Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Last Update of the Sports Card Blogroll in 2012...A Year in Review

I'm going to make this really quick because the new year is upon us and I want to catch this before the stroke of midnight.

What a year for the Sports Card Blogroll. In 2011, the SCBR added 128 new or returning blogs to the active roster. Many did very well in 2011 and I look forward to what they have to say in 2012. But we also said goodbye to a number of very good blogs and writers in 2011. Let's recap from last month's post.

The Blogroll going into December had 340 blogs added to the active roster. Five blogs were added in December, bringing us back to a comfortable 345. Here are the blogs being removed because they have reached six month of inactivity:
Seven blogs being removed brings us down to 338 blogs going into January, for a net loss of -2.

Heading into 2011, the SCBR went in with 314 blogs. As mentioned above, 128 blogs were added during the year. Sadly, we said goodbye to 104 blogs about the Hobby, bringing the total to 338. This means the SCBR had a net gain of +24 for the year.

We lost a few more 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 2012 will mean better things for the Hobby, and the Hobby Blogging Community. To all who used the SCBR in 2011, I thank you. The Hobby Blogging Community thanks you. And in 2012, on behalf of said community, enjoy the journey in 2012. It should be one interesting ride.


JayBee Anama

2012 Here We Come!!!

It's new year's eve. My sister's birthday (happy birthday Migz!!!) And the year that was 2011 is now drawing ever so closer to an end. By the time this post appears, it will be just two hours before midnight in the Central Time Zone.

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.

I will be honest and say that a lot of what I wanted to do this past year on this humble, little blog, were just not done.  I have many excuses, reasons, and explanations, and I explained myself almost every time I started to lax or not post as often as a blog of this nature should.  Projects tossed aside because of time/responsibilities/laziness.  The excuses end, and I would like to apologize because I feel that I had strayed from the very purpose of creating this blog.  I hope that in 2012, that I will have more time to execute the ideas I've had swirling in my head onto this dog and pony show.

The Topps Card Randomizer worked fine in the first couple of weeks in January, but then subsequently fell by the wayside.The good news is that it is now back up and running, and will now include cards from 2011Topps and Topps Update Series (Yay!!!). The first RotC post will appear on the first of January, at 1:00 p.m. CST.

It's 2012, so what happened to the 2011 Topps Archives Project now that there will be an Archives product in 2012? Well, instead of scrapping it, what we could do is continue the series, but instead of 2011, we'll go ahead with 2012, as a "What this set should have been" concept.

But I might change my mind and just continue the project as a "this should have been made in 2011" kind of thing.For those of you who don't know what that is (and who could blame you for not knowing, I only did one post for this project in 2011), I invite you to read the first post explaining what the 2011 Topps Archives project was all about. The checklist of the first nineteen 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 181 players to go. I do have some future archives players and the managers in mind. Those will come up later in the year.

I am still missing some cards to complete my 2011 Topps Master set. Specifically, I'm missing about 16 ToppsTown cards from 2011 Updates. I thought this was a one card per pack set. Why did Topps make this so hard to complete??? Does this mean that ToppsTown will end in 2012? I hope not. I also still need to find the 2011 HTA set (the 25 card set...not the Prime 9 one). I'm hoping that a full set will come my way at a show or on the Bay. 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 2011 (Allen & Ginter, Gypsy Queen, the 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 2011 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 & 2011 All-Star series before pitchers and catchers report for spring training (don't you just love those four words..."pitchers and catchers report").

The Topps 300 (and then some...) while it did get some nominations added to my choices, never really got of the ground otherwise. As much as I tried to get more exposure for the site, it just never quite took off. I will leave the site open for posterity. And who knows? In 2021, maybe I'll do redo it to the Topps 400 (and then some...).

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, 2012 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 2012.

I must say that it's been an interesting year in the Hobby Blogging Community, as well as the Hobby in general. The Sports Card Blogroll reached 350 active blogs for the first time ever. It is my hope that by next year, we'll have 400 plus listed. My only concern is that some of the long time bloggers may have taken a different route regarding where they post their Hobby writings and may have decided to spend less time on their blog. I sure hope that is not the case and that the number of voices in our community continues to grow.

There is so much more to look forward to in 2012. Most important of all of this is the cards. THE CARDS!!! The cards of 2012 Topps, while initially received with disappointment in the design department, are now starting to 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 61st year in the MLB card business. With that said, in what has been tradition on this blog:

Goodbye 2011!!!

Hello 2012!!!

Goodbye 2011 Topps Design!!!

Hello 2012 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 2012!!!


JayBee Anama

Friday, December 30, 2011

Images for 2012 Topps Series 2 are Live!!!

Even though 2012 Topps Series 1 isn't going to be out until February, the Topps Company is teasing images for cards that should make their appearance in 2012 Topps Series 2 today.

Love the action shots. Really puts you in the middle of the action. Let's see that other company try and do this with their MLBPA license.

Still think that they should have gone with the wood borders...jeez, doesn't that Cliff Lee card look good???

Looks like a new insert. No idea if it's a die-cut or not.

The diamond parallels look to be making a comeback in series 2. Does this mean we'll see series 1 parallel cards in series 2???

Great. A Mantle mini.

A sell sheet won't be out until next week (if the answer to @brentandbecca's question to @toppscards is correct), so get ready for more information as it develops.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Quick Note This Holiday Season

On behalf of my family to yours, Have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah (sorry for not saying it sooner), a Happy Kwanzaa as well.

May you find the cards you need in your stockings and may we all add to our ever growing collections in the coming new year.


JayBee Anama

Friday, December 23, 2011

One Card Preview: 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter

I know I haven't been able to buy the 2010 and 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Set (so here's hoping for a better 2012).

Speaking of 2012, the Topps Company's twitter feed (@toppscards) teased that they would post an image of 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter.  And what you see above is it.

More to come as soon as anything develops.


JayBee Anama

Monday, December 19, 2011

2012 Topps Archives Sell Sheets are Live!!!

I was wondering how Baseball Cardpedia was able to get their hands on a preliminary checklist for the highly discussed 2012 Topps Archives product (that is now the official name of the set), when I remembered that Mr. Stale Gum himself, Chris Harris, now works with Sports Collector's Daily as a writer. If you haven't noticed, he had been spending less time on his blog and (because I'm guessing he is being paid) is now writing for the hobby website. Hey, have to make a living somehow, right???

Anyway, while both of the usual sites that I view sell sheet information did not yet have them posted, SCD did, and Chris was kind enough to include links to both sell sheet .pdf and the prelim checklist. Below are the sell sheets for 2012 Topps Archives.

The details on the products have been previously discussed. And it looks like the Fan Favorites "set" will contain 40 cards while the autograph checklist contains 75 cards. If all 40 base players have auto card parallels, that means that there will be 35 autograph exclusive players that, if I had the funds, I would have to collect (if I was just as crazy as I was in 2003). Well, here's hoping that these autos will be actual fan favorites (stars on the lower end of the Hobby spectrum) than of legends that warrant heavy prices on the secondary market.

The first page of the sell sheet looks like the images were placed on a fruit roll-up. And you have to like the wild colors used onthe rest of the sheets.



JayBee Anama

Blog Bat Around - Best of the Year...Isn't It Obvious??!

If it wasn't for the Sports Card Blogroll, I would have missed the opportunity to join in on the latest Blog Bat Around.  This would be my ninth BBA post out of the ten that I've been aware of (there might have been others, but I'm only aware of ten).  To review the first nine:
The Blog Bat Around was started by Gellman as a way to unite the Hobby Bloggers into writing about a common topic. It proved wildly successful. So successful in fact that he also hosted the second one. The baton was passed to Dave of Fielder's Choice for Fiesta #3, Patricia of Dinged Corners batted cleanup with #4, and dayf the Cardboard Junkie grabbed the reins for #5. The sixth one was hosted by Gellman, the seventh bat around was hosted by Thorzul. Gellman brought it home once again, meaning he hosted four of the first eight. And earlier this year, Mr. Stale Gum hosted the ninth party.

So here we are, the tenth Blog Bat Around.  The invitation to this Hobby mixer was sent out by Ryan G of This Card Is Cool - My Life In Baseball Cards.  The topic:

The 2011 baseball card collecting season is finally over - other than Bowman Sterling. What set or release stands out as your favorite from the year? What set or release brings your lunch back up to your throat.

Well let me just say that 2011 was a great year to be a Topps Baseball Card collector.  Many of the sets focused on set collectors were huge hits for the company this year.  From the new Gypsy Queen, the established Allen & Ginter, and even the now one-year wonder Topps Lineage are now sets I want to collect/acquire (among other sets from the last two to three years that I haven't done yet).  Topps even figured out a way to make playing Topps Attax more than a glorified Pack Wars, that was cool too.  And I haven't even touched upon Heritage, which always has its supporters.  But I don't collect Heritage, so I can't speak for it.

But is it really that big a surprise for all of you out there that the one product I'm going to pick as my favorite set of the year is 2011 Topps???

From the time the sell sheets came out in 2010, I had a feeling that this set was going to be awesome.  The design for the base set was great as it was minimal (with an arched name banner along the bottom of the card), the team logo prominently displayed, and the pictures seemed to bring us closer to the action. clean.  The insert sets were actually interesting, even if Topps really had to stretch to get some of their preferred subjects into the Topps 60 set.  I loved that Topps tried to incorporate a bit of their history by highlighting a card from their past 59 years on the back of the card.  One of these days, I will get around to putting the chosen cards online.

Yes, there were some things that could have been avoided, like having a regular AND an original back version of the 60 Years of Topps set, which of course was SHORTPRINTED!!!  I didn't like it in 2010, and I really didn't like it now, if only because it meant that there were more cards to find.  Going back to the base set, I didn't see the point of having two cards for each of the All-Star Rookie Team players (one with, and one without the Rookie Cup) short of glorifying Topps' golden boy Stephen Strasburg.  But it was a nice touch that Topps made a second set of cards for each of the other ten players on the team too.  Only drawback here was that meant 11 players were left out of the set.  But then again, Topps has been leaving out many players since 2006 when they felt that 330 card series were the way to go.

But Topps eponymous set and the insert sets contained within had its good qualities too.  The History of Topps was a clear winner as it allowed us the collectors the chance to learn a bit about the Company's past.  Obviously, a lot has been written about Topps, and there are many different books that wax poetic about them, but these cards at least make a good starting point before delving into the details.  Kimball's Champions was a nice set for the annual Tribute set (akin to the Turkey Reds in years past) even though they were mini cards and the cards were hard to squeeze into the fifteen pocket pages.  The Toppstown cards seem to be more collectible than ever, I'm still having a hard time finishing my Update Series set because it turns out that they did not come one per pack like in previous years.  But hey, it's something to work on before 2012 Topps arrives in February.

Is there a set that is so stomach churning that it "brings my lunch back up?"  Not really.  I mean, even though Panini (which will now also be known here as that other company) has a license, they still can't make cards with team logos or the like.  And while there really isn't a precedent regarding how they will now do their cards (heck, even Topps featured players in high school uniforms, college uniforms, and what could only be described as yearbook pictures in past cards), it remains to be seen how it will all work out in the end.  I still feel that the other company will do fine as people will find ways to buy their stuff, but I don't think Topps is going to lose a lot of sleep over this new development.

Overall, it was a good year for the Company, and I can't wait for 2012 to get here.  The design is starting to grow on me, and maybe when the cards come out, it will all make sense.  As for my collection goals, as long as I can get full master sets of the flagship brand and the update series, and all 30 team sets, I'll be happy.


JayBee Anama

Saturday, December 17, 2011

As More Details Emerge...

Based on the news that appeared on Topps' Facebook account and the number one source in the Hobby, I find myself a bit let down.  Yes, Charlie, I knew that MLB Properties would not allow Topps to do an all retired player set.  But I had hoped that this restriction would be lifted for a product like Archives/Fan Favorites.

Alas, I was wrong.

2012 Topps Archives will contain a 200 card set of retired (yay) AND current MLB players (ugh).  Nothing against today's ball players, but I was hoping for a full-fledged retired set that would either be reprints of players cards (like 2001 or 2002 Topps Archives) or previously unused photos (ala 2003-2005 Topps ATFF).  And while the autographs had given me hope, I don't really collect autos.  I was hoping for a base set that would have been similar to the autographs. 

And again, I became disappointed.

It turns out that what is being called Archives will consist of just four designs:  1954, 1971, 1980, and 1984. 

That's it.  I'm going to go on a hunch that there will be 50 cards per design.  I can only hope that for the 1954 design that Topps uses players that did not appear in 2003 Topps Heritage, otherwise, it becomes repetitive. 

And looking at the Pujols preview card on Facebook (do you know how to download videos to Facebook???), it looks like a mockup of what 2020 Topps Heritage is going to look like, and that is exactly what I wrote in the comments for that photo.

In what appears to be the replacement for Topps Lineage, the inserts that will be included in this set feature tributes to past insert concepts, like 1967 Topps Stickers, 1968 Topps 3D, 1969 Topps Deckle Edge and the 1977 Topps Cloth sets.

The article on Beckett goes on to say that while the base set is 200 cards in number, "There will be 40 short-printed (unsigned) Fan Favorites cards capping the set found one in every four packs."  This may be what I had in mind.  And if this is what I'm hoping it is, then I might consider just buying a full set of just these 40 cards on the Bay.  But then what if the Autographed FF cards feature more than just the 40 cards from the base set?  Should I dare go for it like I did in 2003 (I have 19 autographed cards, of just the players who had auto cards that did not appear in the base set...Tug McGraw would have been 20, but I doubt he signed his cards...something about failing health at the time...)?

So it turns out that I might not necessarily be on the hunt for this set after all.  What I had hoped for when the first images showed up as a dream set turned out to be just that...a dream. 


JayBee Anama

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Topps Archives/All-Time Fan Favorites is Back!!!

The number one source in the Hobby reports today that the above images appeared on @toppscards twitter feed this morning. If these are what they look to be, that means that Topps All-Time Fan Favorites is back. But perusing the article a bit further, there might be more to it. To wit:

"Fan Favorites, which first arrived in 2003, was a set comprised of past favorites in new photos on varying card designs from past Topps sets. The real draw? Certified autographs — signed on-card — along with the old looks with new (cleaner) printing technology. Oh, and there were Chrome cards — and Refractors, too. This time, though, they will be found as an insert set in an also-revived and not-yet-unveiled Topps Archives product.

"Yes, Fan Favorites is coming back as autograph insert in new Topps Archives in 2012," said a company official via Twitter. "Awesome product, I think will be a really fun break."

Questions abound though:

  • Okay, so while I can definitely figure out the design for the Griffey, Clark, and Kingman cards above, what design is the Mattingly card supposed to represent? The Glossy Send Ins from the mid-late 80's?
  • And does this mean that Topps is finally allowed to sell a product featuring retired players only? Or will there be current players mixed in too?
Regardless, this is just great news is you're a fan of Topps Baseball Cards. And this is one set that I'm looking forward to reading more details about when they come.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yes, There Will Be 2012 Topps Team Sets

Just digging online, and found images for 28 of the 30 Topps team sets coming in April, 2012, to retail stores, stadiums, and everywhere in between. If you're wondering, there was no information regarding the Yankees team set and while the site that I did pull the images for the pictures above have a Blue Jays set for sale, there was no image (probably so that they can come up with an updated mockup with the new Blue Jays' logo).

If anything, this should give collectors an idea about what some of the other cards will look like (the pictures look really good...that design is starting to grow on me). Remember though that images are subject to change, and there may be changes as to whose card gets to be displayed (notice how Yadier Molina is the lead card for the Cardinals...). And yes, there is a Miami Marlins set, with new logo.  It remains to be seen if the cards will include players with the new jerseys added in later.

Can't wait for 2012. Bring it on!!!


JayBee Anama

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ron Santo...Hall of Famer!!!

It has just been announced today, literally twenty six minutes ago, that Ron Santo was inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame by the Golden Era Veteran's Committee. He is the 256th player inducted into the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. He is also the 18th player to be named to Topps' All-Star Rookie Team (1960) and a Hall of Famer.

One year and two days after he died!!!

As much as I am happy to hear that he is FINALLY in, I am deeply disappointed that it took this long for him to get there, especially after he had already passed and will not get his chance to speak at the induction ceremony in 2012. I am sure that whoever will do the honors of speaking for Mr. Santo's behalf will do well in honoring the now HOF 3rd baseman and legendary announcer.

I just wish he was here to see it. It is bittersweet accomplishment.

Congrats Ronnie.


JayBee Anama

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hey Topps!!! These Guys Want a Word With You!!!

Three Left Handed Starting Pitchers. Snubbed by Topps???
It's been a couple of days now, and the hysteria regarding the announcement of Topps 2011 All-Star Rookie Team has died down for the most part.  But for me, something still isn't quite right.  You see, all these years, I thought that the MLB managers were the ones voting on who makes this team.  I know it's been verified in the past, and it probably still is the case today.  But is it wholly possible that the Topps Company has a hand in manipulating the ballot?  

Up until 2009, there were always two spots for pitchers on the ASRT:  one for a right-handed pitcher, the other for a left-handed pitcher.  And that was it.  It didn't matter if the pitcher was a starter or reliever.  But there would always be one RHP and one LHP.  Now of course, there have been exceptions when there was a tie involved, and that was the case in 1985 when Brian Fisher and Roger McDowell shared the position for RHP.  In 2010, it all changed.

One of the leading contenders for the position of RHP for the 2010 Rookie ASRT as the RHP was Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals.  Strasburg pitched in 12 games (all starts), 68 innings of work, had a record of 5-3, an ERA of 2.91, struck out 92 of the 274 batters he faced.  He met the expectations he set for himself as the #1 draft pick in 2009.  Granted, he got injured by the end of the year.  But the overall frame of work made him a worthy candidate.

Another was Texas Rangers' closer Neftali Feliz.  In 2010, Feliz pitched in 70 games, about 69.1 innings of work.  He went 4-3, with an ERA of 2.73, struck out 71 of the 269 batters he faced, a minuscule WHIP of 0.880, and saved 40 games.  He was even named to the 2010 AL All-Star Team and was named the 2010 AL Rookie of the Year.  By and large, he had one heck of a year and was many people's pick to be named the RHP in my contest last year.

Then the announcements came out.

And lo and behold, Stephen Strasburg was named the RHP for the 2010 ASRT.  But wait, Neftali Feliz was named onto the team also.  In what became the flashpoint to the conspiracy theory, Feliz was awarded as the first specific "relief pitcher" to the ASRT.  There were now THREE pitchers among the honorees (the LHP was Jamie Garcia of the Cardinals).  And the collecting public responded with a loud "WHAT??!"

Earlier in the year, Topps had announced an exclusive agreement with Strasburg.  He wound up being the face of the 2010 Topps Update Series lineHe was the big prize added to the Topps Million Cards Giveaway.  He was so important, apparently, that Topps created his first Topps card exclusively for this immediately after his MLB.  He was added to factory sets as card #661, and was added to the Update Series, also as card #661.  But both cards, while having the same blurb on the back of the card, had different pictures on the front.  And the pictures themselves were different than the one used for his MCG.  (To get a better rundown, Baseball Cardpedia has the whole thing covered here).  And the kicker to all of this???  Based on the MLB Properties rule regarding rookie cards, NONE OF THEM QUALIFY AS ROOKIE CARDS!!!

Strasburg was a money making machine for the Topps Company.  While they weren't getting the benefits from the secondary market, the collecting public went on a feeding frenzy for everything Strasburg.  Code cards for the CYMTO giveaway were high priced commodities as soon as it was first announced that his card was being added to the prize list.  His Topps Heritage "exclusive" was a prized chase card at the 2010 National.  They even made a SSP card of him with pie on his face.

So the conspiracy theories started (starting here is a bunch of speculation...I have no idea what is really going on or what the company's motivations are...just humor me, will you?).  As Topps' golden boy, he was added to the 2010 ASRT so that his name would be permanently etched in Topps' history.  Feliz, who in any other year would have rightfully been named the RHP for the team, was relegated with a new "honor":  first RP to the team.  This way, both get in, and Topps ideally would be spared the grief bestowed onto them by the masses.  Want to know why there were TWO cards for each of the eleven players on the '10 team (one with and one WITHOUT the Rookie Cup) in the 2011 Topps eponymous set?  One guess.  His initials are SS.

When the 2011 season ended.  The thought was that, "Okay.  Topps HAS to follow last year's team with three pitchers again:  one right-handed starting pitcher, one left-handed starting pitcher, and one relief pitcher, regardless of what hand he used to throw the ball."  The MLB Rookie Tracker listed a lot of strong candidates for each of these three spots.  Then the announcement was made:
  • Starting Pitcher:  Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays
  • Relief Pitcher: Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves
And that was it. 


Both Hellickson and Kimbrel are right-handed pitchers.  Both were named the AL and NL Rookies of the Year in 2011. Both are good choices.  I congratulate both and have nothing against them being picked.

But what happened to the LHSP??! Where did that go?  Did Topps decide just to put ALL the starting pitchers in one list and ALL the relief pitchers on another list in the Manager's ballot?  Or did Topps just decide not to include the LHP in the announcement?  Not only were Corey Luebke, Zach Britton, and Danny Duffy, the three pitchers listed above, robbed of their chance of Topps immortality (people still remember guys like Paul Gibson, Jeff Musselman, and Ed Vande Berg, all LHP's, because they were name to the ASRT in the 80's), but so were relievers like Aroldis Chapman of the Reds, Chris Sale of the White Sox, Tim Collins of the Royals, and Jake McGee of the Rays (if we were going with the rules from 2009).

Based on my contest, Cory Luebke would have been the LHSP for the team.  What do you think? Should there have been a LHP selected?  If so, who would have gotten your vote?  Luebke?  Britton?  Duffy?  A relief pitcher?  Somebody else?  A poll will be put up shortly asking whatever remaining readership I have left to vote on this issue.


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011 Topps All-Star Rookie Team Contest Winners!!!‏

Now that the 2011 Topps All-Star Rookie Team has been announced, I have spent the good part of the afternoon 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 this year. The fact that Topps named ten players on to this year's team (unlike last year when the team consisted of eleven players). Because of this new development, there is no penalty for picking a LHP (everybody put in an LHP only because I asked for one). If Hellickson and Kimbrel were on your ballots, they counted towards your final score. But once again, nobody wins the 2005 Topps Rookie Cup set grand prize.

Sadly, there were less entries sent to me this year than in last year's contest (probably due to the fact my readership has been declining...but that's not for lack of trying). But out of all the entries I did receive, only two people beat my score of six, and only one person 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:  Kyle Brewster
  • Nine players correct:  Steve Drennen
Steve also guessed nine players in last year's contest. Many of the people who participated in the contest did get the same number of players right that I did...a big fat six. Both Kyle and Steve will receive a Hobby pack of 2011 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

Introducing the 2011 Topps All-Star Rookie Team!!!

The MLB managers have spoken, and today, Topps has announced the players named to the 53rd All-Star Rookie Team!!! (If the player's name is in bold, it means I predicted that they would make the team earlier this month).

  • 1B: Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (0.254 batting average, 29 HR, 87 RBI, 2011 stats)
  • 2B: Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals (.236, 21, 66)
  • 3B: Brett Lawrie, Toronto Blue Jays (.293, 9, 25)
  • SS: Dee Gordon, Los Angeles Dodgers (.304, 0, 11)
  • OF: Doug Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays (.259, 10, 25)
  • OF: Josh Reddick, Boston Red Sox (.280, 7, 28)
  • OF: Ben Revere, Minnesota Twins (.267, 0, 30)
  • C: J. P. Arencibia, Toronto Blue Jays (.219, 23, 78)
  • Starting Pitcher: Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays (13-10, 2.95 ERA, 117 K's)
  • Relief Pitcher: Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves (4-3, 2.10 ERA, 121 K's, 46 saves)
So I guessed 6 out of 10 spots correctly (I guessed Eric Thames for the third outfield spot, Freddie Freeman for first base, and Brent Morel at third, with Ivan Nova as my RHP & Cory Luebke as the LHP). I did worse than well last year (when I got 7 of 11 correct).  

Now my comments. Who knew that Topps would return to the 10-player team this time? WHAT??! What happened to last year's RHP and LHP for starting pitchers??! I knew there was something fishy going on when Topps' wunderkind Stephen Strasburg happened to make the team as the RHP; in turn, making Neftali Feliz, also a RHP, the "relief pitcher" for the ASRT. Now they get rid of the third pitching spot and instead of reverting to top RHP and LHP, it's now Starting Pitcher and Relief Pitcher??! Regardless, if you entered the contest and picked Hellickson and Kimbrel as your pitchers, those will count as count as correct answers. Let the conspiracy theories continue!!!

It could have gone either way for the first baseman spot with Trumbo and my pick Freeman. But even with Hosmer as the dark horse, Trumbo did outslug the Braves slugger (although Freeman had a better average of .282 vs. Trumbo's .254). Brett Lawrie's selection is a surprise as he played in far too few games to have warranted consideration (in my opinion).  But I guess when you perform almost as well as the front-running Morel (9 HR's to Morel's 10, .293 to Morel's .245) and Daniel Descalso of the Cardinals (25 RBI's to Descalso's 28) while playing in less than a third of the games (Lawrie played 43 compared to Morel's 126 and Descalso's 148), you deserve recognition. So congratulations to all. Each player will now get the illustrious rookie cup trophy added to their 2012 Topps cards.


JayBee Anama

Monday, November 28, 2011

SCBR Maintenance on an Off-Day.

It's a nice day out, so I thought I'd take the day off from work. Actually, I had a number of unused vacation days left before the holiday cut-off, so I thought I'd use one now. Anyway, I'm at the local library (computers are much faster here) and figured now is as good a time as any to do the monthly Blogroll report.

If you have been following John Bateman's Donruss 1982 blog, he recently listed in his opinion the 20 Greatest Sports Card Blogs of All-Time. He even put this blog in at number 16 on his list. Anyway, I had asked if I could post his list on the Sports Card Blogroll, of course crediting him for making the list. He said sure, and now his list is on the sidebar right along the top of the blogroll, with all 22 (yes, there were two ties) blogs that made his list. While I wasn't surprised about his number one choice, he did bring up during the countdown (loosely stating this...I can't find the actual quote" that the best times in the Hobby Blogosphere so far was in 2009. I have to agree with that statement. It was during that year that blogging about sports cards was starting to gain relevance. And a number of the blogs on his list are mostly to thank for the Hobby to take notice. The voices of these independent thinkers gave fresh perspective to the Hobby we all enjoy that we weren't getting from mainstream media. Some blogs may have rubbed the establishment the wrong way, others selflessly promoted the positives. But it can not be denied the influence that the bloggers had on their readers, even inspiring them to begin their own blogging journeys.

At the end of last month's maintenance, the blog was down to about 336 active blogs. In November, sixteen Hobby blogs were either added or returned to the active roster, bringing the SCBR up to a new high of 352 blogs (were you celebrating when I tweeted that we reached 350???). Think of it. 350. We're halfway to the 400 mark. Of course, I'm removing blogs today thanks to 6 months of inactivity, but that number can only go up in time.

So here we go. Here are the blogs being removed due to 6 months of inactivity:
Ouch. Twelve blogs. While that's not a record for most being removed, it does take some of that 350+ blogs wind out of the sails. Okay, so with 12 blogs out, we are down to 340 blogs on the active roster for a gain of +4.

As always, if you, or someone you know, is or are planning on, writing a blog about the Hobby of Sports Card collecting, please feel free to contact me at so your site can be added to the Sports Card Blogroll. If you're site is one of the ones being removed, or has been inactive or off the blogroll and you plan on getting your blog up and running again, let me know that as well. Keep on keeping on. Enjoy the journey.


JayBee Anama

Introducing Your 2011 MLB Most Valuable Players - A Diamond Duo Imagined

One final card you shouldn't waste your time searching...IT DOESN'T EXIST!!!

When the Rookies of the Year were announced two weeks ago, I snuck in an imagined Diamond Duos card for both Craig Kimbrel and Jeremy Hellickson.When the AL and NL Cy Young Award winners were officially announced, I created a second imagined Diamond Duos card in their honor.

So with these two already done, and the AL and NL MVP's announced last week, I thought, "Why not finish the job and make a final mock-up Diamond Duos card?" The catch was that I didn't want to use the same picture of Justin Verlander from the Cy Young card. Fortunately, both he and Ryan Braun are in the Update Series Diamond Duos insert set. So after scanning, and a quick cut-and paste job (I'm getting the hang of this just as I'm done with it all...go figure), above is the final Diamond Duos card that you will not find anywhere.

I lucked out with this one. Just like the first two, Verlander appears on the left side on his insert card (with Max Scherzer) and Braun is on the right (with Sandy Koufax...the pairing made sense here). All that needed to be done was put Braun's picture over Scherzer, and voila.

Looks good right?

Just don't try to zoom in on the image. Flaws abound. But from a distance, it looks like something from Topps graphics department wouldn't you think?

Oh well.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Changes Are Coming to MLB Team Logos...And Topps Knew About Them Before We Did!!!

I've always been fascinated with the origins of team names and logos.  When I was 12, I bought a book from Mike Lessiter called The Names of the Games and even the sequel College Names of the Games which laid out this history of how a team (pro or college) got their nickname.  Now these books were published in 1988.  I have not seen a sequel since.  And even though names have changed (there's that word again) and franchises have been created, contracted, moved, etc, and this information can now be easily found on the Internet (okay, you have to do a bit of digging, but it's not hard to find), there isn't a source that puts all of this information into one neat package.

The closest thing I've found on the net that maintains the history of team logos is Chris Creamer's Sports (  This site which has been around since 1997 (during the web's tender developing stages), is a virtual museum of team logos.  Want to know what the 1932 Boston Braves logo looks like?  It's right here.  Ever notice the subtle changes in the Kansas City Royals' logo?  Did you know there was a subtle change in their logo?  Chris did and you can compare them for yourself (here's a hint...look at the letter "o").

What's my point?  Well, as you know, a number of MLB teams have made radical, yet positively accepted, changes to their logos for the 2012 season.  In one well documented case, the identity of an entire franchise has changed too. Here is what we know so far:

Say goodbye to the Florida Marlins and hello to your Miami Marlins!!!

San Diego Padres:

Toronto Blue Jays:

Now what does this all mean, and what does this have to do with Topps baseball cards?  Simple.  The folks at Topps, via Twitter, posted a few interesting pics a few weeks ago. Here are a couple that caught my eye:

Just a heads up, these are the mini cards that pay homage to 1987 Topps.

And these are possibly the Golden Moments insert cards.  Now notice the logos on the mini cards of Josh Johnson and Mat Latos above and of Chase Headley in the above photo. 

They already show the new logos for both the Marlins and the Padres. 


These photos were taken and published on Twitter on November 11, the same day that the Marlins "formally" announced their name change.  The Padres announced their logo change on November 9.  If these cards were made BEFORE the official logo changes, that means that the boys and girls at The Topps Company were notified sooner than the rest of the world.  And they made the changes just in time before the cards get packed out and distributed across the country.  How cool is that?

There was a third photo included on the tweet with the above two:

These may be autograph cards (just guessing by the fade that's happening on the bottom of the pictures just before the name banner).

So know that Topps is on the ball (no pun intended) and will have the proper logos for both the Marlins and Padres in Series 1.  Regarding the Blue Jays? Your guess is as good as mine.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Introducing Your 2011 NL Most Valuable Player...Most Competitive Field for the MVP

In recent years, Topps has reserved six cards within Series 1 for the AL and NL award winners that are being announced this week. Unfortunately, this year's preliminary checklist doesn't specify what numbers are being held for the them. 

On Monday, Justin Verlander was named the AL Most Valuable Player. Today, we know who won the award in the National League.

Congratulations to Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers for being named the National League's Most Valuable Player. Of the six major awards this week, the field for this award was very competitive and many of the runners-up made strong cases for themselves.  But in the end, it was Braun who takes the plaque (or trophy, or whatever they give the winner).  Although he didn't lead the league in any of the Triple Crown categories (.332 was good for second, 33 HR and 111 RBI's), he did lead the NL in other stats like slugging percentage (.597), and OPS (.994).

Braun becomes the first Brewer to win the MVP award since 1989 when Robin Yount took the prize home (and the Brewers were in the American League). He received 20 first-place votes (out of 32, for a total of 388 points).  In doing so, he beat a field that included Matt Kemp of the Dodgers (332, 10 first-place votes), Prince Fielder of the Brewers (229, 1), Justin Upton of the D-backs (214, 1), Albert Pujols of the Cardinals (166), reigning NL MVP Joey Votto of the Reds (135), Lance Berkman of the Cardinals (118), Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies (69), teammates Roy Halladay (52) and Ryan Howard of the Phillies (39), Jose Reyes of the Mets (31), Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers (29), Shane Victorino of the Phillies (18), Ian Kennedy of the D-backs (16), Cliff Lee of the Phillies (12), Hunter Pence of the Astros/Phillies (10), Pablo Sandoval of the Giants (7), John Axford of the Brewers (7), Michael Morse of the Nationals (5), Carlos Beltran of the Mets/Giants (3), Miguel Montero of the D-backs (2), Yadier Molina of the Cardinals (2), Starlin Castro of the Cubs (1), NL Rookie of the Year Craig Kimbrel of the Braves (1), Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies (1), and Mike Stanton of the Marlins (1).

Braun becomes the 13th player to win both the NL Rookie of the Year award (2007) and MVP, the first since Ryan Howard.

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


JayBee Anama

Introducing Your 2011 AL Most Valuable Player...A Well Deserved Honor

In recent years, Topps has reserved six cards within Series 1 for the AL and NL award winners that are being announced this week. Unfortunately, this year's preliminary checklist doesn't specify what numbers are being held for the them. But yesterday afternoon, we learned who was named the American League's Most Valuable Player.

Congratulations to Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers for being named the American League's Most Valuable Player. The AL Cy Young winner, the AL Triple Crown winner, and new MVP, turned in one of the best pitching performances in MLB history. The numbers don't lie. He led the AL in Wins, ERA, K's, and WHIP (24-5 record, 2.40 ERA, 250 K's, and .920 WHIP in 251 innings of work).

Verlander becomes the first Tiger to win the MVP award since 1984 when Willie Hernandez (who by the way, also was a pitcher) took the prize home. In fact, all the Tigers who were eventually named MVP were pitchers (Denny McLain won in 1968 AND 1969, Hal Newhouser in 1944 AND 1945). He received 13 of 28 first-place votes (280 points), beating a field that included Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox (242, 4 first-place votes), Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays (231, 5), Curtis Granderson of the Yankees (215, 3), Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers (193, 2), Robinson Cano of the Yankees (112), Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox (105), Michael Young of the Rangers (96, 1), Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox (48), Evan Longria of the Rays (27), Ian Kinsler of the Rangers (25), Alex Avila of the Tigers (13), Paul Konerko of the White Sox (11), CC Sabathia of the Yankees (10), Adrian Beltre of the Rangers (9), Ben Zobrist of the Rays (7), Victor Martinez of the Tigers (7), James Shields of the Rays (7), Mark Teixeira of the Yankees (5), Asdrubal Cabrera of the Indians (4), Alex Gordon of the Royals (3), Josh Hamilton of the Rangers (1), and David Robertson of the Yankees (1).

In a move that is not necessarily unprecedented, but yet highly debated amongst fans, experts, and even the Hobby Message Boards, a pitcher has won the top prize in the American League. Verlander is the first pitcher to win the AL MVP since 1992 (Dennis Eckersley) and the first starting pitcher to do so since 1986 (Roger Clemens).

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


JayBee Anama

Friday, November 18, 2011

Change is a Constant

Benjamin Franklin once said (something to the effect of), "Nothing is certain except death and taxes." I know this, not only because I just looked it up online (because I wasn't sure if it was Mark Twain or Franklin that said this…this is a dig on somebody from years past…let's see if he's reading this), but because if anyone remembers those typing drills when first learning how to type, this was one of the lines I had to repeat over and over again (or something to that effect).

But the one thing that was also mentioned in that typing drill was something that Mr. Franklin didn't consider:


There is no greater constant in this world than change. Whether it is controlled or not, whether it is wanted or not, whether if it necessary or not, whether you like it or not, change happens. You are not the same person you were yesterday. Heck, you aren't the same person you were two hours ago. I'm not talking grand changes, but even the littlest things can change your life every second of the day. Everything you do causes change. Everything that is done is due to change.

People change. Blogs change. Heck, this taco stand of a blog was supposed to be solely about Topps Baseball Cards. It still is. But there is now a bit more of a focus on new products, commentary, opinions, and other things that I never intended when this blog first started. Heck, there may be more things that will come soon to this humble little blog that will change how this blog is perceived (no, it doesn't involve an increased presence of those other company's cards).

And such is life for baseball card collectors. Think about it. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, changes were occurring in the Hobby of ephemera, specifically, in sports card collecting. Those who have studied the history already know this. Changes happened in 1951, 1956, 1963, the late 70's, 1981, 1989 through the 1990's, 1997, 2006 and 2010, and every point in-between.

Change. It was hard to accept then, but now it's the norm. Until change happens again.

It is this change that is affecting our baseball landscape in these next few years. First, the Florida Marlins are no more. They are now the Miami Marlins. Then the Houston Astros, a NL team since 1962, a team celebrating 50 years in the National League in 2012, will become an American League team in 2013. Because of this, there will be two leagues with fifteen teams each. Each league will consist of three divisions with five teams a piece. Interleague play will become a daily occurrence now only because of the uneven number of teams in each league. And then there will be an extra playoff game, maybe starting in 2012, for sure in 2013, that will require the need for an extra wild card team. This means that the drama that we saw this past season would be moot because all four teams involved in it (including the ousted Braves and Red Sox) would have had to play a play-IN game just to get to the postseason.

Now, people have problems with change. Is it because of the number of changes, or the changes in general that is causing people to gather the torches and pitchforks? Have we all forgotten the uproar in the mid 90's when they changed the number of divisions (from 2 to 3), requiring the need of a wild card team in the first place? How about it in the 60's when they decided to split the leagues into divisions and then have a playoff series between division winners instead of just the first place teams in either league getting to the WS. I'm pretty sure that if they kept that format, the Cubs would have made it to the World Series somehow. And how about it when MLB consolidated the two SEPARATE LEAGUES into one huge conglomerate, meaning that offices were closed and umpiring crews were no longer league-exclusive? Okay, back to the point.

This is a necessary change. It was something that Paul White of the then Baseball Weekly said needed to be done. And I agreed with it then as I do now. It really wasn't working when one division has four teams and another has six while everybody else was content with five teams. The fact that it took this long to figure it out is just outright insane. But it will be done. FINALLY.

Now I think the next thing that needs to be discussed is how to schedule a 162 game season with six five-team divisions. USA Today proposed a schedule that would require every team to "play 16 games against each of its division rivals, eight games against each of the other 10 teams in its league, three games against each of the teams from a division in the opposite league, plus three games against a natural Interleague rival." (Compliments of an article "Astros move means year-round Interleague Play") The benefit of this scenario is that, besides three games, all of the teams in a division would play the same schedules." The only thing I don't like about this is that it means that instead of three game series, you have four game series with every other team in the league. Who determines where the rivalry game is played? How would this be even executed?

Another suggestion "would be to eliminate the unbalanced schedule and go to 10 games against each of the other 14 teams in your league (144 games), plus 18 Interleague games." (Again, this quote is from the article). While I actually like this idea (hey, it means we see more of everybody), it kind of kills the idea of how important the division rivalries are. Sure it would be nice to see for the Cubs to see the Mets more often, but it would also mean more games out in the west coast for everybody (and we know how people in the east like to stay up late to watch ballgames…how did those Fan Cave guys do it if they were based in NY???).

The Los Angeles Times set up a scenario suggesting that the schedule be set up so that "teams are expected to play 72 games -- 18 each -- against division opponents, 60 against teams in their league's other two divisions and 30 Interleague games." Do we really need THAT MANY INTERLEAGUE GAMES??! While I like the approach regarding playing teams within their league, I don't think I like the idea 30 interleague games unless you do a home and home with one exclusive division WITHOUT A RIVALRY SERIES.

I know that other baseball card bloggers have their ideas and wrote about them earlier in the week. I spent time thinking about this as well and came up with my own schedule formula. It takes some aspects of the NFL schedule formula and still keeps the importance of division games and provides a couple of interleague proposals (one with and WITHOUT the need of an interleague rival).

First, each team would play 162 games, same as always. No sense in reducing the number of games (I don't think the owners would like the idea). Each team would play eighteen games against each team in their division (just like the LA Times set up). That's nine home and nine away games. That's the easy part. From here, it gets a bit crazy. Each team will also play every team in the other two divisions six times (three home and three away…60 games). BUT!!! Depending on the finish of each team within their division, they will play the team with the same finish from the other divisions. If we go with the finish of the 2011 season, this would mean that the while the Cubs would play every team six times, as the fifth place team, they would also play Miami and San Diego an extra six games (meaning that the Cubs would have two series home and away with both Miami and San Diego while playing every other team at least once). This is similar to the NFL scheduling formula that requires a first place team from one division to play the first place team in the two other divisions outside of the full division they play during the season. That's 72 games total. Adding the 72 games played within the division, we're at 144 games. That leaves us with 18 games for interleague play; the ideal number of games for each team to play during the year. With 2,430 games during the course of a MLB season, only 270 of them will be interleague.

Now depending on if you like the "rivalry series" or not, I propose two different solutions to the interleague scheduling formula. Starting with the non rivalry series, the teams from one division would only play games with the teams from only one division (just like the NFL) and rotate so that every three years, every team would have played against all fifteen teams from the other league. For example, one year the Cubs would play against all five teams in the AL Central, next year all five teams from the AL East, the following year, all five teams from the AL West, and then repeat. There would be a formula based on where each team finishes that would determine where the games are to be played. (for example, as the fifth place team in the NL, the Cubs would visit the second and fourth place teams from the other Central division (the Indians and the Royals) and play host to the first and third place teams (the Tigers and White Sox) if we were following last year's standings. So what about the fifth place Twins? As the fifth place team in that division, the Cubs and Twins would play each other home and away. This would be in effect, the "rivalry" series.

For a quick summary (if you got tired of reading the above), it would mean that in this scenario (based on 2011 MLB standings) that the Cubs:

  • would play eighteen games each (nine home, nine away) with division rivals Brewers, Cardinals, Reds, and Pirates (72 games total),
  • would play twelve games each (six home, six away) with fellow fifth-place finishers Marlins and Padres (24),
  • would play six games (three home, three away) each with interdivision teams Phillies, Braves, Nationals, Mets, Diamondbacks, Giants, Dodgers, and Rockies (48),
  • would play three games each as host to the Twins, Tigers and the White Sox, and as visitors to the Twins, Indians and Royals for Interleague Play (18).
If there has to be a rivalry home-and-home series (like the Cubs and White Sox) that has to be played EVERY year, the formula would have to change from division to division (as the Cubs were fifth in their division and the Sox in third, slots would have to be adjusted for everything to fit…and it does as long as the rivals are from the same division – central to central, east to east, west to west). So the only change to the above schedule would be that the Cubs:
  • would play three games each as host to the White Sox, Tigers and the Twins, and as visitors to the White Sox, Indians and Royals for Interleague Play (18).
Now what if the teams in the Central division play teams from the East or West? Well, the above formula without rivals would work just fine. Based on last year's standings, the Cubs would play a home-and-home series with either the Astros (AL West…hey they finished sixth, they're the fifth place team in this scenario) or Orioles, and then play the rest of the teams from the divisions. But if there was a need for a home-and-home "rivalry" series (with the White Sox), then the Cubs would just play four of the five teams from the other division based on those teams respective finishes (they might not play the fourth place team for example, but play host to the first and fifth place teams and visit the second and third place team).

For a quick summary, if the Cubs and the rest of their NL Central mates were to play the AL East, their schedule would remain the same except the Cubs:

  • would play three games each as host to the White Sox, Yankees and the Orioles, and as visitors to the White Sox, Rays and Red Sox for Interleague Play (18).
The advantages of the schedule above include extra games with SPECIFIC teams from other divisions (in this case, the teams who finished in the same place in their division). There is still the feeling that playing teams within your division is important (72 games goes far in determining where a team is in the standings) and still get to visit every other team in your league at least once (and play host to them too).

It's all about change. If we don't accept it, we will be left behind. Not only within Major League Baseball, but in every other aspect of our lives change is important. Think about it, the names of the players in the game change, the rules change, the records change, the numbers change. The only things that don't seem to change are the basic rules of the GAME (one person throws ball, other person tries to hit it with bat, to determine an out or hit, run home). The people in our lives change. People will always be resistant, but eventually come to accept it.

Change. The game needed it. It will eventually be better. We just need to give it time.


JayBee Anama

Introducing Your 2011 MLB Cy Young Award Winners - A Diamond Duo Imagined

Here's another card you shouldn't bother looking for...IT DOESN'T EXIST!!!
When the Rookies of the Year were announced on Monday, I snuck in an imagined Diamond Duos card for both Craig Kimbrel and Jeremy Hellickson.  On Tuesday and Thursday the AL and NL Cy Young Award winners were officially announced, even though it seems that everyone already knew who would be named by the time the season ended.  Sure enough, both pitching Triple Crown winners took home the trophy/plaque/whatever they get for their mantle.

"So why not try another mock-up Diamond Duos card?" I thought. And after a bit of digging, it turns out that both pitchers had cards in this year's Diamond Duos insert set.  And even better, just like the Kimbrel/Hellickson cards, Kershaw was on the left side on his insert card (with Mat Latos) and Verlander was on the right (with Josh Johnson???).  So since I had both cards (unlike for the ROY's), you'd think it would be easy just to cut-and-paste the respective halves to make one "super card."

Not so.

Either my scanner is starting to act up (I hope not), or somehow, the gray/black color that is in the middle of each card is a different shade.  They didn't line up properly.  But somehow,  I was able to cut (carefully and virtually...what, did you think I took scissors to either card?  Are you nuts?) the Verlander section and paste his image over Latos.  It took a bit to make the borders fluid, but what you see above is the final product.

Looks good right?

Just don't try to zoom in on the image. Flaws abound. But from a distance, it looks like something from Topps graphics department wouldn't you think?

Oh well.


JayBee Anama

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Introducing Your 2011 NL Cy Young Award Winner...Like You Didn't Already Know

In recent years, Topps has reserved six cards within Series 1 for the AL and NL award winners that are being announced this week. Unfortunately, this year's preliminary checklist doesn't specify what numbers are being held for the them. 

On Tuesday, Justin Verlander was named the AL Cy Young Award winner. Today, we know who won the award in the National League.

Congratulations to Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers for winning the NL Cy Young Award. While not winning in unanimous fashion like his AL counterpart, the award was well deserved.  And why not?  Kershaw led the NL in Wins, ERA, K's, and WHIP (21-5 record, 2.28 ERA, 248 K's, and .977 WHIP in 233.1 innings of work), a Triple Crown, and then some.

He received 27 first-place votes (out of 32, for a total of 207 points).  In doing so, "The Claw" beat out a field that included Phillies teammates Roy Halladay (133 points, 4 first-place votes...defending Cy Young Award winner) and Cliff Lee (90 points), Ian Kennedy of the Diamondbacks (76, 1 first-place vote), Cole Hamels of the Phillies (17), Tim Lincecum of the Giants (7), Yovanni Gallardo of the Brewers (5), Matt Cain of the Giants (3), John Axford of the Brewers (2), NL Rookie of the Year Craig Kimbrel of the Braves (1), and Giants teammates Madison Bumgarner(1), and Ryan Vogelsong (1).

Already the recipient the NL Gold Glove award in 2011, Kershaw becomes the tenth Dodger pitcher to win the Cy Young Award since Eric Gagne in 2003 and the first Dodger's starting pitcher to win the award since Orel Hershiser in 1988.

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


JayBee Anama