Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Mound Dominance

13 12 2012

I just finished up another of the smaller insert sets from this year’s Topps product – Mound Dominance.

Info about the set:

Set description: “Celebrating the greatest pitching performances of all-time”.  This set basically replaced Classic Walk-offs from series 1.  The cards are designed horizontally with a picture of the pitcher to the left and a green 9-box of the strike zone to the right with the team logo in the center.  The set discusses a dominant individual pitching performance from each of the 15 hurlers.

Set composition: 15 cards, 1:8 hobby odds (2012 Topps series 2)

Hall of Famers: 9 – Tom Seaver, Sandy Koufax, Jim Palmer, Dennis Eckersley, Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Phil Niekro, Warren Spahn, Bob Feller

Unlike that classic walk-offs set from s1, this set is skewed toward retired players – there are only 4 current players in the set.

How I put the set together:

  • 5 cards from my HTA Jumbo box
  • 10 cards from trades

Thoughts on the set:  Another good idea.  And I give Topps a pretty good grade for player inclusion, too.  Including Armando Galarraga is actually thinking outside the box a bit.  I like the nod to his should-have-been perfect game.  I also like the inclusion of Phil Niekro for his 2-hit shutout at the age of 47.  The design is kind of neat, too, with the strike zone.  And they got a lot of the best pitching performances out there.  Here’s some of the ones I’d have considered adding:

Consecutive scoreless innings

  • Orel Hershiser – 1988.  You could even tie this one to a specific game – he pitched 10 scoreless innings in his last outing of the year to break the record (by that last inning) held by this dodger…
  • Don Drysdale – 1962.
  • Whitey Ford – 1961.  In a 5-game win over the Reds, Ford broke the World Series record for consecutive scoreless innings (29-2/3) held by…
  • Babe Ruth – 1918.  The Sultan of Swat actually pitched 29-2/3 through the 1918 World Series.

Strikeouts

  • Kerry Wood’s 20-k game should have been included, especially since he was still an option contractually when this set came out.  It’s possibly the most dominant pitching performance ever.
  • Clemens and his 2 20-k games.
  • Randy Johnson and either of his 19-k games or his perfect game.
  • Tom Cheney and his 21 k’s in 16 innings in 1962.

No-hitters

  • Hideo Nomo’s no-hitter in Coors Field
  • Catfish Hunter’s perfect game where he went 3-4 at the plate
  • Harvey Haddix’s 12 perfect innings in 1959 (when he’d eventually lose 1-0 in the 13th)
  • Ummm – Don Larsen’s perfect game in the World Series?  This is the biggest oversight in this set.
  • Back-to-back no-hitters by Johnny Vander Meer.  The second biggest oversight in this set.
  • Fred Toney and Hippo Vaughn pitch a double no-hitter in 1917.

World Series

  • Jack Morris 1991.  The third biggest oversight.
  • Christy Mathewson 1905.  Three shutouts in the World Series?  Ummm – put him in!
  • Mickey Lolich 1968.  Outdueling Bob Gibson to get 3 wins in the series – another great option here.

Other

  • A 58-pitch shutout by Red Barrett in 1944

Card that completed my set: #MD-7 – Roy Halladay

I got this card in a recent trade with a reader of my blog, Hans.

Highest book value: #MD-8 – Nolan Ryan

Pitchers tend not to have nearly the “Beckett value” that position players have – but Nolan Ryan is the clear exception.

Best card (my opinion): #MD-10 – Armando Galarraga

As I mentioned above, I’m happy this event got a card here.

My Favorite Reds card: #MD-1 – Tom Seaver

Easy choice as it’s the only one.

Here’s the list of these cards – and the year when the dominance happened.

  • Tom Seaver (1978).  No-hitter.
  • Justin Verlander (2007).  No-hitter.
  • Sandy Koufax (1963).  15 strikeouts in the World Series.
  • Jim Palmer (1966).  Shutout in the World Series at the age of 20.
  • Dennis Eckersley (1989).  4 pitches to close out the 9th inning of a WS sweep.
  • Bob Gibson (1968).  17 K’s in World Series.
  • Roy Halladay (2010).  No-hitter in the NLDS – one of 2 in postseason history.
  • Nolan Ryan (1981).  His 5th no-no broke the record he shared with Koufax.
  • Phil Niekro (1986).  Hurled a shutout at the age of 47.
  • Armand Galarraga (2010).  Lost a no-hitter on a bad call by Jim Joyce on the last play of the game.
  • Warren Spahn (1960).  15 strikeout no-hitter at the age of 39.
  • Bob Feller (1936).  15 K’s at the age of 17.
  • Jon Lester (2008).  An inspirational no-hitter after coming back from cancer.
  • John Smoltz (1991).  Shutout in Game 7 of the NLDS to send the Braves to the WS.
  • Dwight Gooden (1984).  11-K 1-hitter at the age of 19.
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One response

14 12 2012
30-Year Old Cardboard

This is one of the two sets that I am wokring on at the moment, with the other being ‘Career Day’. I love the theme of this set, and I would be really happy to see it extended into future Topps releases as well…

Keep up the great work!

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