Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Who's Number 1??! You Decide!!!

We interrupt the lull on this humble little blog to mention that yesterday, Topps announced that collectors can get to choose who will be the subject of card number 1 in the 2016 Topps set.

Let me explain for those who missed the news.

According to the Topps Blog (bless you Sooz), Topps is giving collectors the opportunity to select the player who will grace the first card in the new set. Starting on Wednesday, September 23, fans can select players from an initial list of 34 players (representing all 30 teams) in a "first round" of voting. When this round of voting ends on October 4, 2015, the top five vote-getters will then be announced and then be put on a final ballot. The "winner" of this vote will then get the honor of card number one in the 2016 Topps set.

So who made the ballot for this first round of voting?
  • Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
  • Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
  • David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
  • Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
  • Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
  • Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
  • Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
  • Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
  • Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
  • Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
  • Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
  • Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
  • Ichiro Suzuki, Miami Marlins
  • Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins
  • Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets
  • Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
  • Alex Rodriguez, New York  Yankees
  • Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees
  • Stephen Vogt, Oakland Athletics
  • Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies
  • Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Matt Kemp, San Diego Padres
  • Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

  • Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

  • Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
  • Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
  • Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

A few things come to mind looking at this initial ballot:
  • Ichiro? You mean he's going to be in the eponymous set again? After a four-year absence? Fantastic!!!
  • Mike Trout (2014), Alex Rodriguez (2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009), Bryce Harper (2013), and Ryan Braun (2011, 2012) have already been the subject of card number one.
  • Four teams get two representatives in this ballot: the Angels (Pujols/Trout), Marlins (Stanton/Suzuki), Mets (Cespedes/deGrom), Yankees (Rodriguez/Tanaka).
  • If you the reader (and I still have readers, right??!) still feel that none of these guys are worthy of card #1, there is an "Other" option where you can "write-in" your selection.
So for those collectors (and I know you're out there) who feel that Topps should engage their audience when it comes to their products, does this work for you? Who would you have wanted to see on this ballot? Someone on here that shouldn't have been? What do you think?

The first round of voting, again, ends on Sunday, October 4. Topps encourages social media (using the hashtag #ToppsVoteNo1 to stump for your player. I've made my vote (take a guess who I'm pulling for).

Let the fun begin.


JayBee Anama

    Friday, September 11, 2015

    Two Thousand Nine Hundred Seventy-Four

    Sometimes, it seems like it all just happened yesterday. Other times, it seems like it happened an eternity ago. My daughter, who was just over a year old when this tragic event took place, is now a sophomore in high school. Was it really that long ago?

    I wrote the words below in 2011. For that article, and when I re-ran the story since, I used the total number of people I had heard to have died due to the events of that day, not including those who heinously perpetrated the attacks. That number was 2,974. Depending on where you read it, it could have been 2,977. Tallies since then have brought the number up to 2,980. But regardless of the number, that's too many lives lost.

    So while I know that it's been almost a month since my last post on this humble, little blog, I thought I'd come back and honor the memories of the people for whom this country still mourns, and think how the events on that fateful day changed the course of American history, fourteen years since. By the time this posts goes live, it would have been fourteen years ago that the final plane crashed in a field somewhere in Pennsylvania.

    Two thousand nine hundred seventy-four.


    That's the number of people who lost their lives when everything was finally taken into account. Countless lives were affected by this national tragedy. Even if you didn't know anybody on those planes, at the World Trade Center, or the Pentagon, you grieved along with those who did. You stood there in shock, in a daze, just glued to the television or radio.

    Our lives have not been the same since. My daughter, now eleven, asks what we (her parents) were doing that morning. "We were just going about our lives," was my reply. "We watched the morning news, getting ready for work, and couldn't believe what we were seeing on the screen." She was just over a year old. She couldn't have understood what was going on then. But she will learn that what she sees as "normal" now, really wasn't before that Tuesday morning.

    Two thousand nine hundred seventy-four. It is the number of reasons why we never forget what happened eleven years ago today.

    On this day, the fourteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, my family and I send our prayers to those who lost loved ones that Tuesday morning. We pray, and will continue to pray for:

    the children who lost their parents that day.

    the children who would never meet their fathers because of the events of that day.

    the firefighters and policemen and women who risk their lives doing their jobs, running into the face of dangers as many are running in the opposite direction.

    those servicemen and women fighting for our freedoms away from home, whether or not we agree with the conflicts they battle.

    for our leaders, regardless of their affiliation, that they make the right choices to keep the citizens of our country, and others, safe.

    And finally, we pray for peace. Peace amongst ourselves as family, as a community, as a nation.


    JayBee Anama

    Monday, September 7, 2015

    Did You Miss Me???

    Well, this is new.

    All the news about 2016 Topps came in August, and short of one post that featured the design, I have been silent.

    I can explain.

    This is the busy time of year for the Food Distribution industry. Many companies, mine included, are getting ready for the holidays and the biggest event for the year, a Food Show. I'm not going to it, but I have been getting ready. My goal these last seven to eight weeks is to clear my calendar so I can focus on ensuring that our customers get the proper discounts when they make their orders at the big food show. It's always a busy time of the year, something I'm accustomed to, but something new always gets added that makes the work interesting.

    That's the life of a Contracts and Pricing Coordinator.

    Anyway, I have had a month to digest the upcoming 2016 eponymous product, as well as looking forward to this year's Update Series. I realize that I never posted the sell sheet images on this humble, little blog, so I will make sure to do that when I get a bit more free time.

    Summer is now over and everyone in the family has been settling back into their back-to-school routines. This gives me a bit more time to focus on work, and probably a bit more time to focus on adding cards to the collection. While nothing has been grabbing my attention, I am kind of surprised that the prices of master sets of this year's Allen and Ginter's product are set so low compared to the master sets of Gypsy Queen. I have yet to find a master set lately of GQ that goes for under $200, while full sets of A&G are going for just about $70. I'm not complaining, but I either have had no time, nor no money to take the plunge yet. Maybe with the next paycheck...we'll see.

    But in the mean time, I was able to get a pack of 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter's at the local big box store a couple of weeks ago. I thought to myself, "How better to announce my triumphant (yeah, right) return to the blog than by posting what is in this 14-card pack?"

    Let's see what's in here:
    • #42 Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
    • #74 Casey McGehee, San Francisco Giants
    • #143 Mike Zunino, Seattle Mariners
    • #282 Adeiny Hechavarria, Miami Marlins
    • #139 Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
    • #61 Domonic Brown, Philadelphia Phillies
    • #SP-98 Starting Point Max Scherzer, Arizona Diamondback
    • #WOULD-3 What Once Would Be Robot Housekeepers
    • #267 Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Mini
    • #294 Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals Mini Black Border
    • #344 Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals
    • #212 Chris Tillman, Baltimore Orioles
    • #104 Didi Gregorius, New York Yankees
    • #272 Glen Perkins, Minnesota Twins
    Once again, Topps has provided more of the weird and wacky when it comes to their insert sets. While I didn't get a mini, the Robot card is pretty cool, and I look forward to what else is in this set (when I get my master set, of course). All players, save for the robot insert, no "World Champions" outside of baseball to speak of in this pack. I did manage a short-printed card in Zimmermann, so that's a nice bonus.

    September may be a busy time for me personally, but it's also an important month for this blog. As the MLB season winds down, articles for the annual MLB Debut comparison (this year between 1995 and 2015), "Who will make the 2015 Topps All-Star Rookie Team?" and End-of-the-Year All-Star Teams are being written as we speak. The annual "Guess the ASRT" rookie contest is coming back. And other things may be coming back (like "Pack Break Week") as well as thoughts and those earlier-promised images of the sell sheets for 2015 Topps Update Series and previews/opinions about 2016 Topps based on the sell sheets (as long as you're willing to read one more person's opinion about 2016 Topps).

    If I can pull myself away from the real world and come back to the Hobby Blogging Universe for a bit.


    JayBee Anama