Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Was Late Last Time, So Why Not Be Consistent and Do the SCBR Cleanup Now?

I am at the point where I almost forgot that I normally schedule the cleanup for the Sports Card Blogroll around the 20th of the month.  This is the second time I'm late with the monthly post reviewing the month on the SCBR.

When last we left the blogroll, we were down to a scary 302 blogs.  I had hoped that as the baseball season started, we'd see an increase in blogs about the Hobby we all love.  And sure enough, 13 blogs were added to the active roster.  Many with unusual names, some that were active last year, but not added until just now (this is why you have to tell me about your it can be ADDED SOONER).  And even one was started by the prodigal son of Hobby Blogging, but now with a creepy name. 

And speaking of morgues, it is now time to list the blogs that are being removed due to six months of inactivity.  The Sports Card Blogroll says goodbye to the following blogs:
With four blogs being removed this time around, we are down to 311 blogs, for a net gain of +9. 

As always, if you, or someone you know, is writing a Hobby blog that is not on the Sports Card Blogroll, please e-mail me at so it can be added.  And if your blog is being removed, but you plan on becoming active again in the Hobby Blogging Community, drop me a line.  Thank you very much.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Punk Rock Paint Asks...

Still cleaning out e-mails, and I have one from Travis, the writer, and graphics guru, of Punk Rock Paint. He writes:


"Quick question: Do you know anything about the two different types of DDC cards in the Diamond giveaway? There is a significant quantity available difference, but I don't see a difference. (Note: I AM colorblind...) Any idea?

"I am including a picture to illustrate. If you search 2011 in the card search, you can see.

"Your assistance is appreciated. Feel free to answer on your blog. (My personal "best" resource for all things Topps.)


Travis Peterson
Vice President
Design Propaganda
PunkRockPaint, Inc.

Since I don't have either in my portfolio, I did find the answer to your question, thanks to friend of the blog, eBay rival, and all around good guy Craig Parker (Craig from Texas):

"There is something that you have to know about 2011 Topps Diamond Die Cuts that not too many people are picking up on. There are two different online versions! One is the regular die cut and the other one is the black die cut. How can you tell the difference? Look here:

2011 Topps Diamond REGULAR Die Cut

2011 Topps Diamond BLACK Die Cut

"Look at the diamond and you will see the difference! Not only do people not realize the difference between regular and black diamond die cuts, the most important news of this is that my sources at Topps have said that if you have a black die cut in your online portfolio, then you have a "prize" card. This means the same thing as last years MCG giveaway, in that if you have this in your portfolio, then you can have your cards shipped for FREE!! :)"

While I normally would like verification on the "shipped for FREE" claim, I am wont to take Craig's word on it.  He knows his stuff. Hope that answers your question.


JayBee Anama

An E-mail from PhilM Regarding Derek Jeter, His 2011 Topps Cards, and "The Ball."

I'm finally getting around to cleaning up my e-mails, and I get this one from Phil Melita.  It's very interesting indeed.  He writes:

"Hey JayBee:

"Here's a puzzle for you to track down.  As a Yankee collector, thank you for the heads-up about the blister-pack team sets.  Your mention of the variations got me wondering:  what's with the photo on Topps Opening Day and Topps Series I for Derek Jeter?

"It looks like the exact same shot (not even a split-second difference), but the ball placement is significantly altered.  Do you think the Opening Day is 'Shopped?  In comparison, that ball seems way too low, and maybe Topps wanted to get it prominently in the frame for effect.  It's a conspiracy!

"Anyway, just something I noticed, and wondered if you had as well. 


Comparing the two shots, he's right. Jeter is in the same position on both pictures, and if you watched Cardboard Treasure last month, you'll remember that they did show the actual game footage where they got the shot (unless I'm hallucinating, but I do remember seeing something to that effect).  There is no possible way that Jeter could hold that EXACT pose for more than a second (he was in mid-air, he had to brace for a landing).  But that ball, which in the regular Topps card is almost out of view (thanks to the border) is more visible in the Opening Day card. 


Thanks Phil for pointing that out.  I did not have any Opening Day cards to compare, but this is definitely eye-opening. Was it REALLY that important to get the ball in view on the card?


JayBee Anama

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bringing Back the Stickers!!!

Last night I posted a couple of pictures of a future Topps product that hasn't been seen since 1990.  And I even asked if people could guess what they are.  Sure enough, not even 20 minutes after last night's post, the first commenter Spankee ask if these were stickers...

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, coming in August, Topps is back in the sticker/sticker album business, at least with MLB.  The picture pretty much explains it all, so no sense in repeating.  Thanks to for the webinar.  And no, this probably won't count towards Topps allotted number of products in baseball.

It's funny.  A few days ago, I was at Target, looking at Panini's assortment of stickers albums (they are the number one company in this niche), and knowing that they either have, or will probably make, stickers/album for their three major licensees (NFL, NBA, NHL), I was wondering if a company was going to make one for MLB.  Put it this way, if Topps wants to get kids excited about the Hobby, what better way of introducing or reintroducing them to it than with stickers.

I'm excited and can't wait to see these live.  Now I'm wondering if they plan on re-introducing the All-Star cards for the backs of these stickers.  Just like they did for 1988-1990.  That would be cool.


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Coming Soon...

An Albert Pujols...what is this???  Is this the design for 2012?

And there's one for Babe Ruth.  A foil/chrome parallel card perhaps?

Take a look at the pictures above.  Are these what the 2012 Topps Baseball Cards are going to look like?  I mean, the design includes this big picture, with the name of the player, position, and team logo (and yes, Pujols is wearing the #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson).

Nope...Topps wouldn't be insane enough to inadvertently leak the design for 2012 out now, especially since 2011 Topps is still selling everywhere.

And they definitely wouldn't give me any kind of scoop whatsoever.

No.  But I'll give you a bit of a hint about what these are:  Topps hasn't made these since 1990.  And they come with their own album.

Figured it out yet?  Let's see if anybody comments with the correct answer.  Before 7:00 pm.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Seventeen Down...Thirteen to Go!!! 2011 Topps Team Sets That Is...

About a month ago, the gentleman who writes the Wrigley Wax blog featured the cards that are in the 2011 Topps Cubs Retail Set that started popping up towards the end of March.  He also wrote that he was, "surprised that I beat JayBee to the punch with this.  He is usually all over the factory team sets."

And buddy, I still am.  In fact, not long after WW wrote his post about the Cubs set, I received an e-mail from Rich Mueller, editor of Sports Collectors Daily, stating that he read my posts about these team sets (for those not familiar, I have all 30 team sets since 2006, the first year these came out), and wanted to know if I had a list of the variations from these retail sets compared to the regular Topps sets.  His article was inspired by the 2011 Topps Nationals Team set with newly acquired Jayson Werth in a Nats uni, even though his regular card in the 2011 set had him in a Phillies jersey.  While I actually don't have a compiled list, I did give him enough variations off the top of my head (many that have been previously highlighted here) for him to get a good start on it. The article he wrote appeared on the site the following day (albeit without a link to my blog...not that I'm going to hold that against him, the fact that he put my name on there was good enough).

If you were wondering why I had not yet written anything about this year's products, it was only because the one place that had good enough pictures of the team sets from this year only had 28 of the 30 team sets on their site (the Phillies and the Padres were the missing teams).  The site has since added the Phillies, and after asking them about the Padres' snub, was told that they have the Padres' set on back order as they were not able to get any for some reason.  Fine.  And because I try to be consistent with images and everything, I didn't run my annual article yet (nor had I ordered any product yet as I normally do right around this time).  I do have the checklists compiled, and did manage to get a scan of the Padres team set (not the one I would have hoped for, but it will do), so I will have the posts and pictures up shortly.

The point of this post (you mean there was one??!) is that even though I don't have my annual article up about the 2011 Topps Retail sets, I did manage to purchase 17 of the thirty team sets.  In the Chicago area, it is easy to find Cubs and White Sox sets, so thanks to Jim at Sports and Gaming Cards at Golf Mill Mall, in Niles, IL, for the two (he was offered the Mets set as well, but didn't bite...Mets??!).  The other fifteen I found at the Field of Dreams shop at Woodfield Mall over the weekend.  Yes, they are a bit pricey (on everything it seems), but the fact that they had fifteen other teams available besides our two locals made me go against probably better judgement and get one of each.  So now, along with the Cubs and White Sox team sets, I am also now in possession of these 17-card team sets:
  • Atlanta Braves
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • Minnesota Twins
  • New York Mets
  • New York Yankees
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Texas Rangers
  • Washington Nationals

So unless some shop or retailer (I will check some places during the week) has other team sets in stock, I will be looking online for the following 13 teams:
  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Florida Marlins
  • Houston Astros
  • Kansas City Royals
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Oakland Athletics
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • San Diego Padres
  • Seattle Mariners
  • Toronto Blue Jays
I will hopefully get the rest of these team sets before Series 2 comes out, and definitely before the 2011 All-Star Game (for those not familiar, I go nuts around All-Star Break).

That is, of course, anybody reading this would be kind enough to purchase and send my way any of the above thirteen teams.


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The MCG E-mail I've Been Waiting For

If you waited until the extremely last minute (like I did) to redeem your cards from the Million Card Giveaway, then you've probably wondered where your cards are (unless you've already received them).
I just got this in my e-mail today:
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2011 19:22:10 -0400
Subject: Topps order confirmation
Thank you for your order

1972-BB-TS1-90-NA AL Home Run Leaders#{Bill 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1967-BB-TS1-340-NA Joe Pepitone 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1955-BB-TS1-7-NA Jim Hegan 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1958-BB-TS1-358-NA Gene Baker 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1972-BB-TS1-488-NA Mike Nagy 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1967-BB-TS1-386-NA Dick Selma DP 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1960-BB-TS1-301-NA Jerry Davie 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1964-BB-TS1-115-NA Frank Bolling 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1972-BB-TS1-234-NA Ron Taylor 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1975-BB-TS1-166-NA Woodie Fryman 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1969-BB-TS1-23-NA Lew Krausse 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1961-BB-TS1-147-NA Ed Rakow 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1973-BB-TS1-382-NA Mike Hegan 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1961-BB-TS1-105-NA Carl Willey 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1975-BB-TS1-343-NA Danny Frisella 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1975-BB-TS1-392-NA Bruce Bochte RC 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1971-BB-TS1-84-NA Marcel Lachemann RC 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1971-BB-TS1-307-NA Don Wert 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1973-BB-TS1-339-NA Dick Tidrow 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
1973-BB-TS1-273-NA Chris Speier 1 04/13/11 SHIPPED 
Order # 242401-1 Order Date: 03/01/11 0282EDI 
Shipping Method - USPS 
(UPS Shipments only):
To track your UPS shipment online, simply visit UPS online at and enter the tracking number above.
I'm looking forward to the package.  Although, based on what I've read online, I'm bracing myself for the condition of each of these cards.


JayBee Anama 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2011 Topps Factory Set Sell Sheets are Live!!!

The sell sheets for this year's Topps Baseball Factory Sets are now live. Please take a look and see what is in store for 2011:

My comments:

Notice something missing???  That's right!!!  No mention of team sets!!!  Does this mean that they are doing away with the annual Yankees, Red Sox, and token other team-specific factory sets?  Or will Topps manage to get a separate sell sheet going announcing that there will be a factory set for ALL 30 TEAMS??!
Card #500, the most hallowed numbers in a Topps set, has been awarded to Kevin Youkilis.  Deserving of the honor???  For me, I think it could have gone to somebody better.  What do you think?

Instead of a bonus five pack of rookies (probably saving them for the Holiday set), once again Topps will include a five-pack of red parallel cards. Now, I don't know how many of these factory sets were opened (I have yet to see someone with a full 660-card...or 661-card set if Topps' wonder boy, Stephen Strasburg, get a card here too?), but I'm pretty sure many of these red bordered beauties did not see the light of day.

As always, the checklists are all subject to change. Happy Hunting!!!


JayBee Anama

Monday, April 11, 2011

Topps Website Now Up to 2011 Standards.

It has been..oh...almost nine years since Topps updated their website (or so it seemed).  Information was never updated, checklists were a hassle to read, and did I mention that information or content was never updated???

Even the Topps Message Boards, the first message boards I joined when I had Internet access, was becoming a problem.  Over the years, the "New Message Boards" had become infested with spammers and many of the locals (like me) were getting sick of them.  I even posted my displeasure to Mr. Mike Mader, the guy that had just been named Topps' Social Media guru.  He mentioned that sooner or later, that the Topps Message Boards, "in their current form, will most certainly be eliminated."  And at the beginning of March, there was no longer a Topps Message Board.  The links to the TMB would send you over to the eTopps Message Boards, which was an entirely different society in their own right.  Now, I joined the eTopps site just to see what was going on but I never posted.  The few hardcore TMB'rs have signed on to eTopps' boards, and are starting to get used to the place.  Sadly, I won't be one of them.  Good luck to you fellas, and as "Keep on Trading."

Which leads me to today's revelation.  I sent my e-mail to Mr. Mader almost a year ago, and even then, he said the site was going to go through a "major redesign."  Almost a year after he responded to my e-mails, Topps website has been relaunched.  And the changes are staggering!!!

From checklists that feature all of Topps' base cards from 1952 to now (still a work in progress) that even shows scans of said cards, to backgrounds that are appropriate to the site content (Topps Attax' page shows...Topps Attax in the background for example).  Links to ToppsTown, the Diamond Giveaway, are easy to find.   

And to show that the TMB is no longer available, there is no link that directs you to a "community."  You'd have to access to get to the message boards.  Now Mader did say that the Topps Facebook pages, whether it be Topps' main FB page or Topps Cards FB page, can serve as a message board of sorts.  And yes, people have placed their comments on there (and on twitter as well), so Topps now reaches a lot more people now than ever before.

But overall, the site looks fantastic.  Congrats to Mike Mader and company on a job well done.  I'm going to enjoy visiting the site and playing around with the checklists (when they're finished of course). 


JayBee Anama

Friday, April 8, 2011

Video Trading Cards...The Future? Should Topps Consider Making Their Own?

(Warning:  This is going to be one of the few, if ever, times that I include pictures of cards from other sports, or for that matter, the other card companies.  I apologize for the inconvenience.)

The latest buzz in the last two months was what was revealed at the Hobby summit in Las Vegas.  To wit, the fact that the other two card companies (specifically, Panini and Upper Deck) are now battling it out over what both feel will be the latest innovation to inject interest into our Hobby.  Now if you recall, UD said that they were going to make this huge announcement about their latest idea, one that was to shake the Hobby to its core, in April.  However, at the Las Vegas show, Panini pitched what seemed to be UD's secret to the attendees.

You see, Panini introduced the concept of video trading cards at the show and that it going to make an appearance in their basketball products.  When this was going to happen, however, was not yet announced.

With Panini's news out in the open, UD decided to release their secret earlier than their original April 12 date.  The secret?  That they were going to come out with video trading cards and that they will first arrive with their Football products (UD Football).

Now, it has been a few weeks since the dual announcements were made.  And there has been a lot of response to the news.  A number has been positive, but a lot more have been negative.  A gimmick, some say.  "Why would I want to spend money on that?" ask others.  "What happens when the batteries die?" ask more.  "If I wanted to watch highlights, I'd go to my phone."  All of these sentiments have been posted in message boards and blogs since this first came out.  Why the negativity though? 

Innovation is what is needed to make this hobby relevant again.  And I agree with the sentiment that at least somebody is trying (even if it isn't my favorite card company...yet).  We all want something new, and now that it's being offered, the collectors are complaining???  Aren't the ideas of video cards at least worth a look?

Now the argument that UD had was that at least they (UD) have the products ready.  It only appeared that Panini only had a concept.  And yes, based on the original picture, it looked like that was all it was.  A concept.  At least UD had pictures at the ready of what should be the final product.

Well that was until earlier this week when Blake Griffin of the LA Clippers, and Panini's new spokesperson, showed off what appears to be an actual working model of the card to the boys and girls at The Number One Source in the Hobby.  And unlike UD's cards (which looks like a very thick booklet), Panini's video card looks like an actual card.  Yes, it appears to be as thick as some of the thicker patch cards, but it looks more like a card than what UD showed.

Granted, I don't collect either companies' products.  Nor are either licensed by MLBP.  But while I don't collect either football or basketball cards, it does not mean that I don't watch them (wow, a triple negative...).  But if I were really interested in getting my hands on a video card, I would have to choose Panini's, based on the pictures above.  And this isn't because I don't like UD or anything like that.  But it's because what Panini has looks more like an actual card than UD's. 

I do have my qualms about these kinds of cards though.  What will happen when the battery or power source expires?  Can they be replaced?  Should they be?  What happens when the display cracks (and that can happen)?  It's a quandary for sure.

Which brings my attention to the company I support. 

What are you doing, Topps?  Are you going to pursue the idea of video cards?  Is it worth doing for MLB?  What products would you include them in?  How would you include them (as inserts, a box topper)?  Are you waiting for collector's reaction when these products come live to make your decision?

I don't think that these video trading cards will ever replace the printed cards.  But they do bring something new to the hobby that has never been done before.  Let's hold off judgment until these cards make it to market.  Then we can decide if it's a good thing for the Hobby, or the biggest bust ever.


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Sketch Card Relics...Where is Pujols Running Towards???

The other day, the Number One Source in the Hobby provided pictures of all 24 Gypsy Queen Sketch Card Relics that are being inserted into packs of the new Gypsy Queen product. This is the first time that sketch cards and relics have been combined.  And they are all of one-of-a-kind.

Now normally, I don't go for relics, especially one of ones, but reading the comments on this one, I thought I'd bring this to people's attention (if they haven't already noticed it).

Above is the card of Albert Pujols.Note that the number on his uniform has a 4 on it. Yes, Albert's Cardinal number is 5, but according to Monty Sheldon, the man that drew all 24 cards, and confirmed by Chris Olds, the picture was taken during the Jackie Robinson Day where EVERY player wore #42.

So, okay, that makes sense. But check the background of the card. It's not the stands of a imagined ballpark that is way off in the distance. What does that say off in the distance???

In case the picture somehow doesn't appear when viewing, it looks like three "$" and the word "bank" below it. I wonder what that means?

Mr. Sheldon went on record in the article indicating that he, "...thought people would be talking more about the fact that I painted Pujols running towards the "$$$ bank" in the background than about his uniform #. "

I guess that even though it was for copyright reasons that Monty had to follow the picture of Albert to the letter (or number as the case may be), he was able to take some artistic liberties in the drawing of the background.  Just wait until some lucky fan pulls this card from a pack.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

2011 Topps Lineage...A Tribute to Inserts from Years Past

Word comes out from the Number One Source in the Hobby about a new product coming in August, 2011 from Topps that, if preview images are to be believed, will pay homage to a number of the "unusual" products that Topps has either inserted in regular packs of Topps over the years, or created as a seperate product entirely during the course of their 60 Year reign as Kings of the Baseball Card World. Introducing 2011 Topps Lineage.

A 200 card base set featuring past and present day players, including a 10 card subset of players selected to an All-Time Rookies team (preview images show Cal Ripken as part of this subset). Could this answer the question of who actually won the voting from 2008 for the All-Time Rookie Team? But it is the inserts that will be included in this set that are at the heart of this set, hence being called "Lineage". To wit, some of the insert sets (the ones announced anyway) include:

  • Topps 3D cards (from 1968) Topps Cloth Stickers (1972, and other years)

  • Topps Venezuelan (Spanish variations)

  • Topps Rookies (the insert cards found in blister packs during the 80's and early 90's)

  • Topps Stand-Ups (from 1964)

  • Tributes to the 1975 Minis, and the 2011 Diamond, Platinum Diamond, and Canary Diamond cards are used for parallel sets for this product.

Autographed cards will be either reprint cards from Topps' 60 Years history, or based on the 1952 design (and that continuity autograph set with congrats from players will be included here as well). Relic cards honor the 1964 Topps Giants set (box-toppers) as well as 1975 Topps Mini set.

As soon as images of the sell sheet appear (found another website that has them), I'll post them here. It sounds like an interesting set to collect, especially if you were collecting the oddball Topps sets in the 60's and 70's.


JayBee Anama

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Quick Post While I'm On the Road...

I've been to three card shops in the last two days (one store wasn't even open...go figure) looking for the Topps Scavenger Hunt Poster and at least 5 or six of those 15-pocket pages for the tobacco cards (in my case, for the Kimball's Champion cards).

If you, or someone you know, have any spare sheets, or the poster, or even a set of the 25 cards being given out by the HTA stores, please e-mail me at orr leave a comment here. A trade list will be forthcoming when I have time at home.


JayBee Anama

Friday, April 1, 2011

Okay Blog Writers, Cough Up Some Money If You Want to Stay on the Blogroll!!!

I'm really low on funds.

I need money if I want to keep up with this crazy Hobby of ours.

I have skipped paying my bills so I can pay for my cards, and now my choices have come back to haunt me.

I will admit it.

I'm broke.

So how am I going to make some extra money??? I know.

There are 302 blogs in the Sports Card Blogroll going into April. That's 302 people that have gotten free publicity from my blogroll. Yes, I said that people can use the Blogroll, but I didn't expect it to grow the way it has. These guys are getting traffic from MY SITE. And I want to be compensated.

That's it.

Starting right now...every blog on the blogroll has to pay me $10.00 a month to stay on the blogroll. Ten dollars a month isn't too much to ask. I deserve remuneration for having your precious blogs on MY BLOGROLL!!!

And I know who gets the most traffic from my site...I check these things all the time. I will e-mail those people and they will have to pay me extra if they want to keep their high ratings. And if you send me a bit more money, I might just give your blog more exposure on the roll.

Overall, I'm tired of being stepped on here. You all OWE ME!!! AND YOU WILL ALL PAY!!! AND YOU WILL...

Yeah right...Happy April Fools' Day everybody!!!


JayBee Anama