Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A New Blog: bdj610's All-Time All-Star Team Tournament

No, I'm not giving up on this dog and pony show of a blog. It may seem that I've not posted much, but it doesn't mean that I'm not anticipating 2012 Topps Series 2 coming out in a couple of weeks. And there is a possibility of doing another Pack Break Week featuring 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen and the new 2012 Topps Archives product (plus whatever extra packs I can find at the nearby Target).

Anyway. Remember how I mentioned that through the years at the end of each season (at least the last 25) that I would create a pair of End-of-the-Year All-Star Teams (one for the National League, one for the American League)? Remember how I used the Strategic Baseball Simulator (or SBS) to fulfill my childhood fantasies of determining which of the two teams would win in a head-to-head competition?

Well it's time to find out, taking a line from Iron Chef, "Which All-Star Team will reign supreme??!" I would like to know:
  • Which team would win if the starting pitchers were Greg Maddux of 1995 vs. Randy Johnson of 2001?
  • How well would Pedro Martinez of 1999 do against a lineup that consists of 2010's Robinson Cano, Paul Konerko, and Jose Bautista?
  • Could 1987's Andre Dawson and Darryl Strawberry outslug 1998's Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire?
  • Could the Nolan Ryan from 1989 strike out Albert Pujols of 2006?  
  • How well could the Ichiro of 2001 fare against a pitching staff that would include Roger Clemens, Mark Langston, and Dennis Eckersley of 1992?
I created a new blog on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, called bdj610's All-Time All-Star Team Tournament (  Thanks to the SBS, I am going to reintroduce 24 pairs of All-Star Teams (from 1987 through 2010) and put them through head-to-head simulations to determine which of my imagined rosters is the best of all time.  All 48 teams will compete against each other (NL vs NL, AL vs AL) in a 162-game season.  There will be four divisions of six teams per league.  At the end of the 162 game season, the top four teams in each division will advance to a head-to-head tournament that will ultimately end with one team from the NL taking on one team from the AL in a final seven series simulation (each 10,000 games) to determine an ultimate winner.

Through the use of the Baseball Card Cyber Museum (thanks John McAnally), I will introduce every player on each of the teams through their proper year's Topps card.  If you read any of my simulation results, you'd know that I used the following year's cards to represent the previous year's teams (for example, cards from the 1991 Topps set were used to introduce players from my 1990 All-Star Teams).  This time, each team will get their own post and as an example, the 1987 All-Stars will be introduced with their 1987 Topps (or Topps Traded cards).  Speaking of the 1987 All-Star Teams, you can click on these links to see cards of all 72 players and managers from the my 1987 National League and American League squads.

Read the introduction if you have the time.  The madness is explained in a bit better detail there.  

I do hope to get this done by the end of the 2012 MLB season.  Join me on this latest journey as I indulge in what started as a childhood fantasy that has now, thanks to the internet, become reality.  May the best team win.


JayBee Anama

Monday, May 28, 2012

Flashback: Memorial Day and What's Important

(This post was originally published on May 26, 2008.)

So I had just finished scanning the 2007 Topps Distinguished Service Set so I could post it here, and then it occurred to me that I was doing something wrong. Here I was ready to post something about Memorial Day and then I noticed that the people (ball players and historical figures) in the set were either still alive or, in the players' cases, went back to play baseball. It was then I realized that I should save this set for Veteran's Day. Memorial Day was established to honor the men and women who served in the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines) and died in the many wars that the United States have been involved.

Looking at the list of baseball players who served and died for their country, it includes those not only from the US, but from other countries too (many of them are Japanese). I obviously don't have any cards of any of these men, but I thought it would be appropriate to list them here. (If you would like to learn more about the baseball players who gave their lives for their country, you may find the list of links attached to their names (thanks to's bullpen wiki.) (Added in 2012 from BR Bullpen website: One caveat: this list contains individuals who died from the effects of War related injuries/disease/chemical warfare as many as ten years after their military service.):

Seizaburo Amakawa
Kenichi Aoshiba
Masakimi Araki
Charlie Becker
Ray Boyd
Hugh Bedient Jr. (name added after original post in 2008 for this post).
Alex Burr
Dell Chambers
Harry Chapman
Larry Chappell
Charles Chase
Gene Curtis
Oran Dodd
Yukio Eguchi
Chuujiro Endo
John Frill
Isamu Fukushi
Goro Fushimi
Fred Gaiser
Elmer Gedeon
Harry Glenn
Eddie Glinnen
Marv Goodwin
Tadashi Goto
Eddie Grant
Newt Halliday
Ichiro Hara
Yasuo Hayashi
Eiji Hirabayashi
Shuichi Hirose
Ernie Hrovatic
Hisayuki Ikeda
Yutaka Ishii
Kentaro Ito
Jinkichi Itoh
Masaru Kageura
Daichi Kaino
Nobuo Kato
Tokuhisa Kawamura
Hajime Kuwashima
Noboru Kitahara
Kazuo Kito
Shoichi Kunihisa
Nobuo Kura
Kiyoshi Maeda
Masayoshi Maekawa
Tony Mahoney
Toshi Masuda
Christy Mathewson
Riichi Matsumoto
Shigeji Matushita
Joe F. McCarthy
Hachiro Miwa
Yoshikichi Miyaguchi
Kunigoro Mori
Minoru Morita
Shigeo Murakami
Chotaro Muramatsu
Yukio Muramatsu
Miyoshi Nakagawa
Masami Nakamura
Saburo Nakamura
Yonekichi Naya
Bob Neighbors
Noboru Noguchi
Harry O'Neill
Toshiyasu Ogawa
Toshio Ohara
Kenichi Ohta
Fukuyoshi Okada
Muneyoshi Okada
Hiroshi Onodera
Yoshizou Oribe
Adelano Rivera
Masao Santa
Eiji Sawamura
Bob Schmukal
Ralph Sharman
Yoshifumi Shimamoto
Uzaburo Shintomi
Kazuji Shiraki
Larry Smith (minor league umpire)
Billy Southworth Jr.
Harry Stees
Toyoo Sugiyama
Momosuke Takano
Kerry Lamont Taylor
Kazutaka Terauchi
Bun Troy
Genbei Tsuji
Carl Tumlinson
Tadashi Ueda
Shizuka Watanabe
Pearl Webster (name added after original post in 2008 for this post).
Charles Wilcox
Susumu Yagi
Masaki Yoshihara

More information about these players may be found at the following websites:

The Deadball Era, Society for American Baseball Research, Veterans Affairs Gravesite Locator, The Encyclopedia of Catchers, Soldiers & Sailors System, The Baseball Necrology, Stars & Stripes.


JayBee Anama

(In honor of Sgt. Clinton H. Nichols, husband of my grandmother Gloria Y. Nichols, who survived the Bataan Death March, but died in a camp not long afterwards.)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I Was Wondering Why Jose Oquendo Had 9 Different Autograph Cards in 2012 Topps Archives, Then It Hit Me...

Perusing the Bay, I was looking at the auctions for the autograph cards found in the latest and greatest 2012 Topps Archives set.  I'm not looking for anything in particular, just waiting for the day I actually have money that I don't have to use to pay for plumbing (those who friend me on facebook already know what I'm going through as I've already posted on there about my latest round of home dilemmas), mortgage, bills, etc...

Okay back to the point.

So I'm online, looking at the pictures of the Fan Favorite Autos, thinking that I could take a shot at a majority of these because after the set collectors finish their feeding frenzy, the rest should be easy to find on the cheap.  Then I noticed something about the Jose Oquendo autograph cards that did not seem to be prevalent with the rest of the checklist:

2012 Topps Archives Jose Oquendo Base Card #238
So here is the Oquendo base card.  Yes, the fonts are way off from the 1988 Topps design (the font used on the name is giving me fits...don't they keep a record of what fonts they used??!)  All seems normal here right?  Then I saw the autos.

2012 Topps Archives Jose Oquendo Autograph Card #FFA-JOQ
Nothing out of the ordinary here as it was common in the ATFF cards to have autographed versions of the base card.  But what about this:

And this:

What about this:

And another one:

One more:

I's another:

And another:

Are we done???  Finally:

Nine Jose Oquendo autograph cards.  Why?  No offense to Cardinals fans (yes, this Cubs fan has been dying a slow death this year...and it's not even June yet)...but why nine cards of Jose Oquendo.  Yes, he had a great career as a Redbird, but why?  Then I went to his Baseball-Reference page and it hit me.  Take a look a the positions he played in 1988 (the year Topps used for his card): 4563/98721 (in 1987 his positions were the same except for 2).  This means that in 1988, he managed to play every position possible, including pitcher and catcher.  Was he really that versatile?  Was this madness?  Or did he really play every position that year?  The answers to the questions are yes, no, and absolutely.

Now while the novelty has been done that a player could change positions in every inning, Oquendo was asked to play all 9 positions at one point or another during the 1988 campaign.  Primarily an infielder, so not surprisingly he would play be comfortable in all four positions, he was sent to the outfield, caught a game late in the season, and during a 19-inning affair with the Atlanta Braves, left his position at first base to take the mound for three innings (took the loss, but still...).  Here is a recap of his year on the field (games played):
  • Second Base (69 games)
  • Third Base (47)
  • Shortstop (17...hey, even Ozzie had to take a break somehow)
  • First Base (16)
  • Right Field (9)
  • Center Field (4)
  • Left Field (2)
  • Catcher (1)
  • Pitcher (1)
So if you're wondering why Jose Oquendo was honored with not one, not two, but NINE different autograph cards, there's your answer.  On the back of each card, it lists him at a different position to boot.  So you could easily obtain all nine cards and put it on a baseball diamond frame (yes, they made those).  Or put all nine on a sheet for your collection.  

Heck, I might even take a stab at attempting this (anyone willing to help me???) if I had the funds.  Maybe.


JayBee Anama

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Things That Should Have Been Posted in 2011: bdj610's 2010 End of Year All-Star Teams Simulated Games Results

I am so sorry. AGAIN!!! I have no idea what happened here. For those of you who are still reading this blog, you will know that I create End-of-the-Year All-Star Teams (and have done this since 1988). And thanks to the Strategic Baseball Simulator (aka SBS), my fantasies had become somewhat of a reality as I could finally see which of the teams (I did one for the NL and one for the AL) would have won a game (or series of games) if they were to have competed against each other. You can see the on the sidebar the results of those games.

I had stalled so long on the my simulated 2010 ASG Series that I finally had them done. The seven game simulations were done in June, and the one-game All-Star Game took place...IN SEPTEMBER!!! It is now May 20, (happy 6th birthday to my nephew Jacob by the way), and it is only now that I am finally taking the time to get this done so that I can upload the 2011 rosters onto the SBS.

To review, here is how the simulations work:

I simulate seven series of games, pitting the six starting pitchers on each side and a set roster of eight or nine position players (somebody DH's when the AL All-Stars "host") against each other for the first six games, and then a seventh series of games where the rosters and the starting pitchers are chosen randomly. Each series consists of 10,000 simulated games. The winner of each series = the winner of a game. Presently, the National League All-Star Teams have a 13-10 advantage over their American League counterparts, and 12-11 record in the one-game All-Star Game (a far cry from reality, considering that the NL has only won 6 real All-Star Games since 1987).

Here are the results from the seven series simulations:
  • Game 1: AL vs. NL, CC Sabathia vs. Roy Halladay. The NL wins 5,450 games out of 10,000 simulations.
  • Game 2: AL vs. NL, David Price vs. Adam Wainwright. The NL wins 5,564 games.
  • Game 3: NL vs. AL, Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Jon Lester. The NL wins 5,459 games (using a DH).
  • Game 4: NL vs. AL, Tim Hudson vs. Justin Verlander. The AL wins 5,327 games (using a DH). The first ever multi-pitcher No-Hitter was performed by Verlander and Neftali Feliz.
  • Game 5: NL vs. AL, Tim Lincecum vs. Trevor Cahill. The AL wins 5,555 games (using a DH).
  • Game 6: AL vs. NL, Felix Hernandez vs. Josh Johnson. The NL wins 5,296 games. A second ever multi-pitcher No-Hitter was performed by King Felix and Rafael Soriano.
  • Game 7: AL vs. NL, anything goes. The NL wins 5,158 games.
The NL takes the seven game series 5-2. In 24 simulated series, the NL now has a comfortable 14-10 record against their AL rivals. With the NL also winning the crucial seventh game series where just about anything goes, would history be on their side for the one-game ASG? The team that wins the seventh series has won the final game 14 times.

For the official All-Star Game, I decided to just simulate one game and one game only. The starting pitchers were Sabathia and Halladay and I let them pitch two innings (unless they struggled badly). The rest of the pitchers would get one inning each (unless they struggled badly). The position players were replaced every three innings. To follow the new rule that dictates that the ASG be played with designated hitters, regardless of which league hosts the game, the DH's (Vladimir Guerrero of the AL and Adrian Gonzalez of the NL) were never replaced.

The starting lineups, first for the American League (I'm using 2011 Topps cards because these are the cards I used to represent the players on my All-Star teams):

Now the National League starting lineup:

Here is the result:

The 2010 NL All-Stars beat the 2010 AL All-Stars by a final score of 6-3. Sabathia was a bit wild in the first inning, allowing all six of the NL runs in the first inning on three hits, two walks, and a hit batter. The rest of the AL pitching staff shut down the NL bats, allowing just one hit the rest of the way. The AL offense however, had the hits, but just were not able to drive in enough runs to catch up with the NL's first inning barrage.

The box score is below (Just click on the picture to take a closer look).

The scoring plays were as follows:

Bottom 1: CC Sabathia pitching. Hanley Ramirez is hit by a pitch. David Wright strikes out. Albert Pujols walks, Ramirez advancing to second. Adrian Gonzalez reaches first base on a fielders choice (4-6), Ramirez advancing to third, Wright out at second base. Ryan Braun draws a walk, A Gonzalez advances to second. Carlos Gonzalez hits a single, Ramirez scores, A Gonzalez advancing to third, Braun advancing to second. Matt Holliday hits a single, A Gonzalez scores, Braun advancing to third, C Gonzalez advancing to second. Brian McCann hits a home run, Braun scores, C Gonzalez scores, Holliday scores.

Top 2: Roy Halladay pitching. Josh Hamilton hits a single. Vladimir Guerrero hits a single, Hamilton advancing to second. Evan Longoria hits a double to center field, Hamilton scores, Guerrero is thrown out at home attempting to score (8-2).

Top 7: Mike Adams pitching. Victor Martinez draws a walk. Chone Figgins pops out to Troy Tulowitzki (6). Nick Markakis hits a double, Martinez advancing to third. Marco Scutaro grounds out to Rickie Weeks (4-3), Martinez scores, Markakis advancing to third.

Top 9: Marmol pitching. Adrian Beltre draws a walk. John Buck strikes out. Howie Kendrick hits a double, Beltre scores.

Your starters, CC Sabathia and Roy Halladay.

The MVP for the 2010 All-Star Game is Brian McCann.

If the game actually existed, the MVP would be Brian McCann, who went 1-2 with a grand slam. His home run proved to be the difference as the AL rallied with three runs.  Funny, but didn't McCann win the MVP award for the actual All-Star Game in 2010???  Anyway, although the SBS simulation dictated that Adam Wainwright took the W, the real winner should have been Halladay.  Sabathia takes the loss, and the players who did not appear include pitchers Trevor Cahill, Mariano Rivera, and Joakim Soria of the AL, and Josh Johnson, Billy Wagner, and Brian Wilson of the NL.

If you want to see the .DAT files that I used (I still don't know how to download these onto the blog , so please just take a look at the screen caps below). If anyone can e-mail me instructions, please do so at Below is the AL .DAT file, then the NL .DAT file:

Now that the 2010 All-Star Games are officially over, maybe now I can start work on the 2011 rosters and simulations.  Maybe I can get these in before the end of the year (at least before the All-Star Game).  Maybe I'll get around to doing the tournament now that I have 24 pairs of teams in play (not counting the 2011 teams).  

I better stop.  I have to be better at actually doing the work instead of just talking about it.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

2012 Topps Update Series Sell Sheets are Live!!!

When the sell sheets for 2011 Topps Update Series came out last May, I asked, "Why put these out now??!" It was too early to do this. Guess what came down the pipeline earlier this week???

Once again, the cards will be numbered #US1 to #US330 like last year. While they are a bit vague on the details, this is what I can surmise for a breakdown of the set:
  • 330 cards, 190 of them are accounted for based on the preliminary checklist (subject to change, of course)
  • 247 players (of which there are 53 TBD Rookies and 10 TBD Veterans still to be named)
  • 10 "Rookie Debut" cards (featuring ten rookies and what they did in his major league debut. Wonder Boy himself...Bryce Harper, presently holding card #US183.  There are 4 TBD spots for this subset)
  • 8 Home Run Derby participants (TBD of course)
  • 5 Record Breakers/Checklists
  • EVERY All-Star Selection (we can only hope at this point as there are 60 TBD spots presently reserved for the All-Stars)
The problem here is that unless MLB plans on increasing or decreasing the number of players on each roster, there will be 68 All-Stars on both rosters. Eight guys, possibly more, will be missing in this subset. That's misleading and not "EVERY" the players.  Now unless Topps is truly going to stick to its word on EVERY All-Star Selection, what will most likely happen is that they will only include the players who actually make it into the game.  They almost pulled it off in last year's Update Series, replacing Topps holdout Matt "I'm Too Good for Topps" Wieters with Tim Lincecum (funny, but unless things turn around, I don't see him or Pujols going to the ASG, meaning that the pictures on the sell sheets ARE MOCKUPS AND SHOULD NOT BE EXPECTED TO APPEAR IN THE PRODUCT!!!)

There is no checklist on which legends will appear as variations to the regular set (obviously...there weren't any in Series 1 and who knows what will happen in series 2).

Topps Gold cards will make their appearance here, and all 990 cards from ALL SERIES will get the Gold Foil treatment (numbered to 2012 of course).  Other parallels include the usual colored borders (black #'d to 61, platinum 1 of 1's, Golden Moments (which turns out NOT to be the replacement of the aforementioned Topps Gold cards, Wood cards (also 1 of 1's, should have been used for the actual design...digressing), red-bordered cards for Target, blue-bordered cards for Walmart, purple-bordered cards for Toys R Us, and I wouldn't put it past them if Topps was able to manage to create orange-bordered cards like they are doing for their Factory sets (will there be green-bordered cards in the Holiday sets???)

Golden Moments, Golden Greats, and the popular 1987 Topps Minis, the three continuity inserts in 2012, conclude here. A new insert set, Blockbusters, features 30 players who made big splashes when being acquired by a new team.  The Golden Giveaway also concludes with another 10-card set.  The 2012 set will also feature autos and relics from the All-Star Game.  Golden Relic cards will be included, and you can see the explanations for yourself by clicking on the proper picture above.

I did not find a site with Product information (if I do find it,I will include it here on the blog).  A preliminary checklist can be found here, but as repeated constantly (I can't stress it enough), it is always subject to change.

Bring on November!!!


JayBee Anama

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy 4th Anniversary to bdj610's Topps Baseball Card Blog!!!

On May 8, 2008, I started this humble, little blog. That means this past Tuesday, the blog turned four years old.


Happy Anniversary to Me!!! (Note, I have run this same post for previous anniversaries...feel free to enjoy once again now!!!)

    (the words to the song for those who either can't access the video, or for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing)

    (Gioacchino Rossini; arr. William Hanna / Joseph Barbera)
    Practically a restaurant standard, most people don't realize that these lyrics, to the tune of "The William Tell Overture", were written by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera for the episode titled "The Hot Piano".

    Happy Anniversary
    Happy Anniversary
    Happy Anniversary
    Haaappy Anniversary

    Pour a cheerful toast and fill it
    Happy Anniversary
    But be careful you don't spill it
    Happy Anniversary

    Ooooo Happy Anniversary
    Happy Anniversary
    Happy Anniversary
    Haaappy Anniversary

    (Fred and Wilma Talking)

    Ooooo Happy Anniversary
    Happy Anniversary
    Happy Anniversary
    Haaappy Anniversary

    (Fred Talking)

    Happy she and happy he
    They're both as happy as can be
    Celebrating merrily
    their happy anniversary

    (Fred and Wilma Talking)

    Ooooo Happy Anniversary
    Happy Anniversary
    Happy Anniversary
    Haaappy Anniversary

    (Fred Talking)

    Ooooo Happy Anniversary
    Happy Anniversary
    Happy Anniversary
    Haaappy Anniversary

    We now state emphatically
    its happy anniversary
    Not another day could be
    a happy anniversary

    Ooooo Happy Anniversary
    Happy Anniversary
    Happy Anniversary
    Happy (slow)
    Happy (slow)
    Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy (fast) Anniversary!!!

    Since I kept track of this last year, I think I'll do it again. Since May 8, 2011, I:
    • added 2,877 cards to my official collection
    • wrote 192 posts (not all necessarily about baseball cards)
    • had more than 40,000 people find their way here, and 60,000 plus hits to show for it
    • been added to at least 30 blogs on their blogrolls (this is a liberal estimate)
    • gained 36 followers (I'm finally at 200 followers...YAY!!!)
    • added 100 plus blogs to the Sports Card Blogroll, and most importantly
    • earned acceptance into this wonderful world called the Hobby Blogging Community
    I want to thank everyone who's ever found their way here and decided to come back. Thank you very much for joining me on my journey as I continue building onto my collection. It is the hope for year 4 of bdj610's Topps Baseball Card Blog that I not only show off more of my growing collection or give my opinions about the Hobby topic of the day, but also to inform, possibly to entertain, to show more cards that might have never seen the light of day, and to become a stronger voice in the hobby (this last one will take some time...).

    To celebrate the fourth anniversary of this dog and pony show, I'm going to try and bring back a number of segments that have not been featured in a while, including (yes, I promised this last year...maybe...):
    • the ever popular "Topps Cards that Make You Go...What??! of the Week"
    • the return of the "2011 Topps Archives Project" (I swear, I'll get this going again as part of "What I Should Have Written in 2011") especially now that there will be a 2012 Topps Archives
    Future topics for the upcoming year will also include:
    • A tournament of my past All-Star Teams to determine the best of All-Time
    • As you probably know, one of the coolest things Topps included on the backs of each card in Series 1 was a mention of a card from the past 60 years that shared the same card number. Before Series 2 arrives in June, we will list the cards mentioned.  This will be a feature of "What I Should Have Written in 2011."
    • Coming in June, the return of the Random Card of the Day...if I'm allowed to do some heavy typing.
    Thank you for reading. Continue to enjoy the journey.


    JayBee Anama

    Retired But Relevant Section Added to the Sports Card Blogroll

    Sorry for the lack of posts. In fact, I think this is the first time I've written on here in May. This humble little blog will be 4-years-old very soon, a long time for a Hobby Card Blog.

    I've been very busy these last few weeks. Yes, I've bought cards (I found the Cubs and the two All-Star Team retail sets and will go over them soon). If you catch the Facebook patch on the sidebar of the blog, you'd see that last week, my daughter (the big Derrek Lee fan) and her dance troupe won gold at the Starbound National Dance competition, and we got to watch her perform. I'm so proud of her. But I digress.

    At the end of April, I updated the Sports Card Blogroll. The glitches, as you probably had read on here, have finally been fixed and I've been busy adding a number of new blogs to the site. But I also had to remove a few, including one that caught a lot of people's attention: '75 Topps (it's far out man). First came the comments:

    Maybe a new list for blogs which have a start and finish, like the '75 Topps blog. He 'finished' it, but it's a great resource and a great read. Like Dickens, these are like serial novels, but they do end, yet continue to exist and serve.

    Then from 30-Year Old Cardboard:

    I agree with Anonymous, completing a set-based blog is a major accomplishment. Maybe creating a 'retired blogs' section would be a good idea? I would hate to see that blog just disappear...

    Finally, an e-mail from friend of the blog Mark Aubrey:
    I'm going to petition you to add the "1975 Topps (it's far out, man)"blog to the Sports Card Blogroll Hall of Fame section. I think thatis on par with the 88 Topps Cards blog.
    It won't be updated and it really is a work.

    What a dilemma.  What should I do???

    If you haven't read the blog, Night Owl, who already is a prolific writer and number one on many blogger's reading lists, did a great job with profiling every card from the 1975 Topps set.  Breaking every down card into a ton of different and unique categories (down to the grouping of two-colored borders), he gave each card a glowing biography.  The blog itself even reads like a book just of the iconic '75 Topps set.

    Now the problem.  Is the blog Hall of Fame Worthy?  The Blogroll presently contains three blogs in the HOF section.  These blogs will never be removed from the SCBR ever.  All three were placed on the HOF section because the blogs and the writers broke new ground.  They were influential to a number of writers (including yours truly) and inspired us to dive into the Hobby blogging pool.  88 Topps Cards was the first blog enshrined into the SCBR HOF.  I wrote the reasons why almost three years ago.  Andy, who wrote the blog, gave each card in both the regular and traded 1988 Topps sets its own day in the sun.  And it was a pioneer in that nobody else had done a blog about one entire set and, up to that point, done so to completion.  The fact that his site still gets more than a thousand readers a month, more than three years after the blog ended is a testament to what a incredible reference the site is and an influence to many who have dared to create a blog focused on one specific set.  Want to know how challenging a blog of this magnitude is?  Andy was working on a blog for the 1978 Topps set, but was not able to finish it (to his credit though, he did manage to complete a blog for the 1988 Score Traded set, and was working on another card blog before giving up on the genre altogether).

    So back to the point?  Is the '75 set blog HOF worthy?  Perhaps.

    Should every blog that focuses on a specific set manage to be completed be included into the HOF section of the blogroll?  No.

    I mean, even that 88' Score Traded blog managed to be completed, but it's not HOF worthy (nothing against it Andy...even if it highlights Score cards).  Just like debates regarding which players should be inducted into real HOF's or not (and please, I don't want to get into any arguments here), I know that whatever I decide to do, I'll get called out on it.  For now, I am not going to put the '75 blog on the HOF section (the writer is still active, and is presently working on not one, but TWO set blogs to go with his eponymous blog).

    So before you get out the torches and pitchforks, I have come up with a compromise.  I have added a new section to the blogroll called "Retired, but Relevant."  It is not going to be part of the main page, but instead on the sidebar just underneath the HOF section.  The blogs added to this section will never be removed (but they will also not count towards the active blog roster).  I am going to add the '75 Topps blog to this site as it is still extremely relevant (and as a completed blog should be linked in perpetuity on the blogroll anyway).  I have added five other blogs to this section as while they are no longer active (save for probably one...), they make great reference sites, especially because of the subject matter.  This is probably where completed set blogs will be going when the time comes (note that I said COMPLETED set blogs...if you were working on one and didn't finish, it probably won't be going here).  So along with the '75 Topps blog, I am adding the Red Hearts Cards blog to this section.

    Yes, the set contains only 33 cards.  Yes, the set consists of cards found as a premium that came included with cans of dog food.  But when a small, hardly recognized set that came out in 1954 could score both Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial while Topps could not, (and Bowman didn't have Musial in 1954 either), you have an incredible looking set.  Yes, the writing about each card is brief compared to the '88 and '75 Topps cards (understatement), but he completed the now 58-year-old set (and none were reprints).  So that goes there.

    Also, I've always wanted to put the sites that were created after the now popular Ginter Codes were solved.  Jason Wong (2008), Nick Jacoby & Mike Gellner (2009), Jacoby & Company (2010), and the trio of Guillaume,  Frank, and Ryan (2011) each cracked the Ginter Codes AND wrote blogs explaining how they did it.  Instead of having to search for each one, I thought what better way than to have them added onto the blogroll in one easy to find location?  So all four of the solution blogs have been added to this new section as well (honestly, the 2011 answer blog isn't retired, but I highly doubt that the boys will be writing on there any time soon).

    So there you have it.  A compromise.  I'm not saying that the '75 Topps blog isn't HOF worthy.  It's just that I wanted to save that section for the truly inspirational, the truly unique, the truly pioneering blogs of this Hobby (and they managed to reach six months of inactivity at one point or another).  The three blogs inducted into the HOF meet that criteria (along with 88 Topps Cards, the other two blogs are The Baseball Card Blog and Dinged Corners).  There are handful of blogs that, when the time comes, will be added to the HOF some day.  But for now, the membership remains at three.

    I thank all who left comments regarding Night Owl's '75 Topps blog.  I invite all of you to tell me what blogs should be included in the R & R section of the blogroll.  Certainly the six I picked are worthy of inclusion.  But I leave it up to you to tell me if I'm missing any other blogs that are no longer on the active blogroll that should be added back into this new section.  Send me e-mails at or leave comments on this humble little blog and tell me what you think.

    This makes three straight posts on here about the SCBR.  Maybe one day, I might want to start talking about cards again.


    JayBee Anama