Updating for 2022 & 2023 – Hall of Famers in Topps Traded

1 02 2023

Topps Traded is a quicker post than the two I did over the past week of so – I’ve got to update for all the new inductees in 2022 and 2023.

There were 9 players inducted over the past 2 years.  7 via what used to be called the Veterans’ Committee, and 2 via the BBWAA.

The 6 Eras Committee HOFers from 2022 don’t have any cards in 1980-2004 Topps Traded/Update.  Buck O’Neill, Bud Fowler, Tony Oliva, Minnie Minoso and Gil Hodges don’t have any Topps Traded cards given the time in which they played.  Jim Kaat actually has a 1976 Topps Traded card, but that’s before my project.

The other 3 new Hall of Famers were all part of trades that directly contributed to their new teams winning the World Series!

David Ortiz – last year’s Writers’ electee – is in 2003 Topps Traded for the league-altering traded from Minnesota to the Red Sox.  He wound up winning 3 titles with the Sox – earning an ALCS MVP and a WS MVP in the process.  He was in some later Update sets too, but I haven’t got to those years yet.

Fred McGriff – this year’s Committee selection – has a ton of Topps Traded cards.  6 in fact!

  • His first Topps card was in the 1987 Topps Traded set – he played a few games in 1986, but didn’t get a Topps card until Topps Traded when he passed the rookie marks.
  • He was in 1991 Topps Traded when he was traded from Toronto to San Diego along with Tony Fernandez for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter.  2 Hall of Famers, and 2 very good players!  This helped the team he left to a World Series title.
  • He was in 1993 Topps Traded when he was traded from San Diego to the Braves for prospects.  This time – it worked out best for the team that picked him up, as McGriff was a perennial All-Star with the Braves and he was stellar in their 3 playoff series en route to that lone 1995 title from the era.
  • In 1995 Topps Traded, McGriff was in the All-Star subest with Frank Thomas
  • He was in 2001 Topps Traded set, which celebrated 50 years of Topps with a reprint subset – the Crime Dog’s card was a reprint of his 1987 card.
  • Finally, he was in the 2003 Traded set when he signed with the Dodgers for one season (which unfortunately – probably kept him from reaching 500 homers and making the Hall much earlier)

Scott Rolen, this year’s BBWAA electee, has a 2002 Topps Traded card.  In the middle of the 2002 season, the Phillies dealt him to the Cardinals, and he was included in the 2002 Traded set.  Rolen was a stalwart for the Cardinals for 6 years and for my money, should have been the 2006 WS MVP over David Ecstein.

Asterisks are where one of these guys were added:

1981 Topps Traded – 10 HOF

Bert Blyleven, Rollie Fingers, Carlton Fisk, Joe Morgan, Gaylord Perry, Bruce Sutter, Don Sutton, Dave Winfield, Tim Raines, Ted Simmons

1982 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

Reggie Jackson, Ferguson Jenkins, Perry, Cal Ripken, Ozzie Smith

1983 Topps Traded – 3 HOF

Morgan, Tony Perez, Tom Seaver

1984 Topps Traded – 7 HOF

Dennis Eckersley, Goose Gossage, Morgan, Phil Niekro, Perez, Seaver, Yogi Berra (mgr)

1985 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

Gary Carter, Rickey Henderson, Sutter, Sutton, Earl Weaver (mgr)

1986 Topps Traded – 4 HOF

Niekro, Seaver, Simmons, Dick Williams (mgr)

1987 Topps Traded – 6 HOF***

Steve Carlton, Andre Dawson, Eckersley, R. Jackson, Greg Maddux, Fred McGriff

1988 Topps Traded – 4 HOF

Roberto Alomar, Gossage, Lee Smith, Frank Robinson (mgr)

1989 Topps Traded – 6 HOF

Blyleven, Ken Griffey Jr., Henderson, Randy Johnson, Eddie Murray, Nolan Ryan

1990 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

Carter, L. Smith, Winfield, Red Schoendienst (mgr), Bobby Cox (mgr)

1991 Topps Traded – 7 HOF****

Alomar, Jeff Bagwell, Carter, McGriff, Jack Morris, Raines, Ivan Rodriguez,

1992 Topps Traded – 4 HOF

Carter, Morris, Murray, Winfield

1993 Topps Traded – 6 HOF****

Wade Boggs, Dawson, McGriff, Paul Molitor, Mike Piazza, Winfield

1994 Topps Traded – 6 HOF

Henderson, Pedro Martinez, Morris, Murray, Ryne Sandberg, L. Smith

1995 Topps Traded – 18 HOF*****

Andre Dawson, Mariano Rivera, L. Smith, Larry Walker, Boggs (subset), Tony Gwynn (subset), McGriff (subset), Kirby Puckett (subset), Ripken (subset), Frank Thomas (subset), O. Smith (subset), Johnson (subset), Craig Biggio (subset), Griffey Jr. (subset), Piazza (subset), Bagwell (subset), Rodriguez (subset), Chipper Jones (subset)

1999 Topps Traded – 0 HOF

2000 Topps Traded – 0 HOF

2001 Topps Traded – 20 HOF****

Henderson, Alomar, Carter, Eckersley, Fisk, Griffey Jr., R. Jackson, Juan Marichal, Maddux, McGriff, Morgan, Morris, Piazza, Raines, Ripken, Ryan, Seaver, O. Smith, L. Smith, Winfield (other than Rickey – the rest are from the reprint subset)

2002 Topps Traded – 9 HOF****

Henderson, Raines, Scott Rolen, Frank Robinson (mgr), Ryan (subset), R. Jackson (subset), Boggs (subset), Alomar (subset), Griffey Jr. (subset)

2003 Topps Traded – 6 HOF****

Alomar, Henderson, McGriff, David Ortiz, Ivan Rodriguez, Jim Thome

2004 Topps Traded – 2 HOF

Maddux, Walker





Updating for 2023 – Hall of Famers in Topps sets

30 01 2023

Well, I misread the tea leaves from Mr. Tibbs, and Scott Rolen did in fact get elected to the Hall of Fame!  I’m excited, I think he is deserving, and whether or not you agree – he was going to make it eventually and I’d rather have it today then next year.  Todd Helton likely will be up next, along with one or 2 new guys and maybe Billy Wagner.

Rolen of course joins Fred McGriff who was also elected this year, via the Contemporary Era Committee.  The Crime Dog was also very deserving in my opinion.

Background! (obligatory info)

The number of Hall of Famers in a given set has always been something that intrigued me.  I count the number of Hall of Famers for every new set I start, and post about it in my overview.  So, since there are now 3 new Hall of Famers to account for, I need to go back and update those posts.  In showing this stuff below, I will show the cumulative total as well.

First, some reminders.  I include all Hall of Famers from the set.  That includes someone like Johnny Bench who had a Turn Back the Clock card in the 1990 set.  I also include managers who were Hall of Fame players (Frank Robinson in 1984 Topps, or my personal favorite – Yogi Berra as an Astro coach on their 1987 Topps team leader card).  I also include player cards of guys who made the Hall of Fame as a manager (i.e., 1969 Topps Bobby Cox).  If you have a bronze plaque in Cooperstown and you’re in the set, I’m including you.

Without any further ado, here we go!

1980 Topps – 45 Hall of Famers

Johnny Bench, Bert Blyleven, George Brett, Rod Carew, Steve Carlton, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Carlton Fisk, Goose Gossage, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Fergie Jenkins, Jim Kaat, Willie McCovey, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan, Jack Morris, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Phil Niekro, Tony Perez, Gaylord Perry, Jim Rice, Nolan Ryan, Mike Schmidt, Tom Seaver, Ted Simmons, Ozzie Smith, Willie Stargell, Bruce Sutter, Don Sutton, Alan Trammell, Dave Winfield, Carl Yastrzemski, Robin Yount, Earl Weaver (manager), Tommy LaSorda (manager), Dick Williams (manager), Sparky Anderson (manager), Joe Torre (manager), Bobby Cox (manager), Tony LaRussa (manager), Lou Brock (HL)

  • No adds from the 2023 class

1981 Topps – 46 Hall of Famers

Gone (-2):  McCovey and Brock were gone after retiring

New (+3):  Whitey Herzog got a manager card when he was hired by St. Louis.  Rock Raines and Harold Baines got cards in the 1981 set as part of the Future Stars triple player cards.

  • No adds from the 2023 class

1982 Topps – 40 Hall of Famers

Gone (-8):  There was no manager subset in 1982, which accounts for the big drop – Weaver, LaSorda, Williams, Herzog, Anderson, Torre, Cox and LaRussa aren’t in this set.

New (+2):  Cal Ripken Jr. and Lee Smith both have rookie cards in this set.

  • No adds from the 2023 class

1983 Topps – 51 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Willie Stargell retired and had his last card in 1982 (-1).

New (+12):  The manager subset came back, which led to 9 new cards of Hall of Famers – Weaver, LaSorda, Williams, Sparky, Herzog, Cox, Torre, LaRussa and Frank Robinson.  Additionally, Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg and Tony Gwynn entered the fray.

  • No adds from the 2023 class

1984 Topps – 49 Hall of Famers

Gone (-2):  Earl Weaver had retired after the 1982 season, with no new Hall of Fame blood in this set.  Jim Kaat retired after 1983, so he could have had a card in this set but Topps didn’t include him.

Bench, Perry and Yastrzemski were only included in a subset card.

  • No adds from the 2023 class

1985 Topps – 45 Hall of Famers

Gone (-6):  Robinson was gone after his stint as the Giants manager was over, while Bench, Yaz, Perry, Palmer and Jenkins had also had their last player cards.

New (+2):  Kirby Puckett’s rookie card is in this set, and Yogi Berra had a card for his second (and controversial) stint as Yankee manager (+2).  When I started this blog, Puckett was the most recent rookie card of any Hall of Famer!

  • No adds from the 2023 class

1986 Topps – 45 Hall of Famers

Gone (-3):  Torre was fired as Braves manager in 1984 and wasn’t gone until this set.  Berra was fired as well, and Joe Morgan retired.

New (+3):  Earl Weaver was back as the O’s manager, and we had a Turn Back the Clock subset that got Willie Mays and Frank Robinson into the mix.

  • No adds from the 2023 class

1987 Topps – 43 Hall of Famers

Gone (-6):  Cox was no longer the Blue Jay skipper at this point, and Carew, Fingers and Tony Perez all retired. Robinson and Mays were gone from the TBC subset….

New (+4):  But Clemente and Yastrzemski replaced them.  Barry Larkin had his first card in this set, and Yogi Berra had the awesome TL card as coach of the Astros!

  • No adds from the 2023 class

1988 Topps – 42 Hall of Famers

Gone (-7):  Mr. October, Lefty and Tom Terrific and Earl Weaver all retired at this point.  Clemente, Yaz and Berra were gone from subsets .  

New (+6):  Maddux, Glavine and McGriff had their first base Topps cards, and the subsets were a wash due to 3 new Cardinals – Bob Gibson and Stan Musial from the TBC subset, and Red Schoendienst being featured on the Cards Team Leader card.  

Phil Niekro made it only on the Record Breaker subset with his brother in this set.

  • The induction of McGriff increased this number by 1
  • McGriff was in Topps Traded 1987, and was actually in Donruss as a Rated Rookie back in 1986 – but this was his first main flagship Topps card.

1989 Topps – 44 Hall of Famers

Gone (-7):  Sutton, Simmons, Niekro (RB), Williams (mgr), Schoendienst (TL), Musial (TBC), Gibson (TBC)

New (+9):  Roberto Alomar RC, Randy Johnson RC, Craig Biggio RC, John Smoltz RC, Hank Aaron (TBC), Brock (TBC), Gil Hodges (TBC), Tony Oliva (TBC) Frank Robinson (back as a manager)

  • The induction of McGriff increased this number by 1

1990 Topps – 44 Hall of Famers

Gone (-6):  2 relievers exited the set – Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage (who would be back), and 4 guys from the TBC set.

New (+6)  Frank Thomas and Larry Walker had RC’s in the set, while Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez had their first regular Topps cards. Koufax and Bench were added to the TBC subset (Mike Schmidt had his only card in the TBC subset this year, but he had cards leading up to 1990 so this isn’t a change).

  • The induction of McGriff increased this number by 1

1991 Topps – 42 Hall of Famers

Gone (-5):  Rice (retired), Herzog (retired), Schmidt, Bench, Koufax (the TBC set had ended its 5-year run)

New (+3):  Torre and Cox, both of whom got back in the managing saddle.  Chipper Jones had his first card via the 1st Round Draft Pick subset.

  • The induction of McGriff increased this number by 1

1992 Topps – 46 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Robinson (fired as Oriole manager)

New (+5):  Gossage (back after a stint in Japan).  Pudge and Bagwell are in this set – true rookies were in the Traded set from 1991, but for both these guys this is their first base Topps card.  Thome and Mussina are also in this set – they had cards in other products (not Topps Traded) in previous years, so this isn’t their rookie card.

  • The induction of McGriff increased this number by 1

1993 Topps – 50 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Gossage (retired for good this time)

New (+5):  Tony Perez (Reds manager), Pedro Martinez (first Topps card), Mike Piazza (first Topps card – Prospects card), Trevor Hoffman (first Topps card – Marlins card), Derek Jeter (RC)

  • The induction of McGriff increased this number by 1

1994 Topps – 41 Hall of Famers (a mass exodus!)

Gone (-10):  Topps did away with manager cards in 1994, which meant no cards for Torre, LaRussa, Cox, Sparky, Perez and LaSorda.  Additionally, Blyleven, Carter and Fisk all retired. Jack Morris didn’t have a card despite pitching in both 1993 and 1994.  He did have a card in 1994 Topps Traded, and some cards in a few 1995 sets.

New (+1):  Hank Aaron (tribute)

  • The induction of McGriff increased this number by 1

1995 Topps – 36 Hall of Famers (further depleted!)

Gone (-6):  Brett, Ryan and Yount (all retired for good).  Sandberg (retired temporarily).  Dawson (left out of the set, though he is in ’95 Traded).  Aaron (tribute).

New (+1):  Babe Ruth (tribute)

  • The induction of McGriff increased this number by 1

1996 Topps – 38 Hall of Famers (an actual increase!)

Gone (-3):  Winfield (retired), Trammell (not included despite playing both 1995 and 1996), Ruth (tribute)

New (+5):  Mickey Mantle (tribute), Dawson (back after ’95 snub), Sandberg (back in baseball after a year-plus hiatus), Vladimir Guerrero & Scott Rolen (via the prospect subset)

  • The induction of McGriff & Rolen increased this number by 2.
  • Rolen got his first Topps card here alongside George Arias, Chris Haas and Scott Spiezio.  His first season was 1996, though he didn’t pass the rookie plateau until 1997 (when he won Rookie of the Year unanimously)

1997 Topps – 35 Hall of Famers

Gone (-5):  Dawson, Puckett, Ozzie Smith (retired), Mantle (tribute), Lee Smith. Topps didn’t include Lee Smith in the flagship set after 1996 despite him pitching for 2 teams in 1996 and pitching in 25 games in 1997.

New (+2):  Jackie Robinson (tribute), Mariano Rivera (first Topps card)

  • The induction of McGriff & Rolen increased this number by 2

1998 Topps – 33 Hall of Famers

Gone (-5):  Murray, Sandberg (retired), Robinson (tribute), Henderson (snubbed – he even has an insert card in the product), Raines (also snubbed).

New (+3):  Roberto Clemente (tribute), Roy Halladay, David Ortiz (both first Topps cards via the prospects set).  Halladay and Ortiz are the latest first Topps flagship card of any HOFer .

  • The induction of McGriff & Rolen increased this number by 2

1999 Topps – 31 Hall of Famers

Gone (-4):  Molitor, Eckersley (retired), Clemente (tribute), Baines (snubbed)

New (+2):  Nolan Ryan (tribute), Henderson (back after snub)

  • The induction of McGriff & Rolen increased this number by 2

2000 Topps – 32 Hall of Famers

Gone (-2):  Nolan Ryan (tribute), David Ortiz (missing as he played mostly in the minors in 1999)

New (+3):  Hank Aaron (tribute), Raines & Baines (back with regular cards!)

  • The induction of McGriff & Rolen increased this number by 2

2001 Topps – 41 Hall of Famers

Gone (-2):  Wade Boggs (retired), Tim Raines (temporarily retired – but this was his last base Topps card)

New (+11):  Ortiz was back for good in 2001.  The manager subset was back, which meant new cards for Torre, Cox and LaRussa.  There was also a Golden Moments subset, which had new cards of Bill Mazeroski, Reggie Jackson, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Nolan Ryan, Lou Brock and Carlton Fisk.

Hank Aaron’s Tribute card was gone in 2001, but he was still in the Golden Moments subset.

  • The induction of McGriff & Rolen increased this number by 2

2002 Topps – 31 Hall of Famers

Gone (-11):  Cal Ripken & Harold Baines retired, and the Golden Moments subset was gone, which meant those cards of Mazeroski, Jackson, Robinson, Clemente, Ryan, Brock, Fisk and Aaron were gone.  Roy Halladay does not have any 2002 Topps cards except for Topps 206 – so there must have been some sort of contract dispute over his likeness that was resolved in time for 2003.

New (+1):  Tony Perez managed the Marlins at the end of 2002, and got a manager card in this set for it.

  • The induction of McGriff & Rolen increased this number by 2

2003 Topps – 31 Hall of Famers

Gone (-2):  Tony Gwynn had retired in 2001, but still got a 2002 card.  He was gone from the set in 2003.  Perez was no longer a manager, so his card was gone as well.

New (+2):  Frank Robinson became the Expos manager in 2002, and got a card in this set.  Halladay was back in good graces with the card folks in Philly in 2003.

  • The induction of McGriff & Rolen increased this number by 2

2004 Topps – 31 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Rickey Henderson retired.

New (+1):  Mike Schmidt was included in a subset card along with Jim Thome.

  • The induction of McGriff & Rolen increased this number by 2




Updating for 2022 – Hall of Famers in Topps sets

24 01 2023

On the eve of the Hall of Fame announcement, I realized I needed to catch up for 2022.  It’s looking like there will be 2 close-but-not-in guys this year, but Fred McGriff did get elected so I’ll get to do this again in a couple days.

I’m theoretically 2 years behind – the last post was for the 2020 class.  However, there was no 2021 class, so I just need to cover last year’s inductees:

There were a whopping six members elected to the Hall via the Era Committees.  Because of the impact of COVID, the 2020 class was actually inducted in July 2021, and there were two Era Committees that went in 2022.

The first was the Early Era committee, who elected Negro League legend Buck O’Neill (posthumously, to the chagrin of many) and 19th century African-American player Bud Fowler.  Since these were players who never played in the modern Majors – unsurprisingly they don’t have any additions for card sets in my blog.

  • Buck O’Neill
  • Bud Fowler

The Golden Days Era elected 4 players.  Minoso actually played in 1980 as a gimmick for the White Sox to make it 5 decades of MLB for him, so he theoretically could have made the 1981 Topps set, but he didn’t.  Jim Kaat had 4 cards at the end of his career and the beginning of the period my blog covers.  Gil Hodges and Tony Oliva retired well before my blog’s coverage – but interestingly both have side-by-side cards in the Turn Back the Clock subset from 1989.

  • Gil Hodges
  • Jim Kaat
  • Minnie Minoso
  • Tony Oliva

Only one player was inducted by the writers last year – Big Papi who got in on his first ballot with 77.9% of the vote.  Since my blog is currently through 2004, he’s got about 5 cards from the start of his career to add.

  • David Ortiz

Background!

The number of Hall of Famers in a given set has always been something that intrigued me.  I count the number of Hall of Famers for every new set I start, and post about it in my overview.  So, since there are now 3 new Hall of Famers to account for, I need to go back and update those posts.  In showing this stuff below, I will show the cumulative total as well.

First, some reminders.  I include all Hall of Famers from the set.  That includes someone like Johnny Bench who had a Turn Back the Clock card in the 1990 set.  I also include managers who were Hall of Fame players (Frank Robinson in 1984 Topps, or my personal favorite – Yogi Berra as an Astro coach on their 1987 Topps team leader card).  I also include player cards of guys who made the Hall of Fame as a manager (i.e., 1969 Topps Bobby Cox).  If you have a bronze plaque in Cooperstown and you’re in the set, I’m including you.

Without any further ado, here we go!

1980 Topps – 45 Hall of Famers

Johnny Bench, Bert Blyleven, George Brett, Rod Carew, Steve Carlton, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Carlton Fisk, Goose Gossage, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Fergie Jenkins, Jim Kaat, Willie McCovey, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan, Jack Morris, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Phil Niekro, Tony Perez, Gaylord Perry, Jim Rice, Nolan Ryan, Mike Schmidt, Tom Seaver, Ted Simmons, Ozzie Smith, Willie Stargell, Bruce Sutter, Don Sutton, Alan Trammell, Dave Winfield, Carl Yastrzemski, Robin Yount, Earl Weaver (manager), Tommy LaSorda (manager), Dick Williams (manager), Sparky Anderson (manager), Joe Torre (manager), Bobby Cox (manager), Tony LaRussa (manager), Lou Brock (HL)

  • The induction of Kaat increased this number by 1.

1981 Topps – 46 Hall of Famers

Gone (-2):  McCovey and Brock were gone after retiring

New (+3):  Whitey Herzog got a manager card when he was hired by St. Louis.  Rock Raines and Harold Baines got cards in the 1981 set as part of the Future Stars triple player cards.

  • The induction of Kaat increased this number by 1.

1982 Topps – 40 Hall of Famers

Gone (-8):  There was no manager subset in 1982, which accounts for the big drop – Weaver, LaSorda, Williams, Herzog, Anderson, Torre, Cox and LaRussa aren’t in this set.

New (+2):  Cal Ripken Jr. and Lee Smith both have rookie cards in this set.

  • The induction of Kaat increased this number by 1.

1983 Topps – 51 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Willie Stargell retired and had his last card in 1982 (-1).

New (+12):  The manager subset came back, which led to 9 new cards of Hall of Famers – Weaver, LaSorda, Williams, Sparky, Herzog, Cox, Torre, LaRussa and Frank Robinson.  Additionally, Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg and Tony Gwynn entered the fray.

  • The induction of Kaat increased this number by 1. This is still the set with the most HOF-ers in my Lifetime Topps Project.

1984 Topps – 49 Hall of Famers

Gone (-2):  Earl Weaver had retired after the 1982 season, with no new Hall of Fame blood in this set.  Jim Kaat retired after 1983, so he could have had a card in this set but Topps didn’t include him.

Bench, Perry and Yastrzemski were only included in a subset card.

  • No adds from the 2022 class

1985 Topps – 45 Hall of Famers

Gone (-6):  Robinson was gone after his stint as the Giants manager was over, while Bench, Yaz, Perry, Palmer and Jenkins had also had their last player cards.

New (+2):  Kirby Puckett’s rookie card is in this set, and Yogi Berra had a card for his second (and controversial) stint as Yankee manager (+2).  When I started this blog, Puckett was the most recent rookie card of any Hall of Famer!

  • No adds from the 2022 class

1986 Topps – 45 Hall of Famers

Gone (-3):  Torre was fired as Braves manager in 1984 and wasn’t gone until this set.  Berra was fired as well, and Joe Morgan retired.

New (+3):  Earl Weaver was back as the O’s manager, and we had a Turn Back the Clock subset that got Willie Mays and Frank Robinson into the mix.

  • No adds from the 2022 class

1987 Topps – 43 Hall of Famers

Gone (-6):  Cox was no longer the Blue Jay skipper at this point, and Carew, Fingers and Tony Perez all retired. Robinson and Mays were gone from the TBC subset….

New (+4):  But Clemente and Yastrzemski replaced them.  Barry Larkin had his first card in this set, and Yogi Berra had the awesome TL card as coach of the Astros!

  • No adds from the 2022 class

1988 Topps – 41 Hall of Famers

Gone (-7):  Mr. October, Lefty and Tom Terrific and Earl Weaver all retired at this point.  Clemente, Yaz and Berra were gone from subsets .  

New (+5):  Maddux and Glavine had their first base Topps cards, and the subsets were a wash due to 3 new Cardinals – Bob Gibson and Stan Musial from the TBC subset, and Red Schoendienst being featured on the Cards Team Leader card.  

Phil Niekro made it only on the Record Breaker subset with his brother in this set.

  • No adds from the 2022 class

1989 Topps – 43 Hall of Famers

Gone (-7):  Sutton, Simmons, Niekro (RB), Williams (mgr), Schoendienst (TL), Musial (TBC), Gibson (TBC)

New (+9):  Roberto Alomar RC, Randy Johnson RC, Craig Biggio RC, John Smoltz RC, Hank Aaron (TBC), Brock (TBC), Gil Hodges (TBC), Tony Oliva (TBC) Frank Robinson (back as a manager)

  • As mentioned – Hodges and Oliva we’re in this year’s version of the TBC subset. So two new guys from the 2022 class.

1990 Topps – 43 Hall of Famers

Gone (-6):  2 relievers exited the set – Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage (who would be back), and 4 guys from the TBC set.

New (+6)  Frank Thomas and Larry Walker had RC’s in the set, while Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez had their first regular Topps cards. Koufax and Bench were added to the TBC subset (Mike Schmidt had his only card in the TBC subset this year, but he had cards leading up to 1990 so this isn’t a change).

  • No adds from the 2022 class

1991 Topps – 41 Hall of Famers

Gone (-5):  Rice (retired), Herzog (retired), Schmidt, Bench, Koufax (the TBC set had ended its 5-year run)

New (+3):  Torre and Cox, both of whom got back in the managing saddle.  Chipper Jones had his first card via the 1st Round Draft Pick subset.

  • No adds from the 2022 class

1992 Topps – 45 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Robinson (fired as Oriole manager)

New (+5):  Gossage (back after a stint in Japan).  Pudge and Bagwell are in this set – true rookies were in the Traded set from 1991, but for both these guys this is their first base Topps card.  Thome and Mussina are also in this set – they had cards in other products (not Topps Traded) in previous years, so this isn’t their rookie card.

  • No adds from the 2022 class

1993 Topps – 49 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Gossage (retired for good this time)

New (+5):  Tony Perez (Reds manager), Pedro Martinez (first Topps card), Mike Piazza (first Topps card – Prospects card), Trevor Hoffman (first Topps card – Marlins card), Derek Jeter (RC)

  • No adds from the 2022 class

1994 Topps – 40 Hall of Famers (a mass exodus!)

Gone (-10):  Topps did away with manager cards in 1994, which meant no cards for Torre, LaRussa, Cox, Sparky, Perez and LaSorda.  Additionally, Blyleven, Carter and Fisk all retired. Jack Morris didn’t have a card despite pitching in both 1993 and 1994.  He did have a card in 1994 Topps Traded, and some cards in a few 1995 sets.

New (+1):  Hank Aaron (tribute)

  • No adds from the 2022 class

1995 Topps – 35 Hall of Famers (further depleted!)

Gone (-6):  Brett, Ryan and Yount (all retired for good).  Sandberg (retired temporarily).  Dawson (left out of the set, though he is in ’95 Traded).  Aaron (tribute).

New (+1):  Babe Ruth (tribute)

  • No adds from the 2022 class

1996 Topps – 36 Hall of Famers (an actual increase!)

Gone (-3):  Winfield (retired), Trammell (not included despite playing both 1995 and 1996), Ruth (tribute)

New (+4):  Mickey Mantle (tribute), Dawson (back after ’95 snub), Sandberg (back in baseball after a year-plus hiatus), Vladimir Guerrero (via a prospect card)

  • No adds from the 2022 class

1997 Topps – 33 Hall of Famers

Gone (-5):  Dawson, Puckett, Ozzie Smith (retired), Mantle (tribute), Lee Smith. Topps didn’t include Lee Smith in the flagship set after 1996 despite him pitching for 2 teams in 1996 and pitching in 25 games in 1997.

New (+2):  Jackie Robinson (tribute), Mariano Rivera (first Topps card)

  • No adds from the 2022 class

1998 Topps – 31 Hall of Famers

Gone (-5):  Murray, Sandberg (retired), Robinson (tribute), Henderson (snubbed – he even has an insert card in the product), Raines (also snubbed).

New (+3):  Roberto Clemente (tribute), Roy Halladay, David Ortiz (both first Topps cards via the prospects set).  Halladay and Ortiz are the latest first Topps flagship card of any HOFer .

  • The induction of Ortiz increased this number by 1.

1999 Topps – 29 Hall of Famers

Gone (-4):  Molitor, Eckersley (retired), Clemente (tribute), Baines (snubbed)

New (+2):  Nolan Ryan (tribute), Henderson (back after snub)

  • The induction of Ortiz increased this number by 1.

2000 Topps – 30 Hall of Famers

Gone (-2):  Nolan Ryan (tribute), David Ortiz (missing as he played mostly in the minors in 1999)

New (+3):  Hank Aaron (tribute), Raines & Baines (back with regular cards!)

  • No adds from the 2022 class

2001 Topps – 39 Hall of Famers

Gone (-2):  Wade Boggs (retired), Tim Raines (temporarily retired – but this was his last base Topps card)

New (+11):  Ortiz was back for good in 2001.  The manager subset was back, which meant new cards for Torre, Cox and LaRussa.  There was also a Golden Moments subset, which had new cards of Bill Mazeroski, Reggie Jackson, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Nolan Ryan, Lou Brock and Carlton Fisk.

Hank Aaron’s Tribute card was gone in 2001, but he was still in the Golden Moments subset.

  • The induction of Ortiz increased this number by 1.

2002 Topps – 29 Hall of Famers

Gone (-11):  Cal Ripken & Harold Baines retired, and the Golden Moments subset was gone, which meant those cards of Mazeroski, Jackson, Robinson, Clemente, Ryan, Brock, Fisk and Aaron were gone.  Roy Halladay does not have any 2002 Topps cards except for Topps 206 – so there must have been some sort of contract dispute over his likeness that was resolved in time for 2003.

New (+1):  Tony Perez managed the Marlins at the end of 2002, and got a manager card in this set for it.

  • The induction of Ortiz increased this number by 1.

2003 Topps – 29 Hall of Famers

Gone (-2):  Tony Gwynn had retired in 2001, but still got a 2002 card.  He was gone from the set in 2003.  Perez was no longer a manager, so his card was gone as well.

New (+2):  Frank Robinson became the Expos manager in 2002, and got a card in this set.  Halladay was back in good graces with the card folks in Philly in 2003.

  • The induction of Ortiz increased this number by 1.

2004 Topps – 29 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Rickey Henderson retired.

New (+1):  Mike Schmidt was included in a subset card along with Jim Thome.

  • The induction of Ortiz increased this number by 1.




Finishing off a promo set… for real this time!

21 01 2023

I posted this a few years ago – I had been trying forever to get one last card from the 1995 Master Set.  It was the 1995 CyberStats pre-production card of Travis Fryman.  I got a Proof that was basically a pre-production of the pre-production card, and while that’s pretty cool, I still planned on buying the actual PP5 if I could.  Well – I found it on eBay and now this set can be “crossed off the list!

Here’s the back of both cards – no difference there.

It is numbered PP5, with “pre-production sample” in the 1994 stat line.

Here’s the card I just got – the actual Pre-Production card which was found in the 1994 retail factory sets.  You got a 10-card “pack” that had 9 regular versions of the promo cards and one of these parallel “spectralight” (dark foil background) version of one of the 9 cards.  

And here’s the proof that I had been counting – it’s probably more rare than the one above, but I feel like my set is now technically complete 🙂

Here’s the actual scan of this full set with the Fryman card replaced!

Here’s a scan of all the promo sets.





Completed insert set – 2004 Topps Hit Parade

18 01 2023

Continuing on with the insert set completion – still over a year behind compared to when I actually got these cards in the mail – but getting closer, any future completed insert sets will be cards I actually picked up in 2022 not 2021!  This is my first completed set of any sort from 2004 Topps.

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Info about the set:

Set description:  This insert set features the top 10 active leaders in home runs**, RBI and hits.

The set has the player over a holographic background covering a pinstripe sub-background with the words Hit Parade across the top.  The back has the list of the 10 active leaders.

** – except Barry Bonds, who was in a bit of a contract dispute with Topps in 2004

Set composition:  30 cards, 1:7 (2002 Topps series 2)

Hall of Famers:  8.  Fred McGriff, Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, Jeff Bagwell, Roberto Alomar, Craig Biggio, Barry Larkin

How I put the set together:

  • 6 cards from my series 2 HTA box
  • 9 cards from trades
  • 8 cards from the 2015 NSCC
  • 5 cards from Sportlots
  • 2 cards from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  I like how the hologram backgrounds are different for the 3 categories.  The 10 homer cards have a baseball in front of some wood, the RBI cards have a plate, and the hits cards have a group of baseballs.  This set is pretty cool, particularly at this time period when you had some big numbers up there.  But it’s the 2nd year in a row they did it, so there’s a lot of duplication going from the 2003 set.  Maybe a pitch parade would have been better?  And the omission of Bonds, who was at the top of the first 2 categories and 3rd in hits – is glaring.

Card that completed my set: #HP18 – Ken Griffey Jr. RBI

I got this card from COMC at the end of 2021.

Best card (my opinion): #HP29 – B.J. Surhoff H

Surhoff had an underrated career that ended with 2,326 hits.  It’s cool to see a guy like him in a set like this.  We don’t always need 3 Rafael Palmeiro cards – sometimes one Surhoff is a good thing.

Best Reds card (my opinion):  #HP27 – Barry Larkin H

Beats out the couple Griffey cards, again for a similar thought – it’s nice to see Larkin with some recognition toward the end of his career.

Here’s the whole set.

Any other tidbits:  Since Bonds isn’t in the set, but is in all three top tens, they showcase the 11th player as card #10, #20 and #30.  They only add that player’s name on the back for those 3 cards, the other 27 cards just have the top 10 for that statistic.

Palmeiro, Galarraga, McGriff and Bagwell are the 4 players with 3 cards in the set.

Also, they weirdly didn’t go completely in order.  The cards are generally in order by the stat leader, but there’s a bit of unexplained jumping around (i.e. – Bagwell was 7th on the active HR list at this point but was the 10th card).





Completed insert set – 2001 Topps Through the Years

10 01 2023

Getting back to a few completed set posts – this was an insert set I completed at the end of 2021.  I’m almost to the ones I completed at the end of 2022!

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Info about the set:

Set description:  “These 50 cards, representing the 10 best players from each of the past five decades, are patterned after a classic Topps design from the last 50 years.  These commemorative cards display a brilliant gold foil stamp and include legendary players like Yogi Berra (1959 card style), Willie Mays (1953 card style), and Mark McGwire (1999 card style).”

That’s from the Hank Aaron sell sheet.  Interesting that they are so definitive with “the 10 best players” and the “brilliant stamp” 🙂  I guess it’s a sell sheet!

Unlike the single player reprint sets from previous years, there aren’t Chrome versions inserted in the regular Topps Flagship sets.  However, you can find Chrome and refractor versions in the Topps Chrome product.

Set composition:  50 cards, 1:8 odds (2001 Topps series 1)

Hall of Famers:  43 – Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Stan Musial, Duke Snider, Warren Spahn, Ted Williams, Eddie Mathews, Willie McCovey, Frank Robinson, Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Harmon Killebrew, Whitey Ford, Roberto Clemente, Juan Marichal, Johnny Bench, Willie Stargell, Joe Morgan, Carl Yastrzemski, Reggie Jackson, Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Jim Palmer, Rod Carew, George Brett, Roger Clemens, Ryne Sandberg, Mike Schmidt, Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, Ozzie Smith, Wade Boggs, Nolan Ryan, Robin Yount, Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza, Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Derek Jeter

(not HOFers in the set – Pafko, Mattingly, McGwire, Sosa, A-Rod, Bonds, Nomar)

How I put the set together:

  • 4 cards from my 2001 series 1 hobby box
  • 2 cards from a trade (Addiction is Therapy)
  • 1 card from the 2015 NSCC
  • 11 cards from Sportlots
  • 2 cards from Beckett Marketplace
  • 30 cards from COMC

Card that completed my set:  #15 – Sandy Koufax (1961 Topps)

One of a couple I got from COMC at the end of 2021.

Thoughts on the set:   After doing single player full-career reprints the previous 6 years, Topps went with a many-player, each-year represented reprint set that feels like they’ve done 50 more times.  Retro sets are everywhere you look these days, and this was the beginning of this overplayed theme.  I liked the single player sets from before this, and wish that had been what was continued.

I also don’t like the Ripken card where they cut off the other guys on a multi-player card.

Best card (my opinion):  #9 – Ted Williams (1954 Topps)

Like that they chose this one, it’s the first card of the 1954 set, and was in a bit of controversy back in 1994 when Upper Deck had Teddy Ballgame’s card rights and Topps couldn’t include him in the Archives set they did for the first card and card #250.  Upper Deck created a rarer version of both cards that was inserted into their 1994 All-Time Heroes product, along with a “card that never was” of Mickey Mantle at #259.

My Favorite Reds card:  #21 – Johnny Bench (1970 Topps)

There is a Morgan and even a Seaver from his Reds years – but the 1970 Bench is a more notable card than the others so I’m going with that.

Other tidbits:  Since there would have only been 49 years if you don’t count the 1951 game set, Topps doubled up on on 1952 Topps cards, having both Andy Pafko and Jackie Robinson.

Willie Mays (1953), Roberto Clemente (1963), Hank Aaron (1965) and Nolan Ryan (1980) got the first double dip on Topps reprinting the same cards in the flagship product.  Mickey Mantle didn’t have cards in this set for what I’m sure were contractual reasons.

Here’s a scan of the whole set.





Saturdays Suds: Baseball & Beer #91 – Steady Eddie

8 01 2023

Oops!  I posted this yesterday but somehow messed up the year, so it went back to 2022.

I still have a number of these to queue up, this one is next.  My grandparents had a house out in St. Michaels in the Chesapeake Bay, and I was out there last year for my grandmother’s funeral.  Found this IPA, which was a nice sipper to have in between the remembrance of life and the funeral.

Brewery: Union Craft Brewing in Baltimore, MD

Beer: Steady Eddie

Description:  “After spending the cold winter training our palettes on malty winter brews its time to get out on the field and play some ball with an IPA that’s both refreshing and complex. The lemony-herbal aromatics of Sorachi Ace hops spring out of a nice, light bodied wheat & honey malt base. You can always rely on a solid hit from Steady Eddie.

This is a good old-school bitter IPA, but it’s got some wheat in the malt bill which I think goes a way in making it more of a summer beer than an IPA.  Union Craft is a brewery located in the Medfield area a little north of downtown Baltimore.  They’ve been around since 2012 and have beers that can be found throughout Maryland.

Medium:  12 ounce cans.

How it’s related to baseball:  It pays tribute, and I’m sure is endorsed by, Orioles stalwart Eddie Murray.  This beer can be found at Orioles home games, and frankly next time I attend one I’ll have another!





RIP Gaylord Perry, 1938-2022

5 01 2023

Gaylord Perry was the second Hall of Famer to pass away in 2022.  Perry passed away about a month ago, on December 1st, at the age of 84.

Perry is most-remembered (by my generation and younger at least) as a crafty spitballer – but he was a far greater pitcher than he gets recognition for.  There was a legit argument that at the turn of the decade to the 1970’s he was the best pitcher in baseball.

Perry is one of the 2 most famous brother pitching combinations – only the Niekro brothers have more combined wins than these two.  Born in Williamston, NC, older brother Jim were nearly 3 years apart, but I think only 2 grades different.  They made a mean combination on the high school baseball diamond, pitching back-to-back shutouts to win a best-of-three state championship series.  Later, the two would spend a parts of two seasons together in Cleveland toward the end of Jim’s career.

Some sites credit Gaylord with playing a year at Campbell University, following his brother (would not have been at the same time) – but I’m not sure either way.  He was signed by the Giants organization in 1958, and made his Big League debut in 1962 for the eventual NL pennant winners.  He wasn’t particularly good his rookie season, though he did go 3-1 with a decent amount of time spent in the minors.  Soon after this, the Giants traded for Bob Shaw, who supposedly taught the spitball to Perry.  He had some ups and downs, but became a mainstay in San Francisco 2 years later, and in 1966 had a breakout season going 21-8 with a 2.99 ERA, becoming an All-Star for the first time.

From that point on, Perry went on a dominant decade of pitching that every time I look at I think how underappreciated it is.  From 1967-69 he didn’t make the All-Star game and was only 4 games over .500 on a good team – but he was also averaging 300 innings pitched and a 2.50 ERA.  I think he just had a little bit of poor luck with run support – and in 1970 that turned.  He went 23-13, leading the NL in wins and the Majors with 328 innings, and was runner-up to Bob Gibson in the NL Cy Young.  Gibson was the deserving candidate, but it would have been pretty cool if Perry could have pulled it off that year – his brother Jim (now with the Twins) was the winner on the American League side of the docket.  They were the first brothers to win 20 games in the same season.

In the 1971 season, Perry got the only playoff action of his career – winning the opening game of the series against Pittsburgh but getting shellacked for 7 runs in game 4 which eliminated San Francisco.  That was the end of his Giants career.  He was traded to the Indians in the offseason, and started out with a bang in Cleveland.  In 1972, Gaylord led the AL with 24 wins and 29 complete games, hurled 342+ innings, led the AL in WAR and his missed out on the ERA crown (1.92) by ,01 to Luis Tiant (who pitched half the innings).  He took home his first Cy Young, which made him and Jim the first brothers to both take home that honor.  Perry’s 1972 season is often overlooked because of the mediocrity he had behind him as far as run support – but many consider it one of the greatest seasons in history.

Perry wasn’t quite that good after that for Cleveland, but he was still very good and a workhorse who kept pumping out 300+ IP seasons.  Brother Jim did come back to his original team to team up with his brother for the 1974 season where they combined for 38 of the team’s 77 wins.  During alot of his time in Cleveland, Gaylord’s start were a story as managers from Billy Martin, Dick Williams to Ralph Houk repeatedly tried to catch him for doctoring the baseball.  He was never caught during this stretch, and from the book he wrote about it – he occasionally used it but moreso relied on it as gamesmanship since hitters thought he was throwing it.

After the first half of 1975 season, both brothers were shipped out of Cleveland after Gaylord butted heads with new player-manager Frank Robinson.  He pitched well but not great for the Rangers over the next 2+ seasons, but was traded to the Padres in 1978.  Like his first season in Cleveland – he delivered a Cy Young season going 21-6/2.73 over 260 innings.  Perry became the first pitcher to win the award in both leagues, and the third pitcher to win 20 games with 3 different teams.  That was something of a swan song, and he bounded around after that – going back to Texas, traded to the Yankees, a year in Atlanta, a year-plus in Seattle, then finishing his career in the second half of the 1983 season in Kansas City.  He won his 300th game in May of 1982 while pitching against what was then his former Yankees teammates.  He was the first 300-game winner in 19 years, though he was also started a bit of a waterfall for that mark over the next decade-plus.

Following the all-time strikeout leaders from Perry’s perspective is also pretty interesting.  For 56 years, Walter Johnson was the career MLB strikeout leader.  In the last start of his second Cy Young season In San Diego in 1978, Perry joined Johnson and Gibson as the third pitcher to cross 3,000 career strikeouts.  The next year, he passed Gibson and was second behind Johnson for the next couple years.  He did eventually pass Johnson by ~30 K’s – but he was never the all-time leader.  Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton were hot on his heels; Ryan passed him at the end of the 1982 season and Carlton went by him in the beginning of the ’83 season.  All 3 of them passed the Big Train in 1983, but at the end of the season (and his career) Perry was 3rd.  Today he’s actually still 8th all-time.

To try to quantify his greatness – I checked his stats from 1966 to 1978, a 13-year stretch from his first great season with the Giants to that Cy Young year in San Diego.  Pitching in baseball evolved incredibly over that period, but Perry was remarkably consistent.

243-176, 2.82, 2,604 K, 263 CG, 48 SHO, 3,837 IP

That’s an average of 295 innings per year, and winning almost 19 games a year for mostly 2nd division teams.

Perry’s HOF teammate list must be incredible.  Just going down his BB-Ref page and without looking too closely, he played with Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Frank Robinson (even if they didn’t get along), Fergie Jenkins, Dave Winfield, Rollie Fingers, Ozzie Smith, Goose Gossage, Phil Niekro and George Brett.

I won’t start naming too many names, but the characters of MLB who aren’t HOF-ers is maybe even a more impressive list.  He played with Bump Wills (son) after pitching against father Maury many times in the 60’s.  He played with Bobby Bonds (father of Barry), and Sandy Alomar Sr, (father of HOF-er Roberto).  He played with Oscar Gamble at 3 different stops.  He played with MLB TV guy Harold Reynolds early in his career.  Plus all the guys his brother played with.  I can imagine when Gaylord Perry went to a baseball event – he knew EVERYBODY!

RIP to an underrated star of baseball.





RIP Bruce Sutter, 1953-2022

3 01 2023

We lost 2 Hall of Famers in 2022.  It had been over a year and a half since a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame had passed away when legendary Henry Aaron passed away early in 2021.  Disruptive reliever Bruce Sutter died in October 2022, a few months before his 70th birthday.

Sutter was a prime contributor to the revolution in how relievers were used.  To explain how he got to making this impact, you have to start pretty early in his story.  He was from near Lancaster, Pennsylvania and was a 3-sport star at Donegal High School.  He was born in 1953 and must have been moved forward a grade at some point because he was drafted by the Senators in 1970 after his senior year of high school.  But they hadn’t realized he was only 17 and weren’t allowed to sign him.  So he went to school at Old Dominion (I can’t find if he actually played baseball there), but dropped out less than a year in and played semipro ball back in Lancaster.  He was signed by the Cubs in September 1971 but suffered a pinched nerve 2 games into Rookie ball in 1972 and had surgery.

When he reported to Spring Training the next year, he found that his previous arsenal was ineffective after recovery.  This ended up becoming his ticket to the Big Leagues and, ultimately, to Cooperstown.  Fred Martin, a longtime minor leaguer with some MLB pedigree was now a coach in the Cubs minor league systems.  Martin had used the split finger as a change of pace pitch throughout his career, and taught it to Sutter.  Bruce struggled at first with the pitch and his A-ball numbers in ’73 didn’t foretell anything close to a Hall of Fame career.  But he was moved to the Cubs’ Key West A-level affiliate the next year and started to produce as a reliever.  He was promoted to AA (Midland, TX) halfway through the season and finished both stops with an ERA under 1.50.

He played the full 1975 season in Midland, then was moved up to AAA in 1976 and then got called up to the Big Leagues where he wasn’t the main closer but did save 10 games.  He became the Cubs main closer the next season, saving 31 games despite missing 3 weeks for injury, and putting together a dominant campaign with a 1.34 ERA over 107 innings.  He was very good again in 1978, though became ineffective in mid-August.  He came back in 1979 and became the third reliever to win the Cy Young award, saving 37 games with a 2.22 ERA.  His 37 saves tied the National League record at the time and was one behind the MLB record.

He led the league in saves again in 1980, but the Cubs had fallen from contending and they traded Sutter to the Cardinals.  There he had 25 saves in the strike-shortened MLB season, but missed out on the playoffs due to the broken parts of the season.  Sutter was 5th in the Cy Young voting.  The next year, he led the majors with 36 saves and posted a 2.90 ERA and garnered 3rd in the Cy Young voting.  He pitched 7.2 innings in the 7 game World Series that year – winning a game and saving 2 others (and pitching poorly in a 4th).  Sutter came on for the last 2 innings of game 7 and struck out Gorman Thomas swinging in the bottom of the 9th to clinch the World Championship over the Brewers.

Sutter wasn’t as effective in 1983, saving only 23 games and posting an ERA over 4.  He seemed to improve in the second half of the season, and in 1984 came back for one last hurrah with the best season of his career.  He broke the NL saves record he had shared with 2 other pitchers, and tied Dan Quisenberry’s MLB record with 45 saves that year.  He actually got into game 162 with a chance to break the record, but blew the save.  All told, it was his best year, pitching a career high 122.2 innings and he led the NL in appearances (63) for the only time in his career.

He signed with Atlanta as a free agent after that season, but was never the same as shoulder inflammation flared up.  He missed the end of 1986 and the entire 1987 season, and came back in 1988 but pitched poorly.  Sutter did finish 14 saves, the last coming on September 9th and making him the 3rd pitcher to notch 300 on his career (Rollie Fingers and Goose Gossage – who had just saved #300 a month earlier).

Along with fellow HOF-ers Gossage and Fingers, Sutter really created the closer role.  He would come in to finish the game, usually for multiple innings, but also in higher leverage situations where the Cubs or Cardinals didn’t necessarily have the lead.  He was also the first pitcher to use the split-finger fastball, which was en vogue for the 80s and 90s but isn’t used as much today.

It took 13 years to get him elected to the Hall – he wouldn’t have that much time under the current rules – but I always thought he should be in.  He led his league in saves 5 times, the majors 3 times, and was instrumental in redefining the closer role.  Hard to tell the story of baseball in the 70’s and 80’s without mentioning Fingers and Sutter.

Of note from the annals of this blog – Sutter tied Pete Rose as the only players having 3 cards in the 1985 Topps set.





2015 All-Star Stitches #53: Jason Kipnis

2 01 2023

Happy New Year!

As a reminder, I went to the All-Star game and Home Run Derby in Cincinnati.  So I’m collecting this All-Star Stitches set!  These cards have swatches from the Monday practice festivities.

This is the 53rd card toward this set.  It’s the one card I bought from a Black Friday COMC purchase.

Card number:  STIT-JK

Player:  Jason Kipnis

How I got the card:  COMC purchase at the end of 2022

Position:  2nd base

How he made the roster:  Kipnis was selected as the reserve 2nd baseman via the player ballot.

This was his 2nd All-Star selection, and ended up being the final one of his career.

First half stat line:  .323/6/37, 59 R

All-Star game:  Kipnis came in as a defensive replacement for Jose Altuve in the bottom of the 5th inning.  He struck out swinging in the next inning as part of Jacob Degrom’s 3 strikeout ining.  He technically kept DeGrom from an immaculate inning – he managed one ball while DeGrom got the other two batters on 3 straight strikes.  He was pinch-hit for by Brian Dozier in the top of the 8th after recording a couple assists in the field.

*********************

STIT-AB A.J. Burnett – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-AC Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds
STIT-AE Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royals
STIT-AGN Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-AJ Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-AM Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-APO A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks
STIT-APU Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels
STIT-AR Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
STIT-BB Brad Boxberger – Tampa Bay Rays
STIT-BC Brandon Crawford – San Francisco Giants
STIT-BD Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins
STIT-BG Brett Gardner – New York Yankees
STIT-BHA Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
STIT-BHO Brock Holt – Boston Red Sox
STIT-BP Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
STIT-CA Chris Archer – Tampa Bay Rays
STIT-CK Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-CM Carlos Martinez – St. Louis Cardinals
STIT-CS Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
STIT-DB Dellin Betances – New York Yankees
STIT-DK Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros
STIT-DL DJ LeMahieu – Colorado Rockies
STIT-DO Darren O’Day – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-DP David Price – Detroit Tigers
STIT-FH Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
STIT-GC Gerrit Cole – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-GP Glen Perkins – Minnesota Twins
STIT-JA Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
STIT-JDE Jacob deGrom – New York Mets
STIT-JDO Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays
STIT-JK Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
STIT-JM J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers
STIT-JPA Joe Panik – San Francisco Giants
STIT-JPD Joc Pederson – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-JPE Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
STIT-JU Justin Upton – San Diego Padres
STIT-KB Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs
STIT-KH Kelvin Herrera – Kansas City Royals
STIT-LC Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City Royals
STIT-MB Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants
STIT-MMA Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-MME Mark Melancon – Pittsburgh Pirates
STIT-MTE Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees
STIT-MTR Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels
STIT-NA Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
STIT-NC Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners
STIT-PF Prince Fielder – Texas Rangers
STIT-PG Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
STIT-RM Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays
STIT-SM Shelby Miller – Atlanta Braves
STIT-SP Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
STIT-SV Stephen Vogt – Oakland Athletics
STIT-TF Todd Frazier – Cincinnati Reds
STIT-TT Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
STIT-WD Wade Davis – Kansas City Royals
STIT-YG Yasmani Grandal – Los Angeles Dodgers
STIT-YM Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
STIT-ZB Zach Britton – Baltimore Orioles
STIT-ZG Zack Greinke – Los Angeles Dodgers