Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Set Reviews: 1990 Topps Debut

     After more than 23 years since I first completed the 1990 Topps set, I recently discovered, by chance, that my set was never actually complete.  After getting back into the hobby in 2001, I began integrating the Topps Traded sets into each year's base set.  Now, I have begun integrating the Topps Debut sets into my collection as well.  Luckily, there are only three sets to purchase: 1990, 1991, and 1992.  The 1990 Topps Debut set actually shows 1989 on the factory box cover to represent the year that the first game was played by each player.  What I find interesting about this set is that some of the cards depict players with a team that the base sets never printed them with, or even players that were never printed at all.  A prime example is Sammy Sosa's Texas Rangers card, which I never knew existed--which one is really his rookie?  I'm not sure about the order in which the Topps, Debut, and Traded sets were released, but it seems to me that the Debut sets would have come out either just before or just after the Topps base sets.  I'm not typically a collector bonus or insert sets unless they can be effectively integrated into the base sets, which is the case with the Debut sets.  When integrating this set into my binders, the major decision I had to make was: which team do I file each card with?  In the case with Sammy Sosa's card, the player is depicted with the Rangers team on the front, but the back shows that he played with both the Rangers and the White Sox in 1989.  Do I ignore the additional information about his being traded to the White Sox or not? (Sosa certainly wasn't playing for the Rangers in 1990).  I finally settled on filing each card with the team they were depicted with on the front of the card.  The 1990 set contains 152 total cards.  A choice few are shown below.

1990 Topps Debut #120: Sammy Sosa

1990 Topps Debut #12: Joe Girardi

1990 Topps Debut #132: Omar Vizquel

1990 Topps Debut #46: Ken Griffey Jr.

1990 Topps Debut #129 Robin Ventura

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hirings & Firings: Charlie Manual, MGR, Philadelphia Phillies

Charlie Manual became Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies after the end of the 2004 season, leading the team to 8 seasons above a .500 win percentage.  His most notable seasons with the Phillies were in 2008 as the World Series champions, and then in 2009 as the National League champions.  Including his three seasons as a Cleveland Indians Manager between 2000-2002, Charlie Manual has accrued a total of 1000 wins as a Major League Baseball Manager.  Manual was released by the Phillies in early August of this year after his team failed to win above the .500 mark during his 9th season as a Phillies Manager.  

2005 Topps Update #UH87

2006 Topps #286

2007 Topps #251

2008 Topps #632

2009 Topps #496