Friday, October 31, 2014

2014 N.L. ERA Leaders: C.Kershaw, J.Cueto, & A.Wainwright

This year's A.L. ERA leaders are:
1. Clayton Kershaw ('14T #US178) of the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 1.77 ERA.
2. Johnny Cueto ('14T #16) of the Cincinnati Reds with a 2.25 ERA.
3. Adam Wainwright ('14T #US289) of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 2.38 ERA.

Here are last year's N.L. ERA leaders ('14T #113).

2014 A.L. ERA Leaders: F.Hernandez, C.Sale, & C.Kluber

This year's A.L. ERA leaders are:
1. Felix Hernandez ('14T #US234) of the Seattle Mariners with a 2.14 ERA.
2. Chris Sale ('14T #US277) of the Chicago White Sox with a 2.17 ERA.
3. Cory Kluber ('14T #279) of the Cleveland Indians with a 2.44 ERA.

Here are last year's A.L. ERA leaders ('14T #117).

Saturday, October 25, 2014

2014 Topps: Royals vs. Giants World Series team sets

With the 2014 postseason nearly over, I'm left with only 2 teams to organize in my Topps binder.  I've had the Royals in the front of my binder since the start of the postseason once the Mariners had been eliminated--more so for sentimental reasons, rather than some statistical prediction of a World Series championship.

Many of the Royals players shown have since moved on from the start of this season, and do not accurately reflect the team many of us have been watching this postseason.  I have the 2014 Topps Traded set arriving in the mail probably today, but I wanted to get a 21st Century Topps Baseball post in, and couldn't wait. 

With the Royals 3-2 victory over the Giants in game 3 of the World Series in San Francisco last night, the Royals move to within 2 games of their 2nd World Series title in three total appearances since their organization was founded in 1969. 

Although I was not born and raised in the Kansas City area, I have become partial to this team over the years having lived from 30 minutes to 2 hours away from this ballpark for the majority of the time over a 15 year period.  I have been to more Royals games at Kauffman Stadium than I have at any other Major League ballpark.  Other Major League home ballparks that I have been to include the Mariners, Nationals, Orioles, Giants, Cardinals, Rockies, Astros, Marlins, Phillies, and Yankees.  That does not include the countless number of Minor League parks where I have attended games.

I know that many Royals fans would like to see this game go back to Kansas City for a game 6 or 7 victory at home, but I would like to see the Royals get it over with in San Francisco with two more wins for a game 5 clincher.  The Royals have performed much better on the road this year, and they don't want to give the Giants any more time to adjust to Royals pitching than necessary.  Also, when the World Series collector's edition DVD set comes out, what Royals fan wants to watch games of their team losing?  One loss is enough.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend an ALCS game in Kansas City while I was out there last week.  I purchased my tickets through the Royals official website about 20 minutes before game time while sitting at a Starbucks just down the road.  It was a very exciting experience.  I love all the improvements the Royals have made to Kauffman Stadium.  It's a great ballpark.

Here are the update series cards for each team, which arrived after this blog was posted.  Congratulations to the World Series champion Giants. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

1993 Topps Black Gold Insert Set #1-44

These cards represent Topps' first "modern" attempt to manufacture insert cards.  Topps Black Gold cards were randomly inserted into packs and factory sets.  A complete set of 1993 Topps Black Gold cards includes #1-44, although many people also collect the "winner" cards too.  Winner cards were also randomly inserted into packs and factory sets, which were redeemable by mail for multiple extras.  There were various types of winner cards like A (#1-11), B (#12-22), C (#23-33), D (#34-44), AB (#1-22), CD (#23-44), ABCD (#1-44).  Below, I have the first four types of winner cards shown.  Perhaps, I will go on to collect the last three types.  There is also a difference between certified winner cards and redeemable winner cards.  The winner cards I have shown below are certified winner cards that were included with redeemed sets or partial sets.  Redeemable winner cards are only distinguishable from certified winner cards from the card backs, which contain instructions for redeeming your winner cards.  I also have a redeemable winner C card (not shown) that was included as part of one of my factory sets.  I'm not sure that I really want to go on and collect both redeemable and certified winner cards.  That just seems like a little bit too much.