Sunday, June 28, 2015

They Did a Blog Bat-Around...Without Me??! My Biggest Regrets

I don't trade a lot. I keep telling myself I should. I have a lot to offer and am willing to go above and beyond to ensure that I fill out someone's wantlist to the best of my abilities. Even if it's for one measly card, if someone has a huge wantlist and I have 100 or so cards on his or her list, I'll be more than happy to send all of what I have for that one card.

But it's been a while since I traded cards online, and I really should get back into it (didn't I say that in the first paragraph??!).

Anyway, I'm bringing this up because someone has brought back the Blog Bat-Around and it's a topic that I probably can contribute to. If you (whatever readers I have left) don't know what a blog bat-around is, you can look it up on the tags for previous posts. Basically, SCU's Gellman started this idea where someone would bring up a topic to write about and the Hobby Blogging Community would go to town writing an article about said topic, and then send the link to the host so that the articles can all be gathered and shared in one easy-to-find place. I haven't participated in a while, and I can only assume that there have been more done since my last.

This one was brought up by the gentleman over at garveyceyrusselllopes and it's a good one. It's about the cards we owned but no longer possess in our ever growing collections. Whether it was sold, traded, damaged, or just lost in the bowels of time, what card or cards do you regret no longer holding in your collection.

There are a couple that come to mind. One example is of a card I never really owned, but apparently gave away (with a huge package...explanations forthcoming) in a trade.

There was a blog from a guy named John Arnold who ran a blog called THE PURSUIT OF 80's(ness). He's from England, and a devoted Red Sox fan. Now, in 2008, my first year in the blogging pool, I had mentioned that I was a Cubs fan. So bloggers like him asked me if I was interested in a package of Cubs cards. I said sure (even though I'm not much of a team collector). I promised I'd send him something in return.

After his package of Cubs cards arrived, I sent him back a care package. One that included nine unopened packs, three each from 2008 Series 1, Series 2, and the Update and Highlights. I made sure to throw in as many Red Sox cards that I could find as well so there was something to go with the unopened packs.

After opening the three Series 1 packs, he found two Boston Red Sox cards. One was of Jason Varitek. This was the other:



That's right. Had I thought for a second to rip those packs open, I would have been the proud owner of the 2008 Topps Red Sox SP Red card with Rudy Giuliani in the middle. I was in tears, let me tell you.

I rarely have luck with getting SP's and cards like this when I buy loose packs. This would have been a great card to own (or sell...then I'd regret it later). But at least it went to a Red Sox collector, and the card is no longer in the US so that's one less card you'll find at your next card show.

What other cards. How about this one:


In 1991, Upper Deck, one of four "that other companies" that produced cards made a baseball card one of their spokespeople, Michael Jordan. It was the perfect storm of a card.
  • I actually liked the 1991 design and had bought a factory set AND the Final Edition set (what was I thinking??!)
  • Jordan and the Bulls had just won their first NBA championship
  • The White Sox' new stadium Comiskey Park was going to be opened soon
  • I'm from Chicago...AND IT'S MICHAEL JORDAN!!!
I thought I'd never get one of these in a pack, so I actually bought one at a card store for a steal ($20.00 saved for this). It's Upper Deck, I know. But I was also in to Score, so what does that tell you.

So I had the above card in my possession. And as a 15-year old kid, I was thrilled.

Then disaster struck. And it was my fault.

You see, somehow, I found a box of laminating sheets in the basement. The box said "protect your important documents and other important items from wear and tear." So I thought, what better way to protect this card than to put this card under two laminating sheets (you didn't need the machine for these adhesive sheets, just peel, trim, and you're done).

Can you see where I'm going with this??!

So I took my $20.00 Jordan card, and placed it between two layers of laminating sheets. It made the card thicker, which was fine. The only problem was that there was an air bubble on the front that was clearly visible. No amount of pressing would "pop" it. But I was happy it was now protected.

Then I read in some book (I know I have it somewhere can't remember the name of it though) did mention that altering the condition of the card (including laminating it) was a big no-no and that the card's value would decrease to nothing.

And my heart sank.

In my mind, I just threw away $20.00. I was mad at myself more than anything. I put away the laminating kit and never saw it again.

I also regret giving away that 100-card UD Final Edition set. Never did get around to buying another set.

Another card I regret...because I had a chance to get this card for a heck of a price but wasn't sure (will explain shortly).


I look around on the Bay from time to time to find cards that I need for my collection. One guy with a fairly low feedback and a very iffy picture put up for a $99.00 BIN a 2012 Topps Bryce Harper #661 (the extremely SSP card found in packs). This was long after the mini cards came out, and based on the picture, it was hard to tell if it was the real one or not. The pictures themselves were blurry, and you couldn't even read the code on the bottom to distinguish.

Now, this card must have been listed more than 15-20 times at least. Each time, the price changed. It was at $99.00 one time, to $109.00 the next, back down to $99.00 OBO. But it never sold. Then one day, somebody apparently took a shot at it, bought the suspicious card...and left positive feedback because it turns out that it was the real thing!!!

There was also the matter of 2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Doug DeCinces autograph card.



As many readers of this humble, little blog also know (I still have readers, right??!) I don't really collect autographed cards. Never really took an interest to it.

Until 2003 Topps ATFF came along. It was a set of 150 cards of players, most who are never going to touch the Hall of Fame (although there were a number of them in the set) with unique pictures never used before but utilizing the designs during their playing career. Some made sense, others not so much...but that ship sailed (or did it...stay tuned to a later blog post).

Now 21 players were not included in the base set, but somehow managed to have autographed cards included. Brief bit of trivium: in the original checklist, there was supposed to be 200 players on the autograph checklist, which included almost all of the subjects in the base set plus about 50 or so extras. By the time the product came out, that number was whittled down to about 165 or so.

Well one of the 21 players who didn't have a card in the base set was the Doug DeCinces of the Baltimore Orioles. Now I had heard of the name, and when I bought my box of 2003 Topps ATFF (back when I could afford boxes), I pulled this card as one of my two autographs. The owner of the Friendly Card Finds (the baseball card shop I frequently visited before its closing in 2005...best regards to Brian Proulx) was an O's fan, and I thought what better way to thank him than to give him this card as a thank you for helping a fellow collector out (he spoiled me, you know, by giving me sell sheets and promo cards).

Later on, when I decided to go after the 21 "extra" autograph cards, I realized that one was of DeCinces. The card I gave away. Now I wasn't about to ask for the card back...that would be wrong. So I regretfully spent some money on a card that I had in my possession. But hey, another collector has it (possibly) and he was happy with it. Isn't that the point of this Hobby?

I could go on and on.

But regretfully, I have to get going (see what I did there). I look forward to reading all of the other posts from this bat-around. Thanks GCRL for starting it up again.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Results Are In...And a 2-Pack Break of 2015 Topps Archives

On Friday, I went to the local big box store, hoping to find packs of 2015 Topps Series 2.

Didn't find any.

Terribly disappointed.

But I did find the 2015 Topps AL All-Star Team Retail set, so I bought that, and two packs of 2015 Topps Archives.

Now I'll be honest, I've been really disappointed with Topps Archives since the concept was brought back in 2012. Not because of the cards themselves (I do have the 2012-2013 sets in my collection), but because it has lost its focus. It has become Topps Heritage Lite honestly.

I know there are restrictions to what Topps can produce regarding products with retired players (which is probably the only thing I didn't like about the deal that was made in 2006), but creating cards of current players in designs from that were already used in Topps Heritage is very uninspired. Even the "Fan Favorites" subset, which was the only thing good about this product (for me anyway) became a letdown in last year's product when you added current players to the SP mix.

The autographs, with the faded in section so that players can sign on-card, turned me off. The ATFF's were probably the only autographed cards I actually look forward to trying to get, especially if the subjects weren't part of the base set.

But I'm glad to see that Topps repeated the things I didn't like for this year's Archives set (end sarcasm). It's probably why I wasn't motivated enough to buy a set last year, save for a few packs. And after looking at today's cards, I'm just as motivated. I may come around...especially when set prices fall dramatically about a year or two later.



So what did I get in my pre-Father's Day packs of 2015 Topps Archives? Here are the results:

Pack 1:
  • #59 Yadier Molina, Cardinals 1957
  • #176 Zach Wheeler, Mets 1976
  • #203 Yu Darvish, Rangers 1983
  • #64 Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers 1957
  • #174 Trevor Bauer, Indians 1976
  • #90ASIMT Michael Taylor, Nationals 1990
  • #6 Alexei Ramirez, White Sox 1957
  • #130 Aramis Ramirez, Brewers 1976
  • #278 Alex Cobb, Rays 1983
  • #52 Dilson Herrera, Mets 1957
  • #106 Brandon Finnegan, Royals 1976
  • #253 Whitey Ford, Yankees 1983
  • #22 Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays 1957
  • #158 Kole Calhoun, Angels 1976
  • #293 Josh Harrison, Pirates 1983
  • #71 Matt Holliday, Cardinals 1957
  • #198 Michael Brantley, Indians 1976
  • #215 Mark Teixeira, Yankees 1983
Nothing much to write home about here. You know you're old when even the Sell Sheets are "honoring the 25th anniversary of the 1990 Topps set." Don't get me wrong, the cards look nice up front, but to me it seems like I'm looking at previews of Topps Heritage cards. Bring back the good old days when you're featuring retired players in the designs that make sense (Whitey Ford in a 1983 design...REALLY??!)

Pack 2:
  • #53 Roberto Alomar, Indians 1957
  • #125 Babe Ruth, Yankees 1976
  • #202 Johnny Bench, Reds 1983
  • #88 Lenny Dykstra, Phillies 1957
  • #189 Roberto Clemente, Pirates 1976
  • #23 of 33 Bryce Harper 1968 Insert card (Fly Out, Runners Do Not Advance)
  • #90ASIJS Jorge Soler, Cubs 1990
  • #1 Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers 1957
  • #146 Danny Salazar, Indians 1976
  • #244 Cole Hamels, Phillies 1983
  • #70 Jake Arrieta, Cubs 1957
  • #112 Jesse Hahn, Athletics 1976
  • #236 James Shields, Royals 1983
  • #134 Duke Snider, Dodgers 1976
  • #32 Robin Yount, Brewers 1957
  • #213 Brooks Robinson, Orioles 1983
  • #35 Eddie Murray, Orioles 1957
  • #197 Bob Lemon, Indians 1976
Pack two was the absolute winner between the two. Any pack that contains Babe Ruth, Roberto Clemente, Johnny Bench, and six other Hall of Famers, plus two Cubs cards AND a Bryce Harper insert makes this a very loaded pack (okay, most are base, but come on now...four out of the first five cards were of Hall of Famers).

Thinking of putting the Harper card on the Bay, possibly the Soler too. All cards are up for grabs though...make offers or take them off my hands.

But it's Father's Day. This morning, my beautiful wife and two fantastic kids made a huge breakfast and even went to Starbucks to get me a Frappuccino.

While my family was at church to witness the baptism of my nephew Charlie, my in-laws were out in beautiful Crown Point, Indiana, to honor the patriarch of the family with a barbecue. Beautiful day for both events. It's the longest day of the year, no less...so the sun should be up until what 9 pm tonight? And the Cubs won (and those guys from the south side did too apparently). So all in all, a great day.

Good to see some childhood friends today. I hope to see them again tomorrow as they encounter a Chicago Deep Dish Pizza for the first time ever. Trying to convince both to come down to my neighborhood for a killer burger before hand though, but we'll see how that goes.

Happy Father's Day to all Dads, Dads-to-Be, Fathers-In-Law, Grandfathers, Great Grandfathers, Foster Dads, Stepdads, and Just-Like Dads.


"Anyone can be a Father, but it takes a special man to be a Dad!!!" - Maury Povich

Until next time, America.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Get Ready. 2015 Topps Series 2 Is Supposed to be Live...NOW!



Now, today is the OFFICIAL release day for 2015 Topps Series 2. It's perfect timing too.

I mean, the Blackhawks ended the NHL season two nights ago by winning their third Stanley Cup in 6 years.

The Warriors defeated the fighting Lebrons last night and brought the NBA title to Golden State (or is it Oakland) for the first time since 1975.

Football doesn't get into training camp mode until the end of the month. MLS is in full swing, and yes there is baseball being played somewhere too.

But today is an important day as it is supposed to be the first day that 2015 Topps Series 2 is to go live. I say supposed because some people have already been able to get their hands on some product and posted images online. More on that later.

But for me, it's time to add on to my never-ending quest to add on to that ever growing (and I'm still counting...when I get to it) collection. So I'll be running to my local big box store to see what I can find (hopefully before the vultures get to them). So what am I going to look for?

Here are the cards that matter (barring last minute changes to the checklist):

BASE:

352 Jaime Garcia St. Louis Cardinals
353 Mike Leake Cincinnati Reds
354 Kyle Hendricks Chicago Cubs
355 Travis Snider Baltimore Orioles
356 Marcus Semien Oakland Athletics
357 Derek Holland Texas Rangers
358 Jon Singleton Houston Astros Future Star
359 Robinson Chirinos Texas Rangers
360 Adam LaRoche Chicago White Sox
361 Matt Holliday St. Louis Cardinals
362 Jason Bourgeois Cincinnati Reds
363 Avisail Garcia Chicago White Sox
364 Travis Ishikawa San Francisco Giants
365 L.J. Hoes Houston Astros
366 Jhoulys Chacin Colorado Rockies
367 Sam Fuld Oakland Athletics
368 David Robertson Chicago White Sox
369 Aaron Loup Toronto Blue Jays
370 Marcell Ozuna Miami Marlins Future Star
371 Koji Uehara Boston Red Sox
372 Matt Adams St. Louis Cardinals
373 Kurt Suzuki Minnesota Twins
374 Nick Martinez Texas Rangers
375 Johnny Cueto Cincinnati Reds
376 Chris Sale Chicago White Sox
377 Tommy Hunter Baltimore Orioles
378 Danny Duffy Kansas City Royals
379 Phil Gosselin Atlanta Braves
380 Hector Noesi Chicago White Sox
381 Stephen Drew New York Yankees
382 Ivan Nova New York Yankees
383 Delmon Young Baltimore Orioles
384 Justin Ruggiano Seattle Mariners
385 James Paxton Seattle Mariners Future Star
386 Ben Zobrist Oakland Athletics
387 Jacob deGrom New York Mets Rookie of the Year
388 Francisco Liriano Pittsburgh Pirates
389 Mookie Betts Boston Red Sox Future Star
390 Cody Ross Arizona Diamondbacks
391 Hisashi Iwakuma Seattle Mariners
392 Brandon Guyer Tampa Bay Rays
393 Danny Salazar Cleveland Indians
394 Marco Scutaro San Francisco Giants
395 Chris Taylor Seattle Mariners
396 Alex Colome Tampa Bay Rays
397 Mike Aviles Cleveland Indians
398 Jordan Zimmermann Washington Nationals 2014 Baseball Highlight
399 Josmil Pinto Minnesota Twins
400 Andrew McCutchen Pittsburgh Pirates
401 Chris Coghlan Chicago Cubs
402 Jeurys Familia New York Mets
403 Leury Garcia Chicago White Sox
404 Tanner Scheppers Texas Rangers
405 Ross Detwiler Texas Rangers
406 Jon Lester Chicago Cubs
407 Jed Lowrie Houston Astros
408 Jake Smolinski Texas Rangers
409 Juan Uribe Los Angeles Dodgers
410 Kyle Lohse Milwaukee Brewers
411 Nelson Cruz Seattle Mariners
412 Hector Rondon Chicago Cubs
413 Anthony Gose Detroit Tigers
414 J.A. Happ Seattle Mariners
415 Ervin Santana Minnesota Twins
416 Francisco Cervelli Pittsburgh Pirates
417 Leonys Martin Texas Rangers
418 Jung Ho Kang Pittsburgh Pirates Rookie
419 Omar Infante Kansas City Royals
420 Cody Asche Philadelphia Phillies
421 Joe Kelly Boston Red Sox
422 Prince Fielder Texas Rangers
423 Javy Guerra Chicago White Sox
424 Michael Saunders Toronto Blue Jays
425 Bryan Shaw Cleveland Indians
426 Trevor Plouffe Minnesota Twins
427 Raisel Iglesias Cincinnati Reds Rookie
428 Jon Niese New York Mets
429 A.J. Ellis Los Angeles Dodgers
430 Jarred Cosart Miami Marlins
431 Brandon McCarthy Los Angeles Dodgers
432 Alex Rios Kansas City Royals
433 Justin Masterson Boston Red Sox
434 Carlos Frias Los Angeles Dodgers Rookie
435 Mike Fiers Milwaukee Brewers
436 Russell Martin Toronto Blue Jays
437 Jake Marisnick Houston Astros
438 DJ LeMahieu Colorado Rockies
439 Kenley Jansen Los Angeles Dodgers
440 Denard Span Washington Nationals
441 Philadelphia Phillies
442 Tyler Matzek Colorado Rockies
443 Maicer Izturis Toronto Blue Jays
444 Lonnie Chisenhall Cleveland Indians 2014 Baseball Highlight
445 Christian Vazquez Boston Red Sox
446 Nick Franklin Tampa Bay Rays
447 Jose Ramirez Cleveland Indians
448 Ryan Hanigan Boston Red Sox
449 Joe Panik San Francisco Giants 2014 Baseball Highlight
450 Robinson Cano Seattle Mariners
451 Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers Cy Young Award Winner
452 Drew Smyly Tampa Bay Rays
453 Elian Herrera Milwaukee Brewers
454 Wade Davis Kansas City Royals
455 Adam Lind Milwaukee Brewers
456 Alex Gordon Kansas City Royals
457 Aaron Hicks Minnesota Twins
458 Junichi Tazawa Boston Red Sox
459 Tuffy Gosewisch Arizona Diamondbacks
460 San Francisco Giants San Francisco Giants
461 Mike Moustakas Kansas City Royals
462 Shae Simmons Atlanta Braves
463 Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers
464 Brett Cecil Toronto Blue Jays
465 Seattle Mariners Seattle Mariners
466 A.J. Burnett Pittsburgh Pirates
467 Mat Latos Miami Marlins
468 CC Sabathia New York Yankees
469 James Shields San Diego Padres
470 Mark Trumbo Arizona Diamondbacks
471 Pat Neshek Houston Astros
472 T.J. House Cleveland Indians
473 Ryan Raburn Cleveland Indians
474 Alexi Amarista San Diego Padres
475 Juan Perez San Francisco Giants
476 Jose Lobaton Washington Nationals
477 Dallas Keuchel Houston Astros
478 Los Angeles Dodgers
479 Carlos Gonzalez Colorado Rockies
480 Matt Harvey New York Mets Future Star
481 Freddy Galvis Philadelphia Phillies
482 Joaquin Benoit San Diego Padres
483 Randal Grichuk St. Louis Cardinals
484 Melvin Mercedes Detroit Tigers Rookie
485 Daniel Hudson Arizona Diamondbacks
486 Erik Goeddel New York Mets Rookie
487 Corey Kluber Cleveland Indians Cy Young Award Winner
488 John Lackey St. Louis Cardinals
489 Jeremy Hellickson Arizona Diamondbacks
490 Gavin Floyd Cleveland Indians
491 Rougned Odor Texas Rangers Future Star
492 Brandon Barnes Colorado Rockies
493 Alex Rodriguez New York Yankees
494 James Jones Seattle Mariners
495 Christian Colon Kansas City Royals
496 Houston Astros
497 Hunter Strickland San Francisco Giants Rookie
498 Anthony Desclafani Cincinnati Reds
499 Eduardo Nunez Minnesota Twins
500 David Ortiz Boston Red Sox
501 Will Venable San Diego Padres
502 Kevin Frandsen Washington Nationals
503 Joe Panik San Francisco Giants Future Star
504 Minnesota Twins
505 Arodys Vizcaino Atlanta Braves
506 Chase Anderson Arizona Diamondbacks
507 A.J. Pierzynski Atlanta Braves
508 Collin McHugh Houston Astros
509 Danny Santana Minnesota Twins Future Star
510 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim League MVP
511 Asdrubal Cabrera Tampa Bay Rays
512 Jay Bruce Cincinnati Reds
513 Michael Cuddyer New York Mets
514 Will Smith Milwaukee Brewers
515 Victor Martinez Detroit Tigers
516 Lorenzo Cain Kansas City Royals
517 Yusmeiro Petit San Francisco Giants
518 Rajai Davis Detroit Tigers
519 Archie Bradley Arizona Diamondbacks Rookie
520 Brayan Pena Cincinnati Reds
521 Nick Castellanos Detroit Tigers Future Star
522 Sam Tuivailala St. Louis Cardinals Rookie
523 Christian Bethancourt Atlanta Braves Future Star
524 John Danks Chicago White Sox
525 Luke Gregerson Houston Astros
526 Will Middlebrooks San Diego Padres
527 Carlos Martinez St. Louis Cardinals Future Star
528 Brad Ziegler Arizona Diamondbacks
529 Ryan Flaherty Baltimore Orioles
530 Chris Heston San Francisco Giants Rookie
531 Drew Hutchison Toronto Blue Jays
532 Dellin Betances New York Yankees Future Star
533 Marwin Gonzalez Houston Astros
534 Chris Capuano New York Yankees
535 Erik Cordier San Francisco Giants Rookie
536 Logan Morrison Seattle Mariners
537 Steven Souza Jr. Tampa Bay Rays
538 Brad Boxberger Tampa Bay Rays
539 Jimmy Nelson Milwaukee Brewers Future Star
540 Drew Stubbs Colorado Rockies
541 Homer Bailey Cincinnati Reds
542 Yasmany Tomas Arizona Diamondbacks Rookie
543 Alberto Callaspo Atlanta Braves
544 Travis d'Arnaud New York Mets Future Star
545 Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers League MVP
546 Tyler Clippard Oakland Athletics
547 Kristopher Negron Cincinnati Reds
548 Cleveland Indians
549 Christian Walker Baltimore Orioles Rookie
550 David Price Detroit Tigers
551 Corey Hart Pittsburgh Pirates
552 Yovani Gallardo Texas Rangers
553 Grady Sizemore Philadelphia Phillies
554 A.J. Griffin Oakland Athletics
555 Jake Arrieta Chicago Cubs
556 Jake McGee Tampa Bay Rays
557 Nick Markakis Atlanta Braves
558 Patrick Corbin Arizona Diamondbacks
559 Dee Gordon Miami Marlins
560 Jerome Williams Philadelphia Phillies
561 Ken Giles Philadelphia Phillies
562 Wilmer Flores New York Mets
563 J.J. Hardy Baltimore Orioles
564 Jose Quintana Chicago White Sox
565 Michael Morse Miami Marlins
566 Chris Davis Baltimore Orioles
567 Brennan Boesch Cincinnati Reds
568 Chris Tillman Baltimore Orioles
569 Marco Estrada Toronto Blue Jays
570 Jarrod Dyson Kansas City Royals
571 Devon Travis Toronto Blue Jays Rookie
572 A.J. Pollock Arizona Diamondbacks
573 Ryan Rua Texas Rangers Rookie
574 Mitch Moreland Texas Rangers
575 Kris Medlen Kansas City Royals
576 Chase Headley New York Yankees
577 Henderson Alvarez Miami Marlins
578 Ender Inciarte Arizona Diamondbacks
579 Jason Hammel Chicago Cubs
580 Chris Bassitt Oakland Athletics Rookie
581 John Holdzkom Pittsburgh Pirates Rookie
582 Wei-Yin Chen Baltimore Orioles
583 Jose Abreu Chicago White Sox Rookie of the Year
584 Danny Farquhar Seattle Mariners
585 Matt Moore Tampa Bay Rays
586 Max Scherzer Washington Nationals
587 Daniel Descalso Colorado Rockies
588 Kolten Wong St. Louis Cardinals Future Star
589 Jeff Locke Pittsburgh Pirates
590 Torii Hunter Minnesota Twins
591 Josh Collmenter Arizona Diamondbacks
592 Martin Maldonado Milwaukee Brewers
593 Ruben Tejada New York Mets
594 Jose Pirela New York Yankees Rookie
595 Craig Kimbrel Atlanta Braves
596 Bronson Arroyo Arizona Diamondbacks
597 Matt Shoemaker Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Future Star
598 Nick Swisher Cleveland Indians
599 Michael Brantley Cleveland Indians
600 Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
601 Wade Miley Boston Red Sox
602 Drew Storen Washington Nationals
603 Jose Fernandez Miami Marlins Future Star
604 Jordan Schafer Minnesota Twins
605 Huston Street Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
606 Ian Desmond Washington Nationals
607 Jarrod Parker Oakland Athletics
608 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays
609 Luke Hochevar Kansas City Royals
610 David Freese Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
611 Gregor Blanco San Francisco Giants
612 Caleb Joseph Baltimore Orioles
613 Josh Beckett Los Angeles Dodgers 2014 Baseball Highlight
614 Jordan Walden St. Louis Cardinals
615 Carlos Sanchez Chicago White Sox
616 Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs Rookie
617 Terrance Gore Kansas City Royals Rookie
618 Billy Butler Oakland Athletics
619 Kevin Gausman Baltimore Orioles
620 Jose Altuve Houston Astros
621 Luis Valbuena Houston Astros
622 Yan Gomes Cleveland Indians
623 Melky Cabrera Chicago White Sox
624 Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez Philadelphia Phillies Rookie
625 Mark Buehrle Toronto Blue Jays
626 Hanley Ramirez Boston Red Sox
627 Jason Grilli Atlanta Braves
628 Peter Bourjos St. Louis Cardinals
629 Robbie Grossman Houston Astros
630 Carlos Carrasco Cleveland Indians
631 Chris Iannetta Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
632 Kyle Gibson Minnesota Twins
633 Skip Schumaker Cincinnati Reds
634 Roenis Elias Seattle Mariners Future Star
635 Scott Feldman Houston Astros
636 Micah Johnson Chicago White Sox Rookie
637 Matt Szczur Chicago Cubs Rookie
638 Jimmy Rollins Los Angeles Dodgers
639 Cameron Maybin San Diego Padres
640 Matt Clark Milwaukee Brewers Rookie
641 Yorman Rodriguez Cincinnati Reds Rookie
642 Alex Wood Atlanta Braves
643 Oswaldo Arcia Minnesota Twins
644 Chicago White Sox
645 Neftali Feliz Texas Rangers
646 Aramis Ramirez Milwaukee Brewers
647 Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals
648 St. Louis Cardinals
649 Emilio Bonifacio Chicago White Sox
650 Pablo Sandoval Boston Red Sox
651 Andrelton Simmons Atlanta Braves
652 Stephen Vogt Oakland Athletics
653 Rafael Montero New York Mets Future Star
654 Alfredo Simon Detroit Tigers
655 Taylor Hill Washington Nationals
656 Adeiny Hechavarria Miami Marlins Future Star
657 Justin Morneau Colorado Rockies
658 Tsuyoshi Wada Chicago Cubs
659 Jimmy Rollins Philadelphia Phillies 2014 Baseball Highlight
660 Roberto Osuna Toronto Blue Jays Rookie
661 Grant Balfour Tampa Bay Rays
662 Darin Ruf Philadelphia Phillies
663 Jake Diekman Philadelphia Phillies
664 Hector Santiago Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
665 Stephen Strasburg Washington Nationals
666 Jonathan Broxton Milwaukee Brewers
667 Kole Calhoun Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
668 Jairo Diaz Colorado Rockies Rookie
669 Tampa Bay Rays
670 Darren O'Day Baltimore Orioles
671 Gerrit Cole Pittsburgh Pirates
672 Wily Peralta Milwaukee Brewers
673 Brett Oberholtzer Houston Astros
674 Desmond Jennings Tampa Bay Rays
675 Jonathan Lucroy Milwaukee Brewers
676 Nate McLouth Washington Nationals
677 Ryan Goins Toronto Blue Jays
678 Sam Freeman St. Louis Cardinals
679 Jorge De La Rosa Colorado Rockies
680 Nick Hundley Colorado Rockies
681 Zoilo Almonte Atlanta Braves
682 Christian Bergman Colorado Rockies
683 LaTroy Hawkins Colorado Rockies
684 Wil Myers San Diego Padres
685 Yangervis Solarte San Diego Padres
686 Tyson Ross San Diego Padres
687 Odubel Herrera Philadelphia Phillies Rookie
688 Angel Pagan San Francisco Giants
689 R.J. Alvarez Oakland Athletics Rookie
690 Brett Bochy San Francisco Giants Rookie
691 Lisalverto Bonilla Texas Rangers Rookie
692 Andrew Chafin Arizona Diamondbacks Rookie
693 Jason Rogers Milwaukee Brewers Rookie
694 Xavier Scruggs St. Louis Cardinals Rookie
695 Rafael Ynoa Colorado Rockies Rookie
696 Boston Red Sox
697 New York Yankees
698 Texas Rangers
699 Miami Marlins
700 Joe Mauer Minnesota Twins
701 Milwaukee Brewers

The breakdown:
  • 270 Veterans
  • 34 Rookie Cards
  • 20 Future Stars
  • 15 Team Cards
  • 5 2014 Baseball Highlights
  • 6 Award Winners
So yes, wonderboy Kris Bryant gets his official MLB Rookie card in the eponymous set (no, I'm not ignoring his Archives card...although...). He's #616 on the checklist (for those of you who are wondering). Card #500, which is the biggest number symbolically on the checklist goes to Big Papi himself, David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. It's a great looking checklist.

Now for those wonderful insert sets. The Hobby checklist shows 7 basic insert sets (I don't collect the relics or autos, so if you want a checklist, go nuts).

STEPPING UP
SU-1 Reggie Jackson New York Yankees
SU-2 Duke Snider Brooklyn Dodgers
SU-3 Sandy Koufax Brooklyn Dodgers
SU-4 Johnny Podres Brooklyn Dodgers
SU-5 David Ortiz Boston Red Sox
SU-6 Mariano Rivera New York Yankees
SU-7 Miguel Cabrera Detroit Tigers
SU-8 Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds
SU-9 Adrian Gonzalez Los Angeles Dodgers
SU-10 Randy Johnson Arizona Diamondbacks
SU-11 Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants
SU-12 Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
SU-13 Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies
SU-14 Hunter Pence San Francisco Giants
SU-15 Luis Gonzalez Arizona Diamondbacks
SU-16 Mookie Wilson New York Mets
SU-17 Fernando Valenzuela Los Angeles Dodgers
SU-18 Corey Kluber Cleveland Indians
SU-19 Joe Panik San Francisco Giants
SU-20 Jacob deGrom New York Mets

HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR
H-31 Ty Cobb Detroit Tigers
H-32 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
H-33 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
H-34 First MLB All-Star Game
H-35 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
H-36 Enos Slaughter St. Louis Cardinals
H-37 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees
H-38 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox
H-39 Bobby Doerr Boston Red Sox
H-40 Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers
H-41 Joe DiMaggio New York Yankees
H-42 Bob Feller Cleveland Indians
H-43 Willie Mays New York Giants
H-44 Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates
H-45 Hank Aaron Milwaukee Braves
H-46 Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers
H-47 Jim Palmer Baltimore Orioles
H-48 Tom Seaver Cincinnati Reds
H-49 Rickey Henderson Oakland Athletics
H-50 Andre Dawson Montréal Expos
H-51 Roger Clemens Boston Red Sox
H-52 Don Mattingly New York Yankees
H-53 Mark McGwire Oakland Athletics
H-54 Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers
H-55 Ozzie Smith St. Louis Cardinals
H-56 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
H-57 Edgar Martinez Seattle Mariners
H-58 Greg Maddux Chicago Cubs
H-59 Mariano Rivera New York Yankees
H-60 Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers

ECLIPSING HISTORY
EH-1 Lou Brock St. Louis Cardinals/Rickey Henderson Oakland Athletics
EH-2 Stan Musial St. Louis Cardinals/Hank Aaron Atlanta Braves
EH-3 Sandy Koufax Brooklyn Dodgers/Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers
EH-4 Ozzie Smith St. Louis Cardinals/Omar Vizquel San Francisco Giants
EH-5 Tom Seaver New York Mets/Dwight Gooden New York Mets
EH-6 Whitey Ford New York Yankees/Mariano Rivera New York Yankees
EH-7 Rod Carew California Angels/Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
EH-8 Jim Rice Boston Red Sox/Nomar Garciaparra Boston Red Sox
EH-9 Derek Jeter New York Yankees/Lou Gehrig New York Yankees
EH-10 Darryl Strawberry New York Mets/David Wright New York Mets

BASEBALL ROYALTY
BR-1 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
BR-2 Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers
BR-3 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox
BR-4 Joe DiMaggio New York Yankees
BR-5 Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers
BR-6 Willie Mays San Francisco Giants
BR-7 Hank Aaron Milwaukee Braves
BR-8 Mike Piazza New York Mets
BR-9 Roger Clemens Boston Red Sox
BR-10 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
BR-11 Greg Maddux Atlanta Braves
BR-12 Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle Mariners
BR-13 Randy Johnson Seattle Mariners
BR-14 Nolan Ryan California Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
BR-15 Reggie Jackson Oakland Athletics
BR-16 Ozzie Smith St. Louis Cardinals
BR-17 Mark McGwire St. Louis Cardinals
BR-18 Mariano Rivera New York Yankees
BR-19 Frank Thomas Chicago White Sox
BR-20 Miguel Cabrera Detroit Tigers
BR-21 David Ortiz Boston Red Sox
BR-22 Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves
BR-23 Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
BR-24 Derek Jeter New York Yankees
BR-25 John Smoltz Atlanta Braves

HEART OF THE ORDER
HOR-1 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox
HOR-2 Mike Piazza New York Mets
HOR-3 Hank Aaron Milwaukee Braves
HOR-4 Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle Mariners
HOR-5 Jose Canseco Oakland Athletics
HOR-6 Yasiel Puig Los Angeles Dodgers
HOR-7 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
HOR-8 Gary Carter New York Mets
HOR-9 Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves
HOR-10 Giancarlo Stanton Miami Marlins
HOR-11 Tony Gwynn San Diego Padres
HOR-12 Hanley Ramirez Boston Red Sox
HOR-13 Prince Fielder Texas Rangers
HOR-14 Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies
HOR-15 Matt Adams St. Louis Cardinals
HOR-16 Jeff Bagwell Houston Astros
HOR-17 Edgar Martinez Seattle Mariners
HOR-18 Freddie Freeman Atlanta Braves
HOR-19 Paul Goldschmidt Arizona Diamondbacks
HOR-20 Adam Jones Baltimore Orioles

TIL ITS OVER
TIO-1 David Ortiz Boston Red Sox
TIO-2 Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle Mariners
TIO-3 Troy Tulowitzki Colorado Rockies
TIO-4 Evan Longoria Tampa Bay Rays
TIO-5 Omar Vizquel Cleveland Indians
TIO-6 Joe Mauer Minnesota Twins
TIO-7 Lou Brock St. Louis Cardinals
TIO-8 Nolan Ryan New York Mets
TIO-9 Craig Biggio Houston Astros
TIO-10 Tom Seaver New York Mets
TIO-11 Ivan Rodriguez Florida Marlins
TIO-12 Matt Cain San Francisco Giants
TIO-13 Willie Mays New York Giants
TIO-14 David Freese St. Louis Cardinals
TIO-15 Salvador Perez Kansas City Royals

FIRST PITCH INSERT
FP-16 Kelsey Grammer Los Angeles Dodgers
FP-17 Chris Pratt Chicago Cubs
FP-18 Jon Hamm St. Louis Cardinals
FP-19 Melissa McCarthy Los Angeles Dodgers
FP-20 Chelsea Handler Chicago Cubs
FP-21 Stan Lee San Francisco Giants
FP-22 Lars Ulrich San Francisco Giants
FP-23 Kevin Hart Chicago White Sox
FP-24 Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart San Francisco Giants
FP-25 Gabriel Iglesias Miami Marlins

RETAIL EXCLUSIVE

HOT STREAK
HS-1 Yasiel Puig Los Angeles Dodgers
HS-2 Jim Palmer Baltimore Orioles
HS-3 Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers
HS-4 Max Scherzer Detroit Tigers
HS-5 Don Mattingly New York Yankees
HS-6 Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves
HS-7 Vinny Castilla Colorado Rockies
HS-8 Nomar Garciaparra Boston Red Sox
HS-9 Frank Robinson Baltimore Orioles
HS-10 Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
HS-11 Roger Clemens New York Yankees
HS-12 Randy Johnson Seattle Mariners
HS-13 Pablo Sandoval San Francisco Giants
HS-14 George Brett Kansas City Royals
HS-15 Ozzie Smith St.Louis Cardinals
HS-16 David Cone Kansas City Royals
HS-17 Corey Kluber Cleveland Indians
HS-18 Livan Hernandez Florida Marlins
HS-19 Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals
HS-20 Luis Gonzalez Arizona Diamondbacks

FIRST HOME RUN
FHR-1 Eddie Murray Baltimore Orioles
FHR-2 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
FHR-3 Brooks Robinson Baltimore Orioles
FHR-4 Babe Ruth Boston Red Sox
FHR-5 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox
FHR-6 Frank Thomas Chicago White Sox
FHR-7 Johnny Bench Cincinnati Reds
FHR-8 Tony Pérez Cincinnati Reds
FHR-9 Ty Cobb Detroit Tigers
FHR-10 Miguel Cabrera Florida Marlins
FHR-11 Giancarlo Stanton Florida Marlins
FHR-12 Hunter Pence Houston Astros
FHR-13 Reggie Jackson Kansas City Athletics
FHR-14 Carlos Beltran Kansas City Royals
FHR-15 Bo Jackson Kansas City Royals
FHR-16 David Ortiz Minnesota Twins
FHR-17 Mark McGwire Oakland Athletics
FHR-18 Tony Gwynn San Diego Padres
FHR-19 Jayson Werth Toronto Blue Jays
FHR-20 Harmon Killebrew Washington Senators
FHR-21 Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
FHR-22 Rusney Castillo Boston Red Sox
FHR-23 Dwight Gooden New York Mets
FHR-24 Greg Maddux Chicago Cubs
FHR-25 Pedro Alvarez Pittsburgh Pirates
FHR-26 Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers
FHR-27 Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals
FHR-28 Matt Kemp Los Angeles Dodgers
FHR-29 Prince Fielder Milwaukee Brewers
FHR-30 Nelson Cruz Texas Rangers
FHR-31 Cliff Floyd Montréal Expos
FHR-32 Pablo Sandoval San Francisco Giants
FHR-33 Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals
FHR-34 Alex Gordon Kansas City Royals
FHR-35 Lucas Duda New York Mets

THE SULTAN OF SWAT (TARGET EXCLUSIVE)
RUTH-1 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
RUTH-2 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
RUTH-3 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
RUTH-4 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
RUTH-5 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
RUTH-6 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
RUTH-7 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
RUTH-8 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
RUTH-9 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
RUTH-10 Babe Ruth New York Yankees

2632 (WALMART EXCLUSIVE)
2632-1 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
2632-2 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
2632-3 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
2632-4 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
2632-5 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
2632-6 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
2632-7 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
2632-8 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
2632-9 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
2632-10 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles

It's nice that Topps has decided to also include retail exclusive inserts to their lineup as well. It looks like the First Pitch cards continue on into series 2, as well as the Highlight of the Year set. A second 10-card Babe Ruth tribute set is part of the offerings, while the other 10-card set honors the Iron Man, Cal Ripken. I am confused and concerned that the numbering of the First Home Run set in series 2 is exactly the same as its series 1 counterparts. Hopefully it's only listed here in error and that the set does begin with card #FHR41.

So get ready boys and girls. Series 2 is upon us. Let the fun continue.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

So Here's What's Been Happening While I've Been Gone



On Tuesday, I bought my 2015 Topps Pro Debut set, a 200-card Minor League Baseball card set, for $39.00. That was before a $5.00 discount was applied (that eBay put on my bill, I didn't click on anything, it was just there). After clearing it with the seller, I wound up paying $34.00 for the set.

The set arrived on Friday, and after reading through 200 biographies of players who are now rookies in 2015 and those biding their time, waiting for a shot at the big leagues, I placed the cards in sheets. I now am the proud owner of every Topps Pro Debut set since the Company was awarded the license to produce MiLB cards in 2010. It's a nice supplement to the basic set as Topps incorporates that year's eponymous (there's that word again) design with minor league team logos.

These are the real prospect cards as they feature players in their minor league uniforms, with all of the great minor league team names (Tin Cups, Chihuahuas, Ports). These are the ones that actually count as base set cards. Those Bowman Chrome Prospect cards that a handful of collectors still believe are Rookie Cards (because they depict the player in the clothes of their big league affiliates)? They're not rookie cards. They're inserts. That's what they've been since 2006. It's easy to say, "get over it," but it's been 10 baseball card seasons since the big overhaul. If you the collector haven't by now, you never will, and that philosophy will never go away, so no sense in arguing about it.

I noticed something different about these cards compared to their major league counterparts.

They're not completely glossy.


Only the player depicted on the card and the border is covered in gloss. The rest of the picture (the background) is matte finished. Okay, so you can't tell based on the scans, but look at them up close, and you'll see what I mean.

Not since 1997 Topps have I seen anything like this (I'm guessing).

Coming into today (June 8, 2015). Twenty-four players in this set have already made their major league debuts, and a 25th is making his MLB debut tonight (Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros). That's 1/8th of the players in this set. Most, if not all, will eventually show up with major league cards in either Series 2 (which is coming soon...excited yet??!) and the Update Series (with 400 cards in this set...they better...more about that later).

In the mean time, the Royals have seven players leading the 2015 All-Star Game balloting. Do you think the commissioner is going to step in? It's like 1957 all over again, when fans of the Reds (who coincidentally are hosting this year's gig) placed seven of their players as starters but were over-ridden by Ford Frick.

I'm still biding my time, but the goal is by the All-Star Game that I'll have the Series 2 cards and the Team Sets in hand and in binders. You know how it is around here during All-Star season (which runs from when the rosters are announced until the end of the game).

There is one more thing I want to write about, but I need to double check with the guys running it first before I can make the announcement here. They may have already made their announcement, but I haven't seen anything yet. Without spoiling anything, let's just say that if you're wondering why the Baseball Card Cyber Museum hasn't included images of the 2015 Topps Cards, Joe has them, but...

That's it for now. Time to go online and do some price comparisons.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, May 25, 2015

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 baseball-reference.com'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
Hugh Bedient Jr. (name added after original post in 2008 for this post).
Ray Boyd
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
Gordon Houston (name added after original post in 2008 for this post).
Ernie Hrovatic
Hisayuki Ikeda
Yutaka Ishii
Kentaro Ito
Jinkichi Itoh
Masaru Kageura
Daichi Kaino
Nobuo Kato
Tokuhisa Kawamura
Hajime Kuwashima
Noboru Kitahara
Kazuo Kito
Stan Klores (name added after original post in 2008 for this post).
Shoichi Kunihisa
Nobuo Kura
Jack Lummus (name added after original post in 2008 for this post).
Kiyoshi Maeda
Masayoshi Maekawa
Tony Mahoney
Dom Malchiodi (name added after original post in 2008 for this post).
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
Ichiro Murase (name added after original post in 2008 for this post).
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
Seiichi Shima (name added after original post in 2008 for this post).
Yoshifumi Shimamoto
Uzaburo Shintomi
Kazuji Shiraki
Larry Smith (minor league umpire)
Billy Southworth Jr.
Harry Stees
Toyoo Sugiyama
Takeo Tabe (name added after original post in 2008 for this post).
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.

Sincerely,

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.)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

This Blog is Seven Years Old??! Well Happy Anniversary!!!

While sitting here in front of the computer this morning, it occurred to me.

It's May 21, 2015.

I've been busy with work and we're due for a three-day weekend soon.

But there's one thing I forgot to do and I want to get this out of the way before the end of the month.

On May 8, 2008, after years of reading message boards and then discovering that there are these websites written by collectors called blogs, I decided to create one of my own. And for the last seven years, through good times and those not so good, this blog has become one of the best outlets I have ever found to share and grow my collection of Topps baseball cards.

When I started, I had an official count of 38,749 cards in my collection. That number has more than doubled. But I lost count, so I am in the process of doing a card census in an attempt to re-connect with the cards that have been in carefully placed in binders and may not have seen the light of day in a while.

In seven years, the Hobby Blogging Community has grown exponentially. There have been some lean times as many of the bloggers that were around when I started have either left, moved onto other mediums, or update their pages as often as I do (which if you still come here every so often is few and far between...and I apologize). But I am so happy for those who have kept their voices strong and continually surprise us readers with unique points of view on their own forums and pages and will continue to support them while happily discovering new writers and blogs that talk about our shared Hobby.

Now, just like the Hobby, this blog has evolved. While I might not get back to posting random cards of the day like I used to, I would like to make a better effort of getting back to posting on a more frequent basis. I've made this promise many times on many of my posts but have found less time to keep this commitment. It is my hope that as soon as I am able to get my work priorities in order (and I'm almost there...trust me), I will be able to put more energy into my writing, and do more to promote this Hobby in my small part of cyberspace.

I would like to thank those that have loyally followed this blog through the boom and bust periods (there are people who still read this blog, right?). Thank you to those who continue to share their points of view here and on their own sites and on other forms of social media. Thank you for reading what I've had to say. As long as I am collecting (and I don't plan on stopping any time soon), I will continue to write about the cards that matter to me and the cards that are part of my ever-growing collection (which in 2015 will include the eponymous Series 2 and Update sets, Gypsy Queen, Allen & Ginter's, and the 32 retail team sets).

Year seven on this humble, little blog may have started slowly, but better times are ahead.

Until then, Happy Anniversary to bdj610's Topps Baseball Card Blog!!!

(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!!!

And may our collections grow today, tomorrow, and forever more!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ichiro is Back on Topps!!!

It looks like whatever deal Ichiro Suzuki had with that rogue card company is now over.

In 2013, many collectors (myself included) noticed that a certain recently traded Yankees player was not in any of the Topps products the company brought to the masses. He didn't appear on any checklists, he didn't appear in the eponymous set, the team set, not even those Topps Chipz. Unusual enough that Topps was excluding a Yankee player, but it was Ichiro.

Ichiro!!!

The last time we saw this guy on a Topps card (not including the SP, or the Heritage High Numbers) was in 2012 Topps Update Series.

2012 Topps Update Series Ichiro #US272A

And that was it.

Okay, I'm wrong. He showed up in those Topps Qubi things in 2013)


If you wanted your Ichiro fix, you'd have to buy cards from those other card companies (shudder). But if you're a die-hard Topps fan, there was nothing for you.  You were out.

Until now.

I saw this on Facebook yesterday, and thought, "This has to be a mock-up. No way is this real!"


It's a picture of an autograph card for 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter's. It includes an image of Ichiro, and an autograph (is that really his auto???).

There were some red flags raised, which made me question its authenticity:
  • It's of Ichiro in a Mariners' jersey. Isn't he with the Marlins now?
  • It's an autograph. I didn't see (at the time) any news of Ichiro signing an autograph deal with Topps
  • I knew that Ichiro was in a long-term deal with Leaf, which was probably why he vanished from Topps products these last two-plus years.
But then today, I'm reading the Twitter feed and see this (and if you can't see the images, the actual line is below):


Topps Company @toppscards: Topps to issue its first autographed cards of Ichiro!


Topps Company @toppscards: Ichiro will also have autographed card of him featured with the *Yankees and @Marlins in 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter.

Well, it's official.

It looks like Ichiro has finally come back to Topps. Along with Allen & Ginter's, will we see a Marlins card of Mr. Suzuki any time soon? Will he be in Series 2? Update Series? Archives?

Better question: Will Topps be making "retro" cards of Ichiro from his Yankees days (2013, 2014)?

Regardless of when he makes his return to a Topps base card, It's about time.

Now, about that Matt Wieters guy...

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama