Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hey, Did I Mention That the Sell Sheets for 2015 Topps Series 2 Were Live? I Didn't?

So it's been a busy month, well it's been a busy year for me. The Hobby and this humble, little blog took a bit of a backseat as other things took priority. But apparently in the madness of it all, Topps released images of the sell sheets for 2015 Topps Series 2.

Take a look at what we get to look forward to just a bit after the 2015 baseball season gets underway:








Wait, wasn't the S1 sell sheet 10 pages? This is only 7.

Series 2 also contains 350 cards, meaning that the base set now stands at 700 cards, the first time the base set has surpassed 660 since 2006. That's 40 more players (possibly) getting cardboard love (that, or it's a 40-card retrospective of Derek Jeter's career...in the base set...don't quote me on it). Gold, Rainbow foil, Snow Camouflage, Black, Pink, Framed, Clear, Red, Blue, Platinum, and other color parallels will be thrown in for those who love that sort of thing.

I'm starting to like the look of the base cards. While it isn't a white bordered set (the first since 2003), it looks like each player's card will utilize his team's base colors. I can't wait to see these cards up close:





Of the six insert sets being included with Series 2, only one carries over from the first, that being the Highlight of the Year set (30 cards). The rest are new for 2015, and they focus on more on baseball's history (maybe that's the theme for 2015 as I don't really see anything close to a unifying idea):
  • Eclipsing History (15 cards), record breakers. The two-player card features the player that set the record, and then the guy that broke it.
  • Heart of the Order (20 cards), featuring sluggers and the players who bat in front of and behind him.
  • Stepping Up (20 cards), clutch moments...another baseball history concept
  • 'Til It's Over (15 cards). Taking the famous line from Yogi, "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over" this set features "Legendary comebacks."
  • Baseball Royalty (25 cards) is a Hobby and Hobby jumbo pack exclusive (translation, you're not going to find these at your big box store). This year's edition of the legends set.
Autographs, relics, and the like for each of the above insert sets will be included.

With all of the off-season transactions, it will be interesting to see many of the players with their new teams. It kind of makes sense to do this in Series 2, not so much in Series 1. Of course, they could just save it all for the Update set.  Which, if we follow the timing of the release of the first two series' sell sheets, we will probably see previews for some time in March.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, December 14, 2014

RIP Sy Berger 1923-2014

Sy Berger, the Father of the Modern Baseball Card

Just saw the news today that Sy Berger passed away.

He started with the Topps Company long before they created baseball cards. It was he who was tasked by the Shorin brothers to develop the company's first baseball cards. Berger set out to create what we know now as the modern baseball cards. Complete with statistics, player information, and biographies, the 1952 Topps set became a landmark that every other card set, from Topps or their competition, have had to meet. Only few sets have come close.

Many of us who collect may have never met the man. But those of us who have studied the Hobby know the man. We owe him a debt of gratitude for improving on a medium that had been around for decades and made collecting sports cards relevant and a part of childhoods for generations.

My condolences go out to the Berger family, the Topps Company, and to collectors everywhere. We have lost a legend in our Hobby.

Sincerely,

James B. Anama

Friday, December 12, 2014

Responding to an Anonymous Commenter: "The Need to Scale Back."

Okay, so I haven't posted since Thanksgiving. And there has been so much happening in MLB that is going to rock the Hobby in 2015 with the Winter Meetings over.

But when I was clearing out some emails the other day, I caught this one that really made me want to come back and respond. I normally don't respond in comments (which is a fault of mine because if I did, then great conversations would be had...but I digress), but this one made me think. After a couple of days to gather my thoughts, here goes.

An anonymous commenter sent this comment to me on the blog:

"You'll have to write another post explaining the need to 'scale back'! After having some cards when I was a kid, I didn't really start collecting card seriously until I was 44, well older than anyone playing the game. Players half my age continue to do impressively heroic things on the ballfield, it doesn't bother me than they are young.

"Another point is you won't believe how much money you will have when the kids are grown and on their own - not to mention all the extra free time!"


If you have read the blog lately, I have started to think about my place in the Hobby and when would it be time to "scale back" a bit. My reasoning, as I wrote on my Thanksgiving post was this:

"I do realize that while the game remains the same, the names have changed. Almost all of my childhood heroes are out of the game, and there are so few now who are older than me. It won't be long before everyone in the game is younger than I am, and kids my children's ages will be making their first appearances on pieces of cardboard. I have begun to wonder when would it be the right time to begin scaling back, as eventually that time will come."

Here's the thing. I always believed, and continue to support the idea, that the concept of card collecting is for kids. I've always collected things, from coins to buttons, stickers (the only thing I will ever claim I bought from Panini) to of course, Topps baseball cards. When I was learning about the game, baseball cards were my way of learning who the players are. The stats on the back were how I learned which players were good, and thanks to Topps numbering system, I learned who were the best in the game.

But that was in 1988.

The players I first watched were now beginning second careers as broadcasters, coaches, managers. Some would go on to induction into Baseball's Hall of Fame. Others, would live in infamy as the shadow of steroids would blanket the game's landscape, and in effect, shadow many of the stars who I grew up watching.

Over the years as the players of my youth would leave, players of my age, my generation, started taking their place. From the mid 90's through the end of the 2000's, the game was populated by Generation X stars. They were my age. I could relate to them...kinda. As I was growing as an adult, many of the players my age were too. But now, as with everything else, they were starting to move on too. Now, many of the players in the game are way younger than I am. Players coming up were born in the late 80's, early 90's...the NINETIES!!! There are athletes coming up in the coming years that are younger than the JUNK WAX ERA.

Where did the time go?

Eventually, the game will be populated by kids who are my kids' ages. There are so few players who are still in the game who are older than me or my age now, that they are now entering the final stages of their careers. Soon, these guys will begin their second careers as coaches, managers, executives, and broadcasters. And eventually, every player in the game will be younger than me.

And that's where this thought of scaling back comes in.

I have been collecting cards 1988 in some form or fashion. That would mean that I have been a baseball card collector for 26 years now. It was when I started working that I began building my collection regularly. Even through the aftermath of the strike (1994-1997), I collected to complete my regular sets. Inserts sets were so far from my mind back then.

Then I discovered eBay in 2000, and that's when it all changed.

Over the last 15 years, my collection has grown exponentially large. Not only have I collected the eponymous Topps sets, but I made it my goal to get all of the basic insert sets to go with the base sets as well. For the most part, it's been "Mission Accomplished." What sets I couldn't buy on eBay, I was able to build through shows, stores, and the Bay.

Not only did my collection of regular Topps cards begin to grow, but thanks to the Bay, I also have most of the retro sets, and as Topps kept on churning them out, I've been buying them as well. I have this completist mentality that I must have every card in a set or a series. I have complete runs base sets of Allen & Ginter's, Gypsy Queen, Pro Debut, and the Retail sets. And as long as Topps still makes them, I still want to add them to my collection as a complement to my base Topps set. I could probably stop collecting this current incarnation of Topps Archives as it is disappointing at best. Taking current players and putting them in past card designs have been done to death (Topps Heritage anyone??!). The only cards worth collecting in that set are the short printed "All-Time Fan Favorites," and even in 2014, Topps ruined it for me by mixing current players with the FF's as short prints. Somehow though, I still wouldn't mind getting it...maybe next year.

Another thing that I have to think about, for now anyway, is the expense. This is not by any means a cheap Hobby. There is a lot of money that has been spent not only on cards, but on supplies. Sheets, binders, boxes, sleeves, top-loaders...those all add up monetarily. With my children getting older, and their activities, from school or outside of it, getting more expensive, priorities have shifted as to where money goes. I'd love to continue to spend on my Hobby, but it wouldn't be right of me to just think of myself. As a dad, my kids needs are more important. And, yes, there's that thing about college...(praying for scholarships).

But the biggest reason as to why I started thinking about scaling back was because the names of the players are changing, as they continue to do, to the point that now it just feels strange to begin collecting cards of players who so much younger than I am. It used to be that I was collecting cards of players much older than me. Now, it's the other way around.

Don't get me wrong. I've been following the game a lot more closely now than I ever have before. Thanks to MLB Network, I recognize the names of the players a lot more easily. And although baseball has been tough to watch these past couple of years, on both sides of the city, things are beginning to improve. If the winter meetings are any indication, it should be a very fun 2015 for baseball.

Should I cut back on my collecting? I'm sure there are products that I regret pressing the Buy it Now button on the Bay, and maybe in 2015, I'll stick to the basics. It's not as if I buy everything (can't afford high-end), but maybe be more patient as to when to pull the trigger on the mid-end sets (like the A&G and GQ). I could be a bit more fiscally responsible and wait until prices go down, even if it means waiting a few months after the products go live.

The anonymous collector said

"...you won't believe how much money you will have when the kids are grown and on their own - not to mention all the extra free time!"

I'm sure that's true. Once the kids are done with school and begin their journeys away from their mother and me that there will be a bit more money available. And maybe by then I'll be ready to spend more. Who really knows.

But for now, my goals are simple for 2015:
  • Collect the eponymous Topps set for 2015, including the traded, retail, and MiLB sets.
  • Find A&G and Gypsy Queen sets at reasonable prices. If I have to wait a while before prices go down, I will. No need to rush.
  • Really make an effort to sell or trade off the cards I have that I do not need. It would clean up the clutter that has taken over the computer table downstairs.
  • Another important effort to make is to clear out all of the old Beckett magazines to issues I don't want. I really haven't bought the magazine in a while, and the only ones I will probably want to keep are the Rookie Rolodex issues, the mags that have my name on it (because Chris Olds was nice enough to put my name in the magazine a couple of times), and the Topps commemorative issues. Everything else, can go.
I don't think I can ever give up on the Hobby of baseball card collecting entirely. But I do have to think about adapting to the changes in it as well and make better decisions regarding monetary and time commitments when it comes to the Hobby.

Do I need to scale back? Perhaps. And eventually, I will. Until that time comes, though, I will do what I have always done when it comes to baseball baseball card collecting:

Enjoy it. Be a part of it. And as long as I have this humble, little blog, write about it.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, November 27, 2014

What I AM Thankful For in 2014.

This is going to be the fifth Thanksgiving post I've written on this humble, little blog, something that I started back in 2008. I may have skipped a couple of years, but it's something I look forward to writing (when it's not about baseball, or baseball cards...which seems to be lacking around here lately, it seems). For inspiration, I looked back at previous Thanksgiving posts. I realized that while most of what was written was pretty much the same, I can see where I was at that point in my life, personally, professionally, spiritually, and where I was when it came to my place in the Hobby. It is hard to believe that I've had this blog for more than six years. So much has changed, but there is so much that remains the same.

When I wrote last year's Thanksgiving post, I was working at a temporary gig, wondering if this was what my life was going to become: bouncing from temporary job to temporary job, not knowing if I had done well enough at my present job that my bosses would make me a permanent employee. I was grateful when a former co-worker recommended me for a job that I was very familiar with, and that I was able to get the job. With that job ended a sixteen-month period of stress and began a new chapter that included financial security for myself and my family. Now that's not to say that there have been times that we've struggled - we've had some rough patches along the way. But through the struggles, we have gained a much more heightened sense of humility. These are the lessons that I hope my children learn. While I pray that my kids will make better lives in the future, if they ever stumble in their paths, I hope that they show the same amount of perseverance and drive their mother and me to pick themselves up and continue their journeys.

By the time this post comes online, my family and I will be visiting my brother and his family as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. Last year we made the trip to Indiana to celebrate with my wife's family, and it looks like we'll be doing that again over the weekend. It will be nice to have a bit of a respite from what has been our daily routine and spend time with both families.

Anyway, I can rattle on and on about how tough it is nowadays, but everyone already has an idea. For all the bad news out there (and it seems there is plenty), there is so much for me personally to be thankful for.

I am thankful that I have a wonderful family that gives me a reason to be alive. My wife and I have been together for 16 wonderful years, and I look forward to many more with her. My present job allows me to spend a lot more time with her because there is less travelling. And while we've had our ups and downs (and all couples do), being with her now has been just as much fun, if not more so, as it was when we were first dating. We still talk about what we want for ourselves in the future. While we couldn't travel out this year (new job), I am excited for what our futures hold. For now, we just have to keep going with what we have. As with many who took this vow of marriage, I promised to be with her for richer or poorer, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I loved her then, and I love her more so now.

I am thankful for being the father of two beautiful children who I love with all my heart. I am truly grateful to have them in my life. Both are growing up to be fine individuals. And as the years go by, our children are developing way too fast. They are both figuring themselves out now and after visiting with their teachers earlier this week, I can breathe a bit easier knowing that they are at least heading in the right direction. It is just a matter of maintaining that focus and scheduling whatever time they have so that they can balance school time and their other activities. In my heart, they will always be my little babies. It's hard not to look at them and see them when they were five years younger, or even ten years. But my wife and I couldn't be happier with how they've grown to love us and each other (as pre-adolescents and teenagers do). They both are growing up so fast, and it won't be long before they begin their individual journeys without parent involvement. Both their mom and I know that being their parents, and the responsibilities that come with it, will never end, no matter how old they are. We still have a lot of work to do raising them, but it is something that I would never exchange.

I am thankful to have a family to lean on when times are hard. My parents, who have been my support when I have nobody to turn to when I'm having troubles and give me good advice whether I ask or not. My siblings, who keep me grounded as a person (based on whatever they're doing in their lives). When we're all together, there is just that warmth that comes with remembering who we were, the people we've become, and just enjoying each other's company. The sibling rivalries, fights, teasings, and all that comes with it still are there. But it makes for good conversation. The laughter that comes with it at times is much louder as the stories of our lives become wilder (or at least for my younger sibs). But we still have our moments, and when we get together, it is always fun.

I am thankful for my wife's family. They help keep my wife in check and make sure that she's doing well. Although we don't get to spend as much time with her side of the family as we'd like (everyone is busy it seems), it makes the times when all can get together much more special. When we're with them, I tend to stay back a bit. I'm more there to see my wife and children have fun. It may feel like I'm just there for the ride, but I know where I stand, and am more than happy to be a part of this family too.

I am thankful for the opportunities I've been given to broaden my horizons professionally. I am back in the field I had spent most of my adult life in (specialty foods), doing a job that I absolutely love and am so blessed to have the opportunity to work from home. I do make my way to the office regularly, don't get me wrong. But being able to work from home has allowed me to focus my energies in a way that I feel that I am more productive and that I'm contributing positively to the growth of the company I know work for. I work with an incredible team of professionals, some I knew from the other place, so there is that sense of familiarity. I still miss the people I've worked with over the years and continue to think about them.

I am thankful for having a roof over my family's head. I tell my children that we wanted to have a sense of stability, and being able to live in this house, in this town, and be a part of the community has contributed to it. Both my wife and I have worked so hard to keep this house, and though it's still a struggle, we have made it work. Those sleepless nights will continue, but through it all, I am grateful that my family still has a place to call home.

I am thankful that we have food on our table. We have done a lot more cooking at home this past year, trying new foods, and experimenting with dishes that we'd only eat when at a restaurant. We try not to eat out, although at times with our children's schedules it has become a necessity at times. We've had to cut back on many luxury items (seafood, steaks), but we still try to have a sense of normalcy when it comes to cooking at home, whether it's my wife cooking or me taking a turn. I'm not saying that we've had to totally give up on good food (I've tried my hand at cooking a wide variety of foods since being home more. Some were hits...others, not so much), but as long as we have the basics (milk, bread, eggs), and we're never out of pasta, I'm happy.

The final thing I am for which I am thankful, for all intents and purposes, is the reason I am able to keep sane through all the things going on in my life. It is something that many understand, but few will admit relating to it. Many people, no matter what their situation, have at least one. And often times, use it for the same reasons I do. For the goals this one thing accomplishes is not just to give joy to my life, but to give it an escape. An outlet if you will, to a time where I didn't have stress, or have much to worry. This one thing is the reason why I write this humble little blog. I give thanks to the Hobby. Because with everything going on in the world today, second to my family, it is the one thing that gives me comfort. Yes, I know that if Sitemeter is to believed, my readership is down. But I never wrote for others. I wrote it more for me. The idea of writing this blog was more for me to learn and appreciate the Hobby, and learn more about the game. While 2014 was a great year in baseball, the Hobby, and this blog, took a bit of a backseat as I adjusted to all the changes around me. I do realize that while the game remains the same, the names have changed. Almost all of my childhood heroes are out of the game, and there are so few now who are older than me. It won't be long before everyone in the game is younger than I am, and kids my children's ages will be making their first appearances on pieces of cardboard. I have begun to wonder when would it be the right time to begin scaling back, as eventually that time will come. Change is a constant. As I have mentioned in a recent Hobby discussion on twitter (follow me @bdj610 if you haven't yet), we all have to adapt, if not now, soon. Eventually, I will.

If this sounds like I'm whining at the same time that I'm being grateful, I apologize as that was not the intent of my writing. There are many people out there who are struggling and somehow surviving on less than what we have. To them I pray that things will get better. It will take some work, but it will get better.

If there is one thing I have forgotten to do above, it's to say thank you to those who have read my blog, left comments, accepted me into this crazy community, and have added to my card collection since I started this blog. Thank you for adding me to your blogrolls and welcoming me into your online lives. I will do my best to fill this blog with information about the Hobby and the cards that we all enjoy. After all, 2015 Topps Series I won't be out until February, and I don't plan on leaving this site hanging until then.

On behalf of my family, may you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Please stay safe if you are travelling this year.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

2014 Topps All-Star Rookie Team Contest Winners!!!

Now that the 2014 Topps All-Star Rookie Team has been announced, I have spent the good part of the morning going over all the e-mails I received, seeing who outguessed me in the All-Star Rookie Team contest.

Even with the unanimous picks of Jose Abreu, and Billy Hamilton, nobody correctly predicted all eleven players who would make the team this year. The fact that Topps named Danny Santana as the third outfielder and not as the shortstop, even though MLB.com had him listed as one (in Topps' defense he played 69 games in CF compared to 34 games at short) pretty much ruined everyone's chances for a perfect score. But once again, nobody wins the 2005 Topps Rookie Cup set grand prize.

More entries were sent to me this year than in last year's contest (which is a testament to the fact that last year at this time, I was down to almost nothing in terms of posts...hence almost no readers), so needless to say I was a bit nervous that the results would be expensive on my part. But out of all the entries I did receive, only one person beat my score of nine. The congratulatory e-mail has already been sent, so it's okay for me to announce the winner:

Congratulations to Anthony Zarriello!!!

Many of the people who participated in the contest did get the same number of players right that I did...a big fat nine. The Santana screw-up aside, Mr. Zarriello once again came close to perfection with 10 correct picks (his third outfielder was Oscar Taveras). Regardless, a Jumbo pack of 2014 Update Series for outguessing me.

Thank you very much to all who participated in the contest. Although nobody got all eleven to win the grand prize, I promise to run this contest again next year. Hopefully somebody will win it.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Introducing the 2014 Topps All-Star Rookie Team!!!


The MLB managers have spoken, and today, Topps has announced the players named to the 55th All-Star Rookie Team!!! (If the player's name is in bold, it means I predicted that they would make the team earlier this month).
  • 1B: Jose Abreu, CWS (145 G, 0.317, 36 HR, 107 RBI, 0.964 OPS, 3 SB)
  • 2B: Kolten Wong, STL (113 G, 0.249, 12 HR, 42 RBI, 0.68 OPS, 20 SB)
  • 3B: Nick Castellanos, DET (148 G, 0.259, 11 HR, 66 RBI, 0.7 OPS, 2 SB)
  • SS: Xander Bogaerts, BOS (144 G, 0.240, 12 HR, 46 RBI, 0.66 OPS, 2 SB)
  • OF: Billy Hamilton, CIN (152 G, 0.250, 6 HR, 48 RBI, 0.648 OPS, 56 SB)
  • OF: Danny Santana, MIN (101 G, 0.319, 7 HR, 40 RBI, 0.824 OPS, 20 SB)
  • OF: George Springer, HOU (78 G, 0.231, 20 HR, 51 RBI, 0.804 OPS, 5 SB)
  • C: Travis d'Arnaud, NYM (108 G, 0.242, 13 HR, 41 RBI, 0.718 OPS, 1 SB)
  • RHSP: Masahiro Tanaka, NYY (20 GS, 13-5, 2.77 ERA, 141 SO, 1.056 WHIP)
  • LHSP: Roenis Elias, SEA (29 GS, 10-12, 3.85 ERA, 143 SO, 1.314 WHIP)
  • RP: Dellin Betances, NYY (70 G, 5-0, 1.40 ERA, 135 SO, 0.778 WHIP, 1 SV)
So I guessed 9 out of now 11 spots correctly. I guessed Kevin Kiermaier as one of my outfielders and Matt Shoemaker as my right-handed starting pitcher. Last year, I was almost close to perfect (getting 10 of the 11 spots correct).

Now my comments. At least now Topps is showing some consistency with naming three pitchers to the team (two starters, 1 reliever). Good thing that I asked those entering the All-Star Rookie Team contest to name four pitchers (two right-handers, two-left handers) just in case.

Figures that Tanaka gets the RHSP spot, and many have taken to social media to make their displeasure known (Matt Shoemaker and Jacob deGrom were two of the names more people thought should have been named instead of the Yankees' hurler (figures...should have known).

So congratulations to all. Each player will now get the illustrious rookie cup trophy added to their 2015 Topps cards. I will be going over the results shortly and will announce the winners if any soon.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, November 14, 2014

Introducing Your 2014 MLB Most Valuable Players - West Coast Winners


In recent years, Topps has reserved six cards within Series 1 for the AL and NL award winners that are being announced this week. Once again, however, this year's preliminary checklist doesn't specify what numbers are being held for the them. But yesterday, we learned who was named the Most Valuable Players in both the National and American Leagues.

Congratulations to both Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers for being named the American League and National League Most Valuable Players for 2014. Incredible seasons by both players, one a runner up to the MVP for two seasons prior, the other, this year's Cy Young Award winner.

After playing second fiddle to Miguel Cabrera for two consecutive seasons, Mike Trout finally wins his first MVP award. One of the game's best players, the Angels' outfielder hit .287 with 36 home runs, 111 rbi's, stole 16 bases, had an OPS of .939, and for you sabermetric people, a 7.9 WAR. Trout also claimed all 30 first place votes, good for 420 points in the overall ballot. In second place was the Tigers' Victor Martinez (229 points, 16 second place votes), Michael Brantley of the Indians (191, 8), AL Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu of the White Sox (145, 1), Robinson Cano of the Mariners (124, 1), Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays (122, 1), Nelson Cruz of the Orioles (102), Josh Donaldson of the Athletics (96, 1), two-time MVP Cabrera of the Tigers (82, 1), Felix Hernandez of the Mariners (48, 2), AL Cy Young Winner Corey Kluber of the Indians (45), Alex Gordon of the Royals (44), Jose Altuve of the Astros (41), Adam Jones of the Orioles (34), Adrian Beltre of the Rangers (22), Greg Holland of the Royals (13), Albert Pujols of the Angels (5), Howie Kendrick of the Angels (3), James Shields of the Royals (3), and Kyle Seager of the Mariners (1).

Kershaw becomes the tenth pitcher (fourth in the NL) to win both the Cy Young and MVP award in the same season. He earned 18 of the 30 MVP votes, good for 355 voter points. Marlins' slugger Giancarlo Stanton finished second in the voting (298, 8 first place votes), follwed by last year's NL MVP Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates (271, 4), Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers (167), Anthony Rendon of the Nationals (155), Buster Posey of the Giants (152), Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers (57), Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals (53), Josh Harrison of the Pirates (52), Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs (37), Hunter Pence of the Giants (34), Johnny Cueto of the Reds (22), Russell Martin of the Pirates (21), Matt Holliday of the Cardinals (17), Jhonny Peralta of the Cardinals (17), Carlos Gomez of the Brewers (13), Justin Upton of the braves (10), Jayson Werth of the Nationals (9), Denard Span of the Nationals (8), Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers (8), Devin Mesoraco of the Reds (5), Lucas Duda of the Mets (3), Freddie Freeman of the Braves (2), Justin Morneau of the Rockies (2), Dee Gordon of the Dodgers (1), and Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies (1).

Trout becomes the third Angels player, and the fifth player to win the MVP unanimously. Kershaw becomes the eleventh Dodgers player to be named NL MVP. With both winners from the Los Angeles area teams, it is also the 11th time in MLB history that two players from the city or area take home the MVP awards. As with the last two sets of awards, here for your viewing pleasure are the 2014 Topps cards of your MVP's. Too bad they didn't make cards for the managers (congratulations to both Buck Showalter of the Orioles and Matt Williams of the Nationals by the way).

With everything all said and done, did your guy win?

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama