Posts in category: bdj610's Topps Baseball
What I AM Thankful For in 2015.

This is going to be the sixth 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 baseba…

As Today is November 2, 2015

November 2 is traditionally All Souls Day. It is the day where we celebrate the lives of family and friends who have passed away. Many will go to cemeteries and pray, some may even picnic on the grounds. It is not really a day of mourning, but a day of…

A Surprise Halloween Mailday

I’m taking a bit of a work break (I also have my articles lined up for my end-of-the-year All-Star teams, but it’s too busy workwise to post, but I’ll get there) because I received something in the mail directly from the Topps Company.Allow me to expla…

WANTED: 2015 Topps Update Series Pride and Perserverance #PP11 Dummy Hoy

This is a call to anyone who still reads this humble, little blog, and are planning on buying packs, boxes, or lots of 2015 Topps Update Series:I WANT THIS CARD!!!I will take as many copies of this card as I can get! Tell me what it would take for me t…

Comparing the Major League Debut Classes of 1995 and 2015.

In 1990, Topps created a set honoring the players who made their MLB debut during the 1989 campaign. It was a relatively successful set, with future HOF’s like Ken Griffey, Jr., and Deion Sanders (okay, he’s in the Football HOF) and others. In 2009, I created a post comparing the MLB Debut classes of 1989 and 2009 in honor of that set. To coincide with the MLB Debut 1990 and 1991 boxed sets, I also wrote a post comparing the MLB Debut classes of 1990 and 2010 and again for the MLB Debut classes of 1991 and 2011.

Sadly, they stopped creating this set. I wish they would bring it back, if only so that every player who makes it to the majors has at least one Topps card to call his own. But even though Topps stopped the MLB debut sets (and they don’t plan on making them any time soon), I continued comparing the MLB Debut classes of 1992 and 2012, 1993 and 2013, & 1994 and 2014. As the 2015 MLB season ended a few weeks back, and it looks like we know who’s going to the World Series (maybe next year guys), now would be a good time to review this year’s 2015 MLB debutantes and compare them to the class of 1995. These have been fun posts for me to write, and it’s nice to look back to see how the future stars of my youth (I was 19 in 1995), performed over the years.

According to Baseball Reference, 18,662 athletes have entered their names into the annals of Major League Baseball record-keeping. In fact, 254 of them made their MLB Debuts in 2015. That’s 254 more players that have etched their names into history books, baseball encyclopedias, and baseball websites. Two hundred fifty-four more players who finally reached the pinnacle of their professional careers, no matter how long or how brief their stay was. They can honestly say that they have arrived.

In 1995, 247 players made their big league debuts, up from 114 players the year before. Remember, the strike that started in 1994 carried over into 1995. Spring Training consisted of 27 teams of replacement players (the Orioles did not run a MLB camp, their minor leaguers did get their work in though). When the strike ended all 28 teams had three weeks to get their rosters together. One location was set up for MLB players who were free agents and were looking for a place to play. Among the first of nine players to debut was Todd Hollandsworth (who debuted on April 25, 1995), the last was Gary Bennett (who made his first appearance on September 24, 1995). Thirty players who would debut during the 1995 campaign would go on to become All-Stars at some point in their careers. We’d all get to know their names on a regular basis like Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Billy Wagner, Jason Giambi, Jorge Posada, Mike Sweeney, Troy Percival, Andy Pettitte, Jason Schmidt, Johnny Damon, and the man who is credited for breaking down the door for Japanese players to make their impact in MLB, Hideo Nomo. Players who had high expectations, but eventually faded from the spotlight (Jason Bates, Carlos Perez, Terrell Wade, Vaughn Eshelman) also made their debuts in 1994.

Believe it or not, one player who made his debut in 1995 was still on a MLB roster during the 2015 season (and he announced that 2015 would be his final year in the majors). The debutantes of 1995 (as of the end of the 2015 season) combined for 31 All-Star Game appearances, 5,658 home runs, 26,050 runs batted in, 4,011 stolen bases, and a batting average of about .267. Pitchers who debuted in 1995 have gone on to a combined record of 3344-3417, saved 2,820 games, completed 300 games, faced 263,361 batters, struck out 43,084 of them, gave up 7,265 home runs, and had a cumulative ERA of 4.50.

At any given point during the 2015 season, there were 750 players on active rosters (not counting those on the disabled list). And in amongst the shuffling of talent, 254 baseball players, some who’d toiled in the minors for a very long time (Junior Guerra signed with the Braves in 2001 and spent more than 14 years between the minor and independent leagues), and at least six players who were drafted in the 2015 free agent draft, got to step onto the field of a major league stadium for the very first time and play at least one inning of major league baseball. One hundred four of them were position players, the other 150 stepped onto the pitcher’s mound for the very first time. Of the 254, one was born in 1995 (Roberto Osuna), and the oldest player to debut was 32 years old (Angel Castro).

The 2015 debutantes combined for one All-Star Game appearance (Kris Bryant), 360 home runs, 1,396 runs batted in, 206 stolen bases, and a cumulative .249 batting average. Pitchers went 235-280 with an ERA of 4.42, striking out 3,936 batters, and saved 38 games.

Just for fun, let’s compare both classes:

Of the players from the debut class of 2015, just like in 1995, there could be some Hall of Fame candidates. Most may go on to All-Star caliber, or very long careers in the bigs. And for some, this may be their only year in the majors. But all of them can say that they achieved their dream of being a Major League Ballplayer.

And nothing can take that away from them.

I’ve clamored before about wanting to bring back the Major League Debut set. But I know in today’s age of exclusive contracts and rookie card restrictions that a set of this type might never see the light of day again. And although I have a feeling that many collectors would not want to get a set that might have stars but plenty of “never will be’s” amongst them, a set like this could contain the only card of a player who played in one inning of major league ball.

Who knows what the future will bring for the 254 players who first appeared in 2015. Most might never play in the majors again, disappearing in the obscurity of minor league baseball for the rest of their professional careers. Creating a set called the 2016 MLB Debut 2015 would give them a slim piece of cardboard immortality.

Oh well, I can dream, can’t I???


JayBee Anama

P.S. The annual Guess the Topps All-Star Rookie Team contest will be postponed this year because of time restraints. No sense in trying to get contest entries when, one, I haven’t had time to write up the annual Rookie Review, and two, the readership of this humble, little blog has nosedived. I will still write my thoughts on who will make the team, but we’ll skip the contest for this year. Hopefully, I’ll have a bit more time next year to devote to the blog. jba

And Then, There Were 10…and The Cubs are Still Playing…

The end of the MLB season means a lot of things to the writer of this humble, little blog.Usually, the team I follow (you know, the Cubs???) are packing up for another season of disappointment and “what could have been?” But not this season.The 2015 ed…

Who’s Number 1??! You Decide!!!

We interrupt the lull on this humble little blog to mention that yesterday, Topps announced that collectors can get to choose who will be the subject of card number 1 in the 2016 Topps set.Let me explain for those who missed the news.According to the T…

Two Thousand Nine Hundred Seventy-Four

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

Did You Miss Me???

Well, this is new.All the news about 2016 Topps came in August, and short of one post that featured the design, I have been silent. I can explain.This is the busy time of year for the Food Distribution industry. Many companies, mine included, are getti…

Ladies and Gentlemen, Introducing 2016 Topps Baseball

It seems that around the time these come out, I am busy with one thing or another. Work has been busy, kids are getting ready to go back to school, and I’m still trying to get funds together to buy this year’s edition of the Topps Allen & Ginter’s Master set!

I have a couple of articles in draft mode and I’ll get to them in time.

But for right now, Topps just revealed what the 2016 Topps cards are going to look like.

I know you’re excited.

I know I’m excited.

So what are we waiting for?

Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the design for 2016 Topps Baseball:

First thing you’re going to notice…NO BORDERS!!!


According to the Topps Blog (with former Beckett editor and SCBR Hall of Famer Susan Lulgjuraj now running the ship, this blog should be way more relevant now):

This year’s design was a change of pace from previous years, and 2016 takes another huge step away from what had been the norm. The 2016 design features nearly full-bleed photography, which will showcase a wide range of action photography.

“We have had a white border for so many years and it was sort of a staple of the Topps design,” said Topps senior art director John Doldan. “I think we are trying to move forward and make the cards a little more modern and current. I think gradually we have been going in that direction and break from the past a little bit.”

Logo will be on the bottom right corner, player name, team name, and position juts out on a bar in the middle. Because it looks like it’s going to be a full-bleed design, it has a “Stadium Club” look to it, something I thought I’d never ever see in an eponymous base design.

So after years of looking to the Hobby’s past for inspiration, it looks like the Company is finally going to focus on its future in 2016. Details have not been released yet, but according to Topps’ twitter feed (@toppscards), “We will have more next week for the Topps Art Director discussing the process and the new design on the blog!”

I’m feeling mixed emotions so far, especially with the detail of the design itself. It might be one of those, “I’ll need to have the cards in my hand” kind of thing before I can make a complete decision if I like the design or not. Maybe I’ll have a better idea when more details come out or when the sell sheets are posted.

But what do you think? Do you like the design? Hate it? Thoughts?


JayBee Anama

Now This is How You Display a Complete Set of 1999 Topps Mark McGwire #220 Cards…

Not only do I enjoy reading blogs and twitter feeds (you can follow me @bdj610), but I am on Facebook as well. I don’t know how, I’m guessing probably because I am a Hobby blogger, but I’ve been added to a lot of sports card trading groups. I guess the…

And Now, Your Starting Lineups…

As announced at All-Star Media Day:For the American League:1. Mike Trout, LAA, cf2. Josh Donaldson, TOR, 3b3. Albert Pujols, LAA, 1b4. Nelson Cruz, SEA, dh5. Lorenzo Cain, KCR, rf6. Adam Jones, BAL, lf7. Salvador Perez, KCR, c8. Jose Altuve, HOU, 2b9.&…

Gray and Scherzer out of the ASG, Santiago and Kershaw 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 n…

2015 Topps Pro Debut at the Futures Game

The All-Star festivities are now in full swing and the highlight of this first day’s events is the annual Futures Game.Since the first Futures Game in 1999, 120 players who were named to either the US or World rosters have become MLB All-Star…

Responding to Comments: 5-Card Packs

I just saw this comment on an post that I wrote earlier this year regarding the 5-card packs that I bought at the Dollar Tree. The thing is that the person who left the comment did so anonymously. So instead of leaving a response on the post, I’m going…

The 2015 All-Star Rosters Have Been Announced…What Do You Think???

On Sunday, we learned who the fans voted onto the respective NL and AL All-Star Teams. For the most part, it looks like the fans picked the right players.

On Monday, the reserves, pitchers, and final man candidates were announced. Both teams were extremely well balanced, there are even more set up men going to this game than ever before, showing how important these guys are becoming in today’s game. We even learned who was going to replace injured starters Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Cabrera.

So without further ado, here are the 2015 MLB All-Star Game rosters as announced on Monday night (with 2015 Topps Card # and retail team set # if applicable, for those of you playing along and putting them into your All-Star Binders):

American League Starters

1B-Miguel Cabrera, Tigersº (#200, DT-1)
2B-Jose Altuve, Astros(#620, HA-1)
3B-Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays (#5 with the Athletics, TBJ-12)
SS-Alcides Escobar, Royals (#137, KCR-4)
OF-Mike Trout, Angels (#300, A-1)
OF-Lorenzo Cain, Royals (#516, KCR-12)
OF-Alex Gordon, Royals (#456, KCR-11)
C-Salvador Perez, Royals (#39, KCR-5)
DH-Nelson Cruz, Mariners (#411, SM-17)

American League Pitchers

P-Chris Archer, Rays (#324, TBR-7)
P-Sonny Gray, Athletics (#305, OA-1)
P-Dallas Keuchel, Astros (#477, HA-16)
P-David Price, Tigers (#550, DT-16)
P-Chris Sale, White Sox (#376, CWS-10)
RP-Dellin Betances, Yankees (#532, NYY-4)
RP-Wade Davis, Royals (#454, KCR-16)
RP-Glen Perkins, Twins (#197, MT-8)
P-Felix Hernandez, Mariners (#325, SM-3, selected by MGR)
RP-Brad Boxberger, Rays (#538, selected by MGR)
RP-Zach Britton, Orioles (#190, BO-5, selected by MGR)
RP-Kelvin Herrera, Royals (selected by MGR)
RP-Darren O’Day, Orioles (#670, BO-6, selected by MGR)

American League Reserves

1B-Albert Pujols, Angels (#600, A-10, will start for Cabrera)
2B-Jason Kipnis, Indians (#221, CI-8)
3B-Manny Machado, Orioles (#136, BO-7)
SS-Jose Iglesias, Tigers (#239, DT-7)
UT-Brock Holt, Red Sox (selected by MGR)
1B-Mark Teixeira, Yankeesª (#307, NYY-11, replaces Cabrera)
OF-Jose Bautista, Blue Jays (#25, TBJ-1)
OF-Adam Jones, Orioles (#169, BO-1)
OF-J. D. Martinez, Tigers (#148, DT-5)
DH-Prince Fielder, Rangers (#422, TR-6)
C-Stephen Vogt, Athletics (#652, OA-9)
C-Russell Martin, Blue Jays (#436, TBJ-4, selected by MGR)

American League Final Man Candidates

SS-Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox (#327, BRS-6)
OF-Yoenis Cespedes, Tigers (#120 with the Red Sox, #DT-8)
2B-Brian Dozier, Twins (#259, MT-2)
OF-Brett Gardner, Yankees (#21, NYY-3)
3B-Mike Moustakas, Royals (#461, KCR-10)

National League Starters

1B-Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks (#203, AD-1)
2B-Dee Gordon, Marlins (#559, MM-14)
3B-Todd Frazier, Reds (#42, CR-5)
SS-Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals (#311, SLC-5)
OF-Bryce Harper, Nationals (#207, WN-1)
OF-Giancarlo Stanton, Marlinsº (#150, MM-1)
OF-Matt Holliday, Cardinals (#361, SLC-10)
C-Buster Posey, Giants (#275, SGF-12)

National League Pitchers

P-Gerrit Cole, Pirates (#671, PIP-15)
P-Jacob deGrom, Mets (#129, NYM-17)
P-Zack Greinke, Dodgers (#267, LAD-5)
P-Shelby Miller, Braves (#220 with the Cardinals, AB-2)
P-Max Scherzer, Nationals (#586, WN-14)
RP-Aroldis Chapman, Reds (#268, CR-9)
RP-Mark Melancon, Pirates (#124, PIP-6)
RP-Trevor Rosenthal, Cardinals (#286, SLC-6)
P-Madison Bumgarner, Giants (#20, SFG-1, selected by MGR)
P-A.J. Burnett, Pirates (#466, #PIP-2, selected by MGR)
P-Michael Wacha, Cardinals (#60, SLC-7, selected by MGR)
RP-Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies (#143, PHP-8, selected by MGR)
RP-Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers (selected by MGR)

National League Reserves

1B-Anthony Rizzo, Cubs (#47, CHC-1)
2B-DJ LeMahieu, Rockies (#438, COR-10)
3B-Nolan Arenado, Rockies (#62, COR-8)
SS-Brandon Crawford, Giants (#159, SFG-7)
1B-Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers (#328, LAD-4, selected by MGR)
2B-Joe Panik, Giants (#503, SFG-8, selected by MGR)
3B-Kris Bryant, Cubsª (#616, replaces Stanton)
OF-Andrew McCutchen, Pirates (#400, PIP-1, will start for Stanton)
OF-Joc Pederson, Dodgers (#192, LAD-9)
OF-A. J. Pollock, Diamondbacks (#572, AD-11)
OF-Justin Upton, Padres (#69 with the Braves, #SDP-6, selected by MGR)
C-Yadier Molina, Cardinals (#647, SLC-11)
C-Yasmani Grandal, Dodgers (#338 with the Padres, LAD-12, selected by MGR)

National League Final Man Candidates

SP-Johnny Cueto, Reds (#375, CR-13)
RP-Jeurys Familia, Mets (#402)
SP-Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (#100, LAD-1)
SP-Carlos Martinez, Cardinals (#527, SLC-9)
SS-Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (#125, COR-1)

º Injured, will not participate
ª Named as replacement

The rosters once again will consist of 34 active players. Each team is already at 34 players and we haven’t even gotten the final man voting in yet. Why is that?

Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates will start in place of Stanton on the NL team, and Cubs wunderkind Kris Bryant will take Stanton’s spot on the roster (and possibly the Home Run Derby…we’ll see).

On the American League side, Albert Pujols of the Angels will start at 1st in place of Cabrera, and Mark Teixeira of the Yankees takes Cabrera’s spot on the roster.

Including the players on the Final Man balloting, only three players do not have cards in the eponymous Topps set or any of the retail sets. Those players include Kelvin Herrera and Brock Holt on the AL side, and Francisco Rodriguez on the NL. Each should have cards in the expanded Update series. In the meantime, every other player has a card that at least features them on their current team as long as you count the retail sets.

As it seems to be the case these past few years, there is a lot of youth on both rosters, as well as a ton of first-time All-Stars to boot (about 26 at last count). If you look at the Final Man Nominees, all five AL candidates are hitters, (compared to five starting pitchers the year before and five relievers the year prior to that). The NL includes 4 pitchers and Tulo. How deep is the NL starting staff? I know he’s having a down year, but when Clayton Kershaw is relegated to Final Man balloting, you know that if the starters on the NL roster were all on the same team, they’d be nothing short of dominant.

Chicago is well represented this year with three players between both teams (Rizzo, Bryant, Sale). Thanks to the early Royals voting surge, KC brings six players to Cincinnati, and Moustakas could be number 7 as he’s on the final man ballot. The Cardinals, who have the best record in baseball, send 5 players, and a sixth, Martinez, is also on the final man ballot.

Now I didn’t get a chance to hear which of the starting pitchers are scheduled to pitch for their respective teams this Sunday. The rule is in effect that if any of them are in line to pitch that day, they will have to be replaced. This is just the beginning. If history is an indicator, expect both active rosters to dramatically change by the time July 14 comes. As always, I’ll make sure to help you add cards to your All-Star binders by providing card numbers for the players added onto the All-Star teams.

Let’s hear the answers to these questions:

Who do you think should have been chosen that wasn’t (not even for the Final Man ballot)?

Of the players selected, who shouldn’t be going to the game?

Were the guys you wanted from your team chosen?

If not, then who should have represented your team?

Let the debates begin.


JayBee Anama

The 2015 All-Star Starters Have Been Announced…What Do You Think???

It’s that time of the year again here at this humble, little blog. It’s probably my favorite time of the year.Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s MLB All-Star season!!! And this year, MLB decided to make things interesting. As you probably all know, there …

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 …

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 …

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…

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…

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 mass…

Let the Bryant-Mania Begin

(Before I begin, I’d like to take a moment to say thanks and God Bless Francis Cardinal George, who passed away this morning due to complications to cancer. Rest in Peace, Your Eminence.)In 2010, we had Strasburg Mania.In 2012, it was Harper Mania…