Saturdays Suds: Baseball & Beer #92 AleSmith Hazy .394

18 02 2023

Pitchers and catchers reported this week – so it seems like a good Saturday to dust off the beer posts.

I first had the OG .394 beer from AleSmith back in 2016 when I went to Cooperstown for Ken Griffey Jr’s induction.  Around then, the haze craze in craft beer was beginning (I actually stopped at Tree House Brewing while I was out there).  So, naturally – since then Alesmith has brewed a hazy version of their Tony Gwynn Pale Ale.

Brewery:  AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego, CA

Beer:  Hazy .394

Description:  Per their website: “Similar to the fan-favorite San Diego Pale Ale .394, this beer pays tribute to Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn and the career-high batting average that he achieved with the Padres in ’94.  Hazy .394 showcases an intense hop aroma of tropical fruit and citrus, but delivers a fuller-bodied pour than its predecessor, along with a smooth and creamy finish.  It’s a guaranteed hit!”

I love, love, love the regular .394 beer.  Maybe my favorite west coast pale ale.  This beer isn’t quite as good – I think they probably hop it similarly and there’s just something about the more bitter version that really hits – but this one is still damn good for a beer that isn’t too strong and I’ve enjoyed it the couple times I’ve had it.

Medium:  Comes in 12 and 16-oz cans and on tap.  I got it from a local bottle shop a couple years ago.

How it’s related to baseball:  Tony Gwynn helped the brewery designed the original!  It has him in his recognizable batting stance.  And, of course, the name follows his remarkable 1994 campaign where he hit .394 and was robbed of the opportunity to cross .400 due to baseball’s most recent labor impasse.

Completed master set – one last look at 1995 Topps

12 02 2023

With that Travis Fryman Spectralite Pre-production card from a few posts ago – it’s time to do the 1995 Topps Master Set post.  I’ve now completed all my Topps master sets through 1997!  Here’s the info for this master set.

Info about my base set:

How I put the base set together:

  • 298 cards from series 1 retail box
  • 214 cards from series 2 retail box
  • 102 cards from trades
  • 41 cards I already had from back in the day
  • 4 cards from eBay
  • 1 card from Sportlots

Card that completed my set: #446 – Andres Galarraga

Best card (my opinion): #203 – Randy Johnson

Check out this link to see the rest of the base set post.

My Master” Set Info:

939 cards – 660 “base”, 165 “update”, 92 “insert” (82 flagship, 10 update), 22 “other”

How I put the additional sets together:

  • Traded – 160 cards from the Update wax box, 1 card from Sportlots, 4 from Beckett Marketplace
  • Inserts –  12 cards from s1/s2/update boxes, 4 I already had from before I started this whole project, 5 cards from trades, 31 cards from Sportlots, 18 cards from eBay, 16 cards from COMC, 6 cards from Beckett Marketplace
  • Promos –  the 9 regular cards I had from back in the day, 1x Shaw Green proof from COMC, 1 Spectralite from a trade, 5 Spectralite from eBay, 2 Spectralite from COMC, 1 Spectralite from Sportlots, I got all 3 National Packtime from Sportlots

Toughest card to track down:  Pre-Production Spectralite #PP5 – Travis Fryman

I posted about how hard this damn card was to track down.  I actually found a rarer “proof” version before I could find the actual card that could be found in the 1994 Topps factory – we’re talking like a decade of searching for this.

Update set composition:  165 cards (114 single MLB player cards, 14 Draft Picks, 2 On Deck, 2 Tops Prospects, 1 Star Track, 12 Rookie of the Year Contenders, 10 At the Break, 9 All-Stars, 1 checklist)

In the update set not in the base set:  28 players (including the 4 players on the Prospect card)

Total in base and update sets:  595 different players.  Or 60% of the 1994 MLB rosters.

Here’s the link for the Update completed set post.

Other product bests

Read the rest of this entry »

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