!)

What else showed up on my initial pack of eponymous product?:

  • #300 Arodys Vizcaino, Braves
  • #27 Kurt Suzuki, Twins
  • #204 Anthony Rizzo, Cubs, RBI League Leaders (2nd place)
  • #16 Lance McCullers, Astros
  • #137 Yan Gomes, Indians
  • #5T-16 Wil Myers, Padres, 5 Tool Players
  • George Brett 1975 reprint promo card
  • #340 Aaron Nola, Phillies
  • #59 Carlos Rodon, White Sox
  • #191 Wilson Ramos, Nationals
  • #252 Clint Robinson, Nationals
  • #182 Keon Broxton, Brewers

Here are some of my thoughts about this first pack of cards:

  • While I like having a Cubs card (albeit a Rizzo LL card), I think if they were to have a single player for a LL card, it should only be of the actual league leader (in this case, Arenado). I know that both Arenado and Kemp will have their own RBI LL cards, but Topps could have just left it at one card per league per stat, with the LL on the front, and maybe the other two pictured with the leaderboard on the back.
  • Love the rainbow of colors used for the backs of the card. They're bright and the text on the back is easy to read. The social media section is nice if you want to follow you favorite players on Twitter and Instagram, but I find it funny that if a player doesn't have either (like Suzuki for example) that Topps takes advantage of it by adding its handles.
  • The Five Tool insert looks a bit busy, but I get it. There are five pictures of Myers on his card, supposedly featuring the five tools he is supposed to possess (hit, hit for power, run, field, throw).
  • The pictures on the cards are really up close and personal. Like for Ramos' card, it looks like you're actually on the mound as he gets into his batter's stance.
  • I like the design of this set. The fog that was prevalent on last year's set is limited to the bottom part of the card, just under the diagonal design element. The design justifies not having borders. But I do miss them and hope they come back in 2018.

Overall, it was a good pack. I can't wait to tear into the rest of my haul today (or later today).

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Well, It Was Opening Day!!! Hope You Enjoyed Yourselves!!!


Keith Olbermann opened a few packs at Topps World Headquarters the other day.

MLB Network's Matt Vasgersian and Al Leiter (filling in for Harold Reynolds) opened a box on Hot Stove this morning.

And yes, some people found cards at their local big box store earlier than expected.

But today...

TODAY!!!

Today was Opening Day!!! Not for baseball (because that's in a couple of weeks), but for Baseball Card Season!!!

If you were able to get to your Hobby shop and they had them, or if your local retail shop had them in house, I hope you were able to buy a few packs, boxes (don't search...of course). Build those sets.

Just save some for me. There was nothing at my big box store today (unlike last year where 2016 Topps was there in all its glory). I won't be able to buy any until next week.

Or maybe I will tomorrow. There's always hope.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, January 30, 2017

Have You Seen the Backs of 2017 Topps Yet???

So 2017 Topps Series 1 is coming out later this week (possibly??!). We all know what this year's design looks like. But unless you were one of the select few to attend that Las Vegas party a few weeks back, or somehow managed to snag a couple of cards on the Bay, we did not know what the card backs look like.

Well...we do now.

You see, someone on FB posted their complaint about the card backs. Especially because (you're not going to believe this), he said that the stats on the back, which for a very long time showed complete statistics for the players, sometimes even more than 15 years worth of statistics, was no longer on the back of the cards.

His words:

"I bought 2 packs of 2017 topps baseball series 1 at my local target and when I open the first pack on the back of the cards there wasn't the traditional full career stats on the back of the players card! Why didn't topps do this? could someone let me know about this?"

After many on FB doubted his claim, he showed pictures:

Photo from J. DeLand on Facebook

Okay, so let's look at the details:

The cross-diagonal line design element continues on the back. There is a card number, the series (1, 2, or Update) that has appeared in the last three base sets. Team logo. A bio.

Oh, and look. You can follow the Coco Crisp on Twitter and Instagram as both social media profiles are included.

There's the stat box. Five years of lines. The usual stat headers are listed. But at the bottom?

MLB Totals (15 Years)

While the guy was kind of right by saying that not all of his totals are listed on there. There is a totals line.

So this is the first time since 1971, Topps is not going to display a player's full career statistics. Could this be a one-year thing? Will Topps continue the social media links in future sets? I guess in this day and age it makes sense. But at the cost of less stat lines?

What do you think? If you'd like (and are still reading this blog...or waiting to see if I'm still relevant), feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think.

I can't wait to see what these look like up close.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, January 27, 2017

So I Guess Card #7 Is No Longer Retired??!

After the announcement that Kris Bryant will hold the pole position for the 2017 Topps set, the final checklist with all the numbers assigned to the other 349 cards has been updated. Something got my attention though:

Here are the first 10 cards in sequential order:

#1Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
#2 Jason Hammel, Chicago Cubs
#3 Chris Capuano, Milwaukee Brewers
#4 Mark Reynolds, Colorado Rockies
#5 Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers
#6 Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays
#7 Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees
#8 Jose Berrios, Minnesota Twins
#9 Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
#10 Steven Souza Jr., Tampa Bay Rays

Two Cubs cards leading things off. Awesome. NL Rookie of the Year takes #5, Chris Sale is #9...hold it.

Wait...I didn't just type that, did I?

1...2...3...(mumbling 4-6)...7 Gary Sanchez...

I'm sorry. Card #7? And it's not Mickey Mantle??!

So apparently, after years of no card 7 (starting in 1997), and then a decade of Mantle (2006...with 10 extra cards to make up for the missing 7 in the first ten years), followed by another four-year hiatus (2013-2016), there will no longer be a need for a filler card on the bottom left corner of the first page of my 2017 Topps binder.

At least, they kept it consistent as a New York Yankee is the subject (no pressure Gary). No official word from Topps as to why #7 is back in circulation in the base set.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Introducing Card #1 for 2017 Topps

The subject for card #1 in the eponymous 2017 Topps set was just announced on the MLB Network this morning. The winner of the fan vote from late last year is...


Why not? He only was:

  • 2015 Rookie of the Year
  • a two-time NL All-Star
  • 2016 NL MVP

and most importantly...

a World Series Champion!!!

Well deserved honor.

And with that, a final checklist, with card numbers, will be coming soon.

I can't wait for Opening Day!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hallbound...2017!!!

The votes are in...


  • Jeff Bagwell 381 (86.2%);
  • Tim Raines 380 (86%);
  • Ivan Rodriguez 307 (76.0%);
  • Trevor Hoffman 327 (74.0%);
  • Vladimir Guerrero 317 (71.7%);
  • Edgar Martinez 259 (58.6%);
  • Roger Clemens 239 (54.1%);
  • Barry Bonds 238 (53.8%);
  • Mike Mussina 229 (51.8%);
  • Curt Schilling 199 (45.3%);
  • Lee Smith 151 (34.1%);
  • Manny Ramirez 105 (23.8%);
  • Larry Walker 97 (21.9%);
  • Fred McGriff 96 (21.7%);
  • Jeff Kent 74 (16.7%);
  • Gary Sheffield 59 (13.3%);
  • Billy Wagner 45 (10.2%);
  • Sammy Sosa 38 (8.6%);
  • Jorge Posada 17 (3.8%);
  • Magglio Ordonez 3 (0.7%);
  • Edgar Renteria 2 (0.5%);
  • Jason Varitek 2 (0.5%);
  • Tim Wakefield 1 (0.2%);
  • Casey Blake 0;
  • Pat Burrell 0;
  • Orlando Cabrera 0;
  • Mike Cameron 0;
  • J.D. Drew 0;
  • Carlos Guillen 0;
  • Derrek Lee 0;
  • Melvin Mora 0;
  • Arthur Rhodes 0;
  • Freddy Sanchez 0;
  • Matt Stairs 0;

Congratulations to Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan Rodriguez for being elected into the Hall of Fame. On this year's ballot, a player needed to receive 332 votes to reach or exceed the 75% needed for induction.

The players whose names are italicized will appear on next year's ballot, having surpassed the five percent rule to stay on (23 votes). Lee Smith was on his fifteenth and final ballot. He will now wait for the Veteran's Committee to decide his fate in the future.

According to the Baseball Hall of Fame website, 442 ballots were cast.

No one has mentioned this yet, but all three of this year's inductees are members of Topps All-Star Rookie Team. The "Rock" was on the 1981 ASRT, while both Bagwell and "Pudge" were part of the 1991 team. I think I'm going to visit the Wikipedia page and make a few edits...

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Update: Wednesday, January 17, 2017, 07:10 PM CST

After a bit of digging, it looks like of the 442 ballots that were cast, two of them were blank.

One (or More) of These Players Could Be Voted into Baseball's Hall of Fame

I will explain my month-long absence in another post on another day. But as today is HOF day, I thought I'd at least try to make an appearance.

When the announcement is made at 05:00 PM CST on Wednesday, January 18, 2016, to let the world know who has been inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame, I will be at work. But I'll still have the MLB Network on to watch the results live.

With any luck, more than one person on this list of 34 players will be rewarded with the ultimate honor...enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. For the final time, here is the list of players (with years on ballot and % of ballots in the 2016 election) being considered:



This is the last time on the ballot for both Tim Raines and Lee Smith. As you probably know, the rules were changed so that a player could only be on the ballot for no more than 10 years before they are to be removed from the ballot and then considered by a Veteran's Committee. Smith is on a grandfathered clause from when 15 years was the rule.

Now as much as my daughter would love to see her hero (that would be Derrek Lee) get inducted, it's most likely that he's not going to survive the 5% threshold. I'm looking forward to the results, and will make sure to post them as soon as I can find the final results. Until then, I'll probably be "twitter-screaming" the results (follow me at @bdj610 if you want).


As of the time of this post, it's 15 minutes to go before the announcement. I'm sure by now someone has already told the future inductees that they're in. So begins the whirlwind tour for them.

Good luck to everyone.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama