Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's Time!!!

Regardless of which team you root for, let's hope for a great 2011 MLB (and MiLB) season.  May the baseball cards that come out this year help bring the enjoyment of the game to us all.
Play Ball!!!


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Topps' Diamond Giveaway Trading Has Now Begun

What was supposed to have started on April 1 seems to have started a couple of days early. You are now able to trade unwanted cards or duplicate rings on the Topps Diamond Giveaway site ( And as you can see above (or below, I never know where these e-mail posts puts the picture), I have a Yankees ring for trade. I know a commenter on an earlier post left a comment offering a Cubs ring for a Yankees ring.

So Charlie, if you're ready to trade for it, the picture above will tell you how to find me (not too many transactions as it has just been discovered today). And thanks for the offer.


JayBee Anama

UPDATE: Wednesday, March 30, 2011. I just checked the site, and it looks like a trade has been consummated. I am now the proud owner of a virtual Cubs ring. Thirteen down, 47 to go. So thanks to whoever made the trade happen. jba

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fell Behind, But Now Cleaning Up the Blogroll in Time for Openin Day

With all the hullabaloo, I forgot about updating the Sports Card Blogroll. And with Opening Day fast approaching, I guess there is no better time to do it than right now. So before we begin, let's review where we ended up last month. When last we updated the blogroll, we were down to 311 blogs. We gained six blogs this month, bringing our total of active blogs to 317. But there are a number of blogs that haven't been updated since the baseball season ended, so it is now time to send them to the inactive section of the sidebar. The blogroll says goodbye to the following blogs:

We just set a record for infamy. Fifteen blogs are being removed from the active blogroll, bringing us down to a now scary 302 active blogs (a net loss of -9). Has the blogosphere reached its peak? Have we over-expanded? Are there too many of us writing about the Hobby we love? The answer to all three is a resounding NO. But based on the last two months, it's definitely not looking pretty. Hopefully with the 2011 MLB season coming upon us, there will be more blogs to add to the big blogroll.

As a medium, we are starting to gain acceptance in the mainstream. In fact, a certain blogger was discovered based on an article he wrote and is now a big hit in Tampa (okay, so my ratings didn't spike, but a lot of people in Florida have now read my blog and know that Eric Rasmussen's 1981 Topps card was incorporated in the design of the show last night).

So please, I am begging, pleading, imploring...if you have a blog that's not yet on the Sports Card Blogroll, please send me a line at and let me know about it. If your blog hasn't been active in a while, and you're itching to get back into the swing of things, let me know about it as well. If you're a blogger who has been adding new blogs to your own blogroll, send me a link to it as well.

The more blogs there are writing, reporting, reminiscing about the Hobby of Sports Card Collecting, the more information that can be shared, assimilated...and who knows, a certain card blogger can get some trades going (a want list is in the works).


JayBee Anama

Cardboard Treasures Was a Hit!!!

The first ever television special about the Hobby we all love ended more than an hour ago. And after falling into third place on Mario Kart Double Dash (we're trying to win the Mirror Mode track by beating the All Cup Tour at 150cc), I now have time to write my glowing review. If you didn't have twitter, you were definitely missing out on the running commentary by a bunch of the bloggers who sat in front of their tv's (or in some cases their computer), and watched the MLB Network's first show on baseball cards. Some of the highlights included:

  • Me just marking out about uncut sheets and the brief appearance of a 1959 Topps Maury Wills card??! WHAT??!

  • Mr. Stale Gum himself wondering if they would mention the legendary Mr. Jefferson Burdick...and not three seconds after posting that query did they feature the museum that now houses his famous collection AND mention Burdick's name.

  • Me again promising as God as my witness that one day I will visit Cooperstown and the HOF to see their baseball card collection.

  • The mention of gimmicks (like the Jeter/Bush/Mantle from 2007), but why nothing of our favorite April Fool's prank, Kazuo Uzuki?
Features I enjoyed included:

  • Billy Ripken defending himself for his 1989 Fleer card (he claims on the show that he had nothing to do with it...but didn't he admit to it a couple of years ago???

  • Dmitri Young and his "Halliburton cases" (Chris Harris' words...not mine) of nothing but GEM MINT 10 ROOKIE CARDS (had to go all Don West there...sorry). I saw his collection a few years ago at the National. Awe inspiring. He has the only GEM MINT TEN 1990 Topps Frank Thomas NNOF card to date.

  • They featured one of the houses that print the cards. I swear it was like looking at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. To dream.

  • The Topps Vault and the pallets of uncut sheets (they held the 2001 Topps Archives sheets for the show).

  • It wasn't all about Topps as a number of present day players mentioned (and the show featured) cards from those other card companies.

If there was one complaint that I would have about the show was that it wasn't close-captioned. What about our Deaf collectors? You'd think they would have wanted to know what was being said??!

Otherwise, it was a great show. And I do hope that they try to make a regular segment/series/special on the topic. It was worth watching, and I wouldn't mind seeing it again.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, March 27, 2011

MLB Network Presents Cardboard Treasure...But Who's Stats Are They Using in the Picture?

So we all know that the greatest television show devoted to baseball cards will air on Tuesday night on the MLB Network. But I was a bit curious. If you expand the picture, you'll see that the stats from an actual card was used for the background of the logo. But who's card was used? Thus began the investigation.

It was easy to narrow down the year of the card being used in the design. The last statistical year shows 1980, which means that the card comes from the 1981 Topps set. It shows that in 1980, the player in particular played for the Padres. So we now know that the player was on the 1980 San Diego Padres roster. But is this guy a hitter or a pitcher? The last number on the stat line says 4.38, which would mean that this player was on the pitching staff. That narrows it down to about 15 players, from Randy Jones to Rollie Fingers.

The stat line on the pitchers' cards in 1980 read this way: G (games), IP (innings pitched), W (wins), L (losses), R (runs), ER (earned runs), SO (strikeouts), BB (walks), GS (games started), CG (completed games), SHO (shutouts), SV (saves), and ERA (earned run average). This pitcher pitched in 40 games in 1980, with a record of 4-11, and an ERA of 4.38. Only one man on the Padres' pitching staff matches those numbers.

Meet Eric Rasmussen, and his 1981 Topps card #342. It is his stats that are used for background filler for the logo.

Want proof?

It's all there in black and pink. So now you know. Enjoy the show. I'll have my review after the show is done.


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Appointment Television on the MLB Network

According to the Number One Source in the Hobby which by the way, if you haven't been visiting lately, what are you waiting for...the site has been massively overhauled), next Tuesday, March 29, at 10 pm EST (that would be 9 pm CST), MLB Network will have a special on the 60th Anniversary of Topps Baseball Cards.

The show is called Cardboard Treasure and according to MLB Network's program guide, the show will be about "A 60-year history of Topps and how it has been the epicenter of the baseball card industry."

I'm excited, and so it seems are a lot of other bloggers who have already commented on this. But since I only saw the news today, I'm putting this out now. Although I would have wished for an earlier start time. I mean, this is something kids should be watching with their parents. But whatever, I know what I'll be watching next Tuesday.


JayBee Anama

Monday, March 21, 2011

Attention Please: Be On the Lookout For...

Over the weekend, Topps introduced another contest to win one of their diamond rings. Instead of digging for 60 virtual rings, you will have to dig through your existing collection and look for 60 cards from Topps Series 1.

But not just any 60 cards.

Your nearest HTA store (that's Topps "Home Team Advantage") will have more details and the above poster. Be one of the first 20 collectors to send in all 60 cards, and you win the ring.

After going through my collection over the weekend, I should have all the base cards and a number of the inserts. You can bet though that, based on the initial poster (of course subject to change), that prices are going to spike on the Bay on blue printing plates.

Good luck.


JayBee Anama

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Éirinn go brách!

Most of what I wrote below was from last year. But as we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, please remember to celebrate responsibly.

With that public service announcement out of the way, let's get on to business. Today is St. Patrick's Day. It is the day that honors St. Patrick, who is the patron saint of Ireland. It also commemorates the arrival of Christianity to the Emerald Isle. In fact, it is said (thanks Wikipedia) that he used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity.

The Chicago River was dyed a nice green this year. And it is said that they do a fantastic job of it as it pretty much stays that color for the rest of the year. Our Chicago sports teams (at least the Bulls and that supposed other baseball team) wore green jersey's in honor of Chicago's Irish community. And although this post is almost a day late, it is always better late then never (and there are still a couple of hours to go if you're on the West Coast).

Now for the baseball portion of the program. If you're wondering, while there are many players of Irish descent in both the Major Leagues and the Minor Leagues, the last native born Irish player was Joe Cleary. Born in County Cork, Cleary only appeared in one game (08/04/1945) in 0.1 inning of work for the Washington Senators. But in that eventful inning, he struck out one batter (the good news), but allowed five hits, three walks, and seven earned runs to score. Saving time for the math, but seven runs in 1/3 innings equals an ERA of 189.

If anybody says, "Top of the morning to you," to you today, make sure to respond in kind, "And the rest of the day to yourself."

So now, a quick toast...

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be at your back.
May your cards collections grow to unmeasurable heights in both volume and value.
May the quest for new cards be swift.
May the journey of life treat you well today and always.
And may a certain North Side baseball team win it all this year.
If you catch my drift.



JayBee Anama

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Coming Soon: bdj610’s End of Year MLB All-Star Teams 2010 Simulations

I just downloaded the 2010 rosters and stats from Strategic Baseball Simulation's website.  Which means I can finally do my 2010 All-Star Game simulations with the rosters that I assembled at the end of the 2010 season. 
Now I have something to look forward to doing this week.  Feel free to check the sidebar for results of past All-Star Game simulations and rosters until the new simulations are complete.  As soon as these are done, then we'll get onto the topic of best assembled ASG rosters of all time.  Details for that to come soon.


JayBee Anama

Monday, March 14, 2011

Secant! Tangent! Cosine! Sine!!! 3.14159!!!

That was the Math Team Cheer when I was in high school (I did mention I was a geek before, didn't I?). And although my coaches and teammates will be more than happy to admit I wasn't the best "mathlete" out there, I can say that I showed up for every practice and every contest in my four years on the team (out of 24 meets, I think I may have participated in three actual winning tests).

Even though I will never claim to be a genius mathematician, I will always remember the team cheer. Heck, that's why it's the title for today's post.

So what does this have to do with Topps cards? Does my post have a point?

Well, yes it does.

Today is March 14, 2011. It's National "Pi" Day!!! It's the day we honor that great number π or 3.141592653.........

Without it, we couldn't tell the perimeter or the area of a circle. In fact, many formulas (or is it formulae) need π as a mathematical constant. It is widely used in very many fields of science and math.

Okay, so what's the point?

Well, in 2009, Topps created an insert set within it's ever popular Allen & Ginter set called "World's Biggest Hoaxes, Hoodwinks, and Bamboozles." Basically, a twenty-card set of scam artists (Charles Ponzi, Enron), famous fakes (Cardiff Giant, Spaghetti Trees), and other historical fakes. Originally, one of the subjects was to be of Bernie Madoff. While appropriate for this kind of set, Topps eventually changed their minds and added the card you see below in it's place.

The story goes is that in 1998, Alabama's state legislature "redefined the value of pi from 3 in order to bring it in line with Biblical precepts" (source While this story, which went round and round during the infancy of the internet, was proved to be fake, almost a hundred years ago, the state legislature of Indiana seriously picked up on the topic.

So here's to π. And its infinite number of numbers after the decimal point.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Trio of Tyler Colvin...from White Sox Cards!!!

Last week, I mentioned that I still needed four of the Diamond Giveaway cards for my collection (TDG1, TDG2, TDG6, and TDG10). Whether the codes were active or not didn't matter, I just wanted them added to my binder (curse the fact that they're numbered!!!).

One of the pioneers of the Hobby Blogging world obliged. Steve, one of the few White Sox fans I actually respect, and writer of the White Sox Cards, left a comment on my post saying that he had three of the cards and wanted my address. Of course I was happy to oblige, but I needed his contact information first. Why? Because I wanted to send a thank you package (I'm sure Steve'll love them after the package is mailed to him on Monday).

The package arrived Saturday, with the three code cards he said he had...and a surprise.

That's right. Three 2011 Topps Tyler Colvin cards. A regular base, a platinum diamond version, and a Walmart Black parallel. How awesome is that??!

Steve is one of the established veterans of the Hobby Blogging world. When I first started this humble little blog back in 2008, it was Steve that gave me the best piece of advice that I now happily share with bloggers who ask me for tips, "Write what's in your heart, and the rest will follow." And he somehow has a knack for finding new blogs about our Hobby because almost every new blog I add to the Sports Card Blogroll has his picture as a follower. So he is very suppportive of the Hobby Blogging Community and should be commended for that...even though he roots for that other team in Chicago.

So thanks Steve for the cards and the Colvins. I still need card #TDG6. Used code or not doesn't matter. I just want the card.


JayBee Anama

P.S. Wait...does this count as being "Bipped???" jba

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mike Gellner, You're Getting a Card in the Allen & Ginter Set!!!

The checklist for one of Allen & Ginter's mini set. Look at card PP2. Who is that guy???

So I'm going over the preliminary (which means subject to change) checklists for the 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter product and I'm very impressed with the topics for this year's mini cards.

Among the (announced) sets this year are: Animals in Peril, Worlds Most Mysterious Figures, Step Right Up! (a carnival thing), Flowers of the World (in which you can actually, plant the cards and watch flowers grow...that's what I've heard), Uninvited Guests (Haunted Houses and other places that your favorite Ghost Hunters or Adventures Crew have visited...and this is the set I want to collect), Floating Fortresses(Battleships), The Minds that Made the Future (scientists, inventors, and other famous geniuses),The Ascent of Man (the evolution of Man), and Portraits of Penultimacy (famous second bananas, sidekicks,and fiddles).

Many of the subjects of the Portraits of Penultimacy set I recognized:
  • The Hare lost the race in the fable "The Tortoise and the Hare"
  • Igor was Dr. Frankenstein's assistant
  • Sancho Panza ran around with the "Man of La Mancha" Don Quixote
  • Tonto's kimosabe was the Lone Ranger
  • Dr. Watson was narrator toSherlock Holmes's mysteries
  • Toto was the poor dog whisked away to Oz with Dorothy
  • Thomas E. Dewey had won over Harry S. Truman in the Presidential Election of 1948 (so said the Chicago Tribune)
One name I had to look up:

Antonio Meucci would have been credited with the invention of the telephone had he renewed the patents for it (some guy named Alexander Graham Bell wound up doing so).

But the last name, while familiar, left me scratching my head.

Mike Gellner.

Mike Gellner. I've heard that name before. But where...

Now I remember!!!

Mike Gellner is the writer of JD's Wild Cardz. He and Nick Jacoby cracked the Ginter Code in 2009, where the prize was inclusion within the 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter set. Because Nick Jacoby (who writes the blog Cardboard Overloadsent in the entry, his picture is featured on the card. But the back of his card explicitly indicates that he and Gellner both worked on the set together. Both Jacoby and Gellner split the autograph prize as well.

Nick cracked the Ginter Code in 2010 as well, so he gets a card in 2011.Congrats once again to you Nick.

But so will Mike Gellner (hopefully with his son JD...Jacoby Drew). He will now get his shot at cardboard immortality as part of this mini insert set in 2011. So congratulations Mike. It's about time.


JayBee Anama

Three More Codes...Three More Cards...Three More Rings

After a disappointing trip to Walmart on Friday (only because they moved the cards section from the new usual location to somewhere else in the store), I wound up at Meijers during my lunch hour to get my card fix. After buying six packs or regulars (one of which was given to a child at "Family Game Night" at my kids' school), three rack packs, and one of those value boxes (72 cards in a box with a guaranteed Diamond Giveaway card), I now have three Diamond Giveaway cards to add to the DiamondTopps collection.

What did I get? I am including the codes knowing full well that you can't use them anymore:

TDG3 = JT9Zh88kw = 1977 Topps Adrian Devine #339 = Stan Musial Ring

TDG4 = Cg8CCcb5x = 1978 Topps Milt May #176 = Mike Schmidt Ring

TDG9 = 2RTbFrRjX = 1968 Topps Bobby Locke #24 = St. Louis Browns Ring

With 11 rings recovered, I also won a $10.00 certificate that can be used at the ShopTopps store.

But with 11 cards, I am still missing card #'s TDG1, TDG2, TDG6, and TDG10 to complete the ten card set. So I would like to know if you the readers have the above four cards and would be willing to send them to me. You can give me used code cards if you have them and don't need them any more, or you can give me unused ones as well. That is fine. I have a bunch of inserts or other cards that I can give in exchange for them.

Trading for the rings and cards begins in April. Already I have one extra Yankees ring to trade. Could sure use it for something useful (like the Cubs ring for example).


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Topps 60 Best Cards...#5...4...3...2...1!!!

After days and weeks of waiting...and waiting...and waiting...Topps has quietly announced the top 5 cards in their Topps 60 countdown. Are you as excited as I am to find out who made the cut? By now it's been all over the social networks, but in case you missed it, here are the Top 5 Topps Baseball Cards as voted by the collecting public:

  • #05: 1989 Topps Traded #41T Ken Griffey, Jr.

  • #04: 1968 Topps #177 Mets 1968 Rookie Stars Jerry Koosman & Nolan Ryan

  • #03: 1952 Topps #312 Jackie Robinson

  • #02: 1954 Topps #128 Henry Aaron

  • And the Number One Topps Baseball Card of All-Time is: 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle!!!

Were you surprised??? I was surprised...okay, not really.

Of the five, I voted for the Mantle card. As I'm sure every person who took the time to vote did. As one of the most iconic baseball cards of all time, if the Mantle didn't get the top spot, then something would be terribly, terribly wrong with the balloting (at least people didn't rally together to vote the 2010 Strasburg card as number 1, let alone among the top 60).

Regarding the rest, all are worthy. The Griffey card is a reminder that Topps made a huge error in excluding him in the regular 1989 set, opting to hold him for the Traded set. So while the other four companies were able to include him in their base sets, the collectors had to wait until late November to get their first Topps card of the man who would captivate an entire generation of baseball fans. At least Jerry Koosman can now say his rookie card ranked fourth in the voting. It does help that he shared a card with the Express. Jackie Robinson at the third spot and Henry Aaron as number two. You could switch their ranks and there wouldn't be a complaint by anybody.

But the Mantle card is king. As it should be. In fact, it should have been a given that the '52 Mantle would be number one. They should have just gotten that out of the way and then announced the other 59 cards as they did. Why hold off stating the obvious?

Seven of my ten picks have now made their appearance on the countdown (Barry Bonds '87, Ichiro Suzuki's '01, and Alex Gordon's '06 did not make the 60).

Now that Topps has announced their Topps 60 cards of all time, I invite you (if you haven't already) to visit my side project The Topps 300 (and then some...). Review my picks of the greatest 300 cards (five cards each from 1951 to 2010) and leave comments as to what cards should have been included. On Opening Day (which is less than four weeks away), I will compile all the comments and add pictures of the cards selected by you the card collecting community and then at the All-Star Break, begin the balloting for the best cards from each year and the best cards of all time.

So congrats to the winners. Each card will be included in either a reprint set or actual cards will be inserted in future products in 2011.

Now let the debates begin.


JayBee Anama

Sixty Years...Sixty Rings!!!

If you haven't already started redeeming your Diamond Giveaway codes, the Diamond Giveaway site has been up and running.  Not only can you get your hands on more cards from Topps' 60 year history, but every code gives you a chance to dig a plot in search of virtual rings.  The more rings to collect, the more prizes you can win.  The kicker is if that you are able to get all 60 rings, you win yourself a real diamond ring.
If you've been digging and acquiring rings, you'll probably notice that the rings are separated into three groups:  MLB, Legacy Teams, and Players.  But what rings are you looking for? Fortunately, the boys and girls at the Freedom Cardboard message boards have compiled a list. 
The MLB teams list should be obvious, as all 30 teams have rings.  There are 15 "Legacy Teams" rings and 15 Player Rings.  The full checklist is below.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves
Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland Indians
Colorado Rockies
Detroit Tigers
Florida Marlins
Houston Astros (misspelled as Huston Astros)
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Los Angeles Dodgers
Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins
New York Mets
New York Yankees
Oakland Athletics
Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
Seattle Mariners
St. Louis Cardinals
Tampa Bay Rays
Texas Rangers
Toronto Blue Jays
Washington Nationals


Legacy Teams
Boston Braves
Brooklyn Dodgers
Buffalo Bisons
Chicago White Stockings
Cincinnati Redlegs
Houston Colt 45's
Kansas City Athletics
Lousville Colonels
Milwaukee Braves
Montreal Expos
New York Giants
Philadelphia Athletics
Seattle Pilots
St Louis Browns
Washington Senators

Player Rings

Babe Ruth
Cal Ripken
Frank Robinson
Hank Aaron
Jackie Robinson
Lou Gehrig
Mickey Mantle
Mike Schmidt
Nolan Ryan
Ozzie Smith (misspelled as Ozzy Smith)
Reggie Jackson
Roy Campanella
Sandy Koufax
Stan Musial
Ted Williams

According to the crack staff at the message board, the hard ring to find is the Mantle (about 1:5000 digs).  Of course there had to be one "Nap Lajoie" ring in the bunch.  If all 60 rings were readily available for the digging, then everybody could win a real diamond ring.
As for me, I have eight rings so far. Two Yankees rings, along with a Mets, Giants, Bisons, Expos, Milwaukee Braves, and a Frank Robinson ring.  I would have loved to trade one Yankees ring for a Cubs one (or any other one for that matter), but the trading site isn't available until April. 
So keep an eye out for all 60 rings.  And good luck with the search.


JayBee Anama