More cards from reader Bill #3 – cards for the actual purpose of this website!

29 12 2016

Wrapping up my 3-part post from reader Bill – he sent a bunch of cards that qualify as “the purpose of this blog”.  Back in 2010, I started on a journey to get every Topps card from 1980 to 2009.  Along the way, I’ve decided to go after insert cards, I’ve taken a number of detours and pauses, and I have been going after cards post-2009.  But any time I get cards for that 1980 to 2009 time frame, it’s exciting!

First up – 2002 Topps.  Bill sent me 20+ cards from the 2002 Topps set, which gets me down to about 15 cards until I finish that set!


Bill also sent me a bunch of cards from the 2002 Topps Update set – a few of which are the hard-to-find SP cards in the first 110 cards of the set!


That’s 2002, on to 2003.  More base cards from the flagship set.  Getting there on these years!


There were a few cards from 2003 Traded as well, and he also sent a few 2004 Topps cards.  I forgot to scan them before sending them to their final resting place.  Oops!  I’m now just a few cards away from finishing both sets.

Finally, I’m on to some insert cards that Bill sent.  Here’s all of them.

trade-reader-bill-early-00-inserts trade-reader-bill-early-00-inserts-2


Again, thanks for sending all those cards, Bill!  I wish I had half the cards from your wantlist to send your way – so if you ever expand said wantlist, let me know and I’ll contribute as best I can.

Completed insert set – 2015 Topps Eclipsing History

28 12 2016

This is my first completed insert set from 2015 Topps.

Info about the set:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Set description:  “15 dual subject cards featuring a current record holder and the Legend of the past he eclipsed to claim that record.”

They changed that between sell sheet and production to make it a 10-card set.  Regardless, these cards have two up close photos of players in the manner described above.

Set composition:  10 cards, 1:10 odds (2015 Topps s2)

Hall of Famers:  12.  Many of the cards have 2 HOF-ers, and only the last card (Darryl Strawberry, David Wright) is 2 guys not in the Hall.

Lou Brock, Rickey Henderson, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, Ozzie Smith, Tom Seaver, Whitey Ford, Rod Carew, Jim Rice, Lou Gehrig

How I put the set together:

  • 5 cards from my s2 HTA Jumbo box
  • 5 cards from trades

Card that completed my set:  #EH-1 – Henderson / Brock


I got this card from reader Bill K, whose sent me a bunch of cards this month and I’m in the midst of a bunch of posts covering that 🙂

Thoughts on the set:  Cool set, very few current players – but I’m fine with that.  This is the kind of set where I wish Topps wasn’t limited by its contracts.  See other tidbits for ideas I have!

Best card (my opinion):  #EH-1 – Henderson / Brock

2015 Topps Eclipsing History front

Rickey is my favorite non-Reds player, so this was easy for me, though Ryan over Koufax for single season strikeouts was very close.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none.

Any other tidbits:  Here are my ideas for additions to this set:

Bonds over Aaron or McGwire would be great.  Pete Rose over Ty Cobb would be even better.  Those are all controversial, but hell, Aaron over Ruth (RBI) would be awesome for the baseball historian in me!  Nolan Ryan over Walter Johnson would also be awesome.  The non-purist in me would love putting Mariano River over Trevor Hoffman or K-Rod over Bobby Thigpen for the 2 all-time saves titles.

More cards from reader Bill #2 – 2015 & 2016

27 12 2016

Continuing my post from a few days ago

Bill also sent me a bunch of cards from the past two years.  Some were base cards.  He finished off my 2015 Topps set with this card:


And he finished off my 2016 set with the 15 cards I needed – here’s 3 highlights from that set.


He sent a number of card from the First Pitch set that was in both years of cards.


He sent me some 40 other insert cards from 2015 as well.  Here is just a small highlight of those other cards.


That finished off the Eclipsing History set for me – and got a bunch of others much closer.

Lastly, he sent me about 25 more 2016 insert cards for me.


That’s it for tonight!  Thanks again, Bill – one more post tomorrow.

Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Making Their Mark

26 12 2016

I completed this set, 3+ years after its release, after getting a few cards from .  I finished this insert set from Sportlots last November.  Topps had the “chase” theme in 2013, and this one was of the defensive mindset.

Info about the set:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Set description:  “25 cards featuring future stars celebrating their first home run or win.”

That’s the description from the series 2 sell sheet.  There were 25 more cards in this set released as part of Topps Update.

These cards are full bleed with the background blurred.  The bottom is white with the team logo and the applicable date and team logo.  There is a colored nameplate in the middle that varies by the team.  Above the name is a silver foil logo with the sets name.  The back features a write-up on the back describing the player’s first career homer (for hitters) or victory (for pitchers).

Set composition:  50 cards, 1:6 odds (series 2 & update)

Hall of Famers:  None – all current players.

How I put the set together:

  • 16 cards from my series 2 & update hobby/HTA boxes
  • 3 cards from retail packs
  • 26 cards from trades
  • 2 cards from the 2015 NSCC
  • 2 cards from Sportlots
  • 1 cards from Beckett Marketplace

Card that completed my set:  #MM-44 – Jedd Gyorko


I got this card, and 6 others, from reader Bill last week.

Thoughts on the set:  This is one of those filler sets that I could do without.  It’s cool to flip through, especially seeing that guys like Todd Frazier and Yoenis Cespedes were considered prospects not that long ago.  But it’s filler.

Best card (my opinion):  #MM-2 – Mike Trout


Tough to pass on the best player in the game.  At the time this was released, he was the reigning Rookie of the Year.

My Favorite Reds card:  MM-23 – Todd Frazier


Sigh.  Things were a little better in the ‘Nati when this guy was an up-and-comer.

Other tidbits:  I went through and counted up the number of players based on each debut year:

  • 2009 – 1
  • 2010 – 3
  • 2011 – 10
  • 2012 – 17
  • 2013 – 19

The 2009 debut was Kris Medlen.

It’s a little sad flipping through this and getting to the card of Jose Fernandez.  Baseball lost a great young talent, and 3 families lost young members, to what can only be described as an unnecessary tragedy.

Saturdays Suds: Baseball & Beer #74 Wachusett Green Monsta IPA

24 12 2016

I did a bunch of posts about all the beers I’d had from Cooperstown Brewing Company – but I did get one more baseball related beer on my summer trip to baseball’s hallowed grounds.  When in Western Massachusetts, I found this beer at a store and, given my posts like this, obviously had to pick it up!


Brewery:  Wachusett Brewing in Westminster, MA

wachusett-green-monsta-aleBeer:  Green Monsta IPA

Description:  “An All-American yeast teams up with Cascade, Amarillo and Centennial for a home run of hops in every sip.”

It pours a copper color and is a traditional IPA with hoppy bitterness.

Medium:  I had it from a 12 oz bottle, but I’ve seen cans and you can find it on tap around Massachusetts.  It’s not a seasonal brew or anything – it’s always available.

How it’s related to baseball:  The brewery is obviously playing off the large green wall in left field of the ballpark on Yawkey Way.  And playing off the Boston accent.  Kudos!

More cards from reader Bill #1 – 2013 & 2014

21 12 2016

Bill from a few posts ago (but the post was nearly a month ago – sorry 🙂 – busy) sent me more cards.

OK, that’s an understatement of the highest degree.  He sent me a boatload of cards!  Enough that I spent a decent portion of last night going through baseball cards for the first time in quite a while.  It would have been more, but the 1.75-year-old decided he didn’t want to go to bed and that complicated things.

Back to cards.

It sounds like Bill went to the National in Atlantic City – I got the chance to go a year ago when it was here in (suburban) Chicago.  He bought a large lot of cards and there were a bunch that I have listed on my wants.  It’s so many cards, that I’ll never be able to post it all in one post.  So here’s post #1 – cards from the early part of the decade.

This is the very recent portion.  First, he sent me a ton of the 2013 update mini cards (1971 version).  23 cards total – which is almost half the set.  I’ve only got about 13 cards left for this 50-card set.


After that – this individual card is worth posting, because this is a pretty rare pull.  I’m a long way from finishing this set.


Next up – here are some other highlights 2013 Topps insert cards.  Worth noting: Bill finished off a set for me.  Making their Mark may be my next post, hopefully in the next day or two.


Next up are some highlights of the 12 or so 2014 cards Bill sent.  The Power Players insert was my favorite set of that year.


Oh, and Bill sent me a few cards from 2011 and 2012 so I’ll add those here.



Again – I can’t get this all into one post, so this is just the first of (I think) 3.  More to come in a day or two.  Thanks Bill!

Completed insert set – 2016 Pressed into Service

5 12 2016

When I finished this set, I wasn’t expecting this to actually be a finished set at that point.  This was one Topps really could have done each series and made a 30 card set.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “When their teams needed them most, these 10 position players ventured into unfamiliar territory.”  The front has a picture of the position player who was forced into a pitching situation, with a background that prominently features baseball stitches.

Set composition:  10 cards, 1:8 (2016 Topps series 1)

Hall of Famers:  2. Wade Boggs, Stan Musial.

How I put the set together:

  • 7 cards from my series 1 HTA jumbo box
  • 4 cards from a trade

Card that completed my set: #PIS-5 – Paul O’Neill


I got this as one of 4 cards in trade from 30 dollar habit.

Thoughts on the set:  I love the set and my main complaint is that Topps only did it in series 1.  C’mon!  There are so many other great instances of position players pitching.  From Babe Ruth coming back to show he could still pitch, to Mark Grace giving up David Ross’ first homer, to David Ross hitting a homer as a pitcher.  Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams and Adam Dunn all have stories to tell.  There are so many great options!

Best card (my opinion): #PIS-3 – Jose Canseco

2016 Topps Pressed Into Service front

Canseco is the most fun out of all these guys, though I like the Ichiro story from last year as well.

Best Reds card (my opinion):  Paul O’Neill is the only one.


O’Neill came in to pitch in a blowout loss in 1987.  Wish they could have found a shot from the actual game.

Here’s the whole set.



Any other tidbits:  Musial was the one that seemed to stick out as not belonging.  He was a pitcher coming up in the minors, but only had one instance where he was “pressed into service” in the bigs.  He pitched to one batter in 1952 and didn’t get an out.  I wish Topps had put more about the actual pitching appearance.  Musial faced Cubs hitter Frank Baumholtz and threw just one pitch.  It was a gimmick because the Cubs and Cardinals were officially out of the pennant chase, but Baumholtz had an extreme outside chance to catch Musial for the batting title.  Musial came in from the outfield to face him in the first inning. Baumholtz grounded to third, reached on an error, and ended his batting title prayer.  Musial has the strange stat line of facing one hitter, not giving up a walk, hit or HBP, but not also having no credit for any portion of an inning.  He has to be tied for the least innings pitched of any pitcher in MLB history!

Saturdays Suds: Baseball & Beer #73 Lagunitas IPA “W”

3 12 2016

I’m fresh of watching the Big Ten championship game – what a finish!  But it can’t top the finish of the World Series.  As a Chicago resident, I got to enjoy that win, even though the Cubs aren’t my team.

Brewery:  Lagunitas, Chicago IL

lagunitas-wBeer: IPA

Description:  “A well-rounded, highly drinkable IPA.  A bit of Caramel Malt barley provides the richness that mellows out the twang of the hops.”

It’s a solid IPA.  Not my favorite because I’ve got to where I prefer less malt.  But it’s enjoyable – hoppy, but not as hoppy as some – with a nice malt backbone.

Medium:  You can find this beer all over the place in markets where Lagunitas distributes.

But not the W flag version :).  It only comes in a 12 oz bottle.

How it’s related to baseball:  When the Cubs won the World Series, Lagunitas produced a bunch of bottles with the famous “W” flag on the label.  The “W” is the flag that all the Cubs fans out here fly in honor of a Cubbie win.  If you went to the brewery the week after game 7 – as I did – the Lagunitas IPA bottles you’d have were the ones you got.

It’s funny, I just had one, snapped the picture above and went home (after about 4 other beers).  The bartender asked me if I wanted to keep the beer, and I wish I had.  What I didn’t realize was that the bottle was going to become a collector’s item.  I figured a boat load would hit distribution shortly thereafter.  That wasn’t the case.  Lagunitas sent some out in distribution, but as surprise wins if you bought a 6 pack.  From what I’ve heard, the Cubs put the kibosh on this since there isn’t any kind of license agreement.

Wish I’d have kept the bottle, they are going for about 20 bucks on eBay, and since my son has become a die-hard Cubs fan i’m sure he’d appreciate it in 17 years when he’s of age!