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A Quick Lesson For Budding Set Collectors and Even For Those Who’ve Done This For a While…

on July 26th, 2014 by James B. Anama

In these economic times, I find myself buying more sets off the Bay than trying to build one from scratch. Does it make me less of a collector? No. Hoarder? Depends on who you ask (my wife has a few choice words to answer that one).But to be honest, ti…

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Random Topps Card of the Day: 1996 Topps #114 Todd Stottlemyre

on July 21st, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, July 21, 2014:Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1996 Topps #114.Player Name, position, team: Todd Stottlemyre, pitcher, Oakland Athletics.Major League D…

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

on July 21st, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Pro Debut Card of the Week:Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2010 Topps Pro Debut #340.Player Name, position, team: Casey Coleman, pitcher, Iowa Cubs.Level-League, Team Affiliation…

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

on July 20th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Warning: Lots of rambling below. Bare with me. My thoughts are a bit scrambled as I post this while I’m downtown.It’s been months since I last did this, and I’m really sad.You see, I started worrying about the popularity of Hobby Blogs as soon as I sta…

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

on July 20th, 2014 by James B. Anama

It’s Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, July 20, 2014:Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1959 Topps #490.Player Name, position, team: Frank Thomas, third baseman-outfielder…

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And Now, Your Starting Lineups…

on July 15th, 2014 by James B. Anama

First of all, circumstances beyond my control prevented me to continue posting about the events and important news (like roster changes) leading up to the All-Star Game on Tuesday. However, I had the blog posts ready, and thought I had them scheduled. …

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

on July 13th, 2014 by James B. Anama

As soon as I said that pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Tyson Ross would need to be replaced on the NL All-Star Team, NL Manager Mike Matheny named their replacements. And this time, he didn’t have to go too far to find them. While both are now back in t…

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

on July 13th, 2014 by James B. Anama

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…

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Rodney Replaces Price on AL ASG Roster

on July 13th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Two years ago, these two teammates took part in the 2012 All-Star Game. This time, one replaces the other.David Price was scheduled to start on Saturday, but fell ill, and his start was moved to Sunday. That brought out the “Sunday Starter Rule” and wi…

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Martinez and Zimmermann out of the ASG, Kinsler and Alvarez Named Replacements.

on July 13th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Since the announcement of the All-Star Teams, Tigers’ designated hitter Victor Martinez has not appeared in one game for the Detroit due to a strained lower right side. And while he was not placed on the DL, it was decided that he would not take part i…

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Montero Replaces Molina on NL ASG Roster

on July 11th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Cardinals’ fans were disheartened to learn that their superstar catcher, Yadier Molina, would now miss 8-12 weeks of the season due to a ligament tear in his right thumb. Voted as a starter in this Tuesday’s All-Star Game, he now will have to watch the…

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Sale and Rizzo win the Final Man Vote!!!

on July 11th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Maybe when the final man ballots were announced, and teams paired up together to try and get both of their boys onto the rosters (think Bran-Torino in 2009), that the two Chicago teams should have joined forces instead of pairing with the Nationals (Wh…

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Aybar Replaces Gordon on AL ASG Roster

on July 11th, 2014 by James B. Anama

While baseball fans around the world were busy voting, tweeting, and hash-tagging on the last day of Final Man voting (I’ll get to this in a separate post), Alex Gordon of the Royals sprained his right wrist. While he is not being placed on the 15-Day …

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#VoteRizzo And Now a Friendly Reminder #VoteRizzo

on July 10th, 2014 by James B. Anama

What are you all waiting for??! The Final Man Voting ends at 3:00 CST. From now until then, go on Twitter, and every time you post, make sure you use the hashtag #VoteRizzo. It doesn’t matter what your post is about, just type in #VoteRizzo at the end….

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Uehara Replaces Tanaka on AL ASG Roster

on July 9th, 2014 by James B. Anama

On Sunday, Masahiro Tanaka, the biggest name in the free agent market during the offseason, was named to the AL All-Star team. However, because he was in line to pitch on Sunday, he would have to be replaced by another due to the “No Sunday Starters” r…

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Seager Replaces Encarnacion on AL ASG Roster

on July 7th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Just before the announcements for the All-Star Rosters were made, Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays strained his right quadriceps running to first base in the first inning of the Blue Jays/Athletics game. To replace Encarnacion, AL All-Star …

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2014 Topps Allen & Ginter’s Checklist is Live. So Who Else is in This Set?

on July 7th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Since 2006, Topps Allen & Ginter’s World Champions sets featured not only baseball players, but in tribute to the original 1886 product, it included historical subjects, world champions from various sports and events, actors/actresses, broadcasters…

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The 2014 All-Star Rosters Have Been Announced…What Do You Think???

on July 6th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Sorry for not posting for a while. Major conversion happening at work, so I’ve been busy. But that does not mean I’ve not paid attention to the game, not made some big purchases (I finally have my hands on the 2014 Topps Pro Debut set and got a heck-of-a-deal on a pre-sale for a full-size master set of this year’s Allen & Ginter’s product), and I most certainly did NOT forget that the All-Star Game is coming up.

Today, is one of my favorite days of the baseball season, the day that the rosters for the All-Star Game are announced. This time, the rosters were officially named in the evening (6:00 pm CST), so I made sure that the TV was mine and that I was by a computer to start typing the names as they were announced. Yes, I’m a geek, and soon, you’ll know why.

The MLB All-Star Game rosters as announced tonight:

American League Starters (with 2014 Topps Card # and retail team set if applicable.)

American League Leading Vote-Getter: Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays

1B-Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (#323, DET2)
2B-Robinson Cano, Mariners (#500, SEA12)
3B-Josh Donaldson, Athletics (#134, OAK8)
SS-Derek Jeter, Yankees (#134, NYY1)
OF-Jose Bautista, Blue Jays (#323, TOR2)
OF-Adam Jones, Orioles (#398, BAL1)
OF-Mike Trout, Angels (#1, LAA1)
C-Matt Wieters, Oriolesº
DH-Nelson Cruz, Orioles (#453)

American League Pitchers

P-Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays (#30, TOR14)
P-Yu Darvish, Rangers (#300, TEX1)
P-Felix Hernandez, Mariners (#401, SEA1)
P-Scott Kazmir, Athletics (#371, OAK3)
P-Jon Lester, Red Sox (#258, BOS4, selected by MGR)
P-David Price, Rays (#489, TAM2, selected by MGR)
P-Max Scherzer, Tigers (#297, DET4, selected by MGR)
P-Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees (#661)
RP-Dellin Betances, Yankees
RP-Sean Doolittle, Athletics (#226, OAK9)
RP-Greg Holland, Royals (#617, KCR14)
RP-Glen Perkins, Twins (#492, MIN11)

American League Reserves

1B-Jose Abreu, White Sox (#496)
1B-Brandon Moss, Athletics (#471, OAK15, selected by MGR)
2B-Jose Altuve (#210, HOU1)
3B-Adrian Beltre, Rangers (#161, TEX2)
SS-Alexei Ramirez, White Sox (#308, CHW9)
OF-Michael Brantley, Indians (#261, CLE10)
OF-Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics (#14, OAK1)
OF-Alex Gordon, Royals (#97, KCR2)
C-Derek Norris, Athletics (#346, OAK11, selected by MGR)
C-Salvador Perez, Royalsª (#655, KCR13)
C-Kurt Suzuki, Twins (#104, MIN13, selected by MGR)
DH-Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays (#98, TOR4, selected by MGR)
DH-Victor Martinez, Tigers (#31, DET13)

American League Final Man Candidates

P-Dallas Keuchel, Astros (#482, HOU15)
P-Corey Kluber, Indians (#279, CLE3)
P-Rick Porcello, Tigers (#384, DET8)
P-Garrett Richards, Angels (#306, LAA9)
P-Chris Sale, White Sox (#148, CHW1)

National League Starters

National League Leading Vote-Getter: Troy Tulowtizki of the Rockies

1B-Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks (#15, ARI1)
2B-Chase Utley, Phillies (#502, PHI6)
3B-Aramis Ramirez, Brewers (#560, MIL6)
SS-Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (#25, COL2)
OF-Carlos Gomez, Brewers (#302, MIL2)
OF-Andrew McCutchen, Pirates (#150, PIT1)
OF-Yasiel Puig, Dodgers (#331, LAD7)
C-Yadier Molina, Cardinals (#57, STL7)

National League Pitchers

P-Madison Bumgarner, Giants (#537, SFG4)
P-Johnny Cueto, Reds (#16, CIN3)
P-Zack Greinke, Dodgers (#142, LAD9, selected by MGR)
P-Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (#400, LAD3)
P-Tyson Ross, Padres (#87, SDP12, selected by MGR)
P-Jeff Samardzija, Cubs/Athleticsⁿ (#239, CHC9)
P-Julio Teheran, Braves (#288, ATL14, selected by MGR)
P-Adam Wainwright, Cardinals (#50, STL2)
P-Jordan Zimmermann, Nationalsª (#107, WAS5)
RP-Aroldis Chapman, Reds (#396, CIN2)
RP-Craig Kimbrel, Braves (#46, ATL1)
RP-Pat Neshek, Cardinals (selected by MGR)
RP-Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers
RP-Tony Watson, Pirates (selected by MGR)

National League Reserves

1B-Freddie Freeman, Braves (#579, ATL9)
2B-Dee Gordon, Dodgers (#587)
2B-Daniel Murphy (#155, NYM5, selected by MGR)
3B-Matt Carpenter, Cardinals (#44, STL9, selected by MGR)
3B-Todd Frazier, Reds (#580, CIN11)
SS-Starlin Castro, Cubs (#603, CHC2)
OF-Charlie Blackmon, Rockies (#20, COL6)
OF-Josh Harrison, Pirates
OF-Hunter Pence, Giants (#412, SFG14)
C-Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers (#285, MIL12)
C-Devin Mesoraco, Reds (#393, CIN15)

National League Final Man Candidates

3B-Casey McGehee, Marlins (#340, MIA6)
1B-Justin Morneau, Rockies (#465, COL13)
2B-Anthony Rendon, Nationals (#521, WAS16)
1B-Anthony Rizzo, Cubs (#71, CHC1)
OF-Justin Upton, Braves (#229, ATL2)

Notes:
º Injured, will not participate
ºº Elected not to participate
ª Named as replacement
ⁿ Selected by player vote, but was traded to AL

If you notice, not counting those injured, there will be two 34-man rosters here (including the Final Man winners).

Including the players on the Final Man balloting, six players do not have any cards from either the eponymous Topps set or the retail sets. This year, they include All-Stars Dellin Betances of the Yankees, Pat Neshek of the Cardinals, Francisco Rodriguez of the Brewers, Tony Watson of the Pirates (I swear, relief pitchers do not get the Hobby love…and they’re becoming more important to the game now more than ever), Josh Harrison of the Pirates (okay, maybe the Pirates don’t get the Hobby love that they deserve), and Matt “I’m-Never-Going-to-Sign-a-Topps-Contract-Ever” Wieters. Just as well, he was elected to start, but is injured and unable to play. Salvador Perez of the Royals, who won the player vote, will take his spot in the starting lineup. The remaining five should be getting cards in the Update series in one way or another. To alleviate their slights, I will be using the team’s stadium cards to fill-in for them (found only in the team retail sets although that would be hard with two Pirates without cards…I don’t have two PNC Park cards).

For the first time since Carlos Beltran in 2004 (the Royals outfielder was named to the 2004 AL team, but was traded to the NL Astros before the All-Star Break), a player who was traded away from the team he was to represent made it to the All-Star Game. Maybe the Cubs should have waited until after the ASG to trade Jeff Samardzija to Oakland (does this give the Athletics seven All-Stars, or do the Cubs have two), but even with the less-than-stellar run support, and an extremely bad (on paper) won-loss record, the players voted “Shark” (really, when did he start getting called by this nickname?) as one of the five SP’s to the NL roster. However, now that he’s in the American League, he is no longer “eligible” for the game. He will still get the benefits that come with being named an All-Star, but he most likely will be suiting up with the rest of the guys on the A’s. With Jeff now off the team (technically, he still represents the Cubs), Jordan Zimmermann (who was sixth in the player voting) takes his place.

Lots of youth on both rosters. And a ton of first-time All-Stars to boot (about 25 at last count). If you look at the Final Man Nominees, all five AL candidates are starting pitchers (compared to five relievers the year before). Both Chicago teams have a guy on the final man ballot. I’ve already done my part, I hope by voting for both Sale and Rizzo. Once again, teams are starting to pair up (Cleveland Rox anyone??!) I have already implored whatever Chicago baseball fans I can reach (which is not a lot, let me tell you) to put aside their differences and get both of our boys to the All-Star Game.

After watching the hour-long program on ESPN, I turned over to the MLB Network for the analysis. One of the more interesting tidbits I found was that four All-Stars are presently slated to start on the last day before the break (July 13). Now the rule for pitchers is that if they are set to pitch on the last day before the All-Star break, they become ineligible to appear in the game. They still get to participate in the All-Star festivities, are still officially All-Stars, but just won’t play. If that is the case, then Masahiro Tanaka (Yankees), Madison Bumgarner (Giants), Johnny Cueto (Reds), and Tyson Ross (Padres), are presently ineligible to participate in the game, and may need replacements. Now, unlike last year when Adam Wainwright begged to be moved to the final Sunday start to avoid playing in the game, there is no word yet if anyone plans on doing the same.

So now that we know the players, I am getting my All-Star binder out and will begin the fun process of putting the cards of the All-Stars/Final Man Candidates into it. I do this every year (what, don’t YOU??!) I’ll probably be adding to it between now and July 15, and I’ll make sure to make note of every roster replacement here.

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.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

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Random Topps Card of the Day: 1989 Topps #774 Ron Oester

on June 21st, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, June 21, 2014:Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1989 Topps #774.Player Name, position, team: Ron Oester, second baseman, Cincinnati Reds.Major League …

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Random Topps Team Set of the Week: 2011 St. Louis Cardinals

on June 21st, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Team Set of the Week:Team: 2011 St. Louis CardinalsRecord: 90-72, MLB World Series Champions.Managers: Tony LaRussaCard on the Top: Albert PujolsThe checklist consists of the following p…

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Random Topps Card of the Day: 2011 Topps Update Series #US265 Willie Harris

on June 20th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, June 21, 2014:Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2011 Topps Update Series #US265.Player Name, position, team: Willie Harris, outfielder, New York Mets.Ma…

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Random Topps Card of the Day: 1992 Topps Traded #126T B. J. Wallace

on June 19th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, June 19, 2014:Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1992 Topps Traded #126T.Player Name, position, team: B. J. Wallace, pitcher, Team USA.Major League Deb…

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Random Topps Card of the Day: 1995 Topps #499 John Olerud

on June 18th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, June 18, 2014:Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1995 Topps #499.Player Name, position, team: John Olerud, first baseman, Toronto Blue Jays.Major Leag…

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Random Topps Card of the Day: 1977 Topps #640 Carlton Fisk

on June 17th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, June 17, 2014: Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1977 Topps #640.Player Name, position, team: Carlton Fisk, catcher, Boston Red Sox.Major League Debut:…

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RIP Tony Gwynn 1960-2014

on June 16th, 2014 by James B. Anama

I..I can’t stand it.It really doesn’t seem that long ago that the man was on the field, hitting the ball with precision rarely seen in the game.I actually did a double take when I saw this and now, I can’t think straight.I know that players come and go…

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Random Topps Card of the Day: 1999 Topps Traded and Rookies #T31 Tony Torcato

on June 16th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, June 16, 2014:Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2003 Topps Traded and Rookies #T71.Player Name, position, team: Tony Torcato, third baseman, San Francis…

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Random Topps Pro Debut Card of the Week: 2011 Topps Pro Debut #142 Eddie Rosario

on June 16th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Pro Debut Card of the Week:Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2011 Topps Pro Debut #142.Player Name, position, team: Eddie Rosario, outfielder, GCL Twins.Level-League, Team Affiliat…

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Random Topps Card of the Day: 1966 Topps #187 Chuck Dressen

on June 15th, 2014 by James B. Anama

It’s Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, June 15, 2014:Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1966 Topps #187.Name, position, team: Chuck Dressen, manager, Detroit Tigers.Major …

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Random Topps Team Set of the Week: 2010 Florida Marlins

on June 14th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Team Set of the Week:Team: 2010 Florida MarlinsRecord: 80-82, third place, NL East Division.Managers: Fredi Gonzalez & Edwin RodriguezCard on the Top: Hanley RamirezThe checklis…

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Random Topps Card of the Day: 2001 Topps #384 Golden Moments Cal Ripken

on June 14th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, July 14, 2014:Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2001 Topps #384.Player Name, position, team: Cal Ripken, third baseman, Baltimore Orioles.Special: Gol…

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Random Topps Card of the Day: 2007 Topps #500 Pedro Martinez

on June 13th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, June 13, 2014:Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2007 Topps #13.Player Name, position, team: :P edro Martinez, pitcher, New York Mets.Major League Debut: …

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Short Prints in 2014 Topps? Of Course There Are…But…

on June 12th, 2014 by James B. Anama
Okay, I’ve read the backs of Topps Cards for years. What the heck are these stats??!

Topps did not include a list of the SP variations when the checklist for 2014 Topps Series 2 went live. Some people would complain to the high heavens that there isn’t more transparency. But seriously, that kills the fun of discovering new and, quite frankly, weird themes for their short-printed cards.

Gone are the legends from the early part of the 20th century (I think the CMG license is long gone, but they still have some legends in their stable for later use). Now we get player celebrations, playoff celebrations, players off the field, and even some Boston Strong variations.

But the ones that Topps came out with for this series are probably the most unique they’ve come out with in a long time.

Because instead of using a second picture for the front of the cards, you now have to look on the back to see if you have a short print.

When the sell sheets for S2 went live, one of the insert sets they were going to include was something called “Saber Stars.” Saber, meaning Sabermetrics, the statistics that the Society of Baseball Research (SABR…SABeR…get it?) use to compare players from the past to those in the present day. They say that these stats are more valuable in determining a player’s worth on the field than the stats we’ve all been accustomed to. They say that batting average, home runs, rbi’s…not good enough. Win-Loss records and ERA? Are they even necessary??? Now it’s all about WAR (Wins above Replacement), OPS+ (which is on base percentage plus slugging percentage…kicked up a notch), FIP (right now, I have absolutely no idea what this means…we’ll learn all of that shortly though), and other bizarre acronyms.

Now, I’ve always believed that every player leads the league in some category. It can be the most obscure category (like home run leader for those who has six letters in their last name or something). But the stats that Topps has included on the backs of these cards would scare collectors from the 1950′s.

Now we all know the statistics that make up the regular batter’s line for 2014 Topps added the WAR stat to the line up (removing strikeouts…a key stat for batters ). The rest of the stats we know:

  • G – Games
  • AB – At Bats
  • R – Runs
  • H – Hits
  • 2B – Doubles
  • 3B – Triples
  • HR – Home Runs
  • RBI – Runs Batted In
  • SB – Stolen Bases
  • BB – Bases on Ball/Walks
  • SLG – Slugging Percentage (which takes the number of bases per hit divided by the number of at bats)
  • OPS – On Base Percentage + Slugging Percentage (which first appeared in 2004 to appease rotisserie players)
  • AVG-Batting Average (Total Hits/At-Bats)
  • WAR-Wins above Replacement (formulas are complicated to explain)

But these SP’s include the following statistics on the header. For the uninitiated, I’ll try to explain what each of the letters mean (note that I am no expert, and as I was researching this, I was getting just as confused):

  • PA – Plate Appearances, every time a player makes an appearance at the plate (AB + BB + HBP + SF + SH)
  • OPS+ – On Base Percentage Plus (100*[OBP/lg OBP + SLG/lg SLG - 1]) Adjusted to the player’s ballpark(s). Confused yet?
  • BB% – Percentage of the time player draws a walk (walks/plate appearance)
  • K% – Percentage of the time a player strikes out (strikeout/plate appearance)
  • BABIP – Batting Average when Ball is In Play, which is (hits – home runs/at bats – strikeouts + sacrifice flies)
  • ISO – Isolated Power, which measures the average number of extra bases per at bat
  • wOBA – Weighted On Base Average, a stat that is designed to measure a player’s overall offensive contributions per plate appearance((0.72*Non intentional walks) + (0.75*Hit by Pitch) + (.90*singles) + (.92*reached base on error) + (1.24*doubles) + (1.56*triples) + (1.95*home runs))/plate appearances
  • WRC+ – Weighted Runs Created, a players worth of runs for his team
  • WPA – Win Probability Added, which is defined as the difference in win expectancy (WE) between the start of the play and the end of the play
  • TB – Total Bases
  • SB% – Stolen base percentage (stolen bases/stolen base attempts)
  • TZR – Total Zone Runs, a defensive stat that measures the number of runs above or below average the player was worth based on the number of plays made
  • WAR – Wins Above Replacement, which they already included on the base cards. Topps should have included the missing strikeout totals from the regular line and added them here instead of putting the WAR stat.

My head is spinning from all of that.

Don’t think the pitchers were left out from all of the Saber-madness. They have their own set of stats too. Now as we all know, the regular pitcher’s stat line this year excluded complete games (which is just as well as the number of these have decreased as bullpen dependency has increased). But the rest of the stats collectors recognize:

  • G – Games
  • W – Wins
  • L – Losses
  • IP – Innings Pitched
  • H – Hits
  • R – Runs
  • ER – Earned Runs
  • BB – Bases on Balls/Walks
  • SO – Strikeouts
  • SHO – Shutouts
  • SV – Saves
  • WHIP – Walks + Hits / Innings pitched (the added pitcher’s stat for Roto players)
  • ERA – Earned Run Average (Earned Runs / Innings pitched * 9)
  • WAR – Wins Above Replacement (pitchers get this too)

For the pitchers, the following stats were included on the header:

  • IP – Innings pitched
  • QS% – Quality Start Percentage, which is the ratio of quality starts to total starts
  • RS/GS – Run Support per Games Started (which now relies on the pitcher’s offense)
  • HR/9 – Number of Home Runs allowed per nine innings (think of an ERA for homers)
  • SO/BB – Strikeouts to Walks ratio (or how many strikeouts per number of walks)
  • LOB% – Percentage of runners left on base
  • GB% – Ground ball percentage, or the number of balls that are put in play on the ground, whether it’s a hit or an out
  • WHIP – Walks + Hits / Innings Pitched (should have put complete games here instead)
  • ERA+ – Adjusted ERA (100*[lgERA/ERA]) according to the player’s ballpark(s).
  • FIP – Fielding Independent Pitching, which measures a pitcher’s effectiveness at preventing HR, BB, HBP and causing SO ((13*HR + 3*(BB+HBP) – 2*SO)/IP + Constant). The constant is set so that each season MLB average FIP is the same as the MLB avg ERA
  • WPA – Win Probability Added, which is defined as the difference in win expectancy (WE) between the start of the play and the end of the play
  • WAR – Wins Above Replacement

Yes, I took some aspirin after all of this. I love baseball, and I love numbers, but the saber numbers just takes everything to the extreme. I like simple. But if this is what they say will determine how baseball players would have done in other eras, so be it. It’s not as if we can put Mike Trout in a time machine to see how he’d fare during the time of Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, can we?

Oh well, along with the saber SP’s, there are the sparkles SP’s, there are also more Future Star SP’s (you thought Yasiel would be the only player in series 1 to get the SP FS treatment?) The players chosen for this subset are pictured during their respective “Futures Game” during the All-Star Festivities. So there are going to be a lot of US and World players, except for Tanaka…of course.

One final SP I would say would make a certain blogger go insane, but I think he’s too far gone now to care.

Snoopy??!

Yes, that’s Snoopy peering in from the Twins’ dugout. Recently, it was announced that as the All-Star Game will be held in the Twin Cities this year, MLB and Peanuts have partnered up and the statues that have traditionally popped up around the host city will be of Charles Schulz’ beloved comic strip characters. Schulz is a native of St. Paul, and almost everyone (if you’re the exception, there is something horribly wrong with you) knows that there are many Peanuts’ strips that involve baseball. So it’s a natural fit.

I’m going to bed. The stats are still flying in my head. Oh yeah, one quick way to tell if you have a saber stat SP? Check the code on the back of the card. Sabermetric variants end in 75. Series 2 base cards and other variations all end in 34.

Good luck.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

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Random Topps Card of the Day: 1996 Topps #409 Todd Hundley

on June 12th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, June 12, 2014:Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1996 Topps #409.Player Name, position, team: Todd Hundley, catcher, New York Mets.Major League Debut: …

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Random Topps Card of the Day: 1991 Topps Traded #48T Luis Gonzalez

on June 11th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, June 11, 2014:Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1991 Topps Traded #48T.Player Name, position, team: Luis Gonzalez, outfielder, Houston Astros.Major L…

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The 2014 Topps Series 2 Checklist is Now Live!

on June 11th, 2014 by James B. Anama

Series Two of this year’s eponymous Topps set has been released to the masses, and it means a few things:The All-Star Game is coming soon, and with it, the debut of factory sets330 more cards will be added to my collection (plus inserts…will get to t…

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