My fictitious Hall of Fame Ballot – 2020

20 01 2020

The Hall of Fame vote comes out tomorrow.  I missed a couple of years posting this, but I always like to do my ballot.  If you’re anything like me, you eat this kind of thing up.  I follow the Hall of Fame tracker by @NotMrTibbs that has received a bunch of attention.  I try to read a couple of books a year about HOF inductees.  I went to Griffey’s induction in 2016 and Rickey Henderson’s back in 2009!

In the previous years when I did this, the ballots were complete logjams.  The “rule of 10” had moved the average ballot to over 8 candidates, which was so much more than when I first remember knowing about this process.  Last year it was down to 7.23, and I expect it to be a little lower this year.  It’s still going to be in the same ballpark, though – likely above 7.

With 4 players inducted last year – Rivera, Edgar, Halladay and Mussina – and Fred McGriff coming off the ballot after his 10th year, there will be some space freed up.  Derek Jeter, who is going to get somewhere at or close to 100%, will essentially replace Rivera, but there isn’t really any other newcomer that will get close to the other 4 I just listed.  So guys who have been on the ballot for a while have the opportunity to move up because simply there is more space and a lot of the voters still feel restricted by the limit of picking 10 names.

There are 2 things I’m mostly curious to see.

  1. Will Larry Walker make it?  With almost half of the votes in, he is trending right on the line of 75% at about 84%. But last year his total dropped by ~11% so it may not be enough. It’s his 10th year, so he’s coming off the logjam next year either way – he’s in Tim Raines territory but not nearly the lock that Rock was.  I suspect that I won’t have a better idea until it’s actually announced on MLB Network.  A jump from 54.6% last year would be pretty insane, and it looks like he’ll be just short.  Whether it’s from the BBWAA or Veteran’s Committee sometime later, I do think Walker will get his due in Cooperstown.
  2. Where will he Bonds / Clemens / Schilling trio end up at?  The 3 guys are all in their 8th year, pretty clear-cut HOFers on stats alone, but have bounced around each other decently below the induction line for a few years now.  Schilling I think will end up around 70% and either be really close to get in during the 2021 ballot.  It seems like voters are moving past the “we don’t like stupid jerks” idea, which is a good thing.  The steroid duo will likely be above the 59% they settled in at last year.  But how far they slide up will give insight if they actually have a chance to make it in 2022 – as this will come down to their final year.  If they fail to get to 65%, I don’t like the odds.  If they get in the high 60’s – I like their chances.  I think they’ll get a bump this year, not much of one in 2021, and then another bump in their final year.  I think they’ll get close but not make it in; I think there may be a ceiling of some sort where there are 25-30% of voters who won’t vote them in whatsoever.

I’ve long argued that the 10-player ballot maximum is an unnecessary constraint (problem).  It splits the vote.  As you can see below, even with some of the logjam cleared, there are close to 15 players I’d vote for.  The Hall moved the years on the writers’ ballot down from 15 to 10 a few years back.  This makes sense in a vacuum, but doesn’t when combined with the 10 player restriction given to BBWAA voters.

Below is my “if I had a vote” message.  Before I get into specific players, I want to reiterate what I’d do about the steroid guys.  First, I don’t think there should be any rampant speculation considered.  For example -Piazza and Bagwell from previous ballots never had such a link but were clearly tainted by mere speculation.  I thought that was unfair.

Second, I’d generally vote for guys with a clear link to PEDs (exception below).  My reasons?  First, I think PEDs were a baseball issue, not a Mark McGwire or a Barry Bonds issue.  Second, it’s a gray area, not the black and white line that many make it out to be.  I firmly believe at some point in the future, maybe 25 years or 40 years, we’re going to realize that some of those substances are safe to use and that it was silly that it even got the debate it did.  Finally, there is probably a PED user already in the Hall of Fame, and there are definitely Hall of Famers who have openly admitted to using amphetamines.  Steroids was part of the game just like other forms of gamesmanship have been part of the game in different eras.  I say vote the cheaters in, like we’ve done for its entire history (see Gaylord Perry).  I’d rather do that than act like the Hall of Fame is something more than it is.  It’s a shrine for the greatest players, managers and executives of the game, next to a museum that keeps the history of baseball.  No more, no less.

So if someone is linked to PEDs, at least for the time being, I will vote them in – but behind clean guys who I think clearly deserve to be in.  The guys that are, to me, unquestionable on performance and have no tie to PEDs.  I made one addition to the notes above in 2017.  I’m not going to vote for Manny Ramirez.  Despite the fact he’s the probably best historical player on here not named Bonds or Clemens.  But he cheated when it really was cheating, and that’s just where the line gets drawn for me right now.  Not sure on timing when A-Rod gets in, I may change my mind.  We’ll see.

The only reason I make all of these rules is the ballot limit of 10.  Every real voter who is voting more than 6 or 7 guys (which is a significant number of voters) has to come up with their own individual rules, and this is just how I’d do it.

So here’s my fake ballot with their percentages .  This is in the order of how I’d vote them in, meaning I’d put Walker in if I was only allowed to pick 1 player.

  • Larry Walker (54.6%)
  • Derek Jeter (1st)
  • Todd Helton (16.5%)
  • Curt Schilling (60.9%)
  • Scott Rolen (17.2%)
  • Andruw Jones (7.5%)
  • Omar Vizquel (42.8%)
  • Barry Bonds (44.3%)
  • Roger Clemens (45.2%)
  • Billy Wagner (16.7%)

That’s the limit of 10. There are about 7 “no-doubters” to me, Bonds and Clemens, and then it came down to Jeff Kent and Wagner.  I think Wagner is a historically good closer, probably the 3rd best of his era behind Rivera and Hoffman; that gives him the nod to me over Kent in a “pick-em” scenario.

The rest of these guys are players whom I would probably vote for, but it’s sill.  They aren’t as clear-cut as the 7 guys ahead of Bonds above, but I would vote for them if there were no restrictions.  Note that I put Walker in the same category, but at the top of that “not clear-cut” list – so he makes the list of 10.  To be clear, I definitely do think these guys are Hall of Famers.

  • Jeff Kent (18.1%)
  • Gary Sheffield (13.6%)
  • Andy Pettitte (9.9%)
  • Sammy Sosa (7.0%)
  • Jason Giambi (1st)

That’s a list of 15.  And I would have put a number of guys who are no longer BBWAA-eligible (Kenny Lofton most notable).  I wish the Hall of Fame could read articles about this and see how the limit of 10 really restricts things for their voters.  It seems they don’t care though.

Anyways, I always look forward to the announcement and this week is no different!





Updating for 2018 and 2019 – Hall of Famers in Topps Traded

18 01 2020

Last thing before I actually can update for this year’s HOF inductees!  Now it’s time to do the same update for the 2018/19 inductees for the Topps Traded sets.  This is a much easier (shorter) exercise than the previous post.

  1. Lee Smith – Smith is in 5 different sets.  He was in the 1988 Upate box set after his trade from the Cubs to the Red Sox in between the 1987 and 1988 seasons.  He was in the 1990 set for his early season trade from the Sox to the Cardinals.   He made the 1994 set after signing as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles.  He was in the next set after signing with the Angels the following year.  And his 1988 card made the 2001 set as a reprint.
  2. Jack Morris – Morris also had a long line of early 90’s Topps Traded appearances.  He made the 1991 box set after signing for one season with the Minnesota Twins (that worked out well).  He was in the next year’s set after signing with the Toronto Blue Jays (he got 2 rings, but I wouldn’t say it worked out well based on his 2 losses in the ’92 Series). In 1994, he made the set after signing with the Indians, and his 1992 card made the 2001 set as a reprint.
  3. Chipper Jones – Jones was in the 1995 set in the Rookie of the Year contenders subset.
  4. Mariano Rivera – Rivera’s first Topps card was in the 1995 set as part of the On Deck subset that was continued from the regular set.
  5. Jim Thome – Thome was in the 2003 subset for his move to Philadelphia.

Alan Trammell, Edgar Martinez, Roy Halladay, Vlad Guerrero, Mike Mussina, Trevor Hoffman & Harold Baines were never in Topps Traded sets (the latter few are pretty surprising).  Here are update Topps Traded numbers for reference.  If there’s an asterisk, it’s because it went up due to the above 5 gentlemen.

1981 Topps Traded – 9 HOF

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

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

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

1985 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

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

1986 Topps Traded – 3 HOF

Niekro, Seaver, Dick Williams (mgr)

1987 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

Steve Carlton, Andre Dawson, Eckersley, Reggie Jackson, Greg Maddux

1988 Topps Traded – 4 HOF*****

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

1989 Topps Traded – 6 HOF

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

1990 Topps Traded – 5 HOF******

Carter, Red Schoendienst (mgr), Bobby Cox (mgr), Winfield, Lee Smith

1991 Topps Traded – 6 HOF*****

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

1992 Topps Traded – 4 HOF*****

Carter, Murray, Winfield, Morris

1993 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

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

1994 Topps Traded – 6 HOF*****

Henderson, Murray, Ryne Sandberg, Pedro Martinez, Lee Smith, Jack Morris

1995 Topps Traded – 16 HOF*****

Mariano Rivera, Lee Smith, Andre Dawson, Boggs (subset), Tony Gwynn (subset), Kirby Puckett (subset), Cal 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 – 19 HOF*****

Rickey Henderson, Carlton Fisk, Juan Marichal, Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken Jr., Ozzie Smith, Tom Seaver, Gary Carter, Greg Maddux, Dennis Eckersley, Joe Morgan, Roberto Alomar, Nolan Ryan, Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Jack Morris, Lee Smith

(other than Rickey – the rest are from the reprint subset)

2002 Topps Traded – 8 HOF

Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, Frank Robinson (mgr), Nolan Ryan (subset), Reggie Jackson (subset), Wade Boggs (subset), Roberto Alomar (subset), Ken Griffey Jr. (subset)

2003 Topps Traded – 4 HOF*****

Rickey Henderson,  Roberto Alomar, Ivan Rodriguez, Jim Thome

2004 Topps Traded – 1 HOF

Greg Maddux





Updating for 2018 and 2019 – Hall of Famers in Topps sets

15 01 2020

I’ve always listed the number of Hall of Famers in the posts I do for sets, and while I’ve been a mostly non-blogger the past few years I didn’t do that.  So I need to make up for some lost time before the 2020 HOF announcement later this month.

I need to update for the following 2018 inductees:

  • Chipper Jones
  • Vlad Guerrero
  • Jim Thome
  • Trevor Hoffman
  • Jack Morris
  • Alan Trammell

I need to update for the following 2018 inductees:

  • Mariano Rivera
  • Edgar Martinez
  • Roy Halladay
  • Mike Mussina
  • Lee Smith
  • Harold Baines

The number of Hall of Famers in a given set has always been something that intrigued me.  It took some work updating these numbers – since you have guys as recent as Halladay (1998 MLB debut) and as old as Trammell or Morris (1977 debut) – every year I’ve done on this blog is influenced.

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 12 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, I’m including you.

1980 Topps – 43 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, 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, 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), Lou Brock (HL)

  • The inductions of increased this number by 2.

1981 Topps – 44 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 Baines, Morris & Trammell increased this number by 3.

1982 Topps – 38 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 Smith, Baines, Morris & Trammell increased this number by 4.

 

1983 Topps – 49 Hall of Famers

This is the peak of HOF-ers in my Lifetime Topps project.

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 Smith, Baines, Morris & Trammell increased this number by 4.  This is still the set with the most HOF-ers in my Lifetime Topps Project.

 

1984 Topps – 48 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Earl Weaver had retired after the 1982 season, with no new Hall of Fame blood in this set.

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

  • The induction of Smith, Baines, Morris & Trammell increased this number by 4.

 

1985 Topps – 44 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!  That claim now belongs to Piazza.

  • The induction of Smith, Baines, Morris & Trammell increased this number by 4.

 

1986 Topps – 44 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.

  • The induction of Smith, Baines, Morris & Trammell increased this number by 4.

 

1987 Topps – 42 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 I mentioned earlier as coach of the Astros!

  • The induction of Smith, Baines, Morris & Trammell increased this number by 4.

 

1988 Topps – 40 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.

  • The induction of Smith, Baines, Morris & Trammell increased this number by 4.

 

1989 Topps – 41 Hall of Famers

Gone (-6):  Sutton, Niekro (RB), Williams (mgr), Schoendienst (TL), Musial (TBC), Gibson (TBC)

New (+7):  Roberto Alomar RC, Randy Johnson RC, Craig Biggio RC, John Smoltz RC, Hank Aaron (TBC), Brock (TBC), Frank Robinson (back as a manager)

  • The induction of Smith, Baines, Morris & Trammell increased this number by 4.

 

1990 Topps – 42 Hall of Famers

Gone (-2):  2 relievers exited the set – Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage (who would be back)

New (+3)  Frank Thomas had his RC in the set, and Griffey Jr had his first regular Topps card.  Like Junior, Edgar Martinez also had his first Topps card – but Topps was a bit late to the game as his rookie card had been in some earlier products.  The effect of the TBC subset was a wash, it went up to 3 HOFers from the previous year, but one of them was Mike Schmidt who didn’t actually have a base card after retiring mid-1989.

  • The induction of Smith, Baines, Morris, Trammell & Martinez increased this number by 5.

 

1991 Topps – 40 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 Smith, Baines, Morris, Trammell, Martinez & Jones increased this number by 6.

1992 Topps – 44 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 Smith, Baines, Morris, Trammell, Martinez, Jones, Thome & Mussina increased this number by 8.

1993 Topps – 47 Hall of Famers

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

New (+4):  Tony Perez (Reds manager), Pedro Martinez (first Topps card), Mike Piazza (on a Prospects card), Trevor Hoffman (first Topps card – making it in the set as one of those first Marlins players)

  • The induction of Smith, Baines, Morris, Trammell, Martinez, Jones, Thome, Mussina & Hoffman increased this number by a whopping 9 players – the largest increase from this post.  This year’s set is now second behind 1984 as having the most HOFers from my Lifetime Topps collection.

 

1994 Topps – 38 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 Smith, Baines, Trammell, Martinez, Jones, Thome, Mussina & Hoffman increased this number by 8 players.

 

1995 Topps – 33 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 Smith, Baines, Trammell, Martinez, Jones, Thome, Mussina & Hoffman increased this number by 8 players.

 

1996 Topps – 34 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)

  • The induction of Smith, Baines, Martinez, Jones, Thome, Mussina, Hoffman & Guerrero increased this number by 8 players.

1997 Topps – 31 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 Baines, Martinez, Jones, Thome, Mussina, Hoffman, Guerrero & Rivera increased this number by 8 players.

 

1998 Topps – 28 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 (+2):  Roberto Clemente (tribute), Roy Halladay (first Topps card via the prospects set).  Halladay is now has the latest first Topps flagship card of any HOFer .

  • The induction of Baines, Martinez, Jones, Thome, Mussina, Hoffman, Guerrero, Rivera & Halladay increased this number by a whopping 9 players!

 

1999 Topps – 26 Hall of Famers

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

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

  • The induction of Martinez, Jones, Thome, Mussina, Hoffman, Guerrero, Rivera & Halladay increased this number by 8 players.

 

2000 Topps – 28 Hall of Famers

Gone (-1):  Nolan Ryan (tribute)

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

  • The induction of Baines, Martinez, Jones, Thome, Mussina, Hoffman, Guerrero, Rivera & Halladay increased this number by a whopping 9 players!

 

2001 Topps – 36 Hall of Famers

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

New (+10):  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 Baines, Martinez, Jones, Thome, Mussina, Hoffman, Guerrero, Rivera & Halladay increased this number by a whopping 9 players!

 

2002 Topps – 26 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 Martinez, Jones, Thome, Mussina, Hoffman, Guerrero & Rivera increased this number by 7 players.

 

2003 Topps – 26 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 Martinez, Jones, Thome, Mussina, Hoffman, Guerrero, Rivera & Halladay increased this number by 8 players.

 

2004 Topps – 26 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 Martinez, Jones, Thome, Mussina, Hoffman, Guerrero, Rivera & Halladay increased this number by 8 players.  This would end up being Edgar’s last Topps card, so I’ll update that in 2005 whenever I get to that set!




Updating for 2017 – Hall of Famers in Topps Traded

12 01 2020

I never did my Traded set update for guys elected into the 2017 Hall of Fame class.  I did it for the regular set at the time (January 2017) but not the Topps Traded version – so here that is now!  Here’s the 3 guys elected that year and there participation throughout the various Topps Traded sets.

  1. Tim Raines – Raines is probably the flagship card in the first ever full Topps Traded set.  He’s also in 1991 Topps Traded for his move to the Chicago White Sox.  In 2001, they reprinted his rookie card as part of the ’81 set.  And in 2002, he got a card for his free agent signing with the Marlins.  I was surprised he didn’t have a few more, but he either didn’t make the cut in a few of the years he switched teams or was on the new team in the regular set.
  2. Jeff Bagwell – 1991 Topps Traded was his rookie card.  He’s also in the 1995 Traded for the At-the-Break subset
  3. Ivan Rodriguez – 1991 Topps Traded was his rookie card. Kind of neat all 3 guys are in that set.  Pudge was also in 1995 Traded but in this case he was in the All-Star subset alongside another recent electee, Mike Piazza.  And in 2003 he was in the Traded set for his free agent signing with the Florida Marlins (which turned out pretty well for all involved).

Here are update Topps Traded numbers for reference.  If there’s an asterisk, it’s because it went up due to the above 3 gentlemen.

1981 Topps Traded – 9 HOF*****

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

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

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

1985 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

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

1986 Topps Traded – 3 HOF

Niekro, Seaver, Dick Williams (mgr)

1987 Topps Traded – 5 HOF

Steve Carlton, Andre Dawson, Eckersley, Reggie Jackson, Greg Maddux

1988 Topps Traded – 3 HOF

Roberto Alomar, Gossage, Frank Robinson (mgr)

1989 Topps Traded – 6 HOF

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

1990 Topps Traded – 4 HOF

Carter, Red Schoendienst (mgr), Bobby Cox (mgr), Winfield

1991 Topps Traded – 5 HOF*****

Alomar, Carter, Raines, Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez

1992 Topps Traded – 3 HOF

Carter, Murray, Winfield

1993 Topps Traded – 4 HOF

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

1994 Topps Traded – 4 HOF

Henderson, Murray, Ryne Sandberg, Pedro Martinez

1995 Topps Traded – 13 HOF*****

Dawson, Boggs (subset), Tony Gwynn (subset), Kirby Puckett (subset), Cal Ripken (subset), Frank Thomas (subset), Smith (subset), Johnson (subset), Craig Biggio (subset), Griffey Jr. (subset), Piazza (subset), Bagwell (subset), Rodriguez (subset)

1999 Topps Traded – 0 HOF

2000 Topps Traded – 0 HOF

2001 Topps Traded – 17 HOF*****

Rickey Henderson, Carlton Fisk, Juan Marichal, Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken Jr., Ozzie Smith, Tom Seaver, Gary Carter, Greg Maddux, Dennis Eckersley, Joe Morgan, Roberto Alomar, Nolan Ryan, Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza, Tim Raines

(other than Rickey – the rest are from the reprint subset)

2002 Topps Traded – 8 HOF*****

Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, Frank Robinson (mgr), Nolan Ryan (subset), Reggie Jackson (subset), Wade Boggs (subset), Roberto Alomar (subset), Ken Griffey Jr. (subset)

2003 Topps Traded – 3 HOF*****

Rickey Henderson,  Roberto Alomar, Ivan Rodriguez

2004 Topps Traded – 1 HOF

Greg Maddux





Completed insert set – 2013 Topps World Baseball Classic Stars

10 01 2020

Another completed set post I’ve been sitting on forever is the 2013 WBC set.  I finished this off in early 2015, shortly after our second son was born, and meant to post it when the 2017 WBC got started.  But – since I basically stopped blogging around then, I didn’t post.  So, here it is 3 years later (and nearly 5 years after the trade) at what isn’t quite as much of an appropriate time!

Info about the set:

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Set description: “Featuring 15 cards of the biggest stars from around the world representing their countries in their World Baseball Classic uniforms”.

Set composition: 15 cards, series 2; I think 1:8 or so but not sure

Hall of Famers: None; despite the time it took me to make this post, this is still a pretty recent set

How I put the set together:

  • 5 cards from my s2 Hobby box
  • 2 cards from a s2 blaster
  • 8 cards from trades

Thoughts on the set:  I view this set as a missed opportunity.  I think the WBC is super-interesting and have generally followed it and watched what I could (though I’m usually very busy in March).  This is the kind of set that could get guys who aren’t just MLB players in the set.  Kenta Maeda, for example, was not in MLB yet but pitched for Japan in the Classic.  Getting him and some lesser-known players would have been great.

Card that completed my set: #WBC2 – Anthony Rizzo

This was one of 6 cards I got from a trade with Off Hiatus.  As I said, this was back in early 2015, the trade post is here.

Best card (my opinion): #WBC11 – Pablo Sandoval

Robinson Cano was the other player I considered since he won the MVP of the whole event.  But any card of the Panda with a Spring Training timeframe is a winner for me.

My Favorite Reds card: #WBC3 – Joey Votto

The only Reds player in this set, I’m not even sure if it counts since he’s in his WBC team uniform.

Any other tidbits:  As mentioned, Cano won the MVP as a member of the Dominican Republic team.  They won the title, beating Puerto Rico, 3-0, in the final.

The set is broken out by team as follows:

  • Dominican Republic – 3
  • USA – 3
  • Canada – 2
  • Venezuela – 3
  • Puerto Rico – 2
  • Mexico – 1
  • Italy – 1




Albert Pujols – 3,000 hits

7 01 2020

Updating some previous posts I used to do – Albert Pujols got to 3,000 hits during the time I haven’t been posting.

#32 – Adrian Beltre – May 4, 2018.  Single off Mike Leake, Seattle Mariners.  Safeco Field, Seattle, WA.  (3,202 as of today)

There’s a few posts I’ve always done since I started this blog in 2010 – and in 2020 it seems like I should catch up on those!  Updating the 3,000 hit club is one option.  Early in the 2018 season, Albert Pujols stamped his place into that club as the 32nd member, less than a year after Adrian Beltre had done so.  He got it off one of my secret favorite players – Mike Leake.  This was just another milestone for Prince Albert; by then he had already passed the 600 home run mark and was about a year away from notching his 2,000th RBI.  He’s in some elite territory there, with just Hank Aaron and A-Rod.

Next up on this list is likely Miguel Cabrera, who isn’t necessarily a lock, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t eclipse 3,000 hits.  Robbie Cano has a chance at getting there if he bounces back, but still has over 400 hits to go and at the pace he’s been on that would take 5 seasons for a guy who is 37 years old.

In other words, I think this list may have a 2021 addition and then nobody for a while.





Completed insert set – 2000 Topps Hank Aaron Finest

4 01 2020

Trying a little minor comeback.  I finished the regular Topps Hank Aaron set back at the end of 2016, and looking back to that post – it was kind of the end of me continuously blogging.

So maybe this will be a good kickoff for me to start up a little bit again in 2020! I have a few completed insert sets to do, want to do some Hall of Famer tributes for the legends who passed away since I stopped blogging.  And then, who knows, maybe I’ll pick back up with the Lifetime Topps Project!

Info about the set:

Set description:  Aaron was the 5th historic player honored with a reprint set (Mantle in ’96, Mays in ’97, Clemente ’98, Ryan ’99).  The first 4 all had Finest parallels; this was the only one where the parallel was dubbed as a Chrome card.  Though there aren’t too many differences as it’s the same technology.  This set had reprints of the full run of his base Topps cards during his career.  Reprints of his 19 regular cards from 1954-1976 were issued across both series.  The 12 even years come in series 1, while the 11 odd years come in series 2 (which is the same as the regular inserts).  There is a gold Aaron logo, created just for these sets.

Set composition:  23 cards, 1:72 odds (2000 Topps)

Hall of Famers:  1 – just Aaron.  None of his multi-player cards are included.

How I put the set together:

  • 1 card from the 2000 series 2 hobby box I bought (I did not pull a card in my s1 box)
  • 4 cards from Beckett Marketplace
  • 3 cards from Sportlots
  • 17 cards from COMC

Card that completed my set:  #3 – 1956 Topps

I bought the last card I needed from COMC back in late 2017.  2+ years later I’m blogging about it!  I’d been one card shy for close to a year.

Thoughts on the set: Retro sets are everywhere you look these days, but even in 2000 there weren’t that many, and they were almost all reprints.  It’s a fun set, and I kind of wish Topps had kept this concept going.  Unfortunately it ended after Hammerin’ Hank.  Also, I don’t know why, but I liked the Finest designation better than Chrome, even though it’s really just very similar.

Best card (my opinion):  #20 – 1973 Topps

Aaron is one of those players who has an iconic rookie card, and I picked his 1954 Topps card for the base set.  But I like the 1973 picture and am gonna pick that one for the Chrome treatment.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none (obviously).