Sunday, December 31, 2017

It's the End of 2017, and What Have I Done??! Well...

Other than blow off Pack Break Week and then almost forget I have a baseball card blog? Not much.

A few days into the new job, I was asked if I wanted to take home a computer. As long as I can get it working, it was mine, no strings attached. Guess what I was able to do?

So after months of spending time at the local library, I have a new-ish computer. It's from at least 2013, but it is fully loaded. I just had to get rid of a lot of stuff (you know, because it was from the office, and there were things on here that I don't need to see). I had to add a lot of stuff (like Windows Office, because I need my spreadsheets). I bought new stuff, like a printer/scanner (because my scanner, my baby, wasn't compatible with the new Windows suite) and a wi-fi expander (because my modem is in the basement and we've needed one for quite some time). I also am now responsible for making sure I have a working firewall and anti-virus software.

So now, as promised, when I have time (and there is not a lot of it honestly), I will be back posting on this humble little blog.

My 2017 Topps binder is now complete. I did wind up buying a six-inch binder to hold all of the cards within it. It's crammed to the gills with cards from the following sets:
  • 700 cards from Topps Series 1 and 2
  • 300 cards from Topps Update Series
  • 5 micellaneous advertisement cards
  • 5 Topps Rookie Variation cards (from the factory set)
  • 5 Rediscover Topps cards (buybacks)
  • 40 First Pitch cards
  • 29 MLB Network cards
  • 20 Bowman Then and Now cards
  • 50 Five Tool cards
  • 20 Major League Milestones cards
  • 50 Memorable Moments cards
  • 150 1987 Topps tribute cards from all three series
  • 10 ad cards that had reprints of rookie cards on the front
  • 150 Topps Salute cards
  • 30 Topps Salute Jackie Robinson cards
  • 30 Topps Salute Independence Day cards
  • 14 2016 MLB Award Winners cards
  • 18 2016 Silver Slugger Award Winner cards
  • 18 2016 Gold Glove Award Winner cards
  • 21 Home Run Derby Champs cards
  • 25 MLB All-Star Game MVP cards
  • 50 All-Time All-Stars cards
  • 21 2017 Topps Archives Derek Jeter reprint cards (20 from set plus 1 red-back 2007 card)
  • 30 National Baseball Card Day cards
  • 30 Untouchables cards
  • 50 All-Rookie Cup reprint cards
  • 30 MVP Award Winner cards
  • 25 Postseason Celebration cards
  • 25 Storied World Series cards
  • 25 Heroes of Autumn cards

That's a whopping 1,976 cards.

Think about that for a minute.

One thousand, nine hundred, seventy-six cards.

Not counting the Jeter set, the Baseball Card Day, and the Ad and buybacks, that's 915 insert cards that Topps inserted in packs and blasters in 2017.

Boy, that's a lot of cards.

I'll be honest, I'm hoping Topps tones down on the number of insert cards in 2018. When there are almost as many insert cards than base cards in a product, it might be time to re-think what goes into the eponymous set. Don't get me wrong. Some of the insert sets were great. I liked the Bowman card set, the Salute series, and Memorable Moments. I wasn't a big fan of the Five Tool set only because it was too busy of a design trying to incorporate both the Topps Fire concept and five large images of a player onto the front of the card. I like the Retail-exclusive and Walmart/Target-exclusive insert sets as well. But did we really need parallel cards of insert cards? I'm not sure it was necessary as it made it harder to build a set. Now, of course some would say that I could have just kept the parallel cards and just included them with the base set, but my collecting OCD would have had a major problem with that.

But before I get ready for work (yes, I am working New Year's Eve tonight), I'd like to get something out of the way once and for all.

Remember during National Baseball Card Day, not only did I get free packs of the Trading Card day cards, I bought random packs of 2017 Topps products. Among them were a couple of packs of 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter's. Inside the pack that I had opened (saving the other for pack break week which I promise I will continue soon...with some surprises) was this card:

I had asked around, and people said to go ahead and open the card. So, as the calendar changes from 2017 to 2018, let's find out what was in the Noah Syndergaard Rip Card:

Okay, so it wasn't a Judge Auto. But it's a mini parallel of Red Sox legend Ted Williams. Judge what you will about the tone of my voice on the video once I opened the card, but I am happy. First for even getting a Rip Card in a pack, and then pulling a parallel card of a HOF legend.

So I have to get going soon. Let's get to it:

Goodbye 2017!!!

Hello 2018!!!

Goodbye 2017 Topps Design!!!

Hello 2018 Topps Design!!!

May all your collections grow to new heights. Let's hope Topps makes it a bit easier on us insane set collectors. Thank you for letting me into your computers this past year. I hope to be able to share more of my collection with you in 2018!!!


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Pack Break Week: 2017 Topps Stadium Club

Last night saw the return of Pack Break Week with the opening of a Series 1 pack. Today's pack is fron 2017 Topps Stadium Club.

With an incredible focus on photography and a great checklist that mixes current and legendary players, Stadium Club has been a great success among Topps' catalog of products. It's also one of Topps older premium brands, dating back to 1991. Now, I have no plans on going to try and complete this set, but I do have respect for it and am curious as to what was in this pack that I bought on National Baseball Card Day.

Don't forget later this week, I will be ripping open the Noah Syndergaard Rip Card from A&G.

So what's in this pack of 2017 Topps Stadium Club?

Opening pack now...

Here are the eight cards that were contained inside the above pack:
  • #135 Jameson Taillon, P, Pirates
  • #193 Jackie Robinson, 2B, Dodgers
  • #203 Hernan Perez, 3B, Brewers
  • #110 Michael Conforto, OF, Mets
  • #216 Odubel Herrera, OF, Phillies
  • #SS-CS Chris Sale, P, Red Sox, Scoreless Streak insert
  • #297 Curtis Granderson, OF, Mets
  • #259 Adrian Beltre, 3B, Rangers

Thoughts: No Cubs, not even a White Sox player (and no, Sale doesn't count) to speak of here. All-Stars? Sure...with Conforto, Herrera, Granderson, and Beltre. The Jackie Robinson card is nice, and the picture selection doesn't disappoint. My only concern new is that with Topps' eponymous designs no longer including borders, and focusing more on photos with minimal but unique design elements, is there even a need for this kind of a set?

Tomorrow's pack will be from 2017 Topps Archives. While I am not expecting much out of Heritage Lite, maybe something good will come from it. Maybe.

Watch this space.


JayBee Anama

Monday, December 4, 2017

Pack Break Week: 2017 Topps Series 1

It's the return of Pack Break Week here on this humble, little blog. The idea is to celebrate the past baseball card season while looking forward to next season. And what better way to do this then my opening packs of this year's product.

As you probably recall, I went to three different card shops during National Baseball Card Day. Along with getting my free packs of NBC cards, I also bought some random packs of Series 1 & 2 of the eponymous product, plus some packs of this year's editions of Allen & Ginter's, Archives, and Stadium Club. Along the way, 1 pack of A&G included a rip card of Noah Syndergaard. I'm going to open that card on Friday and reveal what was hidden inside of it.

In the meantime, let's open the series 1 pack and find out what was inside of it.

Opening pack now...

Here are the ten cards that were contained inside the above pack:
  • #268 Anthony Gose, OF, Tigers
  • #330 Doug Fister, P, Astros
  • #28 Rick Porcello, P, Red Sox, AL Wins Leader
  • #119 Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
  • #S-69 Ozzie Smith, SS, Cardinals, Topps Salutes Legends insert
  • #272 Pat Neshek, P, Astros
  • #332 Huston Street, P, Angels
  • #92 Derek Norris, C, Padres
  • #259 Jose DeLeon, P, Dodgers
  • #294 Kole Calhoun, OF, Angels

Thoughts: a typical 10-card pack. Not much to write home about in terms of a wow factor (at least for the Chicagoan). Lots of West Coast teams represented in this pack, plus an insert of Ozzie Smith, as well as a card of fellow card collector Pat Neshek.

Tomorrow's pack will be from 2017 Topps Stadium Club. Will there be a special auto, relic, or short-print inside?

Stay tuned.


JayBee Anama

Friday, December 1, 2017

A New Beginning

For those of you who still happen to read this humble, little blog, you know that the reason for my recent activity was because I was no longer employed. Realistically, I have been working, but not making enough money to pay major bills. I was able to get back to blogging on a semi-regular basis, and I've enjoyed re-connecting with the Hobby, the blogs, and most importantly, the cards in my collection.

Starting Monday, December 4, I return to the specialty foods industry, but with a food broker instead of a distributor. And I'll be returning to an office environment instead of working from home. Meaning no more more MLB more playing games on the tablet during the day. It's going to be a new experience, and I am grateful to those of you who have reached out to me and given me encouragement, moral support, prayers, and, most importantly, job leads. I will be forever grateful for your kindness and taking time out of your busy days to check in on me.

Now, the blog...

still goes on.

Well, let me explain.

I have a tablet. It helps because I can get online and do get onto the blog and catch up on other sites. The only trouble I have is that it's hard to write using it. Yes, the touchscreen is great, and I could certainly use the voice-to-text thing, but it's an inconvenience at best, and time consuming at worst. I certainly can't go back and forth with my research on a tablet (try copying and pasting spreadsheet data on a tablet...having fun yet??!)

So, until I get a computer that I can use at home (and I vowed not to use my kids' laptops from school), the only time I'll get to sit down in front of a computer will be at the local library.

Onto the baseball card portion of the program.

I am working on my 2017 Topps Update Series set. I have the base set done, but now am working on inserts. Money is obviously at a premium, so trades would be welcome for any cards you're willing to part with. You can email me at with what cards you have and what cards you need (your want lists don't necessarily have to be from this set...)

I am definitely looking forward to 2018 Topps. I wish I could see cards in hand, but I'm not that well connected with The Company to have that kind of access.

Regarding, the Sports Card Blogroll, 8 blogs will be removed for reaching past six months of inactivity. They are:

That brings us down to 217 active blogs on the big Blogroll. As always, if you, or someone you know, writes a blog about the Hobby of Sports Card Collecting, and it's not on my list, please drop me a line at If you've recently decided to bring your inactive blog back to relevance, let me know as well.

One thing I will definitely have time for is the return of Pack Break Week. Starting next week, using the magic of the tablet, I'm going to open the packs that I bought back during National Baseball Trading Card Day and see what each holds. And after a lot of agony over making this decision, I will also reveal what was inside that 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter's Noah Syndergaard Rip Card that I found in the one pack of A&G that I did open a few months back. That should be entertaining.

Finally, after going over the entries that I received for the Guess the 2017 Topps All-Star Rookie Team contest that was held last month, nobody out-predicted me in the contest. I had seven, as you recall, and of all the entries, the only person who matched the number of names was Jason Carter of The Writer's Journey.

Just like me, he had the names, but the positions ran all over the place. He had Paul DeJong at 2B (Ian Happ was this year's second baseman), Cody Bellinger (the 1B), Andrew Benintendi, and Aaron Judge in the outfield (the third outfielder was Trey Mancini), Manny Pina was the only rookie catcher it seemed, and both German Marquez and Jordan Montgomery as the pitchers. The rest of his squad included Josh Bell at 1B (the aforementioned Bellinger), Yuli Gurriel at third (Rafael Devers was the winner), Pat Valaika at shortstop (DeJong won this one), and Robert Stephenson as the relief pitcher (which went to Josh Hader). For coming the closest, Jason, I think I still have your address (unless it's changed), a Hobby pack of 2017 Topps Update Series is on its way to you. The 2005 Topps Rookie Cup base set remains with me.

Thank you all for sticking around. Once I get that home computer, the posts should increase a bit more.


JayBee Anama