2015 All-Star Stitches #51: Joc Pederson

29 11 2022

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 51st card toward this set.  And it’s the 3rd from a string of 4 posts to catch up.

Card number:  STIT-JPD

Player:  Joc Pederson

How I got the card:  COMC from 2021

Position:  Left Field

How he made the roster: Pederson was selected as one of the outfielders via the player ballot.  He ended up starting the game when Giancarlo Stanton was an injury scratch.

Pederson was a rookie, so this was his 1st All-Star selection.

First half stat line:  .230/20/40

Home Run Derby:  Pederson made the finals as a 4-seed in the derby.  He beat Manny Machado, 13-12, in the first round, then beat Albert Pujols in the 2nd round, 12-11.  He lost to Todd Frazier in the finals, 15-14.

This HR Derby was the first time MLB did head-to-head, and Pederson’s “upset” of Pujols in the 2nd round was the only match where the worse seed won.  Other than that, the batter who got to bat 2nd won the other 6 matchups.

All-Star game:  Pederson went 0-2 with 2 strike outs, which I guess is kind of his thing.

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

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




2015 All-Star Stitches #50: Joe Panik

27 11 2022

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 50th card toward this set.  And it’s the 2nd from a string of 4 posts to catch up.

Card number:  STIT-JP

Player:  Joe Panik

How I got the card:  COMC from 2021

Position:  Second Base

How he made the roster: Panik was selected by NL manager Bruce Bochy (who also happened to be his manager) as the backup at 2nd base.  Dee Gordon had been voted in by the fans as the starter, but was out with an injury.  So the player selection at 2nd base, DJ LeMahieu, became the starter and Bochy got to pick the backup.

This was Panik’s 1st All-Star selection.

First half stat line:  .308/7/33 (47 runs)

All-Star game:  Panik went 0-2, striking out in the 7th and then lining out to Brock Holt in left to end the game in the 9th

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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




2015 All-Star Stitches #49: Jose Altuve

25 11 2022

I have a few of these to catch up on!  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 49th card toward this set.  And it’s the first from a string of what will be 4 posts.

Card number:  STIT-JA

Player:  Jose Altuve

How I got the card:  COMC from 2021

Position:  Second Base

How he made the roster: Altuve was voted in as the AL starter at 2nd base.

This was his 3rd All-Star selection.

First half stat line:  .292/8/38 (25 SB)

All-Star game:  Altuve was 0-2, grounding out to his counterpart DJ LeMahieu both times

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

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




Completed set – 2003 Topps Traded & Rookies

9 11 2022

I made a few purchases last year on Sportlots to finish up some sets that were low hanging fruit.  One of those was 2003 Topps Traded & Rookies – where I had needed just one card for 5 years.

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Info about my set:

How I put the set together:

  • 270 cards from the Topps Traded HTA jumbo box
  • 4 card from a trade with reader Bill
  • 1 card from Sportlots

Card that completed my set:  #T146T – Gabe Gross

I got this from Sportlots in early 2021, as I mentioned I did kind of catch-all buy of some low hanging fruit.

Set composition:  275 cards (115 single MLB player cards, 5 Managers, 45 Prospects, 110 1st Year Cards)

Representation of ’02 MLB season:  This set passed the point where this is relevant to do for traded.  The guys in the first 115 cards are all players who either signed with a new team in the offseason – for example, David Ortiz, Pudge Rodriguez or Cris Carpenter signing with Boston, Florida and St. Louis respectively.

There are also some mid-season 2003 trades like Aaron bleeping Boone (see below)!  There aren’t any players with their 2002 baseball teams in this set, so putting this type of comparison with the 2002 regular set doesn’t make a ton of sense.

Last active player from this set:  #T158 – Adam Wainwright

Pretty wild there’s a guy in this set still playing – though it’s possible Wainwright will follow Yadier and Pujols and announce his retirement this offseason.

The earlier player is Rickey Henderson.  So the player years from this set span from 1979 to 2022 – 6 different decades!  That excludes the managers, where Felipe Alou would bring it back 2 more decades as he debuted in 1958.

Highest book value:  #T200 – Robinson Cano

This is a true RC for Cano, so it’s way ahead of any other cards from the most recent Beckett I have.  Miguel Cabrera is in the Prospects subset, but this is a couple years after his true RC.

Most notable card:  #T200 – Robinson Cano

That it’s the most notable rookie card in a Traded set makes it the default most notable card as well, though the first Red Sox Topps based card for Big Papi is worth mentioning as well.

Best card (my opinion):  #T108 – Aaron Boone

A part of me should hate this card, because Boone was a bit of a fan favorite for me when he was with the Reds – and this card exists to point out he was traded away when they started to stink in the early aughts.  But he hit one of the biggest homers in postseason history, one of only 3 walk-off homers to clinch the pennant in the history of this great game – and this is the card that shows the midseason trade for it.

Second best card (also my opinion):  #T52 – David Ortiz

Obviously Ortiz moving to the Red Sox had a much bigger long term impact than the Boone trade.

Best subset card:  #T116 – Dusty Baker

Dusty finally got that World Series ring as a manager the other day.  He’s beloved throughout all of baseball, and despite some silly fans who think they can do better – his win-loss record is second to none.  Felt appropriate to pick him here.

Favorite action photo:  #T81 – Bobby Kielty

Traded/Update sets aren’t particularly known for their action shots.  This is a very good one.  The Aramis Ramirez card was the other one I considered – looks like he’s just hit a home run.

Favorite non-action photo:  #T100 – Kenny Rogers

The Gambler was always a pretty cool player, and this dugout shot works pretty well.  said, I like the cool effect with the background here.  I couldn’t have told you he played for Minnesota, but apparently he went 13-8 his one season there.

My Favorite Reds card:  #T168 – Joe Valentine

Unfortunate default here – of the 4 Reds cards in this set, Joe was the only guy who ever spent time with the actual Major League ballclub, though he had a negative WAR so maybe that should even DQ him for this distinct honor!





Completed master set – one last look at 2000 Topps

7 11 2022

Back in 2017, I finished the last card for the Hank Aaron Chrome set – and even when I finally blogged about that in 2020, I forgot to realize that I had finished what I’m determining as my master set to 2000 Topps!  So here I am – 5 years later doing a post I used to do within a week or so of finishing this off.  Shoulder shrug!

This was a tougher master set to complete.  Counting the Finest sets has made late 90’s and this a tough one to finish, but the MVP redemption set was probably the toughest and the most expensive.  I had originally tried to complete that MVP set 1 at a time, but eventually got a good deal on a full set on eBay.

Info about my base set:

How I put the base set together:

  • 234 cards from the series 1 hobby box
  • 239 cards from the series 2 hobby box
  • 3 cards from trades
  • 2 cards from Beckett Marketplace

Card that completed my base set: #225 – Pedro Martinez PSH

Best card (my opinion): #85 – Barry Larkin

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

My Master” Set Info:

653 cards – 478 “base”, “135” traded, 191 “insert”, 3 “other”

How I put the additional sets together:

  • Traded – boxed set from eBay
  • Promos – all 3 cards from an eBay auction
  • Inserts – 30 from my s1/s2 hobby boxes, 7 from trades, 65 from COMC, 36 from Sportlots, 29 from Beckett Marketplace, 17 from eBay, 7 from card shows

Other product bests

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Completed insert set – 1996 Topps Profiles

3 11 2022

Man, over a year since I’ve posted!  Life (3 kids) will do that to you.  I still have dreams of keeping this project alive, and the World Series has me inspired – so here we go.  I apparently missed doing a post for completing the 1996 Topps Profiles insert set.  Well here it is!

Info about the set:

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Set description:

1996 Topps spokesmen Tony Gwynn and Kirby Puckett give their thoughts about 20 players from their respective leagues.

This set was inserted into both series 1 & 2 in all types of packs.  Each series has 10 cards from each league – 40 total between the 2 series. The cards look slightly different between the 2 series, with series 1 having a bit of a “spectralight” effect to the background, series 2 being more of a Chrome type card.

Set composition:  40 cards, 1:12 (1996 Topps series 1 & 2)

Hall of Famers:  12 (or 14)

Jeff Bagwell, Greg Maddux, Mike Piazza, Larry Walker, Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones, Barry Larkin, Roberto Alomar, Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Cal Ripken, Frank Thomas

Puckett and Gwynn are on every card giving their opinions, though they don’t give their opinions of themselves for their own card!

How I put the set together:

  • 1 card from my s1 retail box
  • 3 cards from my s2 retail box
  • 7 cards from trades
  • 2 cards from a card show
  • 27 cards from COMC/Sportlots

Thoughts on the set:  This is reminiscent (maybe a bit plagiaristic?) of some ideas Upper Deck had earlier in the 90’s – the Reggie Jackson set I think was the first where he gave his thoughts on current players.  It’s a good idea, doesn’t seem like wasted filler.

Card that completed my set:  #NL9 – Sammy Sosa

I got this one from a trade with Nolan’s Dugout back in 2013.

Best card (my opinion):  #NL13 – Ron Gant

Gant has by far the best picture here.  I like the Nomo card as well.

My Favorite Reds card:  Have to go with Gant based on the above.  He was the Comeback POY in 1995 during his only season with the Reds.

Here’s the scan of the full set.





Finishing off a promo set… sort of

20 05 2020

I have kind of neglected a set of posts I started 3 or 4 years back.  Neglected in that I didn’t post them, not that I was necessarily not making progress on the subject.  I started doing posts called the “Elusive Eight”, as a method to show which cards have proved particularly… Elusive … in tracking down.  The 1995 Topps Promo spectralite parallel version of Travis Fryman has been on the list since day 1!  I’ve had eBay searches for this card for at 7 years.  I check COMC, Beckett and Sportlots every month or two (at a minimum).  I’ve tried other… less acceptable… means.   Just kidding, really just those first two things.

One of the eBay searches came up in my email a month ago.  And it looked promising, it’s a Travis Fryman spectralite card.  It is numbered PP5!  It has “pre-production sample” in the 1994 stat line!  OK!

Except, as noted in the eBay auction that I bought it from – it’s a Proof.  It doesn’t have the gold foil on the front!

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades… and occasionally in baseball card collecting.  At least this particular baseball card set for me at least!  I’m counting this bad boy.  The promo sets came one per pack of 1994 Topps, with 9 of the regular promos and one spectralite version.  I could keep buying up those factory sets until I got one, but that didn’t seem as prudent to me as paying $5.31 for this card (plus $2 shipping) and calling this set, and the 1995 Topps Master set, finito!

Here’s a scan of all the promo sets.





Completed set – 2001 Topps

19 04 2020

Hope everyone is safe out there.  I thought I’d try to throw myself back to baseball cards with the extra 2 hours of time I’m saving by not commuting to work, but I just haven’t been able to put that to baseball card blogging use.  I have worked on this post for quite a while – these completed set posts take a lot of time to put together and remind me how much more free time I had back in 2010 to 2013 when this blog was in its “Heyday”.

From the Black Friday purchase (COMC) I was catching up on – I finished up the 2001 Topps set.  I’ve now completed the base set for everything from 1980 through 2001!

Info about my set:

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How I put the set together:

  • 289 cards from the series 1 hobby box
  • 232 cards from the series 2 hobby box
  • 22 cards from a second series 2 hobby box
  • 246 cards from trades
  • 1 card from COMC

Card that completed my set:  #389 – Ken Griffey SH (purchased on COMC)

I think at first I got this card in a trade but it was semi-damaged, so I had to wait a bit and didn’t finish this set until now.

Set composition:  790 cards (640 individual ML player cards, 25 Prospects, 25 Draft Picks, 30 Managers, 20 Golden Moments, 8 League Leaders, 5 Season Highlights, 7 Postseason Highlights, 30 Team Checklists)

*The 640 individual player cards include 10 All-Star Rookies

Representation of ’00 MLB season:

Out of the 640 player cards, 9 players did not play in the 2000 season.

  • Bret Saberhagen – out with a shoulder issue after a solid 1999 season with Boston.  The 2 time Cy Young winner tried to make a comeback in 2001 but only lasted 3 starts before retiring.
  • John Smoltz – Smoltz had famously Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2000.  He came back in late 2001 as a converted closer and saved 154 games over the next 3+ seasons.
  • Graeme Lloyd – missed all of 2000 with a shoulder injury
  • John Thomson – missed all of 2000 with a torn labrum
  • Justin Thompson – missed all of 2000 due to injury (short minors stint as well)
  • Mike Jackson – missed all of 2000 with a shoulder injury
  • Wilson Alvarez – spent 2000 in the minors
  • Ichiro Suzuki & Tsuyoshi Shinjo – they got very late additions to Topps 2001 series 2 after signing from Japan

Also, 5 players have two regular cards in the set.

  • Brian Meadows – for no apparent reason other than poor quality control by Topps.
  • Alex Rodriguez, Michael Tucker, Mike Hampton, Mike Mussina – all were traded or changed teams via free agency in the offseason and got a new card with their new team in series 2

That leaves 626 different players represented.  But, on top of that, there were 19 players in the Prospects set (Barry Zito being the most notable) who did play in the regular season but didn’t have a regular card.  So now that leads to 645 players.  The 645 players represent 52.4% out of the 1,230 players who played in MLB in 1999.

Earliest active player from this set:  #379 – Bobby Thomson, #105 – Rickey Henderson (active players)

Like most of these sets after the mid-90’s – there are again two answers to this.  Henderson is again the earliest active player, making his debut by playing both games of a doubleheader on June 24, 1979 (he stole a base in his first game).

Thomson is one of the 12 retired players in the Golden Moments subset and is the earliest.  He is in the set for his historic homer to win the 1951 pennant.  It’s been alleged the Giants had a system to steal signs and relay them from center field.  Baseball has moved past that at least*!  Thomson’s debut came September 9, 1946 when he went 2-4 with a double, a run and 2 RBI.

* – back when I started working on this post – how baseball teams were going to deal with the Astros this season was the biggest story in MLB.  That got superseded quickly in the middle of March when the season became in doubt.

Last active player from this set:  #355 – Adam Wainwright (DP), #746 – Edwin Encarnacion (PROS)

Wainwright & Encarnacion are the only 2 players from this set who are active in 2020.  Unless Ichiro makes a pitching comeback!

Player with the most cards in the set:  Todd Helton – 5 cards.  Helton had such a statistically insane year, he has 4 cards in the League Leaders set on top of his regular card.  He always gets the shiny front of these cards since Topps went with the NL guys on the front and the AL guys on the back.

Todd Helton – #255, #393 / #394 / #396 / #397  (League Leaders)

First Card and the Hundreds:  #1 – Cal Ripken, #100 – Derek Jeter, #200 – Alex Rodriguez, #300 – Vladimir Guerrero, #400 – Will Clark PS HL, #500 – Kent Mercker, #600 – Russ Johnson, #700 – Frank Catalanotto

Topps just kind of gave up on marquee guys as the hundred cards in series 2.

Highest book value:  #726 – Ichiro Suzuki RC

Most notable card: #726 – Ichiro Suzuki RC

Pretty easy choice here – Ichiro took the baseball world by storm in 2001, winning the MVP and Rookie of the Year and changing the face of Japanese players coming over to MLB.  He ended up being unique – with all respect to Hideki Matsui, no former Nippon League player came even close to matching his MLB accomplishments.

Best card (my opinion): #726 – Ichiro Suzuki RC

I have to go with Ichiro here as well.  There isn’t an incredible picture card here to wow you (though I really like the one below) enough to take away from one that captures Ichiro in the year he came to America.

Second best card (also my opinion): #60 – Pedro Martinez

Pedro was unreal in this stretch and this is a really cool card – you can see the grip on what I think is his knuckle curve.  Mike Piazza’s card where he’s crossing home as Robin Ventura throws up the “stand up sign” is in third to me, but worth the effort of a scan at the bottom of the post!

Best subset card: #379 – Bobby Thomson GM

None of the current year subset cards were particularly enticing, so I’m going with the most famous homer of all-time.  Apologies to other cards from this Golden Moments subset – Rickey Henderson’s card for breaking the stolen base record is a very cool picture and the Don Larsen perfect game card is arguably a better card than the Thomson one from an aesthetic aspect.

Favorite action photo: #537 – Magglio Ordonez

Ohhhh-eeeee-oh!  Maaaaaggg-gliooooo!

Favorite non-action photo: #580 – Curt Schilling

I like this card because it reminds me of some of the cards from the 60’s and 70’s where players would get their portrait shots into the set with empty bleachers in the background.

My Favorite Reds card:  #79 – Aaron Boone

The sleeveless uniforms were the best.

Other Notable Cards:  A few more really cool shots.





Completed master set – one last look at 1996 Topps

13 02 2020

I finished up the master set to 1996 Topps!  I wish I had 1995 done, but the cyberstats promo card of Travis Fryman from that year has proven to be the most difficult card to find of any I can think of.  So while I’ve still completed all my Topps master sets through 1994, I can also add 1996 to that now (as well as 1997 – and I have to check but I think 2000).

This one wasn’t as hard as some others – but still had some tough gets.  The Star Power and Draft Picks Power Boosters were tough to accumulate, and my final obstacle was just finding the Wrecking Crew cards at a somewhat reasonable price.  For reference, I got Matt Williams and Juan Gonzalez for $4.25 each on COMC.  Not sure if you’d consider that reasonable, but the chrome cards seem to come up more frequently than the regular inserts from those late 90’s sets.

Info about my base set:

How I put the base set together:

  • 199 cards from the series 1 retail box
  • 213 cards from the series 2 retail box
  • 1 card I already had from back in the day
  • 27 cards from trades

Card that completed my base set: #58 – Scott Sanders

Best card (my opinion): #297 – Marquis Grissom

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

My Master” Set Info:

653 cards – 440 “base”, 201 “insert”, 12 “other”

How I put the additional sets together:

  • Promos – all 10 cards from a couple eBay auctions
  • Mantle factory cards – bought them both on COMC
  • Inserts – 14 from my s1/s2 retail boxes, 1 I had from when I was a kid, 90 from Sportlots, 76 from COMC, 11 from trades, 6 from Beckett, 4 from card shows, 1 from eBay

Other product bests

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2001 Topps Brian Meadows and… 2001 Topps Brian Meadows

11 02 2020

I’m working on the 2001 Topps set recap since I just finished the base set.  And it takes a lot of work, more than I remembered (man, I used to have way more free time).  Anyways, I came across this.

2001 Topps Brian Meadows

And also this.

2001 Topps… Brian Meadows?

 

Now, you may think those are the same card.  But, you my friend, would be mistaken…

See, when trying to figure out how much the set represents the 2000 season as far as number and percentage of players, I have to check for guys who have a card in series 1 and 2.  Well, Brian Meadows has one, and he’s got the same picture on both cards.  I’m sure this has been written about somewhere, but I couldn’t find anything in a quick google search.  Topps could have used a little help in the QC back in 2001!