Posts in category: bdj610's Topps Baseball
Éirinn go brách! Celebrating at Home…Again.

For those wondering what happened to me, I’m still here. Work has been extremely busy, and that’s a good thing.

Some quick Hobby Notes:

I have completed my 2016 Topps Master set. With all of the Heritage hub bub lately, I take comfort knowing that the Gypsy Queen (the 2016 edition anyway) will set sail soon.

There is a big card show this weekend down the street from my house. Do I plan on buying stuff? Maybe. I’m hoping to get a lot of free stuff. But more importantly, I’m there to feel the environment. I love these big card shows. I love watching the people. I might not go for the autographs, but to see fathers (and mothers) with their sons (and daughters) sharing the Hobby we all love, makes me appreciate all that is good about it.

But I digress.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. It is the day that honors St. Patrick, who is the patron saint of Ireland. It also commemorates the arrival of Christianity to the Emerald Isle. In fact, it is said (thanks Wikipedia) that he used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity.

My family will be enjoying boiled corned beef brisket with all the veggies (potatoes, carrots, cabbage) tonight. I would like to apologize to my sister…AGAIN…because we will not be able to join her and the rest of the family for dinner (it’s a school night, there are still dance classes happening). Meanwhile, I’ve been playing Irish music on the computer all afternoon, just to get into the mood.


If anybody says, “Top of the morning to you,” to you today, make sure to respond in kind, “And the rest of the day to yourself.”

Public Service Announcement (as my wife just said that she found the Bailey’s): As you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, please remember to celebrate responsibly.

Now for the baseball portion of the program. If you’re wondering, while there are many baseball players of Irish descent, 47 native-born Irish men made at least one appearance in the majors.
The last native born Irish player was Joe Cleary. Born in County Cork, Cleary only appeared in one game (08/04/1945) in 0.1 inning of work for the Washington Senators. But in that eventful inning, he struck out one batter (the good news), but allowed five hits, three walks, and seven earned runs to score. Saving time for the math, but seven runs in 1/3 innings equals an ERA of 189.

So now, a quick toast to everyone, Irish or just-for-the-day:

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be at your back.
May your cards collections grow to unmeasurable heights in both volume and value.
May the quest for new cards be swift.
May the journey of life treat you well today and always.
And may a certain North Side baseball team win it all this year (just have a decent season…please).
If you catch my drift.

Sláinte!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

It’s Opening Day!!! Really!!! 2016 Topps is Live!!!

It’s Opening Day ladies and gentlemen.No, pitchers and catchers don’t report to their spring training sites until later this month. But that doesn’t mean that baseball season is not upon us.The official street date for 2016 Topps Baseball cards is toda…

He’s Number 1!!! He’s Number 1!!!

After all of the voting, and the weeks of waiting, today, Topps announced the player who will now grace card #1 for the eponymous 2016 Topps Baseball product…

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

According to the Topps Blog, the image that is used for the above card, “depicts an amazing highlight from the 2015 season. On Sept. 26, he scaled the outfield wall, extended his body over it and robbed Seattle’s Jesus Montero of a home run in a tremendous catch.”

Topps Series 1 is coming soon, and I can’t wait.

Also heard that my little nephew wants to get into card collecting. I can’t wait to get him started. I’ll be kind, I promise.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

This Was the Whole Idea for the Topps 300 (and then some…): Debate!!!

(Before I begin, I’d like to express my condolences to the family and fans of David Bowie, who passed away last night after a long and private battle with cancer. He was one of the most iconic rockers over the last 40 years. I may have missed the forma…

Do You Remember the Topps 300 (and then some…)?

Back in 2011, Topps had this brilliant idea. They would hold a contest to determine the Top 60 Topps cards in its 50 year history. Now Topps picked 100 cards from its wide collection of cards and asked fans and collectors to pick their top ten cards fr…

One (or More) of These Players Could Be Voted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame

When the announcement is made at 05:00 PM CST on Wednesday, January 6, 2016, to let the world know who has been inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame, I will be at work. But I’ll still have the MLB Network on to watch the results live.With any luck, mo…

Pack Break Week 4: 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter’s

Whoops!

It looks like Pack Break Week #4 will have to be extended to this week as it has been one whirlwind weekend.

But now that the festivities are over and everyone is back at work and school (almost…), it’s time to get back in gear and kick off 2016 with a bang by opening up the pack I was supposed to open on Friday, 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter’s.

In it’s 10th successful campaign, Topps Allen & Ginter’s World Champions continues combining the world of sports with, well, everything else. Non baseball card subjects included the four guys who try to out-do each other on Impractical Jokers, the Appomattox Court House, the Magna Carta, and the four “characters” from the Rocky movies (not the actors who portrayed them). Unique insert sets, whether they are the standard 2½ x 3½ inch or the mini cards which were the size of the original cards that would have been inserted in tobacco products, round out this incredible product.

Now, there are collectors out there who even after 10 years of exposure to A&G still don’t get the concept and complain about all of these extra subjects in their baseball cards. They’re missing the point of the set. This is not just a baseball card product, but it pays homage to all the unique and crazy subjects that the original Allen & Ginter’s produced in the 19th century.

So what cards did I manage to get in my six-card pack of A&G? On the 10th Anniversary, this was what was inside:

  • #47 Lance Lynn, Cardinals
  • #19 Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
  • #AA-5 Chu Ko Nu, Ancient Armory insert
  • #262 Alex Cobb, Rays, Mini card
  • #323 Joaquin Benoit, Padres
  • #99 Edwin Escobar, Red Sox

Other than the nice insert card, this one joins the Stadium Club pack as a downer. Don’t get me wrong, the base design is nice, and yes, there are a couple of All-Stars in the pack. But for this Cubs fan, it’s nothing to write home about.

Here’s hoping that the 2015 Topps Update Series pack that I plan on opening tomorrow comes up with something nice. And while we’re at it, I might as well open the final pack from the dollar store, 2014 Topps Update Series. Should be interesting to say the least.

Have a great day everyone.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Pack Break Week 4: 2015 Topps Stadium Club

Just realized that I had this ready to go and for some reason it did not publish. I apologize for the delay.Before we run out to celebrate my sister’s birthday (she was born on New Year’s Eve), I better get this post for Pack Break Week going. I’m kind…

Pack Break Week 4: 2015 Topps Series 2

It’s almost the end of the year, and I’ve written more posts on this humble little blog in the last few days than I have for some months. How’s that for new-found commitment to writing? But remember, it’s not about the quantity of posts, it’s the …

Pack Break Week 4: 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen

Before it becomes “Taco Night” at home, it was just another ordinary day. The kids are still home on break, playing on their computers or whatever they do while I’m at work. My wife is baking cookies (made these really good peanut butter cookies last n…

Pack Break Week 4: 2015 Topps Series 1

It’s a cold night here as winter has “finally” arrived. But instead of light snowflakes slowly reaching the ground, it’s ice. Coming down real fast. It’s surprisingly deep out now, but it’s so heavy, it would be ridiculous to try and shovel. Snow blowi…

Pack Break Week 4: 2013 Topps Update Series

I love Pack Break Week!It’s one of the only times of the year that I get to open a ton of packs from different products and post them on the blog. In past years, I would go to the local big box store and buy a pack of random products (okay, products th…

Christmas…It Was a Good Day

Last year, my son went to the Dollar Tree. You might remember this story. If you don’t plan on clicking the link, let me give you the Cliff Notes version:He and his classmates went to the local dollar store to buy Christmas gifts for their familie…

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…and Where I Have Been

The journey that I started when I first wrote on this humble, little blog, brought me to an oasis that I haven’t really left yet. Yes, baseball card wise, it was a great year. I have both series of the eponymous product, plus the update set. I set sail…

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???

Sincerely,

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!!!

Why?

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?

Sincerely,

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.&…