Monday, August 31, 2009

2009 Topps 206 Baseball 100th Anniversary Edition Sell Sheets are Live!!!

The highly anticipated sell sheets for 2009 Topps 206 Baseball 100th Anniversary Edition went out late last week. See scans below for more information.

The official breakdown of the 300 card set includes:
226 veterans
18 Legends
56 Rookies

But then you factor in an extra 50 Short Print Variation cards, and you have a 350 card set. The short prints are scheduled to be (and this list is subject to change):

1 Ryan Howard
10 Andrew McCutchen
19 Mel Ott
23 Koji Uehara
28 Kenshin Kawakami
36 Jimmie Foxx
41 David Hernandez
44 Michael Bowden
49 Walter Johnson
57 Matt LaPorta
61 Derrek Holland
66 Ty Cobb
71 Dustin Pedroia
72 Rick Porcello
83 Rogers Hornsby
87 Ryan Perry
90 Alex Rodriguez
102 Hanley Ramirez
103 Andrew Bailey
107 Fernando Martinez
113 Tris Speaker
116 Chase Utley
120 Derek Jeter
129 Ichiro
130 Honus Wagner
137 Mark Teixeira
138 Elvis Andrus
142 Evan Longoria
143 Cy Young
154 Mickey Mantle
160 Thurman Munson
171 David Wright
174 Gordon Beckham
175 Manny Ramirez
177 Pee Wee Reese
181 David Price
207 Jackie Robinson
224 Roy Campanella
231 CC Sabathia
234 Grady Sizemore
237 Christy Mathewson
254 Johnny Mize
262 Tommy Hanson
268 Aaron Poreda
271 Lou Gehrig
274 Colby Rasmus
286 Tim Lincecum
287 Babe Ruth
299 Albert Pujols
300 George Sisler

Information can be seen here.

Just like the Topps 206 cards in the early part of the decade, these cards will also come with mini parallels with backs featuring many of the old cigarette brands that the original T206 cards were inserted:

Polar Bear, Old Mill, Piedmont will be the more common backs
Cycle numbered /99
Carolina Brights are one of ones and Hobby Exclusive.

Product checklist is here, but remember, it is always subject to change.

Bring on November!!!


JayBee Anama

Is Topps Back in the Hockey Game with the NHL???

Yes, I know this is not a baseball card post. But I thought this was kind of interesting.

I don't know if it's because this product is more of a CCG (collectible card game) than it is a trading card (although it can be argued as such since it's predecessor in baseball is not included in the 17 product limit with MLB). But with Topps putting out a hockey version of Topps Attax known as Topps Puck Attax, fully utilizing NHL Players and NHL Logos, and is licensed by both the NHL and the NHLPA, does this mean that Topps is back in the NHL Hockey trading card business?

I guess it would make sense since they are no longer licensed to produce NBA trading cards. And when I started collecting 22 years ago, Topps only made baseball, football, and hockey cards. But there has been nothing formally announced about a deal with Topps and the NHL. And I'm pretty sure that the other company isn't going to stand for this if they still have the official "exclusive" license to produce NHL trading cards. Then again, their five-year agreement ends coming into this season right???

You have to admit, these cards looks pretty cool, even if they are round. But how does one store them???


JayBee Anama

And the 2009 Topps Red Hot Rookie #'s 8 & 9 Cards Go To...‏

Those holding those Red Hot Rookie Redemption cards better get them logged in to Topps quickly as it has just been announced that card #'s 8 and 9 belong to none other than Julio Borbon of the Texas Rangers and Jhoulys Chacin of the Colorado Rockies.

Borbon, an outfielder for the Rangers, made his major league debut on June 29 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In 18 games, he is hitting a decent .370, with 1 home run, 8 runs batted in, and 11 stolen bases (as of August 31, 2009).

Chacin, a pitcher for the Rockies, made his major league debut on July 25 against the San Francisco Giants. In 5 games, one of them a start, he is 0-1 with an ERA of 5.87, and 10 strikeouts in 7.2 innings of work (as of August 31, 2009).

Although neither card is autographed, fans of both the Rangers and Rockies will want to add these cards to their collections. Ladies and Gentlemen, START REDEEMING!!!

The checklist currently includes: Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cards That Make You Go...What??! of the Week: 2009 Topps Finest Rookie Redemption #10 Tommy Hanson

Okay, I know what you're thinking. "This card is from Topps Finest. You don't collect Topps Finest. Why do you care? What are YOU thinking??!"

Well, you're right, it's a Topps Finest card that I'm not planning on getting any time soon, so it doesn't matter to me one way or another. But, this is worthy of a What??! because I don't understand the mindset of the creative types at the Topps Company some times.

This year's Topps Finest product had it's own rookie redemption program. And the cards look really nice. So if you have your complete set of Finest, let me first say, "Good on you!" and you should consider getting these cards as a good addition to your complete set.

As announced this morning, card number 10 in the Topps Finest Rookie Redemption program is Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson. Hanson, as of August 27, 2009, is 9-2 with a 3.12 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 86 innings. Serious contender for rookie of the year so far. Anyway, if Topps couldn't make this deal any better, this card is also autographed!!! And you're probably thinking, "Hey, this is awesome! An autograph card in this set." Then you look at the checklist with the first nine cards:

#1 Matt LaPorta
#2 Tommy Hanson
#3 Andrew Bailey
#4 Julio Borbon
#5 Colby Rasmus
#6 Kyle Blanks
#7 Neftali Feliz
#8 Nolan Reimold
#9 Rick Porcello

Wait...Hanson's also card number 2 here.

Did I fail to mention that the first nine cards are not autographed? That means Hanson will have two cards, one regular, and one autographed card within the same set. That will make people holding the number 10 card really happy, and those holding the number two card pretty miffed, don't you think? Now the "value" of card #2 has dropped because #10 now is perceptually worth more.

Could they not find another player to put in this set, and have his cards autographed? They couldn't get another player to include here? I have to believe that Topps plans with enough lead time that they HAD to know that they would use Hanson as the auto subject, couldn't they have picked another player for card 2?

Set collectors are not going to care much about this situation. They just know that the final prize is going to be bit more expensive than the first nine. But if they are intent on completing this set, nothing will stand in their way of doing so. But for player collectors, and for those trying to sell unused redemptions, or those who are trading with someone who relies on "value," you have to wonder...

Topps, what were you thinking??!


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In Honor of the 50th Anniversary of Hawaii Becoming the 50th State, Introducing the All-Time Hawaiian Baseball Team!

On August 21, 1959, Hawaii was admitted into the Union as the United States' 50th state. Fifty years later, even as the state commemorates (not celebrates out of respect to the Native Hawaiians) the upgrade from territory to state, there is still a lot of tension and controversy surrounding this historic event.

And while this humble little blog is not about to jump into the fray and discuss his opinions about these matters (not only am I unqualified to do so, but I do not feel that I am entitled to do so), to commemorate this event, I'd like to continue a tradition started earlier this May by presenting it's All-Time Hawaiian All-Star Team!!!

As of August 26, 2009, there are 35 players in the Major Leagues born in Hawaii. This pretty much means almost everyone Hawaiian born player is going to be on this list. The first Native Hawaiian to play in the Majors was pitcher Johnnie Williams, who played for the Detroit Tigers back in 1914. In four games, three starts, he sported a record of 0-2 with an ERA of 6.35. The first position player coming out of Hawaii was Tony Rego, a catcher who played a two seasons for the St. Louis Browns in the 1920's. He got into 44 games with the Browns, hitting .286 (26 for 91), scored 10 runs, and drove home eight more.

All total, as of August 26, 2009, Hawaiian players have hit 262 home runs, driven in 1,338 runs batted in, have a .241 batting average, stolen 193 bases with an OPS of .661. Hawaiian pitchers have a combined record of 740 wins against 722 losses, an ERA of 3.91, have struck out 8,866 batters, walked 5,442, and earned 105 saves. (All statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference).

So without further ado, introducing bdj610's All-Time Hawaiian All-Star Team:

Starting Pitchers

Charlie Hough, Honolulu, 216 (Hawaiian Leader)-216, 3.75 ERA, 2362 K's, 61 saves (Hawaiian Leader), All-Star

Sid Fernandez, Honolulu, 114-96, 3.36 ERA, 1743 K's, 2-time All-Star

Ron Darling, Honolulu, 136-116, 3.87 ERA, 1590 K's, All-Star, Gold Glove Winner

Milt Wilcox, Honolulu, 119-113, 4.07 ERA, 1137 K's

Relief Pitchers

Brian Fisher, Honolulu, 36-34, 4.39 ERA, 370 K's, 23 saves

Carlos Diaz, Kaneohe, 13-6, 3.21 ERA, 207 K's, 4 saves, 77 games finished


Kurt Suzuki, Wailuku, .272 AVG, 24 HR's, 138 RBI's, .721 OPS, 7 SB's


Joey Meyer, Honolulu, .251 AVG, 18 HR's, 74 RBI's, .716 OPS

Joe DeSa, Honolulu, .200 AVG, 2 HR's, 7 RBI's, .587 OPS, died on 12/20/1986 in a car accident while in Puerto Rico.

Lenn Sakata, Honolulu, .230 AVG, 25 HR'S, 109 RBI'S, .616 OPS, 30 SB'S

Mike Huff, Honolulu, .247 AVG, 9 HR'S, 75 RBI'S, .695 OPS, 19 SB'S


Mike Lum, Honolulu, .247 AVG, 90 HR's (Hawaiian Leader), 431 RBI'S, .689 OPS, 13 SB'S

Shane Victorino, Wailuku, .288 AVG, 43 HR'S, 217 RBI'S, .786 OPS, 104 SB'S (Hawaiian Leader), All-Star

Benny Agbayani, Honolulu, .274 AVG, 39 HR'S, 156 RBI'S, .807 OPS, 16 SB'S

Future Star

Kila Ka'aihue, Kailua, .286 AVG, 1 HR, 1 RBI, .804 OPS, 2 SB'S

There you have it ladies and gentlemen, hui maupaʻa ka 'oi pāʻani kinipōpō kanaka Hawaiʻi (A team consisting of the best baseball players from Hawaii.)

Mahalo na heluhelu (Thank you for reading). Aloha!


JayBee Anama

Monday, August 24, 2009

Off the Blogroll Go...

It's that time of the month I don't particularly like doing. But, as keeper of the Sports Card Blogroll, it is my duty to remove inactive blogs off the big Blogroll while adding more to them.

You know the rules, I'll put links to the blogs on this post so you can see what each one was about. The Blogroll says good bye to:
This is the monthly reminder: if you have a sports card blog, or know of any new ones out there, please let me know so I can add them to the big Blogroll. Send me an e-mail at, or leave me a comment somewhere. I'll know how to find it.


JayBee Anama

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Topps on TV Talking About their MLB Exclusive License

For your viewing pleasure, (and mine, since I never got to see this), Warren Friss, VP/General Manager-Entertainment of Topps, talks about the new exclusive license with MLB in this video from Bloomberg News.Thanks to Sports Collectors Daily for sharing the Video.Sincerely,JayBee Anama

2009 Topps Heritage High Numbers...They're Doing WHAT Again???

As probably seen on other blogs everywhere, Topps is bringing back Topps Heritage High Numbers for 2009 (or as I like to call it, Topps Heritage Traded...). The set continues where Topps Heritage left off (501-750 are the card numbers) with 75 new rookie cards to boot. And it's a safe bet that this product will include the usual inserts, chrome parallels, and the other bells and whistles that make this product a "must have" for set collectors.

If you recall, every pack of 2008 Topps Heritage High Numbers included two cards of 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights, a completely separate product that really had no reason to be included with HHN unless they wanted to make it even more challenging (or make more decide). Meaning that if you didn't collect the regular Topps set, and just worked on the Heritage set, you were going to be inundated with cards that you don't need (albeit two per pack), thus making it harder to complete your intended set (possibly not being able to complete ther 250 card Heritage set in one box).

Guess what Topps has decided to do with this year's Heritage High Numbers??? You guessed it...add two cards of 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights in every pack. AGAIN!!!

While the sell sheets are coming soon, I just have to ask...


To collectors of Topps Heritage (and I know you're out there), I just want your opinions and answers to a couple of questions:
  • Are you happy that Topps has begun creating an update set for it's Heritage line? Give a couple of reasons why or why not.
  • Are you happy that Topps is inserting two cards from 2009 Topps U & H? Give some reasons why either way. Is it really a good idea to add U & H cards to the HHN product?
  • Am I overreacting? I mean, I'm not even going after the set, but I feel sorry for those who will.
At least the design for 2009 Topps is great. It's a lot easier on the eyes than last year's model.

Oh well...


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2009 Topps Series 2 Legends of the Game Timeline

I don't have all the Target and Walmart exclusive cards yet (I still need tons, see my want list...I'd rather trade than buy at this point...any help please???), but I do have the complete series 2 set of Legends of the Game cards, so I can do a timeline based on them.

The difference between the 25 cards from series 1 and the 25 cards from series 2 is that while the S1 cards utilized Topps deal with CMG players (along with a few more recent legends like Ripken and Ryan), S2 cards featured 12 "Legendary players" and 13 active "legends" (active as of the end of the 2008 season). The timeline on the back of the 25 cards in the second series does not link to the series 1 list (it starts with Marichal in 1960 as you will soon see). And, if that doesn't make it more complicated, the numbering system does not continue from Series 1 (which ended at LG25), as the "card number" utilizes the player's initials after the "LG-." To bypass this little "problem," I placed each of the cards in the set in order by the year highlighted on each card (as you will soon see below).

Without further ado, here is the timeline that links the 25 cards from the 2009 Topps Legends of the Game series 2 set together (card "numbers" will be shown after the entry if it appeared on the card):

1960 - Juan Marichal MLB Debut (LG-JM)
1962 - Juan Marichal 1st MLB All-Star Game
1964 - Brooks Robinson AL MVP (LG-BR)
1966 - Frank Robinson Triple Crown (LG-FR)
1968 - Juan Marichal 26 Wins
1969 - Frank Robinson .300-30-100 (at this point, the timeline breaks here as the next card has a totally new entry)
1970 - Brooks Robinson World Series Champion
1971 - Frank Robinson MLB All-Star Game MVP
1972 - Steve Carlton NL Cy Young (LG-SC)
1973 - Jim Palmer AL Cy Young (LG-JP)
1974 - Robin Yount MLB Debut
1975 - Brooks Robinson 15th Gold Glove (at ths point, the timeline breaks again as the next card has a totally new entry)
1975 - Jim Palmer AL Cy Young
1976 - Jim Palmer AL Cy Young
1977 - Reggie Jackson World Series MVP (LG-RJ)
1978 - Reggie Jackson World Series Champion
1979 - Paul Molitor Breakout Year (LG-PM)
1980 - Reggie Jackson Silver Slugger
1980 - Mike Schmidt World Series Champion (LG-MS)
1981 - Tony Gwynn Drafted by Padres (LG-TG)
1982 - Steve Carlton 4th NL Cy Young
1982 - Robin Yount AL MVP (LG-RY)
1982 - Paul Molitor Leads Brewers to WS
1983 - Steve Carlton 300th Win
1984 - Ryne Sandberg NL MVP (LG-RS)
1985 - Wade Boggs 1st MLB All-Star Game (LG-WB)
1986 - Mike Schmidt 3rd NL MVP
1987 - Wade Boggs .363-24-89 (at this point, the timeline takes another break here as we now begin with the "active" legends)
1990 - Ryne Sandberg .306-40-10 (error, Ryno had 100 RBI's in 1990)
1990 - Greg Maddux 1st Gold Glove
1990 - Randy Johnson 1st No-Hitter (LG-RJO)
1991 - Tom Glavine 1st Cy Young (LG-TGL)
1991 - Ryne Sandberg 9th Gold Glove
1992 - Robin Yount 3000th Hit
1992 - Tom Glavine 2nd Straight ASG Start
1993 - Greg Maddux 1st ERA Title (LG-GM)
1993 - Frank Thomas AL MVP
1994 - Tony Gwynn .394 AVG
1994 - Frank Thomas AL MVP (LG-FT)
1995 - Chipper Jones 1st Full Season
1995 - Greg Maddux 4th NL Cy Young
1995 - Trevor Hoffman 1st of 13 30-SV Seasons (LG-TH)
1996 - John Smoltz Cy Young
1996 - Mariano Rivera World Series Champion
1998 - Vladimir Guerrero 1st Full Season (LG-VG)
1998 - Manny Ramirez Career High HR & RBI
1998 - Trevor Hoffman 53 Saves (at this point, the timeline breaks again as the next card has a totally new entry)
1999 - Tony Gwynn 3000th Hit
1999 - Chipper Jones NL MVP
1999 - Mariano Rivera World Series Champion (LG-MR)
2000 - Chipper Jones Silver Slugger (LG-CJ)
2001 - Ichiro Suzuki AL Rookie of the Year (LG-IS)
2001 - Albert Pujols NL Rookie of the Year
2001 - Randy Johnson World Series MVP (at this point, the timeline breaks again as the next card has a totally new entry)
2002 - Vladimir Guerrero 206 H, 40 SB
2002 - Randy Johnson 5th Cy Young
2002 - John Smoltz Saves Record (LG-JS)
2003 - Alex Rodriguez 300th HR
2003 - Albert Pujols Silver Slugger (at this point, the timeline breaks again as the next card has a totally new entry)
2004 - Ichiro Suzuki Hits Record
2004 - Vladimir Guerrero AL MVP
2004 - Manny Ramirez World Series MVP (LG-MRA)
2005 - Alex Rodriguez 400th HR
2005 - John Smoltz Postseason Wins Record (at this point, the timeline breaks again as the next card has a totally new entry)
2006 - Mariano Rivera 400th Save
2006 - Trevor Hoffman All-Time Saves Record
2006 - Albert Pujols Leads NL in HR & RBI (LG-AP)
2007 - Alex Rodriguez 500th HR (LG-AR)
2007 - Tom Glavine 300th Win
2008 - Manny Ramirez 500th HR

I didn't realize that there were so many breaks in the timeline. All together, there are 70 highlights within this timeline. It is a shame, though that the timeline couldn't be held together as there are a number of breaks (compared with the first timeline where it was almost fluid).

When I do get the remaining cards I need from the Walmart and Target sets, I will update the first timeline with the new highlights. And it's a safe bet that when the U & H set arrives that we'll do the same thing here. It was fun to go through almost 50 years of baseball history in 25 cards. Can't wait for U & H.


JayBee Anama

And the 2009 Topps Red Hot Rookie #7 Card Goes To...‏

Those holding those Red Hot Rookie Redemption cards better get them logged in to Topps quickly as it has just been announced that card #7 belongs to none other than Mat Latos of the San Diego Padres.

Mat (with one 't') made his major league debut on July 19 against the Colorado Rockies. In 6 games, all starts, the Padres rookie pitcher has an 4-2 record, an ERA of 4.01, with 24 strikeouts in only 33.2 innings of work (as of August 18, 2009).

Although it is not an autographed card, Padres fans will want to add this card to their collections. Ladies and Gentlemen, START REDEEMING!!!

The checklist currently includes: Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, August 17, 2009

If This is His Topps Card, Then What Card is This?: Carlos Gomez

This edition of "What Card is This?" can also be combined with our famous "Cards That Make You Go...What??!" segment. Think of this as a combo platter, a two-for-one deal if you may. Our subject this week is Minnesota Twins outfielder Carlos Gomez, not because of the year he's having with the Twins (.238, 3 HR's, 26 RBI's as of August 15, 2009), but because of the recent discovery I made when putting my 15-card team sets in plastic sheets.

As you probably know, many of the cards in the 15-card team sets utilize different pictures than found in the eponymous base set. To wit, here is Carlos Gomez' 2009 Topps card, found in packs of 2009 Topps, and should be in every factory set you open (or not, that's your call).

Now, if that is his Topps card, then what card is this???

Well, the answer is simple. This is what Gomez' card from the 15-card team set looks like. Looks nice. The letters behind him appear blurry upon close inspection due to all the light bulbs used on the scoreboard (which, based on the 2008 schedule that shows the Mariners at Yankees and Royals at Blue Jays, leads us to conclude that the Twins were in Detroit when this shot was taken, circa May 23-25, 2008).

Now comes the problem.

On the back of the cardboard backing that holds the team set is a checklist. Carlos Gomez' card number, according to the checklist, is #MIN12. Take a look at the card number on the back of this card.

Is it just me, or is the number on the top right corner #144??! Yes, that's what it looks like. I think I've been duped. I think somebody slipped in his regular card instead of the team card. But wait...isn't the first card of Gomez (the one of him running) card #144 also?

No, that card number is #602. So if Gomez' regular 2009 Topps card is #602, who has card #144?

Oh, Matt Tuiasosopo (whose last name my daughter finds very hard to pronounce. "Is it "too-ya-so-so-po?" she asks. "Like our last name is any more difficult to pronounce," I respond. Back to the point please?) has card #144 in the 2009 Topps set.

So where did this card come from??? He's not even on the 2009 Topps Chrome Checklist.

I guess we can chalk this up as an uncorrected, but extremely bizarre, error. I just hope that I don't get disqualified for not having a complete set of Twins cards here. Every other player has the MIN and the number except for this. And for this, I can promptly, and justifiably ask Topps...



JayBee Anama

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Do You Remember...

Felix Jose???

Yes, that Felix Jose???

I only ask this above question because I just saw him play this evening. He is currently a member of the Schaumburg Flyers, an independent minor league team in the Northern League. In this evening's game against the Kansas City T-Bones (no, I'm not making that name up...), he went 1 for five (a double) with one RBI in the Flyers 11-7 loss. But forget for a moment the score for a moment, and realize that Felix Jose, now 44 years old, who last played in the majors in 2003 as a member of the Diamondbacks, is still playing baseball.

So I have to ask...

How did an all-star Caliber (as a member of the Cardinals in 1991, hence the use of his 1991 card in the picture for this article), with more than 11 years of service time in the majors, find himself in the northwest suburbs of Chicago???

Quite a long way from his heyday as a third in the All-Henderson outfield in Oakland. Quite a long time away from his All-Star year in 1991. He has been playing everywhere since his last appearance in Phoenix. From Korea, to Mexico, from Calgary to Schaumburg, he has kept himself busy over the years, and still produces for the teams he plays for.

He still can hit the ball and at last check, was leading the league in batting average. Heck, he hit a robust .391 with Calgary the year before. Even Felix admitted that after that campaign, he didn't want to end his career. He is presently giving advice to his Schaumburg teammates as a player with his experience should. Through it all, he has kept himself healthy, and looks forward to the day where he can retire.

It's just that he's just not ready to do that yet.


JayBee Anama

Friday, August 14, 2009

And the 2009 Topps Red Hot Rookie #6 Card Goes To...‏

Those holding those Red Hot Rookie Redemption cards better get them logged in to Topps quickly as it has just been announced that card #6 belongs to none other than Neftali Feliz of the Texas Rangers.

Neftali made his major league debut on August 3 against the Oakland Athletics. In 4 games, the Rangers' rookie pitcher has an ERA of 1.35, with 13 strikeouts in only 6.2 innings of work (as of August 14, 2009).

Although it is not an autographed card, Rangers fans will want to add this card to their collections. Ladies and Gentlemen, START REDEEMING!!!

The checklist currently includes:

JayBee Anama

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Quick Answers to Those Who Wanted Old Becketts

In a previous post, I stated I was going to go through my old Becketts, keep a few, and either recycle or donate the rest. I've already gotten requests for specific ones. Before you all start requesting whatever you'd like, I must let you all know that I am keeping a rare few of my Beckett Magazines, specifically:
  • the 2001 Topps 50th Anniversary Magazine (sorry Bay Rat, this one is staying with me)
  • All Rookie Rolodexes (I have all but the first one)
  • The Beckett Magazine that had the article written by the owner of the shop I used to frequent (can't remember which one that is, but I'll find it)
  • The Beckett Magazine that had my White Whale (the 2005 Topps Bonds MVP card, 1990 design)
  • The Beckett Magazine that actually used a quote of mine in a Readers' Response.
Other than those mags, all are up for the taking. So to the Hamiltonian, I'll look for the Josh Hamilton mag. To tdlindgren, which months are you specifically looking for from 2008? To the Bay Rat, any Reds covers (if I have any) are yours.


JayBee Anama

A Four-Pack Break of 2009 Topps Series 2…It’s About Time!!!

I have not bought any new packs of 2009 Topps in months. (Gasp…the horror). I’m trying to cut back on the clutter, and I realized that last year I spent so much on cards and have so many of them now piled up in my house that I don’t know what to do with them (other than sort them, see if I can get a complete set out of them, and throw them on the Bay…but that’s for another day). And at the moment, money has been going towards other, somehow more important, priorities (like bills, food, etc). So cards and the Hobby have taken a back burner. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop supporting my favorite card company anytime soon.

So finally, after months of waiting, (and I know you’ve been waiting), I am finally going to start on my pack breaks.
Maybe it’s good that I held off my pack breaks until now. At least I have something to write about while it’s slow here at the humble little blog. Now, the first pack breaks that I did for this stuff was back in May, so I am way, way behind schedule with these.

I’m going to start the pack break fiesta with four Hobby packs of 2009 Topps Series 2. As you probably all know, there were four players gracing the packs, and I managed to buy one pack of each (have to save the wrappers too right?) So each pack break below will be identified by the player who appears on the wrapper. There are 10 cards in each pack. Here goes:

The David Wright Pack:

David Purcey, 581
Michael Bourn, 572
Kenji Johjima, 508
Brian Anderson, 516
Milton Bradley, 594
Dustin Pedroia TTT34 ToppsTown Blue
Jesse Chavez, 409
Nyjer Morgan, 481
Tony Peña, 348
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 374

The Jackie Robinson Pack:

Corey Hart, 639
Carlos Quentin, 375
Jason Marquis, 417
Manny Ramirez TTT41 ToppsTown Blue
Cliff Pennington, 442
Garret Anderson, 532
Scott Baker, 420
Manny Parra, 647
David DeJesus, 570
Jhonny Peralta, 363

The Mickey Mantle Pack

Mike Aviles, 354
Bill Hall, 472
Edgar Renteria, 558
John Smoltz, 355
Dustin Pedroia TR82 Turkey Red
Justin Upton TTT37 ToppsTown Blue
Ramiro Peña, 493
Melvin Mora, 423
Kevin Milwood, 364
Dustin Pedroia, 350

The Ryan Howard Pack

Alfonso Soriano, 400
Nick Blackburn, 402
Edinson Volquez, 476
Ramon Hernandez, 431
Francisco Rodriguez, 430
Daniel Cabrera, 338
David Wright TTT32 ToppsTown Blue
Micah Owings, 598
Cameron Maybin, 398
Wladimir Balentien, 432

Basically, nothing much to write home about with these four packs. Then again, they were the first four packs out of the box, so “hits” were not to be expected.

On the next post, I will show of the cards that came in the nine packs of retail jumbos bought at the local K-Mart. I bought these before I bought before the hobby box and the above four packs. Quite a surprise on the first pack (you’ll see when I scan and post everything).


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Trying to Catch Up Outside of the Blog...

If you've thought that I've been partying since the big Topps/MLB exclusive, and that's why I have not posted, you're absolutely right. I'm so looking forward to 2010 now.

But I've also been running around trying to finish a few side projects, which include:
  • Putting those 15-card 2009 Topps team sets (all 30 of them) into a binder. What's taking so long is that I also am cutting the checklists using the back of the packaging and I'm cutting them down to ...yes, I'm a geek.
  • Rearranging my bookshelves as I'm running out of room in my one allotted bookshelf (who knew 34 years worth of Topps cards in binders can take up so much space???)
  • Sorting through old Beckett Magazines, keeping the ones I like (not too many) and will send the rest (I'm talking more than 10 years worth of monthly magazines) either to the library or the recycling bin (if there is a particular Beckett mag, all Baseball mind you, from 1999-2008 that you're looking for, please let me know, and I'll mail it to you).
  • Planning for what to write about on this blog. Already, I've promised, yet not delivered on a lot of things, and I feel rather horrible about it. The good news is that I found all my notes regarding the box breaks of 2009 Topps series 2. I scanned the cards earlier, but couldn't do the break post until I had my notes. Now that all is together, I can get to work on them.
So that's where I've been and what I've been doing. Will strive to do better as always. Besides, I have a lot to discuss and this is my forum to do it. Get ready to enjoy the ride.


JayBee Anama

Friday, August 7, 2009

Heard Enough Opinions About the Big News of the Week??? Here's Mine.

The euphoria that Topps will get to produce baseball cards into the next decade has died down now, and after a few days of reading blog after blog, message board after message board, and opinion after opinion, I have finally had enough information and innuendo overload to fry my brains out this weekend. Let's be perfectly clear here...if I had crowed about my opinions immediately, I would have been justly seen as a mark for the Topps Company. And as much as it had been my childhood fantasy to do so, that is not the case. I did, however, want to be sure that what I say is sound, and while I may step on other's toes and disagree with what he or she may have said, the opinions I am about to expresssd below are mine, and mine alone.

Let's review the facts first. Upper Deck, in early June, announced that the MLB Players Association granted them a license to produce baseball cards. This will mean that UD will have access to all 1,200 players on all 30 teams 40-man rosters for 2010 (it was never stated how long this agreement would last, whether it is a one-year contract or four-years was not specified). However, on Wednesday, Major League Baseball announced that they have awarded the Topps Company the exclusive license to produce their baseball cards in 2010. This would mean that MLB (and most likely MLB Properties) is allowing Topps...AND ONLY produce baseball cards of their athletes in the trademarked uniforms and logos of Major League Baseball.

There are two different factions here folks, one is MLB (and thus MLB Properties) and the MLB Players Association. Topps relies on signing the individual player to a contract to appear on trading cards, so while it never really needed the PA to cooperate, Topps and the union have had good standing with each other. Upper Deck, however, was never allowed this same opportunity, thus having to sign with the Players Association via a blanket agreement, thus allowing them (UD) access to everybody who signed on with the PA. This is why when Barry Bonds opted out of the PA agreement (and all things that came with it), Topps was able to sign him, while UD, (and Donruss, and Fleer) could not.

Now what does this all mean? It means that in 2010, Topps and Upper Deck are licensed to create baseball cards. That's right, people. Let's say this together:

Topps and Upper Deck are licensed to produce baseball cards in 2010!!!

However, while both companies can use images of all the players they choose, only Topps will get to use the trademarked logos and uniforms of the 30 clubs, while Upper Deck will not. And that is the big difference.

Now, we've seen MLBPA approved cards look like without the MLB Properties' approval (ie. 80's-90's Post Cereal, or Tombstone Pizza, or other food products) and you will see your favorite player on a card with his team's logos airbrushed off the picture, to look like said hero is playing for a generic team. Sure, you'll see the name of the city he plays for, or maybe even the team name, but never together, and certainly without the consent of MLB. However, there will be a big logo from the Players' Association, somewhere on the bottom of the back of the card. And for people who collect the base sets for UD will see just that. However, remember that UD's products focus more on the insert cards, the jersey cards, the autograph cards, the patch cards, the "logoman" cards, and so forth, not so much the base cards that come with them. Who's to say that they won't be able to take pictures of the players without their caps on, and focus just on headshots for these kinds of cards? And for those who appreciate UD's award winning photography, you can imagine one of two bizzare scenarios:
  • UD will be allowed one day to have all 30 teams wear uniforms (in spring training only...this won't stand during the season) that have the Upper Deck name and logos on them. And UD can get all the game action shots (albeit via intersquad games or maybe an actual spring training game) with every player wearing UD caps and jerseys (thus creating game used cards with UD patches)
  • Upper Deck will "photoshop" the logos off every card and replace them with the UD diamond and Upper Deck lettering.
Either way, that's a lot of work (and money), and I can't see UD realistically going around this in the ways I mention above.

Now, on to Topps. We've seen stories where some clubs are actually using Topps designs to announce the starting lineups outside the stadium (I know the Nationals do this), or when the home team comes to bat, they show said player on that year's Topps design (the Brewers do this). So, already, Topps has had the cooperation of MLB. Topps products have been seen in every big league souvenier stand (those now popular 14-15 card team sets). Heck, in 1989, the first time I ever went to Wrigley Field, my grandmother bought me a team set of 1989 Topps Cubs cards. I was hooked. The name Topps alone means "baseball cards," even to people outside of the hobby. The name Topps is synonymous with baseball, and it has been for almost 60 years now. They've been a player in this Hobby longer than any other aspect of this Hobby other than the game itself. It will be a sad day if ever the day comes that Topps is no longer licensed by MLB and not allowed to produced licensed baseball cards.

The speculation that Topps is going to be complacent because there is no "competition" is unjustified and absurd to say the least. Name me one product, one hobby, one company, that struggled because it had no competition pushing them to be better? Seriously. And before you even say that Topps needed competition to improve, think about this, the first products of 1981 Donruss and Fleer were so inferior in comparison to the product that Topps didn't even worry about their sales. Can you picture right now what a 1981 Donruss card looks like? How about a 1981 Fleer? I'll bet you can picture a 1981 Topps card faster than the other two combined. We were already nine years into market sharing when UD made its debut. By that time, Score already introduced color pictures and backs. What did UD have that the others didn't? A hologram to deter counterfeiters. In 1989, holography was still a new technology that nobody ever thought would be applied to fight fraud in the Hobby. That was UD's innovation. And if you read "Card Sharks," you know how well that little program worked. But UD's holograms, $1.00 pack price, and their claim to be a premium card sparked the other companies to follow suit. And Topps, whether it was due to loss of sales, or increases of sales from the other companies, eventually followed suit, creating cards that wow many of us today. Topps will still have that competition. Just as we all know that UD has the "exclusive" deal with the NHL, we know that companies like "In the Game" keeps them on their toes. The same thing will happen here. Topps has the "exclusive," but UD will still keep them busy to stay ahead. It could very well be business as usual for UD and their products might continue to "wow" people. It is just a matter of preference if you want your cards with the MLB logos on them or not.

People on message boards I frequent claim that Topps products are lax in design, dull, boring, rehashed, uninspired, unprofessional looking, I can keep on going. The same things can be said with other manufacturer's products. I compare it to shopping for clothes at a department store. Many of us have been through this where we walk into a store, find a shirt that in our minds are so ugly, so dull, just ridiculous looking that in our opinion nobody in their right mind would want to buy it and it's a waste of rack space. Do you want to know the reason why that ugly shirt was made in the first place? Because the next person to come across it will probably think that it's the greatest looking shirt EVER and it will look good on them. That's why. Because somebody will buy it. It may not be you, but somebody else. Just because some collectors have stated that they will no longer buy UD cards because they won't have the MLB logos on them, doesn't mean that there won't be others who will.

The press release said that Topps wants to cater to youth. As well as they should. Many of us who've collected started when we were young, that's the target. But when we were young, you only had the one company, or maybe even three, or if born and raise in the 90's, five companies and sets to work with. In 2001, there were more than 81 different products produced by four companies. And soon, they would all come with the autos, relics, patches, that we have grown to expect in every product, from the lowest of low end to the highest of high end. Kids today want to experience that "hit," that rare insert card. They are not going to be satisfied with a box of commons the way we used to be. Proudcts nowadays have to be tailored to the target market (that would be us adults 25-54) as well as get the average kid's attention. Both companies have spent the money, and have done terrific jobs of catering to "youth" thanks to their ToppsTown and UDKids initiaives and websites. But more has to be done, especially with the "low end products" so that it will give kids good reason to buy the stuff in the first place and feel justified into doing so. Nothing looks as a bad as a kid with buyer's remorse.

Because they are getting the full support of Major League Baseball, Topps will create baseball cards going forward. To me, that is the most important thing in this whole deal. Topps will create baseball cards in 2010 and beyond!!! What does that mean to me (and countless other set collectors? It means that I get to continue collecting new baseball cards. It means that my the number of consecutive Topps sets that I own gets to add another year. It means that as I get a year older, I can add another year of Topps cards to my collection. It means that my continuous run of complete sets gets another year added to them. And while I know it is no small feat to claim to have a full set of Donruss cards (from 1981-2005, even the 1999 and 2000 retro sets) or Fleer (1981-2005), or even Score sets (1988-1998), knowing that I can, and will, keep going with Topps was all I cared about.

Nothing has been indicated as of yet as to the number of products MLB (or the PA) is allowing either company to produce. Will there be a reduction of sets now that there is only "one" company in the market? How about the Rookie Card rule? Is that still in play in 2010 or will that be scrapped? Will UD be allowed to use the Rookie Card logo if it still is applied?

So, what is my opinion of this whole mess? I'm happy that Topps will continue in 2010. I'm happy to hear that I will get to collect 2010 Topps cards in the future. I'm sorry to see "UD" take the fall and no longer get the "exclusive" license, but at least they still get to produce baseball cards so they'll be around. Enough of all talk about how bad this is going to be in the future. That's all speculation until the sell sheets come out. We can only wait and see.

In the mean time, I still have 15 more team sets to add to my binders, five more SP's to look for to complete my MLB shortprints set, one cheap 2009 Topps A & G set to find on the Bay, and then I'll have more to brag about. Time to get to work.


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Topps Has An Exclusive Deal with MLB to Create Baseball Cards in 2010 and Beyond!!!

It reamins to be confirmed, but according to the Number One Source in the Hobby, Topps Lands MLB Exclusive for 2010.

The story was first published by the New York Times here:

That means there WILL be Topps cards in 2010!!!

I was actually thinking about it this morning: What would I do if there it was announced that MLB Propertis was denying a license to Topps or MLB Properties in 2010??? Would I still collect new baseball cards? Would I bite the bullet and buy...gasp...Upper Deck cards? Would I have to change the name of my blog???

Now I know I won't have to worry about that. While the official announcement won't come out until tomorrow, it looks like Topps would be the licensed to create cards with team logos, trademarks, and all the things that come with it.

As a Topps fan and collector...


But wait...

What does that mean now for Upper Deck??? I mean, they were granted a license earlier by the MLB Players Association first.

Stay tuned.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Topps Company Has Joined the Twitter Revolution!

I was reading items in my Twitter Feed when I read that Topps now has a Twitter Account. What better way to keep up with everybody's favorite Trading Card Company than following along via the Topps Company Twitter Page?

Now, if they can get onto Facebook or start a blog of their own...


JayBee Anama

Quick, What is This Card Trying to Say?

I saw this on another blog, so I know I'm not the only one to notice this...

So, what is this card trying to say? Is there some kind of message we can get from this card based on the picture alone? Did somebody notice this at the Topps Company when they approved this picture?

I'll leave this up for the day. I think it's a safe bet that someone will get it. Leave a comment if you do. One hint, I don't need to know the Morse code translation on the right side of the card.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Three Really is a Magic Number.

I bought a box of 2009 Topps Series II back in June. While I will get to what was in that box another time (I've been promising this for months), one thing I can tell you is that I got this in amongst the box:

It was announced on June 23, 2009, that the subject for card #3 in the 2009 Topps Red Hot Rookie Redemption program was Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I'm thinking, "Fantastic!!!" in a sarcastic tone. Why???

  • Plays for the Pirates.
  • All-Star Nate McLouth, already the CF.
  • Rookie that had potential, (his stats as of June 23, 2009 were: .333 (26-78), with one home run, thirteen RBI's, and stolen two bases, but...
  • Plays for the Pirates.
So basically, I have not decided whether or not to "cash it in" and redeem the card.

Needless to say, I should apologize for my thinking. Here's why. Since June 23, he is hitting .270 (37-137), with five home runs, 18 RBI's, and seven stolen bases. Not too shabby, and with McLouth off the team (traded to the Braves in June), McCutchen is getting more playing time.

Then, I'm watching the MLB Network, and saw this...

Please don't try to click on the pause button. This is only a picture, not a video. Screenshot courtesy of MLB Network and

If you want to see the video of all three home runs, click here.

I think I'm redeeming mine now. He looks like he has a good chance to win the NL Rookie of the Year award. According to ESPN, the only two other Pirates to hit three home runs in a game are both Hall of Famers (Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente). McCutchen is now the third Buc to do it. And as long as the Pirates front office stops the yearly fire sales (which this year saw an overhaul), he has a good future ahead of him in the Steel City.


JayBee Anama