Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cleaning Up the Sports Card Blogroll...Again!

Last year at this time, I never thought I'd be saying this. But some time next year, the Sports Card Blogroll will be keeping tabs on 400 Sports Card Blogs. 

I mean it.

There will be 400 blogs on the SCBR next year. 


Because for every new blog I get an e-mail about, or discover after reading other blogs, I find at least one, maybe two blogs on that newly discovered blog's sidebar that I had never seen before. Case in point.  Last week, I added one card blog because another writer traded with "a new blogger," and this new blogger had at least three other blogs (all hockey, by the way) that I didn't have on the active roster.  So in they went.  And while none of them had a certain Topps blog or a certain blogroll linked, it's nice to know that there are still people out there who are finding that blogs are a great way to communicate and trade cards.

It's the end of the month.  Summer is over (well, not until the autumnal equinox anyway), but it won't be long now before the leave change color and begin to fall.  So with that serene image in our minds, it's time to clean up the Sports Card Blogroll.

At the end of last month, the blogroll held steady at 330 card blogs.  I added (and in a couple of instances, added back) 12 blogs about sports cards to the active roster, bringing us up to a new high of 342 blogs.  But we also have to clear out those which have not had any new posts in more than six months.  So these now inactive blogs will now be moved to the sidebar of inactivity.  They include:
Removing these seven blogs brings the SCBR roster down to 335 blogs.  This means the blog had a net gain of +5 blogs, another month of growth. 

It is my goal to maintain 400 blogs on this site, and I believe that 2012, the site will reach that goal.  Remember, if you, or someone you know, has a blog, wants to write a blog, or wants to dive back into the proverbial pool, please send me an e-mail at and let me know about it.  The more voices, the more people, the more writers that go on this grand journey, the better we as collectors in this great Hobby become.  More and more people are finding their way to our medium daily.  It's now up to us to continue to stay relevant and do our part to stay involved in this growing community.


JayBee Anama

2012 Topps Thoughts

Okay, we've had enough time to stare at, ogle, and share our feelings about the images from 2012 Topps Baseball.  And if you've read other blogs, the opinions are not pretty.  Game changing?  I'll agree with many that it isn't.  But will the design grow on me?  Absolutely.

One blog threw a curve suggesting that 2012 Topps will be split into seven series, with Bowman being inserted.  Reading that comment reminded me of the Wikipedia war that raged when the Mr. Men Show ended after two seasons, and people were "vandalizing" the site by saying that there would be a season 3, with new characters and voice actors to boot (don't ask me how I know about this).  And just like the speculation of a season 3 never came to fruition, I'm glad that there was no way in h-e-double hockey sticks that 2012 Topps would be distributed the way it was described.

There are a few things I like about this set, and a lot of things I wish Topps could have done to improve upon it.  But after watching the videos from the National of Topps Town Hall Meet-and-Greet, I can see that most of what I would have liked to see is just wishful thinking.

I like the design of the set...if the cards appeared with a wood border.  That Adrian Gonzalez card looked great with the wood frame.  Now I know that this isn't the first time that Topps made full blown wood cards (see 1997 Topps Team Timber).  But I hope that none of the one-of-one cards bow, or worse, splinter, like the these inserts (none of my Team Timber cards splintered or cracked, but the fear was always there when handling and even after years of staying in plastic sheets, they will not stay flat when taking the card out of the pocket).  But again, the design could grow on me, and I'll like it eventually.  Or maybe I won't (see any Random Card of the Day post of any card from 2002, and you'll understand).

Another 330 card series?  They said in the video that when they last did a Topps Total set, it didn't sell as well as they had hoped and that the market didn't seem to want another set like this.  The guy questioning the panel interrupted saying that "the market has changed since then."  True, it has.  But as a business, if a product didn't sell the way they had hoped, they're not going to invest resources into building upon it.  Topps Total had run its course, and it looks like the mop up relievers and third string catchers in MLB will never get a regular Topps card going forward. 


Mickey Mantle is back.  WHY???  Because Topps has a deal with Mantle's family and can put him in every product if they choose, including the flagship.  Could this stop?  They didn't even point this out in their sell sheet when doing the breakdown:

  • 265 Veterans
  • 30 Rookies
  • 10 League Leaders
  • 6 Award Winners (Cy Young, MVP, Rookie of the Year)
  • 5 Record Breakers (which will wind up being the checklist for the base set)
  • 4 World Series Highlights
  • 10 Cards recognizing the Active Leaders in 10 categories (not something necessary in a 330 card-series, but acceptable).

That's 330 cards all right.  But the preliminary checklist shows that card #7, once again, is...guess who?  Does he even count as a Veteran???

I'm not really a fan of relics or autos, so I'm not going to discuss my opinions of them.  I'll focus on the basic inserts.  Based on the information from the Sell sheet, Topps Master Set collectors like myself will be adding a whopping 265 insert cards in our 2012 Topps binders.  And that's not including what will pop up as exclusives for Target and Walmart (and Toys 'R Us/KMart/Sears/Meijer, etc...if they even do one).  And you just know that at least four of the seven insert sets will be carried over into Series 2 and the Update Series (or whatever Topps will be calling it).  My money is on the 1987 minis (which will probably look more like the mini leaders cards than the actual 1987 Topps set), the Golden Greats (really a repeat from 2000 Topps where a player is featured with five different highlight cards), Generations (the third consecutive year that a young player is paired up with a veteran/retired legend on a card), and Gold Futures (finding 75 young players isn't going to be that hard). 

The inserts sets otherwise look very nice, and I will probably get them all at once (I can't imagine myself hunting these cards otherwise).  But I pointed out in an earlier post that the Golden theme was already 2001?  Why do it now? There isn't an actual traditional 61st Anniversary present.  Oh well, at least there aren't any Presidential Election inserts this year (unless it's something not on the sell sheet and a Campaign '12 series will just be included somehow...)

One thing that I also didn't see are any signs of any Legendary Shortprints?  Does this mean there won't be any in 2012?  Doubt it.  As much as some collectors want the companies to disclose EVERYTHING, I agree with Topps to a point when they don't announce SP's, super SP's, and "gimmicks."  Before the internet, opening up a pack of cards and finding something that you wouldn't expect was a thrill and a good thing (maybe there's more...I'll buy more cards and see).  Now, some people treat gimmicks like they're a crime against humanity.  They're fun.  They're supposed to be fun.  And besides, if some of you don't like them so much, why are they on your want lists?  If Topps disclosed everything, that element of surprise is gone.  It becomes boring.  And it wouldn't generate the kind of buzz that products like this need in the digital age.  So Topps, you are certainly welcome to surprise me.

It was also stated on the video that Topps couldn't just make a retired-player-only product.  Per MLB Properties, Topps was allowed to include retired players in TEN products as long as they were mixed in with active players (Topps' agreement with the Mantle estate is the exception).  In 2011, that excluded the five Bowman products, Topps (1 & 2...that's one product folks), and Topps Update (a separate product from the eponymous set).  This means we will never see a set like Topps Archives again. 

Sigh.  But back to the point.

I can't wait for 2012 Topps.  Overall, it looks to be a fantastic product, and a great preview for the 2012 MLB campaign.  Yes, they could have picked a better card to use for the preview (nothing against Ryan Braun, but it's not your most flattering picture).  But at least we get the idea of what to expect.  This set may not be THE game-changer, but maybe it sets up what will be a great year for the Hobby.


JayBee Anama

Monday, August 29, 2011

Top Ten Things I've Been Doing When Not Blogging...

It's almost the end of August, and this post that you've decided to read is the eighth post I've written this month.  And for anyone that is still making his or her way to this blog, I apologize for the lack of posts.  Between vacation (the pictures are still on the front page), and work, and adjusting to the kids going to TWO schools (my daughter is now in middle school...sigh...), the blog has taken a bit of a backseat to life. 

It happens to the best of us.  I can use the season that my NL Chicago team has been having as the reason why I've lacked any kind of motivation to follow what's been happening in both MLB and the Hobby.  I knew that this wasn't going to be the year, but until that good run in the first half of August, it's been a bitter pill to swallow watching them play this year.  But by the time I create my post for the End of the Year All-Star Teams, even with as poorly as they've been playing, there will most likely be more than one Cub named to the team.  Chicago Bias?  Perhaps.  But I've been doing some analyzing of stats going into September, and compared to players in similar positions, the Cubs will not be a team with one player being named.  That team on the other side haven't been much to hoot and holler about either.  But there is still a month to play, so anything goes.

So I thought that now is a good time to review what it is exactly I've been up to so I can justify not writing as much as I said I would.  Here is a Top Ten List, from the home office in Des Plaines, IL:
  • 10.  Mowing my lawn.  I know that the weather has been crazy lately in the east coast, but here in the suburbs of Chicago, we've had record heat, record rains, and my lawn has experienced record growth.  I only have time to mow the lawn on the weekends (so don't get on me about during the week). But when I'm free to mow, it rains.  The ground becomes too wet, and my lawn mower (bless it's little engine) clogs and dies when the ground/grass is wet.  Then, when I have other things to do, the sun is out, the ground/grass is dry, and I'm not home to mow.
  • 9.  Vacation.  Did I mention that I went to the Dells of Wisconsin? And did I also mention that pictures are most likely on the first page of this blog?
  • 8.  Work. It's been busy.  And I won't get into that here.  I am grateful for the job I have and this is not the place to discuss it.
  • 7.  Housework.  I'm actually starting to take time and clean up the table that's been full of cards, boxes, penny sleeves, top loaders, books, team bags, magazines, and other things that my better half calls "junk."  Then again, she has her craft supplies, beautician supplies, and other supplies all over the place too.  Add my kids toys, video games (Zelda is still being played...will get to that shortly), and the house has that "lived-in" look.  I wouldn't consider this house a disaster area (it certainly isn't going to make an appearance on "Hoarders"), but at least we have a place for us and our belongings.
  • 6.  Meeting the neighbors.  We've had new neighbors since last fall, and we never got around to introducing ourselves to them until these last two months.  And I think we've spoken to them more in the last three days than we have in the last nine months.  They're really nice.  And they make killer barbecue.
  • 5.  Video Games.  We've finally completed The Legend of Zelda:  The Wind Waker and are now playing it again, just for kicks, the Gallery (take pictures of EVERYBODY, and some guy makes statues), and we're just going around looking for Triforce pieces.  We're even doing things this second time around that we didn't do before.  So it's been a bit more fun to explore the game.  But it's been taking a lot of time out of the day.  And now that the kids are back in school, the rule of "No Video Games until the Weekend" is back and being enforced.
  • 4.  Delivering Doughnuts.  I may have mentioned before that my family just bought an established doughnut shop back in June.  And while I'm not an actual employee of the place, I did get conned into helping my dad deliver the fried/baked goodies to gas stations and supermarkets.  I say "conned" because the phone call I got said "accompany dad to a delivery in (name of town here)."  What I thought was going to be a three hour trip turned into a nine hour run all over the western suburbs.  I thank my dad for the trip...I don't get to hang out with him enough...but I had a few choice words for my brother (the guy that thought I would make a good navigator).
  • 3.  Rediscovering cards that are NOT in my official collection.  The number on the sidebar includes cards I have in my binders on my bookshelfs of completed sets and inserts.  If I were to add all the other cards in my collection, we'd be just shy of 100,000 cards.  This fall and off-season, I plan on getting back into the trading business.  Whether it's on the good old Topps Message Boards (which by the way, I just found out that although the boards as I knew are gone, the eTopps boards that replaced them now has its own non eTopps Baseball Message Board.  This seems to be where all the guys and gals from the old place are now hanging out.  I've visited, not yet posted anything.  But it's starting to feel like home), or on other blogs (yes, I'm going to start looking into the want lists of other bloggers to see if I have anything they need in exchange for what I want.  The Hobby Blogging Community as a group is very generous when it comes to trading.  And I realized that many of the new blogs (which you can find on the Sports Card Blogroll), trade with each other.  They don't put a certain Topps Baseball Card Blog on their sidebar (okay Ego, that's enough), so I figure introduce myself and who knows.
  • 2.  Twitter.  If I'm not blogging, you can find me on the 140 character or less posting site (@bdj610 if you want to follow me). 
  • 1.  Getting Ready for 2011 Topps Update Series and 2012 Topps!!!  You've seen the sell sheets. Let the hype begin.
I did have things to say about my trip to the National, the upcoming 2012 Topps product, more of the now almost-out-of-time 2011 Topps Archives Project, the Topps 300 site, and more.  I even want to get my 2010 All-Star Game simulation in soon.  Maybe even do the 2011 Topps card back tributes again.  And maybe fire up the Randomizer again.

Or maybe all that can wait until September ( I???)


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2012 Topps Series 1 Sell Sheets are Live!!!

Last week, we were able to get brief glimpses of what the eponymous Topps Baseball Cards will look like for 2012. Now, the sell sheets for the now highly anticipated 2012 Topps Baseball Series 1 product are live!!!

Even though the images were already shown last week, it's nice to see how it all fits on the sell sheets. More to come. Need to settle down from the mass hysteria in my head.


JayBee Anama

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's 2001 All Over Again (I'll Explain in a Minute...) as We Celebrate 2012 Topps!!!

More details have been leaked at the number one source in the hobby regarding Topps' endeavor in 2012.

If you remember in 2001, Topps celebrated their "Golden Anniversary."  Their big insert set was the Golden Anniversary cards.  A 50-card set broken down into five subsets:  Golden Greats, Glistening Gold, Gold Nuggets, Hidden Gold, Going for Gold.  There were also Golden Moments (a subset within the base set), Golden Anniversary autographs, and so forth, and so on.

Well, it seems that the theme for 2012 Topps involves gold as well.


Golden Greats, Golden Moments, Golden Everything.  And for the third year in a row, there will be an online Giveaway.  A Golden Giveaway where you can redeem cards from Topps' now 60 year history, and cards "EMBEDDED IN GOLD!!!"  Collect virtual golden coins to get prizes (does this sound familiar).

There will also be inserts, including what is being described as 1987 mini cards. So there lifetimetopps, you have your wooden card tribute.  Speaking of wood cards, there will also be a wood parallel card (a one of one) to go with the usual parallels (gold cards...surprise, surprise, platinum, and gold parallels in the vein of the diamond parallels from this year).

The design looks great in the wood borders.  Makes me wish that they used the wooden borders, as lifetimetopps said, it would be a great 25 year tribute along the grain (pun intended) with 1962 and 1987 Topps.

I'm starting to like the design.  Maybe they shouldn't have posted the Braun card.  Nothing against the guy from Milwaukee, but the picture used for his card (which is hopefully subject to change) wasn't his best looking shot.

Bring on 2012!!!


JayBee Anama

Ladies and Gentlemen, Your 2012 Topps Baseball Card Design.

2012 Topps Ryan Braun.

It first showed up on Twitter.  And the number one source in the hobby has confirmed it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the product that is to be the game-changer for the upcoming year your 2012 Topps Baseball Card!!!

More to come. 

Opinion being formed.  Kind of hard to judge based on one card.  First impressions are everything though.  And as of this moment, this design doesn't inspire "game changing."  Maybe if they posted a few more...


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What Happened in August...or How I Spent My Vacation

Last August, I wound up in Portland, OR, for work.  This August, I spent a weekend at the Dells of Wisconsin.  With absolutely no Internet access (the computer at the place we were staying was slower than my computer at home), and barely any phone reception (unless we were either downtown or at the nearest Wal-Mart), my family and I remained disconnected from the rest of the world while on vacation.

And let me say that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.  Did I miss any important news in the Hobby world???

Now, Wisconsin Dells is definitely a tourist trap.  With mini golf courses, waterparks galore, roller coasters, museums (Ripley's is there, and some place called the Torture Museum??!), and fudge shops as far as the eye can see, the reason why this place even exists kind of gets lost in the shuffle.  I was here for the Dells, the rock formations carved by the glaciers.  If you've never been up there, you have to go on one of the boat tours (or the Ducks) that take you on the Wisconsin River to see these.  Pictures below.

Black Hawk Rock

Stand Rock.  A dog jumps back and forth on this formation.

Going through Witch's Gulch.

Chimney Rock...or as the tour guide called it "Stack of Pancakes Rock"

All this carved by a glacier millions of years ago...or that's what the guy said.

From where we were sitting, this looked like a piano.

Preacher's Rock...or Pulpit Rock. Can't remember which.

While trying to figure out where to eat for lunch on Saturday, I found myself looking at a shopping guide.  The first shop listed was All-Time Sports and Gifts.  That's right...


Just one block south away from all the commotion that is Broadway (the main street of downtown Wisconsin Dells), sits a card shop that has been open for eighteen years.  The shop even has their own tourist flier (the same ones used to advertise the boat rides, museums, and other attractions).  I had to stop in and check the place out.

The slogan of the store is "Not Just Another Card Shop." And it truly isn't.  Yes, they have their share of Packers and U of Wisconsin stuff.  But they display items of teams and colleges from nearby states (fair share of Cubs, Sox, Bears, Tigers, Twins, Vikings, Lions, etc) to make tourists feel a bit at home.  The displays had your usual array of rookie cards, relics, autos, and a bit of vintage to boot.  On the other side were complete sets from the last three decades (if I had a bit more money, I'd have bought those). 

The store owner, Dan, had just cracked open a 2011 Topps Factory set (WHAT??!).  He sells plaques, and needed the cards for them.  I thought he had opened the All-Star set, so I asked him if he had the bonus cards.  Alas, I was wrong, as he showed me five Red Parallel cards (two Cardinals, two Indians, and one Russell Martin).  On an extremely limited budget, I bought a Beckett and two packs of Topps 2.  The prices were reasonable, and as much as I would have liked to buy a pack of Lineage, I couldn't afford to spend any more than I had (the Dells is a tourist trap if I hadn't mentioned it enough already). 

The packs didn't have much to write about, short of a Kris Medlen diamond parallel and a Diamond Giveaway card (still need number 12...anybody???  ANYBODY???).  Let's see what I won.
  • 2XB4GBBWp = 1973 Topps Steve Arlin #294 = Cincinnati Reds Diamond Ring
I'm never going to get up to 45 rings at this point.  I'm just happy to get anything.

But now that I am back to civilization, and the kids are just about a week away from going back to school, I'm just glad that things will be going back to normal soon (depending on the definition of normal).

I'm going to make an effort to post a bit more often now.  There are things that need to be done before the end of the baseball
  • The Topps 300 (and then some...).  You remember this little project that I started last November as a response to Topps' own 100-card selection show to determine their Topps 60?  Well, I need to start adding all the choices made by commenters and start the voting process to determine the greatest Topps cards as chosen by the Hobby Blogging Community.
  • Adding more to the 2011 Topps Archives Project (the year is almost over!!!)
  • Getting ready for the end-of-the-year run of posts that include the annual All-Star Rookie Team prediction contest and the 2011 End of the Year All-Star Teams.
  • My National summary.  Everybody else did theirs.  Now it's my turn.
That should be a start.  Let's hope for a great finish. 


JayBee Anama

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I Finally Have It! My Carabao!

After a year of searching, it only took less than 15 minutes at the National Sports Card Show before I finally found the one card I from the 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. I don't have the master set of 2010 A&G yet (and if you've looked them up on the Bay, they're getting pretty cheap), but I do have this beauty.  It goes well with the rest of my "Topps Loves the Philippines" mini-card insert set collection (which includes the Flag from 2007, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from 2008, and National Hero José Rizal in the 2009 A&G product).

Now I heard there was a 2011 mini card featuring another animal from the Philippines, this time from the Animals in Peril insert set:

This is card #AP15, the Philippine Eagle.  I actually would have called it by the name I knew it as, the "monkey-eating eagle," but this works too, I guess.  And although it's not part of some National/Country kind of insert set, it is something I would have wanted...if I could have found it!!!

My daughter, who did come to the show with me on Friday, did snag the Giant Panda card that is now proudly on display on her front door (she has one of those picture hanging's okay, she didn't glue it on or anything).  But I didn't find this card.  And now I want it.

So if anybody has it, please let me know.  Thanks.

Later on this week, I'll put on my review of the show.  With pictures.  I promise.


JayBee Anama

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"Deans List 2011" or Which Players Have the Most Seniority on His Team

In what has been a tradition for this humble little blog around this time is the subject of "Deans". 

What is this blog's definition of dean?  The idea goes back to 1986 Topps and their Team Leaders subset.  To review, each of the subjects Topps used for their 1986 Topps' Team Leaders cards were the players on each team that was with their team the longest (for example, the 1986 Angels team leader card had the caption "Depicted on Front: Bobby Grich, Dean of the Angels, Continuous Service Since: 11/24/1976.") Well, for this blog's purposes, the player who debuted with his team the earliest, and remained with the team without being traded or released, is considered the "Dean" of his team. 

There will be examples below (and I'll make sure to include them on the list below) of a player debuting with his team earlier than the "Dean" being listed, but because he may have been traded, signed with another team, etc, and then returned, the "Continuous Service" thing no longer applies.  Case in point, in 2011, Kerry Wood returned to the Cubs after a 2-year run in the American League.  Even though he made his MLB debut with the Cubs in 1998, because he went on his two year sojourn with Cleveland and the Yankees, he is no longer considered the Cubs' "Dean" due to his continuous service ending after the 2008 season.  Get the idea?  Okay, moving on.

This year, not only will I include each team's "Dean," but the person who would be dean if the first person left the team (think of this as first runner-up).  Again, this is determined by when the player made his debut with the team.  In almost all but five cases, this is the player's MLB debut.  The first time I compiled this list, I listed the player in order of least tenured dean to the "Dean of Deans."  Last year, the players were alphabetically by city.  This year's list will be done in the same fashion.  So is the dean of your team last year still the dean of your team today? Let's find out. (Players team status as of Thursday, 08/04/2011; 2010 deans as of 08/06/2010).
  • Arizona Diamondbacks-
    2011: Stephen Drew (MLB debut 07/15/2006); 2010: Brandon Webb. Webb did not play for the D-Backs in 2010, and signed with the Texas Rangers for the 2011 season (even though he has yet to appear in a game for them).  Next in Line:  Chris Young (MLB debut 08/18/2006).
  • Atlanta Braves-
    2011: Chipper Jones (MLB debut 09/11/1993); 2010: Jones. The "Dean of Deans," Chipper is having a renaissance of sorts for the Braves in their first year since Bobby Cox retired.  He was voted by his peers to be the backup third baseman for the NL All-Star Team.  Next in Line:  Tim Hudson (Braves debut 04/04/2005).
  • Baltimore Orioles-
    2011: Brian Roberts (MLB debut 06/14/2001); 2010: Roberts. He wears #1 for the O's, and he's #1 in continuous service for the team too.  He hasn't played much due to injuries in the last two years.  Next in Line:  Nick Markakis (MLB debut 04/03/2006).
  • Boston Red Sox-
    2011: Tim Wakefield (Red Sox debut 05/27/1995); 2010: Wakefield. It's not that hard to believe that the knuckleballer who started his career with the Pirates is still in Boston after more than 16 seasons. He ranks third amongst the active deans in terms of longevity with his team.  Next in Line:  Jason Varitek (MLB debut 09/24/1997).
  • Chicago Cubs-
    2011: Carlos Zambrano (MLB debut 08/20/2001); 2010: Zambrano. The "Big Z" has returned to form since his personal problems during the middle of the 2010 season.  He is one of three players left from the 2003 NL Central Champs.  Next in Line:  Aramis Ramirez (Cubs debut 07/23/2003).
  • Chicago White Sox-
    2011: Paul Konerko (White Sox debut 04/05/1999). 2010: Konerko. The Sox' captain has a number of good years on him, and this year has been a renaissance of sorts for the first baseman in terms of his clutch hitting and power.  He is one of three players left from the 2005 World Series winning team.  Next in Line: Mark Buehrle (MLB debut 07/16/2000).
  • Cincinnati Reds-
    2011: Bronson Arroyo (Reds debut 04/05/2006); 2010: Aaron Harang. Harang signed with the Padres after the 2010 season. The next two in line of continuous service were also acquired by the Reds.  The longest serving home-grown talent on the Reds' roster is Homer Bailey, but that makes him fourth on the list of seniority.  Next in Line:  Brandon Phillips (Reds debut 004/09/2006).
  • Cleveland Indians-
    2011: Travis Hafner (Indians debut 03/31/2003). 2010: Hafner. Okay, I made a mistake here (again). Last year, Hafner was actually with the Rangers before being traded to the Tribe after the 2002 seson.  Next in Line:  Grady Sizemore (MLB debut 07/24/2004).
  • Colorado Rockies-
    2011: Todd Helton (MLB debut 08/02/1997). 2010: Helton. He's been a mainstay for the Rox for fifteen seasons. He is just as much "Mr. Rockie" in the same way as HOF Tony Gwynn is "Mr. Padre." Next in Line:  Aaron Cook (MLB debut 08/10/2002).
  • Detroit Tigers-
    2011: Brandon Inge (MLB debut 04/03/2001); 2010: Inge. A bit of a quandary here.  Inge as DFA'd by the Tigers, but acceted his assignment to Toledo.  Does this make the man next in line the new "dean" or is it because he's still with the organization as a whole that Inge keeps the title?  It can't be Ramon Santiago because he was traded to, and played for, the Mariners for a couple of seasons before returning to the Motor City.  Next in Line:  Ryan Raburn (MLB debut 09/12/2004). 
  • Florida Marlins-
    2011: Josh Johnson (MLB debut 09/10/2005); 2010: Johnson.  Johnson, the staff ace, signed a long term contract with the team, ensuring that he will remain in Miami for a long time to come.  Next in Line:  Hanley Ramirez (Marlins debut 04/03/2006).
  • Houston Astros-
    2011: Wandy Rodriguez (MLB debut 05/23/2005); 2010: Rodriguez. The Astros have seen a lot of turnover and loss of star power these last two years.  But Wandy is one of two players remaining from the 2005 NL Champions.  Next in Line:  Humberto Quintero (Astros debut 06/04/2005).
  • Kansas City Royals-
    2011: Mitch Maier (MLB debut 09/23/2006); 2010: David DeJesus. DeJesus was traded at the end of the 2010 season to Oakland.  The youth movement that the Royals started back in 2007 has now been together for five seasons.  Maier, by debuting towards the ed of the 2006 season, is now the Royal with the most continuous service time. Next in Line: Alex Gordon (MLB debut 04/02/2007).
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-
    2011: Maicer Izturis (Angels debut 04/05/2005); 2010: Scot Shields. Shields, who announced his retirement in 2011, was the final link to the Angels 2002 World Series team.  Maicer is a former Expo who did not join the team that would be the Nationals.  And for all six years of the Nat's existence, he's been patrolling the infield at Angels Stadium for the Halos.  Next in Line:  Ervin Santana (MLB debut 05/17/2005).
  • Los Angeles Dodgers-
    2011: Jonathan Broxton (MLB debut 07/29/2005); 2010: Broxton. Although both Juan Castro and Dioner Navarro are back in LA, Broxton still holds down the fort in the Dodgers' bullpen and in terms of continuous service.  Next in Line:  Hong-Chin Kuo (MLB debut 09/02/2005).
  • Milwaukee Brewers-
    2011: Rickie Weeks (MLB debut 09/15/2003); 2010: Weeks. The high powered offense and of the Brew Crew starts with Weeks, who was voted a starter for the 2011 ASG. Next in Line:  Corey Hart (MLB debut 05/25/2004).
  • Minnesota Twins-
    2011: Michael Cuddyer (MLB debut 09/23/2001); 2010: Cuddyer. Cuddyer's been around the Twins for so long, that he was there when there was talk of contracting the Twins in 2001. He made his All-Star debut in 2011, but has been playing for the Twin Cities since the threat of contraction.  Loyalty has its privileges, and the Twin know how to keep their veterans happy.  Next in Line:  Justin Morneau (MLB debut 06/10/2003).
  • New York Mets-
    2011: Jose Reyes (MLB debut 06/10/2003); 2010: Pedro Feliciano. Feliciano signed with the cross-town Yankees for the 2011 season.  It wasn't that long ago that Reyes was a highly touted second baseman prospect for the Metropolitans.  But in eight seasons, he has held court at shortstop at both Shea Stadium and Citi Field.  Next in Line:  David Wright (MLB debut 07/21/2004).
  • New York Yankees-
    2011: Mariano Rivera (MLB debut 05/23/1995); 2010: Rivera. He shows no sign of slowing down, and the Bombers are wont to keep him in Yankees pinstripes from now until he reaches the HOF.  He still ranks second for tenure among active "deans."  Next in Line:  Derek Jeter (MLB Debut 05/27/1995).
  • Oakland Athletics-
    2010: Kurt Suzuki (MLB debut 06/12/2007); 2010: Eric Chavez. Chavez left Oakland for the bright lights of the Bronx for the 2011 season, ending his sixteen-year affiliation with the A's.  Suzuki, the young catcher for an extremely young team, is the newly installed dean of the A's because Mark Ellis was traded to Colorado on June 30.  He also is now the dean with the least amount of "tenure" among the 30 men featured today.  Next in Line:  Daric Barton (09/10/2007).
  • Philadelphia Phillies-
    2011: Jimmy Rollins (MLB debut 09/17/2000); 2010: Rollins. Still the Dean in Philly, and still setting the table for the mashers who dominate the lineup for the Fightin' Phils.  Next in Line:  Chase Utley (04/04/2003).
  • Pittsburgh Pirates-
    2011: Ryan Doumit (MLB debut 06/05/2005); 2010: Doumit. Joe Beimel, a Pirate in 2001, did return to the Steel City in 2011.  But as the Pirates try to break .500 for the first time since 1992, Doumit remains the team leader in service as the Bucs were on the buying side of the trade deadline.  Next in Line: Paul Maholm (MLB debut 08/30/2005).
  • St. Louis Cardinals-
    2011: Albert Pujols (MLB debut 04/02/2001); 2010: Pujols. Albert has ruled in St. Louis for more than a decade.  Will he still be with the team in 2012 as he reaches free agency?  Next in Line: Chris Carpenter (Cardinals debut 04/09/2004).
  • San Diego Padres-
    2011: Tim Stauffer (MLB debut 05/11/2005); 2010: Stauffer. Stauffer leads the Padres in team longevity for the second year in a row.  Which is saying something considering that more than half of the present roster consists of first-time Padres.  Next in Line:  Heath Bell (Padres debut 04/03/2007). 
  • San Francisco Giants-
    2011: Matt Cain (MLB debut 08/29/2005); 2010: Cain.  Although Ryan Vogelsong, a Giant in 2000, was the feel-good story at this year's All-Star Game, it is Cain that holds the title of Giants' dean.  Next in Line:  Brian Wilson (MLB debut 04/23/2006).
  • Seattle Mariners-
    2011: Ichiro Suzuki (MLB debut 04/02/2001); 2010: Suzuki. Ichiro is now the only player left left from that 100 + win season back in 2001.  And after him, and the man next in line in tenure, the roster consists of players who were Mariners beginning in 2009 onwards, and that includes Miguel Olivo, who caught for Seattle's finest in 2003.  Next in Line:  Felix Hernandez (MLB debut 08/04/2005).
  • Tampa Bay Rays-
    2011: B. J. Upton (MLB debut 08/02/2004); 2010: Carl Crawford. Croawford was one of the biggest free agent signings before the 2011 season.  "Bossman Jr" is now truly the boss in terms of continuous service for the Rays.  Next in Line:  James Shields (MLB debut 05/31/2006).
  • Texas Rangers-
    2011: Michael Young (MLB debut 09/29/2000); 2010: Young. Darren Oliver, a Ranger in the 1990's, may have found his way back to Texas, but this is definitely Michael Young's team. Although some on commented on this blog about his "selflessness," leave no doubt that Young has been one of the reasons why the Rangers have been successful these past few seasons.  Next in Line:  C. J. Wilson (MLB debut 06/10/2005). 
  • Toronto Blue Jays-
    2011: Aaron Hill (MLB debut 05/20/2005); 2010: Vernon Wells. Hill finds himself as the newest Dean of the Blue Jays after Jason Frasor was traded to the White Sox before the trading deadline.  Chris Woodard, a Blue Jay from 1999, returns to the team in 2011. Jason McDonald would have been it, except he played for Detroit for part of the 2005 season.  Next in Line:  Adam Lind (MLB debut 09/02/2006).
  • Washington Nationals-
    2011: Ryan Zimmerman (MLB debut 09/01/2005); 2010: Jason Bergmann. Livan Hernandez and the recently retired Matt Stairs are former Expos who returned to the organization in 2011.  Bergmann is now in the Athletics' minor league system.  But it is now Zimmeran who is the Nats' dean.  And it's definitely his team...until Strasburg and Harper show up anyway.  Next in Line:  Jesus Flores (MLB debut 04/04/2007).
So of the thirty teams, we have 9 new "deans." Five started out with different teams (Arroyo, Hafner, Izturis, Konerko, Wakefield). That means that the other 25 have stayed with their present teams since they made their big league debut.

If Topps were to do Team Cards again in their "game-changing" 2012 Topps set, maybe they could make the above 30 players the focus of the card, just like it was in 1986.  But then again, maybe they should expand the set to more than 660 cards first (another topic for another day).  But as of the time I did the research the 30 deans lead their respective teams in continuous service to their organization.  And only the GM's can take that title away from them.

JayBee Anama

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I'm Going to the National Tomorrow!!!

As much as I really wanted to do it, circumstances prevented me from buying the VIP package for the National Sports Card Convention being held just down the street from my house.  Knowing that the NSCC will return in 2013, I will make sure to prepare a bit more then.
In the mean time, I will be at the National tomorrow and hope to meet many of the Hobby bloggers and others I have met on the internet (okay, that sounds a bit wrong on so many levels).  I might not be able to buy much, but I do plan on getting back there on Saturday (and possibly Sunday if I am able) to make my purchases.  Other than that, Friday is my "meet-and-greet."
Speaking of "meet-and-greets," Topps will be doing their town hall meeting this afternoon (at 4:00 pm CST).  Again, I wish I could have been there.  I do hope that somebody does a video of the show just like they did last year. 
If you read this blog and are going to the show tomorrow, look out for an Asian guy wearing a Topps cap, carrying around a black Topps bag, and taking pictures of everything.  That will be me.  I am so looking forward to tomorrow.

JayBee Anama