Monday, July 21, 2014

Random Topps Pro Debut Card of the Week: 2010 Topps Pro Debut #340 Casey Coleman

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Pro Debut Card of the Week:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2010 Topps Pro Debut #340.
  • Player Name, position, team: Casey Coleman, pitcher, Iowa Cubs.
  • Level-League, Team Affiliation: AAA-Pacific Coast League, Chicago Cubs.
  • Minor League Stats (stats with team depicted only): 20 G, 117.1 IP, 10-7, 63 R, 61 ER, 59 SO, 35BB, 20 GS, 2 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 1.202 WHIP, 4.07 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Chicago Cubs #15th, June 2008. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Major League Debut: August 2, 2010.
  • Baseball America Organizational Ranking After Season with Team: n/a
  • Blurb on the back: "Coleman's grandfather and father (both Joe) were selected to the AL All-Star team during their careers, and now Casey is one step away from the Majors at Triple-A Iowa. The youngest Coleman, who was the Cubs 2009 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, is a change-up specialist with polish and poise."
  • Official Topps Rookie Card: 2011 Topps Update #US307.
  • Commentary: Thanks to Joseph Casey Coleman (yes, his name is also Joe) making it to the major leagues in 2010, the Colemans are now the 4th third-generation major league family, joining the likes of the Bells, the Boones, and the Hairstons. His debut was rather unauspicious, as he was sent into his debut in mop-up duty during what was then a 10-1 shellacking of the Cubs by the Brewers. In his 2.1 innings of work, he allowed 6 runs (giving him a disastrous 23.14 ERA), but did strike out a batter. Casey would make the short trip from Des Moines to Chicago for parts of three seasons, compiling a 22-16 record with the I-Cubs while earning a 7-13 record with the C-Cubs. He was released by the Cubs organization on April 14, 2014, signing with the Kansas City Royals the following day. After a three-game trial in Omaha, the now 26-year-old Coleman was called up to Kansas City on July 2.
Next week's featured card will be: 2011 Topps Pro Debut #26. Post will arrive at 9:00 AM CST. Hope you enjoyed this week's installment of Minor League Monday.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, July 20, 2014

This is What I Get for Not Updating the Sports Card Blogroll!!!

Warning: Lots of rambling below. Bare with me. My thoughts are a bit scrambled as I post this while I'm downtown.

It's been months since I last did this, and I'm really sad.

You see, I started worrying about the popularity of Hobby Blogs as soon as I started realizing that I was neglecting my own. Correction. I started worrying about it when many of the bloggers that inspired me to begin my own journey started drifting away. Stale Gum can be found within the twitterverse, and Dinged Corners shows up too infrequently that it becomes big-time news when Patricia posts. Do many people who follow the blogs even remember Mario, Wax Heaven, and the drama that ensued?

Sure, guys like Greg (Night Owl), Gellman (SCU), and even dayf (the Cardboard Junkie) are still around, and guys and the grandfather of the Hobby blogs (The Baseball Card Blog) returned after a one-year hiatus when Ben Henry started posting again, this time with two other writers supplementing the blog.

But it seems that with all things, even the world of Sports Card blogging has evolved. It seems thata number of the Hobby bloggers have seemed to move on to other forms of social media and have either put their blogs on hiatus, or have just stopped blogging entirely. Heck, some have gone on to better (and actual) paying gigs (and if Sooz still reads this blog, congrats on the gig at Topps).

Have I lost interest in blogging? No. Have I had the time and energy that I once did when I started? Not really. Will I ever get back to devoting more time to this humble, little blog? One day, just not now.

So here I am, looking at the old Sports Card Blogroll, which also is now six years old. A lot of great blogs have seen time on the big blogroll. While some blogs have been around since the SCBR started (and then when it became the blogroll of choice for those curious about the Hobby), many have come and gone. A lot of blogs and blog writers had potential for great things, but then vanished. I would put blogs on the roll, and then within six months, they'd be gone.

But it's been a number of months since I did a through cleaning of the inactive blogs that it should not be considered an update, but an overhaul. Before the purge, there were 336 blogs on the active rolls. Here are the blogs being removed after six or more months of inactivity:

That's 28 card blogs that will be taken off the active rosters. But I did say "more on this one later" for two blogs. Let me explain.

Baseball 1977 was a blog about the cards from 1977 Topps (along with some other oddball sets from that year). As the blog was able to include posts about all 660 cards from the 1977 set, I am moving this from the active rolls to the "Retired but Relevant" section of the blogroll. 

PunkRockPaint was a blog that came out shortly after I started, but Travis' blog wasn't one of those "here is a card, let's discuss it" kind of blogs. He would take card designs from Topps' library and make his own cards. Many of them could have passed for real Topps cards. He knew which fonts to use for the lettering, he knew how to add items into existing pictures. Heck, he's even made his own card set, inspired by esteemed twitter fiend Old Hoss Radbourn and it sold. Travis is one of the other collaborators for Ben Henry's The Baseball Card Blog, which probably explains why he hasn't written anything on PRP since November. But because he was one of the best graphic card bloggers, I am adding a sixth inductee to the SCBR Hall of Fame. So congratulations Travis, as your blog will be a permanent resident of the SCBR HOF.

So the active roll is now down to 308 active blogs. I had hoped that the roster would reach 400, but I think I'd be happy if the SCBR stays at above 300. Less than that, then I'll probably start to panic a bit more.

As always, if there are any blogs out there that are focused on the Hobby of sports card collecting, please feel free to email me at bdj610@hotmail.com, or send me a tweet (@bdj610). If you have a blog that hasn't been active in a while and you feel like diving back into the Hobby Blogging pool again, let me know. The number of voices may be down, but the community is still strong. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama 

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1959 Topps #490 Frank Thomas

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, July 20, 2014:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1959 Topps #490.
  • Player Name, position, team: Frank Thomas, third baseman-outfielder, Cincinnati Redlegs.
  • Major League Debut: August 17, 1951.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1958 stats (Pirates): 149 G, 562 AB, 89 R, 158 H, 26 2B, 4 3B, 35 HR, 109 RBI, .281 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Pirates as a Free Agent 07/23/1947. Traded by the Pirates to the Redlegs 01/30/1959. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 10. This is his fourth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "The biggest trade of the Spring sent Frank to Cincinnati. Immediately Redleg fans contracted an ailment known as pennant fever. Frank is one of the real distance hitters and if you doubt it ask the Dodgers. He hit 7 homers in his first 8 games at Los Angeles in '58."
  • Commentary: It's funny to see the word Redlegs on a baseball card in reference to the team in Cincinnati. But then again, there is some historical significance to it. To avoid being associated to what was then the USSR and the threat of being called Communists, the Reds organization changed their name to "Redlegs" from 1954 through 1959. So before there was a slugger named Frank Thomas, who crushed the ball for a long time as a member of the White Sox (then Athletics, then Blue Jays), there was Frank Joseph Thomas, a three-time All-Star with the Pirates. In his eight seasons with Pittsburgh, Thomas hit for a respectable .275, with 163 homers, 562 rbi's, and OPS of .807 in 925 games. No wonder Redlegs' fans were excited to get him and three other players in a seven-player exchange. In his lone season with Cincinnati, Thomas hit for a .225 average, 12 home runs, and drove in 47 rbi's, not really numbers that fans and the organization were expecting from the 30-year-old Thomas. By the end of the year, would be traded to the Cubs for three players, thus beginning a tour of duty that would include stops with the Milwaukee Braves, Mets, Phillies, Astros, and Atlanta Braves. He would play for 16 seasons, finishing with a .266 average, 286 home runs, 962 rbi's, and percentages of .320/.454/.774. 
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $4.00-$8.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 2.


In case you're actually wondering, I don't own this card, but was able to get a crystal clean copy of the image from the from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. So thank you Joe McAnally and the folks at the BCCM.

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 1996 Topps #114. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Come on back then to see what the Topps Card Randomizer gets us to look at then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

And Now, Your Starting Lineups...

First of all, circumstances beyond my control prevented me to continue posting about the events and important news (like roster changes) leading up to the All-Star Game on Tuesday. However, I had the blog posts ready, and thought I had them scheduled. Apparently, I did not. With that, I apologize. This is what should have been posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2014:

As announced at All-Star Media Day:

For the National League:


1. Andrew McCutchen, PIT, cf
2. Yasiel Puig, LAD, rf
3. Troy Tulowitzki, COL, ss
4. Paul Goldschmidt, ARI, 1b
5. Giancarlo Stanton, MIA, dh
6. Aramis Ramirez, MIL, 3b
7. Chase Utley, PHI, 2b
8. Jonathan Lucroy, MIL, c
9. Carlos Gomez, MIL, lf

And the American League:


1. Derek Jeter, NYY, ss
2. Mike Trout, LAA, lf
3. Robinson Cano, SEA, 2b
4. Miguel Cabrera, DET, 1b
5. Jose Bautista, TOR, rf
6. Nelson Cruz, BAL, dh
7. Adam Jones, BAL, cf
8. Josh Donaldson, OAK, 3b
9. Salvador Perez, KCR, c


The starting pitchers for the 85th ASG are Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals and Felix Hernandez of the Mariners.

Enjoy the game everyone.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bumgarner and Ross out of the ASG, Hudson and Street Named Replacements.

As soon as I said that pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Tyson Ross would need to be replaced on the NL All-Star Team, NL Manager Mike Matheny named their replacements. And this time, he didn't have to go too far to find them. While both are now back in the west coast, both of Matheny's choices were former pitching prodigies for the Oakland Athletics.


Replacing Bumgarner on the NL squad is teammate Tim Hudson. Hudson, who joined the Giants after a successful career in Atlanta, has done well in his return to the Bay Area (he started his career in Oakland), is 7-6 with a 2.87 ERA, 78 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.10 in 18 starts. He is now a four-time All-Star, his first since 2010. He joins Hunter Pence and the aforementioned Bumgarner on the NL squad.


Tyson Ross was the Padres' lone rep when announced to what was then a 33-man roster. It was also noted by MLB Network that he was on pace to start Sunday's game against the Dodgers. With the Padres at the bottom of the offensive benchmarks (.214, 279 runs scored, 65 home runs, and an OPS of .610 in 94 games going into Sunday), the only hope to get a Padre onto the team would be a pitcher. And Matheny had no problem finding one in closer Huston Street.

Street was another player who was on top of many fans' "Snubbed" lists. Apparently having a 1-0 record, an ERA of 1.09, a WHIP of 0.76, and saving 24-25 games was not enough to make it onto the team initially. And even Street had hopes that somehow he would manage to change his travel plans from Austin, TX, to Minneapolis, MN. But now he gets to join Ross at Target Field as one of the durable arms in the NL's bullpen.

So add Street's #264 Topps card or his team set card #SDP8 and Hudson's #446 or team set card #SFG7 to the binder.

Will there be more names added to the rosters? We'll just have to wait and see.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Cueto and Teheran out of the ASG, Simon and Clippard Named Replacements.

Here is the wording set in the 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the MLB Player's Association regarding All-Star pitchers who start on the Sunday before the ASG:

"A pitcher who starts on the Sunday before the All-Star Game may elect not to participate and, if he does, would be limited to one inning and may set a pitch limit."

This explains why in last year's game that Travis Wood, the Cubs sole representative, was not replaced on the NL team. He didn't pitch, but it seems that he would have made himself available if it became necessary.

While there will be more names for replacements coming (both Madison Bumgarner and Tyson Ross were the starting pitchers in their ballgames), earlier in the day, both Johnny Cueto and Julio Teheran started their games against the Pirates and Cubs respectively. Their replacements have already been named.


Taking Cueto's place on the NL roster is teammate Alfredo Simon. Simon was another one of the snubs when the initial roster was announced. And he had a good case going for him. He is among the MLB leaders in wins, thanks to a 12-3 record, a 2.70 ERA, 75 strikeouts and 1.05 WHIP in 18 starts. His is a good story as he was just a temporary starter with Mat Latos out. But he performed so well that he became a mainstay on the Reds' starting rotation.

The Reds are well represented with the addition of Simon, who now joins Cueto, closer Aroldis Chapman, catcher Devin Mesorasco, and third baseman Todd Frazier to Minnesota.


Meanwhile, with Jordan Zimmermann out because of injury, there was a fear that no Nationals would represent the National League in Minnesota. That has now been avoided. With Teheran taking the mound against the Cubs today, reliever Tyler Clippard, an All-Star in 2011 who took the W that night, was named his replacement.

Clippard, who previously held the closer's role for the Nats but is now one of the team's most valuable middle relievers, has a 6-2 record and one save, with a 2.03 ERA, 53 strikeouts, a WHIP of 1.23 in 40 innings of work.

While Zimmermann will get the accolades that come with being an All-Star, Clippard will go to the Twin Cities, representing our nation's capital city.

Add Simon's #21 (no team card) and Clippard's #574 or WAS10 to your All-Star binder.

Stay tuned as the replacements for Ross and Bumgarner will be announced shortly.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Rodney Replaces Price on AL ASG Roster


Two years ago, these two teammates took part in the 2012 All-Star Game. This time, one replaces the other.

David Price was scheduled to start on Saturday, but fell ill, and his start was moved to Sunday. That brought out the "Sunday Starter Rule" and with Price deciding that he did not want to take a chance and pitch on one day's rest, a replacement had to be named.

Enter former teammate, 2012 AL Comeback Player of the Year, presently the AL's 2014 league leader in saves, and present Mariners closer Fernando Rodney. Rodney received the phone call from John Farrell that he was now added to the All-Star team to take Price' place.

The Mariners are in a bit of a resurgence thanks in part to Rodney at the back end of the bullpen. In 38 appearances, Rodney has earned a 1-3 record with a 1.98 ERA, 28 saves, 42 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.13, while holding opposing batters to a minuscule .220 average.

Rodney's 2014 Topps card is #497. He has no retail card in the team set.

With a number of All-Stars slated to start the last game before the All-Star Break, get ready for more roster shuffling. And of course, this humble, little blog will let you know who and what cards to get for your All-Star binders.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama