Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Here We Come!!!

It's new year's eve. My sister's birthday (happy birthday Migz!!!) And the year that was 2010 is now drawing ever so closer to an end. By the time this post appears, I will be taking my family to the zoo and enjoying the weather (it may be cloudy and possibly rainy, but it will be in the low 50' JANUARY!!!)

Anyway, the point of this post is basically to review the past year's triumphs and failures and what the direction of this blog is going to be.

The Topps Card Randomizer crashed in mid-October (realistically, it crashed in August and didn't quite recover). The good news is that it is now back up and running, and will now include cards from 2010 Topps and Topps Update Series (Yay!!!). The first RotC post will appear on the first of January, at 1:00 p.m. CST.

As we are now in 2011, we will also bring back the feature that I was hoping to put into full swing in 2010, but just never got around to it. It is the return of the 2011 Topps Archives project. For those of you who don't know what that is, I invite you to read the first post explaining what the 2011 Topps Archives project was all about. The checklist of the first eighteen subjects are on the sidebar. I originally wanted to have 200 players and a ton of extras, making a 450 card set. So I only need 182 players to go. I do have some future archives players and the managers in mind. Those will come up later in the year.

It is my hope to finish adding the last of the Update Series cards into a binder this weekend. I am so darn behind. I will also update the official card count and my want list on the side bar soon. And because I missed out on sets that I wanted to acquire in 2010 (National Chicle, Allen & Ginter, Topps 206 from both 2009 and 2010), if I do ever find them, I will share my excitement with the blog. Hopefully, the prices remain steady if drastically decrease on the Bay.

Also, this humble little blog will continue the All-Star simulations with the 2010 All-Star teams that were created in October. As you can see on the sidebar, I have simulated 21 seasons worth of All-Star games featuring rosters that were created by yours truly, and will have the results of the 2010 All-Star series before pitchers and catchers report for spring training (don't you just love those four words..."pitchers and catchers report").

And finally, if Topps ever remembers to get around to it, they still have to announce the other 59 cards from their "Vote Topps" thing from October. If you haven't seen or heard, I went ahead and created a site that would allow the Hobby Internet Community to vote on the Topps 100 cards of all time, along with the Top cards of every year in Topps' 60 year history. Go to the Topps 300 (and then some...) to find out more. During the year, you the readers will be allowed to add to the ballot and by the 2011 All-Star Break, we will put to a vote the best cards of every year and the Topps 100 cards of All-Time.

I did not get to buy as much Topps product this year as I would have liked. Money was tight this year and more of it seemed to be earmarked for other, more important things (like bills, kid's education, etc). So while I did succeed in acquiring full master sets of this year's flagship product, I didn't really get to buy the usual hobby box of each. I am hoping that if all goes well, 2011 will be a different story. I also wasn't active enough in searching for or trading for the short prints that came out with this year's set. I plan on becoming more active on that front in 2011.

I would have liked to have done a year end review of the Hobby in 2010. There certainly was a lot to write about. From the Pie in the Face, Abraham Lincoln, and other super short printed variations, to one of the deepest class of rookies MLB has seen in years, there was so much going on in Topps first year as the MLB exclusive trading card licensee. However, I think you all would be better off reading what the gentleman at Grand Cards had to say in his Year-In-Review post. Very good stuff here. Many of the points I totally agree with (if not all the points). So check out what he had to say about 2010...AFTER you're done with what I have to say.

I must say that it's been an interesting year in the Hobby Blogging Community, as well as the Hobby in general. The companies (specifically the Topps Company), have finally come around and are now taking a more proactive approach in their appearances by being more involved in social media. Topps always had a twitter account (@toppscards) but since Mike Mader joined the team earlier this year, the 140-character post site has seen a lot of communication. And even better, they finally joined Facebook!!! The round-table discussion was a hit earlier this year, and I hope that the communication between the company and their customers continues in 2011.

There is so much more to look forward to in 2011. Most important of all of this is the cards. THE CARDS!!! The cards of 2011 Topps look great and I can't wait to add them to my collection. Stay tuned for information on SP's, interesting variations, the ever "dreaded" gimmicks, and all things Topps as they celebrate their 60th Anniversary (the Diamond Anniversary). With that said, in what has been tradition on this blog:

Goodbye 2010!!!

Hello 2011!!!

Goodbye 2010 Topps Design!!!

Hello 2011 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 2011!!!


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Last Update for the Sports Card Blogroll before 2011. A Year in Review.

What a year it has been for the Sports Card Blogroll. An overhaul of the site in January made the site easier to access and much easier to find your favorite blogs. As of Tuesday, December 28, 2010, there were 153 new blogs about the Hobby of Sports Card Collecting added to the big Roll since the first of the year, putting the roster at 322 blogs.

But this also means that we've lost many of our favorite blogs to inactivity (6 months is the cutoff). Looking back at the past year, and before we say goodbye to posts this month, I removed 97 blogs off the active roster due to six months of inactivity. A few found there way back (after telling me that they were up and running again) onto the roll. And if there is any indication as to what is coming in the world of our Hobby blogging in 2011 based on what has transpired these last couple of months, there should be a bit of concern.

Let's go ahead and list the blogs making their departure from the main roster and will be moved to the "Blogs Being Removed from the Blogroll" section on the sidebar:

There were 314 blogs as of last month's update. We reached 322 before this month's post. With these eight removed, we are now down to 314 blogs (no gain from last month). Overall that means a total of 105 blogs were removed from the Sports Card Blogroll in 2010 (you can see all the blogs removed for posterity on the site by clicking on the Sports Card Blogroll Label on this post or on the sidebar). Last year at this time, there were 262 blogs linked onto the site, which means that we had a net gain of 52 blogs from last year.

Last year at this time, we only had one basketball card blog. This year, we now have six. The number of blogs in football and hockey remained consistent. In the ever important baseball category, where last year there were 119 sites, as of now there are 136 blogs about baseball cards (total does not include blogs found in the more specific team, set, or player sections, or even the multi-sport section of the blogroll).

We lost a few of our more "influential" voices this year, but many others have picked up the slack. And I hope that the number of blogs about our Hobby continues to grow. The more voices, the better off we all will be. Keep up the good work everyone. And let's hope that 2011 will mean better things for the Hobby, and the Hobby Blogging Community.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, December 26, 2010

'Twas the Day After Christmas

and all through the house, the Lego sets have been built and the Scrabble Flash letters spell MOUSE.

These past few years, I made a conscious effort on getting more presents for my family and not expecting anything in exchange. So it was a nice surprise when my kids gave me a present to open: a long sleeved blue and yellow striped (thin stripes thank goodness) shirt that I can wear for work.

I try not to tell people to get me baseball cards for Christmas because many times they get me packs of stuff I don't collect (the one year I had to smile publicly while being handed two blasters of Upper Deck cards was one of the toughest things I had to do). So usually, if I get cash or gift cards, I'll get my Topps cards myself.

So along with the Dilbert wall calendar (for my cubicle), I did get four jumbo packs of Update Series from Meijer. I did get three MCG code cards and one Strasburg 661 (the regular one...not the PITF). So it was worth it.

I also so a post on another blog about a 2010 Tony Gwynn SP card up for trade. Now I need to find some Brewers cards so I can get it. No problem.

I plan on spending the day sledding with the kids (must have gotten at least 4 - 6" of snow) and promised to take them if the snow wasn't hard. That, and I will do my monthly Sports Card Blogroll maintenance when I get home.

Finally, Joe McAnally is getting the Topps Heritage sets added to the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. He asked if there were any retro sets that would be worth adding to the museum. I thought really long and hard about this one. I would have suggested the Allen & Ginter series, but because of all the "non-baseball subjects," it might not be...what's the word...relevant to the subject matter at hand.

Turkey Red came to mind too. He already has the reprint set inducted. It could work, although some of the pictures might be too dark for scanning (especially the cards from '06). Maybe that is what I'd recommend. Jury is still out on Cracker Jacks (a nice product that had a good two-year run, but not in my top 10 retro sets), but the early Topps 206 & 205 sets would be good too use. But if those are to be used, I think the mini cards would look better.

That's all for now. Hope your holiday has treated you well.


JayBee Anama

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Time Is Here...All is Calm...All is Bright...

It is now 11:07 p.m. CST, Friday, December 24, 2010. The kids are settling in to bed (finally). The presents are wrapped and are under the tree. And here I am thinking about what to write. I look back on what I wrote last year at this time, and many of the things I wrote then still ring true today:

"This has been a very rough year financially, emotionally, mentally for a lot of people. In fact, I know that many people are cutting back on the usual extravagances, opting for simple get-togethers with family and friends. Many adults have agreed to skip the exchange of Christmas presents, opting to focus their gift giving towards their children, who, regardless of the state of the world right now, deserve a good holiday."

So back to the point. It is Christmas. It is a time to reflect, a time to celebrate. A time to remember what it is all about. What it really is all about. Again, from last year:

"I think I'm trying to say that as our priorities shift, I think it's more important that we think about what Christmas is all about. Yes, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. And that is why my family and I celebrate. But there is so much more to it than that. This is the time of year that we show our friends and family how much they mean to us. How much they matter to us. How much we care about them and believe that the feelings are mutual. This is the time that we put any hostilities we have aside and celebrate life. It's the time of year that we think about those who are less fortunate, and find ways to help, no matter how much or how little, and count our blessings."

Another year is soon coming to an end. In the world that we call our Hobby, it has seen the results of the dramatic changes that were announced over a year ago. Whether the Topps Company successfully took advantage of their "Exclusive License" or not gets a different answer depending on who you ask. For me, there were a lot more hits than misses. Not saying that all of their products were great (or the execution therein), but there can only be improvements. Remember, this is the first time since 1980 that they had the market all to themselves. It will take a while before they get the hang of it. Based on what I've seen so far, the future only looks bright.

Regardless of where you find yourselves these next few days, on behalf of my family, I wish you and yours a happy, a safe, a joyous, and most importantly, a very Merry Christmas. May packs of Topps cards fill your stocking on Christmas morning.


JayBee Anama

P.S. In past years posts, I included a few Christmas videos of songs I enjoy hearing during the holidays. This year, my daughter introduced me to what I think will rank up there in my favorite Christmas/Holiday carols of all time. From Straight No Chaser, it's the Christmas Can-Can. jba

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Sell Sheets are Now Live!!!

As promised in my first post about the newest retro product Topps will be debuting in 2011, the sell sheets for the Gypsy Queen set are now live!

Some notes:

There will be a group of insert cards featuring Gypsy Queens. Really? They will come in regular, autos, and jewel-encrusted cards (20 each). The sample on the sell sheet is intriguing. Can't wait to see what the other 19 will look like.

For regular insert collectors (like me), who insist that these cards would be part of the master set, the three insert sets look fantastic. "The Great Ones" (in brown) feature 30 legendary players. "The Home Run Heroes" (in green) showcases 25 past and present sluggers. "Future Stars" (in blue) self explanatory with 20 young stars who should carry MLB into the coming decade.

Regular sized parallel cards include "framed paper" (which if I were to guess was how the original cards were created), and gold (100 cards only will get the gold foil and newfangled technology treatment). Mini parallels will include leather (simulated...relax PETA), sepia tone (to acknowledge how the original cards actually looked), Gypsy Queen-backed cards (with the original GQ logo), and black borders.

And did I mention that each card gets its own parallel stamp card (#'d to 10)?

The checklist (in .pdf form) can be found here. And as always, it is subject to change. With the recent news that Topps has signed contracts with both Sandy Koufax and Hank Aaron (just today), they may be added as well. Emphasis on may be.


JayBee Anama

Monday, December 20, 2010

Topps 60 Best Cards...#60!

So Topps' countdown of their greatest cards of all-time as voted on by the collecting public is being revealed today.

Card #60 is...

(drumroll please)

1973 Topps #615 Rookie Third Basemen Ron Cey/John Hilton/Mike Schmidt.

Thoughts: Good card to kickoff the countdown. Although it is a combo card, even John Hilton's mother will acknowledge that this card belongs to the gentleman on the far right of the card...Michael Jack Schmidt!!! (This isn't a slight on Ron Cey...he had an astounding career as well...but this card is recognized more for Schmidt's appearance than anything else.)

Beckett has this listed between $75-$150.00.

Card #59 on the countdown will be announced tomorrow.

UPDATE: December 24, 2011: If you haven't noticed yet, Topps has not updated their "Vote Topps" site since the first card was announced. Topps Social Media guy is on vacation until next year so nothing has been mentioned on either facebook or twitter. As of now, we're all in the dark as to the next card on the countdown. When they do, I'll post card #59 then.


JayBee Anama

Friday, December 17, 2010

Quick Reminder Regarding Topps' 60 Best Cards...

If all goes according to plan, Topps will begin to announce, one card at a time, the Topps 60 cards as voted by the public beginning tomorrow, December 18. These 60 cards will make their way into packs of 2011 Topps Series 1 (whether actual cards or reprints remains to be seen).

Here at this humble, little blog, we will celebrate by commenting on each card that makes the cut as soon as the cards are announced. So join us as we count along with Topps the 60 greatest cards of all time.

And if you still don't like the choices, feel free to visit the Topps 300 (and then some...) and comment on which cards you think should be included in each year's post.


JayBee Anama

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Gypsy Queen Scheduled to Sail in 2011.

The latest buzz around the Hobby Internet community was the announcement of the Topps Company's latest retro-baseball card product: 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen.

In what appears to be the replacement for this past year's National Chicle or even Topps 206, Gypsy Queen cards were inserts found in packs of cigarettes back in 1887 (N174 for those of you who follow Mr. Burdick's codes), and the photos used were similar to those used of the more familiar Old Judge cards from that same era (both brands were manufactured by Goodwin and Company). Doing a bit of digging (isn't the Internet a wonderful thing???), the Gypsy Queen set consisted of 183 cards (that are known of anyway), in two sizes (2" x 3½" and 1" x 2½") and because the cigarettes were expensive, only the "upper class" could afford them. Because cards like these weren't really actively collected back then, it is a safe bet that many were just tossed aside, which makes the original cards rarer than other tobacco cards (like the Allen & Ginters, the Old Judges, etc). How rare were these cards? Put it this way, even the book Classic Baseball Cards: The Golden Years 1886-1956 doesn't list or has any pictures from this brand of cards.

Now this isn't the first time Topps is utilizing the design. Remember a few years back (2007 to be exact) when Topps' Walmart Exclusive insert set included a bunch of old baseball card designs? There were a couple of Gypsy Queen cards included (Joe Mauer and Dan Uggla). And although the cards from 2007 stayed true to the set's original sepia colored pictures, the 2011 set will utilize color pictures.

The 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen set will consist of 450 cards, of which 50 will be short-printed variations (there's a big surprise). There are going to be three regular-sized insert sets, and the kicker is that every card (base and inserts) will have their own mini parallel card. The parallel cards will be found one per pack and include hobby-only Leather versions limited to 10, Sepia minis limited to 99, back variants and black-bordered back variants.

There are also the usual relics, autos, and mini framed cards. As well as something called Stamp Relic cards. All 450 cards (#'d to ten) will feature a stamp that incorporates the player's city or country of origin.

And, the number one source in the hobby has pictures (some which are can catch the other ones on their site). The most unique card I've seen among the samples is this embedded Gypsy Queen gem card, complete with a picture of a "gypsy queen." Hey, if they can get Santa Claus, or even the invisible man on a card, you never know.

Now personally, I like the retro stuff that Topps, and even that other card company...when they were around, put out in the last ten years. What started with T206, T205, Cracker Jack, Turkey Red, Allen & Ginter, Goodwin Champions, Goudey, Play Ball, and even the National Chicle, the purpose of these cards were not only to put something on the market for set collectors to hunt, but to also expose us to the rich history of the Hobby and the cards that were made before the Shorin brothers came up with their gum. As a student of the Hobby, I really appreciate that. But lately, there's been a bit of ambivalence to these kinds of cards. Why the hostility? Has the craze already played itself out? If it has, why then is Topps still putting these kinds of products out there? Certainly there is a market for it. And there is a wealth of old card products and designs they can use.

Now for those of us who have never seen actual Gypsy Queen cards, one of the best sites I've seen
that has a number of them is here at Baseball Cards Live. A checklist of the 183 known cards can be found here at Vintage Prices. And when sell sheets arrive, I will make sure to scan and post them here on the blog.

Topps Gypsy Queen is the fifth product the company has announced for Major League Baseball (following Series 1, Heritage, Opening Day, and Tribute). More to look forward to in 2011.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Week Away to Recharge

I know my readership takes a hit when I don't post. So I'm thinking my numbers now have taken a nosedive. But I never said I was doing what it is I do for ratings.

While I took my break, I found a card shop at the mall (brand new), and bought a few packs of 2010 Topps Update. No, nothing worthwhile in the insert department, but at least I have a reason to go to the mall again. Best of luck to the folks running Sports and Gaming Cards at Golf Mill Center in Niles, IL.

And when I get home, I plan on updating the wantlists on the sidebar of the blog, the official card count in my always growing collection, and put the master set of '10 Topps Update into sheets.

That and possibly restart the Randomizer and enter codes into Toppstown. Later.


JayBee Anama

Friday, December 3, 2010

RIP Ron Santo 1940-2010

My wife woke me up this morning, just like she does every morning before she leaves for work. It's usually, "Wake up, I'm leaving now. Have a good day. I love you."

This morning, she wakes me up with "Did you know that Ron Santo is dead?"

"What?" I mumbled as I got up in a rush. Sure enough, the usually jovial WGN Morning News team mentioned that last night, Ron Santo had passed away. And I was stunned.

Every article today mentioned his stats, his All-Star appearances, his Gold Gloves, so I'm not going to mention those. Many blogs and news articles about the man talk about how the writer feels that Santo has been unfairly snubbed from being inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame (and you can count me as one who thinks that he should have been...even if I never saw the man play). Many stories have already been recalled about how generous he was with his time, and how courageous he was to play the game being diabetic at a time when the technology to manage it wasn't around.

All I want to talk about this evening is about how kind enough he was to sign one piece of memorabilia for me. It's not a baseball, nor a card (even though the above card is autographed by Ron himself...from 2001 Topps Archives #73 of 150), not even a bobblehead doll (which I have, not autographed of course, but I still have one in a box somewhere in the house). None of those.

One night, the Friendly Card Finds (shout out to Brian Proulx...wherever you are), the baseball card shop by my work, announced that Mr. Santo was going to sign at the shop. Even though I don't really collect autographs, I thought that it would be really cool to see him in person. But what could I give him to sign?

Then it hit me. "How about my copy of The Complete Picture Collection of Topps Baseball Cards 1951-1990??? Brilliant. It's such a heavy book though...what does that matter. I'm going to meet Ron Santo!!!"

When the evening came, my wife, my two kids, and I drove over to the shop. The place was hopping. People buying cards for Ron to sign. Pictures cost x amount. Cards, a little cheaper. Balls were sold at x price (I don't remember...I didn't buy any of them). But here I was standing in line with this huge book, trying to find a good spot for him to sign his name. I still didn't find a spot until I was at the front of the line.

Brian introduced Ron to me, I shook his hand, told him what an honor it was to meet him...oh and here is what I have for you to sign sir. Here I was with this heavy blue book. The expression on his face was priceless. I don't think he had ever seen the book before. If you have never seen this book, it's basically a picture of every Topps card up to 1990. His eyes lit up as he was flipping through some of the pages. It was like he was looking at an old high school yearbook. He asked where I wanted him to sign, but I was speechless. I didn't even know. He flipped through until he reached the section of 1961 cards. At the bottom of the first page, he found it. A picture of card #35 from the 1961 set. His rookie card. He signed his name in blue sharpie below the picture.

I shook his hand, thanked him very much for the autograph, he even shook my wife's and kids hands (they're not going to remember any of it...but I'll tell them later that they met a legend), and left for another errand (which I can't remember where we went, but it was heading further west).

A month later, when I visited the shop again, Brian said that the book was probably the most unique thing that Ron Santo had signed that night.

I never saw Ron Santo play baseball. I've only seen pictures, and brief highlights of his home runs, and defensive plays. I only knew him as a broadcaster, who for 21 seasons, what seemed to be almost all the years I followed the Cubs and baseball in general, graced our radios with his voice. First with the team of Thom Brennaman and Bob Brenly (sure Harry was around then too), but eventually, with Pat Hughes. For fifteen seasons, whether the Cubs were winning or losing, it was always great listening to Pat and Ron broadcast the ballgame. Even if I only got a chance to listen to no more than fifteen minutes of the game, I enjoyed listening nonetheless.

I've been to a handful of Cub games at Wrigley. And I've seen many games on the television. But I always enjoyed listening to the game on the radio. Through good times and bad (and certainly there has been a lot of bad), listening to the voices of Pat and Ron made Cubs baseball an enjoyable experience.

And now, his voice has now been silenced. It's cliché to say that there will never be another one like Ron in the booth. One so passionate about the team (okay, that other guy on the south side that drives everyone nuts can be a possible exception), that you don't even need to know the just needed to hear the tone of his voice to tell if the Cubs were winning or not. But it's true. I don't think there is any radio station, any team in professional sports, who would be willing to hire a man in the mold of Ron Santo to be a color analyst. Not in today's game. Maybe that's a good thing. Because there will never be anyone like him. And listening to Cubs games will never be the same.

My condolences go out to the Santo family, the Cubs organization, Major League Baseball, and the fans. Not just Cubs fans, but all baseball fans. We have lost a legend.

(cue ethereal piano music)

But somewhere, maybe in Iowa, a 20-year old kid from Seattle, Washington, is making his way to a baseball diamond built in the middle of a cornfield, taking his place among the spirits of the game for the very first time.

God bless you, Ron Santo. Enjoy playing in your Field of Dreams.


JayBee Anama

Thursday, December 2, 2010

2010 Topps All-Star Rookie Team Contest Winners!!!

Now that the 2010 Topps All-Star Rookie Team has been announced, I have spent the good part of the evening going over all the e-mails I received, seeing who outguessed me in the All-Star Rookie Team contest.

Unfortunately, nobody correctly predicted all ten players who would make the team (or eleven as the case may be). The news that Danny Valencia won the third baseman's position dashed many contestants' shot at a perfect ten (actually, it was Valencia and Gaby Sanchez that did in many perfect scores). And even though Stephen Strasburg is the official RHP for the team, if anybody selected Neftali Feliz (the RP on the this going to be standard going forward???) as their RHP pick, then I marked the selection as correct. But once again unfortunately, nobody wins the 2005 Topps Rookie Cup set grand prize.

But I am happy to say that there were more entries sent to me this year than in last year's contest. And because of that, I am happy to say that there are more winners. Out of all the entries I received, eight people beat my score of seven, with five of them correctly picking nine players onto the team. Congratulatory e-mails have already been sent, so it's okay for me to announce the winners:
Eight players correct: Jason T. Carter, Todd Stark, and Mark Mosley
Nine players correct: Jack Press, Steve Drennen, John Bateman, Don Sherman, and Glenn Savage
Now if Don and Glenn's names are familiar to those who read this humble little blog, it is because they were the winners of last year's contest (they did better this year too). If you recall in my announcement post, I only got seven right. Each of them will receive a Hobby pack of 2010 Topps Updates and Highlights for outguessing me.

Thank you very much to all who participated in the contest. Although nobody got all ten to win the grand prize, I promise to run this contest again next year. Hopefully somebody will win it.
JayBee Anama

Monday, November 29, 2010

Introducing the 2010 Topps All-Star Rookie Team!!!

The MLB managers have spoken, and today, Topps has announced the players named to the 52nd All-Star Rookie Team!!! (If the player's name is in bold, it means I predicted that they would make the team back in October).

  • 1B: Gaby Sanchez, Florida Marlins (.273 batting average, 19 HR 85 RBI, 2010 stats)
  • 2B: Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates (.296, 12, 66)
  • 3B: Danny Valencia, Minnesota Twins (.311, 7, 40)
  • SS: Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs (.300, 3, 41)
  • OF: Austin Jackson, Detroit Tigers (.293, 4, 41)
  • OF: Mike Stanton, Florida Marlins (.259, 22, 59)
  • OF: Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves (.277, 18, 72)
  • C: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants (.305, 18, 67)
  • RHP: Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals (5-3, 2.91 ERA, 92 K's)
  • LHP: Jaime Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals (13-8, 2.70 ERA, 132 K's)
  • RP: Neftali Feliz, Texas Rangers (4-3, 2.73 ERA, 71 K's, 40 saves)

So I guessed 7 out of 10 spots correctly (I guessed Tyler Colvin for the third outfield spot, Ike Davis for first base, and Pedro Alvarez at third). I did just as well last year (7 of 10).

Valencia's selection surprised many as many people who entered the contest picked Alvarez of the Pirates (like I did). Didn't know that Topps would have 11 players make the team this time around. Is it just me, or do you think Topps added the RP position so that they could justify Strasburg winning the RHP position. Regardless, if you entered the contest and picked Feliz as your RHP, that will count as a correct answer. Let the conspiracy theories flow!!!

So congratulations to all. Each player will now get the illustrious rookie cup trophy added to their 2011 Topps cards.


JayBee Anama

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Topps 300 (and then some...) is Finally Complete, Up, and Running!!!

Inspired by Topps attempt to whittle down the Top 60 cards of All-Time, I thought that the Hobby Blogging Community can do better.

So now I would like to introduce you all to my latest project,

The best five cards from each year (from 1951-2010) is included in each post (see the slideshow on the sidebar). I invite readers to add comments to each post telling me what cards should have been included. What will happen eventually is that every card will be put to a vote to determine the best card from every year, and then the best cards of All-Time.

So please take the time to visit the site and let me know what you think.


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Card #'s 29 or #211 Now Officially Belong to...Part 2

In recent years, Topps has reserved six cards within Series 1 for the AL and NL award winners that are being announced this week. Card #'s 29 and #211 (according to the preliminary checklist) are reserved for the Most Valuable Players.

On Monday, Joey Votto was named the NL Most Valuable Player. Yesterday, we learned who won the award in the American League, and thus gets to appear on either card #29 or #211 (Topps did not specify which card goes to which league's winner).

Congratulations to Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers for being named the American League's Most Valuable Player. This caps what has become a very inspirational comeback for one of baseball's best players. We all know the story (top prospect, the drug abuse, being out of baseball for a number of years, finding divine intervention, getting back into baseball, and finally making it to the majors). When all was lost, he found redemption. And all that hard work has paid off because thanks to him (and a little help from his friends), the Texas Rangers made it to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. He led the AL in batting average, hitting a good .359 average to go with 95 runs scored, 32 home runs and 100 RBIs. He also led the league with a .633 slugging percentage and was second with a .411 on-base percentage.

So card #29 or #211 will be of Hamilton, the first Ranger to win the MVP award since 2003 when Alex Rodriguez (notice the irony here...when ARod came to Texas, he was supposed to help get the Rangers into the World Series. And in a turnabout kind of way-striking out against Neftali Feliz as the last out of the series-he did). He received 22 of 28 first-place votes for a total of 358 points, beating a field that included Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers (262, 5 first-place votes), Robinson Cano (229), Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays (165, 1 first-place vote), Paul Konerko of the White Sox (130), Evan Longoria of the Rays (100), Rays teammate Carl Crawford (98), Joe Mauer of the Twins (97), Adrian Beltre of the Red Sox (83), Delmon Young of the Twins (44), Vladimir Guerrero of the Rangers (22), Rafael Soriano of the Rays (21), CC Sabathia of the Yankees (13), Shin-Soo Choo of the Indians (9), Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees (8), AL Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez of the Mariners (6), M's teammate Ichiro Suzuki (3), Jim Thome of the Twins (2), Joakim Soria of the Royals and Mark Teixeira of the Yankees (1 each).

Hamilton also becomes the fifth Rangers player to win the MVP award, joining Jeff Burroughs, Juan Gonzalez (twice), Ivan Rodriguez, and Alex Rodriguez.

Let the debates continue. Did your guy win???


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Card #'s 29 or #211 Now Officially Belong to...

In recent years, Topps has reserved six cards within Series 1 for the AL and NL award winners that are being announced this week. Card #'s 29 and #211 (according to the preliminary checklist) are reserved for the Most Valuable Players.

Yesterday, we found out who gets to appear on either card #29 or #211 (Topps did not specify which card goes to which league's winner).

Congratulations to Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds for being named the National League's Most Valuable Player in almost unanimous fashion. Although he didn't lead the league in any of the Triple Crown categories (.324 was good for second, 37 HR and 113 RBI's put him in third), he did lead the NL in other stats like slugging percentage (.600), on-base percentage (.424) and OPS(1.024). What was more surprising was by how many points he earned in the voting.

So card #29 or #211 will be of Votto, the first Red to win the MVP award since 1995 when Barry Larkin took the prize home. Coincidentally, 1995 was also the last time the Reds made it to the postseason. He received 31 of 32 first-place votes (an almost unanimous 443 points), beating a field that included Albert Pujols of the Cardinals (279, 1 first-place), Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies (240), Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres (197), Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies (132), Cy Young winner Roy Halladay of the Phillies (130), Aubrey Huff of the World Series winning Giants (70), Jayson Werth of the Phillies (52), Martin Prado of the Braves (51), Ryan Howard of the Phillies (50), NL Rookie of the Year Buster Posey of the Giants (40), Matt Holliday of the Cardinals (32), Brian Wilson of the Giants (28), teammate Scott Rolen of the Reds (26), Ryan Braun of the Brewers (19), Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals (18), Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies, Dan Uggla of the Marlins, Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals (12 each), Jason Heyward of the Braves (11), Brian McCann of the Braves, Adam Dunn of the Nationals (9 each), Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies (7), David Wright of the Mets (3), and the trio of Corey Hart of the Brewers, Josh Johnson of the Marlins, and Heath Bell of the Padres (2 each).

Votto also becomes the tenth Reds player to win the MVP award, joining Ernie Lombardi, Bucky Walters, Frank McCormick, Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench (twice), Pete Rose, Joe Morgan (twice), George Foster and Barry Larkin.

Let the debates continue. Did your guy win???


JayBee Anama

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ten Blogs Up...How Many Off the Blogroll???

It was a better month for discovering new blogs to add to the big Sports Card Blogroll. In fact, thanks to links from the Cardboard Junkie, and a few other sources, I managed to find ten new blogs and added them to the active roster. Not counting my latest pet project, the Topps 300 (and then some...), there are presently 318 blogs on the roll. That's ten more from last month's blogroll post.

But this also means that I have to remove blogs from the active roll as well due to 6 months of inactivity. And looking at the list of blogs moving down the inactivity highway, I'm concerned that at least one of the best blogs that I've ever encountered may soon join the ranks. While I'm hoping that it isn't the case, if it ever happens, I know where to make room.

So this time, the blogroll says goodbye to the following blogs:
Okay, so that's five blogs removed, but one is technically a site change. So make it four blogs removed, and that gives us a net total of 314 active blogs on site, for a gain of 6 blogs. Remember, keep those journeys going. We're heading towards the end of the year, and while the Hobby has gone through major changes in 2010, it was still an exciting ride. Reading, writing, and commenting on the blogs have made learning about this great Hobby of ours a lot of fun. And here is hoping that in 2011, we get to hear from more voices. The more stories we read, the more collections are shared, the better the Hobby Blogging Community is going to be.


JayBee Anama

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Card #'s 146 or #168 Now Officially Belong to...Part 2.

In recent years, Topps has reserved six cards within Series 1 for the AL and NL award winners that are being announced this week. Card #'s 146 and #168 (according to the preliminary checklist) are reserved for the Cy Young Award Winners.

On Tuesday, Roy Halladay was named the NL Cy Young Award winner. Today, we know who won the award in the American League, and thus gets to appear on either card #146 or #168 (Topps did not specify which card goes to which league's winner).

Congratulations to Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners for winning the AL Cy Young Award. Even with a record of 13-12 (thanks in part to a lack of run support in his "losses"), he finished first in innings pitched (249 2/3), first in ERA with a dazzling 2.27, second in WHIP at 1.06, and second in strikeouts with 232. He can now claim to have the lowest win total and still win the Cy Young. And he had some very stiff competition.

So card #146 or #168 will be of King Felix, the Mariners' All-Star ace. He received 21 first-place votes (out of 28, for a total of 167 points), beating out a field that included David Price of the Rays (111, 4 second-place votes), CC Sabathia of the Yankees (102, 3), Jon Lester of the Red Sox (33), Jered Weaver of the Angels (24), Clay Buchholz of the Red Sox (20), Cliff Lee of the Rangers (6), Rafael Soriano of the Rays (5), Trevor Cahill of the Athletics (4), Joakim Soria of the Royals (2), Francisco Liriano of the Twins (1), and Justin Verlander of the Tigers (1).

Hernandez becomes the second Venezuelan-born pitcher to win the award (Johan Santana was the first). Either way card #'s 146 and 168 are now reserved for both Doc and The King.

Let the debates continue. Did your guy win???


JayBee Anama

Did the Preliminary Checklist for 2011 Topps Heritage Inadvertently Leak the 2010 Topps All-Star Rookie Team???

Not that I have ever collected Topps Heritage, having the latest version of Adobe Acrobat just installed on my computer made me curious as to who was on the preliminary checklist. And what I found blew me away.

The preliminary checklist for 2011 Topps Heritage includes the name of the player, team name, and what kind of card it is of the player (veteran, rookie, combo card, league leaders). But then there were eleven listed as rookie cup. Now unlike the preliminary checklist of 2011 Topps Series 1, where the names were still TBD, there were players' names listed next to the words Rookie Cup. And there were 11 of these cards. Who were they???

  • #25 Starlin Castro, ss, Cubs
  • #35 Stephen Strasburg, rhp, Nationals
  • #91 Gaby Sanchez, 1b, Marlins
  • #218 Buster Posey, c, Giants
  • #283 Danny Valencia, 3b, Twins
  • #288 Mike Stanton, of, Marlins
  • #320 Jason Heyward, of, Braves
  • #335 Austin Jackson, of, Tigers
  • #353 Neil Walker, 2b, Pirates
  • #372 Jamie Garcia, lhp, Cardinals
  • #454 Jose Tabata, of, Pirates
That's eleven players, with all four infielders, four outfielders, the catcher, and 1 right-handed and 1 left-handed pitcher. An entire team...+1.

I'm glad I cut off the contest on the first of November. And I'm not sure when exactly the preliminary checklist first appeared on Magazine-Exchange's website. And I know that the checklist is "always subject to change." So the question now is...

Are these eleven players on the 2010 Topps All-Star Rookie Team? Stay tuned.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Card #'s 146 or #168 Now Officially Belong to...

In recent years, Topps has reserved six cards within Series 1 for the AL and NL award winners that are being announced this week. Card #'s 146 and #168 (according to the preliminary checklist) are reserved for the Cy Young Award Winners.

As of about an hour ago, we know who gets to appear on either card #146 or #168 (Topps did not specify which card goes to which league's winner).

Congratulations to Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies for winning the NL Cy Young Award in unanimous fashion. In the "Year of the Pitcher," there were certainly many pitchers who could have made legitimate claims for the award.

So card #146 or #168 will be of Halladay, the Phillies' All-Star ace who pitched a perfect game during the regular season and a no-hitter in the NLDS, finished his first year in the National League as the league leader in complete games (nine), shutouts (four) and innings pitched (250 2/3) to go with a 21-10 record and 2.44 ERA. Getting all 32 first-place votes (a unanimous 224 points), Doc beat out a field that included Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals (122, 28 second-place votes), Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies (90, 4), Tim Hudson of the Braves (39), Josh Johnson of the Marlins (34), teammate Roy Oswalt (14), Brian Wilson of the Giants (7), Heath Bell and Mat Latos of the Padres (4 points each), Brett Myers of the Astros (2), defending two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum (2), Bronson Arroyo of the Reds (1), and Matt Cain of the Giants (1).

Halladay also becomes the fifth player ever to win the award in both leagues (joining Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and Roger Clemens), and the fourth Phillie pitcher to win the Cy Young (with Steve Carlton, John Denny, and Steve Bedrosian).

Let the debates continue. Did your guy win???


JayBee Anama

Monday, November 15, 2010

Card #'s 26 and #282 Now Officially Belong to...

In recent years, Topps has reserved six cards within Series 1 for the AL and NL award winners that are being announced this week. Card #'s 26 and #282 (according to the preliminary checklist) are reserved for the Rookies of the Year.

As of about an hour ago, we know who gets to appear on card #'s 26 and #282.

Congratulations to both Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants and Neftali Feliz of the Texas Rangers for winning the National League and American League Rookies of the Year Awards. Until the announcements were made this afternoon, it was anybody's guess as to who would win either award, as both leagues had many worthy candidates.

In what was a very competitive ballot, Posey, the Giants superstar-in-the-making, paced the competition (129 points, 20 first-place votes). He beat out eight other players for the award, including All-Star Jason Heyward of the Braves (107, 9), Jamie Garcia of the Cardinals (24, 1), Gaby Sanchez of the Marlins (18, 2), Neil Walker of the Pirates (3 points), Starlin Castro of the Cubs (3), Ike Davis of the Mets (2), Jose Tabata of the Pirates (1), and Jonny Venters of the Braves (1).

Feliz, the Rangers' All-Star closer (122 points, 20 first-place votes), beat out a field that included Austin Jackson of the Tigers (98, 8), Danny Valencia of the Twins (12 points), Wade Davis of the Rays (11), John Jaso, also of the Rays (3), Brennan Boesch of the Tigers (3), and Brian Matusz of the Orioles (3).

So begins a wild week were debates will come fast and furious. Did your guy win???


JayBee Anama

Sunday, November 14, 2010

bdj610's Topps Baseball Card Blog Presents: The Topps 300 (and then some...)

At 7:00 p.m. CST, I invite you to visit a new site sponsored by this humble little blog called:

Right now, there are 40 posts (one from each year from 1951-1990, the rest will come later). Please feel free to view each one, make any comments (see the blog's mission when you get there), and let me know what you think.


JayBee Anama

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Preview of The Topps 300 (and then some...)

Making it's debut on Sunday, November 14, at 7:00 p.m. CST is a new blog by the writer of bdj610's Topps Baseball Card Blog. It is my attempt to invite the Hobby Blogging Community to create their own list of the best Topps Baseball Cards of the past 60 years (1951-2010).

Above is a screen capture of what one of the posts will look like (so now you'll at least know what my choices are for the Top 5 cards from the 1957 Topps set. I invite the readers to comment on the five and include a card taht I may have missed onto what will eventually become the ballot for the best 1957 card of All-Time by the HBC.

Stay tuned for more as it develops.


JayBee Anama

Thursday, November 11, 2010

To The Men and Women Who Serve in the United States Armed Forces

November 11, 1919: President Wilson proclaims the first Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations." The original concept for the celebration was for the suspension of business for a two minute period beginning at 11 A.M., with the day also marked by parades and public meetings.

On June 1, 1954, President Eisenhower signs legislation changing the name of the legal holiday from Armistice Day to Veteran's Day. (from The History of Veterans Day)

To the Men and Women who serve in the US Armed Forces:

I will not pretend I know the infinite different reasons why you made the decision to join the US Military.

I can only imagine what your basic training was like (I'm not even sure the movies do any justice).

I will not pretend to know the feeling of being away from family, friends and all of the comforts of home, having been assigned to a foreign land, serving the interests of our country.

I will not say that I necessarily agree with ALL of the reasons why our country has gone to war.

I will not pretend to know what it is like out in the battlefields, not knowing if I was going to live to see another day.

But I will say this.

Thank you.

Thank you all for your service to our country.

Thank you for the sacrifices you made so that we can continue to live with the freedoms that we enjoy.

Your courage is nothing if not inspiring. Your stories become tales of legend that deserve to be told again and again.

For these, and countless other reasons, I give you my respect.

And I give you thanks.


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Can We The Blogging Community Come Up With a Better Topps 100???

In response to my post regarding the ballot found at and the Topps Company's selection of their Top 100 baseball cards of all time, I received this note from Devon Young who runs the blog titled My First Cards:


What if all us card bloggers developed a new list of 100 best Topps cards, and then set up a place for people to vote on them? We could even allow write-in's in case we somehow overlooked a card.

Perhaps each year-specific blogger could nominate 5-10 cards from the set they feature, and bloggers like yourself who cover everything can nominate several from any year, and then after a couple weeks, collect all the nominations and set up a place for people to vote on which are the best?

What do you think?

I don't have the time to organize something like this, but maybe you do?


I was actually thinking about the possibility of doing my own Topps 100 cards. But with 43,133 in Topps catalog of regular and "traded" cards (not including variations, errors, etc), while there is a lot to choose from, how would I go about doing it? What should MY criteria be?
  • Should I go by design aspects?
  • Particular player?
  • Popularity of the card/player?
  • Book value?
  • Picture?
  • Notoriety (gimmicks)?
  • Should subsets (like All-Star cards, Record Breakers cards, Season Highlights cards) be included?
  • Should variations (like the legends variations of the last two years) be included?
  • Combination of one or more of the above?
  • How many cards per year can we have in a ballot? 5? 10? 20?
The thing that I fear the most is that because I only have 35 full years of Topps cards, and only started following baseball since 1987, I'm afraid that I might be biased towards cards and players from 1976 onwards and have a lot of cards dominated by this era than my "retro" period of 1952 (or should we even include 1951) to 1975. I do have my "40 Years of Topps History" and my "300 Greatest Baseball Cards" books, so I do have pictures of, or every card from, Topps 60 years at my disposal.

But I have an idea.

How about this, dear readers? By Sunday night, around 7:00 p.m. CST, I will pick 5 cards from all 60 years (1951-2010)...a Topps 300. They can be rookie cards (which seemed to dominate Topps 100), they could have awesome action shots, they could just be whatever strikes my fancy as a card worth including. After this is done, I will allow a two-week period to allow you the readers to make adjustments to my picks by e-mailing me at You can say, things like, "take this card out and put this one in because..." or, "this card is definitely better than this one (or two) that you picked," or "you're picks are awful. Here's who I'd have picked," or whatever, and if it makes sense, then before all is said and done, I'll have a final ballot (possibly create a third blog, just with ballots akin to the Gummie Awards) for people to vote on their favorites from each year.

By the time all is said and done, we will have the Hobby Blogging Community's very own "Topps 60". And this humble little blog will announce the 60 best cards once a day, just like the Topps will be doing (albeit we won't be able to add cards to the 2011 Topps set ourselves).

But this can only work if (and it's a big IF) this gets a lot of responses from the Hobby Community. It definitely won't work if only seven people comment on changes, or if less than 10 people vote per year (or We need active involvement from both the Hobby bloggers and blog readers. We could certainly get input from those who participate in Hobby forums. (We could certainly use readers...Ego!!! Stop it.) We could even wind up with a better Topps 60 than the Topps Company themselves!!!

What do you think? Should we do it?


JayBee Anama

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Voted...So Why Do I Feel Like Something is Horribly Wrong?

This past week, the Topps Company created a new site that will influence what we will see in packs of 2011 Topps Series 1.

To commemorate the 60th Anniversary (the Diamond Anniversary) of Topps Baseball Cards, the Company selected, in their opinion, the Topps (ha ha) 100 cards of all-time. In Topps' 60 year history, they have thrust upon the masses (by my estimate, as of 2010 Topps Update Series) 43,133 regular and traded Topps cards. This total does NOT include errors, variations, and the like. If you want to whittle it down further, that would be 37,759 cards in the eponymous set and 5,374 cards found in Topps Traded/Traded and Rookies/Updates and Highlights/Update Series. So out of 43,133 cards, they picked 100 cards (or 0.2318% of all cards)for us the collectors to vote on our ten favorites of their picks and the top 60 of them, one by one, from 60 to 1, will be added as reprints in packs of the upcoming product.

While the list of cards is impressive (go to to see which made the cut), I have to wonder what the criteria was in selecting the 100 cards on the proverbial ballot. Obviously there are the iconic cards from the 1952 Topps set (Pafko, Robinson, Mathews, Mantle), and a ton of rookie cards (Gibson 1959, Maris 1958, Banks 1954, Bonds 1987, Maddux 1987 Traded, etc.), but there were a lot of headscratchers that made me think...WHAT??!

To wit, the 1989 Topps Randy Johnson card. Sure, it's the Big Unit on an Expos card. But is that really one of the 100 best ever? Dwight Gooden's Record breaker card is on here from 1985 Topps, but not his 1984 Topps Traded card? If you're going to include the 1983 Topps cards of Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs, what happened to Ryne Sandberg??! Nothing against Sammy Sosa and his 1990 Topps card, but where's the Big Hurt??!

And if you're going to go with the gimmicks (oooh, I know that Chris Harris must be having a field day with this one...) a la the 2006 Alex Gordon and the 2007 Derek Jeter, then why not something more fun, like the 1985 Topps Gary Pettis, or even the 1972 Billy Martin? I guess they wanted cards that they PURPOSELY created, not something that was out of their control.

Finally, once again, I understand his importance in the role of making Topps synonymous with baseball cards, but did you guys have to include ALMOST EVERY MICKEY MANTLE CARD IN THE CATALOG (15 cards if you're counting, somehow all except his 1958 and 1961 base cards make the list) on the website??! And on a totally unrelated note, if the guy can't even be included on insert cards, how in the heck did two (not one...two) of Pete Rose's cards get on here? And really...the 2010 Stephen Strasburg is already one of the 100 greatest Topps cards ever??!

So for the faint of heart, here are the 100 cards on the list, by year:
  • 1952 (9): Ed Mathews, Andy Pafko, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra
  • 1953 (4): J. Robinson, Mays, Satchell Paige, Mantle
  • 1954 (4): Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, Henry Aaron, Mays
  • 1955 (5): Williams, Sandy Koufax, Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Harmon Killebrew
  • 1956 (4): Williams, Koufax, Mantle, Clemente
  • 1957 (7): Brooks Robinson, Williams, Don Drysdale, Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax
  • 1958 (1): Roger Maris
  • 1959 (3): Mantle AS, Mantle, Bob Gibson
  • 1960 (3): Carl Yastrzemski, Mickey Mantle, Willie McCovey AS
  • 1961 (3): Maris AS, Mantle MVP, Juan Marichal
  • 1962 (1): Mantle
  • 1963 (2): Pedro Gonzalez/Ken McMullen/Pete Rose/Al Weis, Mantle
  • 1964 (2): Rose, Mantle
  • 1965 (3): Mantle, Joe Morgan/Sonny Jackson, Fritz Ackley/Steve Carlton
  • 1966 (1): Mantle
  • 1967 (2): Mantle, Bill Denehy/Tom Seaver
  • 1968 (3): Mantle, Johnny Bench/Ron Tompkins, Jerry Koosman/Nolan Ryan
  • 1969 (2): Mantle, Reggie Jackson
  • 1970 (2): Nolan Ryan, Thurman Munson/Dave McDonald
  • 1971 (1): Thurman Munson
  • 1972 (1): Mike Garman, Cecil Cooper, Carlton Fisk
  • 1973 (2): Roberto Clemente, Ron Cey/John Hilton/Mike Schmidt
  • 1974 (1): Dave Winfield
  • 1975 (2): Robin Yount, George Brett
  • 1977 (1): R. Jackson
  • 1978 (1): Eddie Murray
  • 1979 (1): Ozzie Smith
  • 1980 (1): Rickey Henderson
  • 1982 (2): Bob Bonner/Cal Ripken/Jeff Schneider, Cal Ripken (Traded)
  • 1983 (2): Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn
  • 1984 (2): Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry
  • 1985 (4): Roger Clemens, Kirby Puckett, Dwight Gooden RB, Mark McGwire US
  • 1986 (2): Jose Canseco (Traded), Bo Jackson (Traded)
  • 1987 (3): Barry Bonds, Greg Maddux (Traded), McGwire
  • 1989 (2): Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey, Jr. (Traded)
  • 1990 (1): Sammy Sosa
  • 1991 (1): Chipper Jones
  • 1992 (1): Manny Ramirez
  • 1993 (1): Derek Jeter
  • 2001 (2): Ichiro Suzuki, Albert Pujols (Traded)
  • 2002 (1): Joe Mauer
  • 2005 (1): Ryan Howard/Cole Hamels
  • 2006 (1): Alex Gordon
  • 2007 (1): Derek Jeter
  • 2010 (1): Stephen Strasburg
No cards from 1976, 1981, 1988, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2008, or 2009 are in the Top 100. A majority of these cards are the player's rookie card (54, give or take) or final card (Munson and Clemente). Almost all are significant, but somehow I feel that the cards chosen, most particularly from the last 30 years, is just lacking.

The ten cards I chose based on this list, and in by year, were:
  • 1952 Mantle (if this card isn't number one, then you might as well shut down the legitimacy of the site, the reputation of the company, and the sanity of the collectors/voters who rigged it so that it won't win)
  • 1954 Banks (needed to put a Cub in here)
  • 1957 Aaron (the reverse negative that made even Aaron feel bad about it - he thought he posed incorrectly on purpose)
  • 1973 Clemente (has, sadly, the complete stats of probably the greatest players, if not human beings, on the planet)
  • 1984 Mattingly (when I started collecting in 1987, this card was KING)
  • 1985 McGwire (between the home run chase and my first forays into collecting online, this card was KING)
  • 1987 Bonds (admit it what other reason was there to include this card other than to stir the pot)
  • 2001 Suzuki (one of the most sought after cards in the 21st century...still is ten years later).
  • 2001 Pujols Traded (see Suzuki)
  • 2006 Gordon (gimmicks aside, finding this card was akin to Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket)

There are many cards that were totally ignored and horribly excluded from this list. The 1983 Sandberg comes to mind. The 1995 Royce Clayton or 1996 Chuck Knoblauch (heck, the 1994 Sandberg) for Topps use of the triple action shot (their response to that other card company's photography) would have been good. The 2004 Jason Michaels card was a nice one. How about the 1991 Oscar Azocar.

So I did my part. I cast my ballot. You all should too, as card #60 will be announced on December 18, 2010. You can supposedly vote once per day, but I don't plan on doing so. Once is enough I think, and I have this funny feeling that while the promotion is going to be good, a lot of backlash is going to come of it between now and when card #1 is selected. May the best card win.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

As Today is November 2, 2010...

November 2 is traditionally All Souls Day. It is the day where we celebrate the lives of family and friends who have passed away. Many will go to cemeteries and pray, some may even picnic on the grounds. It is not really a day of mourning, but a day of reflection. Remembering those who we strongly miss.

Personally, I would like to honor my grandparents, Felix Anama, Leonor Filoteo Anama, Gloria Y. Nichols, Ruben S. Menguito, Sgt. Clinton H. Nichols. As well as countless great aunts and uncles too numerous to list.

Today I want to remember the seven souls who died on January 8, 1993, at the Brown's Chicken in Palatine, Illinois: Michael C. Castro, Rico Solis, Thomas Mennes, Marcus Nellsen, Guadalupe Maldonado, Richard Ehlenfeldt, and Lynn Ehlenfeldt.

I would like to remember the people I've met over the years who left us too soon: Shannon McNamara, Linda Beyer, Gail Leff, Lois Winesburgh, Nancy Huber.

On behalf of my wife, I would like to honor her grandparents, uncles, and especially, her mother (since I have not asked for my wife's permission to do so, I am not adding their names here).

Finally, I would like to take a moment to remember the families, the loved ones who were left behind.

Now that the personal side of the blog has been taken care of, I would also like to take time to remember 78 more people. Between 11/02/2009 and 11/01/2010, 79 people who can lay claim to playing major league baseball, passed away. Many lived long productive lives, even after their careers ended. Others, tragically, either passed away before their potential could be fully reached or before they could enjoy the fruits of their retirement.

On this night, I take time out of my humble little baseball card blog to remember:

Ron Moeller11/2/2009
Bob Roselli11/5/2009
Tommy Reis11/6/2009
Bob Dillinger11/7/2009
Ron Klimkowski11/13/2009
Tommy Henrich12/1/2009
Stan Benjamin12/24/2009
Bill Burich12/25/2009
Bobby Wilkins1/3/2010
Hillis Layne1/12/2010
Bobby Bragan1/21/2010
Curt Motton1/21/2010
Hal Manders1/21/2010
Ken Walters1/26/2010
Sammy Drake1/27/2010
Frank Baker1/28/2010
Paul LaPalme2/7/2010
Jerry Fahr2/12/2010
Jim Bibby2/16/2010
Jim Waugh2/16/2010
Bob Chakales2/18/2010
George Cisar2/19/2010
George Strickland2/21/2010
Frank Bertaina3/3/2010
Hank Small3/3/2010
Jim Roland3/6/2010
Willie Davis3/9/2010
Ken Holcombe3/15/2010
Billy Hoeft3/16/2010
Van Fletcher3/17/2010
Joe Gates3/28/2010
John Purdin3/28/2010
Mike Cuellar4/2/2010
Jim Pagliaroni4/3/2010
Bill Moisan4/9/2010
Dick Kenworthy4/22/2010
Pete Castiglione4/22/2010
Robin Roberts5/5/2010
George Susce5/8/2010
Jay Schlueter5/13/2010
Jose Lima5/23/2010
Rogelio Martinez5/24/2010
Morrie Martin5/25/2010
Jeriome Robertson5/29/2010
Freddie Burdette6/1/2010
Jerry Stephenson6/6/2010
Oscar Azocar6/14/2010
Bob Hartman6/16/2010
Clint Hartung7/8/2010
Frank Verdi7/9/2010
Ed Palmquist7/10/2010
Johnny Van Cuyk7/10/2010
Billy Loes7/15/2010
Kenny Kuhn7/16/2010
Jimmy McMath7/20/2010
Ralph Houk7/21/2010
Larry Fritz7/22/2010
Jake Jacobs7/26/2010
Keith Drumright8/7/2010
Gene Hermanski8/9/2010
Nellie King8/11/2010
Bobby Thomson8/16/2010
Cal McLish8/26/2010
Don Lang9/1/2010
Eddie Phillips9/9/2010
Al LaMacchia9/15/2010
Wayne Twitchell9/16/2010
Ray Coleman9/19/2010
Al Pilarcik9/20/2010
Bob Shaw9/23/2010
Dale Roberts10/8/2010
Valmy Thomas10/16/2010
Joe Lis10/17/2010
Bill Jennings10/20/2010
Otey Clark10/20/2010
Tony Roig10/20/2010
Rudy Rufer10/25/2010
Gene Fodge10/27/2010
Artie Wilson10/31/2010


JayBee Anama